Joyce Kramer: The Cycle of Life 5
What is Regeneration?
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As we move along in our [inaudible 00:00:06], this cycle of life involving reincarnation, rebirth and so on, remember that you are born to express God in your own individual unique way. And it’s important for us to remember that we always retain our own individuality, that as we progress through life, we do change because our consciousness changes our thoughts, our feelings change, many of our attitudes change. So we find that the inner changes also bring outer changes, do they not? Haven’t you found that as a result of your growing awareness and your study of truths that you have had to face some changes in your own life? If you haven’t done it so far, you got something to look forward to because I have yet to see people who really grow and unfold that do not end up going through a lot of changes.
But remember that as you come into a life experience, that it does not happen in a haphazard sort of way, but you are not only a consciousness, you are a vibrating consciousness, you are attracted into the family and circumstances that you are needing for your growth and unfoldment, and also will be accomplishing some purpose with those people with whom you are involved. This is always a good one to get teenagers on when they find out that they were attracted and chose their own parents. This really teared them up. But it gives them some cause to really rethink some of their attitudes when they realized they had something to do with it. It was not just a haphazard sort of thing. It was not accidental. And obviously, since they had something to do with it, they have lessons to learn and experiences there and may find themselves in a position where they must work out relationships, even relationships in which they do not feel exactly comfortable.
So if we begin to realize that we are placed by our own state of consciousness, that everything that happens in this experience is completely just because there is no injustice in our universe. If we can look at those people that we are involved with in life and begin to see them as a part of our growth process, it makes us easier, or it makes it easier for us to begin to at least consciously seek to relate better to other people. Because haven’t you discovered that sometimes when you have trouble getting along with a personality that you’re basic wish is just simply to get rid of them? And yet you find that you need to learn to deal with that person to make your peace with that individual and then they may move out of your life.
But so often what happens is we try to move away from someone before we solve our problems. And what happens? You often move forth and meet the same person again, only this time, usually, in another name, another clothing. This happens frequently in job situations, in all types of situations, in which we do not come to terms with our human relationships. So it’s important to not run from something, thinking you’re going to get away, because what are you taking with you? Your own consciousness. And remember that your own consciousness had something to do with those people who are in your world being there.
We find evidence of this happening a lot of times in people who go through a marriage split or even death in a family that very quickly, they seem to get attracted back to another person. And often they find out that they’re marrying the same person that they had before with the same problems and difficulties, because they have not given themselves time to work out of the old state of consciousness that brought this into being into a new state that would help to attract a different type of personality and bring forth some very positive elements rather than simply going the hard way by continuing to have to learn the same lesson over and over and over or to face it, at least until we do learn and come to terms with it.
We know that there has been in our world and particularly involving the life insofar as relates to the health of the body, quite a bit of attention regarding heredity and the belief that a child inherits certain weaknesses and so forth from their parent. But we might need to look at this from another point of view, that instead of inheritance, that we are finding that a child is attracted into similar conditions of its own consciousness. So the consciousness is compatible and it’s true, they may, the parent and the child have a weakness in a certain way, but this does not mean that it was a physical thing as far as the inheritance of a germ or something, a gene even that made that difference. It was the attracting power of the soul and the working together between the interrelationship of the two that brought that into that situation. And of course, not all of this comes with us as we come in, because you find that people in the same family later on, sometimes get the same diseases and die of the same diseases.
Even as you observe this, you will see that what has often happened is that the second person coming along has built into his or her consciousness the ideas of that sickness. You’ve become conscious of it by having to deal with it, by observing others in that condition and therefore you are building this into your own consciousness because you know it does happen, that there are people who die of the same disease, or at least have the same disease in a family that the disease itself can absolutely not be transferred from one person to the other. So what happens? If the person or the one that does not have it to start with, begins to build it into his own consciousness, then ultimately the body will do what? Reproduce it.
So we need to be very aware of what’s going on and watch that we are not overly susceptible to suggestions. Because remember that you are picking up suggestions from many places and sometimes these suggestions are not necessarily good and they may be defeating you in some way. Remember that the fears that we often entertain, we end up experiencing the product of our fears. As written in the Book of Job, “The thing I greatly feared has come upon me.” Watch yourself to see if you are picking up fears by suggestion. Because if you continue to believe long enough to give attention long enough to those fears, you’re going to find that they do produce for you. From that standpoint, it is very unhealthy to practice entertaining fears. Do you ever stop and realize that you have to entertain fears in order for them to stay in your mind? So watch the mental companions that you are keeping and the emotional companions that you are keeping and get rid of those that are destructive to you and that will cause you harm and problems.
It is always important to remember for each one of us that we have the ability to change our consciousness, that it is not something that is set and is always going to be that way. This means that no longer can you use the excuse, “But this is just the way I am.” Because what are you really saying? “This is the way I am choosing to be.” But if you so desire to bring a change, it may require some work, but most everything that’s worth having is worth working for, isn’t it? Because you put effort and energy into it. And as you give out of your effort and your energy, you find that you are growing and understanding and that the changes, the interchanges are being made that in turn lead to the outer changes.
It is important to remember that people, places, things, and conditions and circumstances all out picture the state of our consciousness. These are the things we have to deal with not only in our individual lives, but in our world. Because not only do we have an individual consciousness, we also have a collective consciousness, do we not? When you put all the thinking and feeling and attitudes of people together, you see the visible result in our world. Is not your stock market, a good barometer of the consciousness of the people in a country? What else is it? That’s all it amounts to. It is not a thing by itself, but is a barometer of the feelings, the attitudes, the beliefs of a collective group of people. And when we begin to see this, we see the importance first of all, of the change in the individual consciousness. And then as many individuals change, there becomes an even greater change that takes place as a result of the collective consciousness.
Remember that a collective consciousness can be very dangerous. We have seen the activity of this throughout many things in our world. Isn’t this what happened that a collective consciousness, a belief that allowed people to be ruled by Hitler? Because the people were not thinking for themselves, he was providing for them the answers and what they believed were important purposes and goals, and what happened? Thousands of people moved right with him in consciousness. But as people learn to think for themselves, dictatorships could not happen. And even though, we in our nation, do not experience, are not experiencing a dictatorship, we are experiencing many conditions very similar to this because we have not bothered to think, to challenge, to question. We just follow along blindly. This is perhaps why the gentleman wrote a book, I believe his last name is Lederer, several years ago called A Nation of Sheep. Because we follow blindly along without giving thought to the important things in life. And by following along, what happens? You eventually get to that point that you can easily be manipulated.
But let’s move on in our consideration of the life cycle itself and think of a term I’m sure you have heard, but it relates also to our Christian concept of the law of cause and effect or sowing and reaping. And often you find the word karma used. All of these things relate to the same idea. It would be rather of frustrating if you planted a row of corn and it ended up being eggplant. Because we have perfect faith in that law that all things produce after their kind in nature. But have we stopped to give enough consideration to that same law as it works in our individual lives? That what we are sowing in our consciousness, in our thoughts and feelings like is going to be reproduced in our outer life and affairs. It is just as unfailing as the law of sowing and reaping in nature. Even our bodies are physical expressions of the condition of our soul. And this can be very good and show an out picturing of health and strength and vitality, or it can be the opposite, can’t it? So the place that we have to go to work is not just in attacking the outer condition, but in beginning to work to change the inner thoughts and feelings and belief.
Something that has happened in this understanding or lack of understanding perhaps of the law of karma is that we have used this as an excuse for not taking action in a particular life experience. I was very fascinated when I moved to my present location and listened to this word karma being used to explain all kinds of negativity. I guess it’s just my karma. Well, naturally everything is an outworking of some aspect of the law of cause and effect. But one thing we have to realize, this is not fatalistic because we can always take charge of our present moments and begin to change that. But until we are willing to take charge to do something to correct the situation, what happens? It continues to exist. This has been tied up with some true students and the fact that they will say, well, they’re in a very bad situation, a negative condition and they say, “Well, I’ll just learn to live with it because this is my karma.”
Their karma may have given them the opportunity to learn how to get out of it and to correct the condition, rather than just saying, “I’ll sit there and suffer righteously.” This is like the old concept of suffering righteously so you’re going to earn stars in your crown for later. Has the no validity in truth, whatsoever. So we certainly should not use this as an excuse for inaction.
There are ways in which we can work to erase our bondage to this law of cause and effect. And this is important for us to realize that we do not have to stay bound to all of the negativity, but it requires positive action on our part. And positive action to the extent that we must work within to become aware of the presence and the power and the activity of God that is able to release us from this. The more often we touch upon this awareness of the presence of God, the more of the negative causes we are erasing from our consciousness.
Don’t you work with the idea of forgiveness? What does forgiveness do? It erases, it releases, it gets rid of some of the things that are already perhaps in operation causing negative experiences. But when you cleanse them out, you are able also to cleanse out the resulting conditions. And often it’s very important for us to pray not only to be released from bondage to a negative belief, but from bondage to the resulting condition of that belief. Because all negative beliefs have their resulting conditions in some aspect of our life. So it is important to work with the idea of releasing, of letting go of erasing. But it often takes energy and effort and prayer and meditation on a regular, consistent basis to begin to dig deep enough that we are able to bring out and release a lot of the negativity.
A number of years ago, I was teaching a book, Catherine Ponder’s Dynamic Laws of Prosperity., and in the part that we were on, we were involved with the idea of forgiveness and she has almost a paragraph of affirmations written about forgiveness, “I freely and fully forgive everybody and everyone and everybody and everyone fully and freely forgives me.” And on with a number of other statements to that effect. But we had been doing some work with that and some homework with that. And one of our people from class came in and she said, “I don’t believe what’s happening and I don’t think it’s safe.” She said, “I have things have come to my mind that I have not thought of in 20 years and people, and I realized that I really had a lot of resentful feelings toward them because of a negative experience that I went through years ago.”.
But what was really happening to her? These things were being brought up, so now she could bless and release the person or even the situation and therefore be healed completely of it. Because until she able to bring it out and become aware of it and be healed of it, what happened to it? It was always there even though consciously covered up and maybe not very apparent in the outer, still it would have its effect as it worked out in consciousness.
So it is not usually those things of which we are aware that our worst troublemakers. It’s usually those things that we have forgotten long ago, but that had such an emotional impact upon us at that time that we have retained that feeling deep within us. And I would suggest that anyone who really works with these ideas of forgiveness on a consistent basis will find just about the same thing happening to them. It may seem like silly little things when you look at them in light of your understanding today, but yet the old feelings come up. And if you can simply recognize the feeling, know that this is your time to release it from you, bless the person involved and let it go. You are free from then on.
So this is very important for each of us in our spiritual growth. Remember that this law of cause and effect is always operative. It has been spoken of as a law of compensation, but it should not be looked upon in a negative way, because what does this say about all the good that you think and feel all the affirmations of truth that you are working to plant in your mind, what’s happening? They’re becoming a part of you and therefore the result must follow. It is easy in our spiritual growth because we do not see something happen instantaneously to think that nothing’s working. Haven’t you ever prayed for several days and nothing happened so you quit? Sometimes it takes a little while for the answers to come through for many reasons. Usually, we’re not even ready for them yet, but sometimes I think our soul or our consciousness is somewhat like the ship with barnacles on it. Have you ever tried to get barnacles off of a ship or a boat? It’s not easy, is it? Any have to do a great deal of scraping until you finally get through.
Some of our prayer time, some of our affirmations can be very well compared to the scraping, the work that you’re doing so that finally you can make the breakthrough. But to give up too quickly because you do not see outer, immediate result is to defeat your own purpose. So stick to it. There’s a lot to be said for our willingness and truth to be able to stick to the ideas that are important to us, no matter what it seems is going on in the outer. But if we will simply stick with our spiritual work, do the things we need to do and keep at it, we can be assured of the result taking place. Something that happens to us or seems to happen to us, actually it happens through us is the fact that we do at times see the same problems recur over and over. This is because we have not dealt with the cause of the problem. We have not gotten rid of whatever it is within us that was bringing forth this negative condition and so on.
So this is our clue that we need to seek consciously to grow, to unfold, to look for answers, for insight. Because we can hold on to a problem for years. Haven’t you ever done that? And then finally got to the point where you were willing to give it up. Our problems can become so familiar to us that they’re like our great friends. We wouldn’t know what to do without them. We wouldn’t have so many topics of conversation. Did you ever stop and think how dull it would get if you couldn’t tell anybody about your problem and that you couldn’t complain about them or fuss about them or gripe about them? They wouldn’t be near so much fun.
So we need to begin to consider that if we have a problem, it is because it needs to be dealt with. It has come to our attention. And as a spiritual being, we have the ways and the means to deal with any problem that comes our way. And certainly the very process of life gives us this chance to work out our problems and the negative conditions that we face. And in our human relationships, those people with whom we are associated, give us that same opportunity to work out our attitudes and feelings for them.
We understand that reincarnation is not the final answer to everything in life, but it does provide man with the opportunity for growth and unfoldment so that he does not need to feel, here, I’ve gone through this one life and I haven’t made it. Because we do have the opportunity. Who was it that called reincarnation The Gospel the Second Chance? And we do have a chance to return and to take up where we left off and so on. But you often find that not only do people incarnate into families and so on, because they have been together before and have similar things to work out. But also, you’ll even find groups of people who come into the world at the same time and end up gravitating to the same place. Not only because they have things to work out, but there’s another very valid reason for that. You know what that is? Because they have something to give and to share in our world.
And as you well know, when you get people who are of like mind together who put their mental, physical, and spiritual energies together, what happens? You’re bound to bring about some type of productive activity. Because when you put many together, there is a consciousness built that is greater than any one of the individuals. And it multiplies the power. We ought to be aware of this because we don’t only come into the world to learn from it, we come into the world to give to it. And this is important for each one of us.
We want to move into a few thoughts on this idea of regeneration as seeing that as something we must work with also because we, in our cycles of rebirth, we need to learn to take advantage of the opportunities that we have to learn and to grow. This is a part of our regeneration because not only are we regenerating the belief structure and the consciousness within our mind, we also through changing that, change the body itself.
God did not create man to die. Death is a result of transgression of the law. When man loses his body by death, the law of expression works in him for reembodiment and he takes to himself a new body. The divine law allows him to keep trying until he learns to live a right. And man will do this by overcoming sin, sickness, old age, and finally death. When these are eliminated, reincarnation will be no more.
So you see, we have a few things to do, don’t we? If we are thinking in of overcoming the sin, the sickness, old age, even before we get to that point of death. Because look at the great prevalence of sickness in our world today. And with all of our modern techniques of treatment and so on. Proportionally, we have more sick people than we’ve ever had, and that isn’t even logical. It is true that the lifespan has extended some, but have you ever noticed how we keep building larger and bigger hospitals, and the equipment keeps getting more sophisticated and more sophisticated and yet we still haven’t eliminated disease? You would think with all the money, the time, the effort and energy we have been put into this sort of thing, we ought to have made some progress, but it still doesn’t appear from the number of people who are in hospitals and going through sickness and disease, But there has been very much progress made.
So we ought to be conscious of this and begin to think about how we can go about building a state of mind that helps to overcome our bondage to these types of things, such as business. Because reincarnation is a logical way for the soul to continue its evolvement and growth. But we also need to realize that we can take an active charge of our own spiritual growth and unfoldment once we realize at least some of the truth. You are the determining factor as to how much time and energy and efforts you spend in not only learning the truth, but in practicing the truth. You have that power of choice to determine how much attention you are going to give to overcoming many of the conditions that we presently face. But it, once again, takes time and effort and energy and we need to exert effort if we are to grow in understanding so that we can begin to involve ourselves more consciously in this process of regeneration.
When we come to the revelation of Jesus Christ, we see that in his life, he set aside bondage. He was not subject to many of the outer conditions and situations that we find ourself subject to. He brought to an end the control of past laws and the bondage to this cycle of rebirth, because he became fully aware of the Christ, the spirit of God within himself. He was fully aware of his true relationship, his oneness to God. And he related that not only within his mind, but in his body and in all of his actions. He lived according to this knowledge of himself as a spiritual being. When we do begin to give our attention to this Christ that is within, to really becoming aware of the press and power of the spirit within us, we find that we are saved from a lot of our karmic deaths.
Remember that Jesus said that all he did and more, you can do. Do you believe that? Do you act like it? Do you think like it? Do you speak like it? You know, it’s easy for us, and I remember being told previous to my Unity days when I asked someone about that particular scripture, that there are some things that are not meant just exactly the way they’re said, and certainly you’re not supposed to do the things that Jesus did and greater. And my feeling was, “Why can you accept fully so many things he said and ignore that one completely?” You know why we can, don’t you? It’s more comfortable, isn’t it? It doesn’t demand much of us.
To think that Jesus was the only, the one of a kind says, “I don’t have to really work hard and try because I’m never going to attain it anyway, so why bother? Let him do it for me.” Haven’t you ever felt that way? Because let’s face it, if we had this as a true ideal to move out of bondage as Jesus was out of bondage, to not be controlled by his world as he was not controlled by his world, to be that person in dominion and authority over life, we’d likely have to change a lot of our old habit patterns, wouldn’t we? We’d really have to go through a growth in consciousness to be able to accept some of the possibilities.
Suppose that tomorrow morning somebody informed you, when you got up that today, you have all the power that Jesus had. How would you spend your day? What would you do? I heard one of the student ministers over here thinking, “I’d skip class.” Think about it. What would you really do? It bears giving thought attention to, because if we are really having any concept of believing that Jesus knew what he was talking about, then we have to accept that also, that he knew what he was talking about. And it does have some significance for our life. Haven’t you noticed how easy it is for us to buy certain parts of a religion or philosophy that make us feel comfortable where we are now and to sort of reject or not think deeply on those that make us somewhat uncomfortable. But these are the ideas we need to think about.
Just suppose when you get up in the morning, you have absolutely no limitation, as Jesus said, what would you do? What difference would it make for your life? Because this is what you’re talking about. When you’re talking about the process of regeneration, you’re talking about reaching that state, aren’t you? And yet, how little concept do we really have in our mind as regarding the possibilities. If you believe that you are made in the image and after the likeness of God and you give voice to this, you must go one step further and accept this. It’s just a nice platitude sort of, until you really began to see what the significance of this is. What does it really mean to be created in the image and after the likeness of God?
To fully realize or even partially realize the significance of this, we obviously would have to dehypnotize ourselves from a lot of old beliefs and concepts, wouldn’t we? About our own inadequacies and our incompetencies and what we can’t do and how controlled we are by people and things in the world, and all of the many things that interfere with even thoughts of that nature. But the purpose of life is important and the purpose of life that leads us into this process of regeneration is very important for each of us to begin to give consideration to because it’s true that we are involved in a process. The cycle of life is a process, but remember the basic purpose is more important than the process itself. This is why we can never get hung up in the idea of either death or rebirth, reincarnation because that’s only a part of what? The process. It is not the end in itself, but a part of a process.
To regenerate means to go back to this spiritual pattern, the pattern in which you are created in the image and made after the likeness of God and reproduce this. Reproduce this pattern in your mind and in your body. It means building a new character based upon your new understanding. It means building a new nature that is much more free than the nature you are experiencing at this moment. It means overcoming limitations because we have built many limitations for ourselves. We can think of this activity within the mind as beginning with the process of cleansing out the negation within us.
Because when you think of the quality of your mind, that’s an important factor to remember too. Because this mind of yours is a very beautiful tool and one that you can utilize to put you in touch with this unlimited life and intelligence of God. How would you describe your mind? Is your mind bright, alert, keen and sharp? Is this the way you see your mind? What you really need to do is to ask yourself this before you start doing your homework. Because you see, your lack of seeing your mind in the proper perspective is going to interfere with the free flow of ideas through you, isn’t it? If you truly believe that you were one with this all-knowing mind of God, that you could think, remember and express perfectly, what would you be concerned about? You would simply let your mind be an open channel through which the ideas would flow.
When we began to work to activate our minds, we find that we have a lot more capacity and ability mentally than we have ever believed before. Our minds become dull because we become dull. We sort of go around in a fog. Have you ever gone around in a fog? Not to alert to anything without our end, just sort of functioning through, moving to some extent. Sometimes even that’s slow. But we also have the power to charge our mind with new ideas, with new concepts. We have the power to get our minds all stirred up and think new thoughts, think in new ways about old things. We have the power to challenge our mind with different ideas to learn to figure out solutions to problems.
Basically, our minds become dull because we do not do enough with them where it’s easy to just enjoy what other minds have done and forget that we have the capacity within ourselves. You want to try something interesting? This is a project I give to my creative thinking classes, and that is, take a short story and read exactly half of it, and then write the ending. It’s an interesting thing to do. You can do the same thing in many different things, where you get your mind moving along and then cut it off and then you finish it. This is great to do in a good mystery. Get a little over halfway through and then write your own ending. And then later go back to see how near it is to what you’re booking it with.
These are ways that we ... Just techniques that we can use to challenge our minds. And I know from experience in teaching creative thinking that you can take a group of people and by the end of the fourth week, they are thinking so much faster than they started out thinking. It’s a little bit unbelievable. And all that has happened is giving them nothing but some little mental drills, some little things to challenge their mind to work on quickly. So never think that you have exhausted or even come anywhere near the possibilities of your mind functioning for you in a competent way. Because as a result, most adults do not have enough to challenge their mind. And this is why it appears that the mind deteriorates. Once again, we are rusting out instead of wearing out.
The mind never deteriorates with use, but with what? Lack of use. And we are sometimes slow in learning, slow in remembering and so on simply because we haven’t had enough activity. Haven’t you noticed that the less active you become physically, the less active you want to become until you really break out of the pattern? And the same thing is true mentally. We often pamper ourselves mentally by not having to think deeply or quickly on any subject. We avoid them. And yet if we want our minds to be able to serve us well, if we want to be able to regenerate the mind by getting out the old and taking on the new, we need to keep it in good working condition.
Did you ever stop and think that more people take better care of their cars than they do their minds? They’re much more conscious of doing the right things for their cars than they are their minds. And this is a sad state of affairs. So we need to rethink and begin to look for ways in which we can exercise our own creativity. You do know that you are by nature, a creative being and that you ought to be creating, not just once in a while, but on a regular basis. This is a part of your nature to be creative.
You can work within your mind and your mind will retain the height of effectiveness if you are willing to continue to provide it with challenges and demand something of it. If you demand nothing of it, you’ll get nothing from it. This is why it is very important to began to take into our mind these attitudes of youth and health and life and strength and vitality. Because remember, within your mind is the starter for what you are experiencing in your world. Through the activity of your mind, you can begin to charge up to animate and activate the cells of your body. You can stir them into dynamic action. Haven’t you ever noticed that sometimes that we need a little stirring up ourselves? The same is true with the body itself. There needs to be a stirring process where we stir up activity and action within the body because it has a tendency to get very lazy.
Fillmore wrote, “Man is a repository of infinite energy, and this energy is finding expression through him constantly.” Do you believe that you are filled with infinite energy right now? How is it finding expression? Because it’s going to find some type of expression. Sometimes our energy, this tremendous energy that we have within can destroy us because it’s like the energy is generated and has no useful worthwhile outlet. So we’re kind of like the tea kettle. It has all the outlets stopped up and the flame turned up to the top. What soon happens? It blows, doesn’t it? Something gives.
And this has caused a lot of mental and emotional problems in human beings because they have had no real outlet for their creativity. It just sat and stewed inside of them until they finally got to the breaking point. They were not providing a good outlet for it. And we need this outlet for this tremendous energy that is ours because to use this energy rightly is to bring forth rich blessings. We can use this energy to activate the body itself, to build new cells, new tissue, strength, and vitality into ourselves. But there are ways in which we can waste energy and use it destructively. And these, we want to move away from.
One of the greatest wasters of energy is worry. Do you ever worry? Robert Frost said, “More people die of worry than work because more people worry than work.” I put that on Dial-A-Blessing one day and I was sitting in my study and two or three people hung up Dial-A-Blessing because they didn’t like that statement. But you think about it, worry can destroy us. And what useful is accomplished through worry? Nothing. Haven’t you ever heard somebody ask another person, “aren’t you worried”? As if it was something they were supposed to be doing. Because we have somehow equated worry with caring.
Worry has nothing to do with caring. Worry has to do with lack of trust and lack of recognition that other people also are spiritual beings and probably much more competent than we give them credit for. So think of this, we waste energy through anger, through meaningless activity, through idle talk. Haven’t you ever talked yourself right out of doing something? You had a very good idea and it sounded so good. And you talked to so many people about it. You used up all your energy, talking about it and never got around to doing it. The energy had been dissipated through talking about it.
But as you begin to realize that through utilizing your abilities, putting them into creative action, you bring forth the evolution of your own soul. You are bringing yourself ever closer to this consistent awareness of the presence of God. With each degree of understanding that you attain, you are bringing yourself closer in consciousness to God. And then this brings us closer to something else. And that is what we may see as our ultimate incarnation on the earth and that is of the Christ, of expressing our self, our potentialities in the fullness of the Christ. We can look upon the other lifetimes that we have gone through previous to that as simply stepping stones along the way that lead us up to the accomplishment of what we are to do. And that accomplishment is to learn to express our own innate divinity.
Remember too, that as you are growing and understanding, as you are beginning to take some charge of your thoughts, your feeling, your inner life, that this is affecting all aspects of your being, that the body is gradually being refined, that you are getting healthier, that good things are happening within you. Certainly, the more that we purify our mind and learn to give our attention to spiritual ideas, the more we break out of bondage to beliefs and lack and limitation and their resulting conditions, the greater we see the purification of the whole being and of one’s life, we gradually find our life being upgraded.
Spiritual growth brings changes, chemical changes within the body itself. And this is important for us to realize that our spiritual growth does bring forth chemical changes within the body because you’ll often hear people say, “Well, my glands are the problem, or this is the problem, and that’s a problem.” Well, what’s causing these things in the body to act the way they’re acting? What’s going on in your consciousness? That all. And as your consciousness changes, the elements of the body that are causing difficulty no longer do so. They began to get straightened out, become purified themselves, and therefore bring the resulting change of condition within the body. Because all things that go on within the body are affected by the consciousness of the mind. And we need to be very aware of this because it’s so easy. We are conditioned in that trap that something here, a germ or whatever is responsible for my present negative physical condition. Where did the germ come from? Read some of Charles Fillmore’s thoughts sometimes on germs. They’re very revealing.
Another thing that begins to help us to see this movement of life itself is as we are willing to observe our ourself and see in a particular lifetime, the growth that we are making and understanding. Hopefully as we are growing and understanding, we have less prejudicial feelings than we used to have. We are not so controlled by opinions of people or even our ... We do not in so strongly our own opinions. We are more able to allow others to grow in their way.
Do you ever stop and think we’ve gone through a long period in history where we have predetermined how everybody else ought to live and do and act and grow spiritually even? We even have decided what kind of religious beliefs they should have. And if they choose not to have them, we’ve threatened them with the ultimate—eternal damnation after death. See how foolish we can be as human beings. And this is all that really amounts to, being rather foolish about life and not having taken the time and made the effort to give serious consideration to many of the important things in life itself.
Have you ever noticed the tremendous desire that people have to live for the most part? And this is important for us to realize that the whole tendency of existence is toward life. And if we are willing to move with this tendency toward life and life that continues, life that lasts. We find that we are able to clear out a lot of the old and get ready for the new.
I ran across a statement in Ernest Wilson’s book, Have We Lived Before? That I think is very important. He writes, “The best authority for the belief and survival after death is the desire to live. Desire is prophetic of its own fulfillment.” And don’t you suppose this is also why the desire that people have, the souls have to return to earth and continue their cycle of growth because there is a great urge from within full fulfillment? There is a great urge to become all that we are capable of becoming. And even though we may cover up these desires with a lot of superficial things, we find that this deep inner desire is there, always to be more, to experience more.
So see your life as a process, a process in which you can be freed from limitation and move into the full expression of this spirit that is within you. There is no need to get caught up in the intrigue of past lives because if you truly believe in God, you can believe that God is able to reveal to you whatever it is you need to know, and to provide you with insight on those things that you need on what you need insight. Because the past is already revealed to us. How is the past already revealed to us? You think you don’t know anything about your past lives? Look at your life today, it’s an outgrowth of all that has happened in the past. It is a result of what your soul has gone through up to this point. So you can tell a great deal.
You don’t have to get involved in the intrigue of details, but to be willing to take a good look of where you are in life at this point and time. Because the past reveals itself through what we are now. And when is the only time that you can live? Right now. And this is the most important time to give your attention to because as you learn to live fully and completely, you don’t have to worry about the past or the future, do you? Because you are moving into new realms of experience consistently.
We have great opportunities in the present and we should be grateful for the opportunity that we have to grow in spiritual understanding, to take charge of our lives and direct them in the way that we should go. But we also not have not only have opportunities of the present, we have responsibilities in the present. That responsibility is to live according to the very highest and best of our understanding. That responsibility is to apply all that we know into our life and living. Remember, you are a spiritual being, made in the image and after the likeness of God and you are here to unfold that divinity. Thank you.