“In conclusion, what the world needs now is spiritual conviction, followed by spiritual experience. I would rather see a student of this Science prove its Principle than to have him repeat all the words of wisdom that have ever been uttered. It is far easier to teach the Truth than it is to practice It.” Ernest Holmes
Ernest Holmes, the founder of a philosophy and way of life called Religious Science is writing about our ability to live life by Principle and prove it as opposed to just talking about it. Principle is merely this: “We are spiritual beings, living in a Spiritual Universe governed by our use of the Law of Cause and Effect.” Everyday, every moment, every instant we are causing effects in our life. The life we live is the one we’ve created. It is not just about thinking. It is about believing and living those beliefs.
As we know, yesterday, was September 11 and the 20th anniversary of the destruction of the Twin Towers and the thousands of lives lost that day. It was a day of remembering the souls of those lost and the heroism that followed and continues to live on since that day. I don’t usually do this, but I got involved in watching the detailed footage of September 11 as told by the media. I took in the graphics and the feelings and all of it. I wept.
You might ask me, why would you do that, Rita? I felt this call to look at it, digest it and learn from it. Amidst all the tragedy and horror, what I felt was love. People helping people, risking their own lives, giving what and where they could. In that moment of devastation and horror, no fingers were pointed to how or what, we were in the moment, reaching out to each other. We were true human beings.
I wondered why tragedy calls us to be human. What about it can we replicate in everyday life? Why does it take a tragedy for us to hold each other and help and look beyond color, gender, greed, politics and everything that separates us? The only answer I can come up with is that we realize our oneness in our need to survive. It is instinctual, innate within us, in those moments, and we merely act from a deep that most of the time is buried. It turns on parts of our chemistry called compassion, kindness and self-sacrifice. These feelings are our truest selves that much of the time we bury.
The next thing I thought was why aren’t we, for the most part, experiencing this same reaction to this pandemic? It is definitely a tragedy in that lives are lost and life has been altered for all of us. For some reason, it has turned on another part of our innateness called separation, I am right and you are wrong, distrust. It seems to all be motivated by fear. In the case of 9/11, fear brought out our love. In the case of the pandemic, fear brought out more fear. The greatest fear, I believe, is our fear of dying.
Yesterday, on our global connection call, a woman expressed how she wasn’t afraid to get COVID19 or to die from it. She did everything in the way of self-care to protect herself physically and spiritually speaking, and now she was living her life fully. She felt the importance of reaching out to others and getting out of judgment for different choices. She was choosing connection rather than separation.
We are all going to leave this physical form at some point. It is a trip that we do not get out of. Life is precious and we have all the gifts to live it fully. Fear is a blocker to joy. I remember the great quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
This is so true right now. Fear promoted by our media, the constant bombardment of information false and true spread by our own selves and our clinging to life is causing us to separate instead of unite.
So, what is the answer? There is only one answer uniquely expressed by all of us: Live your precious life fully, lovingly, compassionately. But, what about masks? What about vaccines? What about all the restrictions? I ask what about them? I believe it is all about our perception about them. Are we using them as obstacles to our joy and precious lives or are we living, loving, being kind, allowing others to have their choices? Are we doomsayers or are we lovers?
Life is precious. There are a million opportunities right now to grow and expand. During the Great Depression there were people who lost everything. Some jumped to their deaths while others became millionaires and went on to help others. Some saw only ending and others saw only beginnings. Neither one is right or wrong either. It just is.
Ernest Holmes wrote, “But the practice of Truth is personal to each, and in the long run no one can live our life for us. To each is given what he needs and the gifts of heaven come alike to all. How we shall use these gifts is all that matters. To hold one’s thought steadfastly to the constructive, to that which endures, and to the Truth, may not be easy in a rapidly changing world, but to the one who makes the attempt much is guaranteed.”
It is far easier to teach the Truth than it is to practice it. We are being asked very strongly to practice right now. Who is asking us? We are by our need to not just survive, but thrive through this time. What is the Truth? There is only one Truth expressed in as many ways as there are people. It is that God/Love is all there is. That being said, what else do we have to do but live the precious lives we’ve been given and prove that spiritual thought force is greater than material resistance.
Love and Aloha,
Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren, Spiritual Director, CSL Kaua`i