NOTE: The following article is the text (with very minor edits) of my presentation online for Centers for Spiritual Living Denver on July 11, 2021. Note that a video of the talk can be accessed at this link.
This talk is entitled “Feeling into Love”. The theme for all of the talks this July at CSL Denver is Pulled by Vision. That’s also the cover title on this month’s Science of Mind magazine. Check out the magazine for other articles on this topic.
So what I would like to do today is to look at this idea of being pulled by a vision….what exactly does that mean and how does it relate to our philosophy of the Science of Mind…. and then offer some thoughts on how love relates to our being pulled by a vision…..
So first, let’s look at the idea of being pulled by vision……What does that mean?
As you probably already know, the vision that we are talking about is that idea that you carry around in your mind about the desired direction for your individual life, your desired direction for the world…and your role in creating that world….Do you have such a vision? Some of you may say “no, I’m doing my best to live one day at a time”….”I haven’t stopped to think about it”….or something similar…..but I would suggest that even if you haven’t written down a personal vision statement, you already carry within you some idea about how you would like to see your life unfold..where you would like to be in 5 years, 10 years, at the end of your time here on earth….you most likely have some idea of how you would like to see the world evolve…you have hopes and dreams that you carry about the highest and best life that you can live. I know that I do. Within those thoughts is your vision, even if you have not written it down.
It says in Proverbs: Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Another way of saying that is that people with no vision have no direction.
So how does having a vision relate to our philosophy of the Science of Mind? Briefly, there are 2 ways:
The first way, which is related to the most well known aspect of the Science of Mind is that thoughts are things…..hence what we think about is what we manifest in our lives.
Most people when they first come to the Science of Mind are challenged by some experience in their material life. They want more prosperity, better relationships, a better job, a love life and other things that are part of a good enjoyable earthly life. So much of our basic teaching is about identifying what you currently are thinking and how to replace those thoughts with new thoughts. What we seek is to reorient our thinking to see that vision of what we desire to already be in your life. It is through this change in your thinking that you will change your life and manifest your desires in the physical. If you can master that, then using the philosophy has been successful. Although the idea is simple….the process for many of us can be difficult to practice consistently. Yet, it is this vision of the life desired that we often focus on in our teaching.
However, there is a second way where vision is important in our philosophy….and it is a bit more esoteric and less taught….although I tend to stress it a lot in my talks and teachings…..and that is how a vision serves our growth and evolution.
You have heard me say many times that we live in 2 worlds at once…we have one foot in the physical/material world, one foot in the spiritual world…or as French Jesuit priest and paleontologist as well as spiritual teacherTeilhard de Chardin stated, ” We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
You know, our time here in the physical world is a wonderful gift….we get to experience all of the beautiful and wonderful things here on Earth….sunrises, sunsets, nature, creating, the birth of our children and grandchildren, the vast beauty of the planet, all of the material things that bring us joy each day….and….it is through our experiencing this world that the infinite being of Spirit experiences its creation….but even though we are living in two worlds at one time, we must also remember that we are evolving and growing and that our true natural state is to evolve beyond this material world.
As I wrote about in my book Our Spiritual Evolution (which drew upon the teachings of so many others), I believe that Spirit, God, Infinite Intelligence in creating this universe embedded itself in all of its creation. Spirit though, so that through us it could more fully experience this physical world, it caused us to forget our source and gave us free will to choose our thoughts, words and actions. So we all began our lives blind to the fact that Spirit is our source and that we are all one. We were free to live in separation and choose based on the needs of our ego.
Sometimes we choose in ways that are in alignment with our source….that is with Oneness…and sometimes we choose selfishly, believing that we are separate and apart from one another.
And, although we are free to live and choose separation and competition and fear…. and to doubt our abilities and the glorious truth of our Divine Nature as we move through this material world, we are all ultimately evolving towards recognizing that we are all one and embedded with this Divine Spirit. We are all evolving towards transcending this third dimensional experience and towards higher and higher dimensions. Hence, I believe that we are all evolving back to our source….spirit, the divine, oneness….whatever name we choose to use….and all of us are walking a spiritual path in our own way back to a return to love and Oneness.
So how does our vision relate to that?
It is our vision for a greater life and a greater world that is calling us to move forward. Now some of you may say, I have a vision but it has nothing to do with remembering I came from Spirit or getting me to move towards Oneness. That may be true…..but I would say that behind every vision for our lives is a desire to be creative, a desire for positive change, a desire to make our lives better in some way….and these desires to improve your life and the lives of others has the added benefit of serving our overall evolution.
Think about this….When we improve conditions for all, we allow ourselves and others to focus on higher and higher needs. Remember that in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as we move up his pyramid by meeting our basic needs, we each move towards a desire to meet those higher needs of self actualization and self transcendence. If all of us were at those levels of desire, then we would all be focused on needs that are calling us to transcending these material lives.
Yet we all get off the path of our greater vision from time to time. When we veer from that greater direction, two forces gently move us back on track. These forces are Spirit’s way of gently moving us in the right way where we can remember our Oneness.
The first force is what is often called being “pushed by life”.
By that we mean that our life experiences are so challenging that they force us into looking at where we are going and what we are doing with our life. They force us to grow and learn and make better choices. If we don’t learn the lesson, life keeps giving us the class over and over in different ways until we do. We all know these kinds of life experiences. They show up in ways such as….job losses, financial crises, relationships ending, deaths and the many other life events, each asking us to reconsider our life’s direction, each offering a lesson.
The second force that works to get us back on track is our being “pulled by the vision”. This is where either external events or more often internal feelings turn up in our experience and show us a higher and greater path for our lives. These experiences or feelings invite us to shift our focus, reorganize our priorities, and take stock of our actions so that our lives can move towards that vision. There are a number of feelings that can serve as our evolutionary course correctors. For example, our desire to be creative is one. Another is love.
Science of Mind founder, Ernest Holmes, referred to these evolutionary course correctors as our “divine urge”.
He wrote: “There is an irresistible Universal and Divine urge within us to be happy, to be whole, and to express the fullness of Life. The latent Divinity within us stirs our imagination and, because of Its insistent demand, impels and compels our growth. It is back of every invention; It proclaims Itself through every creative endeavor; It has produced sages, saints, and saviors, and will, when permitted, create a new world in which war, poverty, sickness, and famine will have disappeared.”
He also said: “The insistent and universal desire for self-expression is the Divine Urge within us, even God Himself “tapping at the walls of our heart,” urging us on to a fuller life.”
Do you feel this urge to create and grow and evolve? I know that I do. And this urge comes to me in a desire to think about the vision for my life.
Have you thought about your vision for your life lately? I urge you to do so.
My vision is very much in alignment with the vision for our spiritual organization, Centers for Spiritual Living, which is probably not surprising. CSL’s vision is to awaken humanity to its spiritual magnificence and to create a world that works for everyone. This is probably familiar to you as we mention it frequently and this vision was the subject of a theme for our talks in recent months.
Briefly stated, my vision for myself is to be a loving and beneficial presence in all interactions; to continue to grow and evolve in my spiritual wisdom; to enjoy this life experience to the fullest; and, to be a change agent in my areas of influence so as to assist others in awakening to their spiritual truth and to create that world that works for all.
Now you might think that mine sounds real good….but am I on the mark in living this vision? Sometimes I am, sometimes not so much. Like many of us, I can get off track as I fill my mind and my life with fears, doubts, judgments of others, distractions, laziness, procrastination and the like. Can you relate?
Why is this? Why are we drawn off course?
In the most general of terms, the reason most often relates to our learning limitations and instilling our minds with feelings of inadequacy as a child. We came to the planet wanting to be loved and have our needs met and instead experienced something else. These other experiences filled our heads with the ideas that our lives are limited and we are at some level unlovable. Hence, who are we to live these big visions?
And what I am suggesting to you here is that the power of love can assist you in staying on target with your vision.
We all have an idea of what love is. We have felt love, fallen in love, sang songs about love, said we loved someone or something. We all “love” the feeling of “love”. At many times we have consciously sought love. However, the truth is that we have love within us that we can always give and be love.
Why is that? It’s because…..Love is our natural state of being. It is who we really are at our core.
In the inspired book and spiritual teachings of A Course in Miracles it states “This course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.”
Spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson adds, “Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”
And Ernest Holmes wrote, “Love is the grandest healing and drawing power on earth. It is the very reason for our being, and that explains why it is that people should have something or someone to love. The life that has not loved has not lived, it is still dead. Love is the sole impulse for creation, and the man who does not have love as the greatest incentive in his life, has never developed the real creative instinct. No one can swing out into the Universal without love, for the whole Universe is based upon it.”
Think about this: We teach in Science of Mind that God is in all as all…..that the power and presence of God is in us. Yet we also teach (as do most spiritual paths) that God is love. So, if God is love and God is in all as all, doesn’t that means that we are embedded and infused with this Divine Love? If at our essence we “are love”, then it’s only natural that the feeling of love is so well known by us and why we love the feeling so much.
Another reason that I believe that love is our natural state is because love is more than just an emotion. I believe that Love is also an evolutionary force whose purpose is to connect us with others in the physical. Love pulls us out of our sense of ego based separation so as to feel care and concern for things that appear separate from us. When we love our children, our spouse, out pets, our friends, things out in the world….that feeling pulls us out of our sense of being an individual and into a sense of connectedness to that which was previously sensed as an “other”. In so doing, Love calls us to transcend the physical. Love pulls us higher on our path in our return to oneness.
In the words of artist Alex Grey, “Love, consciousness, and creativity are the highest refinements of the cosmic evolutionary force.”
Or as spiritual teacher Gurdjieff wrote, “Real love is a cosmic force which goes through us. If we crystallize it, it becomes the greatest power in the world.”
And, again, Teilhard de Chardin, “Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.”
So if love is our natural state as a spiritual being and love is also an evolutionary force that is bringing us back through our evolution to realize our Oneness, how can we then cultivate more love in our lives? How can we allow love to pull us along to our highest vision for our lives?
Well, I have a lot of thoughts on that. But instead of covering them all right now, I am going to give you some homework. I wrote a blog on my website this past week where I listed 12 different suggestions. Here is the link. I would like you to go read it, it will only take a few minutes, and pick out some actions you can take.
However, here is a real quick one we will do together. I want you to close your eyes for just a moment. Now, I want you to picture in your mind’s eye someone that you feel love for….a child, grandchild, a parent, a pet, a spouse…whomever….picture someone you love deeply. Now take a moment and thank them from your heart for being in your life and allowing their allowing you to feel this love. Send them this loving gratitude right now.
Pause….open your eyes.
To this point, I know I covered a lot of stuff However here is a quick 6 statement summary to help you think about what you have read:
- We all have a vision for our lives, it’s beneficial to think about it and write it down.
- Our vision serves to give direction to our lives so we can consciously change our thoughts to move in that direction towards our highest and best idea of ourselves.
- Our vision also serves to evolve us towards remembering our oneness, feeling our connectedness and transcending this third dimension.
- When we get off the path of our vision, Life events can push us back on and the Vision itself can pull us towards it.
- Love is not only a good feeling, it is an evolutionary force that can cause us to feel connected to others and to bring us back to being on course towards our Vision.
- Finally, we can consciously choose practices to feel more love in our lives. We can be love.
We end today once more with the words of Teilhard de Chardin, “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”