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EBUP13: Bringing in the Sheaves

Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #13

Eric Butterworth Sunday Services — Bringing in the Sheaves


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November is the month of the harvest. The farming population has always known this. Is there life to be involved in seed planting and crop harvesting? With the great migration to the cities, there’s been a widespread loss of the annual reminder of nature’s law of causation, as you sow so what you reap.

To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is self evident. If you want to reap a good harvest, you must sow a bountiful crop. It’s that simple.

We live in a universe of law. Nothing ever happens by chance. Rain and snow and fog and wind seem to manifest spontaneously, but they’re brought about by antecedent circumstances.

The baker turns out a good cake, the result of a recipe carefully applied. As a matter of fact we can’t mix together the appropriate ingredients and bake at the indicated temperature and correct time, and not produce the promised result.

Actually, it’s not the baker who creates the cake at all. He brings the components together, he sets causes to work which bring about the desired result. The cake is produced by the universe, law of causation.

The baker knows that the law will not tolerate slipshod work. He knows probably by hard experience that random ingredients casually mixed and baked can only produce random cakes.

All nature is a standing truth, standing protest against the absurdity of expecting to secure changes in heath or well being without the employment of appropriate causes.

It is as you gather grapes and thorns or figs and thistles. Or like bringing in the sheaves. I asked the folks at the retreat how many knew what the sheaf was. Strangely enough very few of them did, obviously they lived in the city and haven’t been to the country very much.

Further development of automatic farm equipment, the harvest consists in reaping the wheat with hand scythe and gathering the wheat and tying it into sheaves. Like this one right here before ya. Then the sheaves are put on a wagon and driven back the threshing barn. This is the bringing in the sheaves. It was very ceremonial experience. It’s an excellent symbol of the harvesting of the seeds that we planted in terms of our thoughts and feelings and our plans and efforts expended toward the realization. This is our life, sowing and reaping. Sowing and reaping.

In effect the truth helped us to see that when we are in the conscious swell of life there’s a constant reaping of good experiences of radiant health. Manifestations of prosperity in ordering our affairs. And because there is law involved we know that if there is any lack in harmony or illness involved, there must be somewhere in the consciousness a block that is damming the flow.

In the life of every one of us there are experiences that happen where we have traumas or pain, grief, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, guilt. It’s important to realize, as Huxley says, an experience is not what happened to us, but what we’ve done about what happens to us. The anger, the resentment, the bitterness are not what happened. They’re your reaction to what happened, what you did and what you didn’t do about what happened.

I want you to visualize a tree in midwinter. Barren, without leaves. There is one lonely leaf clinging to the branch up high in the tree. There’s an interesting message. It’s not that the leaf has the courage to hold out and hold on, but it’s a symbol of the inability to let go. Think of that lonely leaf as a metaphor for holding onto experiences in the past and bitterness and resentment. To have an experience of trauma, some great shock. Leaving bitterness and resentment and pain. Something very emotionally disturbing and hurtful. It may have been the forced retirement from a job. Someone said the greatest shock the system can sustain is retirement from a job. The shock of rejection and ensuing hurt and fear and sense of rejection. It may have been the shock of discovering an infidelity in a relationship. It may have been an injury in an accident or a serious financial reverse affecting your life security. Whatever, but it causes great hurt, great trauma. Life shattering shock.

Unfortunately by the law of the upward pull of life, most of these traumatic memories, and we have many of them, are resolved and healed and come to pass consciousness. In other words, they’re symbolically included in the sheaves that are brought with the continuous harvesting of the cause and effect.

But here and there in the fields of consciousness are those few lonely leaves still holding onto the tree. Those shocks and traumatic experiences just standing out unharvested and unresolved. More than anything else these are going to be the blocks that are the antecedent causes of most of the difficulty in our lives. Some moment of trauma you’re holding in your consciousness, still unresolved, still painful, can be causing the physical condition that you’ve been worrying about. The problem in your work. Your very consciousness is enough to tell you the truth.

Today we’re gonna work on a harvest. A very special kind of harvest. I want you to work with some of those incidents of the past about which you’re still concerned. Over which you’re still resentful. Over which you still feel hurt, still feeling guilty. We owe it to ourselves, in the interest of the peace and freedom that we hunger for to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. We can have a harvest of a special kind, as the old hymn says, “Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.” You remember that?

We’re going to have a trauma test. First of all I’m going to suggest that you put you mind in neutral in terms of the intellectual objections that you have to things. The sentences that come so easy to the mind. Just be a little child. Let this illustration, this visualization work its effect.

We’re going to use an imaginary time machine. It’s life-sized. You step inside the machine, close the door, sit down. Like sitting before the controls of an airplane, there before you all sorts of nobs and buttons and dials. But you turn to a nob marked ‘looking backwards’. You push that. Set in motion, a motion picture panorama of events starting with yesterday and going backward to your early life. Flashing by all the things that have happened to you. All the many things that have made a great impression on you. All the things that have caused great trauma.

Another button marked ‘trauma’ is pushed. The standing devices hones in on that one trauma experience that is most consciously felt today. It comes easy to the mind when you’re in this setting. This could be the recent death of your mother. The death of a parent many years ago when you were young. Could be something that happened when you were a child, dealing with treatment by a parent or sibling. Could have been the shock of failing a course in college. Whatever it may be, it’s causing great trauma.

Let this run for a few minutes until you probably will call up two or three trauma events. If you’re at home, and you can do this at home, write them down to remember them. Just by identifying them as a certain situation.

Now first of all you may feel that this is being very negative. Dredging old experiences that you may have long forgotten. Why relive the pain, re-experience the hurt? But you know that the trauma scanner did turn up this condition, this memory. The fact that they came up means that you have not really resolved them. They still have the capacity to hurt you, and they’re hurting you directly or indirectly all the time until you resolve them. They’re blocking the flow of the life process in you. It’s an important awareness. The experience itself is unimportant, it’s what you do with it that counts. Many painful and traumatic experiences are resolved and released and are gathered up in the sheaves of other times. Sheaves you’ve brought in and your life has gone on without limitation. But the fact that your trauma test called an experience up into consciousness is evidence that you’ve never really let it go.

You still harbor an unforgiveness and hurt, which pecks away at you in the subconscious mind. Bugs you incessantly. As we said, every negative experience in your life presents some kind of an internative force, directly related to some of the difficulties of your human affairs. These traumas, these shocks. So what you do here in the next few minutes could lead to a wonderful healing for you if you’re willing.

You’ll say, but I have deep soul scars from this situation. That’s one of the rationalizations you hold for keeping it alive in consciousness. It’s so easy to talk about scars. So easy to feel sorry for yourself because of the things that you view caused the scars. I have scars, I have a scar on my hand and a scar on my neck. One of them caused by a childhood accident in which I could have lost my arm, in fact even lost my life. It was resolved in consciousness and it’s long since gone. Many times I can’t even remember what the scar’s about until they ask me. That’s the way it should be. These conditions come and they should go. We should let them go. Try not to get caught up.

Emmet Fox talks about the fact that sometimes in relationships we get caught by a hook that is stronger than steel. We’re hooked onto some person, some hurt, some unforgiveness. It becomes an extension of us, and we drag it around with us all the time.

Lets return to the trauma event that you called up in the time machine. Select one that is presently most painful, and if you feel that this is a terribly negative thing to do, just do it anyway. You’ll be able to condemn me for it afterwards.

Give this experience a title, and if you have a chance when you get home to try this over, write it down at the top of a clean page in your notebook, but for now just think about it. That experience, it may have been ten years ago, it may have been thirty years ago, it may have been yesterday. Something that happened that caused a great shock, a great sense of trauma. Think about what happened. Who did what to who? What did they do to you? Just a few more minutes, think about that. Recapture the memory of it.

Ashley Montagu, a Princeton anthropologist talks about the many unshed tears that everyone carries within him, like a frozen block of ice. Crystallized. Blocked. Try and think of this, because you want to think, in an imaginary sense, this block of ice sitting out in the sun. Slowly melting. Now close your eyes. With that block of ice melting slowly in the distance. And the tears flowing, re-experience the shock and pain. The grief, the anger, the hurt of that experience. Actually feel hurt. Feel grief-stricken. Feel angry. Feel rage. Just feel it for a moment. Re-sense it. The word resentment comes from re-sense. Re-sensing an experience. Get the feeling of a deep negative of that time. Pain. Hurt.

It’s not hard to do that, is it? Easiest thing in the world to do, because it’s right there in your consciousness and it pours out. For a moment, give yourself support, comfort, love. Feel your arms around yourself. Giving a sense of love and understanding.

Quite often you’ve said about something that happened, “I’ll never forget that as long as I live.” Evidence of unforgiveness of someone. Or some injustice that was wrought on you by your job or by the government. “I’ll never forget that as long as I live.” In that moment you were yoked to the negative feeling. You became a permanent part of the bondage that you carry around with you on your back.

We’re going to think about some of the things that Jesus talks about. He was well aware of this problem in life. He had many illustrations and metaphors. One thing he said, “Agree with your adversary quickly.” People sometimes feel this is unreal. How are you gonna agree with the person who’s picking on you? Or the society that’s injured your best possibilities. The people who’ve been unjustly treating you. Or someone who’s done some terrible thing to you. How can you agree with these things? Like so many of the Bible quotations, taken out of context, and there’s mistranslations, sometimes they need further explanations of the other views in the time and that day to see them in that sense today. To agree with in scripture means to settle with. Settle with your adversary. Before you allow the hurt, the anger, the rage to continue, settle with it.

Paul says, “Let not the sun go down on your wrath.” It’s a very important thing. Sometimes we’re so caught up in the hurt, the anger, the resistance, the fear and the guilt we allow it to become a continuous problem in our consciousness. Paul gives it a deadline. In other words, he’s saying go ahead and feel hurt for a while. Perhaps everybody deserves a chance to feel sorry for himself. Let your hurt express, let your rage be out here. Let yourself be involved in telling somebody off and so forth. Let these things out of your consciousness. But don’t let it go beyond when you go to sleep at night. Every night when you go to bed, take time to relive the day, think of the things that have happened, and especially those things which were painful. Especially the deep shock, the trauma, we have it every day in some form or other. Take a moment to bless it, to forgive yourself for experiencing it, and consciously let it go. Release it.

If someone said something to you, it’s important to say if he wants to feel that way, that’s his privilege. But it’s not mine. I let it go. I release it. He did something to me, I might say why’d he have to do that to me? And ‘to me’ is the fishhook. And the clam grabs hold of it. He did it to me. He got up this morning and said I’m going to get that Eric Butterworth before the day is over. He did it to me.

But he didn’t do it to you. He did it, and it’s his problem. It will be a conflict for him as long as he’s in that consciousness. But he can’t do it to me unless I let him. So I can just let it go now. Forgive it. Release it. Say I don’t want to have any part of this any more. I bless it. I’m free. It’s not my problem anymore. I’m healed.

Most of these great conflicts, these great traumas, these great shocks that we have in our consciousness add so much weight upon our life. When resolved to their basic components they’re really very simple. That’s why it’s good to take a moment to relive them, to experience them. You can see them in a live sense and in your consciousness today, which is far different than the consciousness you were in when you first experienced the shock.

You can look at this, the pain, the suffering, the guilt, the anger, the rage, and when that’s like Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts, she says, “Off with her head! Off with her head!” And Alice says, in a moment of awareness, “She’s nothing but a pack of cards.” And they all fall away. We so often involve this pack of cards, from the queen of hearts, or the jack of diamonds, or the king of spades, figuratively put the judgment upon us. Holds us up into some experience. Fills us with rage and fear.

But it’s just a pack of cards. None of the things or persons or conditions down here can have a seriously affect on my life. Except as I react to it in a negative sense. I never have to react in that way. I can be in control of my thoughts and fears. I don’t have to let other people decide how I’m going to think and feel and act. We’ve lived that way much of our lives, but we can change that. We let it go.

It’s our new era. An era of love and good feeling. An era of control. Shakespeare says, “What’s gone, and what’s past... past help should be past grief.”

What’s gone and what’s past help should be past grief. A popular word today is dysfunctional family. I can tell you that I came from a dysfunctional family. That’s why I’m a dysfunctional person. It’s a rationalization. I mean this lovingly, not critically. Because I know it’s something that’s very important to some folks.

We keep saying it’s because of the crises of my mother, my father. The conflicts at home. This dysfunctional life out of which I was produced. I say get off your parents backs. Get off their backs. You’ve gone on long enough blaming your parents and blaming people in your past for what you are today. They did the best they could do. No parent got up in the morning and said, “I’m going to be abusive to my children today.” It’s where they were in consciousness. This was the best they knew at that time.

You have a family, perhaps, today. You’re involved in relationships. Are you always at your very best? And sometimes aren’t you perfectly happy to excuse yourself by saying, “Well I wasn’t myself today.” It may be that your parents were ‘not yourself’ for many days. For years. They were living a life at the highest of their own consciousness at that moment. You can see now that it’s wrong; you’ve grown, you’ve changed. Get off their backs. Take responsibility for your own life. If you take responsibility for it, if you say that I am at least co-responsible for things that have happened to me, then you have an opportunity to change.

If there’s not anything you can do about it, if it’s something someone to you, you can’t do anything about it. You can’t change it. You can’t alter it. But if it’s in your consciousness you can change your consciousness and be healed.

In many of us there’s a subconscious accumulation of memories and incidences which caused hurt. Leading to what we call scars, and festering open wounds of rage and unforgiveness. There’s a frustration that block the flow of life. One may actually have a storehouse of hurt. It becomes this growing enemy.

Medical science supports the belief that we cannot maintain an active storehouse of hurt and enjoy health and happiness too. Most if not all of our physical and emotional ills are the result of hurts and anxieties and frustrations in our consciousness. In fact one doctor calls arthritis bottled-hurt. Howard Burns talks about the good wife Kate at home, nursing her wrath to keep it warm. Ever seen anybody like that? Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

Going over the hurts and the animosities and the rage and the sense of injustice. As if a person has a string of rosary beads and he’s counting them over one by one. Going over and over the scars and the wounds. In time a person loses control. He becomes controlled by the ravaging effects of pain. It’s been said that one’s personality, from the course of his life, may be shaped by the image of his hurt. That’s tragic, it’s so sad.

It’s hard to get in touch with yourself. Who you really are. You’re not a person who’s at the mercy and conditions all your life. Always picked on, always run over. As a matter of fact, you’re not really hurt. “But you tag yourslf I’m terribly hurt.”

But you’re not hurt. Are you hurt? You put the name tag on the front of yourself? The name tag that says, “I’m Hurt.” You’re a person experiencing feelings of hurt. It’s not a play on words. I’m not hurt, I’m a person experiencing feelings of hurt. I’m not angry, I’m a person experiencing feelings of anger.

But I’m a person used to identification of our true self, identified within as all these limitations. Lest they pull us to the ground and take over our lives.

You’re not fear. You’re a person experiencing fear. You’re not jealous. You’re a person experiencing jealousy. When you see this in the full context, you see that you always have the full capacity to control the things that go on in your mind. If you dis-identify from the conditions. Identify yourself as a whole person, who may incidentally have fallen victim to conditions and things that people have done, and my action, reaction to them. I need to stand back and dis-identify and say I’m not that, I’m this. I’m this person, a whole person. With tremendous potentiality within me. I don’t have to fall victim to that condition.

I have these conditions, but I can let them go. I can choose not to have them. I can choose not to be angry. I can choose not to be hurt. We so often lose the thread here. We say, “He made me mad.” “She caused me a lot of hurt.” “My children have caused me great pain.” No one causes you hurt, or pain, or anger. On all the world, nobody can make you angry. No one can make you upset. Everyone has the opportunity of providing you with a good excuse for getting angry, if you want to be angry. If you want to be hurt. If you want to be upset. But you always have the choice, as long as you dis-identify from the condition. It’s something you have, not what you are. It’s a simple thing.

Most of these big trauma experiences that we carry in our lives come because we allow ourselves to lose control of our lives. Take charge of your life. Own your own experiences. This happens to me, it doesn’t happen in me unless I decide it will.

There’s a visualizing technique we’re going to use for letting go of trauma events. Shocks. Great times of hurt. Just close your eyes now and go along with this. Think about what we were saying. Feel it, move with it. You’ve been thinking about many things and experiences of the past. And I want to observe these things. Observe them. Let me impress on you that observing is harder than thinking about it.

You’re now observing all the experiences of your life with they come to your consciousness in this hour. Looking at them. See them as clearly as if they’re being projected before you on a motion picture screen. You’re observing these things. And the you that observes turns out to be the you that was involved in the experience when it first happened to you. And as you observe this experience out of your past, form the image of packing it into a crate. Packing it into a shipping crate and place it on a dock by the ocean. Visualize this dock. And your packing case containing your hurt, your shock, your trauma all packed away. To be stored away somewhere.

See yourself in a rowboat on the ocean. Sitting down in a little rowboat, a little dinghy. Have your oars in hand. You begin to row. You’re rowing away from the dock. See the case on the dock slowly disappearing in the distance, getting smaller and smaller. You’re aware of the ocean on which you’re going, it’s symbolic of your life and ideas and vitality and substance and support. As you row away you’re seeing from a different perspective, with a new understanding. Because as you row, you’re going backwards. You’re facing the dock but you don’t see where you’re going. But you’re confident in the security of the ocean of life, the creative ideas sustaining you. You know the rowing away, and the you that is confident, the you that is rowing and the you that is confident is the central “I” of you. The permanent core of reality within you. You know wherever you are, whatever you may be facing, it’ll be good. You’re one with that which is good.

You continue to row. The trauma event back there on the dock, packed in the crate, is getting smaller and smaller and gradually it sinks beneath the horizon. You know that you’re free from the yoke of yesteryear. You’re free. Feel good about it. Easily and joyously give way to the new sunrise within you. The beginning of a new day, a new life.

That packing case, with the experience that had been harmful and hurtful for you for so long is now gone. You’re free. When you’re ready, just open your eyes. See that it is here and now, and you’re grateful.

It’s important to know, and we tell ourselves time and time again, that my life is in my hands. How am I gonna treat myself? Not in someone else’s hands, like the hands of history, or something back there some time. People that are around you, people that I work with, the employers and the employees. Relationships. Friends. Neighbors. My life is in my hands. Do I treat myself well? Can I occasionally, as I said a while ago, put your hands around yourself and give yourself a good hug? Can you pat yourself on the back occasionally? Can you give yourself support?

A lot of involvement in what I call support groups... these are good, they’re helpful... but sometimes depending on the individual, support groups actually give support to your negativity. Give support to your weakness, give support to your trauma, your hurt. Giving you sympathy and encouragement. “Oh yes, I know. I’ve had that experience too.” Several. It’s good to a point, but we need, occasionally, to get ourself a support group of one.

If you take charge of your life, take hold of yourself, and encourage yourself, embrace yourself. Tell yourself, “I’m in charge, I don’t have to continue with this hurt. I don’t have to keep holding onto this condition, this situation. I let it go.”

In the support group of one, the one represents wholeness. Represents the universe, God. Surrounds and enfolds you with love. The little logo that we use in our program shows the stick figure of a man in the center of a series of lines pouring in from all sides. This is the indication of the universe in support of you. It’s you supporting yourself. The highest self of you is supporting the lower self. Support group of one.

Think about this. If you want to experience this process when you’re at home and you have more time to write down. Go through the time machine, if you will. Call up something that comes quickly to consciousness. Some hurt, some trauma of some type. Let it evolve in your consciousnss. So you think about it, write it down, explain what happened, take a few moments to feel it, let the crystallized tears flow. In a very literal sense if you want to, sometimes it can help to have a good cry. Feel the emotions, the anger, the rage, whatever.

And remember. You’re different now. You’ve changed. Now you have the capacity to speak the word of strength and power. To control yourself. To let go the condition. In other words, you’re not gonna be in bondage to these things anymore. You’re free. And if you want to, go through the experience of crating this thing all up into a box and putting it on the dock, ready for shipping. Take your little rowboat and row away. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? It can be a powerful experience. Work with it, yourself. That’s your homework.

Just for a moment now I’d like you to experience this sense of commitment. You’re well aware that you can’t keep the birds from flying over your head. But you can keep them from building nests in your hair. You’re human. You may not always be able to control your emotions. There may be times of anger, moments of fear. Cases when jealousy rears its ugly head. There may be times that you’re impelled to worry about something or feel concerned about someone. But you’ll remember to agree with your adversary, adverse thoughts of your mind. And suddenly the undisciplined squads of emotions that may run through your mind.

Do not let the sun go down on your wrath. You’re at all times to forgive. Not for the benefit of the other person, but for your benefit. Whatever the shock or turmoil that may have settled on you, you face up to it. That’s what it is saying to you. Look carefully at the cause. Realize that the problem is in your reaction. Determine to resolve the conflict. To let go. To walk on. Put the trauma event safely ensconced in a box, crated away. And row away from it until it may disappear beneath the horizon. Disappear from sight, then it’s gone. You’re through with it forever.

It’s a recurring consciousness. Don’t deny it. To deny is to refuse to face it, all the while sleeping it under the rug. Don’t deny it. Look at it. Clearly and completely. And forgive yourself for letting this emotion run loose. Say, “I let you go. You no longer have a place in my life or my mind. I’m free.”

Let’s just feel grateful. Feel it. Sense the gratitude in your consciousness. You shall know the truth, the truth shall make you free. So be it.