Opening Letter: Spring Quarterly 2012

And then there were eleven….

 

Dear Friends,

In order for someone to be forgiven, they must sincerely ask for forgiveness.

Through the centuries since Jesus walked the earth in a physical body, we have looked upon Judas, one of the twelve disciples chosen by our Master, and wondered how such a horrible betrayal could have occurred, even if it was ordained and necessary.

Some believe that he must have been a very advanced being and aware of what he had to do in order to bring about the salvation of the earth and its human population.

Others believe that his motives were murkier; perhaps a desire to force his Master’s hand to declare himself the Messiah and free the kingdom of Israel from the yoke of Rome.

One of the first signs of his falling away written in the Testament is his indignation at the “waste” of the expensive ointment that Mary Magdalene used to anoint the feet of Jesus.  It was clear that “giving to the poor” was merely an excuse to register disgust and disbelief at the display of Mary’s unconditional love for her Lord, which Judas by then was unable to feel or respect.

“It appears likely that he had become progressively disgruntled with many things, among them those preposterous occurrences which went beyond the realm of human understanding.”

“The ordinary mind, having no previous conditioning to such things, can cope with just about so many miracles before feeling either an urge to throw up its hands and settle back into “normal” procedure having nothing more to do with such strange goings on, or he is inspired to go wholeheartedly all the way.”     -Book of the Master Jesus

Judas symbolically is the part of every man that finds a way out of giving totally to the mission of the Christ.  By falling back into cynical disbelief at the miracles one has actually witnessed, the inner Judas can return to the material mind that has given him so much trouble but yet is familiar and tame—

not at all the stepping off into the unknown required of a true aspirant.

Even Judas is forgiven once he repents and asks sincerely for forgiveness.

We cannot know his journey, but in our own, let us give our whole heart and soul to accepting forgiveness each day and as a divine fool in faith, step out in selfless action.

May we all be channels for this influx of grace in this Holy Season.               A Most Blessed Easter,

Revs. Mary & Mark Anderson

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1 Corinthians 11:23-26

 23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

From Father Paul: Lesson on Prayer

From January, 1971

I want to progress along with the Tree of Life.  Let us go back to last night’s lesson and recap the lesson on Prayer, because we feel generally that the matter of prayer is something which is pretty intangible. ..Usually when we come into the school we have a feeling that it takes somebody with a sort of a halo around their head, and perhaps if you felt back there, well, their wings are just starting to come out…but this is not so.

 

Prayer is a practical thing.  It’s not only a matter of you and the control of your mind and understanding of the Law, but it’s actually a scientific thing too.  For when we work with the Lord, and we use this as a matter of teaching God and prayer, and what we are trying to do actually—is usually to get something.  Now you know the majority of people, when they pray, it’s “Father give me this; Father, I’d like that.  Won’t you get me a new car.  I need a job.”  You know, I wish we could stay on the other end of the telephone line of prayer and listen to the “I wants” that come up, and I think we’d be pretty well disgusted from the lot.  Because you hear very few prayers that say, “Father, it’s such a pleasure to live in your world that You’ve created.”  How many people here tonight, even the Brothers and Sisters here, that actually come down for the purpose of prayer—of giving thanks actually for what they have receive—say nothing about what they are going to get in the future, but what they’ve already received?  Just for the privilege of living and feeling the joy and exhilaration of life, this is something to be thankful for.  But as a rule it’s a “I need.  Gimme.  I want” process.  Now of course, the majority of these prayers never get answered. ..

 

Now, of course, there’s a lot of prayer s that are said by people who don’t know that they’re saying them.  There’s a lot of people pray for things that they don’t know they’re praying for, and that actually get them.  And they don’t want them, either.  But they get them just the same.  And this is one of the things that I think we need to learn a whole lot more about, and that is the unconscious or subconscious prayer—I don’t like that word because I don’t think there’s any such thing as the subconscious.  Down to reality, you’re pretty conscious of everything that you do, and you’re pretty conscious of doing it, regardless of whether you are on the external side of things or not.  Because I cannot admit or accept the fact that You, your Self and your soul, isn’t more intelligent than all that.  And that’s why we have a great many rebellions, is because of the things we choose to do which the soul does not want, and that neither does the Self.  In other words, the animal wants it, but not You.  And here is the start and root and seed of rebellion.  Always.  This is the seed of it.

 

But just to remind ourselves that this prayer—we’ll put it this way—(note:  he is using a diagram) that this is the Father (top of triangle) ∆   Now what do you know about this?  We talked about God last night, about reaching Him; we talked about being conscious of Him, rather, and we got along pretty good on that score in that lesson on the Creator here.  But somehow or other you have forgotten something that happened to you a long time ago…when you were a little youngster.

 

You know you can say, “Oh, Father, it is most glorious the way You have given me these things,” and so on and so forth.  You know I’ve heard so many empty prayers in my life that if I were able to be disgusted, I would get disgusted—but how many of you can remember having seen a piece of candy or something that you wanted:  a bright-colored object on a table, or maybe even after you got a little older, Mother put the cookie jar up a little bit higher than what you were able to get off the top of the kitchen chair.  And you went right up on tiptoes and, well, maybe you reached it and maybe you didn’t.  But let me tell you something.  If you’re going to reach God, you’re going to do it that same way!  And if you’re not reaching that hard, if you’re not trying to reach with that same enthusiasm, with that same feeling and that same want that you did to reach the cookie jar, or the bright object on the top of the table that was put out of your way, you’re not going to reach it.  Because you’ve got to want it, and you’ve got to want it till it hurts—if you’re going to get it.

 

And that’s where most people fall off it their prayers.  It’s right here where they lose out in prayer—it’s in reaching the consciousness of the Father at all, because when you reach that consciousness, you will know it, that’s for sure.  There won’t be any mistake about it, and you won’t be able to make a mistake, because your whole being will respond to it.  And you will feel it, and you will be electrified from the tip of your toes to the roots of your hair, and there won’t be any questions but what you have reached that state of consciousness where God is going to answer!  Every time.  We’re not going to have any altar call tonight.  We’re going to pass that one up. (Laughter)

 

But that’s just the way you’ve got to feel about it, because if it isn’t alive in you—the reality—how can you expect to reach that which you don’t believe, and you’re not even sure exists?   I could come along and tell you about Mohammed de la something-or-other, and his life and what he had done and what he hadn’t done and all that, and I’d say, “Now if you pray to him you’re all going to get Packard cars or Cadillacs or something.”  And unless you saw the Mr. so-and-so, and unless you saw him produce ‘em, or at least seen him, you wouldn’t have any faith at all in this.  But if you saw his name, heard his name mentioned, and you saw the cars produced, why then you’d have some faith in him.

 

But now you have got to be able to reach an actual conclusion  within yourself, that this really exists, that it really exists.  And this proof can only be gotten through you, not somebody else.  And until you have that proved within yourself, you cannot really reach God…

Evolution: Heaven’s Performance

Evolution

 

Evolution is speeded up through the remission of sins.  Rebirth and the law of consequence have been taught through the ages.  According to the old dispensation, it was an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”  With the coming of the Christ, the old law was superseded by the law of love, through whose redeeming power all sins are forgiven.  By repentance, restrictions and reform, the karmic sheet is swept clean.  “You shall know the truth and the Truth shall set you free.”  And “You shall love one another, as I have loved you.”

The veil which hung before the temple was rent.  The call of the Christ is to whoever wills to come and partake of the waters of life freely.  During the earlier dispensations, only a chosen few were permitted to enter into the temple of initiation, but with the establishment of the Christ regime, initiation doors were thrown open to all, with the Truth which is revealed and acquired only by individual worthiness and merit.  “Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.”  And this is one thing to take into consideration—how easily that door has been opened unto you!  For Jesus has given to us the grace, the reality of it, and has made it so much easier to have that door opened.

 

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Tian Yan:  Heaven’s Performance

 …In 1898, the scholar Yan Fu translated Thomas Huxley’s 1893 book Evolution and Ethics into Chinese.  The Darwinian theories of human evolution expounded therein found ready acceptance in China, in part perhaps because they reflect some traditional Chinese folk beliefs about the stages of human development, which involve a progression from foraging, cave-dwelling ancestors to fire-using and house-building ones, and then to agricultural beings.  In his translation, Yan Fu rendered the word “evolution” as tian yan.  Chinese characters can be read in several ways, and one way of reading these characters is as ‘heavens’ performance’—heavens in this instance meaning all of creation.

Yan Fu’s phrase is now obscure and defunct, but heavens’ performance strikes me as a beautiful and illuminating way of describing Darwin’s discovery, for evolution is indeed a sort of performance, one whose theme is the electrochemical process we call life and whose stage is the entire Earth.  Funded by the Sun, heavens’ performance has been running for at least 3.5 billion years, and barring cosmic catastrophe will probably run for a billion more.  It’s an odd sort of performance, though, for there are no seats but on the stage itself, and the audience are also the players.  Darwin’s genius was to elucidate, with elegant simplicity, the rules by which the performance has unfolded.”

From Here on Earth:  A Natural History of the Planet by Tim Flannery

 

From Mother Ruth

By Mother Ruth, written regarding Father Paul and his work:

“The seeming closure of his work does not delete the patterns that were set for posterity, nor the work that was completed on an inner level which will continue to bear fruit in the souls of those he touched.

If spirit could be perceived by physical means, it could be explained, as even the sixth sense of intuition is not too difficult to understand.  But who has seen or photographed the Spirit which resides within every person?

Is there any way to bridge the gap in understanding between the spiritual and the intellectual?  It is easy to accept the views of the practical scientist, because he deals with the realm of matter, which is experienced through the five senses, and we all have those.  Some also have a sixth sense of intuition, which is common enough to be appreciated.

But those from the realm of material science who have tried to test certain spiritual matters have failed, not because nothing was there, but because they themselves lacked the ability to see, and because they were using material means to discover that which is much finer and far beyond the realm of matter or the human brain.  By their very negative and skeptical attitude they blocked out what might have been evident to someone with spiritual sight or insight.  And their very attitude negated what might otherwise have been revealed or experienced.  So then they turn against and try to destroy what they cannot understand—as has been happening since the beginning of time.”

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“Those who were half-hearted, and unwilling to stand up and face a large and hostile world, have retreated to the numerical safety of older established churches, (which in the early days of Christianity were also called “cults.”

We live in a materialistic world, and must try to adapt to that, to the majority way of thinking and acting, because anything counter to that, esoteric ideals, become suspect.  Anything which is ahead of the times is not accepted by the masses.  Its teachers are rejected in their lifetimes, only later to become heroes.”

Thomas Merton

“Here is a statement of Gandhi that sums up clearly and concisely the whole doctrine of nonviolence:  ‘The way of peace is the way of truth.’  ‘Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness.  Indeed, lying is the mother of violence.  A truthful man cannot long remain violent.  He will perceive in the course of his research that he has no need to be violent, and he will further discover that so long as there is the slightest trace of violence in him, he will fail to find the truth he is searching.’  Why can we not believe this immediately?  Why do we doubt it?  Why does it seem impossible?  Simply because we are all, to some extent, liars.

 

The mother of all other lies is the lie we persist in telling ourselves about ourselves.  And since we are not brazen enough liars to make ourselves believe our own lie individually, we pool all our lies together and believe them because they have become the big lie uttered by the vox populi, and this kind of lie we accept as ultimate truth.  ‘A truthful man cannot long remain violent.’  But a violent man cannot even begin to look for the truth.  To start with, he wants to rest assured that his enemy is violent, and that he himself is peaceful.  For then his violence is justified.  How can he face the desperate labor of coming to recognize the great evil that needs to be healed in himself?  It is much easier to set things right by seeing one’s own evil incarnate in a scapegoat, and to destroy both the goat and the evil together.”

From Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander – Thomas Merton

In the Garden

Jesus then, bending over his sleeping Apostles, said in a low, deep voice, Arise!  He who is to betray me is near at hand!’

He had scarcely spoken these words when Judas and his band arrived.  Advancing to Jesus, emboldened by his escorts and with a false smile masking his lips, he pointed out the Lord to the hostile troop who came to seek him, by giving him that sacrilegious kiss which has since taken his name; this was the prearranged signal.  Jesus received the traitor kindly, and said to him, with an undercurrent of knowing and of divine love, “Friend, whereto art thou come?”  Such words of a higher love that would afterward ring in Judas’ mind again and again to torment him.

Judas had not time to answer this embarrassing question, for the others, advancing, threw themselves on Jesus and laid hold of him.  Then arose the hot blood of Peter, Prince of the Apostles, who drew his sword and smote one of the servants of the high priest; but Jesus, arresting the only arm that was raised in his defense, commanded the sword to be restored to its scabbard.  “That the Scriptures may be fulfilled,” said the sacred one, “so it must be done.”  The Lamb of God was willing to be immolated for the sins of the world.

Thereupon there was heard within the garden a confused sound of retreating footsteps, of breaking branches, and the shadowy forms of men were suddenly seen scaling the low wall which surrounded the garden, as the disciples made their escape!

For three years they had lived by his every word and action, they had obeyed his every command, and looked to him for direction.  Suddenly that direction was taken from them, snatched by a senseless crowd.  What could the sheep do at that first instant without a shepherd, but to scatter impulsively as the scripture had prophesied?  They ran from the unbelievable – the sight of their all-powerful Lord, in captivity.  If he, their Saviour, would not help himself, what could they do against the priestly authorities and armed soldiers to save him?  It was a surprising turn-about.  They had thought him infallible, and did not yet understand that he had to suffer this.

It is possible that the Spirit itself blinded their understanding and sent them fleeing, in order to preserve their lives for the work ahead, lest they should all have been arrested.

Mary in this was stronger than they.  She had come to lean on his will and commands like them, but less fully.  For she still remembered the years when she had commanded the child Jesus, and had cared for him.  This gave her strength now, for she was once more brought to the consciousness of motherhood.                      –from Mary of the Holy Family

The Twelve Rules of Living

The Twelve Rules of Living for the Brothers and Finding the Self

 

1.   Keep the Creator, then Christ, then Christ Jesus, Lord of Earth, in your consciousness at all times – then the Holy Spirit will be with you always.

2.   Obey the still, small voice within (God-Self) and the Law of God.

3.   Study your desires – do not incur spiritual indebtedness by wanting things not essential.

4.   Think and speak only that which is true, kind, helpful and necessary.

5.   Thou shalt be Self-controlled, be charitable, be compassionate, and consistent in all things.

6.   Be affectionately detached – not attached.

7.   Find points of agreement, not difference, with others.

8.   Love all people, and respect their personal possessions, which are God’s.

9.   Practice: Prayer for God’s sake; Work for Work’s sake; The arts for art’s sake; Listening for your soul’s sake.

10.   Tithe for the love of freedom.

11.   Do only that which brings Light into the World.

12.   Let the word of your mouth speak of your coming life.