Projects and Classes: Categories
* MY EXPANDING LIBRARY
Class started again this week with GUIDEPOSTS TO WHOLEHEARTED LIVING using Brene Brown's book "The Gifts of Imperfection." This is the second class I've developed and hope to promote within CSL. The topic works for everyone and winter time is the perfect time to dig deeper into what keeps us from being authentic. Authenticity is a practice, a conscious choice of how we want to live. It is a collection of choices we make every day by letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are. It requires self-compassion, self-kindness, and recognizing we're just human and being mindful to not over-identify with our thoughts. The class is loaded with great group discussion as we delve into the key concepts found in each lesson.
PREVIOUS CLASS - Short Course for December
This is the first year we had time in December to offer short courses, so I experimented with a small class using curriculum I developed using my book "32 Easy Lessons in Metaphysics and the Science of Our Mind," published last year. The lessons are 32 of my best Sunday talks when I served as interim co-pastor at our center from 2012-2014. Participants read two lessons each week and we discussed the key concepts they identified and how they could apply those in their lives. It was a great class and received high marks, so when CSL Education Department is ready to ask for curriculum, I'll be ready with this 4-week course.
PREVIOUS CLASS - Fall 2015
This year I began the 2015-2016 education program with "Practical Mysticism" using Carolyn Myss's book "Entering the Castle." It is truly a 'dig deep' class that takes participants into the dungeons and a walk into the darkness before coming out in brilliant light and love. This course is for everyone!
2014-2015 Education Program.
This season, my last class was Working with the Law from a book by Raymond Holliwell. I love his 8 Questions to Focus Your Life
1. What are the 5 things you value most?
2. What are the 3 most important goals in your life right now?
3. What would you do if you won a million dollars today?
4. Assuming you are I perfect health, what would you do if you knew you had only 6 months to live?
5. What have you always wanted to do but were afraid to attempt?
6. What kinds of activities make you feel the best about yourself?
7. Imagine you had one wish granted, what would it be?
8. what great thing would you give your life to if you were absolutely assured of success?
Recently I have taught The Essential Ernest Holmes, using a book with the same title. It is a great discussion-based class and everyone is very enthusiastic. Four students plan on going into practitioner training next year, so the depth of the sharing is wonderful. Each chapter opens up with readings from "The Voice Celestial," which Holmes thought would overtake "The Science of Mind" text in popularity.
Early in the text the author wrote that Dr. Holmes stressed the cornerstone of his teaching was total unity: we all are unique individualizations of the same Thing. Reflecting on the impact of the teaching Holmes said, "We have the concept of a united conclusion of the deepest thinkers who ever lived." This opened up my mind to the breadth and depth of his studies. On page 149 he starts a description of the history of the New Thought movement, because this philosophy would not have existed had there not at first been a New Thought movement. Cornerstones of New Thought include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mary Baker Eddy, Emma Curtis Hopkins, Thomas Troward and many more. Major influences on Dr. Holmes also included the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Vedas, works by Aurobindo, Platonism, Hinduism, the Hermetic doctrine, Swedenborg, the Bible, Buddhism, Meister Eckhart, Judaism,and so many more. Well, I have my work laid out for me for years to come!
The previous class, The Creative Process in the Individual, was based on a book by Thomas Troward. What fun to have two totally new students in class who have not even taken a basic Science of Mind class. Yes, the book iwa tough reading, but the exciting part was letting all of the other students help the newbies through examples and experiences. It made for a lot of laughs and amazing moments of awakening.
In Chapter 5, The Personal Factor, was one of Troward's greatest contributions to metaphysics. He wrote that if our individual mind was not linked to other minds, no two people could see the same thing at the same time and no common standard for sensations or thoughts or recognition of our existence. That we do connect implies the presence of Universal Mind acting in certain lines of its own to establish the working of our individual mind.
We hold a unique place in the Creative Order through our Personal Factor. Without us, the cosmic laws would remain undeveloped and the self-contemplation of Spirit could not reach the infinite unfoldment of which it is logically capable.
We do not conform automatically. We have the freedom of volition, selection, and initiative. We bring into manifestation the conditions corresponding to the personality that we accept as our normal standard. That is the Personal Factor.
MY EXPANDING LIBRARY
A very special book found its way into my library as a Christmas gift from our senior minister and his wife. It is "The Optimist Creed" by Christian D. Larson. It is an anthology of his finest works. Larson lived from 1894-1962 and was a contemporary of Ernest Holmes. He was born in Iowa and attended a Lutheran seminary, but left that and in 1901 at age twenty-seven, he launched one of the first metaphysical journals devoted to positive thinking, Eternal Progress. Larson became an inspiration writer and speaker in California, writing more than forty books. At one point he was an editor of Science of Mind magazine. Small world, isn't it!
During my research for the education program, I have accumulated a number of new books that are worthy of everyone's library. The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn was originally published in 1925 and DeVorss Publications has kept it in print. It is timeless wisdom with easy to understand explanations of success principles. In researching books on leadership, I came across Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies profit from Passion and Purpose by Raj Sisodia and others. The authors feel we are in an era of change they call the Age of Transcendence, going beyond the usual limits of business, where "businesses strive through their words and deeds to endear themselves to all their primary stakeholders by aligning the interests of all in such a way that no stakeholder group gains at the expense of other stakeholder groups; rather they all prosper together." The businesses you would expect to be highlighted are in the book: Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, but I was surprised to find so many more! If you are in any business, this is a great book for getting up to speed in the fast-paced world of business. And then there is Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey, Co=CEO of Whole Foods. In the introduction he surprised me. Originally he was in a co-op business, but felt there was little room for entrepreneurial creativity. When he started a business it changed his life. He wrote, "Almost everything I had believed about business was proven to be wrong. Business isn't based on exploitation or coercion at all. . . it is based on cooperation and voluntary exchange." His growth and understanding coined the words "conscious capitalism" and what a good read that is!
What a marvelous find! The Library of Hidden Knowledge has published "The Spiritual Science of Emma Curtis Hopkins: 12 Lessons to a New Transcendent You" edited by Ruth Miller. This is the 7th book in the Library, which are a series of books originally written by philosopher-teachers who were famous in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The texts chosen are "translated" into guides for living a health, prosperous life today, followed by the author's original text. Included are summary points, modern examples, scientific explanations, and exercises to support their text. Check out their website at www.libraryofhiddenknowledge.com.
Do You Quantum Think? New Thinking That Will Rock Your World by Dianne Collins. What a thrill to find out that New Thought is finding its way into board rooms and major corporations through Dianne Collins' targeted corporate workshops. On the back cover is the byline: "When You Master Your Mind, You Master Your Life." Then I had to smile when the first quote I came across in the book was from Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, a Hindu teacher from the Siddha Yoga Institute, whose work and spiritual practices Dr. James Golden often brought into our classes and studies in Redding. Chapter 5: Wisdom: Knowing it and living it are worlds apart, is excellent. For those of you with friends in large organizations who don't know about New Thought, this book is a great ice breaker.
Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves. Communications received by Helen Greaves from her close friend Frances Banks after she died. Frances explained that the death of the physical body only serves to clear our vision. Expansion is the key word where she resided, living in an expanding universe. All is expansion, but in stages. Expansion of knowledge and wisdom into infinity is available if one chooses.
The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast by Giordano Bruno.
As the editor prefaced the last sixty years of the 16th century was a period of great upheaval for Europe, especially for Italy. Renaissance Italy was most sensitive to the reactions of religious, political, and military events that shook Europe during that time. Ironically at that very time Italy produced some of the most daring thinkers: Telesio, Galileo, and Bruno, who was the most heretical of all. His writings were condemned by both the Catholic and Protestant leaders. Bruno was most inspired by Thomas Aquinas and once delivered a series of thirty lectures on the thirty divine attributes expounded by Aquinas.
I received the book Ernest Holmes referenced that was published by two of his friends, Elaine St. Johns and Dr. William "Cherry" Parker of Redlands University. Elaine St. Johns was the daughter of Adela Rogers St. Johns, who was like a sister to Dr. Holmes and his wife. Elaine recorded every aspect of the three experiments Dr. Parker did with prayer in his laboratory at the university. The experiments included people of all faiths and ministers, doctors, and
The first experiment was called Spiritual Psychological Counseling, the next was
Ordinary Prayer, which is the type of prayer used in a lot of religions, and the last was called Prayer Therapy or affirmative prayer, which is what we use in Science of Mind.
What they reported was that affirmative prayer had exceedingly good results, the best
of all. The next best was psychological counseling and the poorest results came from the ordinary method of prayer. Their conclusion was the best results came from affirmative prayer because it is prayed with acceptance, a belief in consciousness, and embodiment in thought. The one praying accepted something for themselves or someone, identifying this with that, such as this prayer is for John Smith. The prayer was made in here and now, be affirmative, accepted, and identified, which showed the person praying was dealing with Intelligence. By
the way, I ordered Dr. Parker’s book online yesterday and look forward to reading it. Holmes noted that later studies in prayer at Duke University came up with the same results.
Dr. Holmes stated that he was glad these results came out of a laboratory, so no one
could attach it to a specific theology. He was so excited that we have within our reach the greatest good the world has ever known to definitely show the method and process that has been the hope and aspiration of all religious endeavors in the world.