A few weeks ago, while on a Photo Shot in Sedona I ran into two young women who were having trouble taking pictures with their new Nikon camera. Of course I offered to take a picture with both of them in it and to help them with their camera Issues. When I asked where they were from they said Russia. Then a funny thing happened to me inside, I paused and started feeling resentful inside. In my mind, all the terrible things that were happening in the Ukraine started flooding through me. Before I knew it I was suddenly Anti-Russian and Pro-Ukrainian . It became very apparent that I was transferring all of the biased news reporting that I had watched on TV onto these two strangers. I was “Not Open at the Top” as our Spiritual Teaching asks us to be.

For what seemed like an eternity in my mind, I final said “Welcome to the USA” to both of the girls and really meant it.

This feeling of being “Open at the Top” made me look at our teaching of the Science of Mind and how we see ourselves in the Spiritual Community. My question to everyone is: “As Religious Scientists, are you as open about your faith and as tolerant about other religious faiths as you think you are?” We say there is no Dogma within our teaching but is that really true. Do we believe that our way is the best way to connect with Spirit or is there room to be “Open at the top” to other teachings.

I decided to make up an arbitrary list of questions/statements to ask myself. Take the challenge for yourself and let me know if this brought up any feelings inside of you.

• “All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”- Buddhism-
• How does it make you feel when someone asks “Are you a Christian”?
• If someone says at church “I am a Recovered Catholic” is that a put down of another religious belief even though it seems funny to you?
• “I want to use Crystals to Open my Chakra’s” Does that statement resonate with you or repel you?-New Age_
• What do you say when someone asks you is” Jesus Christ Your savior”?
• On Sunday, when you singing “I am God” do you embrace that feeling or do you have trouble believing it. • “Allah be Praised” …. “Fear Allah wherever you may be”- Muslim-
• “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”-Buddhism
• “During my Past Life Regression I discovered that I was a nun in the 12th • “One man’s candle is light for many” – Talmud on Shabbat
• “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 Century”

 These are all random questions or statements. They are not meant to embarrass or criticize anyone. My intention is for all of us to look at our faith and realize that all things come from Spirit. It is through Spirit that we exist and we are given the opportunity to choose wisely in our human experience. By being “Open at the top” we can see the Divine Wisdom that Spirit has provided to us. By choosing Love , caring, beauty, grace , compassion, kindness, gratitude (to name just a few ) we allow our faith to be powerful , practical and hold a meaningful place in our lives. By choosing wisely we surrender to the Divine truth in all of us and release all things that no longer serve us. By choosing wisely we embody the true meaning of the “Christ Consciousness “ in everything that we do regardless of where the information originally came from.

Even though I may have hesitated with the two Russian girls for a moment the Divine Wisdom of Spirit prevailed so that I could truly say “ Welcome….” And mean it.

Take a moment now to click on the music and meditate on your Faith. Namaste Rev. Arpad Petrass

Rev Arpad Petrass is an Ordained Center For Spiritual Living Minister. He is a gifted photographer, speaker and Spiritual teacher. He can be contacted at www.ArpadPetrass.com or e-mailed at arpadesigns at cox dot net.