UNITY OF VANCOUVER
3814 FRANKLIN ST. VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON 98660 360-696-0996
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
February 21, 2021
All Rights Reserved
Here is a metaphysical lesson for you to study and work to implement during the season of Lent so that you can experience you own resurrection. It is a double lesson because there are Unity and metaphysical terms and concepts in ‘Sandcastles’ our newest readers most likely are not familiar with. I hope you enjoy it as well as the prayers and affirmations I have included for you to use and send out as healing energy. You are loved and blessed. Have a wonderful day and a great week.
Let us open our prayer time as our Silent Unity Prayer Ministry begins prayer each day by affirming: “It is not I but the Christ within who does the works.” Let’s affirm that again: “It is not I but the Christ within who does the works.” Now focus your mind on your indwelling Christ presence and pray for guidance: “I am a child of God. Divine light guides my path. I proceed one step at a time by divine direction.” Now include anyone in your life who needs guidance and know this truth for them: “You are a child of God. Divine light guides your path. You proceed one step at a time by divine direction.”
The same power that guides you, heals you. In that realization affirm healing. “Divine life energizes my mind and body. I express wholeness and health.” God knows what adjustments need to be made in your life and in the lives of those with whom you pray. “Divine life energizes your mind and body. You express wholeness and health.” The same Presence that guides you and heals your body also heals you of all sense of lack and limitation. Jesus said, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom of Heaven.” In that realization affirm, “Divine substance supplies my every need.” Now know that for everyone in the world. Affirm: “Divine substance supplies your every need.”
Now enfold the earth in prayer. Affirm: “Divine love fills the hearts of all people, establishing peace, understanding, harmony and trust in the world.” We will draw our prayer time to a close with the Prayer of Protection: The light of God surrounds us; the love of God enfolds us; the power of God protects us; the presence of God watches over us. Wherever we are, God is and all is well. Amen.
This lesson was inspired by a Charlie Brown cartoon. Charlie Brown is at the beach and has built a beautiful sandcastle. Just as he stands back to admire it, he feels a little drop of rain. In the final frame rain is coming down in torrents and a very pensive Charlie says, “There’s a lesson of some kind in this.” Q: Have you ever felt that about something in your life?
There is a story recorded in Matthew 19:16-24 that illustrates this idea. A man came to Jesus and said, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him. “Which ones?” Jesus said, “Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not commit adultery; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not give false testimony. You must honor your father and your mother and love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said, “I have observed all those things. What am I missing?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go, sell your possessions and give all to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven; then come, follow me!” When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, for he had many possessions.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Verily I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” (The phrase, the ‘Kingdom of God’ comes from the Greek, it doesn’t refer to a physical place but ‘a state of expanded awareness or consciousness.’)
The story of the Rich Young Ruler is one of the best-known stories in the Gospels. Three of the gospels say the man was rich; only Matthew says he was young. (Matt. 19:20); only Luke says he was a ruler. Theologians form a composite by combining all three gospels. (Matt. 19:16-22; Mark 10: 17-22; Luke 18:18-23) (Hint: to best understand this story and others read the passages before the event. They set the stage for the upcoming action.)
Here’s what happened. Jesus has been is out all day with his disciples. They return home exhausted, but a number of women bring their children for him to bless. The disciples rebuked the women, telling them Jesus is tired and to leave him alone. But Jesus surprises everyone and says, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as they are.” A rich young man was watching Jesus in awe. The man had status and riches, but what he saw Jesus do made him want to be able to do the same things. So, he said, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (He is saying, “What must I do to be able to do the things I see you doing?”)
Aramaic Bible scholar George Lamsa said, “Jesus spoke Aramaic and the Aramaic word the man used was “Malpana Tava,” which means ‘wonderful teacher.’ And Jesus said, “Why do you call me wonderful. There is only one who is wonderful.” The Aramaic word ‘tava’ is only used to describe quality such as wonderful carpenter, wonderful shepherd, wonderful ox. A shepherd may be a criminal and still be called ‘wonderful shepherd’ not because of his good character, but because his sheep follow him. Jesus refused to ignore the children or accept the honor of the name ‘wonderful’ teacher’. He did not take credit for what God did through him. He said, ‘It is not “I” but the Father within who does the work.” True humility is the foundation of spiritual life.
Jesus said, “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him. “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not give false testimony. You must honor your father and your mother and love your neighbor as yourself.” The Young Man said, “I have observed all those things. What am I missing?” He’s thinking in terms of literally keeping the commandments. He is thinking in terms of his outer actions and not his inner attitudes. Jesus certainly knew all ten commandments, but he only highlights keeping six of them. Let’s examine the metaphysical meaning of the six commandments Jesus told the rich young man he must ‘keep.’
Thou shalt not kill: We all have free will. If we think that anything in the physical world can offer is worth more than a single moment of direct contact with God, we may get what we want but we’ll lose God, the reality of our own self and the benefits we receive through our oneness with God. For example: We might get stuff but lose our health. The man thinks there’s a quick fix to change him so that he can be like Jesus and do what Jesus does so that people will honor him and want to be around him. He wants to be something completely different without doing the inner work. Q: Have you ever looked for a quick fix to a problem? Have you ever looked for a short cut to spiritual evolution? Paraphrasing Jesus: “You can only express your own consciousness. The only way to radically change your consciousness is to get in contact with God and experience a transfiguration. There is no other way. The first step is to become like a child by going to God and being teachable.” You must go to God in meditation and prayer and take on more of what God is and experience a transfiguration. (Transfiguration is a Greek term for the act of metamorphosis or a change of form that happens from within like how a butterfly transforms in a cocoon from a caterpillar.) Meditation is a process of weaning the focus of our attention from one set of impressions to another. (From focusing on impressions received through the 5 ordinary senses to focusing on impressions and inspiration received through our attention on the inspiration received through the 5 extraordinary senses. See Bonus Lesson for more information.)
Thou shalt not Steal. A fundamental Spiritual Truth is: “Whatever comes to you and whatever happens to you reflects your state of consciousness. Life is consciousness. Whatever is in your consciousness must happen, no matter who tries to stop it. Whatever is not in your consciousness cannot happen. So, you cannot really steal.” If you take or steal something but lack the consciousness for it, you will lose it. If you lose something and have the consciousness you will regain it. Whatever comes to you comes by right of consciousness. The Law of Mind Action is: “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.” This commandment is the basic rule of consciousness. No one can do the inner work of raising your consciousness from getting (instinctual consciousness) to giving (Christ consciousness.) The man wants the benefits, admiration, gifts and power of higher consciousness for Ego gratification and not because he wants to know and serve God. He wants all the credit for what God does so Jesus tells him, “Thou shalt not steal” The spiritual fact is that Thou cannot steal because, “It is not I, but the Christ within who does the work.”
Thou shalt not commit adultery. The most common Hebrew symbol for idolatry was adultery. In the Old Testament the words idolatry and adultery are interchangeable. Idolatry means a belief in a power other than God. Giving power to outer things is acknowledging a second cause of happiness, health, etc. A second cause is idolatry because you are believing in a power equal to and in addition to God. There is only one Presence and One Power in the universe and in my life, God the Good Omnipotent. What the young man really wants is more personal power. He wants to be special and have special powers to use where and when he chooses. He wants the gifts and benefits of the Kingdom of God but not a deeper relationship with God. This is idolatry and adultery because he wants to be a ‘power’ equal to God. In the time of Jesus, it was illegal to be a psychic, soothsayer, etc. and to seek to gain prestige and power and money by demonstrating such powers. They believed such power came from a dark evil force and burned such people at the stake or worse.
Thou must not give false testimony. Jesus taught people how to contact God through prayer and bear witness to the light. We bear false witness by expressing negativity, limitation or anything less than our authentic Christ self. Jesus told his parents at 13, “I must be about my Father’s business.” The book A Course In Miracles (ACIM) says, “I am here to bear witness to the light. I am here to represent He who sent me.” The young man doesn’t want to bear witness to God’s presence and power. He wants to show people more of his personal power. This is giving false witness because he is confusing what God does through Essence, Spirit or Christ consciousness and what man does through Ego and personality. The man is ‘young’ in his spiritual evolution and doesn’t understand what Jesus is talking about.
love Your mother and father. God is one but if that one was undifferentiated energy there would be no expression. Prayer is more than holding right thoughts. Prayer is having true knowledge and expressing Divine Wisdom. True knowledge is knowing that there is only one presence and one power, but that presence and power can and does exist as pure invisible energy while simultaneously existing as visible, useable, physical matter. There is only one Cause. The visible world is a projection of thought. Everyone and everything is an individualized expression of that one presence and one power. Jesus is telling him that he already has everything he needs to ‘be like him’ but he must take the inner actions necessary to be transformed. His Ego must decrease so that his Essence can expand.
You must love your neighbor as yourself. In the Gospel of Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked which commandment is the greatest. He answers: “You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. (Deuteronomy 6) This commandment is first and foremost. The second is like unto it: You are to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18) on these two commandments hangs everything in the law of the prophets.”
These two commandments tell us that we must love both Cause and Effect and resolve it into oneness. Cause is impersonal, invisible and the source of all being. Effect is anything that has become differentiated or personalized, anything you can name, define, touch, smell, conceptualize or personally use. Cause and Effect are two sides of the same coin. Loving one without loving the other is spiritually impossible. If you focus on one to the exclusion of the other, makes life difficult. Our spiritual task is to close the gap between the seen and unseen; between perception of our humanity and the expression of our divinity without rejecting or killing either. When we put material achievements before Spirit, we reverse Jesus’ Priority Principle. (The PP is Spirit creates matter. Matter doesn’t create Spirit.)
Jesus said to the man, “If you wish to be complete, go, sell your possessions and give all to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven and then come, follow me!” When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, for he had many possessions.” You cannot change the picture and channel on your TV by just rubbing the screen with a cloth. Likewise, you can’t change yourself or the world by just changing outer things. Jesus gave the Young Man a simple rule to follow. In today’s language it goes like this. “Whenever anything comes between you and God drop it or put it aside for a time because it reveals that the Priority Principle (See and put God/Spirit first) has been reversed. You are focusing your awareness on the level of form rather than Spirit. Spirit creates matter. Matter doesn’t create Spirit, so you are focusing on the material level that created the problem in the first place rather than on the level of Spirit from which the solution flows. You are seeing yourself primarily as a struggling Human Being reaching out to a far-off God rather than as a Spiritual Being, reflecting the mirror likeness of God in the physical world; a Spiritual Being who is one with the one and one with everything.”
When the Young Man turned away, Jesus said to his disciples, “Verily I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” Jesus then said, “It is difficult but not impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Jesus had a keen sense of humor and is making a joke to his disciples. “Verily I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a person with an EGO that big to enter into the Kingdom of God and serve humanity!” There were numerous occasions mentioned in the Gospels when people tried to ‘buy’ consciousness from Jesus which is impossible. However, there are two prominent examples in the Gospels of rich men getting into the Kingdom of Heaven. One is the story about a very short man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was one of the richest men in Jericho, yet he found a way into the Kingdom of Heaven. He took action and climbed a tree to see the Christ so that he could become a follower. Another example is Nicodemus who was also very rich and who only came to Jesus in the night because he feared what others would think, say or do to him. But according to Jesus, Nicodemus also found a way into the Kingdom of Heaven. We can too.
Jesus said, “Everyone, who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon a rock. And the rain fell, and the wind blew and beat upon the house, but the house did not fall because it had been built on a rock and not on sand.” In other words, build your life on God, ESSENCE and Spirit not on FORM, Ego and Human Power. Build your life on CAUSE not EFFECT. Live a life centered in God rather than a life centered in Ego, Matter and Culture. Live your life from the inside out by focusing on Spirit as the Source of all rather than on Matter. When you live your life centered in God you know that you are first and foremost a Spiritual Being, “You are” as Jesus said, “In this physical world but not of it.” You move through this world much easier because “He that is within you is greater than he who is in the world.” But Jesus also said, “Narrow is the way, and few are those who find it.” (We have a whole lesson on this coming in March!)
Man will never just come upon or stumble on the treasure of higher consciousness without doing the inner work to change the direction and quality of his thoughts by keeping these sex commandments or rules of consciousness. We must learn how to get inspiration through our five inner senses rather than just gathering information from our five outer senses. To do this, you have to sell what you have by liquidating your ego’s hold on cherished opinions. This means giving up all the limited ideas you hold about yourself, including what you think you are and where you think your money, health and inspiration come from. All this requires doing inner work of shifting consciousness which is why many people prefer a religion where someone else does all the work for them. This is why many Christians find it easier to accept the doctrine of Vicarious Atonement which offers the doctrine that one historical God-man, Jesus, ransomed us all by his death. According to this doctrine all we have to do is believe in Him and have faith the size of a mustard seed and all will be well. But all will not be well for those who say they believe Jesus died to save us from our sins because their belief is a shadow and misapprehension of the true nature of God, of Reality.
Jesus taught that it is the Christ man (Christ mind) that is the Savior within each of us that is “our hope of glory.’ This Christ mind is submerged under 2000+ years of false teachings and most people are still asleep and living in an unconscious state so that the sense-mind, or our instinctual consciousness is dominant and overrules it. In every single parable and word Jesus speaks, we get the same message: “You have to change within yourself. Your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and outlook about yourself, about other people, and about God must change for your consciousness to change. You have to give up what you now hold in mind in exchange for what you want. In other words, you must plant new seed thoughts in order to produce a new outcome or crop.
Here is a very important truth: Two things, two thoughts cannot occupy the same space. You can’t simultaneously serve God and Mammon. You can’t believe in the Creative Law of your own mind and also hold onto the belief that other people and conditions in general are making or marring your life. If you do, you are a house divided against itself and building the house of your consciousness on sand. Make up your mind who you will serve, God or man. Thoughts are things. They are our children and “thoughts held in mind reproduced after their kind in our world.” You must give up the error beliefs that another can be your enemy, that you are a victim of chance, that you must struggle, fight and oppose powers and conditions outside of yourself. You must act with spiritual courage to enter into the Kingdom of God Consciousness. This requires that the mind give up all of its false and limiting beliefs and acquire the good knowledge of the Law Of Mind Action.
According to Jesus, the Law Of Mind Action is the ‘Pearl Of Great Price’ because once you wake up to it and its use, it costs all your opposing beliefs, opinions and practices. This is the meaning of the story of the ‘Rich Young Ruler’ found in Mark 10. He ‘thinks’ that he genuinely wants to follow Jesus and Jesus tells him exactly what he must do. He must keep the commandments and sell all that he has and give it to the poor. But the man is young in his understanding of spiritual things. Like a Scribe, he takes Jesus literally and so the cost appears to be too high for him and he turns and goes away. His Adam Mind is asleep. He doesn’t understand that the 6 commandments that Jesus gave him must be interpreted metaphysically as well as literally or that a person isn’t evil because he is poor or wonderful because he is rich. In fact he doesn’t understand that Jesus isn’t talking about material goods at all. He is talking about false beliefs and the erroneous opinions of the human mind and saying that a ‘rich man, a man with such a colossal EGO’ cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven Consciousness until he divests himself of his riches of EGO delusions of grandiosity. The pearl of great price is the awareness of one presence, one power and one cause in the midst of all appearing physical phenomena. The perception that ‘It is all God’ is what finally causes Adam mind to wake up and to sell off all of its other viewpoints. When Adam Mind wakes up you upgrade the ruling thought of your mind to ‘love the lord your God’ inside of you; then and only then can you ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”
Meditation and Prayer are the methods Jesus taught for weaning away the focus of your attention from one set of impressions to another. (See bonus lesson for more information about the five inner and outer senses.)
Jesus condensed the 10 commandments into two: “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” In other words, Spirit (God) and Matter (your neighbor) are two sides of the same coin. Likewise, the 10 commandments are best understood by looking at them two ways.
1. Taken literally they are foundation laws to create and maintain an orderly society.
2. Taken metaphysically they are the how to steps for building a Kingdom of God consciousness.
Today’s science tells us that there’s only one field of pure potentiality. What appears to be solid (matter) is actually composed of mostly space. This confirms what metaphysicians and mystics have been saying for thousands of years. “To love your neighbor as yourself” is to recognize it’s all God. What you see with your physical eyes is simply Substance formed by the quality of your thoughts and the quality of your thoughts is determined by the level of conscious from which you are living your life. When you upgrade the ruling thought of your mind to ‘Love the Lord your God’ inside of you, then and only then can you ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”
Below are the 10 commandments. As you read through them you will realize that there is only one commandment, which tells us “There is only God.” The rest are consciousness building steps and how to keep ‘a single eye’ on the goal of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth (into visibility).
1. I am the Lord your God, thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet.
James Dillet Freeman wrote an inspiring poem that reflects the content of this lesson.
THERE IS A PATTERN
By James Dillet Freeman
There is a pattern. I am part of it.
Self-spinning space and time at the heat of it;
Mind forms this body and is fleshed in it;
Mind makes this world and is enmeshed in it.
World fits so neatly, sweetly close about,
I wonder what is in and what is out.
There is no separateness; all things lead to and from
All things in consciousness’ continuum.
And I, in all this whirl of things and thought,
What am I? Even more, what am I not?
O Pattern Maker, tell me, is it true
I shall not find myself until I find You?
© Unity of Vancouver, 2004 All Rights Reserved.