Kathy Smith explores the quotes from Experience Your Perfect Soul and shares from her contemplation of them.
Listen to the audio
Kathy Smith explores the quotes from Experience Your Perfect Soul and shares from her contemplation of them.
Listen to the audio
Topic: “In the World, but not of It”
Description: Rev. Carrie Christiansen looked at how the Loving All Method facilitates a joy and freedom that allow us to fully engage with our worldly experience without feeling trapped in or by it.
Reading: Rev. Rebecca Gibson read from Ch. 12 of The Most Rapid Means to Eternal Bliss – The Loving All Method, by Michael Langford
Father, a miracle reflects Your gifts to me, Your Son. And every one I give returns to me, reminding me the law of love is universal. Even here, it takes a form which can be recognized and seen to work. The miracles I give are given back in just the form I need to help me with the problems I perceive. Father, in Heaven it is different, for there, there are no needs. But here on earth, the miracle is closer to Your gifts than any other gift that I can give. Then let me give this gift alone today, which, born of true forgiveness, lights the way that I must travel to remember You.
Peace to all seeking hearts today. The light has come to offer miracles to bless the tired world. It will find rest today, for we will offer what we have received.
What is a miracle?
Our special theme says, “Each lily of forgiveness offers all the world the silent miracle of love.”
Others may not notice our miracles—that is, others may not notice our individual shifts in perception. That’s because each one sees through the filter of his/her mind. If we tell them about our shifts, they may not believe us or they may quickly forget. And that is as it is.
That’s why our special theme refers to the “silent miracle of love.” It is a miracle that is free to go unnoticed by everyone except the one who is the medium of the miracle. The one who abides as the unaffected Self to the point that a shift occurs is aware of the miracle. He/she is also aware of the universality of the miracle, although the miracle may have effects the he/she will never be aware of.
This means that we cannot look outside ourselves for evidence of a miracle or for understanding of what has occurred. The miracle is ours to behold as it has been revealed to us, while also knowing a miracle could never belong to us alone.
I offer only miracles today, For I would have them returned to me.
When we offer miracles, we do not offer corrections for the problems we see in the world. We offer miracles by living the Loving All Method. It is as simple as that. If something is to change in form as an effect of our miracles—well, we leave that to the unpredictability of the creative principle. Outward effects are not our concern. Forgiveness is our only function.
In the Bible, Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1, 2)
He also said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
These two scriptures point to the same universal law—we receive whatever we give. As today’s workbook lesson says:
Father, a miracle reflects Your gifts to me, Your Son. And every one I give returns to me, reminding me the law of love is universal.
As we live from the unaffected Self, we become unaffected. In this way, we transcend (or overcome) the world. This can be reflected in how we see a situation, and it can be reflected in the situation itself. A situation can change as a result of our way of being. However, it is never for us to decide that a situation must change, because by deciding that is so, we have also decided that we are affected by that situation. By that very decision, we have judged instead of abiding as unaffected.
The subtlety of this teaching is confusing to the mind. When this teaching is explained, people ask questions like, “So, if my husband is beating me, I just continue to let him do that?” Or, “If someone is abusing an animal, do we just stand by and watch?”
As Chapter 12 of The Direct Means to Eternal Bliss explains:
The Loving All Method refers only to your emotions. No changes in your external behavior are required.
For example: if a vase falls and you would normally try and catch it, you will also try and catch the vase while you are practicing the Loving All Method. You do not allow the vase to fall because you are loving the falling.
If someone were to try to punch you in the face and if you would normally duck, you will also duck while practicing the Loving All Method. The fact that you are loving the fact that someone is trying to punch you does not mean you will not duck. You also love the fact that you are ducking to avoid being punched.
The Loving All Method is about emotional acceptance. The Loving All Method is not about changing your actions.
Interestingly, when people ask about the abusive husband or the abused animal, they are usually not in those situations, they are only thinking about them. Thinking is trying to confuse a teaching that can be quite simple. If you forget about hypothetical examples and simply live in the moment, the simplicity of the teaching reveals itself. You will know what to do in each moment, and you will do it.
Today, as you live the Loving All Method, let doing remain in the moment instead of in thinking. Let the day unfold naturally, including your doing, as you concentrate on loving, accepting or allowing, whichever is your highest possibility in the moment.
All Times are Eastern Standard Time – See links below to join us in the Sanctuary
9:30am – Sunday Meditation – Rev. Karen Worth
Awakening Together Internet Broadcast: http://awakening-together.org/info-about-our-gathering-room/listen-live/
This is Your law, my Father, not my own. I have not understood what giving means, and thought to save what I desired for myself alone. And as I looked upon the treasure that I thought I had, I found an empty place where nothing ever was or is or will be. Who can share a dream? And what can an illusion offer me? Yet he whom I forgive will give me gifts beyond the worth of anything on earth. Let my forgiven brothers fill my store with Heaven’s treasures, which alone are real. Thus is the law of love fulfilled. And thus Your Son arises and returns to You.
How near we are to one another, as we go to God. How near is He to us. How close the ending of the dream of sin, and the redemption of the Son of God.
What is a miracle?
Our special theme says, “Forgiveness is the home of miracles.”
I find myself wanting to sit quietly with this sentence. For me, this sentence is like animated glitter, sparkling with aliveness. It is the key—the answer. We abide as our unaffected Self, both during meditation and while living in the world, and this simple abidance ushers in a whole new world.
This brilliant clarity is so obvious to me that I just want to be as silent as silent can be and then whisper, “Do you see it? Do you see how simple it is? Do you see how we can do this all the time until the doing is done?”
If I could give a gift to every single person on the planet, it would be the gift of seeing the simplicity of this statement:
Abiding as your unaffected Self is The Way.
No one, no thing, nor any circumstance can prevent you from making this choice. It is a choice that is always available to you. As NTI Revelation, Chapter 7, says:
You choose the purpose for everything you see,
and the purpose you choose is the one that is given to it.
The purpose of everything can be to get better and better at abiding as the unaffected Self.
How do we abide as unaffected under all circumstances?
The Loving All Method explains the way.
Today I learn the law of love; that what I give my brother is my gift to me.
Two interpretations of today’s lesson immediately come to mind.
Today I feel to focus on the second interpretation of this lesson. It’s an extremely practical interpretation, and one that is very good for each of us to practice.
I LOVE to teach others that no matter what they do to me, it’s okay. I am not hurt, and my love for them is totally unaffected. I have practiced this under what some may say are extreme circumstances. For example, one friend became jealous of me and went on an internet tirade spreading lies about me. This tirade lasted about 6 months. During this time, I stayed out of it. I did not respond to her posts or defend myself in any way. When this tirade ended, a few years passed. She did not contact me, and I allowed her to have no contact with me. I did not initiate contact with her, because she did not want contact, not because of a grievance on my part. I allowed her to have her perception and her feelings about it. And then one day something difficult happened in her life, and she called me for help. I responded as if nothing had happened in-between our last friendly conversation and this one. The moment she wanted me to be her close friend, I was her close friend again.
That’s just one example of how I teach that I am not hurt, and you did not hurt me. I am unaffected, and you are innocent. These are two of the most beautiful lessons that can be taught.
Now, there is a difference between teaching this lesson and enabling unwholesome behavior. It’s very difficult to explain the difference with words, because the guidance that explains the difference is a feeling within.
However, as an example, the Awakening Together Sanctuary is a place that has been set-aside as a sanctuary, a place free of disrespect and attack. So, if my friend were to come in there and begin telling lies about me, we would need to follow our etiquette guidelines and remove her from the Sanctuary. At one point, if she were to return and follow our guidelines, all would be forgotten, but for as long as she persisted, she would continue to be banned.
At the same time, my heart would remain open and loving toward my friend, even as the behavior is not being condoned.
Another example was the time I had a stalker. He called and emailed me several times each day. His ideas about our relationship were ideas from a mentally ill mind. The guidance was to ignore him, because whenever I responded to him in any way, I encouraged him deeper into his mental illness. Although I was slow to learn this lesson, I finally learned to ignore him with an open heart. I loved him and had compassion for his illness, but I did not pick up the phone or return his emails.
In other words, you can love an alcoholic without buying him a drink.
Of course, this fine line between enabling and loving is one each person needs to find for himself/herself.
If there is a situation with someone in your life that is confusing for you, please ask a question of inner wisdom, and then begin to write in order to receive more clarity and personal guidance. As you write, remember that you are not guilty and the other person is not guilty. If anything comes into your writing that indicates that either one of you is guilty, realize ego has gotten into the writing. Take a break, get in touch with your desire for truth and healing, and then try writing again.
The end of suffering can not be loss. The gift of everything can be but gain. You only give. You never take away. And You created me to be like You, so sacrifice becomes impossible for me as well as You. I, too, must give. And so all things are given unto me forever and forever. As I was created I remain. Your Son can make no sacrifice, for he must be complete, having the function of completing You. I am complete because I am Your Son. I cannot lose, for I can only give, and everything is mine eternally.
The mercy and the peace of God are free. Salvation has no cost. It is a gift that must be freely given and received. And it is this that we would learn today.
What is a miracle?
Our special theme says, “A miracle is a correction. … It undoes error, but does not attempt to go beyond perception, nor exceed the function of forgiveness. Thus it stays within time’s limits. Yet it paves the way for the return of timelessness and love’s awakening, for fear must slip away under the gentle remedy it brings.”
Once again, we see the theme of a gentle awakening from ego consciousness to consciousness, and finally to truth. Forgiveness and its effect, a shift in seeing or knowing, is the medium that prepares us for the final awakening, but the shift that is the miracle is not the final awakening. Many shifts or miracles may occur before the final awakening dawns. (Sometimes these shifts are referred to as awakenings.)
While reading Bernadette Roberts’ book, The Experience of No Self, I noticed she went through a number of shifts. I also noticed that with each shift, she thought she had arrived at the final seeing, and yet months or years later, another shift would occur. Bernadette was not attempting to fool herself, yet each shift in seeing was so dramatically different than the one before it—and she had no idea about what was yet to come—that she perceived each shift as the final shift until the next one came, and the next, and then the next.
She made this observation in retrospect:
One way to look at this journey is to see it as a process of acclimating to an unselfconscious mind, or as a transition from a relative to a non-relative way of knowing.
Ego consciousness is a fully self-conscious and relative mind, meaning that it is always thinking of itself in relationship or comparison to everything that is not it. Truth has no sense of self, so it is fully “unselfconscious.” Also, it only knows its Self, so there isn’t one in relation to or compared to another. Each miracle, or shift in perception, carries us further from the fully self-conscious and relative mind that is ego to the unselfconscious, non-relativeness that is truth.
As our special theme goes on to say, “[The miracle] illustrates the law of truth the world does not obey, because [the world] fails entirely to understand its ways. The miracle inverts perception, which was upside down before, and thus it ends the strange distortions that were manifest. Now is perception open to the truth.“
The miracle moves us, one shift at a time, from the sense of self relative to something else, including relative to God, to the edge of unselfconscious or no sense of self. At this edge, which we gradually acclimate to one shift at a time, we are ready for the final movement beyond any sense of self or other. As our special theme says, “Now is forgiveness seen as justified.”
I’d like to look at that last sentence for a moment before we move to today’s workbook lesson. It says that when we are at that edge, which is sometimes referred to as the edge of a cliff—also referred to as the edge of the bridge in previous tips—“forgiveness is seen as justified.” If we need to get all the way to that edge before we see forgiveness as justified, then prior to that final perception we will sometimes (or often) think forgiveness is not justified. We will think we have a right to feel affected, offended, afraid, hurt, angry, controlling, etcetera. However, if we believe we are fully right about our right to be affected, we refuse the miracle.
That is the purpose of faith. Before we arrive at the edge of perception and see clearly that all forgiveness is justified, we need to have faith that forgiveness is justified. Even if we cannot understand how it is justified, we need the faith to forgive anyway. This faith, followed by a conscious choice, is how we open up to the miracles that usher us gently to the threshold of truth.
I am not asked to make a sacrifice to find the mercy and the peace of God.
As already seen, at times along the way we may feel that we are making a sacrifice by choosing forgiveness over some other option, like fear, anger or control. The ego may even jump up and down screaming, “This isn’t fair; something valuable is being taken away!!”
That isn’t true. That is only the ego’s perspective as it tries to stay in control of you. By practicing the Loving All Method or Rest, Accept and Trust with this idea of sacrifice, you make way for a miracle, which will take you one step closer to truth, eternal awareness-love-bliss.
Today, pay close attention to the mind. Be open to seeing something the mind does not want you to forgive, let go, accept, allow or love. When you find it, you also find the opportunity to take another bite out of the ego by practicing the teachings instead of practicing the ego.
The topic will be: “In the World, but not of It”
Description: Rev. Carrie Christiansen will look at how the Loving All Method facilitates a joy and freedom that allow us to fully engage with our worldly experience without feeling trapped in or by it.
Reading: Rev. Rebecca Gibson will be reading Ch. 12 of The Most Rapid Means to Eternal Bliss – The Loving All Method, by Michael Langford
Our Weekly gathering is held every Sunday morning at 10:15am ET in the Awakening Together Sanctuary. Join us after the Gathering for our Fellowship Time, hosted by Ken and Rebecca Gibson.
We will be closing the Sanctuary after “The Mighty Companions” program at 6pm ET / 3pm PT and re-starting our Internet Broadcast (Radio) playlist to allow our staff, teachers and families time to prepare for and enjoy the holiday. We will reopen the Sanctuary Tuesday, January 2, at 6:45pm ET / 3:45pm PT for our normally scheduled programs.