Here, I want to continue our exploration of Ernest Holmes’ talk given at Asilomar in August 1954 entitled “Discovering God”. As I mentioned previously in Part One, the transcript of this talk can be found in the recently published book Ernest Holmes at Asilomar. You can also check out this article which describes how the book came to be.
I would encourage you to read Part One to help in understanding this Part Two.
We begin by offering three quotes from Holmes that are taken a bit beyond the quotes cited in Part One:
“This is our whole business to discover God but something is in the way. Whether we call it the mortal, the human, the carnal, the race thought, the race suggestion, the race hypnotism — “beloved now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be.” We don’t see what we are going to be because we see as through a glass darkly but we know that “when he doth appear we shall be like him.””
“We find that during this process, we have to get from here to here, from the wilderness to Jerusalem, to the center, the whole of the soul. When Jesus started to cast the devils out they said, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Joseph Jastrow, psychologist, said that one of the greatest troubles in getting the clearance is what he called “the inertia of thought patterns.””
“At the center of the human mistake, the human isolation, the thing that thinks it is separate, there is always a sense of guilt, of insecurity, of anxiety, of not being wanted, needed and loved. This is why Jesus forgave people.”
Holmes is telling us that part of our story as humans is to learn and to grow and through that growth to “discover God”. But let’s remember that “God” is a word that has some charge to it and if it does for you, then you can use other stand in words such as “Spirit” or “The Creative Intelligence of the Universe” or “The All” of “The Thing Itself” etc. But growing towards our discovery of this underlying intelligence and force that is behind everything is one of the key motivations imbedded in us.
But what gets in the way of discovering the Truth? One thing he mentions is the old patterns and thoughts that are imbedded in the collective consciousness. The mesmerizing power of the beliefs of the larger group (such as beliefs that humans are born evil, that we are “sinners”, that we are a violent species, that our only road to success is through winning over others (“survival of the fittest”), etc.) has led to a degree of blinding us from our greater spiritual truth that we are all created from Oneness to grow and evolve through this existence and return to our Source with a greater awareness of it.
Another thing that gets in our way is the limiting beliefs that we have accepted about ourselves. These include such beliefs such as we are not worthy, we are not good enough, we are not loveable and so on. Each day, we tell ourselves a false narrative about the truth of our life and we live as if that falsehood were our reality.
What can we do about all of these lies we have bought into? Two things.
First, we can forgive ourselves and others. Yes, we have been told a lot of stuff that is not true about ourselves. We can forgive the world (and any specific people in it) who have told us we are not good and worthy. We can also forgive ourselves for believing that we are not good and worthy.
Secondly, we can begin by seeing these old beliefs for what they are, that they are not our ultimate truth, that instead we are valuable and important “individualizations” of the One who can change how we look at our lives. In fact, we must change how we see ourselves…..letting go of the old sense of separation and moving to a greater awareness of our sense of Oneness and Unity. In Part One, we offered the visual of “moving up the sliding scale” from the world of the relative to the world of the Absolute in our consciousness. That is what we are doing when we move in our experience from separation to unity. Anything that moves us in that direction is serving our “enlightenment”. This shift is moving from the “wilderness to Jerusalem” from “earth to heaven”.
Now, let’s look at a few more Holmes’ quotes from a bit further in the talk:
“So if we need to be forgiven, let us forgive. That is the first step to get a clearance from this which appears to be so isolated and so separated and it is looking and looking.”
“We have to forgive, then we have to have a sense of no guilt.”
“After all, all that stands between heaven and earth is an idea and I am a great believer in this, that we must treat every man’s problem — poverty, sickness, unhappiness, no matter what it is, as something that is operating through him because it is identified with him, but it does not belong to him or to anybody else. […] And I would add one other thing, since we are individualized centers of the consciousness of God, we have the privilege to initiate a new pattern.”
Holmes continues to encourage us to forgive and to be forgiven. As long as we are holding onto “hurts” that we see that others caused us or that we may have caused others (or ourselves), we are continuing to live in the patterns of divisiveness and separation. The more we cling to our stories of our physical lives and all the things about it that may have caused us suffering, the more we hold ourselves back from moving up to a sense of unity and love.
Our stories of suffering to which we firmly grasp, be they stories of “poverty, sickness, unhappiness” or any other limitation that we have experienced in the physical life, will only continue to perpetuate those experiences. These stories are not our ultimate truth and we can change them. The key is to move to a realization that “we are individualized centers of the consciousness of God”, that is, that the creative power of the divine that created the world and all that is “in it” is actually in us. We have the ability to change our old patterns of thinking that have held us back and to initiate a new pattern of thoughts that will change our lives for the better.
So ultimately, what does it mean to “discover God”?
It means that within our awareness we let go of the idea that we are individuals who are separate and apart from everything else in the universe. It means that we let go of our old stories that have served to limit our experience here in the material world. It means that we let go of clinging to the hurts of the past and anything that may have occurred that limited us living our greatest lives.
It means that within our awareness we birth a new idea that we are “individualized expressions of the One Life” that is interlinked to everything everywhere, that we are the Divine expressing as ourselves. It means that we claim a greater story that we are these spiritual beings who are experiencing the vast gifts of this human life. It means that we recognize that this new story allows us to be conscious co-creators of our lives as we evolve up the ladder of evolution from the world of the material to the world of the spiritual.
Ultimately, discovering God is discovering our divine birthright and returning home to the source Oneness from which we sprang.