The question this month is: What path are you choosing?
My message relates to both Robert Frosts poem, The Road Not Taken: ………….two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference”; and the words we read in Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
What we are doing in the world today (and I generalize) is not really working; and on a recent TV advert one of the participants states that a waterfall begins with one drop of water. So, too, change begins with the change in consciousness of one individual at a time. The quotes above point to the “high road” in life; and this high road or path is the mystical one.
Now on the mystical path, our Soul, according to an e-mail received from Benjamin Yudin, knows that we are not being real when we live in imagination of the past or future. And how many times do we not find ourselves doing just this: “What if I had not made that choice way back when, or responded differently”; what will happen if I don’t get the job or the economy fails” …. And so on and so on and so on. In the same e-mail message, Yudin goes on to say that we are real when we remember the inner God and live in the present. These are just a couple of examples I share with you and it is nothing new. We have heard it before, we teach it – but until we are living it as a habit we need to hear it over and over again.
Quoting from Richard Rohr now, he states: “Don’t let the word “mystic” scare you off. It simply means one who has moved from mere belief systems or belonging systems to actual inner experience. All spiritual traditions agree that such a movement is possible, desirable, and available to everyone. In fact, Jesus seems to say that divine union is the whole point. Some call this movement conversion, some call it enlightenment, some transformation, and some holiness. It is Paul’s ‘third heaven’, where he “heard things that must not and cannot be put into human language.” (2 Cor 12:2,4) Through Divine Science we teach the Practice of the Presence of God; God being an experience in the present moment; God being an experience when we stop and become still; an experience that cannot be explained in mere words.
I was listening to Fr. Thomas Keating, a Trappist Monk, being interviewed about Contemplative Prayer. He started off with the words: “Everybody is making noise, so shut up and hear God.” He also said that at its very core, Christian religion is a contemplative religion and the heart of it is to communicate the experience Jesus had of the Father. True transformation is experienced through contemplative prayer. He also stated that for several hundred years churches have been in a spiritual desert – they forgot about the contemplative tradition.
What I am trying to pull together here with the initial poem and quote from Matthew, and the short references to Yudin and Rohr, is to illustrate that we need to shift, choose another path – one that we have not taken before – one that challenges us in many ways, but also rewards us in ways that we cannot humanly begin to imagine.
To be happy, Fr. Keating stated we need to be detached from our over-identification with the symbols of security that our culture provides; and be detached from desire for approval, fame and power control. He also indicated that the discipline of silence helps us to recognize the true power and be willing to hand over to God – this he said could be called Divine Therapy.
We have heard from scripture and three learned, experienced and intentional individuals about the path that is narrow and less taken. And now we make our own choices – which path do we choose?
SUNDAY SERVICES: All are welcome to join us each week as we take time to Be Still, in Silent Meditation, and then share a Lesson in Truth Principles.
Meditation – 09:30 to 09:45
Service – 09:45 to 10:30
Childcare is available except during school holidays.
SPEAKERS – FEBRUARY:
02– Rev Mallory Kretzmann
09– Rosemary Batchelor
16 – Sylvia van Zyl
23 – Rev Elizabeth Dugmore
Please note this roster is subject to change without notice.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END: Although the official announcement will come from the Board, It is with deep regret that we inform you that Helen Penfold will be retiring at the end of February 2014. After being part of ACT as a teacher, counselor and minister for many years, and an example and inspiration to many, she will be leaving a big gap. Helen’s wisdom has been woven into the tapestry of ACT and will always be valued, as we remember that in Spirit we are one.
The Abundance Club draws resume at the end of February 2014 and if you would like to put yourself in line to win R1000.00 in the monthly draws, please call the office to sign up. It is R250.00 for the five draws from February to June inclusive; then R250-00 for the next five months, July to November. Some folk prefer to pay R500.00 up front for the year, and we thank those who have already supported the Centre in this way!
ACT WALK: The next walk will be on Saturday 22 February. We will be walking from Kini Bay to Lawries Bay. Please meet in the main car park at Kini Bay at 7:00am. Wear comfy shoes, a sunhat and lots of sunscreen. Also bring a snack to eat and water. Bring your costumes as there is a lovely little bay to swim in. There is a list for names on the notice board – for more information please call Marlene on: 076-3093781
DIVINE SCIENCE BASICS CLASS: This 10 week course of classes is scheduled to begin on Wednesday 19 February at 19:00. Investment is R450.00 for the course and there will be an additional fee for the text book. All are welcome to join us in exploring a new way of living life by understanding, using and aligning with Universal Spiritual Principles. This class is the foundation on which we build our understanding of God and ourselves as we learn to work with and apply these principles in all aspects of life. A list is on the notice board or you can call the office: 041-5813309 to sign up.
The World of Joseph Campbell “Transformations of Myth Through Time” a 13 part series will be screened at ACT at a 12:00 noon slot and followed by discussion. The first film is entitled ” Origins of Man and Myth” Here Campbell delves into our evolutionary development and how we confront the existence of forces greater than ourselves. “A wonderful life force comes through when Joe speaks” says George Lucas.
DATE: 12 February at 12:00 (bring your own lunch . Tea will be provided). Admission by donation.
In its correct sense, mysticism recognizes the ability to receive, without benefit of outside aid, a communication from God, to receive direct guidance, to commune with God. There is nothing of the occult, nothing of the mysterious, in mysticism. Correctly understood, mysticism is the language of all metaphysical teachings, because it is the teaching of conscious oneness with God.
— Joel S. Goldsmith, from God, The Substance of All Form —