One Life and the Inner Mystic
By Shannon Vecere
It has been said for centuries that Spirit is an infinite circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. This One Life is expressing itself through all of creation in every place and at every moment. This life is unified and cannot be divided against itself. It is whole, complete and eternal, and has been called by many names throughout the centuries.
The gift of mysticism is understanding that we are one with The One; we are a strand in the sacred web of life, a centre in the infinite circle. We belong. Our very presence completes the universe and is necessary for the correct functioning of life. As it is true for us, so it is true for all of creation. Every person, every aspect of nature, is part of a system of wholeness.
Becoming an inner mystic means recognising the One Life in ourselves and everyone we meet. This isn’t always easy when human fears and judgements demand our attention. It can be challenging to stand in the Oneness of Spirit when we look at our world and see the appearance of conflict and deprivation.
We do not deny that pain exists in our humanity - it does; but we can choose not to be defined by inner pain and outer struggles. We can remember that we are more than any single moment of life - for we are expressions of the One Life. We are whole and eternal in every moment, whether we feel it or not....so is everyone else.
It is important for the mystic not to judge others by appearances alone. We must release sanctimoniousness in order to know peace. We cannot sit in the oneness of Spirit if we choose to leave anyone out of the infinite circle. It cannot be done, as the whole is indivisible. Either everyone is a manifestation of Spirit or no one is. Spirit does not play favourites. This does not mean that we have to like or agree with everyone we come into contact with; it does not mean that we do not create strong boundaries and speak up about injustice. It simply means that we recognise the humanity back of all people regardless of circumstance.
As mystics, we are called to become more than our limited thinking, and this calling comes from deep within. The mystic uses an inner spiritual sense that does not come from external circumstances or validation. It is not found in books or ritual or dogma. It is found within the heart of the seeker as an intuitive understanding of truth. The mystic lives from the inside out: the invisible truth is more real than the appearances and conditions of the world.
We are all evolving mystics with the ability to intuitively know the Divine within ourselves and those around us. As we are open and receptive to the innermost Presence, we realize and live our mysticism by looking within for truth, guidance and direction. Our understanding of the Universe and our place in it creates the foundation from which we live. That which will save us can only be found in the depths of our very own selves.
Charles Fillmore writes, “...truth is written in the inner sanctuary of every soul, and all know it without external formulas. It is the intuitive perception of what is right in the sight of God. It is the truth and justice that every man recognises as the foundation of true living.” True living requires that we come from a place of inner integrity where our thoughts, words and actions are in alignment to the best of our abilities.
Does this mean that we, as budding mystics, never fall short or miss the mark? Not at all. However, we are aware of the power of our thoughts, words and actions in everyday living. We understand that our interpretation of life shapes our experience of that life more than any other factor, so we keep our eyes raised as we focus on the oneness back of appearances.
We embrace our humanity along with the foibles and challenges that come with it. Most importantly, we are willing to love and forgive ourselves when we don’t live up to our own expectations. It can be challenging to pick ourselves up after a fall or to release self-criticism and harsh judgement. Yet we must if we are to embrace our inner mystic and accept ourselves completely.
Ultimately, mysticism is the democratisation of Spirit. We are no longer required to have a second-hand God. No intervention is necessary, no intermediaries, holy scripts or edicts. The light we are searching for lies within and we can trust ourselves to find it. As we begin to truly know our connection to our Source, all sense of separation falls away and we are left with the understanding that we live in a world of oneness, of wholeness, of completion; moreover, we are whole and complete ourselves.
Shannon is a certified Practitioner through the Santa Fe CSL in New Mexico, USA. She received her Ministerial qualification from the Emerson Institute in 2018 and currently resides in Dublin, IE
By Rita Samra
Letting go seems to have been a major theme in my life. Sometimes it was a conscious choice and sometimes it just happened to me without my permission. When I did not choose it, I would rail at God, the Universe or anyone else who I decided was to blame. That was before The Science of Mind which taught me the power there is in letting go.
Catherine Ponder in ‘Open Your Mind To Receive’ says this: -
“The act of release is one of the most effective ways to open your mind to receive. The act of release frees you from tightness, tension or grasping. The act of release helps you to become an open receptive channel through which the intelligence of the universe can flow to you to cleanse your life of worn out relationships and conditions and make way for your new expanded good”
If you ever played a game of tug of war, you’ll remember that as each team pulls in the opposite direction to win the game, your body increases in tension. All the muscles in your body tighten in order not to let go. The pain in your body increases as you continue holding on. And then…...you let go – either by choice or because you’re forced to. As you let go, you may have fallen to the ground but your body thanks you for the freedom from the pain, stress, and tension of holding on.
Similarly, in our lives and within our bodies, on the other side of letting go or release is freedom. Freedom to “make way for your expanded good.” When you let go of the rope you may have fallen and had some physical pain as a result. Or your mind may have momentarily felt annoyed or resentful that you lost. In life we feel the pain of loss in the letting go too, and we can go through a process of grieving first. But how often have we been grateful in hindsight when: people or conditions we wanted to hang onto desperately, finally ended? When, who you thought was your soulmate, left you, how devastating it was.? Then later you met someone even better and more in alignment with you? Or the house of dreams fell through? And then you were glad because a month later you found an even better house which you preferred over the other one?
Change is often painful. Change also brings growth and new experiences which may never come into our experience without first releasing and letting go. When we let go of a person, condition, or thing, we are also letting go of associated emotions, feelings and, ultimately, beliefs. To give a personal example; I cared for my mother for many years before I became too ill to care for her anymore and I was forced to put her into care. For the next 2-3 years I was wracked with guilt. It was at this time I came to the Science of Mind and slowly I began to release the guilt with the insight into some of the beliefs behind these guilty feelings. Beliefs about duty and self-sacrifice as a female in my community had literally taken away my life-force.
I began to see the conditioning that had created my beliefs that others’ needs were more important than my own. The year my mother went into care, I began my year of saying “no” to anything or anyone which didn’t feel was right for me. Of course, I would go into a sweat whenever I did that. It took a severe illness to make me realise I mattered. That year was the beginning of releasing my feelings of not being worthy or important and releasing the fear of people leaving my life and ending up old and alone. A year later, as a Science of Mind Practitioner in training, I finally let go of the need to save my mother. Even whilst she was in care, I was still trying to meet her every need so that she would be happy. Of course, this created stress and more ill health. Until I understood that I was not responsible for my mother’s soul choices; that we were both on our own individual soul journeys and responsible for our own expansion of good. Releasing these beliefs began my recovery to health and making conscious choices towards my expanded good.
Catherine Ponder says about the priceless gift of release:
“First, it eliminates negativity from your life. Second, it expands your good…. Elimination not only takes something from you, but it also gives something to you……So you need never be fearful of letting go”.
Life is Cause and Effect – If we fear losing something or someone, you can be certain it will let you go. That which is truly yours can never be lost. Letting go also means living in the present moment. Living our lives ruminating over past memories or planning our future blocks our creativity, joy and growth. Living in the present moment releases the fear of letting go. Living in the present moment enables us to listen to that still quiet voice of wisdom within us that directs us to life choices that serve us.
Living in the present moment helps us to let go. When we are in the present moment, we are not remembering painful memories of the past or being attached to memories of situations and people long gone.
When we are living from moment to moment we stop worrying about the future. Then we can become powerful co-creators with that divine spark within us instead of becoming a hostage to our ego minds. As Louise Hay says, “the point of power is always in the present.” The answer, the strength, the right action will be there when you need it – not before, not after. When we let go, we allow space to hear the answer.
We are going through times right now that we could never have imagined. The whole world is changing and learning to navigate life through uncertainty. Our whole fear-based human tendency to want to control things, people and situations has gone for a toss. We are learning to let go of much of what we knew and expected. In that letting go I see numerous examples of humanity coming together, honouring, being kind and helping each other. Celebrities are no longer glamorised and what we are aspiring to be. Our heroes have become ordinary folk doing ordinary and extraordinary things. Our true natures are coming to the forefront. The air is cleaner; animals, mammals, and other natural life is being seen where humans dominated on the earth. Many are re-evaluating their lives and making choices accordingly. Out of the pain of letting go and uncertainty we are being forced to live in the present moment – and discovering love, freedom, inner peace, choice and who we truly are.
I’ll leave you with this from the 84 verses of the Tao Te Ching: -
“Become totally empty
Let your heart be at peace
Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings
Observe how endings become beginnings”
Rita is a qualified Science of Mind Practitioner, Counsellor and Reiki Healer. She is based in London and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greetings ANTN Members and Friends:
You'll want to join us for the July ANTN Speaker Series conversation with Paula Langguth Ryan on Thursday, July 25 at noon Eastern time, 9 a.m. Pacific time. She'll be sharing ideas on the interesting, timely and useful topic: Effortlessly Dissolve Conflict in ANY Area of Your Life.
Using laughter and a willingness to navel-gaze, you'll be ready to overcome conflict avoidance in one short hour! Rev. Paula will bestow upon you the tools you need to instantly transform any relationship (large or miniscule) where stress and conflict currently exist.
Paula Langguth Ryan is an internationally renowned conflict resolution and communications consultant. She believes everything we write or speak leaves behind a fingerprint of our own insecurities and concerns. These fears leak through our communications and sabotage our efforts to get what we desire, in unseen but clearly felt ways. Her work with spiritual centers, businesses, and individuals spans 30 years and grew out of her personal desire to "neither give littleness, nor accept it."
Her "Ryan's Rules of Order" hang on walls of businesses and spiritual organizations worldwide. Paula is a an Independent Unity Minister, author of Giving Thanks: The Art of Tithing (with a foreword by Rev. Catherine Ponder), and the CEO of New Thought Classics - a media company dedicated to putting the pure principles of New Thought inspiration and empowerment into the hands of as many people as possible, through productions and publications that transform lives in ways that exceed your dreams in the wildest ways possible.
Since 2006, Paula's non-profit, The Village Gathering, has supported Kenyan pastors and community leaders who are engaged in sustainable solutions based on New Thought Principles. (She's also an amateur juggler and semi-professional harmonica player.) She lives in Colorado, with her family and two Irish wolfhounds.
Remember that we are now using Zoom for our Speaker Series calls. You'll be able to join the conversation using your computer or tablet in a video conference. If you haven't already, click here to download the Zoom app.
On Thursday the 25th, shortly before noon Eastern time, click on this link: https://zoom.us/j/9776693433 . You can also open the Zoom app on your computer or tablet and enter meeting number 9776693433.
If you prefer, you can also join the conversation as a conference call. To attend as a conference call, dial (929) 436-2866 and enter the meeting number.
Remember that our monthly Speaker Series conversations are open to all members and friends of ANTN, so we encourage you to attend, along with your congregation! And each month's conversations are recorded and posted on the ANTN website.
Love and gratitude,
Rev. Dr. Carol Lawson
ANTN Board Member, Corporate Secretary and Speaker Series Coordinator
Rev. Jerry Troyer
P. S.: Have you registered for our ANTN Conference & Retreat? The deadline for registration is September 1, and the number of attendees is limited. Click here for more information and to register. Join us! October 1 - 4 at beautiful Unity Village near Kansas City.
The Affiliated New Thought Network has empowered Spirit-led, vision-driven, independent ministries and metaphysical churches of all sizes since 1992. ANTN represents diverse spiritual communities and unique ministries serving worldwide. ANTN believes Divine Consciousness is the sole authority. www.NewThought.org