Thoughts on Thinking

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The Thinking Place recognizes thinking as the important activity of Mankind.  Thinking is important because nothing can occur prior to a thought.   Thinking is the activity of consciousness.  I think, therefore I am; I am, therefore I think.  Well, yes.

In the most basic structure, things not thought never come to pass.  The flip side, of course, is the belief that “all that is” is the result of random movements of particles in a capricious universe.   Because of the Law of Attraction, either belief is valid – the thinker will experience the results of such belief.  The difference is between living a managed life and one bouncing around the chaos of other peoples thinking, i.e., victim of external forces.

Is it safe to assume (risking ass-you-me!)  that any person, anywhere, anytime, prefers to feel good rather than feel bad?  Good is relative, granted, and the range of  a “good” feeling is vast.  Someone’s “good” feeling may be witnessing another suffer.  That’s hardly the same “good” feeling of someone providing assistance to another.  There are degrees of every feeling and experience.  The Life experience is about moving to a better feeling existence.  A mental move to a better feeling experience is not an accident.  It is a choice – a decision, a thought, an expectation.

Nothing can improve without a thought for improvement.  Some people understand that.  Some don’t.  One of my favorite thinkers, Emmet Fox, noted that People are trying to change outer conditions but leaving their consciousness unchanged, and it cannot be done.  I think Fox was emphasizing that until consciousness changes it’s not possible for anything else to change.  Consciousness is an awareness of thinking and there are degrees of consciousness as with everything.  The higher degree is characterized by a greater frequency or vibration.  Higher frequencies, in a word, rule over lower frequencies.

Contemporary with Fox was Charles Fillmore, who summed up the mental process:  If you’re unhappy with your life, change you thinking.  In essence, it’s not possible to “fix” your life until you are able to “change” your thinking.

Yet how do you change thinking?  Simply by giving attention to something else that evokes an improved feeling.  Simple is not synonymous with easy.  Many of us aren’t aware that we’re thinking, let alone how we’re thinking.  As one wag noted, consciousness is a terrible thing to waste.

Quick check:  On most days are you planning your activities/experiences?  Or, are you reacting to whatever you’re sensing around you – 24 hours news, FB, other people’s opinions, etc.?  Many people bounce around their thinking, reacting to what they see and experience going on around them.  They give attention to the news, gossip, what others say and do, and make note of the differences between people (especially themselves.)   They focus on every injustice when the “bad guys” get away with it.   Or, when some people have all the luck (leaving less “luck” available for others!)

A change in consciousness is not necessarily a Road to Damascus moment with blinding Light and Voices from the Cosmos.  Most often an elevation of consciousness (thinking on a higher frequency) is more a “Eureka!” or “Aha!” moment when something is suddenly clear.  “I get that!” is often a response.  Finally learning to “follow” your hunch/instinct is a good sign.

Perhaps the finest illustration of a change in consciousness involves a very old and very widespread teaching about humans relating to one another:

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.  Buddhism.

This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do

            unto you.  Hinduism.

What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman.  Judaism.

The teaching is direct – don’t inflict on others what you don’t want to experience yourself.  We’ve got a long history of showing that this guiding principle is effective.

Take a look at the essence of the thought:  What’s emphasized?  Something painful or undesirable.  “I don’t want this to happen to me.”  Therefore, I won’t inflict this on someone else (and maybe they won’t do it to me.)  It is a sort of truce among people – let’s agree not to harm each other.  The agreement works very well.  Over time it becomes codified and passed along to each generation.  It is a belief, a faith, if you will.  It becomes a state of consciousness – individual and collective.

Take a look at the general concept expressed on a higher level of consciousness:

All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them.

However one may consider Jesus, he is first a profound teacher, guiding consciousness with a shift in perspective.  This application, known as the Golden Rule, puts attention on what you desire – how you wish to be treated.  And places the responsibility for that desire on you!  Treat others as you want to be treated.  That’s a significant evolution from the old teaching.  Now as over 2,000 years ago, not everyone “gets it.”

It’s Real!

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It’s Real!

(Text of a talk by George Sewell – Unity of Shreveport January 29, 2012)

The Five Basic Unity Principles

  • There is only One Power and One Presence active in the Universe and all Life – God, the Good, Omnipotent.
  • Our essence is of God, therefore we are inherently good.  This God essence was fully expressed in Jesus, the Christ, and is equally expressed in us.
  • We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.
  • Through affirmative prayer and meditation, we connect with God and bring out the good in life.
  • Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the truth we know.

They sound wonderful.  They sound good.  They sound comforting.  Sigh, wouldn’t it be nice if they were real.

You’ve had that thought.  Your mental framework has been trained that  if it sounds too good to be true, then it is not true.  Right up there with no pain, no gain, got to pay your dues, suffering leads to freedom, and so on.  Are these real?  Yes, if you make them so.  That’s the whole message of the Five Principles:  You experience mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually the creations of your thoughts.

If you believe that you cannot gain without some measure of pain and suffering, then that will be your experience.  It may be otherwise for someone else.

If you believe that you have to impress other people, to pay your due to them, before you can advance or enjoy, then that will be your experience.   It may be otherwise for someone else.

If you believe that you must suffer before you can have the Grace of God or some measure of physical, emotional, mental and emotional health and freedom, then that will be your experience.  It may be otherwise for someone else.

Notice how those beliefs are much easier to grasp as “real.”  That sounds like most people around you.  “No pain, no gain!” your hear all around you.  “Got to pay your dues!”  “If it isn’t hard, it’s not worth anything!”  It’s very easy to get caught up in that style of thinking.  Let’s do something else.  Read the Five Principles again, but this time pay attention to the response or gentle, quiet, reaction you sense from your intuition, you “gut feeling” as it were:

  • There is only One Power and One Presence active in the Universe and all Life – God, the Good, Omnipotent.
  • Our essence is of God, therefore we are inherently good.  This God essence was fully expressed in Jesus, the Christ, and is equally expressed in us.
  • We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.
  • Through affirmative prayer and meditation, we connect with God and bring out the good in life.
  • Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the truth we know.

Left alone with your own self, such concepts are likely to feel reassuring, even hopeful.  Isn’t it strange that it’s easier to believe that the “no pain – no gain” stuff is real, where  the Five Principles are nice and preferable, but, not really “a part of the real world?”    Well, It’s Real.  There’s a reason they’re called Principles.

The Five  Principles are in force, in action, regardless of our level of understanding, acceptance, or participation.  The analogy is with gravity which is in action, regardless of understanding, acceptance, or participation.  Gravity does what it does because it is what it is.  Understanding and working with gravity is a great thing – as your cell phone testifies.   No communication satellite could exist without an understanding of gravity and how we can make our tools and objects orbit the planet.

It is said that those who get it, get it.  Those won’t don’t get it, can’t get it, at least for now.   It’s not about being stupid, it’s about development.  Such concepts as the Five Principles simply cannot be understood by someone whose consciousness is unprepared for that level of thought.

Let me offer this analogy.

My father wanted to teach me algebra when I was in elementary school.  I was good in school and was reading and writing very well – wrote my first short story in the third grade – so he decided to introduce me to algebra.  Now, it didn’t matter how patient he was.  It didn’t matter how well he explained equations – I knew that 2 + 2 = 4 and all that and that both sides of the equal sign had the same value.

But I didn’t get it.  I couldn’t wrap my pre-adolescent brain around the abstracts of algebra.  I couldn’t quite grasp that the letter X was a place holder for an unknown number.  Throw in an A and a B and my literal brain was tormented with those pesky letters intruding into my numbers.  Letters made words, not numbers.  I mean, I didn’t write words consisting numbers 1 to zero.  I worked really hard at it, I did.  It just didn’t register.  Why?

It’s a brain developmental thing.  Much of childhood is spent with a very concrete and literal brain processing a three dimensional material world.  We don’t recall what an adjustment that was!  We actually have to train ourselves to accept and live in a three-dimension space-time existence.  The brain is designed to help us with this.  A couple of years later, the frontal lobe of the young George’s brain began to fire up, so I got it.  Algebra made sense.  I understood it.  Letters can mingle with numbers.  It was now real.  I could wrap my young mind around the abstraction of a letter as a place holder for an unknown number.  Algebra was a puzzle.  I liked puzzles.

So, just because someone has information available to them it doesn’t mean it’s understood.

Take the first Principle – There is one presence in the Universe.  This is the unimaginable Conscious energy that is called God, with a capital G.  Unimaginable because our awareness senses are unable to comprehend this infinity.  It is a vastness far removed from our 3-D experience.  That may be why to even speak the name of this consciousness has been forbidden by some faiths.

The movement towards an understanding of the ONE, the One-ness of Creation, the Universe, God – however referenced, has been going on, well, for as long as we know.  Akhenaten, Egyptian Pharaoh who lived over three thousand years ago, moved quickly to establish the worship of One God, Aten or, the sun.   The other “gods” were subsets of the One God.  Interestingly,  Sigmund Freud speculated that Moses was a Priest of Aten during Akhenaten’s time and fled Egypt with his followers upon the death of that Pharaoh.  Perhaps such was the beginning of the Jewish faith, central of which is the One God, whose name may not be spoken, nor image made.  And, perhaps, Moses needed a translater not because he was a lousy speaker, but didn’t know the language.

Teachings far more ancient than the time of Akhenaten are those attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, who is associated with the Egyptian deity Thoth.  Primary among the Heremetic teachings is The ONE is ALL and ALL is ONE.  Another way of putting it is: There is only One Power and One Presence active in the Universe and all Life – God, the Good, Omnipotent.

What is considered the most important fact, the most basic of understanding, the essential Principle to be comprehended before anything else, is that of the mental Creator.  Without some degree of understanding this, it’s not possible to learn and apply other facets of the One.  It’s like attempting to build an airplane without an understanding of gravity – it isn’t going to happen.

It’s a head-knocking concept – the All is One and the One is in All.  No thing, nothing, is separate or standing alone.  All is One.  It is understandable why human history is filled with lesser gods, spirits and such – each an indentifiable expression of the All, but contained in the All.  And, if from the All, it can be nothing other than The All.  This is Infinity.   This is Life.

The 3-D frequency of Life which we participate is incapable of fully comprehending such definitions.  I suspect this is the root of the ancient Greek story of Semele, the mortal mother of Dionysius sired by Zeus.  Semele was tricked by Hera, jealous wife of Zeus, into asking Zeus to reveal to her his glory.  Bound by his oath to grant her any request, Semele asks him to reveal all his glory.  He begs her not to ask that and offers lesser displays of himself.  She will not be dissuaded.  He allows her to witness his true countenance, something impossible for a mortal, and she is destroyed.  It would be like standing under the tower at Trinity in 1945 and expecting to watch the explosion of the first atomic bomb.   You wouldn’t know you’d seen it.

I wonder if the tradition of not speaking the name, or making an image, of The All stems from this impossibility.  We have to have other ways to understand the nature of God.  The Five Principles are contemporary ways.  They’re pretty good.

I like Wallace D. Wattles, whose early 20th century writings inspired Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret.  Wattles premise was succinct and steady in his books:  “There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.  A thought, in this substance, produces the thing that is imagined by thought.  Man can form things in his thought, and, by impressing his thoughts upon formless substance, can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.”

A thinking stuff.  That’s an interesting description of what we call God.  Yet it’s accurate:   A = existing, thinking = Consciousness, stuff = all that is.  I kind of like it.  It has the erie ring of quantum physics.

Such concepts can be disturbing when they clash with long held beliefs.  Yet a belief is only a thought that is repeated over time.  Jesus was quite aware of this.

In THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS, one of the Gnostic Books that were rejected from the canon (that’s a topic for another day) Jesus declares in Saying 2:  “Let one who seeks not stop seeking until one finds.  When one finds, one will be disturbed.  When one is disturbed, one will be amazed and will rule over all.”

A budding awareness of God – “thinking stuff” will disturb, that is, rearrange, fundamental understanding.  Once grasped – Eureka!  I get it!  Sort of like me finally “getting” algebra.  Once this fundamental concept of God is comprehended, then co-creation becomes a conscious activity.  And that’s where the fun of Being lies.

Charles Fillmore got it right:  If you’re unhappy with your life, change your thinking.  And, of course, if you want even more joy in life, change your thinking.  That’s the only way.  And, it’s REAL.