AN INQUIRY INTO TRUTH

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

The ancient wisdom of the philosopher, Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” As a student of mental science and the spiritual principles that govern it, from time to time I find myself re-examining my concepts of the nature of being.  

My consistent effort is to break through the collective consensus regarding the belief in separation and duality for which I may be susceptible. This requires focused and critical thinking. I no longer arrive at conclusions based on blind faith. 

The Science of Mind teachings say to keep faith with reason.  Therefore, whenever I am faced with seeming contradictions and paradoxes, I take pause and remember to “stand porter at the door of thought.”1    I am supported by the unities found in the principles of science, the opinions of philosophy, and the revelations of religions. 

While contemplating the ancient wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi when he says: “What we are looking for is what is looking,” motivates me to unscramble what at first glance seems like a riddle. When I put his words into my own words, it becomes apparent that “what” is the answer. I say, ‘The Thing I am looking for is me.’ Hmmm, I ask myself, does that mean I am Peace, if peace is what I am looking for? ‘Well,’ I tell myself, ‘if God is the Presence whose Life is my life, this must be so.’ 

I conclude: It takes one to know one.

Ernest Holmes, reiterates the same concept and expands upon it, saying, “We arrive at a consciousness of Unity only in such degree as we see that what we are looking for, we are looking with, and looking at.”2 Again, I find my own words in an effort to simplify and clarify for myself what is being said. What I say is: ‘There is no separation between the thing I desire to experience, the vision I have about the thing, and my perception of the thing I see.’ Hmmm, I ask myself, does this mean that it is my very own consciousness that determines my experience? ‘Well,’ I tell myself, ‘if God operating in me, as me, is me, this must be so.’

I conclude: If it’s going to be, it’s up to me. (Schuller)

Mahatma Gandhi stated the whole proposition in a few words saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I tell myself these words are saying to me, ‘I no longer wait for someone else to set the standard, I activate my values in practical ways.’ Hmmm, I ask myself, does this mean I have the power to make a difference and become a beneficial presence in the world? ‘Well,’ I tell myself, ‘since God is the center of my existence, then the familiar words, “Act as though I Am and I will be,”3 must be so.’ 

I conclude: I must walk my talk as a way of life.

Right now, our beloved USA is facing multiple challenges. Those of us who are now on the planet are challenged to usher in a consciousness that transcends any adversity that is in contrast to universal good. How do we I successfully apply the principles of: It takes one to know one; If it’s going to be, it’s up to me; and, I must walk my talk as a way of life in the context of: Systemic racial bias; Coronavirus pandemic; and, Division/and, or Mistrust?

I begin to practice in earnest:

  • I love myself just the way I AM… and, I identify all beings as another aspect of myself.
  • I cooperate fully in the effort to demonstrate universal wholeness (health) as an inherent birthright.
  • I trust the Presence of God in every individual, because I know, in the Spirit, we are One.
  • I listen to the Inner Guidance that tells me what is mine to do.


This Weeks Affirmation

Today I expand my consciousness to new heights as I fully embrace the unity of all creation.
By Judy Hilley

THANKSGIVING DAY!

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

For several years now, Thanksgiving Day has looked a lot different for me than it did in former years. What I notice is, while it keeps changing, the Presence of Love is always present.  Wherever I am the fullness of God’s love shows up. 

I am thankful for the awareness of the Presence of Love in my life.

Before leaving my native home for my hero’s journey, I had always celebrated the major holidays with either the Clark Clan or the Ruffner Clan. In either case it was always a house full of loving relatives. The spirit of Love was always in the midst. 

I am thankful for these memories.

Arriving at my new location, I spent Thanksgiving Day with relatives I had only heard about. The love of God, through them, welcomed me with open arms. 

I am thankful for this connection.

During my life adventure, I lived in some cities where I had no relatives. I recognize it was the love of God that invited me into the homes of families I barely knew. As we shared a meal together on Thanksgiving Day, I learned so much about another’s culture and traditions that were different from my own.

I am thankful for this expanded awareness.

I remember times when I made a conscious choice to decline invitations in order to be alone on Thanksgiving Day. The holiday became a time for me to nurture myself, dedicating the day to the rejuvenation of my body and my mind. Though alone, I was never lonely. The love of God kept me company.

I am thankful for the self-love that solitude yields.

So, here I am, home again, although not in the same city I left so long ago. Here, my small family is a remnant of the larger one that’s now scattered all over the country. I enjoy spending this special time with just us.  This special time is the love of God restoring the years we were separated from one another. 

I am thankful for this holy reunion.

Thanksgiving 2020 offers an opportunity to experience another aspect of God’s love.  This year, like many Americans, I will set aside “my way”, in order for a greater blessing to benefit more people than I can imagine. It has been written, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13). 

I am thankful that I am Love personified.

I am reminded of the nature of Love, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7).  This self-giving-ness of the Divine is my blessed assurance that no matter where I am, and under whatever circumstances I find myself, there is always the blessing of Love.

I am thankful to know all’s love, yet all’s law.

I look forward to Thursday. I will be in the company of more relatives and friends than I have been in a long time. We will be in a safe environment as we meet and greet each other via the technology of Zoom.

I am thankful that Love always provides a way.

 This Thanksgiving Day I will light a candle in loving memory of those who are no longer with us physically, affirming, “My Father’s house has many rooms.” (John 14:2)    I will light another candle in support of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, affirming, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) I will light a third candle as a tribute to the front-line heroes who continue to give service through the unconditional love of God, affirming, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).

I am thankful for the conviction that Love is Eternal Life.

And, so it is!


This Weeks Affirmation

I thank God within me for the realization and awareness of my inherent good.”
By Angela “Chris” Beam

PRESENT MOMENT POWER

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

What I notice is, anytime I am inattentive, it’s like sleepwalking. My body shows up in the present moment, but not my mind.  In this absent-minded state of consciousness, I may be influenced by opinions and ever-changing facts. In such moments I am highly susceptible to mistaking the false for the real. At such times, my vision for the future is often cloaked in “wishing” and “hoping,” rather than conviction and faith.

Ernest Holmes imparts his wisdom, saying “Let us in the stillness of our own soul go back to that ineffable Presence which is Peace and proclaim It even in the midst of confusion, that Peace which is the Power at the heart of God.1   

Following Holmes’ teachings, I know that spiritual discernment is key in the development of my evolving consciousness.  I anchor my go-to affirmations and prayers in the universal principles of Oneness, Love, and Peace, to name a few.  These eternal verities are my measurements of Reality, the Truth that is the same today, yesterday, and forever. From this perspective, the balancing act of being in this world but not of it, is harmonized and my assessment of spiritual supremacy operating in human affairs inspires me to know that all is well. 

The wonderful thing about The Truth is, it is never threatened, nor does it depend on what I believe. Instead, it is, in fact, my perceptions and my beliefs that are the cause of my suffering or my unwavering assurance.  The good news is, at any time I may change my thinking and change my life.

I consider the words of The Apostle Paul: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me.” 2

Now, what I notice is, anytime I am awake, alert, aware, and involved in the present moment, whether it is walking, talking, eating, or washing my hands, I find I am filled with great clarity. This intentional focus causes the energy of insight and right judgement to rise up within me. In this state of consciousness, I am a clear, conscious, conduit, through which Divine Wisdom and Intelligence flow unobstructed, guiding all my decisions into right action. 

I affirm the inevitable presence and power of the One Spirit, God, now and in the future.

I like living on the affirmative side of life, and at the same time I am careful not to put my head in the sand about the apparent conditions that I face daily.   For example, as our nation experiences the labor pains of giving birth to its next expression of “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” I offer my cultivated consciousness as a midwife for the expected blessing.

In my awakened state of consciousness, I realize the evolution of Life is forever stretching into the eternal; therefore, I capture the present moment and participate fully.   I listen for the Indwelling Presence to reveal to me that which is mine to do.

I am mindful of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “It’s not the destination, It’s the journey.” 3


This Weeks Affirmation

I am fully present in every moment, as God magnifies all that I am.
By Robbin G. Ruffner, RScP Emeritus

MIRRORS, SYMBOLS, and SIGNS, Oh My!

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

I have come to believe and realize: what I think about comes about; and, where my attention goes, energy flows. I have come to know that to the degree that I change my thinking, I change my life. While this is all basic Science of Mind, it is far-reaching in its implication.

These mental laws, being laws, are the same for absolutely everyone, without exception. When I consciously apply this Law of Mind, I take full responsibility for my life.  This endeavor takes place in the secret chambers of my own consciousness. What I love about this system of self-proclamation and expression is, I’m never locked in.  

My viewpoint, acting like a mirror, reflects the activity of my mind, and shows up as my experience.  My viewpoint is often based on what I have been previously taught and what I presently observe in the world. I now realize that when I am not pleased with what I see in the world, it is an opportunity for me to examine the role I played in the creation of the whole, and self-correct when appropriate. My objective is a world that works for everyone.

In an effort to self-correct, I may find myself going through a series of hit and miss. What I have come to know is this: while there are mental laws that determine what my world looks like according to my beliefs, there is a spiritual reality, called God that transcends all limiting ideas. God is the Source and First Cause of everything that exists, including mental and physical laws. This Divine Presence is constant and changeless. 

When I align my mental house with the nature of God, the source of my existence, I begin to express that which is my True Self. The signs that follow are Peace, Harmony, Love, Joy, Wisdom, and Abundance. These are symbols of divine life. They are the very essence of all living beings. 

It is written, “There is a right time for everything.   I use this precept as a premise when discerning the circumstances that I face in life. Believing everything” means “everything,” I conclude: all is in divine order. I am motivated to “do” what needs to be done by and through me to unleash even a greater expression of divinity. I choose to be healed instead of justifying my present thought patterns.

Life is always an upward spiral, always becoming more of itself, never less. This is the nature of evolution. In many ways my life is a work-in-process. I start out with an idea of how I express myself. I keep tweaking, fine-tuning, adding, and subtracting until I am satisfied; until I perceive my wholeness. 

The mirrors, symbols, and signs that provide me with what I need to know to become the best version of myself, are also my assurance that there is a Presence that is forever leading me and guiding me, and revealing to me that I am Its very own. And, what I know is true about me is true about everyone. 

The mirrors, symbols, and signs clearly indicate, for each one who agrees with my viewpoint, there is one who does not.  So once more I examine my mental house to determine what, if anything, needs tweaking. This time the criterion I place upon myself is for my beliefs to reflect a consciousness anchored in Truth Principles, assuring a world that works for everyone.  I consciously choose to live with fellow citizens in an atmosphere of “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

Oh my! What a beautiful vision.


This Weeks Affirmation

I affirm all is in Divine Order.
By Mary Jane LaBonte, RScP

FAITH

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

Be it a child’s game, a health challenge, the state of the country, or, everything in between; the faith factor is always being activated. The outcome is always according to our belief.

The childhood game, Hide-and-Seek, was a favorite of mine.  I was super confident that I would always find my playmates in their favorite hiding places; or that they would tag the goal while I was still searching. This faith based on my previous experiences of playing the game, was my assurance of success. When the game ended, I was summoned to come inside for the day and prepare for tomorrow.

Fast forward with me to the early part of 2002. I was feeling very low; lower than I had felt in a long time. Arriving home that day, I parked the car and hurried into my apartment.  I had a lot on my mind, so I was glad my new friends, the shy little girl and her mom who lived in the adjacent building, were not there to greet me as usual.  I was not in the mood for pleasantries. 

Once inside, I began to process the diagnosis the doctor had given me. Fear of the unknown flooded my mind.   I was alone with my thoughts, feelings, confusion, and grief, when suddenly there was a loud knock at my front door. Very unusual. 

It was my young neighbor standing there, her eyes filled with fear, crying, “my daughter, my daughter, I can’t find her. Help me.” In that very moment I forgot what I was thinking about. Quickly I put my shoes on again and frantically I followed the young woman out of the door, asking “What’s your daughter’s name?” As we ran in opposite directions in search of the child, she shouted back to me, “Her name is Faith.” 

For the next 15 minutes, I ran throughout the complex, shouting: “Faith, Faith, where are you?  The young mom and I met again at our starting point.  There she was. We both saw her at the same time, this whimsical, mystical being called Faith. She showed her face from the walkway of her building. It was if her shy smile was saying, “I love this game of hide-and-seek.”  

I returned to my apartment and laughed out loud as I reflected on my search for Faith.   Now, reunited with my core beliefs, the energy completely shifted. All anxiety was gone.  The mesmeric spell of downward dazing was broken, and I began preparing for tomorrow.  

This search for the child-like faith of my youth reminds me “that as I deal with my own individuality, I am dealing with the Universal, which has projected out of Itself that which is like itself on a miniature scale.”1 In the game of life, I am always “IT.”

Fast forward with me to today, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. By the end of the day , all the votes for POTUS will be cast, (make sure yours is included) and once more I am summoned to prepare for tomorrow.   

Anchored in a consciousness of Light, I know the nature of God is changeless. I affirm the good I desire to see for myself and all people. The things hoped for are deeply imbedded in the substance of Wholeness, Abundance, Oneness, Peace, Harmony, Love, Joy, and Wisdom; all that is indestructible, absolute, and self-existent2

I listen deeply to that still small voice that guides me to do what is mine to do to bring about this desired good in a practical way. My unwavering faith is in the Indwelling Presence.



This Weeks Affirmation

I elect to stand still, go within, and know the way.
By Keith D. Childers