Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Spirituality Gets Practical: Practicing the Peter Phenomenon

September 25, 2012

The Christ as Jesus told Peter 2,000 years ago that “upon this rock, I will build my church.” Unfortunately, mainstream Christianity has misinterpreted Jesus’ assertion to mean that the man Peter is the cornerstone of the organized church. From a Unity perspective, this is what we believe Jesus meant: Metaphysically speaking, “rock” symbolizes absolute faith in the Universal truth that we are God expressing in human form as us.

“Church” is a universal symbol for Christ Consciousness. So, from our perspective Jesus was assuring us that our ability to achieve Christ Consciousness depends on our knowing without a doubt that we are God expressing in human form as us. Once you know that Universal Truth you have the power to change the world – if you faithfully listen when Spirit turns up the volume.

The increase in volume can take the form of an inside voice. It can be a strong inner urge to surrender to your CoreSelf. It is an unmistakable feeling of an end of a cycle, or the beginning of one,  or that your current work is complete. It is a feeling of absolute trust in Spirit. And that complete trust, that unwavering faith is called the Peter Phenomenon.

Have you ever been on your cell phone, and the person you’re talking to is really irritating you? So you say: You’re breaking up! I can’t hear you. I’ll call you back later!” Even though you could hear them perfectly? That’s how it is sometimes with that testy Spirit call! Sometimes when Spirit turns up the volume, you really do want to disconnect! Claim bad connections … or dead zones! But the funny thing about Spirit is: IF you’re listening, the connection is always strong and there is never a dead zone! And when we practice the Peter Phenomenon, we not only hear those messages, we act on them in Faith! And that’s what Peter represents! But Peter didn’t always come out looking so great!

So often, the story of Peter walking on the water is used to symbolize faith — but if you remember that story, Peter lost his focus on the Christ Principle, and began focusing on the world of appearance, noticing the waves, the storm, and the deep water, and he began to sink into the emotions of fear and doubt and panic.

We’ve all experienced this “Early Peter” syndrome in our spiritual journey, where we get excited about the Principles, we jump in wanting to try them out, but at the least little bobble, we panic, we lose our focus and our trust, and we sink into the world of appearance with gusto! We want guarantees. We want proof. But ultimately, we, like Peter, are able to reconnect and rise above the world of appearance.

But there’s another Peter story we love— it doesn’t get used nearly as often. It demonstrates the difference between Blind Faith (the early Peter Syndrome) and Understanding Faith/Dominion — as we grow into the awareness of our Oneness, our discernment that Truth is immutable, unchangeable, and constant!

This story comes from  the 3rd chapter of ActsOne day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. [Peter and John represent the powerful union of Faith and Love, which together are a mighty force! Prayer: connection with Domain of Divine; 3 is the Trinity of Mind, Idea, Expression] Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. [We  can see our human selves in this man – we are so tied up in being needy, in seeking our good from out there, that we are unable to stand in the very Truth principles we know. We feel like things are hopeless, and we cannot move forward on our own. So this man is asking for money, just as we so often choose some material thing or some specific person to save us  from our problems]  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk… [The union of Faith and Love recognize that there is a force far more powerful than money, or anything material. It is the life force of Truth at work, bringing the Divine Ideas and fueling the 12 Divine Powers within you that can work acts that appear to be miraculous! When we grasp this understanding, we can literally stand tall, firmly planted in the Truth.]

This is the Peter Phenomenon at work at the highest, most elevated level! And we can all call on this incredible power for our own spiritual enrichment.

Here’s your “take away” that can ensure you are always practicing your Peter Phenomenon, at the highest level to ensure your dominion over the world of appearance: With every word you are about to say, every thing you are about to do, every decision you are about to make, STOP! First use these five words: I claim FAITH and LOVE! Remember: The union of Faith and Love generate the life force of Truth at work, opening the flow of Divine Ideas and fueling the 12 Divine Powers within you that can work acts that appear to be miraculous!

For example: If you find yourself experiencing doubts, say “I claim Faith & Love” Immediately I realize that I can plant my feet firmly in the Divine Power of Faith, and know everything I need is already here for me to be successful! As I participate in a discussion about something a little difficult, sensing potential conflict, I first say “I claim Faith & Love.” From that awareness, my words and ideas will bring a harmonizing effect to the discussion.

Our 12 Powers are our currency of Truth, and Faith and Love set the stage for us to live, move, and have our being practicing the Peter Phenomenon — faithfully listening to Spirit and acting in love on what we hear! When we do that, we will always be walking the spiritual path on practical feet!

(based on Truth Talk by Revs. Bil & Cher Holton)


Faith It Till You Make It!

September 19, 2012

If we planted an apple seed, would you believe we would actually get an apple tree?

If we squeezed an orange, would you believe we’d actually get orange juice?

If we visualize an abundant flow of prosperity flowing through our connection with Divine Substance, would you believe we would actually see a manifestation of prosperity?

Why is it so easy to believe, without doubt, that apple seeds produce apple trees, and oranges produce orange juice — but so difficult to believe that divine Substance produces everything we ever need in terms of our supply? Maybe it has something to do with what we have actually seen and experienced, versus what we have been told, but haven’t actually experienced.

This truly is the foundation of Faith!  In John 20:29, Jesus said to Thomas, “…because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Believing even when we have not seen: that’s faith. But it is really important to recognize that Faith is a powerful essence which we can develop and grow. We get critical of ourselves when it appears we don’t have the faith we think we should, and beat ourselves up. But look at how you handle other growth areas in your life.

If you decide to learn to play the piano, do you sit down and expect to play Mozart perfectly on your first sitting? If you decide to take up golf or tennis, do you expect to walk in and hit the perfect drive or land the perfect serve on your first lesson? If you decide to take up ballroom dancing, do you expect to go out on the dance floor and do a professional-level routine your first day out? Of course not! Whenever we take up a new skill or hobby, we realize there is a learning curve, and we go in expecting — and allowing — ourselves to be bad before we get good! We know we will go through a period of seeing our ability grow, as we willingly put in the time to practice and learn. And we also discover that with each thing we learn, there is another level to tackle. There’s always more to learn. Even professionals work with coaches, and continue to refine and perfect their skills, always pushing the envelop and discovering new and better ways to do things in their chosen field.

Why should our development of our Faith faculty be any different? So here’s what you need to know about faith. First of all: You never have no faith! That’s a convoluted sentence, isn’t it? But think about it. Faith is one of the Divine powers inherent within us. It is our responsibility to quicken or strengthen it. So we are really being incorrect when we say, “I lost my faith or I don’t have any faith.” You cannot lose your faith — you might just have forgotten how to use it. The comforting knowledge is that your faith is always there, just waiting to be developed.

Emilie Cady, in her masterpiece Lessons In Truth, talks about the different levels of faith. From her work, we have created a kind of continuum of faith, which helps us identify where we are in a certain situation—and also helps us recognize the Truth of where we can be. Here’s how it works:

We begin with HOPE. Hope takes a lot of flack in spiritual circles as a kind of cop out, but I wan tot go on record saying hope is an important element on our spiritual journey, because hope provides the stimulus to keep someone moving forward when otherwise they may give up. It’s kind of like our training wheels! And when we don’t have a really strengthened Faith faculty, hope is the light at the end of the tunnel that keeps our journey going in the right direction! You hear people say things like, “Don’t give them false hope.” I personally believe there is no such thing as false hope. There are lies, and wishful thinking, but if there is hope, it is real and powerful and affirming.

So why don’t we just want to operate at the hope level? When we work from a basis of hope, we tend to live in a fearful state, concerned that we may or may not receive. And in the Hope state, we fall into the habit of seeing our affirmations, dream boards, and visualizations as magic bullets. If we don’t say it just right, or create it perfectly, we won’t manifest the result. But it’s a start, and we’ve all been there (at different times in different situations, we may even revisit!)

We want to move up the Faith Ladder, moving into Blind Faith.  Blind faith is where we move forward, instinctively feeling that wherever we are, God is, and all is well. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we don’t know how or why, but we just believe things will work out. This Blind Faith is higher than hope on our continuum, because it is based on Truth, but we may find ourselves having to reassure ourselves often that it will work, it may be hit and miss, and we may question it often when we don’t see the results we expect as quickly as we expect them. But the important thing is that we persist, and continue to hold strong to the Truth we believe and use the tools, even if we aren’t sure why. Blind faith is kind of like magic — it is only magic until we know how it is done! As we grow and learn …

We are able to move to the higher level  of Faith—Understanding Faith. This is where we know and understand that there are spiritual laws as immutable as physical laws. For example, we know that the law of gravity just is, and when someone is jumping off a building, the law does not question who the person is, what job they have, or how much money or power they possess. The law operates as it operates. If the person jumps, they fall. They will have a hard, maybe fatal landing, or if they chose to have the right equipment, they will experience an amazing planned adventure. It wasn’t the law’s decision — the law operated. The people involved knew the law, and chose how they would use it!

Once we realize that spiritual laws operate the same way, we move into that powerful level of Understanding Faith, where we can be just as certain that when we apply spiritual laws, we are assured of the results that will follow. And that brings us to one other similarity between our apple seed and our orange analogies: you have to do something to get the desired  result.

To quote Emilie Cady: One of the unerring truths in the universe is that the supply of every good always awaits the demand. Another truth is that the demand must be made before the supply can come forth. (You could have a bank account filled with money, but the only way to access it is to request a withdrawal.) To recognize these two statements of Truth and to affirm them are the whole secret of understanding faith—faith based on principle!”

When we operate from Understanding Faith, we can say, “We will have the funds and resources necessary to  move forward with this project” with as much conviction as we say, “We will squeeze this orange and get orange juice!”

As you move forward on your spiritual journey, recognize it is a process of growing and developing your Faith Quotient — Faithing it till you make it through practice: affirming the Truth of what you know, denying any power to doubt, moving forward claiming the good that is yours by right of consciousness! And become aware! Bless the inflow and outflow of everything in your life, knowing that it is good.

I believe that children have that Understanding Faith, until we train it out of them. Then we have to redevelop it as  adults. Here’s a great example of Understanding Faith in action, in a story from Guidepost Magazine. It is about a little girl named Scoop. Her family had recently moved to a new house, and used every cent they had to make the move. One of the great things about the new house was a little garden shed out back, that Scoop could use as a playhouse. She loved being out there, with her dolls, creating little tea parties and pretend sewing circles. She decided she would like the playhouse better if it had a real floor, instead of the dirt floor which made things dusty and dirty. But her mom just said, “We can’t afford to put a new floor in there right now. Maybe later.” And Scoop, her eyes gleaming, said, “I know I am going to have a real floor in that play house!” And every day, Scoop would go out to the playhouse, tell her dolls that they were getting ready for the new floor that was coming, and she would diligently sweep the dirt floor to get it looking as good as possible.

One day, Scoop’s mother hear her yelling, “Mom, come quick!” She ran out to the playhouse, and looked in amazement! Sure enough, showing up underneath the layers and layers of years of dirt that had accumulated, the original brick floor of the playhouse was beginning to appear. That “real floor” had been there all along, but only through the belief and diligence of a little girl, who KNEW she would have that floor and did everything to prepare for it by her constant sweeping, was the floor able to emerge!

Our abundance, inner peace, and joy is here, right now, right in front of us. We can know it, because Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly!” And He directed us, “Ask, believing you have received…” We can KNOW, without any doubt, that we can Faith it till we make it as we walk the spiritual path on practical feet!

%d bloggers like this: