Centers for Spiritual Living
Our MISSION is to provide spiritual tools for personal and global transformation.
Our PURPOSE is to awaken humanity to its spiritual magnificence.
Our VISION is a world that works for everyone.
While Dr. Heather is on Sabbatical I am filling in. As a Staff Minister whose ministry focuses on the Science of Mind in Mental Health my attention is naturally drawn to certain perspectives.
In this first post, I want to share my belief that many of our human experience problems can be resolved and our lives improved if we focus on recognizing a simple Truth. That is we all come from One Source. We are all connected.
This is not simply a nice sounding concept. It plays out as an inescapable factor of our physical world reality.Physically, we are all connected. We are all touching the atmosphere and/or in some way touching the earth or touching something that is connected to the earth. Always and everywhere. There are no exceptions. Beyond the physical connection it runs even deeper than that.
Change Our Thinking Change Our Lives
At the top of this page, you see the Mission, Purpose and Vison for all Centers for Spiritual Living. My thinking is that to bring our Vision into physical reality requires understanding, accepting and living the basic concept that we all come from One Source and thus we are all connected.
This demonstrable premise leads to some inevitable conclusions. One of these is that every decision we make and every action we take has consequences for others. Positive as well as negative.
Many of us do well with understanding how we direct and co-create the conditions of our individual lives. At the same time I see less understanding of how our collective consciousness drives how we organize ourselves as societies both here and around the world. Changing this starts with each of us individually.
If this connection was visible, if we were all tied together with a simple cord around our body, we would easily understand. We would experience that when someone moves with thoughtless impulse or aggressive disregard for anyone else we would all feel the pull to one degree or another. For some it would be a minor event. For others it could be disastrous and cause injury.
With everyone being aware of the situation eventually it would be obvious that no one can move forward without cooperation from the rest of us. Even with a long length of cord to allow us sufficient freedom to do everything we desired all of our decisions and actions would be automatically guided by consideration of how they affect everyone else.
It would be in our self-interest to do so because the necessity and benefits would be obvious. When no one is harmed by another person’s physical expression and instead benefits from everyone’s decisions all of us including ME is better off.
Why has this been so difficult to achieve?
We live in a culture that encourages hyper-adrenalized physical and emotional states.
According to Fred Luskin, Ph.D. Director of Stanford’s Forgiveness program, the purpose of adrenaline is to force us to focus on a problem. He points out that when we are in hyper-adrenalized states, generating emotions such as generosity, empathy and compassion is almost impossible. It is easy to understand how that does not lead to creating a world that works for everyone
It is becomimg more intense. Twenty four hours news programs compete for audience size by promoting the worst aspects of human activity. Talk radio shows substitute yelling and anger for honest discussion. Many popular entertainments – movies, television shows, video games, sports – constantly and prominently feature physical violence, horror and fear demanding that we feel anxious and afraid.
All of this and more promotes a general sense of separation, danger and lack. It is difficult to think thoughts of Truth (health, abundance and prosperity of all good things) when our physical senses are feeding us a constant stream input that insists we are in immediate danger.
Why competition should be re-evaluated. It is not always good.
It is instructive to examine what we know about this and can prove. One of the things that happens when we find ourselves in conflict is that conflict narrows focus. Conflict is about winning and losing. Winning and avoiding losing are the primary values. We have seen that when people believe that the stakes and consequences of losing are high enough they often discard values such as empathy, caring about fairness, and even honesty.
Competition of course is a level of conflict. How intense the conflict can become depends on perception of what are the consequences of losing. When we are in that mental state our brain causes our bodies to release a cascade of hormones to prepare us to fight, flee or freeze. One of those is adrenaline. When adrenaline is high feelings compassion, generosity, sharing, mercy and forgiveness decrease and even disappear altogether.
Why this is important to know.
That which is believed gets done. Everything else gets “lip service”. There is a natural outcome of understanding and BELIEVING that our constant connection and oneness is real. We would use our intelligence to create and voluntarily employ basic rules of decency in day to day attitudes and behaviors. Otherwise, how would anything work? I would still have my individual consciousness and expression and freedoms, and at the same time I would have to acknowledge the physical reality that what I do affects more than just me.
We all understand that we cannot hurt one part of our body without injuring and/or causing a pain experience for the entire ME. I cannot allow injury to one of my limbs or organs without all of me feeling the pain. Whenever someone goes to a swimming pool no one asks “Where is the no pooping section”. That is because it is obvious that as soon as any part of the pool is contaminated it is all damaged. If we could accept this Truth, to know and really believe it we would, all of us, never take any action that did not hold value for every other person in the world.
In his well known book The Science of Getting Rich Wallace D. Wallace introduces the idea of keeping our ideas on the Creative Plane instead of falling down into the Competitive Plane. The difference is this: On the Creative Plane it is understood that the One Source of everything – call it Spirit, Life Force, God, Higher Power, etc – is infinitely powerful and endlessly and constantly creative so that we are always supplied with everything we need. Our job is to accept that reality and make sure our actions are congruent with that belief.
On the other hand minds working on the competitive plane see limitation and fall into behavior consistent with that belief. If someone believes that the her or his access to the supply of all of the good things in life ( loving supportive relationships, finances, health, safety, satisfaction etc.) are finite and limited the natural outcome is to compete fiercely to get some share of whatever is still left and an attitude of separation from everyone else who may be trying to get “your share.” It’s easy to see how that can get in the way, perhaps even eliminating the possibility of creating a world that works for everyone.
This is the crux of it.
When we truly know something we take action that is congruent with our belief. When enough of us do the necessary work to accept our Oneness as the Truth rather than a wish or a hope our decisions and actions will change and the systems for daily life would change to reflect that Belief, The natural result would be a world that works for everyone.
It is beyond my present knowledge as to what sort of systems we will design and create when enough of us believe and take seriously the understanding that we are unbreakably connected with each other and our One Source. I am certain that it will include more empathy, generosity and forgiveness. It makes sense to me that that competition will be relegated to minor games and amusements and have no part in any activities in which losing can result in serious harm to any of us.
In the 1950s Dr. Ernest Holmes declared his belief that the population of the U.S.A. was large enough for a nucleus such that if enough of us believed that world peace was possible and truly desired and intended it that world peace would manifest quickly. Like many of us, I falter at times in my ability to act in accordance with these ideas. I invite everyone to join me in shifting our individual beliefs to embrace ideas that support Our VISION – a world that works for everyone -into manifesting as a practical physical reality.
I welcome any ideas and comments anyone has that helps accomplish this.
If you found this post helpful please share with others.
Posted by Rev. Bruce Fredenburg
Staff Minister; Science of Mind in Mental Health
In addition to being an Ordained Minister with Centers for Spiritual Living Reverend Bruce is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing in Laguna Hills, California since 1982. He is a Clinical Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Child Specialist and Divorce Coach with Collaborative Divorce Solutions Orange County a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and is a trained Mediator. Reverend Bruce is also a professional speaker who brings wit and humor into everything he does He has served as a Staff Minister with a focus on Science of Mind in Mental Health at CSLCV since 2003