In the book, The Universe is Calling, Eric Butterworth has a chapter titled, ‘The Great Amen.’ It is a fascinating chapter about the original meaning of the word “Amen.” What does it really mean? Butterworth begins by quoting Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
“Macbeth is wallowing in guilt and remorse and says: “I could not say ‘Amen’ when they did say ‘God bless us.’ But wherefore could I not pronounce ‘Amen.’ I had the most need of blessing, and ‘Amen’ stuck in my throat.'”
Originally ‘Amen’ which has come to mean, “So be it,” meant “This is the Truth.”
Think about how powerful that statement is. When we pray, we have unified with a power greater than we know ourselves to be, we have spoken a word of Freedom, Truth, Beauty or Love and then with gratitude we release the prayer with love into Divine Law by confidently saying, “And this is the Truth!”
There have certainly been times in my life when I could not with integrity and certainty say that my words were the Truth. That is why I love our method of prayer so much. Ernest Holmes teaches us to speak the Truth and then, if there are any words which we do not believe, to step by step, deny and repudiate the spiritual necessity for whatever problem we are encountering or entertaining. If it can not be the Truth for God, it cannot be the spiritual Truth for me or you or Macbeth. We may need to quit wallowing in guilt and remorse. We would be better off if we let all those negative feelings go. Do you really need them?
It does not sound like we are hoping that this prayer is effective. We KNOW the prayer is effective. When we know the prayer is effective we let go and let God do Its work in us.
I am writing this blog while on a retreat with my Self Realization Fellowship friends. There are a couple of thousand of us. Meditating with this many people is a powerful experience. Yet often so still and quiet that I feel alone with Source.
Just like we think the SRF folks think, that the ultimate God is within us. They believe that the path to enlightenment is through conscious connection with God. We achieve that union through stillness and meditation.
They have a different view of prayer. They believe in it for certain. Their prayers always end in “Amen.”knowing the original meaning of “Amen” is very helpful. We are praying for peace on earth. Amen. We are praying for individuals to have a personal connection with God. Amen to that. We are praying for kindness, respect and compassion in relationships. Amen to that. We are praying to persevere on our path despite any periods of feeling disconnected.
I believe the intention of these prayers could be heard in any temple, church, synagogue, temple, center or ashram. There are more points of similarity than of difference.