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EBUP15: The Alpha and Omega

Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #15

Revelation 22:13

Eric Butterworth Sunday Services — The Alpha and Omega


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In these Sunday talks, our goal is to present ideas of truth or new thought, metaphysics, call it what you will. We presume that most of you have some preparation for what we deal with so that it’s not all foreign. So it’s possible that some may be with us for the first time and it’s not a well aware of what we call truth or new thought. You may find us getting into things that seem a little bit heavy. If so, the goal is take what you’re going to experience, and what you can make sense out of in your consciousness. Take it, use it, put it to work. I’m sure you’ll find the readiness for additional realizations.

Our theme today is taken from the 22nd chapter of revelation 13th verse. I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. It just could be this statement, out of the vision of John, as revealed in the book of revelation. It remains a secret key to life. Remember the song oh sweet mystery of life, at last, I found you. When I use the word secret key, I’m not inferring hidden secrets of the universe that are privy only to be initiated. It is not some mystical formula that solves all the problems of life.

It’s a secret in the same sense as 91st psalm talks about he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Secret place perhaps is a sacred place. A place that you keep separate and apart from the experience of life. It’s is always there. You can always enter it in and close the door. As Jesus says, when you pray, you enter and close the door. Pray to your Father who’s in secret. Didn’t like persistent answering who, what, where, and how questions. Protection approach can be very misleading. Mystery of life is not reduced to, or reduce able to a system. If it were possible to continue life in a system, it would no longer be life, but death, because life doesn’t stand still. Life is ever changing, becoming, and eternal in it’s abiding reality. So the desire to see life defined and captured in theological or philosophical system, stretched out before us like a butterfly in a glass case, destined to be ever disappointed.

Most of us have been conditioned to religions that had been in institutions instead of perceptions, something you join rather than a transcendence you experience. A series of cliches that you memorize, perhaps the catechism, rather than a consciousness you project. I would ask you, do you believe in God? Most of you would probably be answer yes. Not even wondering what I have in mind. We all have kind of a fear of being out of step. We go along with it. Yes, I believe in God. Not ever questioning about what we mean by God. Do you really believe in God? You have a sense of wholeness in life and the universe which gives rise to a believing attitude. It’s not so much what you believe in, it’s what you believe from. An attitude, a consciousness, a state of mind. Do you believe in people? Do you believe in life as a meaningful experience? If not, then your God is little more than what Santayana calls a floating literary symbol. Your, I believe in God, nothing but an empty cliché. You might write an essay on God. It would be helpful if all of us would do this. This is an exercise, you probably would find yourself using a fine array of metaphysical definitions that you have absorbed in your truth studies. You say, God is love. God is divine mind. God is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. You’d have a lot of pat answers and formulas.

You assume this is what you’re expected to put on your essay, but if you can so explicitly define what you call God, and as the ancients tell us, perhaps you really don’t know it and understand it. One of the problems of trying to understand what Aldous Huxley actually calls the eternal ground in three dimensional frame of reference, is the mind almost instantly turns to the big man of the skies. Visualizing Michelangelo like God, which appears in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. This image has been implanted in the consciousness of almost all of us, as if by osmosis. You hear this expressed and see this vision projected in the literature of religions the world over.

So in the mind of most of us, there’s this fixed vision of God somewhere, someone. So, in our essay on God, you may tend to talk of a person out there. You talk of, I’m going to God, of God coming to us. You may feel you even have a very transcendent awareness of God. You may talk about God in you, God guiding you, God surrounding you, God protecting you, but it’s still God and you. Your prayer may still be a kind of negotiating with God. Healing may be something that you assume God does for you, but you see if God can do things for you, then he can be too busy doing things elsewhere. He can heal you. He can bring, or at least acquiesce sickness. These one with whom you negotiate, he could conceivably say no.

This may be startling. It’s important to get the larger thought of God. It’s at the root of our whole experience and the process we called truth. medieval monk, mystic, who is probably such a sweet little man, talking such profound language that few people can understand it, but they accepted his love. Otherwise, he would surely have been burned to the stake in his day. Where he said, this is several hundred years ago, if God is all existence, it is impossible that anything should exist apart from him, for this thing would be outside being. All things therefore, in their substance, are themselves, God. Whatever else they possess in time and space is only an appearance. So the final key is not God and me, but God expressing as me.

Jesus reflected this awareness of the one when he said, one is your father and one is your teacher. In Other words, the whole universe at the point of view, is your source. His use of the word father has given rise to the image of a heavenly parent. It is more likely that his use of father was metaphorical. We use the term mother nature, father time, so forth. Father being the spiritual process in him, it was close and tender and supportive and constant, like the force of gravity. So his statement, I am the Father of one, is a powerful truth that has been obscured because people thought that his relationship with God was unique with him. He was God’s only begotten Son. Those are words that ring constantly through the Christian world, especially among the more fundamentalist inclined. We often see the letters, hear the words John 3:16. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him shall not die, but shall have everlasting life.”

That would seem to justify the whole fundamentalist evangelical approach to Jesus. We believe on Jesus or we die. Again, turning to Meister Eckhart, this sweet little medieval mystic, parish priest. He said, God never begot but one son, but the eternal is forever begetting the only begotten. God never begot but one son, but the eternal is forever begetting the begotten. The only begotten, the spiritual man, the divine idea, the Christ principle. The only begotten son is that which has gotten only of God. Humanly, I’m sure we realize that we are begotten by many influences. Begotten by heredity, through our parents. May be begotten to a certain extent by something that feeds back from our previous lives, if you’re interested in reincarnation. You can be begotten by your environment, or your relationships with people, or the like Madison Avenue hype that drives you to do certain things. Even if you don’t otherwise want to. We’re begotten by many things, but John 3:16 says, but after all, you’re a child of God. You always have within you the potential of Christ. That whosoever believeth on him, referring to this divine pattern, divine plan within you, this Christ self of you, shall not die, but you will have everlasting life. This turns the whole quotation around.

You always have within you the potential of the Christ. I say often, within you as the unborn possibility of limit this life. Yours is the joyous privilege, you bring expression to it, and this is not a proof of Jesus’ divinity, it’s John 3:16, it’s a restatement of his discovery of the divinity of man, which he proved. He discovered that within him, that was begotten, only of God, the Christ of him and he proved this divinity. He demonstrated it, he fulfilled it. He believed it so completely, that even death in the tomb could not hold him.

He said that I am Alpha and Omega. It’s the key to the mystery of life. Everything has its origin in an idea or a thought, whether it is a person, a possession, or the universe, and it has its completion, the manifestation of that thought form. Let me say that again. Everything has its origin in an idea or God thought, as its completion in the manifestation of that thought form.

Now there’ll be many intermediate steps, this is where we tend to either lose interest or lose the focus. Maybe much laborious effort between the God thought and the expression of that thought. In Alpha and Omega, the thing already exists in the thought. The finished work already exists in the plan. This is the principle that we need to become conscious of, so very important. The building already exists in the architect’s plan. The mature adult already exists in the naive child. It means your healthy body already exists in the allness or divine self of you. Even if you’re sick. Your success and prosperity already exists within your desire and image of what you’re working for.

Under the Pythagorean system of mathematics, all numbers proceed from unity and are resolvable back again to unity. All things began with one, you can duplicate one and have two, and 99 or the US deficit. It goes into the trillions. You can create complicated formulas and problems, but all of them are resolvable back again into the basic one. It has been said that if we had a full knowledge of the one, the one, the wholeness, the divine activity at the point of us, the Alpha and Omega, which is essentially unity, you would know all of it exists. I have no further need for mathematics or science, but then every problem is an answer because the problem exists within the one. And like numbers, it’s reduce able back then into the basic one. This is not to minimize life’s problems. We wouldn’t do that. We’re not going to say that problems are simple. You just have to resolve it back into one. It’s not all that easy. We’re not minimizing life’s problems, but we’re trying to maximize the power of the growth principle. Have more faith in the process that works within us.

We must never lose sight of the perfection of the thing in the thought because we do not yet see the perfection of the thought in the thing. We will become impatient with the process. For instance, if faced with the need for healing, the illness is there and it’s not negative to accept it as a condition to be met. So many folks in truth say, I’m not sick. There’s no sickness in God. I’m whole, I’m perfect, I’m well. All that he says is true at a certain level of perception. To make these statements in human consciousness is to create falsehoods within his complicated awareness. The condition is there to be met. It’s not outside of God. Rather, it is a frustration within the life of God. All this remains a reality, is an allness within the illness. This is the key to healing. Certainly you can be healed because you were whole, because you’re created whole.

Note how when Jesus stood at the tomb of his dear friend Lazarus, he prayed the prayer of oneness, he didn’t give into appearances and saying I’m sorry folks, I wish I could’ve helped, but it’s too late. Now, did he plead with God to work a miracle? He simply lifted up his eyes, turn away from the appearance. Turning the consciousness to the principal and he said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He could just as well have said, “I am Alpha and Omega,” because in principle, this is what they both mean. He said, “lose him and let him go” and he cried out, “Lazarus, come forth.”

How could he have been so sure of himself? Simply because it is principle is that it never occurred to Jesus to trace the death of Lazarus to God. Even to think of him as dead. Of course he must realize that Jesus was dealing with the law in the highest possible level of consciousness. As I often say, some of us are just a little bit below that level. Beyond the world of change and challenge is a realm where God is good and God is all, thus all is good. That’s a little play on words that we use often in truth. “God is good. God is all, so all is good.” It’s a statement of absolute truth, but on the level at which it is normally stated, it is not true and we kid ourselves if we try to make ourselves believe it. It is true that there’s an oak tree and the acorn and in an absolute sense an acorn is a tree, but an acorn has a lot of growing to do to become and manifest what it is in potential.

This is a little parenthetic realization that too often we overlook. Every person is a child of God. Totally good in potential, but to say a criminal is good, that crime is good, would not be true. Adding two plus two and getting an answer of five, is not good. The principal is good. Inherent right answer it four is good. Because we don’t understand this, quite often the naive student of truth, you deal with the wrongs of life by declaring Pollyanna like it’s all good. It’s all good. Looks out into the world around him. It’s all good. Reads the news in the paper and horrible things happening. It’s all good. It’s all good. You think he’s being metaphysically positive. He’s been positively negative. The important in difficulty is that the person makes little or no effort to correct things. It’s all good so there’s nothing to correct. It’s all good. He becomes an escapist, hiding his head in the sand.

If you have inadvertently combined two elements to create a poisonous substance to affirm divine order is established, it’s not enough. The divine order is always established and there’s a realm in which divine order is the ever present reality of life, but divine order is not always established in human experience. As our news would indicate each day. You’re a part of that divine order. The orderly act of eliminating the poison, and it’s not being negative to point to the poison and insist that it must be corrected. Then set to work correcting it. Actually, it is highly negative to talk and act as if a problem does not exist, when consciously, you know very well that it does. The idea is to face every need in the consciousness of “I am Alpha and Omega, I am the divine possibility that is ever present. I am the process with wish the idea that can be made real, as I became a receptive channel for it’s expression.”

To know that the allness of God is just as much a reality, when the sick body is in the healthy one. The illness of God is just as much a reality in the person who is out of work and destitute and the person who is prosperous. Gravity is at work just as surely when a bird is soaring upward, as when a stone is falling earthward. What is sometimes called the finished kingdom, like the divinity of man, is the principal on pattern of wholeness which is ever present even in time of war, injustice, or crime.

You read in the Old Testament, God created man whole, but he has created endless subtleties of his own. God created man whole, but he has created endless subtleties of his own. God created the earth, but people have created the world. The world is the newspaper, the stock market, the TV and noise and bustle of the streets. It has its ups and downs, is ever changing, but the world is not spirit. It is not ultimate reality. Everything in the world like this lecture is changeable and changing. Everything except that which is the causal idea and divine mind that changes reality.

The lecture is the thing which has unfolded from the idea. The idea remains ever within the thing and the thing was is and ever shall be in the idea, so it is with people. Behind the person, no matter what he appears to be, no matter what he has done, no matter how he sees himself or we see him. Behind the person is the divine idea of the perfect person. That idea remains in the person experiences the discontented, hunger and drive for fulfillment, what I call the Permethrin voice. It keeps us working on our own statute. As the Greeks say. It is important that we get this straight.

Either a thing is a principal or it’s not. Principles is the divinity of man. Principle is the divine process that is ever present. Principal, it was a perfect idea in back of even an imperfect expression. That there is potential Christ within everyone. So often we say, well, that’s fine, but not this one, not that one. Oh no, not that one. We take exception to it. The idea remains in the person, he experiences it though he doesn’t always listen to it, as an urge for growth. The discontent, the hunger. Quite often, this district, the hunger, drives them into other things, the alcohol and over overindulgence or various other self indulgences in life.

Man is an unfinished creature, alone of all living creatures. Man seems to have been assigned the task of completing himself. The tiger and the rabbit, the eagle, the earthworm, are relatively finished products at birth. No further development opens to them, other than just physical growth. The genes of the ant provide them at birth with all his faculties fully developed. There will be no further growth in these powers. But you and I have the freedom to evolve and perfect ourselves and I might add, the responsibility to evolve and perfect ourselves. Unlike the ant, we’re born helpless with the potential steadily to extend our faculties, to augment our grasp and reach. We have the building quality of growth, of life enchantment and reaching for the stars.

As we realize this, and to think that this is the way I was created, this is life. I do all I can do and work as hard as they pay me for, I get back home and there’s nothing much to do but curl up in front of the TV, watch a good mystery, doze off to sleep, tomorrow go in to work again. It’s surprising how many folks, this one poet says, “die with all their music in them.” I never realized that the more important purpose of life, not just to exist, not just to get by, not just to adjust to things, but to grow. Life is a constant process of growth. It’s never too late to begin taking hold of some of the limiting attitudes and factories in our consciousness.

Give expression to something more of the true self. As revelation says, now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we should be, but we know when he shall appear, parenthetically, to become clear to us, it becomes clear and conscious, when he shall appear. We shall be like him, not Jesus, but like this divine pattern which is God’s pattern of us, the Christ of us. We should see him as he is. Let’s say that again. Now are we sons of God. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we should be like him. For we shall see him as he is. See how orthodox he is, insisted on the personalization of God and of Jesus in place of the Christ.

The person always feels that this is talking about Jesus. When Jesus will appear, it will be like him. It’s not talking about Jesus at all. It’s talking about the Christ principle within man, within life, and that appears to us in consciousness. Paul speaks of Christ being formed in us and being renewed in knowledge. The new knowledge, the recognition of principles about which most of our lives have been ignorant. The principal in a divine sonship. This idea of Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, the whole always present in the partial experience, interestingly has been censored by biologists. You understand the miracle of growth in plants.

Edmund W. Sinnott, imminent biologist at Yale University talks of this in his book, Biology of the Spirit. He says, the tree in your yard is an organized self regulated system with a specific type of structure implanted in it. Like Tennyson’s flower on a crowded wall, if we knew what makes the tree grow from a seed and stay precisely a pine tree or elm tree through all of its resisitudes of history, we would come close to knowing what life really is. And Sinnott reminds us how the green thumb plant grower, we take a shoot, for instance, from a geranium, plant it in water, then eventually in soil and this little snippet grow roots on one end, and soon a well rooted plant is established. Somehow in this little budding tip there is, in miniature, the making of the whole. He says that as every soldier in Napoleon’s army carried the potential baton of a field martial in his knapsack, so each branch of the Geranium carries the possibility of a whole planet itself. Somehow there must be president in the plants living stuff, imminent in all its parts, something that represents the natural configuration of the whole. As a norm to which its growth conforms. The goal during risk development is invariably the directed. This insistent fact, and for instance, everywhere in biology.

What he says it’s quite profound. In every cell of the plant. Whatever it is, there is within it, the pattern of the whole and the potential of the whole, in potential, every cell could reproduce itself and reproduce the whole plant. It’s hard for us to grasp, perhaps. This is also the exciting development that is solely occurring in medical research. The process of cell growth is now being increasingly accepted that every cell in the body contains the natural configuration of the whole. With the potential to reproduce the whole body.

Perhaps it gives rise to such things as cloning. I don’t know, but there’s a more eminent potential. To grow new limbs for the amputee, and surprisingly that facility to see without eyes, to see with the cells of the forehead and with fingers. It seems beyond comprehension. We’re a long way from getting the realization of how to do these things, what they can fulfill. It’s so important to see the principle involved. No matter what stage the plant maybe in between the seed and the tree, the potential whole tree is always in the part. I use the illustration of the dandelion. It starts with a seed, little sprout comes forth and it grows a plant that opens up into sunflower like flower, until it becomes a puffball. You blow it and it all blows away. At any stage in that process, the whole is present.

What is a dandelion? I ask. Is a dandelion the seed? Is it the shoot? Is it the tall growth? Is it the leaves that to come forth? Is it the sunflower like seed that goes on top of it, or is it the puff ball or is it that which flows way in flight? What is the dandelion? The dandelion is the whole process. It’s a symphony of life. That’s true about us, you see. Wherever we are, whatever we experience, the whole is always present. That’s the key to healing. We sort of limited the process of healing. We’re talking about, maybe God could heal me, so we pray for God to heal us. We’re looking out there to something, some power, or some presence, some principles, Michelangelo like God up there will reach down and put his finger on our head.

There’s only one way to state the healing process. You can be healed, because you’re whole. You’re always whole. In spirit, in truth, in the divine idea, and God in mind you’re a whole creature in the process of evolving that wholeness. Wherever you are on the stage of growth from the divine idea within you, to the manifest experience in your life, you’re never farther away from the wholeness awareness except your own belief, your consciousness, your faith. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The idea of the person in the society that people collectively have created. Is inately a good idea. A God idea. The perfect manifestation of love and faith and peace is forever an imminent potential. The materialists will say homo sapiens is innately a beast. You appoint to crime and corruption and violence, but I say, look to the flowering excellence of a Jesus, or St Francis, or Kurgawa, or Schweitzer.

Look to your own achievements and your finest moments, your occasional acts of spontaneous forgiveness. Your great moments of love and patience, your times of altruism. Far between as they may seem. What you see in these moments is the real self of you, the whole of you. Quite often we think of a person as two-faced or as being dishonest because expresses great acts and love and generosity one moment and then the rest of the time he’s very selfish and egotistical. It was when the brief moments when the light shines through, it’s the breaking through the clouds of human consciousness, the light which has ever in you, which is ever you.

Take stock of your actions and activities over a period of a week or a month if you’re going to remember that long, isolate those few moments, sometimes all too few, when we were genuine, when we were sincere, honest, loving, interrelating with people easily. Just think of those moments. Think of those as an evidence of the reality of you. The breaking through the clouds of human consciousness, of the light which has ever in you. Which is ever you. This is why Jesus says, “Let your light so shine before men. They will see your good works and glorify your father who art in heaven.”

The great miracle of creation is that it is finished in spirit, in the beginning, in principle, but that it is a completely unfinished in expression. The person you are is perfect but not yet perfected. You are complete but growing. As we say again, within you is the unborn possibility of limitless living, yours is the joyous privilege progressing when they’re giving birth to it. So rejoice in even the indication of the need to grow because it means that you’re alive. If you insist that there’s no need for growth in you. Then you may be dead, for all intents and purposes. I say let not the study of this new insight and truth delude you that you can skip easily to the end of the growth process. I’m a spiritual being, so I dye my hair white, put on a robe, a toga, whatever, and sandals, carry flowers in my hand. I am the Christ.

There’s no way to skip easily to the end of the growth process. We grow and evolve step by step, stage by stage, experience by experience. Sometimes even difficulty by difficulty. And don’t even think of ends. Look rather for new beginnings because the I am of you is the Alpha and Omega, both the beginning and the end. You can get on with the business of finishing yourself, completing yourself, healing yourself, overcoming, unfolding yourself, releasing into the outer and the human experience that was you were always created to be in the beginning.

Let’s be still for just a moment. You have come here this morning whether you know it or not because of a desire to grow. You’re not here because you needed to be because someone told you, you should be not here because of holy habit of going to church. You’re here because you want to. You want to be here because you want to grow, to acknowledge that. The same force within you that directed you here is a force that will guide you and direct you in the ongoing-ness of your spiritual unfoldment.

Just make a new commitment. That you keep in tune. Keep in touch with the divine within you. You keep reminding yourself by the divine principle of sonship in which you’re created. You have the capacity to be the person you want to be and commit yourself to the growth necessary here a little, there a little, everyday expanding, expressing, disciplining, changing, growing. Your life will become a joyous experience not because you’ve arrived. Perhaps it’s not in the capacity of the human consciousness to think of arriving because you’re on the way. This is the key to happiness. You often say, I’ll be happy when this happens or when that happens. You really won’t. You’re going to be thinking about something else. You’ll be happy when you know that you’re growing. You’re on the path and the goal is keep on and keep on keeping on. Jesus said, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. So be it.