This wonderful challenging statement is from the preface to Eric Butterworth’s book, “Unity A Quest for Truth”. This statement sums up the teachings of Unity and opens up a new dialogue on ancient principles that come down to us from the teachings of Jesus, Paul, and teachers from other religions and faiths.
Jesus has said that the “Kingdom of God is within you” in Luke 17:21. The question becomes, OK, where is it within me and if it is there, how do I access it? Part of that answer comes in the previous verse of Luke 17:20 when Jesus tells the Pharisees, “The Kingdom of God does not come by observation”, and then, “We will not say behold it in here or there”.
This is a way of saying that we can’t touch it, see it, or experience it in the physical world. It is an invisible energy for good waiting for us to connect with it and give it direction on how it can help us.
Easter Sunday is the day we celebrate the return to physical life of Jesus the Christ from the death of the grave. We also celebrate the Christ Self that we are and know that we can also overcome the symbolic death that the apostle Paul talks about in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin/error is death but the gift of God is eternal life…”
This Sunday we are celebrating Palm Sunday in commemoration of the day that Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and was met with crowds of people celebrating him with great joy and laying out palm fronds in his path in honor and appreciation.
Metaphysically, Jerusalem is “The habitation of Peace” or our spiritual center in consciousness. The donkey or ass is identified as the animal part of the human consciousness and the palm fronds realize the unlimited resource of strength in our spiritual nature.
Jesus said in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit that gives life; the body is of no account.” Charles Fillmore, in his book, “The Mysteries of John” explains that the spiritual Self or the Christ is the true inner Self of every individual and through our words, we use the creative principle in forming our environment, good or bad.
In Paul’s epistle to the Romans, in chapter 8:6, Paul says, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” He begins that sentence by saying, “To be carnally minded is death.” Here is a clear demarcation between the living a life of love and peace and living life in turmoil and struggle that is described by Paul. It appears that he is sharing with us that the quality of our thoughts and actions determine the quality and outcomes that we experience in our lives.
This exhortation from Paul in Romans 12:2 starts us off into the third step of our spiritual journey that is taking us back to the Father’s House. There is also a famous Chinese proverb that says, there are many paths to the mountain top and the view when you get there is always the same. This leads us to an interesting question that might create some roadblocks for some folks. How do I renew my mind, what does that mean for me, and what is the best path to the mountain top for me?
Paul says in his second letter to Timothy (written from prison) “I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you….For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and love and good discipline”. A wonderful reminder that we are expressing the Christ Self in all our comings and goings and no matter how things look in the material world, God’s perfect pattern is at work in our lives.
The key to living a spiritual life and experiencing all of the benefits that Jesus shared with us in the New Testament, requires a three-step process, in my opinion. The first step on the spiritual path of life requires an honest understanding that the Kingdom of heaven is really and absolutely within you. What you see is what you get. This includes a clear understanding that your thoughts and beliefs are creative energies that become actual events, forms, and situations in your life.
Eric Butterworth, in his wonderful book, “Unity, a Quest for Truth,” says, on page 24 “There are many definitions of religion, but it is Unity’s belief that the essence of religion is the consciousness of God.” Before we go on, because of the tendency of our human mind to come up with its own interpretation of words, we should seek a definition of the word, consciousness.