EBUP65: In the Beginning
Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #65
This is an incredible talk by Eric Butterworth. In 52 minutes he explains why this day is not our day to “go through things” but rather to “grow through them.” If the stress of these days is a burden on you, this talk by Eric Butterworth will convince you that this is our opportunity to grow. This is the message we all need to hear today.
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Just a very few hours ago, a lot of people ... Perhaps including most of you ... Were hilariously slapping one another on the back, and embracing one another, and saying over and over, “Happy new year.” It’s a lovely sentiment. But what does it mean?
As a matter of fact, I think it’s kind of important for us as students of this new insight and truth, to correct the implications of this salutation. Because it would appear that we’re saying to the person, I really hope that this is going to be a nice year for you. Course you know, you take your chances. You win some and you lose some. I hope it’ll work out nice for you. I hope this will be a better year than the last year.
The fact is ... And it is a fact that is red-letter, which makes it truth ... The fact is that this year coming, 1978, and all the days in it, will be no different than the last year. Absolutely not one single bit different. Unless you’re different. Unless you project different flow or stream of consciousness. Unless you’re setting into operation a different set of causes. Of course, this time of the year, it’s kind of natural, and whimsical in a way ... Though some folks don’t take it whimsically ... That there is a surfacing of a host of forecasters, and seers, and predictors, and fortune tellers, and psychics, and astrologers, and everybody else, going through all of their predictions for the coming year.
And the unfortunate part is, a lot of people take this seriously. I would say it’s kind of fun, if we would just laugh at it and say, “Well, it’s a game we play.” But many people take this seriously, and this is sad. Because it implies that the year is all laid out. That it’s a fixed entity in itself. And it isn’t. Absolutely not. There is no way that anyone ... I don’t care how distinguished, how brilliant, how achieved in extrasensory perception, how psychic, how brilliant in terms of the ability to see the future, and so forth ... I don’t care what the development of the person is, there’s no way that one can see ahead into the days that are before us. There’s no way.
If a person does achieve a kind of a success ... Or at least a fairly decent batting average ... What it does imply, is that that person is sensitive to certain streams of consciousness. And because of his ability in this direction, he tends to project those streams of consciousness into specific situations and happenings. But any reputable psychic, or seer, or astrologer, or fortune teller, will tell you that these things that he sees as happening need not happen.
If we change consciousness, we change the stream of ... The flow of energy that goes forth, and the situations will be different. This is why I often tell people, don’t give too much credence to anyone who tells you that you can or cannot do some things because of your ability. A medical doctor, for instance, who will tell you that according to his prognosis, there is no way that you can be healed from this condition. Or some business analyst, who says there’s no way that you can succeed in this with the capital you have, and the opportunities that are available, so there’s no way. I say, that’s a good time to shake the dust off your heels, and move in another direction. Because there’s no way that anyone can forecast. Not even medically, not even economically, no one can forecast what the future will hold for you, because no one can determine your consciousness.
Now, he may be sensitive to your consciousness. And he may feel that according to your thought processes, that you have very little chance of success. And if you continue in that state of consciousness, you probably do have very little chance of success. But the important thing is, the year, or the future, is not a fixed entity. It’s an unfolding experience. An opportunity to release tremendous possibilities. And as Carlisle says ... And it’s one of my favorite quotations ... “Every day that is born into the year, comes like a burst of music, and rings itself all the day through. And thou shalt make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march, as thou wilt.” It’s entirely up to you. Now that’s an important thing.
And I mentioned just briefly the prognosis of a doctor. I’m not in any way questioning the tremendous ability of medical people to understand things that are happening in the physical system. And there are many medical doctors today who are recognizing that there is a tremendous force of consciousness that is at work. This is the basis of the whole new field of medicine that is unfolding today, that reads specifically what is happening in the person’s thoughts, as being the cause of things that are happening out there. Emotionally-induced illness, in other words.
And I recall especially the story that’s told by David Seabury, the tremendous psychologist who became such a great teacher of truth also, because of his awareness of this insight in truth. He tells the story, when he was a youngster of his grandmother, a person by the name of Dorcas Seabury, who was one of those gals of the old school. Very hearty, and very well-aware of herself, and where it was.
So, one day, she fell and broke her hip. Or perhaps she didn’t break the hip, but she had a bad fall, and it was a sprain or something. I don’t know the extent of it. And so, a doctor was called. And the doctor was very dire, and he had analyzed her. And he said, “At your age, madam, and with the seriousness of this condition,” he says, “I must tell you that there is no way that you will ever walk again.” Dorcus Seabury pointed to the door. She said, “Go.”
So another physician was duly called in. And this physician examined her, and analyzed her very carefully. And he said, “This is very serious. But of course, if we work together, we can pull you through. But you might as well face it, you’re going to be laid up for about eight months.” “Go.”
So another physician was duly summoned. He carefully examined her, and he was a little more optimistic, a little more positive. He said, “It’s a very serious thing.” But he said, “I admire your spirit,” and he says, “I suspect that within a few weeks, you might be back on your feet, with crutches,” and so forth.
She said, “Listen, young man.” She said, “I was leaving tomorrow for New England, where I was going to spend the holidays with my grandson.” She says, “I’m going.” The next day, she left. And David Seabury tells the story, he says, “I was that grandson. When she got off the train, she was hobbling on those crutches. But she said, ‘I’ll tell you, I won’t be on these horrid things very long.’ And before a couple of days was gone, she let the crutches go, and she was never the worse for wear as a result of it.”
The point is, I’m not in any way belittling the consciousness, and the predictions, and the prognoses of medical doctors, because they can only read the things that they see. But what I do say, is that we should never accept as the last word any kind of forecast ... I don’t care what bases it is rendered on ... That does not take into account the all-potential spirit of God within the individual, as an unfolding possibility.
So this is the problem that we face at this time. It’s not only the things we’ve been reading, up in the days leading up to the beginning of the year. But the things we’ll still be reading in the days to come, because it seems that there are many people who just love to look into the crystal ball. And so there are always those around. Like Barnum says that, “There are two to take them.” So if there are people around who are interested in that thing, there are going to be many around who are going to be willing to lead them down that glory path. And so there will be many people telling us of all the things that are going to happen in the world, and to the economy, and the kind of sicknesses we’re going to have, and the earthquakes, and so forth.
Maybe you read just the other day of ... Some columnist was telling all of the ... He was looking back at the forecasted events a year ago at this time. And he cited them one by one. And he was in a sense saying, “Let’s rejoice that these things didn’t happen.” He was telling all of the terrible things that had been forecast that didn’t happen during the year.
And it’s kind of important to see that. Because you see, you’re faced with a very interesting opportunity. And the opportunity is to accept the year as a workshop. Not as an entity that is all done, except it is a workshop. You have an opportunity to say, “Okay, I’m going to make a new beginning. I’m going to live each day,” in a ... As Sir William Osler used to say, “In day-tight compartments.” “I’m going to walk along this way with commitment, with a clear sense of values. I’m going to keep on. I’m going to do this, I’m going to overcome that. I’m going to let go of this tendency.” And so in that sense, the year can be a very convenient situation, just like it used for a bookkeeper, or for the analysis of a business at the end of the year. The fiscal situation, it’s a very helpful to see where we have been in a year, and to lay our certain goals for another year. A year, for instance, may have validity to an athletic team, or sports program, and so forth.
What did we do this year, and what are we going to do next year? A year may be a very important device in which to have students involve themselves in programs of study. And so we do this, this year. Next year, we’re going to go on to that. These are very important things. But when we get down to looking at our own experience, and we say, “You know, I’ve been on this job for 10 years.” What does that mean? You remember the story of the man who was very disgruntled, because he had not been picked for the promotion. He’d been passed over, and somebody else who he felt was greener, and less experienced, and less qualified, was given the promotion. And he went to the employer and he said, “I don’t understand this.” He said, “I feel I was far more qualified from this man.” He said, “I’ve been on this job for 20 years.” And the employer said, “No, I think you’re wrong.” He said, “You do not have 20 years’ experience on this job. You have had one years’ experience, 20 times over.”
So what does it mean when we say, “I have been 10 years in this work.” Or we say, “This is the year that I’m going to have my 50th, or 60th, or 70th, or 100th birthday.” Or, “This is the year 1978.” What does that mean? What relevance does that have? It really has none. Look at it another way. You’re sitting at the seashore. I don’t know, I love the shore, and love the constant movement of the waves, and so forth. When I was a youngster, I used to spend a lot of times in the breakers, riding the surf and so forth. But you look at the waves coming in. Just suppose now, in the way in which we normally count years, we count waves. We say, “Oh, look. Here comes wave number 98623754216923.” Ridiculous, isn’t it?
“I wonder what wave 362746 would be today? And I wonder what waves in the future ... “ A wave is a wave. Doesn’t make any difference how many have gone before, how many are going after. It’s an individual experience. So is a day, so is a month, so is a year. And as we’ve discussed in recent times, and we talk about age, and so forth. In other words, we’re concerned not with the continuity of time ... Which is elusive, and ephemeral, and certainly very confusing ... But we’re concerned with what we’re doing in consciousness today.
What is a year? What does it mean? Well, many will immediately get very scientific, and talk about the rotation of the earth around the sun, and about the rising and setting of the sun. The sun rises, and the sun sets, and so forth. Sure, fine. All right. That all is a method of computation. But in our day of space consciousness, it’s not too difficult to conceive of going out into space, beyond the solar system, where there is no sun to rotate around. Where there’s no sunsets, and no sunrises. Now, what is a year? What does it mean? Nothing. It means nothing.
So we see then that a year is much more psychological than it is astronomical. And anybody knows this, if you analyze it very carefully. That the year is basically a means ... Almost a silly, inane means, when we get so involved in it ... A means by which we keep track of the footprints of time in the sands of life. But the winds of fate and circumstance move along, and change, and blow them all away, and we’re left only with the allness of eternity.
So what is time? Time is purely relative. Time does not really exist. And so a year is a façade. It’s a delusion. It doesn’t mean a thing. Today is the same as yesterday. There’s no different ... You don’t breathe different air. You’re not a different person, unless you make yourself a different person. If you spent some time last night or early this morning making resolutions, and you’re really working on them, then perhaps things are different. You’re seeing things different. You will experience things different, as long as you keep those resolutions. Few people do very long. But the important thing, you see, is that we try to get the awareness ... And I want to talk with us about today, of being in at the beginning. To be in at the beginning.
Now what do I mean by this? Well, if you’ve ever been involved in the creation of a new business, or you yourself have undertaken some new venture, or some new times have changes, and caused conditions to be altered in your life, the expression is often made, “I think it’s a good thing to be in at the beginning.” And what we mean by that is, if we’re around when the thing starts, we’re in on ... We’re involved very much. We’re in on the organizational development, and we feel that we have a better chance for promotion, for success, and the rewards and returns will probably be greater to us. Because after all, we were in on this whole thing. We were in at the beginning.
How do we apply this to life? I think it is important to be in at the beginning. At the beginning of a year, at the beginning of anything. I’m not talking about presence. I mean, we’re here. Not too much we can do about it. We may not be totally here. Like someone says, “I’m not all here, because I’m not all there,” or something like that. But one thing is we’re here. We’re alive, we’re living. And there’s not too much we can do about it. We can make it more vital, more enthusiastic, more involved if we care to do so, but we’re here. This is not what I’m talking about, saying be in on the beginning. I’m talking about something else.
I’m talking about being in a state of awareness of our oneness, that life is lived from within out. When you begin a year, begin a day, begin a week’s work. Begin a project, or simply just walk out into the day and breathe fresh air. If you begin in the consciousness that your good is an unfolding experience from within yourself. That it’s not all waiting for you out there, and you say, “I wonder what the day is going to bring.” If you’re in the consciousness, that your thoughts, your feelings, your love, the direction of your energy force of mind, is projecting itself from within yourself, and thereby is causing things to happen as a result of where you are and what you are. If you’re in that consciousness, then you’re going to find that things are going to work beautifully for you, because you control your destiny. Because your destiny is not fate-controlled. It’s consciousness-controlled.
But if you’re out at the beginning, this is like the prodigal ... Parable of the prodigal son out in the far country. If you’re out in the world of wishing and wanting. If you’re out here looking around, trying to find your good and saying, “Oh, I wonder what this year is going to hold for me.” You’re out.
This is like the airline pilot. I tell this often, and I love it. The airline pilot is very responsible. He knows his business, and so forth. And so he taxis up the runway, and he flies down. And carefully levels the plane up into the air, and levels it off. And when he gets it all straight up in the altitude that they want, then he lets go of the controls, and he turns to the copilot and says, “I wonder where the plane’s going to take us today?” I wouldn’t want to fly on that plane, I don’t know about you.
But this is kind of the way we do. We start off, we get ourselves dressed for the day, we prepare ourselves, so forth. We shave, put on our makeup, do all the things, and start off, go to work. And somewhere along the line, sometimes we say, or think, or people say to us, “Gee. I wonder if this is going to be a good day, or if it’s going to be one of those days.” What a ridiculous thing to say. I mean, this is because of that unfortunate consciousness that has been foisted on us, that a day, and a year, or a month, or a lifetime, has all worked out. It’s an entity. And it is not. Absolutely not. It is not fixed and final.
What is this day going to be to you? “It will be a dirge, a life march, as thou wilt,” said Carlisle. It will be what you make it. If you go into the day singing the same old song, or harping on the same old tune, then it’s going to be the same old dreary experience. But if you decide at the beginning of the day, or the beginning of the year, as we did a while ago ... I’m alive, alert, awake, joyous, and enthusiastic about life. I’m open and receptive to new opportunities. I give thanks that I’m in the flow of life, and there’s a divine surge of energy and life, and opportunities that begin with me flowing forth from me. Then it’s not a case of, what do we have to look forward to. This is an expression that many people say, “I don’t have much to look forward to anymore.” No one ever has anything to look forward to, except delusions. You don’t look forward to things.
A person may look forward into the new year, with the sort of grim feeling, “Well, I guess it’ll be the same as usual.” Or maybe he squints forward into the new year, like a person who’s trying to read the psychic pronouncements, I wonder what is out there for me? You don’t look forward to anything. The important thing is, what do you look forward from? This is what counts. And if you’re in, in tune, plugged in, in the awareness that life is lived within out, then you begin with the realization of oneness. You begin with the consciousness that your life, your future, your destiny, is all in wrapped within you. And yours is the privilege of unfolding it, and giving birth to it. Hour by hour, and day by day.
You are in at the beginning. And in this consciousness, you look forward from great faith. From a consciousness of vision. From an understanding. From an awareness of truth. And you go forth, and you’re vital, and you’re alert, and you’re decisive, and you’re loving. And things work out for you. They work out, because you’re working in the right awareness. Because you’re in at the beginning, you see.
Obviously, there are times when we slip a little bit, and we do not begin quite that alert in consciousness, and we find things working not as we would like them to. But a good student of this insight in truth will be consciously remembered. That if I come to the close of a day, or a week, or a month, or a year, or a lifetime. And I look at things that have happened, and I say, “Well, this is not exactly the way I would have preferred it to be.”
Instead of saying, “Why has God dealt with me in this way? Why has fate been so unkind?” He will say to himself, “I have lived to the best of my ability at the moment. I’ve had this experience, as it has unfolded. But it has been the result of my consciousness. I don’t condemn myself for it. I know that life is a process of growth. Tomorrow I begin again, and praise God that tomorrow, I have the opportunity to get in at the beginning, rather than to be out.”
Every day is a new day to begin, to start over again. And then the new year makes sense. Because it’s a new opportunity. As someone has said, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” So in a sense, there’s a great structure that is being unfolded. And how important it is to be in on the beginning of the structure, and to be involved in the structure. It’s your life. It’s the unfolding process of your consciousness. You can decide, you can decide. Is it going to be the same old thing? Or is it going to be, “Oh, I wonder what is going to happen?” Or is it going to be, “I am in tune with the diving flow. I know that I’m a spiritual being. I know that my life is lived from within out. I know that within me, there is the substance, the guidance, the intelligence of the love by which I can do what I want to do, and achieve what I want to achieve, simply because the desire to do so is the intimation of a divine flow that’s already working within me.”
There’s a statement that we use a great deal in truth: Wherever I am, God is. And it’s a beautiful realization, one that we can always remember it. Wherever I am, God is. Wherever I am ... As the psalmist would say, “If I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, or fly into the high heavens, I am there.” Wherever I am, God is. It’s a marvelous realization. But I say we need to carry it a little farther. Wherever I am, I am. Wherever I am, I am. It’s not enough to know that God is here. The important thing is to know that God is here, manifesting as the divine activity that’s flowing forth through and as me. I am here. And the fact that I am here, I know that God is here, manifesting as me. Not God is here ... I mean, it’s nice to know that God’s around me, walking around me, guiding me, directing me. Isn’t that beautiful to know?
But it’s always there, it’s always there. And there’s always the thought that, “Maybe he’s too busy.” Or, “Maybe I can stray away, and get away from it,” like Peter Pan losing his shadow. There’s no way. And the only way to understand this is to know that wherever I am, I am. Because I am is the name for God. But it’s the name for God in the context of God expressing as me. Wherever I am, I am. So if there’s one thing we can be sure about in this coming year ... And one doesn’t have to be a forecaster to make this pronouncement ... Whether it be June or January, or July or September, I am. It’s the one certainty of the year for you, I am. The important thing is to be aware of it, to call it forth into consciousness. And to know, as we say so often, “I can do what I want to do, I can be what I want to be, if I know that I am,” that I am. That’s the key. That’s the turning point, by which we can really be in at the beginning, to know I am.
Not I want, I wish, I hope. “Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if ... “ I am. If you desire this thing, if you set out to achieve this particular project, know in the beginning that I am that. I am that I am. I am, because God has implanted the ideas in my mind. God is the substance by which these ideas can unfold. There is no way that the mind of man can conceive of that which he cannot achieve, if he has the faith to believe. That’s the fundamental truth. Each of us can work with this consciousness, and unfold the projects and the opportunities of this year in a beautiful, and a boundless, and a limitless way, if we know I am. Not I wish, I want, or “Dear God, let it be,” but I am. I am.
There’s a story of a little boy, a little seven year old boy, who once announced to his mother in the morning, “I’m going to run away from home.” Most parents have gone through this. Some parents, if they’re very insecure, they get kind of scared about this and don’t know what to do. But a wise parent will probably handle it much like this mother did. She said, “Oh, you’re going to run away from home, Johnny. Oh, isn’t that nice. Let me pack a lunch for you.” So she packed him a little bitty stick over his shoulder, like the hobos used to wear ... Carry with a handkerchief tied around some of his belongings, and a little bag of lunch. And so he started off down the street, running away from home. He was a little bit concerned that his mother didn’t talk him out of it, I’m sure.
So down the street he goes. Couple of hours later, he was seen standing on the street corner. And a neighbor came along and said, “What are you doing, Johnny?” He says, “Oh, I’m running away from home?” “Well, what are you standing here for?” “Because I’m not allowed to cross the street.” And so, later on it began to get dusk, and it was suppertime, and Johnny was getting kind of hungry. His lunch had long since been eaten. And so he began to stray back toward home again, and he was very sheepish-y about it. He didn’t quite know what to do, or how to handle this. Adults can be kind of stuffy about things like this.
So, he stood around, and paced around the back door, and finally he decided to brave the consequences. And so he picked up a few pieces of firewood ... This was few years ago when they had a wood stove ... And he carried it in to the kitchen, and put the firewood by the stove. Nobody paid any attention to him. So he went ahead and helped to set the table, and do the little chores that usually he was asked to do. But he still paid attention to him. He wondered, “Why didn’t they say something? Why don’t they say we’re ... ‘Nice to see you back,’ or ‘Where you been,’” and so forth. “Nobody said a thing.” So finally, trying to establish some point of communication, he saw Tabby the cat sleeping by the fire. And so he announced very loudly so that everybody could hear, “Well, I see you still have the same old cat.”
And of course, the parallel to our experience is that so often we set off on the quest for truth. We set off with the desire to achieve, to do this, to overcome that. And oh, we are very brave, we’re going to do this. Usually we don’t get across the street, because we have so many self-limiting attitudes and ideas that keep us from going very far. And usually, we find ourselves wandering back to find the same old cat of wishing and wanting. Analyze your own consciousness, your own thoughts and feelings. And how many times you bravely set out on a quest for truth, using your treatments and your affirmations, and your prayers, and going to class, and studying the truth, and reading your books, and just knowing it. And then so often, you come back and you find yourself saying, “Gee, I just hope it works. I just wish this would correct itself.” And so you’re back with the same old cat of wishing and wanting, you see. Shows a sign of our spiritual immaturity.
It’s an important thing to face up to, to recognize, you see, in ourself. So the point is, wishing, wanting, hoping, all of these, are very limiting. Many folks are going to, and already have, wished you a happy new year. And said, “I hope you have a great new year this year.” I say, immediately in consciousness, cancel it out. Don’t allow yourself to be subjected in consciousness to the idea that your year, or your life, or the days ahead of you, have anything to do with chance, or good luck, or bad luck. Eliminate that from consciousness. It’s not a case of wishing that you have a good year. I am one with perfect life. I am the flow of divine intelligence. I am what I desire to be.
This is the way you have to know it yourself. I don’t mean that you’re going to insult people who say, “Happy new year.” I mean they say it with the best of intentions, and you’ve said it yourself. But I’m saying, cancel out the negative implications involved. That you’re wishing somebody, or hoping somebody will have good things to come. Don’t wish, don’t hope. This is the same old cat, you see, which means that even though you may have been studying truth for 30 years, or 20 years, or 10, and you have diplomas and certificates to show for it. You’ve studied under the finest metaphysical teachers in the world, and so forth ... We love to say these things to others. It kind of gives us a little glory, a moment of achievement. None of these things mean one single solitary thing, unless they are reflected in your consciousness.
And the point is, don’t allow yourself to be deluded with the idea that your future is based upon chance, or good fortune, or bad fortune, or psychic pronouncements, or what. Because it isn’t so. Your life will always be the reflection of your consciousness. And if you change your consciousness, you can change these things. I’m not saying that certain psychic feelings cannot be sensed. That under astrology, you cannot tell certain directions of consciousness. That there are many ways, for instance, of detecting things that are going on within you. This is true, and I recognize it, and I accept it. I reject totally, however, any implication that this is the way it is.
If you say, “This is the way it is,” or “Wasn’t it terrible, my sign says this year I’m going to do thus-and-so, and thus-and-so,” fine. If you want to accept it, just sit back and let it happen, because you’ve decreed it, and you’ve prayed for it, and you’ve treated it, and it will come. You will say, “Gee whiz. I guess I should go back to that psychic again, because she was right.” Don’t go back to the psychic. I mean the point is, you decided that this is the way it was going to be, and you worked at it, and you let it happen. Pat yourself on the back. With all the dire circumstances that have come, just say “Well gee, wasn’t I great? What a good boy am I. I did exactly what I wanted to do.”
So I say, reject the implication that the year, or the day, or a project, is a fixed entity. It’s an unfolding possibility, and it will be what you decide it will be. And I love, again, that thought of Sir William Osler. You may recall that he was a very distinguished medical doctor, and he was asked to return to Yale University and give a talk to the students. So he mulled this over for a while. He remembered taking a boat trip across the Atlantic ... It was quite a number of years ago. And he was on the bridge with the captain, and the captain was showing him a new device that helped them prevent sinkings, and so forth.
And he showed him how he could push a button, and close off certain sections of the ship, to make watertight compartments, that made the ship unsinkable, you see. So this made a great impression on him. And he began to think of this. “If we could only close off compartments of our life, so that we would not have difficulties.”
And he began to think, “The only compartment that is important to keep separate from the rest is today.” And so he coined the idea, “Live in day-tight compartments.” This was his talk to the students at Yale University. And a very important realization, to live today, keep today as a power unto itself. Know that today is my opportunity to grow, to unfold. And today, I’m going to be what I want to be. And today, I’m going to reflect in my life the result of my consciousness.
What happens, you see, is we break through these compartments, and we find that we undertake projects today that never quite get finished. We engage in an awful lot of procrastination. We get into what I refer to as stale dinosaur eggs. I don’t know if you recall the story that’s told of the dinosaur eggs in some of the great museums. The dinosaur egg being the residue after millions of years of the potential of a dinosaur being born. And I’ve always thought a dinosaur egg is a symbol of absolute failure. Because for the dinosaur in question, after all the effort of laying the egg, nothing ever came of it.
In a certain amount of self-reflection, and without getting negative or being morbid about it, take a look in your own life today, and how many stale dinosaur eggs can you find? How many books in the past year have you started to read, and then laid aside and said, “I’ll get back to that eventually.” Look at your library. I know, because I have a lot of them. Look at your library. This, this, this, this. You could go on, and on, and on, and on. Counting the books that you started to read, and you said, “Well, someday I’ll get back to them,” and you never do.
How many projects can you find ... In your closets, in your garage, in your basement storeroom, in your bureau drawers ... Things that you’ve started this year, or other times. Little creative projects. Perhaps a knitting project, or the gentlemen has decided to do some sort of a creative thing with his hands. And it got started, and with great intentions, and “I just don’t have the time now,” and you lay it aside. How many stale dinosaur eggs do you have?
We’re surrounded today with so many things vying for our attention. You read the papers and the magazines and they say, take this course of study, and learn how to cook, or to write, or to sew. You can get into this project for weight reduction, or exercising builds your body, and all these things. Everything around us is saying get into this, get into that. And so oftentimes we, in our weaker moments I suppose, we send off a check to buy this, or we get into this course, or we start this thing. How many of them have we carried through to completion?
I don’t want to embarrass anyone, because I’m probably at the head of the list. We’re surrounded by these things that are constantly pulling us this way. Many people have two jobs. Most people have more irons in the fire than they can ever do anything about. Someone once said, “He who tries to kill two birds with one stone usually misses both of them.” There’s no way. As one man who is being honored for great achievement, he said, “I have to say that I seem to have been born with a complete incapacity to do more than one thing at a time.”
And as Hezekiah once said, “He did what he did with all his heart, and prospered.” These are important things, you see. Because if we decide we’re going to live in day-tight compartments, if we decide we’re going to watch this day, that we undertake the things that we feel we really want to do, and then we carry them through to completion, and never let it down. As one businessman said ... And again, trying to analyze the secret of success that people wanted to know ... He said, “Well, the only thing I know about myself is, I never put a piece of paper down on my desk without finishing it, without making a decision on it, without deciding when it’s going to be done before I lay it down.” Otherwise you can read letters, you can pick things up and lay them down. Pretty soon you have clutter. And the clutter is not on your desk, it’s in your consciousness. And you carry that sense of burden along with you, because you have so many dinosaur eggs in your life that you can hardly function.
Now this is true of a lot of us, you see. And the key is, I think the important question to ask ourselves is, why do we fail to carry things through to completion? Why do we allow things to go unfinished? Why do we undertake projects, and then let them go? There’s only one reason. You can give a lot of excuses, but there’s only one reason. And I have to honestly face up to it myself, and I think we all need to. The reason we fail to carry things on to completion is because we did not really believe in the beginning that we could do this thing. We wanted to do it, we wished we could do it, we hoped we could do it, but we were not in. We were not really plugged in to the consciousness of our oneness, knowing that the desire to do this is proof positive of my ability. So we did not look forward from that consciousness. We were looking forward to the hope that maybe we would achieve something as a result of it, you see. So we were out, in the far country. And we missed the opportunity.
The fact is, we fail, or falter, or stop before fulfillment in projects of all kinds, even laying down a book before we finish it, because in consciousness, we do not have faith in ourself. We’re afraid that we will fail. We’re afraid we’ll only get to the end of the book. We will say, “Gee, I read it, but I still don’t understand it.” And we cannot quite live up to the consciousness, to the impact that perhaps I’m not really as good as I would like to be. The important thing, then, is to know that whenever you undertake anything ... If you have the desire, even the wild desire ... If that comes into fruition, and you find yourself working in a particular direction. Taking a course, deciding to read a book, whatever it is, that you take time to be still and know, wherever I am, I am.
Not I wish, I want, I hope, I would like to be. I am. That which you want to do, that which you want to be, you already are. And it is in the process of unfolding, and that’s why you had the desire to do it. So you start off with the realization that you are now one with the means by which you can do all that you decide to do. This is to be in at the beginning, you get plugged in. You know that you have the power, the capacity to do that which you desire to do. And then with all your heart, you do the thing that you set to do, and you will prosper. The marvelous thing to work on during the coming year. Coming year being an opportunity to get into the workshop, and roll up your sleeves, and do some things. You can do what you want with it.
You can go continually, running out and being stopped at the corner because you can’t cross the street, and eventually coming home to find the same old cat of wishing and wanting. Or you can decide every time you undertake a project, that this is my opportunity to grow. And therefore, I will not begin. If you pick up a book to read ... I don’t mean to belabor this point, because I don’t think it’s all that important that you read every book from kiver-to-kiver, as they used to say. I’m using this as an illustration. But if you pick up a book to read, maybe it’s a novel or something, and you decide that you’re going to read this thing for enjoyment. And you get halfway though, and you stop. Tell yourself before you start, is this something I really want to do? And if it’s something I really want to do, let me do it with all my heart. This one thing I do.
I have personally found ... And I can only talk about myself ... I have personally found that if I go back and pick up something that is unfinished, one of those dinosaur eggs. And let’s don’t kid anybody, we all have them around in our life. Pick up one of those dinosaur eggs ... Not all of them, or you’ll go frantic, because many of them have them going back years and years. Pick up one, and let it be a symbol of a new commitment. Set it before you on your desk, or by you on your bed, or wherever it is and say, this thing is an opportunity for me to prove to myself that I’m good enough. That I can do what at one time I desire to do. That the potential is still there. So let me undertake this thing with a consciousness that I can do it, because I am. I can do what I want to do, I can be what I want to be, because I am. And then, roll up your sleeves and get to work.
And if you do that thing, stay with it, even if it takes a few hours or a few days, and you begin to say, “Boy, I really want aware of how much work was going to be involved in this.” But you do it, even if it’s time you don’t have to spare, you do it. You will find when you come to the conclusion, and you can stand back and you can say, “Isn’t it great? I accomplished this thing finally.” You will have a shot in the arm that will carry you forward for days and weeks, and it may be a blessing that will carry you all your life. Simply because you’ve proved something to yourself. It really doesn’t matter what it is. It may have been putting together a lampshade that someone gave you the pieces of for Christmas five years ago. And you’ve had it sitting there, thinking “Eventually, I’m going to get at that.” And you get it through, and maybe you have no use for the lamp. And it doesn’t matter, give it away.
But you have great use for the growth experience that comes in knuckling down, and overcoming this psychological dinosaur egg. Getting yourself plugged in, and following through to completion. Then you will set for yourself new patterns. You’ll live in day-tight compartments. And you will never undertake a project, never start off to work in the morning, never sit down to read a book, never undertake any kind of a project ... In your work, or in your avocation, or whatever ... That you do not first of all determine that you will get in, get plugged in. Get yourself centered.
If this is something that you should do, you have to make that decision whether you should do it or not. Is it something you want to do? You have to make that decision. Do you really desire to do this thing? Decide for yourself. If it is, then decide that that is an evidence that there is something in you that is working through you in a tremendous growth experience, that will come in the doing.
Not that the thing will have any intrinsic value at the end. That isn’t the important thing. Life is a growth process. You don’t just go through life and say, “Oh, well, I make the best of it.” You grow through it. And if you haven’t grown through it, then you’ve missed the whole meaning of it. And I believe if you want to think in terms of karma, which I don’t, or the law of compensation, or the law of causation ... Which I think better presents the picture ... I believe that you will forever go through, and go through, and go through, and go through certain experiences, until you grow through them.
So you might as well face up to the fact, this is my opportunity to grow. I’m going to do it. I’m going to grow through this experience. I’m going to face up to it. I’m going to work at it. I’m going to achieve it, in day tight compartments. I won’t put off until tomorrow. I’ll start today, and I’ll do it. And I’ll go forward to achievement. Well in a sense, this gives us an awful lot to work on during the coming year, doesn’t it?
And that’s the way it ought to be. Because as we said before, a year is more psychological than astronomical anyway. It’s a great opportunity, an opportunity to grow. An opportunity to look back, not in the sense of an entity of a year that happened and fate controlled, but look back and value certain things that I’ve done, and certain dinosaur eggs that I can experience, and certain areas where I know that I can make better progress if I apply myself.
Look ahead, not in the idea that the future before me is all fate-controlled. Or, “I wonder what is going to happen in this year,” and so forth. But see it as an opportunity, a workshop, in which you can grow, in which you can unfold and release your divine potential. But then remember that it is now. It is now. There is no such thing ... This is a concept some truth teach expressed, I can’t remember who it was ... There is no such thing as a demonstration ... No, I think he said there is no demonstration that is, ever was, ever will be, except God’s. And that is made right now. There’s no such thing as, I made a demonstration back there, or I’m going to make a demonstration in the future. Because we think of these things as fixed entities.
The demonstration is now, or it is never. Ask the person who has been working on a physical problem or a financial problem for a while, “What are you doing?” He says, “Well, I’m praying to demonstrate over this condition. And I expect, or hope, or pray that eventually it will happen.” It will never happen. It isn’t a will happen. It is an is-ness. It’s I am, you see. Ask that same person, “How would you feel if you demonstrated the health that you desire right now? If you were now healed, would you like that?” “Oh of course I would, but ... “ And now you’ve tripped yourself up. Because the but, you see, evidences the fact that you’re standing at the corner, and you can’t cross the street because you’re not allowed. You’re tripped up by all sorts of self-limiting attitudes, and you have all sorts of excuses ... I don’t have enough time. The neighbors make too much noise, I can’t meditate, and so forth. We have all these many excuses. We do not have a valid reason in the whole book.
It’s simply the fact that as yet, we are not really starting at the beginning. We’re not really in at the beginning. We’re out. We’re out running around, out here in the far country, trying to find our good, you see. Do you want to be healed? And the important thing is, wherever I am, I am. No matter where you are in consciousness. No matter that you’re fearful, that you’re worried, that you have this tremendous concern or anxiety. No matter that you have this problem, that difficulty. I am. In other words, the answer to my need is not out there somewhere.
It’s not something that may come as the days go by. It’s not something like the man told old Dorcas Seabury, that it will take place nine months from now if you take it easy. It is now. I don’t mean that every one of us has the ability to release it immediately in this instant, in the twinkling of an eye. But I mean that the possibility exists within you now, this day. The whole year, and all that’s going to happen to it, exists as a possibility within you right now.
Don’t say, “I wish something would happen here. Maybe it will happen next July. Oh, I wonder at the end of this year if this, and this, and this will happen.” It is all now. A potential for unfoldment within you right now. So don’t play the numbers game, don’t count the waves. Don’t count the years. Oh, we’re going to stuck with using 1978 on our letterheads, and we’ll be typing it and making it on our checks, and so forth. That’s one of the little games we have to play.
But don’t get caught up in the numbers game. 1978 is no different than ‘77, or ‘79, or 1984. It really doesn’t matter. What counts is where you are in consciousness. This is the only time, as I’ve said often, this is the midpoint of eternity. The midpoint of eternity. It’s the most important time in all the eternity of the unfoldment of man on this planet. It’s the midpoint. How can you say that? Because I can start at this point, I can look backward into all that’s ever happened in my life. All that’s ever happened in history. I can stand at this point, I can look forward to all the things that may unfold in the future. I can stand at this point and know, if I decree it in consciousness that all things work together for good if my past can manifest today. I can start at this point, and give thanks that right now, I am plugged in to the divine flow, I’m one with infinite intelligence, and I can do what I want to do and go forward in success. It’s the most important time of all history.
Doesn’t matter what year it is, what day it is. Doesn’t matter what sign you’re under. These things may have certain relevance in certain studies. But they do not have any fixed, final implication as to what you are. You are today an unfolding potential of the infinite process, seeking to express as you, and you have a choice. Every day that is born into the world comes like a burst of music, and rings itself all the day through. And you can make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march, as you will. What will it be?
As Emerson says, “What will you have, quoth God; pay for it, and take it.” And you pay for it in your commitment. You pay for it in your determination. You pay for it in your willingness to look forward from the consciousness of your oneness. The realization that wherever I am, I am. Right now. Not will be, not hope I will be. Not maybe someday, but right now. This is the day. Now is the time of salvation. What a beautiful realization.
If we could really get in to that consciousness today, then we could say, without any sense of the question of fate or circumstances, we can say to ourselves, “Happy new year.” But we would probably add to it something else. And most of you know this, because I’ve said this many times before. “Happy new you.” In other words today, if you become the kind of person you desire to be, and envision that as yourself, and look forward from that consciousness, then you’re going forward in a happy new year consciousness, and things are going to unfold in a marvelous way, much better than you’ve ever known. And they will not because there’s something out there, but because there’s something in here. Because you are in at the beginning.
I’d like you to join with me for just a moment now in a time of realization. I want you to forget for a moment that this is January 1st, 1978. I want you to forget the numbers. Forget the fact that in this year, you’ll have a certain birthday of certain numbers. Forget the fact that you’ve been working in your career, on your job, or in college or whatever, for so many years. Let the years go. It is now.
Just imagine for a moment that you’re out in space, as we visualized some time ago. That you’re away from the solar system. There’s no sunset or sunrise, there’s no rotation of the earth around the sun. There’s no means of measuring time. There’s only now. The now that’s continuous. And time then becomes not a passing thing, but the unfoldment of an infinite possibility. And you are at the very center of it, the midpoint of it all. And it is now, right here now. And in this moment now, let’s get ourselves plugged in. Let’s not try to look out, wondering, questioning, even hoping, yearning that something good is going to happen. Let’s look in, in the realization of our oneness with the divine flow. To remember that we’re spiritual beings. That each of us is a continuing activity, unfolding itself into manifestation of infinite mind, great and wonderful ideas. Ideas that are in you, but even more, ideas that are you. And right now, you stand at the center of it all. There’s nowhere to go but in. The way out is in.
This very moment, you are at the center of it all. Get the realization now. As Plotinus would say, that this infinite process is rushing, streaming, pouring into you from all sides, as you just sit quiet. Conscious that you are, the infinite activity of God expressing as you. And then, from this consciousness, in at the beginning, one with the divine flow. Conscious of the realization that whatever you desire to do, you already are in potential. Now in this consciousness, and from this awareness, look out into the field that is before you, a field that some people call a year. Look out into this great laboratory of unfoldment. And say, of yourself and to yourself, it is a happy new year. It is new, because I see it with a new consciousness. It is a new year, because it’s a new opportunity for me to work with myself.
But then say to yourself, I know that this is a happy new year, because I am a happy new me. Praise God for this consciousness. And may we carry with us this awareness, this commitment. Not to look forward, or even to squint forward, to wonder what the year is going to hold. But to look forward from the consciousness that we are in tune, that we’re established in the awareness of a divine flow. That all things continually work together for good. That I am, is all that really counts. Wherever I am, I am.
May I personally bless you in this consciousness. May I salute the divinity within you. May I see in you the power and the potential to be what you desire to be. And thus, to experience in this unfoldment, in the laboratory of this year, the greatest blessings of your life. Praise God for this. Praise God for the truth that makes us free. Amen.