Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #76
Eric shares several notable ideas in this talk: “get out of the grandstand”, our “acceptance quotient”, working with law, THIO “time has its opportunities”. If you need encouragement to rise up out of a slump, this is a classic Eric Butterworth talk that will get you going.
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I’ve had a considerable time in recent weeks to do some contemplation. Last Sunday morning during your time of your service, I had a little worship service of my own, reflecting on what I would call the great need for spiritual truth and religion in the world.
A thought came to me, which is not new to me, but it’s something that I’ve sort of evolved, that many of the problems that we experience in this religious world is what I call a grandstand-ism, using the we’re not here of the contemporary season. We’ve tended for so long to think of spiritual things and of spiritual meetings, religious convocations and all that goes with it, something that goes on out there, and we should be the participants and the players sitting in the grandstand and watch. We watch the communion services. We watch the glittering spectacles of the religious liturgy performed. We watch as we have somebody pray for us, some that guide us, teach us.
It’s possible, for instance, to come to a meeting such as this, which is totally iconoclastic in terms of the usual religious disservice, but still be involved in grandstand-ism, sitting in the grandstand, watching, listening, it’s all out there. And the challenge to all of us is to come out of the grandstand, get on the playing field. The game of life is to be played, not something you watch from afar. When we get on the playing field, the first thing we find is that you’re not watching something out there, you’re looking within yourself.
The challenge is that in the first place, we begin to think of life as having so many incongruities, things we can’t understand, especially when we cut ourself loose from the people that guide us and teach us and pray for us and conduct the worship for us, and sense we’re kind of alone, and yet we’re not alone. We say the real need is, the real thing is, we’re all one, the inner sense of unity.
We find that it’s important that at this time we take charge of our own lives. You can’t put our lives in the hands of somebody else. It doesn’t work. Many of us have lived most of our lives thinking somebody else is responsible for us, a father, a mother, a spouse, the government, God as some people from afar, always being supported and guided and directed and led and blessed, healed, succored. I didn’t mean that to be a pun. It was S-U-C-C-O-R-E-D. We’ll take the pun anyway, it’s okay.
But we come to recognize that we must. We live in a universe of law. There’s no caprice, there’s no injustice. All this is something that we experience when we’re looking from the outside in. We see ourselves involved in a universe of law. We recognize, however reluctantly, we have to take responsibility for our own lives, take charge. That’s hard. It’s like a person being pushed out of the nest as a baby, a little bird on your own. Flyway, bird.
So we leave home when we’re young. If we don’t, we should have, run in life to make our own way. It’s a fearsome life, many things we can’t understand. How good it is that we begin to accept the possibilities of joy coming through taking charge. You see, what is involved is that things don’t just happen. Life is not a matter of watching things come, you get good lucks and you get bad luck and you have breaks, and rich people perform miracles for you, and you witness the miracle of the Bible. It’s all out there.
Well, we suddenly realize that if you’re going to accept the fact that nothing ever just happens to you, nothing is ever unrelated to consciousness, your consciousness, no experiences are unrelated to ourselves, and we see that, as hard as it is to accept, we at least had participated in everything that’s ever happened to us. Things didn’t just happen. You didn’t just get fired or meet someone and get married, or have a difficulty, get a divorce, or lose some money in the stock market.
Things don’t just happen. You’re a participant in everything that happens in life. Unless you accept that, you miss the real key to life and living. You tend to hide yourself behind the cover of injustice. There ought to be a law. You can’t trust people these days. Sickness just came upon me, I just caught a cold. He gave it to me.
But you realize with the dawning light that you have participated in everything that happens. And the great thing that comes in, in realizing this if you think it through, that things happen to you, if your problem is something that God laid on you, or it’s the recession that caused your financial difficulties, it’s my in-laws that caused the breakup of my marriage, I was looking out there for causes, if you insist that things that came about in your life are not of your doing, and you feel good about that and self-righteous, I can assure you, you’re not going to get one bit of help. Because if the causes of things are out there, in God or in people or in luck or good/bad fortune, then there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re dependent upon what they say or what they do or what God wills.
If you accept the fact that you participated in everything that happened, all the problems, then you can participate in the solution. For if the problem, at least in part in your consciousness, by changing your consciousness, you can change the experience. That’s a hard lesson to learn. The one who learns that lesson is out of the grandstand for good. You’re in the swim of life. And the game of life is a beautiful experience, because you can take charge of your own existence.
We talk about spiritual law, divine law, metaphysical law, and laws of truth. This may be confusing, because usually the word law is actually a metaphor. Otherwise, we would say, as people have said to me, “All these laws you talk about, why don’t you give us the laws, like the 10 Commandments so we can learn them and be done with it?” Hey, with the laws of unfoldment, the laws of nonresistance, the laws of being, the laws of prosperity, the laws of success, the laws of healing, all these things, all these laws.
Use of the word law is a metaphor. It simply means that we live a life that is an existence within a universe that is totally orderly. Nothing happens by chance. When you get yourself in tune with the flow of the universe and are willing to move with the universe and with the law, then things would always work out right and good for you. At least you would always have the potential within you to achieve, to overcome.
How often we say it was my good fortune to have, I got this job through sheer luck, I got a lucky break. We all have those expressions. It’s important that we get out of the luck-miracle syndrome. There’s no such thing as luck in an orderly universe. It happened to you because you were there, because in some way beyond your knowing it, you have attracted it, and somehow in your consciousness, you’ve allowed the negative acceptance of things in the world because of your own rebelliousness and your bitterness, your hint of injustice, your hurts. You’re creating your own consciousness. You create a kind of a viral infection of the mind.
This will invariably out picture itself in your experience in the form of disease, in the form of financial difficulties, in the form of inharmony, in the form of all the difficulties of life. The genesis of all these experiences, as far as you’re concerned, is within you. You may go a long way resisting that.
I started to remember a man I got to know years ago. He was a good man. He was an upstanding member of the community, he tried to do right, he was honest, he had integrity. But the one thing he couldn’t get through his mind was that this was an orderly universe. He would always say, “Well, there ought to be a law.” Like someone riding the Metro North, saying, “This is a heck of a way to run a railroad. There ought to be a law.”
This was Job’s problem. Job railed to God, “There ought to be a law. Why are you picking on me?” Maybe it’s a sense sort of a paranoia.
I would tell this man, there is a law. What about this? And what about that? He wouldn’t accept it. Give him credit for it, he really tried. He labored over it. One Sunday, he didn’t come to meetings very regularly on Sundays, because he had an aversion to the Sunday meeting from his early childhood, he got up and got dressed and decided he was going to church this day. He parked his car right across from the entrance to our building. The fact that it was a no parking zone didn’t bother him any. After all, he was going to church.
Then he came out and behold there was a ticket on the window. The officer was still in the neighborhood, so he went up to the officer and he said, “How come I got a ticket? I got up early and got dressed and shaved and went down to this church meeting, and I got a ticket already.” The officer said, “What do you expect, a medal?” This really shook him up, but I give him credit for it, he tried.
One day, he began to get the idea, it dawned on his consciousness. He got the idea he lives in a universe of law. He saw that he was setting booby traps in his consciousness because of his bitterness, his resentment. He finally decided that he had to let go of what other people were doing. He stopped seeing the fact that people were breaking the law with their recklessness without any concern for a return yet some people seemed to always get away with it, but he always had to pay for every penny of the infraction of the law. But he finally was willing to let it go.
He’s seen himself often a universe of law. One time, some weeks before when he first got this desire, decision to come to one of our meetings, he was aware of the fact that his life was a total shambles. His wife had divorced him, his children wouldn’t talk to him, his business bankrupt. He had a condition of cataracts that were forming on his eyes. Once he got this realization of law and let go of what other people were doing, why does it have to default on me, and got himself in tune with the truth, his life turned around. The other part was when he came to me this time and told me that his doctor has said that the cataracts had receded. Apparently, they were on the right toward complete healing, which did eventually come.
This man was just one of many, who changed his life, by getting out of the grandstand, getting into the swim of life, and playing the game. But in order to really fulfill this, we have to be willing to accept the fact that law is involved constantly. There’s no real lawlessness in spirit. You can’t break laws. You break yourself upon them. Thoughts, feelings, emotions, words, all tend to build up in consciousness. Those are kind of a pool of negativity, and as within, so without.
It’s hard for us to accept the fact sometimes in the beginning, when you see the difficulties of your life living as in the world. It’s hard to convince yourself that something in my consciousness at least participated in this experience. I can show you once you accept it, you need to deal with life on the standpoint of things work according to law and express a willingness to work with the law.
You work with the idea that you have to give to receive. You have to be willing to forgive in order to be forgiven. You don’t try to change things. You don’t try to manipulate. You do your best and leave the rest. You put in your time at work, not just punching the time clock, but truly giving, serving. You get involved in a right relationship, not just being there, but loving and serving and cooperating, sharing, working with the law. When you work with the law, the law works for you.
There’s a concept that has always been helpful to me. It deals with the law called the law of acceptance. This is another one of those law, that was metaphorical. But you always tend to experience that which you’ve accepted. The interesting thing we can accept good things and bad things.
When I was in the army during the Second World War, I was in the medical corp. I was involved in teaching medical subjects, which I knew nothing about, that was the way the army did things. I made the outline in the textbook before I went out of the classroom and did the best I could. I was involved in this one case of materia medica, and trying to stress the idea to the military men that they needed to unlearn, I appreciate it’s, most of us grew up with, get your feet wet and you catch your death of cold. You’ve heard somebody say to you, “You’ll catch your death of cold. Get those wet shoes off, dry your socks, or you’ll catch a cold.” The army had a self-interest in unlearning this because as many of you know, the the doe boys often spend a lot of time in mud and wet for weeks on end. Had to break through this whole concept of the wet feet cold syndrome.
The other part was that many of these men later went into the service and went, especially over in parts of Italy during the war, were wet and soaked for two weeks on end, never caught cold because they broke through this idea of accepting the possibility. See, you don’t get a cold from the puddle on the ground. You don’t get a call from wet feet ever. If you’ve accepted the belief that the cold will come through wet feet, then the cold comes from wet feet, because you’ve accepted that.
That is, what are you accepting? The doctor gives you a prognosis of your condition. Do you accept it? Accept him as God rendering his judgment upon you? Chances are it will manifest in some way. If you’ve accepted the idea that during a recession or a depression, the jobs must be lost, finances must be difficult, and money must be scarce, if you accept it, it becomes that way to you. Consciousness does strange things.
If you say no to it, refuse to accept it, and accept on the other hand, the idea is you’re a child of God, you’re living in a spiritual universe, there’s going to be good coming forth to meet you, and reject all the negatives, you’ll be able to manifest a whole new experience in life. It’s the law of acceptance.
And the law says is that you will never experience anything in body or affairs that you have not previously accepted in your mind and heart. You’ll never experience anything in body or affairs that you have not first of all experienced in some way and accepted in mind and heart. That’s the law of acceptance.
Out of this comes a little technique that I’ve used that is helpful to me. You need to build up a conscious acceptance, a realization that accepting the positive and rejecting the negative, you really need to accept the inevitability of something coming in from a negative source, creating what I call an acceptance quotient, AQ. How’s your AQ?
I like to remind myself, how’s your AQ, Eric? Unlike the IQ, the AQ can be corrected. It can be increased. It can be expanded. IQ has been sort of discredited among educators anyway, but the whole idea was, I’m 141 IQ and that’s the way it is, it explains why you’re stupid or why you’re brilliant. But your AQ, your acceptance quotient, can be corrected or expanded.
Anytime you see someone meeting a crisis, such as that experience in the Bible in that vignette where Jesus was on the sea with the disciples and they were in a fishing boat and the great storm came up and Jesus was sleep in the bottom of the boat, perfectly calm and at peace. The disciples were waking him up, “Master, master, save us.” He stood up quickly, took stock of the wind and the storms, spoke peace to them, and calm prevailed.
There may be other explanations for this, but in its essence, it shows courage facing up to a challenge. Napoleon once said that he’d never seen a person waking in the middle of the night at two o’clock in the morning and have complete courage. Usually there’s a tendency of weakness or a refusal to do or inability to accept things as they are.
But Jesus spoke to the storm, “Peace, be still.” The disciples had accepted the possibility that the storm could wreck the boat and drown them. Jesus had accepted the idea that we’re always in the calm at the center of the storm. We can project this piece of our consciousness and cause the waves in the clouds and the storms and the rains to disappear. That’s figurative, of course, but it’s important.
What’s your acceptance quotient, your AQ? What’s your AQ? When you find yourself experiencing some difficulties in life and you’re concerned about them and anxious over them and resented them, bitter about them perhaps, how’s your AQ? What have you accepted?
See, the idea of spiritual healing simply means that you must correct the tendency to accept the physicality of life and all the lessons that tell you that every day you get a little bit older, you have to expect these things for your age.
Like one time went to a doctor with a knee that was hurting. He’d take you over, and he said, “Well, for your age, you have to accept these things to happen.” He said, Young man, young man, I’ll let you know that I have one knee that works perfectly well. You can’t tell me that it’s my age because my right knee is perfectly well.”
There are so many of those old wives tales that are perpetuated in medical circles and in financial circles, everything has to go down, there’s a spiral downward, the idea that the university is running out, life is being used up, money is being expended. The important thing is to accept the truth, that you live in a universe with a constant flow of good available to you, if you can accept it. How much healing can you accept? Well, I cured the pain, but I can’t get rid of the condition, because after all.” After all, what? Because after all, after all, you’re a spiritual being in the universe. There’s no sickness. You’ve accepted it in some way. That acceptance becomes an abrasion on our consciousness. It becomes a complex that we carry with us.
It’s important to know that we can change things, if you’re ready to let go of the accepted icons that we have on the shelf. If we could think of life figuratively and as a great metaphor, you should be able to walk into our brain and our mind to the shelves laden with beautiful things, memories, ideas, accomplishments, the medals if you will, the trophies, but also if we’re careful and alert and see that on those shelves, there are many negative icons. Other to inferiority to the problems that come because that’s just the way I am, the icons of sickness and weakness, disease, the negative acceptances of life as the possibility of weakness and failure.
Often the person going into business is told nine out of every 10 businesses fail. This person feels he’s got 1/9th of a chance to win. That’s not much of a chance, so he accepts the possibility of failure. The person who’s conscious with a high AQ, acceptance quotient, okay, if one out of 10 succeeds, nine out of 10 fail, I’ll be the one. Why not? Because if it’s recognized that one out of 10 can succeed, the implication is that you can succeed. Somebody has done it.
That’s the beautiful thing of recognizing the practical aspect of Christianity. Jesus said, “All these things that I do, you can do, too.” Jesus did it, I can too. If I find myself saying, “Oh, it’s just one chance in a million that you do have the miracle of life in you that would overcome this condition, one in a million? I’m the one. I accept it.” I just need to stress things a little bit. It’s so important that we see the possibilities involved.
A young man recently married went off to work one day. He told his wife that he had to stay for a special meeting that night. It was motivational meeting, a special speaker coming to talk to the workers. The wife was a little bit apprehensive because he had accepted the idea. The first time the husband calls from the office and says he’s got to stay that night, that’s probably the beginning of the breakdown of the marriage. He’s probably got some hanky panky going on and she felt this pull within her. It couldn’t be because after all, we’re just married and we love each other. But he called and said he couldn’t come home. So she was apprehensive all day.
He came home late and she was already asleep. So when he awakened the next morning, he had to go to work early. She was still in bed asleep. When she awakened, she found a slip of paper on the dresser that said THIO. THIO, that was something that he had inadvertently forgotten. She began to think could that be her name, Thio? It could be the initials for the honeymoon is over? Her fears was beginning to expand. Finally, she labored through this for hours and she finally called her husband. Would you please explain to me what this THIO is? There a perfectly simple explanation. The motivational speaker, the main point of his lecture, time has its opportunities, and I wanted to remember so I could tell you the next morning.
Time has its opportunities. The simple explanation, the simple fundamental, this is the part of the law of life. Every day, things happen, and because life is a series of challenges and bumps and scrapes and all the things that we grow through, we will if we’re positive, every challenge, every difficulty is an opportunity to grow. That’s part of the law of the universe. If you can accept the idea that nothing ever happens by mistake, there’s always something good in it, and maybe without that picturing of something negative, then that picturing is the opportunity to outgrow it. Whatever it is, the loss of a job, the breakup of a marriage, financial difficulty, or just a cold in the nose, it’s an opportunity to grow. Today has his opportunities.
So I would suggest if you were wanting to make a practical application of the few simple remarks we made today, decide you’re going to get into the game. Leave the grandstand. Don’t be a witness spectator, be involved, a participant. You live in a universe of law. You can take charge of your life. If you have the idea that every day, the things that happen are opportunities to grow, to better yourself, you realize that it’s important that you accept the best and leave the rest, accept the good and work to expand your consciousness of acceptance, increase and expand your AQ. If you do this, then you’re on the way to a tremendous unfoldment of truth, your growth in consciousness.
Let’s be still for just a minute.
I want you to just envision the playing field of life. See yourself for a moment sitting in the grandstand, watching the parade go by, watching the things that happen, perpetually unhappy about it, whether or not feeling bitter about there ought to be a law, things shouldn’t happen like that. See yourself getting up out of the grandstand, walking down the ramp, out onto the field. Embrace the whole field of life as if to say I’m accepting the fact that I’m in the game of life to stay. See yourself bestowed of a life of complete lawful experiences in the universe of law. Make a commitment to live within the law. See yourself experiencing this game of life joyfully, thankfully. Give thanks that this day and every day, THIO, this day has his opportunities.
Praise God for the truth. It makes us free. So be it.