KNOW and BELIEVE

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.” ~  Iyanla Vanzant ~

How often have you heard, or perhaps even have said the words, “I’ll believe it when I see it?”  Yes, there’s a skeptic amongst us that demands proof from one of its “sense organs” before accepting a thing as being so.  The story of Doubting Thomas of the New Testament is an illustration of how humanity believes the physical body, and the material world we live in, are the only reality there is.  

However, we are waking up, slowly but surely, and have begun to realize that we are indeed more than our bodies; and more than our present circumstances, no matter what they may be. Humanity is evolving into the realization that we are three-fold beings. When all three aspects of who we are (Spirit, Mind, and Body) are in alignment, we experience the harmony, beauty, joy, love, and wisdom that is our inherent nature. When the self is in perfect alignment with its Self, skepticism is transformed into optimism, and we may find ourselves saying, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

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The Omnipotent Law of Life that receives the direct impress of our thoughts and acts upon them, is in a state of continuous creative action. Through a process of unfoldment, the image and likeness of our word; i.e., the conviction of our hearts are realized as the people, places, and things we encounter in the world. When one understands this; prayers are no longer a practice of beseeching, begging, and bargaining; but rather, they become affirmations of Truth based on what is the heart’s desire and the acceptance of the word spoken.     

I have noticed that phrases like “I know” and “I believe” are often used interchangeably when speaking about practical spirituality.  I believe, in most cases, the common usage is simply that slippery slope of semantics, otherwise, the differences are subtle. We may all agree that it is the feeling conveyed that sets the Immutable Law of Cause and Effect in motion.

One may have knowledge of certain scientific facts, but do not believe the principle behind the knowledge will work for them. For example, one may know the laws regarding the ability to walk on hot coals. This doesn’t mean that everyone who has this knowledge believes he is safe in doing so.

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When the “Doubting Thomas Consciousness” within us says, “Lord, I do believe, help me to overcome my unbelief;” this state of humility and vulnerability may very well be the defining moment for self-healing. Otherwise, you cannot heal what you do not acknowledge.

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It seems to me; that the successful demonstration of the Law of God is the combination of knowing and believing. There is that within you right now who spontaneously knows the Truth of Being and her Oneness with it. You may unleash this Presence of Divinity and claim the good you are seeking, right now. The mystic realizes: I, Spirit, is the Driving Force, The First Cause that moves through our Mind of beliefs, and projects onto the material world, a Body of people, places, and things.


This Week’s Affirmation

“I AM all what I will become.

Keith Childers


ANNOUNCEMENT

HOWARD THURMAN SERIES CONTINUES

EASTER SUNDAY

 APRIL 17, 2022

10:00 AM

Join Zoom Meeting
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Zoom ID: 613-077-9853

Springfield Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse of Vermont

FEATURING

Robbin G. Ruffner, RScP Emeritus

ALL ARE WELCOME!


INFINITE POTENTIAL

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

If you are anything like me, you’ve heard the following sayings over and over throughout the years: “where there’s no vision the people perish,” … “where there’s a will there’s a way,” … and, “I” in the midst of thee is mighty.

At first glance, they are all self-explanatory. Perhaps, like me, you have used one or more, when making a point. However, speaking for myself, I have not always sat down and thought about the far-reaching implication they suggest.  

Contemplative Meditation1 is the perfect practice that supports us in unpacking these life-giving concepts.

“Where there’s no vision the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)

There is a mindset that sees restrictions and limitations at every turn. For some, this mindset or pattern of thought, has created prisons of fear, isolation, despondency, and depression; a feeling of helplessness, and hopelessness. This mindset can be likened to the words of Howard Thurman … “man. without God is a seed upon a wind. He’s a victim of the currents of life that carry him where they will with the bland un-mindfulness of purposes and ends.” In this state of consciousness, there seems no light at the end of the tunnel. In this state of consciousness, the inherent divine potential becomes as nothing. It seems to have died, perished under stress.   Not only is this an unnatural mode of existence; it is always temporary. 

“The pain pushes until the vision pulls.” (Rev. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith)

One may remain in a state of pain and a feeling of unworthiness until, eventually, a flicker of hope is felt. Even the smallest impulse of imagination sets a new cause in motion. Like springtime pushing through the barren earth of winter, a glimmer of possibility is realized.  After all, nothing permanently dies – it simply appears that way. Once the creative juices began to flow again – ideas of opportunity are formed. 

“Where there’s a will there’s a way.” (Old Proverb)

I like the original wording; i.e., “To him that willways are not wanting.” (George Herbert’s “Jacula Prudentusm”) The phrase suggests that the one who will surrender to the Indwelling God Potential discovers there is nothing that restricts or limits the fulfillment of her dreams. The ways are infinite, and the choice is the individuals.  

“I, in the midst of thee, is mighty.” (Zephaniah 3:17 paraphrased)

Jesus is quoted saying, “I am the way.” At first glance it seems he is talking about his individual ability to perform miracles on our behalf, claiming his all-powerful nature. However, he is also quoted saying, “Why call me good, there is only One, and “Of mine own self I can do nothing, it is the Father within., etc.”  I believe this great leader and teacher was teaching humanity the power of the “I AM” consciousness. It is the Power to declare into existence that which one accepts as Perfect Health, Unlimited Supply, Peace Now, and Everlasting Love. 

Find a quiet place, and contemplate these things.

1 https://guidedmeditationframework.com/blog/what-is-contemplative-meditation/


This Week’s Affirmation

I contemplate my good, and I speak and release my word, and know it returns to me perfectly.

By Angela “Chris” Beam


PERCEPTION

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

“What you are looking for is what you are looking with.”
~ Ernest Homes ~

(Repost) It has been said that perception is reality. Before I jump on the bandwagon, saying “yeah, that’s right,” I remember to pause for a moment and think about it, asking myself: what do I mean by that statement? For example, am I referring to “reality” as the absolute or the relative? 

I tell myself: The absolute suggests that which does not and cannot change, it’s is the “isness” of nature. It is the Invisible First Cause behind everything experienced through the senses. On the other hand, the relative is a manifestation of First Cause as well as secondary causes; i.e., or beliefs, which are always subject to change.

One of the definitions offered for “perception” is: “a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.” Another definition says: “the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.” In both cases, there is always a forerunner to what is seen and experienced, whether real or a misconception of the mind. Therefore, what I glean from the above quote by Holmes is, everything in the world is a reflection of a state of consciousness.

As simple as this common-sense knowledge is, there seems always some problem to be solved; for myself, another, or the world. 

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I have found that piercing the veil of illusion (the out-picturing of a mental images) and entering into the vast reality of Truth, is a path, or a way of life. It becomes practical spirituality. This way of life is not mysterious, abstract, or separate from daily living. It does not require convincing or “saving” another from human experiences.  Jesus, the master teacher taught, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

While there is a Powerful Force for Good in the universe, It never forces. One is always at choice. Moving from illusion to truth is a personal journey of adjusting one’s mindset, beliefs, and perception of what is absolute. How one chooses to move forward with this awareness is optional. The Force for Good is always available and accessible.

The Science of Mind makes clear that it does not teach what to think; but rather, how to think. How to think is a doorway to the infinite; it is a practice that leads directly into a consciousness of the Mind of God. The Mind of God is the fundamental, unchanging nature of First Cause that is forever revealing It’s secrets to whomever listens. There is an answer to every human problem that may bring about the Peace of Mind that is desired.

It’s been said that every human aberration is a spiritual aspiration trying to be birthed.

The world that Jesus references is transitory and is always out-picturing the collective beliefs of humanity at any given time….and then, like turning a kaleidoscope, the whole picture may change instantly, according to the mindset of the believer. 

Yes, one individual, perfectly aligned with First Cause, may rise in consciousness to a level and frequency of existence that transcends the popular belief being worked out by humanity. That one, having risen above the error thoughts of the masses is a healing presence; i.e., a revealer of Truth.

Daily spiritual practices such as meditation, affirmative prayer, visioning, inspirational reading, and the giving and receiving of loving support are some of the ways to stay centered in Truth and perceive that which is the same yesterday, today, and forever.


This Week’s Affirmation

“I am perceptive. I am alert. I have an excellent mind.”

http://bmindful.com/affirmations/perception


ANNOUNCEMENT

StillPoint ~ a doorway to the infinite 

www.stillpointcsl.org

Invites you to 

THE GATHERING
~ A safe space to share your wins, challenges, and opportunities while traveling the journey of practical spirituality ~

Saturday, April  2, 2022
10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon

Via Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/949595702?pwd=NEFGMkRDOExZWXBmSTkvWWsrNElQdz09
Meeting ID: 949 595 702
Passcode: 190469

ALL ARE WELCOME!
Invite someone to meet you here.


THE GOLDEN THREAD

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

There is a golden thread that runs through every religion in the world. There is a golden thread that runs through the lives and the teachings to all the prophets, seers, sages, and saviors in the world’s history, through the lives of all men of truly great and lasting power. All that they have ever done or attained to has been done in full accordance with law. What one has done, all may do. ~ Ralph Waldo Trine~ 

“The great spiritual geniuses, whether it was Moses, Buddha, Plato, Socrates, Jesus, or Emerson….. have taught man to look within himself to find God.” ~Ernest Holmes~

While a “particular system of faith and worship distinguishes one religion from another; there have always been mystics, sages, and prophets, if you will, who perceived a unifying presence that transcends any differences.  These emanations of Light are taught by the still small voice they hear within their own souls; and by the moon and stars they see above, and by the trees and the oceans surrounding them; and by the joy, love, and gratitude they feel in their hearts.  At every turn, they encounter the One Presence, the One Power. They recognize God everywhere.  

These illumined souls have imparted wisdom to the world through such precepts as “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Theirs is not a dogmatic teaching governed by an institution, but rather, what they know is universal truth, and cannot be denied.

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Yield not to the temptation that believes you have greater access to the Truth because of the number of years you have been practicing; or believing your viewpoint is the only one that imparts Truth.  Remember, (1) The Law responds to all alike, and (2) the golden thread of Truth is seen and understood in many ways.  

The seasoned traveler on the path of enlightenment meets everyone right where they are; neither expecting aspirants to be further along nor judging the direction from whence they have come. 

The practicing devotee of religion is mindful when sharing beliefs with a novice whose path has crossed with theirs.  He remembers the golden thread connecting the two of them to the One Source. He knows there is nothing lacking in this individual. He knows this one is fully orbed and infused with the magnificence of God. There is a keen awareness there is nothing to fix. The divine appointment is one of awakening for both the teacher and the student, as they share their human experiences, as well as spiritual revelations.  Otherwise, if not careful; i.e., full of care, the good intentions of both people may be inadvertently misunderstood as criticism. 

Parker Palmer writes: “The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out.” The devotee creates a safe space filled with compassion, empathy, and loving-kindness. Otherwise, the individual, feeling intimidated, may retreat, hiding inside his feelings and emotions.

Yes, there is a golden thread that unites all of humanity as One. All paths of faith and worship lead to The Presence of God that indwells us all. The sincere seeker of Truth, establishes a relationship with the Divine One within, through such practices as prayer, song, meditation, praise, and gratitude.  


This Week’s Affirmation

“I am filled with a deep sense of unity with all. My life is complete!”

http://bmindful.com/

WHAT and HOW

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

“Metaphysics is philosophical: it’s about explaining the fundamental nature of the world and what it means as humans to inhabit it. Spirituality, on the other hand, is experiential, and has more to do with spiritual practices and the development and discovery of the self.” ~ Google ~

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The scientists of today are closer than ever before to agreeing with the metaphysician that God is Creative Intelligence, or Mind, everywhere present in the Universe, and manifesting through every created thing. – Metaphysics may be termed that which is beyond the known laws of physics. SOM Text p. 611 ~

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Ernest Holmes was a 20th century philosopher. His ever-evolving theory deals with the mental aspect of humanity’s nature and its relationship to the Cosmos. He espoused, “we are surrounded by a creative medium that receives the direct impress of our thought, and acts upon it.” The action he references is the manifestation of our thoughts and ideas, infused with thepotentials we habitually perceive as reality. Therefore, his theory is one of a science of mind and spirit.

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Principles or Universal Laws are always impersonal. It has been said, “It will be done for you as you have believed.”(Matthew 8:13) For example, the misapplication of the principles of electricity yields impersonal negative results that cause suffering. Once the error is corrected, the results change. Likewise, the same is true about spiritual laws that are governed by thoughts that are motivated by beliefs. The image and likeness of that mental state create the myriad of experiences in the world; both the positive and the negative. Once we know, understand, and apply the principle of Truth; one’s experience of the world changes accordingly.

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The metaphysical philosophy of The Science of Mind and Spirit is one that teaches “how to think;” not “what to think.”“What” to think is always up to the individual. It is the gift of free will. “How” to think is also a choice. It is a deliberate practice of aligning one’s thoughts with ideas that accurately describes the quality of life one desires to experience in the world.   

To the degree that one believes that Love, Peace, and Unity, to name a few qualities of the Spirit, are indeed the nature of the Higher Self, or the God Within and are the “good we ought to have;” to that same degree these qualities are infused in our thoughts and become the people, places and things we experience in the world.

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Through reading, writing, and speaking, begin telling yourself the Truth about who you are and the life-affirming experiences that await your acceptance. This becomes an effective method of teaching yourself “how” to think. It also begins to establish thought patterns or your thinking habits.

Regular spiritual practices, such as meditation and journaling bring us into the present moment and quiet the mind. It is here, with no distractions, we are able to hear the habitual thoughts that influence our world.  This awakened consciousness is empowering when it comes to the choices we make, moving forward.

The power of creation is within us and always flows in the direction of our beliefs. Once you are clear about “what” you desire for yourself and the world; the Creative Medium of Mind knows “how” to bring it about.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~(Romans 12:2)~


This Week’s Affirmation

“Through the Science of Mind teachings, I have learned “how to think”, not “what to think.”

By Mary Jane LaBonte, RScP