Successful Living Through Self-Awareness
By Frank and Martha Giudici
55 What is eternal life
What we really want to do here is understand, first of all, what eternal life means to us, and then the whole object after that is to gain a greater consciousness or awareness of eternal life. If we hope to live successfully in life, then one of the steps toward that success is to have a good consciousness of eternal life, but understanding eternal life comes first.
Let me say here very simply and very briefly that what we’re talking about is not earning our way into eternal life. We don’t have to earn eternal life. It’s not something that we gain according to the way that we conduct ourselves in this experience that we call life. This is the old traditional view of eternal life. If you live a good life then you’re going to live forever in heaven. If you don’t live a good life here, and you’re a bad person, and all that sort of thing, then you might find yourself in someplace after death called hell and so forth. In truth, we don’t believe in heaven and hell as places, not primarily. Primarily they are states of consciousness, and we can be in heaven or hell right now according to our state of mind.
If we hold peaceful, loving thoughts, then we are in a state of heaven. If we hold destructive, negative thoughts, then we are in a state of hell. So we’re not talking about earning eternal life, or finding our way into eternal life. This is something that we already have. You and I are eternal beings. Our own god self, our own real self, the Christ of us, is eternal, indestructible, so we have eternal life right now. The truth is that you and I exist now. We have always existed, and we shall always continue to exist. There never was a time when we did not exist, so this is what we want to become more aware of, our own eternal self, the fact that we are eternal beings. We have always lived, and we shall always continue to live.
56 The evolution of thought about eternal life
Martha’s going to say a few words on the evolution of thought in relation to eternal life.
This idea of people as we are today, and what eternal life means to people, has been changing ever since the beginnings. In the very beginning of the thought of mankind, there was always this one idea, in God mind, which is one of these divine ideas that we often speak of, and that is life, full and free life, ever flowing life, eternal life. This life idea has been impulsing itself into the mind of man ever since the beginning, but man has been interpreting it according to his state of consciousness at that particular time along the way.
Generation. In the early days, man felt that he would live eternally through his children. Thus he got the concept of generation. In other words, through the production of other beings, then the race lives on, that the father lives in the son, and then the son’s son lives on down the line, thus carrying on the idea of the eternality of life through the idea of generation. From generation to generation was the way that people viewed eternal life.
Reincarnation. Yet this idea of eternal life continued to impulse itself into the mind of man, and man then begin to say, “Well, perhaps it is through the idea of reincarnation that we will live in eternally by reincarnating in the body idea, that we will continue to go through this eternality of life re-embodying, reembodying, going through soul experience after soul experience in our growth into spiritual awareness.” The idea came up of reincarnation.
Ressurection. Then came along the idea of resurrection, that we would stand again in a spiritual body which we had before the world was. This idea of resurrecting every cell of the body until the body was the body of light, and the idea that was practiced and preached by the Pharisees in the days of Jesus, that each and every one would stand again with the Lord in the great body, the perfect body, that you would rise up in the day of Jesus Christ in your full spiritualized body.
Regeneration. We went along with the idea of resurrection, but man, still hearing this idea of eternal life, said, “That is not enough,” and Jesus Christ came and said, “You will live with Me, and be with Me in the life in regeneration.”
Body of Light. Then mankind began to get the idea that he would live eternally in the body idea, but not in this body, but in the body of light, that the whole purpose was that we would living eternally, but we would be living eternally in a body of light. That the whole purpose of light was to put on the spiritual body, to spiritualize it totally so that we would be free to express the fullness of spirit within us.
There are these ideas along the way that mankind taking the one single idea of eternal life, and interpreting it according to his understanding at that particular time in his evolution to award full spiritual consciousness. There is that school, too, which is realizing that we are the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end right now, right where we are, that we are eternal beings, and recognizing this as the truth about ourselves.
57 What science is telling us
I guess most people are still in the scene as believing consciousness, and relating this to eternal life. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have proof of this, actual, physical, tangible proof, if we see it with our own eyes the truth of eternal life, and what this really means in the minds of most people is believing that there is life after death. I guess if someone came up and offered us physical, tangible proof as I’ve just said, then probably we could believe it all the way.
At least to date, we don’t have any physical, tangible proof that life does exist after death, that there is eternal life. However, as I’m sure most of you if not all of you are aware, at least to some degree, there is a lot of research going on in that area today, and there are a number of people who are researching the experience called clinical death. Clinical death takes place when someone has pronounced by the medical profession as “clinically dead.” For all practical purposes, certain functions of the body have ceased, and the person has moved into the state called death.
What has happened in a number of cases is that after a short period of time, seconds, minutes, even hours, that person has revived, and they have come back to relate certain experiences that they had while they were in that so-called death state. People have begun to research, as I said, these experiences of clinical death. Of course, we think of names like Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Dr. Raymond Moody, who has written the book Life After Life, and also Reflections on Life After Life, and Dr. Russell Noise.
These and other people have researched clinical death, and we really don’t have time of course to go into the details of all of their research, but one thing I would like to speak to are the common denominators that seem to exist in most of the research that has been conducted by these people from the scientific world, from the medical profession. In other words, what we have here now is not valid scientific proof of life after death. These researchers would not claim at this point that they have proved scientifically that there is life after death.
What they have come up with are certain indicators that speak to this state of life after death, and the truth of eternal life. As I just said, they wouldn’t claim that this is actual, tangible, physical, absolute proof of life after death, and the eternality of life, but they are indicators that point to that.
Some of the common denominators that they have come up with in their research are this, that at the time of death there does seem to be a sense of peace. It’s true as we’ve heard from time to time that most people seem to die in peace. No matter what it is that they have been going through at that time, at the moment of the transition, there is a state of peace. How do they know this? Because people who have experienced clinical death have come back, as it were, to tell about this.
Also at the time of death, these people have related the experience of being in another body. They have felt a separation of the body, and this is something with which we’re familiar in truth because truth students have discussed this for many years, that there is more to us than the physical body, and that suddenly we find ourselves at times out of the body. People have out of body experiences. This seems to be the same thing that people who have experienced clinical death have, and they talk about floating over the bed in the hospital, watching the doctors and the nurses working on them.
As a matter of fact, when they do come back to this life experience, then what happens is they are able to tell the doctors and nurses exactly what it is, or what it was that they were doing and saying in their rescusitation efforts, in their efforts to bring the person back to life, you see. There’s no way, apparently, that they would be able to do this unless they were actually able to observe what was being done, and to hear what was being said. This has all happened during this out of body experience, or while they experienced a separation of the bodies.
At the time of death there also seems to be a review of one’s life, a judgmental review in the sense that the individual is the judge. People report that there is not some god sitting up on a cloud in the sky judging you, but that we judge ourselves. The people have said that it seemed as if they were sort of standing back and watching the significant events of their lives flash right before them. They looked at them rather objectively, and they didn’t hear any voice of judgment and that sort of thing, but there was this sense of judging one’s own life. I guess there is a judgment day, but not in the traditional sense. In the sense that we do the judging of our own lives. This is a common denominator that was found.
Also it was found that after people came back to this life experience, they no longer feared death, and they no longer had any desire, if they had one to begin with, to get out of this world. As a matter of fact, quite the reverse was true. When these people would come back, they wanted to become all the more a part of this life, and not out of a sense of fear because they wanted to contribute more to this life. They felt that there were things that they had to do and had to accomplish, and they no longer feared death, and what a tremendous sense of burden is lifted there.
In some instances, it was found that the person was met by a loved one who had predeceased the individual. In other words, when they experienced clinical death, they were met by a relative or a friend. Some even spoke of being met by Jesus on the other side. They were always met apparently by someone who had passed on before, who had predeceased them. I don’t believe that any instance was recorded. At least I don’t recall reading this, but that any instance was recorded where a person was met on the other side by someone who was still living. You see that’s a common denominator that you find among many of the researchers.
As I also said, there was a greater desire to live life much more fully than ever before. Once again, as I said earlier, these discoveries do not prove scientifically that there is eternal life, but certainly they are indicators to the truth of eternal life.
I feel that the final proof of eternal life may never come in an outer way, but it’s something that builds up from within us. We come to our own strong belief in eternal life, and how do we do this? By gaining greater confidence in truth through the application of truth principles on a daily level. In other words, when you see that truth works for you in your daily living, and you continue to have those daily demonstrations, there’s a growing sense of confidence and security that takes place within you. You know what comes as sort of a byproduct? The deep down abiding feeling that life is eternal. I guess what we’re saying to ourselves with our total being is something like this:
“These principles of truth are certainly working. They’re certainly valid as far as my everyday experiences are concerned, and so it must mean that they are valid even unto the overcoming of the final obstacle, which is death itself. At least this is what I found in my own personal experience, that suddenly one day I turned around and I realized that I had a deep, abiding belief in eternal life, and it came because I had been convinced of the validity of truth through the application of truth principles every day. If I had a prosperity demonstration to meet, and I applied truth principles, and it worked. If I had a problem in human relationships, I used truth, and it worked. Over a period of time, a greater belief concerning truth was built within my consciousness. As I say one day I turned around and realized that good lord, I also believe in eternal life.”
It came as sort of a byproduct, and I think that this is the way it’s finally going to be proved to all of us. It’ll be a proof that comes from within ourselves, a growing conviction concerning eternal life, because we see that truth does work in our daily lives, in meeting the challenges of daily living, then something within us says, “It’ll work even in the meeting of the final obstacle, death itself.” All right. Martha?
58 Typical difficulties people have regarding eternal life
We have this understanding of this eternality of life, but in order to go into a deeper understanding of this idea of eternal life, we have to come into an understanding of what we really feel right now. Before we can move into a flow of the realization that life is eternal and that we are an important part of that eternality of life, we have to come into a realization of what we feel right now about life, and about death. We have to find out how we feel about our own death.
It's been my observation in dealing with people in counseling over the period of years that those persons who have not really come to terms with the idea of dying, that have the most difficulty when other persons in their relationships die for any reason, whether that reason be a sudden, accidental death, whether it be a death that occurs as a result of a long illness, or whether it be a death that comes at the end of what we call old age. They have a great deal of trouble accepting the idea of someone dying because they have not dealt with death themselves. It is very important for you and I to each know how do we feel about this experience of death? We need to get in touch with it. We need to get in touch with the idea.
A young woman came to me one time for counseling and she was very disturbed because a close friend of hers had been killed in an accident overseas. When she found out about this, she was very, very visibly shaken. She didn't understand why this young person had had to die, and then as we began to talk about this idea, I asked her how did she feel about death herself? Did she see it as an ending? Did she see it as a finality? Did she see it as a loss? Something that was irrevocable, something that could take away life, and life would never be experienced again. The more we talked about it, she began to realize that she really had not come to terms with this idea of what death really was.
Death is nothing more than a gate, a door on the path of life. Just as birth was the gate through which we entered into this segment of the life experience, so too is death a door through which we pass into another phase of the life experience. Life is ongoing. Life is a process and a progress. You have the choice as to the length of this particular experience on the total path called life.
59 Charles and Myrtle had different feelings
In our movement, our two co-founders, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, each had definite feelings about this idea. Charles Fillmore was very interested in the idea of regeneration, and spent all of his waking hours spiritualizing the cells of his body. Through affirmations and denials he worked constantly on turning his body into the body of light through changing his thinking. He intended right up to the end of this particular life experience to live eternally in the body idea.
As a result of the work that he did in his prayer and meditation times, his physical body took on many changes, and those of you who have worked with truth principles know that when you begin to work with the principles, that your body begins to change. You don’t look like the same person who started on the path.
In a very short time, we notice this with the ministerial students, that within two years, the two year period after they have started their study, that they have made physiological changes. They do not look the same. There are differences, very definite differences that occur through the changing of the mental attitudes.
Myrtle Fillmore, on the other hand, believed in the ongoingness of life, and when her span, she chose to depart from this particular life expression, she set all of her affairs in order, went around and said her farewells to everyone, and said that she had work to do on the other side, on the other side of this gate we call death, in another plane of life. She made her departure from this plane. She made what we call a transition from one plane into another plane of life.
You have the choice at all times. You can follow the Charles Fillmore idea in the life in regeneration, or you can follow Myrtle in the ongoingness of life in other life planes.
It is our belief in the eternality of life that keeps us going in this life expression, and when we really begin to realize that we are spiritual beings, living in a spiritual universe, governed by spiritual law, then we become free of any concern about this experience we call death. We realize that we always have been, we are now, and we ever shall be one with the Spirit.
60 Identifying our beliefs and feelings about eternal life
Now is the time to turn to our handouts once again, and for the final time today we’re going to do just a little bit of writing. You will notice in this section, under Eternal Life, we’ve only placed two lines under each of the subheadings, and this is because it would seem that with this area of eternal life, we can probably pinpoint our thoughts and feelings just a little more readily then we might have in the prosperity, human relationships, and healing areas. There might be fewer things to write, is what I’m really trying to say here, under this area of eternal life.
Physical. Let’s deal with the physical aspect first of all, in the top section, which has to do with telling it how it is right now, in relation to eternal life. Under the physical part, what is it that you believe physically about eternal life? Do you believe, in other words, that death is the final experience? That relates to a physical aspect. Do you believe that reincarnation is a fact? Do you believe that regeneration, as Martha has discussed it, is a fact? Do you believe that there is a place called heaven and a place called hell after death? What physical relationship do you make with the idea of eternal life at this point? Jot that down, not a whole bunch of things here now, but just one or two ideas that really are indicative of your physical concept, really, of eternal life.
Mental. In the next section, which has to do with mental concepts, what you want to write there in the top two lines are your concepts about eternal life. Here we might say something like this. Are they clear? Are they vague? You might have some very clear cut concepts concerning eternal life. Just write down. They are clear, and if you can identify them further, then write that down, too. You might say that my concepts about eternal life are unknown. I really don’t know. I don’t know what to believe, or what to think, and you might want to indicate that, because that might be the way it is with you right now. You might have mixed thoughts about eternal life. Write that down. You’re working in the intellect in this section.
Emotional. Then our third section, of course, deals with the emotional aspect of things, and how do you feel about eternal life? How do you really feel about that idea? Does it engender feelings of fear within you for one reason or another? Don’t try to analyze it. Just simply try to identify the feeling. Are you a bit weary of the idea of eternal life, or do you feel a sense of confidence when you think of eternal life? Do you feel peaceful? Does a feeling of love seem to overwhelm you? What are your feelings, not your mental concepts, but your feelings about eternal life?
Desired Physical Beliefs. Then let’s drop to the lower section, and that has to do with your desire as to the way you want it to be in relation to eternal life. First of all, in the physical sense, what it is that you really want to believe? Do you want to believe that death is the end? Is that what you want to believe? I think that would be kind of a negative aspect to put down, and if you did put that down, I would say, “Well, you really better take a look at the motivation, and get in touch with your thoughts and feelings about that.” Do you really want to believe that we go to some heaven, and rest for all of eternity? That might sound pretty good. It’s rather utopian. Sometimes it sounds like a pretty good idea in life, doesn’t it? But it’s not all that practical. Do you want to believe that reincarnation is a fact? Do you want to believe that regeneration is a fact, that resurrection is a fact? What is it that you want to believe in that relates on a physical level to the idea of eternal life? Do you want to believe that there are other dimensions of the life experience, and that in a sense we graduate from one dimension to the other? What is it that you really want to believe about the physical aspect of eternal life?
Desired Mental Beliefs. The mental concepts, and this shouldn’t be too difficult. What kind of mental concepts do you want to hold? Do you want them to be clear and known? I would be certain that this is, or I would feel certain that this is the way you would want it to be on a mental level concerning eternal life. You like your concepts to be clear.
Desired Emotional Beliefs. And then as far as the emotional areas goes, when you think about eternal life, how do you really want to feel? You want to feel good about it? You want to feel loving? Do you want to feel peaceful? What is the goal that you would like to attain emotionally in relationship with eternal life, and just write that down.
Remembering once again that whatever it is that you give the substance of your thought to, that thing you’re going to produce in your life. For the law is as within so without, as we establish a consciousness for a desired good, it has to manifest in our world, because that’s the law. Martha?
61 Workshop Summary
It’s time to bring this sharing experience to a close. We’ve explored many facets of the life experience during our time together, and have taken a good look at some practical ways we can get in touch with where we are in consciousness right now. We’ve taken a look at those patterns of thoughts that need changing, and those thoughts that need strengthening. During the seminar, we’ve worked with ourself mentally, physically, and emotionally, right where we are today, and we have gained some valuable insights to ourself.
What we’ve done is only make a start. We’re on our way now down that road to successful living, but the real work lies before us in applying the techniques we have learned on a day to day basis.
First thing we need to do is to remember to get on our covenant. That’s the covenant on the yellow sheet, and spend some time in meditation on the ideas that have been presented there. After you’ve meditated, be sure to sign it when you feel ready.
Next, go back and look at the things that you’ve written down during the seminar on your sheet, and begin to use the techniques that we have been exploring, those techniques of writing, releasing, and imagery. Begin to change those thought patterns that are keeping our good from us. Be aware that as we change our thoughts, we change our world. Since our thoughts out-picture as our mind, body, and affairs, when we change our thoughts, we change the effects.
We may be even experiencing some discomfort when we begin to change our thinking because our thoughts are out-picturing as our body, as our mental condition, and as the affairs of our life. You may have some physical discomfort that goes with this. I’ve gone through this activity, known to us in Unity as chemicalization, in minor and major ways, and it really startles a lot of us when we seem to get sick when we’re practicing the truth.
We really need to realize that the old conditions that are out-picturing in our thoughts must be released before the help and the harmony can take place, that free flowing experience can be established in mind and body.
Finally, we want to remember to begin to build the image of our real self, the self that we desire to see expressing. We want to use that section of our yellow sheet entitled, “My Real Self,” and be sure when you come to that real self section, to put down the things that you really want to experience. Not the things that you think someone else wants for you, but the things that you really feel would make a successful life for you.
62 Frank and Martha Meditation on Eternal Life
As we bring this time to a close, we’re going to use the same process we have used before in our final time of meditation. Let’s prepare ourselves now for a time of quiet by setting aside anything that may distract us, taking that comfortable position in our chairs, relaxing our body, stilling our mind.
Then as you do this, become aware of your breathing. The breathing in, and the breathing out. Feel that rhythmic flow, quietly and easily breathing in and breathing out, letting your thought flow inward to that quiet place within you, at the center of your being where you are always one with the One, the one presence, the one power, the source from which all the good in our life flows.
In the quiet of our being, we begin to recognize who we really are. Know for yourself, I am a spiritual being created in the image and after the likeness of God. I am the Christ of God becoming. I have been given from the beginning all the power I will ever need to bring about any change in my life that may be needed. All power has been given to me in the heaven of my mind, to bring about changes in the earth of my manifestation.
I relax, I let go, and I know that I was created to experience abundance, an abundance of all good. I was created to experience good financial conditions, prosperity in all of my affairs. Right channels for the expression of my talents.
I was created to experience harmonious relationships, health of body, peace of mind, and a sense of feeling good about life, feeling good about the life I live, and about my flow in eternal life. We were created to experience free flowing life. A loving Father has provided all that we will ever need in His abundant world, and we need to claim our birthright of all good now.
Let us know, too, for ourselves, I recognize that I deserve to experience love fully and freely, to love, to be loved, to give and receive that which I truly am. Love. I am truly a love, full being, full of love. I accept the truth, that God loves me just as I am, right where I am, and I begin to love myself, to know I have worth and value. I am lovable, and capable of giving love, and receiving love in return. I am a love full being. I begin to love myself, and I begin to love my fellow man, right where he is, just as he is, right now, knowing that we are all loving unfolding expressions of the one great love, God.
As I abide in this consciousness of love, so I also abide in a consciousness of eternal life. I know that I exist now, that I have always existed, and that I shall always continue to be. For this is the truth about me, about my own eternal god self. I am an eternal being. I accept the truth of eternal life for myself fully, completely, and unconditionally.
I feel all tension, stress, and insecurity fall away. I relax, I let go, and I know that there is plenty of time to accomplish those things that need to be accomplished by me. I am an indestructible eternal being, living now, living forever, and I accept this truth about myself now.
As we return now quietly and easily from our time of meditation, as we bring this time of sharing to a close, we recognize that we are spiritual beings, and that we were meant for success. Beloved, as you go forth from this time, remember you are meant for success and your success is assured. Go forth and experience a successful life that the Father has provided abundantly for you, and that the spirit within you accomplishes through you now.