Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #4
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A smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a spring in your step. This might seem to describe the feeling of a truly happy and fulfilled person. What would you say if I told you that you can go away from here this morning with just such a feeling and expression? You might say, “Well, if that happens, I’m sure it would be a mask I’m wearing, because I have problems of conflict and grief. There’s no way that my life can be set in order just by hearing a few positive words. There’s no way.”
But the Greek philosopher Zeno said, “The most necessary part of learning is unlearning our errors.” We study the truth, by reading, and listening, and lectures, and by working with concepts within ourselves. But the process does not involve the accumulation of definitions and phrases. As I often say, true learning is what remains after you’ve forgotten all you’ve read or heard. Think about that.
The unlearning is what truth study is all about. The typical example, the deeply embedded belief that happiness is caused by present fortuitous conditions. This happened, that happened, so I’m happy. It is apparent that something did happen to make you happy. A physical overcoming, a financial windfall, successful conclusion of an important project. I want to challenge you this morning to turn this belief inside out and upside down. It’s a matter of taking charge of your life. You’re not at the mercy of people or conditions, unless you need not give them the power over how you think and feel and act. You’re discouraged, you’re sad, or fearful, and should regret the challenges of your experience, just because that’s how you’ve chosen to respond. You always have a choice. You may not be aware that you’re making that choice. Something within you choose to be sad, than to be happy.
How many of you chooses, to be sad or to be happy? And you can choose to be happy, to be confident, to be secure. Of course this calls for a lot of discipline, and patience, and love. And practice, practice, practice. Every morning of your life, you awaken to another day. You look out upon your world by the window of television or the morning paper, or through conversations with people at your office. And every morning, you’re confronted with a crisis. This word crisis is a menacing word. And translated into the more complicated Chinese language, the word crisis is defined by two words. Danger and opportunity. The only word in the morning is dangerous, because you may see tragedy and pain, and hunger, and violence, and mistrust, and gloom everywhere. Add to this the weather report, the market returns, the ominous moods of your associates. You have a lot of grist for the mill over that worry and anxiety.
But the crisis of the day also spells opportunity. Life is for growing, and the very thing that seems to harass you and keep you from your good. There’s a constant stream of opportunities for growth. So obviously there’s much unlearning to do. Discovering that you can stand tall in any situation. That no one or no thing can ever keep your good from you. Remember that wonderful oldie, Singing In The Rain? That classic dance scene in the movie with Gene Kelley, splashing through the picture, storm? You can learn to sing in the rain, to work through the changing scene of your life in poise and equanimity.
When you’re going through some obviously painful experiences, you may be referred to as putting up a brave front. He’s putting up such a brave front and facing all those problems. That does not adequately describe what you’re doing. What we would like you to see you doing. It’s not just putting up a front. It’s knowing that your life is lived from within out, and holding firm to your inner center, no matter what may be happening around you or to you. When you begin to walk steadily in the light of truth, you find that you can actually experience the smile on your face, through the good days and also those that seem to be under dark clouds. More than this you begin to see that the smile, songs, spring response can actually be a strong influence in causing the conditions that you’re feeling elated about.
This calls for an unlearning of the widespread perception that when this happens or that changes, then I’ll be happy. Implications of this are unbelievable. Because it means that there is a joy potential that is ever within you. A divine fire that never burns out. You never need something to be happy about. Your happiness will depend, not on conditions, but on your response to them. As Lincoln once said, “A person is about as happy as you make up his mind to be.” In any situation, you have the power to rekindle the eternal flame. And then this is where Paul shared the gift of God to be in your means. Rekindle the eternal flame. Be at the center of your being.
One woman made the discovery of this unique joy potential. It came to her at a healing well spring. She’d been chronically ill. Was also burdened by some extremely difficult financial problems. In her meeting, she encountered the phrase, “Until you are happy, you’ll be neither healthy nor free.” Until you’re happy, you’ll be neither healthy nor free. This disturbed her. She lashed out in anger at the page. “How can I be happy with all my pain and trouble?” But the words kept running through her mind. Eventually, desperate to do something, she decided to give it a try. She worked diligently on the idea that joy was a cosmic fire within that she could rekindle. Gradually with little reason to outwardly justify it, she began to feel happy. And the happier she felt, the stronger and healthier she became, giving her even more reason for happiness. As her joy increased and disposition improved, her strength gradually returned. Before long, she had completely recovered. And there was an unexpected but very adequate settlement of her financial dilemma.
The dramatic transformation that happened to this woman, started when the moment when she realized, until you’re happy, you’ll be neither healthy nor free. Some might say, “That’s naïve, that’s Pollyanna.” Whatever you call it, it’s the means whereby this woman released the in frown, but you could just see the smile that gradually crept across her face. Science and medicine are slowly catching up to metaphysics. As reflected in the feature article that some of you may have seen in the New York Times science section a couple of weeks ago. It told of some recent studies that indicate that a smile actually has a distinctly organic effect on the body. Just by turning up the corners of your mouth and breaking into a smile, you cause readily identifiable effects on the heart, the pulse rate, on the blood flow to the brain. This was the conclusion that some of the research that had been done recently.
Implications are that facial expressions are not just the visible sign of emotions felt, but it actually contributes to the feeling itself. It’s an extremely interesting discovery. Because it supports the often used truth idea that, you can act as if a condition were manifest, visualizing it unfolding in vivid detail, you tend to experience the movement towards that end. As we so often say, go through the motions, and you will come to experience the corresponding emotion. Researchers have also proven that our brain and nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real experience, and one that is simply imagined. So you can put on a happy face in the morning, it would tend to unfold for you the kind of experiences you deeply desire. What you erroneously thought were the means by which you would be happy. Let the corners of your mouth turn up into a smile. Go ahead and think about that right now. Let your mouth turn up into a smile. Feels good doesn’t it?
The interesting thing is, is as hot as your tongue is, that smile, just the very act of turning up the corners of your mouth, actually causes something to happen in you. Learn to make you happy. The spirit is poured into your system. An energy, as we do tremendous, dramatic things in your life. I’m honestly giving acting lessons, to act as if you have a smile. Become a good actor. It’s true that many unsuspecting students of truth are lured into the act as if technique, which may become the practice of sham and artificiality. Not trying to put a face on, a mask that covers up everything. The need is not something you put on. Something you release from within. When you’re knowing the truth, you’re not putting on a mask. More or less it could be said that you’re removing a mask. If the affirmations and statements of truth are true of you, which is why you affirmed them, and you not become true because you affirmed them, but because you act the part.
And what would these actions have proved? What we’ve long held to be true in our Sunday experiences here. That if the corners of your mouth turn up into a smile, you would immediately feel better. You’ve established a conduit through which the joy of the Lord manifests in your life. The joy of potential may flow forth in its healing, energizing, uplifting influence. So a smile is not a reaction to conditions and experiences, rather it is a causative force. Projection of inner light, it has a profound influence on the world around you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that you start the day grinning, and you go through the day grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Walk in the office grinning like that, and your co-workers will probably say, “What’s wrong with you? What do you have to be so happy about?”
Obviously you’ll need to restrain yourself in the way you express your exuberance. Let your eyes smile, as you greet people. Let your voice smile, with a feeling of joy. Let your hands smile if you extend it in friendship and love. See the beautiful thing is, the realization that you don’t have to have things to be happy about. You can be happy at anytime, if that’s what you wanna be. But happiness behind a gentle smile, flows easily from your joy potential. Actually it could be said that you’re happy because you’re happy. And happiness and the smile on your face is its own reason to determine cause.
And closely related to the smile on your face, and probably going hand in hand with it, is over calling the song in your heart. Can you recall a time when something wonderful happened to you? A job promotion, remission of some organic ill about which you’d been given a prognosis of no hope, that you’re now told is completely healed? Perhaps you’ve received a proposal of marriage, or a final decree of divorce. And your heart is singing. Let’s think a little bit about that song in your heart. Did the song originate in the wonderful things that have happened to you? Is it just a response to conditions? Was it the subtle singing in your heart that radiate the vibration that helped to attract those things? And would you sing within by choice, because you can keep yourself in tune with the universal symphony?
Victor Hugo describes the bird that pauses for a while and bows too slight, yet sings, knowing it has wings. Can’t you visualize the picture of that bird sitting on a shaky twig. Perhaps at the edge of a waterfall, and the tree is bouncing up and down. The bird is totally oblivious of any danger. Singing his heart out, because he knows who he is. Life is a song of self realization. Like the bird on the shaky twig, with confidence in his wings. So when you find yourself in a different life experience, whether it’s hostility, or anger, or injustice, you can still sing with joy, in the awareness that you’re in tune with the song of the universe. The singing of the bird is actually an overflow in the symphony of life. He’s completely in tune with the unity of the whole creation. Hugo says, “Be like this bird.” An unknown poet puts it, “if you keep in your heart a green bough, there will come one day to stay, a singing bird. When you keep it in your heart, the green bough of faith and expectancy, you experience the eternal song of fulfillment.”
God is singing a song through you. The song of life. Song of love. How could God sing of anything else? If you let this melody sing itself through you, the pattern of your life becomes varied, innovative, beautiful, interesting, and creative, and is in all ways, you. You’re completely in harmony with the whole of creation. There’s no competition, no strain, no fear that somebody else will sing your song, and take away that which is yours. The Psalmist makes great use of this song in the heart metaphor, for instance, “I will sing a new song to thee our Lord.” But even as Jesus said, “The Father worketh until now and I work.” So God sings his song in you that you must sing. As one writer says, “Most people die with all their music in them.” So the song of the soul is left unsung. Without that song, life becomes hardly bearable.
The important thing is, to be still and listen, when you sing your song of life with love and joy. All to often, there’s a distortion within us. We become so concerned and so caught up with the problems in our life, that we harp on the same old tune. But the song of God singing to you is ever new, and vital and vibrant. There’s an affirmation that has been helpful to me through the years. Reminding me that I must be open and receptive to God’s new song, that sings from within me. God has put a new song in my heart, and I sing with joy. God has put a new song in my heart and I sing with joy. In other words, in a sense that you’re pushing a mantra. The vibration of pattern of life and love is in focus as you. One thing we can be sure about, that day will be a good day, a successful day, when you tune yourself in thought and feeling to the singing of the angelic choir within.
Remember that angels are God thoughts. So the angelic choir is the swarm of ideas within, the swarm that I like to call your support group of one. When you do good as a song in my heart, it’s not necessarily a reflection on the good that has manifested in your life though, it may be. Most importantly it is a reaffirmation of the projection of the eternal song from within. The singing heart becomes a vibrational pattern that defines your consciousness, which attracts your good to you. So it becomes a powerful technique, for effective and successful living.
Take a few moments to ask yourself, how would I feel if what I’m working and praying for had already come to pass? Undoubtedly, you’d be singing a song of joy. So in the face of conditions to the contrary, affirm. God has put a new song in my heart, and I sing with joy. By what we call the law of reversibility, you tend to attract the condition, in fact and experience. That’s something you have to work with, to really believe it. But it does work. Carlyle says, “Everyday, born into the world, dawn’s like a burst of thunder. You can make it with a dance, a dirge, or life march as you will.” In classic literature, the dance has been the metaphor for total living. What we are calling the spring in your step. Byron sings, “On with the dance, let joy be unconfined.”
At the start of your day, every day, it’s important to affirm for yourself something like this. On with the dance, when joy’s unconfined, and walk with purpose and work with confidence. There’s a spring in my step, and we walk forward with conviction. Again, form an image of yourself, walking jubilantly down the road of life, with a spring in your step, and say with feeling, I feel wonderful. I feel wonderful. Feeling’s an important key. Jesus said, “All things what so you pray and ask for, believe that you receive them. You shall have them.” That was even without seeing, believe. You create the feeling that you would have if you did experience that which you desire, which would start the process of improvement into fulfillment. We can be coining a new word, fulfeelment. When the feeling wells up within you, and you’re full of that feeling, becomes a consciousness. It tends to attract your good you.
There is an expression that comes from a skeptical appraisal of possibilities. Lifting yourself by the bootstraps. Critics of the new thought process, I hear them talk about what they call, boot strap philosophy. New thought person tends to indicate that he lift himself by his own bootstraps. He changes vibrations, he changes life. But in consciousness it’s not only possible, but it’s a practical technique to work with, to lift yourself up. Friends, here’s a simple motivational technique you can use on yourself. Stand before your mirror, as most of us do each morning. Look yourself squarely in the eyes. Say to yourself, you are made to be the greatest. Today, whatever you do, walk tall. If problems come your way, you will stand towering above them. Simply step over them, to your desired end. And remember, the subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between a real experience and one that is vividly imagined. That’s a wow, isn’t it.
So if you draw on a problem and you need to picture it before you in vivid detail, it becomes real to the nervous system. Begin to experience all the feelings that go with the failure. If you keep your positive goal in mind, picture it vividly as to make it real, think of it as an accomplished fact, then you’re awakened to the support group of your soul, giving rise in your mind to what are called winning feelings. Self confidence, courage, and faith that the outcome will be desirable. If you wanna feel sick, act sick. Let you shoulders sag, your feet drag, your eyelids droop. Heave a few long sighs. You can almost predict that you will come down with some popular bug that’s going around. On the other hand if you wanna feel well, no matter what the experience of your body, if you wanna feel well straighten your shoulders, talk with energy about something interesting, have a few hearty laughs, and declare, “I feel wonderful.”
See the thing is, to be ambitious for success and prosperity, and to feel inadequate and poor, you desire health and wellness, yet feel weak and afflicted. You will be compared with trying to reach east by traveling west. You can’t do it. No matter how diligently you work in prayer and thinking, if you feel less than you desire yourself to be, that feeling will neutralize your efforts. You gotta work on your feeling, your inner perception. Winston Churchill was a remarkably self motivated man. He had an interesting morning ritual designed to get his spirits up. I’ve got on good authority this is what he did, although I can’t vouch for it. He’d turn up some spritely mere marching music on the radio, with hat rakishly set on the side of his head, and the walking stick over his shoulder he’d march around the room for 10 or 15 minutes. Don’t try it with the windows open.
It’s amazing how it works. You can affirm for yourself as many folks do, I’m alive, alert, awake, dressed, and enthusiastic about this day. Take a walk around the block in that consciousness. Actually with a spring in your step. You may not feel like it, but decide that you’re gonna feel like it. In fact, go through the motions. Act as if it was so. Life up your feet with a spring. Walk with, on the balls of your feet. And assume the feeling, you’d experience the corresponding full feeling. Let me say again, lest we carry this out of proper context. The act as if technique can become a lure into the experience of sham and artificiality. But it’s completely valid when it deal with the releasement of your inner power that is constant.
For instance, you may act as if you’re a spiritual being, because that’s what you are. All the time, not just when you’re acting like it. You act as if you’re full of love, and that’s the truth about you, you’re truly a loveful creature. You may not be responding to it and releasing it, but you’re a loveful creature. You may act as if you’re happy, because there’s a bubbling forth of joy at the heart of you. There’s a joy potential that’s always yours, even if you don’t know the express, waiting for you to fling up and shine. You may act as if you’re prosperous, because you’re one with God’s all sufficiency of all things. You can begin to experience that prosperity, beginning of the consciousness of, act as is if it were true. Act as if you’re rich.
See when you’re knowing the truth, you’re not acting. You’re not putting on a mask. Its actually as we said, you’re removing the mask of human consciousness. To the affirmations and statements of truth, are true of you, which is why you’re affirming them. It didn’t become true because you affirmed them, or because you act the part. It’s a very subtle thing, but a very important thing to know. You’ve got my promise that you can go away from here with a smile on your face, a song in your heart, a spring in your step. Let’s accept the blessing. Let’s close our eyes you all.
What we’ve been talking about is the outer manifestation of inner feeling. So it’s not Pollyanna. Not just a lot of play on words. Begin with the depth of you. And for a moment, enter the chamber of energy within. Jesus called it the inner chamber, where you pray to your Father in secret. And the secret is, when you really go within, you’re one with the father and there’s no where else to go. This can be powerful to know, is it you’re a focus of all there is in God. All life, all love, all substance, all creativity, all peace, are where you are. Our God is where you are. The whole of God, present in his entirety at every point in space. Present at the center of you. In this infinite resource, let yourself feel alive, and vital, and creative, and loved, and loving. As the poet says, “God’s in his heaven. All’s right with the world.”
Just rest for a moment in the consciousness. You’re in the presence of God. The allness of the infinite is expressing in you, and radiating through you. Now feel the smile creeping up on your face. Feel the corners of your mouths turned up. Feel the radiance of that joy potential flowing through your being. Listen for a moment, and feel the song singing itself in your heart. Give thanks that God is putting a new song in your heart. Commit yourself to singing with joy. Feel yourself walking with a spring in your step. Envision yourself doing just that, as you leave this place. Feel good about taking charge of your life, injecting with it the belief that people or conditions can determine how you think, and feel, and act. Feel good about your new commitment to regularly stir up the gift of God within you, and rekindle the flame of the spirit within.
Begin. See yourself in the imagination, going forth from the place today, truly with a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a spring in your step. See yourself going through this day, experiencing the full feeling of this consciousness, feeling of oneness, feeling of victory. And a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a spring in your step, through this day. Through all the days to come, as long as you can keep the commitment. Rejoice in it, give thanks for it, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. So be it.