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A Perpetual Pentecost (May 1933)

A Perpetual Pentecost — M.H. McKeon banner

Without a Lord's Supper, There Can Be No Pentecost

Hi Friends -

We learn several things from A Perpetual Pentecost, published in May 1933:

  1. Pentecost is a ripening of what is planted at the Last Supper
  2. Pentecost is experienced as the union of subconscious, conscious and superconscious phases of mind
  3. The union of the 3 phases of mind causes Spirit to descend into soul and body, releasing spiritual power
  4. Metaphysically, this release of spiritual power awakens our 12 powers, corresponding to the 12 Apostles
  5. The greatest impact of Pentecost is the transformation of human relationships within the faith community
  6. Our faith communities overcome distinctions of gender, age, culture, race, language, ritual, wealth, and social rank
  7. We see spiritual realities beyond the physical world
  8. We become a people of blessing and peace

These statements are a spiritual roadmap. Getting to #8, becoming a people of blessing and peace, begins with #1, Pentecost. And Pentecost doesn’t just happen. Pentecost is a ripening of what is planted at the Last Supper.

This is Pentecost Sunday. It’s perfectly valid to reflect on the state of our inner faith community and how our Christ nature may be guiding our 12 powers.

But my experience is that if I really want to understand what’s going inside of me, I can take a look at what is going on outside of me—in my relationships with flesh and blood members of my faith community. What have I planted? What hidden agendas and unsettled grievances lie below the surface of my subconscious mind? What notions of spiritual elitism float in my superconsciousness? How do I defend my judgements of others with my justifications? What has come to fruition?

To be honest with you, I have found in my faith community a safe place I can do that refection, learn better ways, ask for forgiveness and decide to change. And I look to the present reality of Jesus Christ and the fellowship of my faith community to guide my way.

As Charles Fillmore said, we are “not a church or sect, but a place where the students of Jesus gain a spiritual understanding of the words of Jesus, the parables of Jesus and the rites of the church. We baptize not with water but with Spirit...”

Mark Hicks
Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2024


Download PDF of this article from Unity magazine May 1924

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Header for A Perpetual Pentecost in Unity 1933 May

A Perpetual Pentecost

M.H. McKean

Extracted from Unity Magazine, May 1933, pages 23-30

AMONG THE MANY FESTIVALS of the ancient Hebrews none has come to mean quite so much to us as the feast of “first-fruits” largely because of its later implications. This feast was held on the fiftieth day after the second day of the feast of the Passover. This festival of first fruits (harvest) or Pentecost marks the square of seven days after the night or close of Passover day. To these early Hebrews, seven was a number significant of completion or perfection; therefore, the forty-ninth day after the Passover was the square of seven, or seven times seven, indicating to them the completion of a perfect work.

Pentecost is a ripening of what is planted at the Last Supper

The particular Pentecostal celebration that means so much to us, and that has challenged the world most profoundly, was that during which the apostles and followers of Jesus Christ gathered in an upper room after His crucifixion and resurrection to await the promised coming of the Spirit of truth with power. Here Pentecost marks the completion of the special redemptive work of Jesus Christ, which had reached its climax at the Passover supper that He ate with His apostles in Jerusalem just before His betrayal and arrest. During the days between this “Lord’s Supper” and the “upper-room” Pentecost, there was packed more meaning for the human race than there has been in any other similar period in the existence of this planet.

In the following paragraphs we wish to consider two phases of Pentecost and its influence on human life. First let us try to understand the inner or metaphysical meaning of Pentecost in men’s minds today. Because of its exhaustless possibilities, only a brief consideration can be given here. The outer or social meaning of Pentecost will also be discussed briefly later in this article.

Pentecost is experienced as the union of subconscious, conscious and superconscious phases of mind

Metaphysically, Pentecost is that point of unfoldment in each individual consciousness where there is a ripening and gathering of mental “first-fruits.” At this crucial moment the ideas in each individual mind come to the point of being living realities and not just mere mental concepts. Ideas that have been planted in the subconscious realm come to fruition, and one sees the relation between cause and effect in thinking. This ripening gathers the thoughts together in one place in the “upper room” or spiritual consciousness, and the mind becomes “one-pointed” or focused. The so-called subconscious, conscious, and superconscious phases of mind become blended or unified in Spirit. This unification of the whole mind and its forces releases spiritual energies with an inrush of power from the higher realms of consciousness, and the whole body (spiritual substance) is thrilled and filled with the one Presence and one Power. Spiritual energies descend into the body and affairs when all of the attention and the thoughts are “together in one place.”

The union of the 3 phases of mind causes Spirit to descend into soul and body, releasing spiritual power

THE RESULTING INSPIRATION, with the stimulation of hidden powers, finds expression first of all in praise and the acknowledgment of universal Spirit. The exhilaration occasioned by an awakened consciousness of the presence and power of the Spirit of truth that was promised causes these faculties or mental activities (apostles) to “speak with other tongues,” and many onlookers do not understand. Spirit-filled individuals sometimes appear peculiar to those who do not know the thrill of a Pentecostal blessing. Not only does the descent of the Holy Spirit develop the power to “speak with other tongues,” but it also develops the “eye single” that sees with inner vision through and beyond appearances. Knowledge of Truth, which fills “all the house” and stirs up the gift of the Spirit as a “rushing . . . mighty wind,” most of all develops the courage to speak and act according to Truth in every department of life.

Metaphysically, this release of spiritual power awakens our 12 powers, corresponding to the 12 Apostles

Peter, who had so recently denied everything good and true in his life, came up with a rush in response to the divine drawing power of the Spirit of truth which was revealed to him at Pentecost. It was another Peter who, with transforming courage, at once preached the greatest sermon of his life, and thousands were brought to a realization of the Christ and their oneness with God. Peter represents faith, but fear is faith in reverse, or the denial of all that is good and that we really want. Fear is faith in that which we do not want and which we would like to avoid.

As long as fear, ignorance, and selfishness held the apostles behind closed doors they were inert and weak, uncertain and doubtful about life and its meaning for them. Except for this stupendous event at Pentecost and its far-reaching consequences in their lives down through the ages, men would often have been bound by sin: they would have missed the “goal” of their “high calling” as Sons of God. Only a few men had really experienced the flood of the Holy Spirit in their lives prior to the coming of Jesus Christ. Through the baptism of the “tongues ... of fire” at Pentecost, tremendous things happened, which deeply affect us to this day, and that same outpouring may come into our life when we are genuinely in earnest and willing to meet the conditions by dwelling long, and as often as possible, in that “upper room.”

The greatest impact of Pentecost is the transformation of human relationships within the faith community

WHAT THE APOSTLES OF Jesus Christ did under the impelling power of Spirit at and after Pentecost leads us to a consideration of the second significant phase of any Pentecostal experience; namely, its important bearing on all our human relationships.

Through a conscious oneness with Power, men lose their thought of being just “weak worms of the dust” conceived in sin and born in iniquity; rather they catch a glimpse of the glory of sonship. In Truth, religion is divorced from specially sacred classes and embraces all men because of man’s own intrinsic divinity.

Through the spiritual experience of Pentecost men learn as never before that “God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “Neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father.” Our privilege is to worship Him in our own home with our own family and above all in our own heart. Specially sacred places of worship with their taboos, rituals, ceremonies, and the like are no longer necessary.

Our faith communities overcome distinctions of gender, age, culture, race, language, ritual, wealth, and social rank

By the Spirit of Pentecost religion is set loose from its exclusive use by men as men, and “the kingdom of heaven” is made equally available to women. No specially sacred sex is recognized by the Christ consciousness in any phase of life. A full understanding of Truth always makes plain to us that to mankind the Spirit is all and in all as Father-Mother God.

WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT is released in our consciousness, life and religion are set loose from specially sacred ages. Patriarchs and sages with long beards are no longer revered for their age alone, but are compelled to release their influence on the minds of men and women; and the young man of Galilee has become the ideal of the race. Eternal youth, independent of the years, at once becomes the focal point of man’s horizon. “Honor thy father and thy mother” is spiritually blended with “Except ye . . . become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Youth becomes ageless, and souls are evaluated according to their degree of conscious oneness with the Father, rather than because of their many years of ignorant treadmill experience in the wilderness of personality.

At Pentecost the apostles spoke with “tongues,” and men and women heard and understood through the medium of the universal language of Spirit. Henceforth no sacred language could attempt to limit the power of the word of God. Specially sacred languages, cultures, and races must be forgotten, and all people, all languages and cultures become channels for the expression of the divine will.

When a person is baptized of the Holy Spirit he is forever freed from special postures for worship, such as those taken by the Mohammedan in his elaborate salaam, or the squatting in penance of the “holy men” of the Orient. Specially sacred rites and formal genuflections are forgotten and so far removed from those who are earnestly seeking the Spirit that we no longer hear much of them. All postures and ritualistic forms, if they actually assist the mind to a proper attitude for conscious contact with God, are useful; but we realize that to the degree that we really know our oneness with God, the one presence and power, we are freed from slavish attention to any outer forms and fashions.

WHEN “THE COMFORTER” or “the Spirit of truth” enters our mind and heart we become conscious of our oneness with God to the degree that life and religion are loosed from all distinctions and disabilities based on material wealth. We realize that no amount of gold offered to God can bring peace and the feeling of life eternal within the soul. Generous bribery is no substitute for a contrite heart. Material wealth must be forever placed in its rightful position as a mere tool under the direction of spiritual consciousness when we realize that eternal values have nothing to do with things. A perpetual Pentecost in one’s heart forever puts first things first, and men everywhere realize as never before that if we would but dare to seek first “the kingdom,” literally, all things needful would really be added unto us in accordance with God’s law; substance would be attracted through an abundance of rich ideas.

As man attains an individual Christ consciousness, he is set free from the control of sacred families or dynasties. The Levites were no longer necessary as official intermediaries for the followers of Jesus, and through Christ man was placed on direct and intimate terms with God through his own individual consciousness. Spiritual consciousness makes plain the fact that no individual or family has a “corner” on Truth. The pomp of priestcraft and the power of any sacred hierarchy fades into naught by the side of the statement of Christ that “no longer do I call you servants . . . but I have called you friends.” We are “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”

We see spiritual realities beyond the physical world

THE RELEASING of the Spirit of truth at Pentecost so liberated the soul of man that he no longer is bound by a close and cramped physical universe. God is no longer conceived of as a giant superman, but as the instantly available and usable Principle of wisdom, power, and love, made manifest in us and expressing itself as a Father. Man’s vision has leaped beyond a world of affairs with the earth as its center, to a galaxy of “island universes” swinging through the limitless space with infinite precision and order. Other dimensions have been made measurable, besides those common to ordinary forms and facts. Men have learned to look to the invisible stretches of Spirit for the realities of things in form and substance. Being as expressed in the microcosm or in the macrocosm is now understood as continuous in the process and in the infinite unfoldment of expression.

The rushing flow of Pentecostal power has freed life from the curse of subjection to environment and circumstance, and the spirit of man may once again image itself as having dominion over all circumstance and mastery of its environment, as was planned by the Creator in the beginning.

We become a people of blessing and peace

Growing out of Jesus’ maxim of turning the other cheek, men have slowly learned that they may be fully equipped with other weapons of offense and defense than any form of physical force. If we earnestly practice the Christ method of living, the divine equipment of inexhaustible forgiveness, unquenchable good will, and limitless love will be placed in our heart and in our daily relations with our fellows. Long before, but particularly after Pentecost, it has been ordained in Spirit that “they shall beat their swords into plowshares; and their spears into pruning-hooks.” The biting tongue of negative criticism must become dumb in the presence of the Christ The gossip and the blasphemer must bend the knee to the Holy Spirit within him and be redeemed by the renewing of his mind. “Give unto them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” That peace which gives power surrounds and interpenetrates every soul that has experienced its own Pentecostal blessing.

AT PENTECOST THE APOSTLES of Jesus Christ became as one before God and were filled with Spirit. All lines of division were blotted out. “The middle wall of partition” was broken down by the flood of Spirit. The Christianity of Christ, stripped of all its doctrinal trappings and redeemed of its formalism, is the most powerful unifying force that the world has ever known. The early Christians plunged into that logical manifestation of practical living by having “all things common.” With them there could be no “forgotten man.” Through the Spirit that flooded the human consciousness at Pentecost mankind will eventually learn that we all are really one in Spirit, and we shall actually live that way as the seed of Truth bears fruit. As surely as sunlight follows darkness, just so surely we shall see, know, and dare to recognize a world where there is no mass nor class, no rich nor poor, no special-privileged nor under-privileged; but Christ will be all and in all in universal brotherhood under one common Father.

Through the Spirit manifested in that “upper room” the gospel of Christ was removed from special, morally fit individuals and classes, and its dynamic was made available for the so-called unfit. Throughout His ministry Jesus emphasized the fact that He “came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Through our perpetual Pentecost we may come to see with the “eye single”, and having brought all our mental and spiritual powers together at one place, we are baptized of the Holy (whole) Spirit and we at once begin to live a renewed life. When we bring all our faculties (apostles) into that upper room in our consciousness and through attention to Spirit remain in that upper room until we relax and let go of fear, ignorance, and doubt, we too may be touched with the fire of God’s redeeming love as the free gift of life. This blessing of Pentecost cannot be earned; for it is already ours to accept in the spirit of expectation. The kingdom is at hand, and whosoever will may enter therein.