Sunday, August 23, 2015
DO IT YOURSELF
Back in the 1950's there was a movement called the "Do It Yourself" movement. We had radio and TV programs, books, seminars, classes to teach us how to do things for ourselves again. We still find some of these Do It Yourself books at the library book sale. Recently we've had another Do It Yourself movement. How many of you have some book on your bookshelf that is entitled: "The Complete Idiot's Guide to______" (fill in the blank) or "such and such for Dummies?" These are great books. You can learn about anything. And of course, the Internet is right at our fingertips.
Well, recently I found one of these books entitled, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Spiritual Healing." It has great chapters including THE FALL FROM GRACE, BEWARE THE SNAKE OIL SALESMAN, DO YOU WANT TO BE RIGHT OR DO YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY?, MY EMOTIONS MADE ME DO It and THERE IS NO OUT THERE.
Finding this book made me stop and think. In our transition between traditional and modern society, do we also need a Do It Yourself Manual about spirituality?
Perhaps all our modern ways do make a person feel spiritual and that they actually help to nourish spiritual work, but it seems to me that it is just another example of how modern people are not taking responsibility for their own lives and getting caught up in all the new toys. Now the idea of being totally responsible for your own life might be a new idea to some of us. What does it mean to be totally responsible? Isn't God responsible for my life? Am I not supposed to be following God's will and surrendering my life to God? The basic Truth is that God created you to be a creator. You cannot stop creating and you alone are responsible for what has happened and what is happening and what will happen in your life. God gave you life and it is your responsibility to create the circumstances and experiences of that life and to live them to the best of your abilities.
To fully answer these questions we have to go back to the basic Truths. And it is from the basic Truth of your own belief that the answers will come. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Your life is based upon what you have within, what beliefs you harbor in your innermost being. For it is from these basic beliefs that your thoughts originate and your thoughts have a big part to play in creating your life. Do you believe that the world is basically a bad place or a good place? From this basic belief you create every moment of your life. So you can't give the responsibility for these basic beliefs to someone else. They are yours and only yours. You are responsible for them for they live in your innermost being where no one else can go.
Most of us have the basic belief that the world is a good place except…. We can create goodness in our lives until we come up against our exceptions. And everyone's exceptions are different. Well, the message today is – THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. And we have opportunities every day to change our basic beliefs to the Truth. And the Truth is, God created the world and called it "good." We can create goodness in our lives, all of the time, in every circumstance. The Truth that we are sacred and everything else in the universe is sacred and holy has no exceptions. And it is the same with this basic Truth about the goodness of the world. There are no exceptions.
The foundations of spirituality, when we understand and make them a part of us, shift our consciousness, shift our thinking. And as I said earlier, our thoughts have a big part in creating our life. It is by thought that we begin the process of creating. No one else can do it for us. No one else can think our thoughts. We have to DO IT OURSELF.
Buddha said, "Just as a picture is drawn by an artist, surroundings are created by the activities of the mind." What a great metaphor! Just as an artist creates a picture, we create our lives. And it is our choice to make it as beautiful as we want. It is our choice to put in more trees, or an elephant, or tall mountains, or create an abstract that stirs the emotions. It is our choice of color and texture and composition. It is our choice to put in people, or animals or symbols or all of these. It is our choice as to how much light we want to paint in the picture of our life. We are the artist of our life. We can create it consciously or unconsciously. It is our choice. It doesn't matter your circumstances or where you are at…you can do it yourself at any time. Just do it.