Mid Week Faith Lift
January 29, 2014
“Tuning In to the Flow of Substance”
Rev. Deb Hill-Davis
Today we begin a new series based on the book Spiritual Economics by Eric Butterworth, a premier Unity teacher and minister who served a congregation in New York City for many years. There are twelve chapters in the book and each week the lesson will draw from two of the chapters, each week in the order received, as they say when you are put on hold! We will also be starting up a new practice of “Church after Church” which will be a time to discuss what we have been reading, learning and sharing during the lessons on Sunday mornings. The first one will be Feb. 16 after the potluck. There will be a few breaks when I am away, but this series will take us well into spring and up to Palm Sunday and Easter. I am excited for I have also been reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene` Brown and her research in human behavior dovetails beautiful with the Unity teachings captured by Eric Butterworth. So here we go!
The first two chapters are essentially about the nature of God, or Divine Substance, and our human nature. I want to begin by reading a story that gets at the very essence of what this teaching is about. It is from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo and it was the reading from Friday, the day I was working on this talk! What an object lesson of the truth that God gives me everything I need, when I need it! It begins with a quote from Albert Einstein, “There are two ways to live your life. One as though nothing is a miracle. The other as though everything is a miracle.”
Nepo goes on to describe worry as having no end because there is no end to what exists out of view, beyond what he calls “our very small eyes…worry is a way to gamble with what might or might not happen.” He continues to relate a story about a friend having a flat tire on a dark country road late at night. The friend works himself into such a state about how the farmer won’t help him that when he knocks on the door to borrow a jack, he says to the farmer, “You can keep your damn jack!” My friends, that is a powerful demonstration of lack consciousness! But haven’t we all been there? That dance in our human experience is to stay with the miracle of what is and to not fall into the black hole of what is not…..a lifelong dance with multiple partners in endless venues and lots of different music and rhythms.
Our Unity teachings offer us a whole different perspective, but we have to tune in to it. We want to see ourselves as “affluent” and having all the material “stuff” we need. But the literal meaning of affluence is “abundant flow” which is the flow of all the creative energy in the universe that is always there and available to us. But we have to understand and know that it is there. As divine/human beings we live in both the material and spiritual world simultaneously, but it is tricky for us to hold that in our conscious awareness all the time. We get caught up in our flat tire situations and all we can see is what we don’t have and with our limited human perception, we can only tune in to the human solutions that we can see…and very often, in that consciousness, all we can see is what we don’t have. Which puts us quickly into the black hole of lack consciousness!
But we are like fish in the ocean; we are swimming in a sea of God energy that offers us infinite possibilities to co-create all that is needed and more. But as fish will be the last to learn about water, we are like this radio…. just barely tuning in, getting a lot of static, not hearing the message of all that is there for us very clearly. My grandparents used to call this radio “the wireless”…. it was tuning into something invisible which seemed like a miracle. But that is the nature of God, or Divine Substance as we say in Unity. The word “substance” comes from two Latin words; star-e, meaning to stand, and sub which means under. So Substance is literally that which “stands under” all that is; Substance is God! Butterworth invites us to tune in to that reality and live from that place to cultivate a “wealthful” consciousness. It is God’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom, or a consciousness of prosperity, but it is up to us to be mindful of that and live from that place of hope in our consciousness.
In Unity, as Butterworth explains, God is not a Being with qualities and attributes of generosity, goodness and power, dispensing favors and providing us with “stuff” as per our request and God’s decision. God is as Emilie Cady states in Lessons in Truth, “the good itself coming into expression as life, love, power and wisdom.” As part of the created universe, we are emanations of that Creative expression of God. And God is seeking to manifest even more love, life, power and wisdom through us. We make it awfully hard for God to find that expression sometimes, don’t we?
Science tells us that at the most essential level, there is no particle; there is just an energy relationship, a bond of energy that exists in a field, a force field. This essential bond exists in an energy field, which Charles and Myrtle Fillmore would describe as God. We are not acted upon by God; we are in relationship with this God energy at the most basic core of our being. We are the activity of God expressing as us, whether we are aware of it or not. And it is God’s great pleasure to supply us with everything we need to find and express all our creative potential. It is up to us to “tune in” to that spiritual energy that we cannot see, but only experience. We are designed to be receivers and transmitters of this invisible but powerful energy, just like this radio. One very powerful teaching of Butterworth in these first two chapters is that “God can only do for you what God can do through you.” ‘
The very nature of God is to give us everything we need when we need it and our mission should we choose to accept it is to tune in to that Divine Substance of God to co-create the sufficient conditions for all that is God, that is Good, to manifest in, through and as us. We may be broke, but we are never poor! In John 16:33 Jesus says, “In the world, you have tribulation; but…. I have overcome the world.” He is not offering us an overcoming in the afterlife, but a consciousness of heaven right here and now. All things Jesus did, he told us we would also do if we remain tuned in and centered in faith in that inner realm of wholeness. It is our faith, the “conviction of things not yet seen” that is what we use to tune in to that real of abundant flow of the Universe.
Last week, when Rama was here, he played the 12 Bowls which represent all 12 powers. The one that had the stem, which had to be held, was the Bowl of Faith and he said to me that it takes a lot of faith and strength to hold that bowl! Yes it does, but we are made of God stuff, and we can hold to a consciousness of abundance, even in the face of apparent lack. Remember our story at the beginning? And the song…”Love is my decision?” You can as easily affirm, “God is my decision!” And know that once you decide to change your mind and see the true affluence and abundance of the Universe, God will show you how! God will help you to know your worthiness, to live in the flow of Substance in a constant affirmation of your Supply. Let us say today’s affirmation together: God is my instant, constant and abundant source of supply. We tune in to this higher Truth and know our true wealth. As the Sufi poet Ghalib said centuries ago, “Every particle of creation sings its own song of what is and what is not. Hearing what is can make you wise; hearing what is not can drive you mad.”
Blessings on the path,