May Rowland - The Magic of the Word
Twenty Frequently-Asked Questions
Answered in Twenty Minutes
Listen to May Roland answer twenty questions about healing in twenty minutes in this short, 1974 audio recording. The questions are those which are "frequently asked" by people in Unity and they are answered by Unity's most revered teacher of the Silence.
Annotations to audio clips for The Magic of the Word
01 Do you believe anyone can change the pattern of his life through right thinking? Yes, anyone can. The whole pattern of life can change though the use of postive, constructive thinking. Many people tell us that their whole life is changed through reading Daily Word — and incorporating its ideas into their daily living.
02 What do you mean by “the light touch”? We dramatize so much negation and talk about it instead of giving it the light touch — let it go, don’t dramatize the negative side of life — I have learned that one must not bear down on problems or think of them as hard — Charles Fillmore affirmation “Jesus Christ has healed you, Jesus Christ has prospered you.” To know that whatever the need, that the answer is already there was really giving it the light touch. We had many reports of healings.
03 Evil is an appearance that we know can be changed and must be changed — When we say there is no evil we are saying there is no power in evil. We may have given it power by our thoughts, but we can change this by changing our thinking.
04 Unity says that regardless of what happens, we are to pronounce it good. Now how can I do this, and what does pronounce it good mean? This is a way of looking at every experience — even those which are hard or difficult. No matter how tragic a circumstance can be, some good will come out of it, if, no matter the appearance, we can look at it and and say to ourself, “I pronounce it good” we open the way for the good to come forth. The good is there, even though we didn’t see it. — Sometimes it takes time and perspective to see that some situation was really for good. But we may be sure that God is working in and though all things and good will be forthcoming.
05 What is meant when we say that man is a spiritual being? The Spirit in us transcends our personal self. We need to think of the transcendent power in us. What we put into our consciousness is important. We can identify ourself with that is less than we are or we can identify ourself with the Truth about us which is that we are a spiritual being. A helpful affirmation is “I transcend myself in all my affairs for I am Spirit.”
06 I had an operation and the doctors gave no hope. But I was healed. A friend had the same experience. She too had Silent Unity pray and she passed on. Why? We cannot answer why one person proves the law and and another person doesn’t. — The answer is in the soul. We have to know that each one is following through on the pattern that is for his highest good. — The answer is between him and his indwelling Lord. There it has to stay. He can’t tell it to me or to anyone else. But the answer is there.
07 Does Unity believe in reincarnation? Yes, we accept reincarnation as a theory. We feel it is certain that people have many, many opportunities to create a life. — The ultimate goal is to learn the principles of Jesus Christ and to live and have perfect control of the body. We have not yet reached that place. We think of reincarnation as a bridge to cross to the place where we can prove that we are eternal beings. We accept the theory of reincarnation because it answers so many questions.
Sometimes a person will ask “Why is a child born with a defect? We were good parents and I don’t know why this has happened.” Well I don’t think anyone can anser this question, but reincarnation helps to provide a partial answer at least.
08 What is the best way to help another? The Spirit of God is in every man. It is in the one you would help. Prayers are directed to arousing that Spirit. Pray for life and understanding. Every prayer is effective because it arouses the Spirit of God. This comes about not through the person who does the praying, but through the Spirit in him. The Spirit of God in you has only one project, and that is you. The Spirit in me has only one project, and that is for me. This is what you are to remember and when you pray for another, trust the answer to the Spirit within him.
09 Can you help heal someone who has a negative attitude? I believe but this person doesn’t believe. Most persons have faith to some degree. We always try to help a person get out of his negative state. — What we remember to pray is that the Christ is in every man. We always pray for illumination. As we know that Spirit can be stirred up, we know that spiritual understanding can be quickened though the power of prayer.
10 The Unity teachings say that pain, sickness, old age and so on are not real. Well how about my rheumatism? It’s real enough! It may be “real enough” but it is not a permanent condition; and it can be changed and healed.
11 What part does forgiveness play in healing? Many persons keep condemning themselves. This is a block to healing. We can take the idea that the forgiving love of Jesus Christ sets us free from all mistakes of the past. Consciously and unconsciously we need to know this truth. Old thoughts and old conditions are as old waters that have passed away. Charles Fillmore gave us this affirmation: I no longer accuse myself or others of sin or evil, forgiving, I am forgiven and healed. The forgiving love of Jesus Christ reaches to the depths of our being and we are healed.”
12 Do you ever lose faith or feel that some condition may be incurable? No, never! We receive too many good reports. I’ve just been reading some of the letters that come to Silent Unity and they tell of things we can hardly believe if we did not know God’s power. These letters are from people who have been healed of all kinds of conditions. — We never lose faith or feel discouraged for we have seen people come though all kinds of problems. — We don’t put any limit on God. We may be limited, God is not. His power is unlimited.
13 Tell us about prayer. Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. Prayer i is not something to fall back on in some time of great need. In Unity, we use affirmative prayer. Some persons ask how we can say this situation is not real — we don’t say it is not real, but we say it is a condition that needs to be changed. We recognize the spiritual nature. We aren’t just a body with pain, but essentially a spiritual being. — Relaxation and prayer work are important. Silence, the inner relation of God’s presence has to be practiced. Keep practicing. Eventually you will feel that you have touched the presence of God.
14 The purpose of the Silence is to contact the Spirit within you. God is present within you. God is omnipresence, but you contact His presence at the center of your being. Say to yourself, “Be still, relax.” Practice being quiet. Relax, let go, feel the presence. When you say “Our Father” in praying the Lord’s prayer, instead of thinking of God as a being way out somewhere, know that you are contacting the Lord of your own Being, within you. Keep in mind that the Christ center is within and work from this center. In praying, remember that you are not praying to God outside you. God is everywhere, but you contact Him within.
15 We expect to eat three meals per day. Prayer is just as important. Spiritual ideas are spiritual food. Prayer consciousness is imperative till every thought is lined up with it. Some persons ask how long they should pray? It is not a matter of time. The consciousness of prayer is continual. — Your word is the working power of God. Christ is the living Word in you. The power in you that speaks though your words of Truth with power and authority. Right now, speak the word. Knowing that you are speaking the living Word. — Prayer should become a habit, something that is constant. — We develop a prayer consciousness, not just when there is a great need, but all the time as we practice all the time as we practice living in the very presence of God.
16 How many times should I repeat an affirmation of Truth? The Truth that we decree reaches to the very depth of our being, to the subconscious level as to every other level. You have to stay with an affirmation long enough to change the pattern of your thinking and your feeling. You have to absorb the idea of healing and have faith in the idea. Subconsciously we may have been holding to an idea of sickness. We may have been told ourselves that something is incurable, that we’ve had some condition for years. The words you speak are the Word of God. For example “God is my help, I can’t be sick” is an idea that can reach to the very depths of your being, and purify, cleans and heal you. It is a matter of training, it is a matter of working with ideas so that they take root in your mind — You have to stay with the Truth until you’re convinced of it. — [then] the subconscious phase of mind picks it up and puts it into action.
17 Can you tell us in a few words what is so unique about the Unity teachings? Unity is a way of life, a way of prayer, a way of thinking and believing. It teaches one to accept the good. One of the things that I think is unique about the Unity teachings is what it teaches about the power of the Word. Jesus said to keep his words. He said “I am the way, the truth, the life.” When we affirm the words of Jesus, this is one way we keep his words. We put them into our minds and we use them and express them. This is the idea behind the affirmative prayer which we stress in Unity.
18 Is there a discipline to prayer? Prayer isn’t a hit or miss thing. Sometimes people pray just when they have some need. One of the things about the Silent Unity prayer ministry is that we pray as regularly as the clock goes around. — There is tremendous power in prayer, for the most part we haven’t even tried it. — We need to practice prayer, to pray faithfully year in and year out. — I think the individual should form the habit of setting a certain time each day, time when he says to himself “this is my prayer time., I’m going to be faithful to it.”
19 How do you know when you’re getting guidance? You feel it. Guidance does not always come as a direct answer. Many times it comes as a feeling of peace and rightness. And when guidance comes you find that you are taking some action, that you are doing something about the matter that you have prayed for guidance on.
20 How do you build up your faith so that it is strong, firm and immovable? Faith is strengthened as you speak your word. Every time your consciousness hears words of Truth, you are building up your faith. — This is why Charles Fillmore had the faith he had. He built it up by speaking the word. — We encourage those who pray with us to speak words of Truth not just once but many times every day. — We have to be persistent and build in a consciousness of Truth.