A Promise Etched in Forever by Michael Bernard Beckwith

A Promise Etched in Forever

What appears separated from its Essence longs to return to its Source for reunion.

The uttermost truth of your existence has been encapsulated by Jesus the Christ in these six words: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).  From his birth in a humble manger visited by kings to his crucifixion thirty-three years later with a few loyal disciples at his feet, his truth teaching and his living example of it never waivered.

Through Jesus’s conscious union and communion with Spirit, he received a revelation of a promise etched in forever:  there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can separate us from our Creator Source and its unconditional love for each and every one of us.  This is our eternal, divine inheritance in spite of any and all appearances.  This mystical union between the soul and Spirit is the supreme love we are all seeking.  We taste an appetizer of it in all forms of human love until the day comes that we feast upon the formless entrée of Divine Love itself.

When we meditate and pray we are following in the footsteps of the Master Teacher and all true lovers of Spirit who fully realized their unbreakable oneness with Spirit.  Reading in the writings of mystics across all traditions about the rapturous energies that consumed them while communing with Spirit, we are transported into a realm of Divine Love that sets our souls on fire, that awakens within us a hunger for the Divine Beloved to sit at our table and sup with us.  To hand feed us the truth of our eternal union.

This is the longing that exists at the core of our being.  And it is fulfilled by Spirit’s promise that is etched in forever:  “Thou and I, never apart.”  Live, move, and have your being in this ultimate reality that is the manifestation beyond all other manifestations.  It is the absolute evidence of our divine origin, the purest reflection of our original face.

Excerpted from Agape International Spiritual Center’s daily inspiration guide ‘Inner Visions’, December 6, 2020

Try It On by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Try It On. By Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith.
Agape’s Inner Visions Daily Inspiration Guide, September 9, 2020
When it comes to evolving one’s fundamental life structures, most individuals go through life experiencing an “it’s good enough” mindset.  Fearing that a shift in consciousness equals an unguaranteed outcome, they remain willing to settle for what they perceive to be the safety and security of predictability. More directly stated, it’s about living in the illusion that life’s outcomes can be controlled. Bottom line: A life philosophy of “It’s good enough” is a fear-based agreement with mediocrity.Break free from the “it’s good enough” paradigm!  Dare to have the courage to trust in yourself, in life itself.  Try on a state of consciousness that allows you to discover that there is so much good, love, joy, peace, prosperity, and creativity yearning to manifest in your life once you give it permission to do so. Because when you do, there will be an energetic opening that will usher you into a whole new recognition of limitless possibilities, into an unconditional “yes” to this great adventure called Life.

What does this take?  Courage.  The courage to disrupt your comfort zone, to live beyond your coping mechanisms, justifications, rationalizations, manipulations, well-worn excuses that hold you back simply because you fear stirring up your life or what others will think about you. Trust that your life, just as it is, is a trustworthy path to evolving a deeper confidence in the truth that you live in a friendly universe that supports you in every way. Let your reliance be on the reliability of Reality, of Spirit, which are constantly offering you opportunities for enlightened action.

Go ahead—try it all on, even if you don’t know where it will lead you, what Teutonic shakeups will take place in your life, because when you do, you will gladden your heart with the realization that it’s all working together for your good with the full support of the Universe.


As I free myself from mediocrity and try on my highest potential, I realize that it is a perfect, custom-made fit.

Osho Quote
Courage is the spiritual art of living dangerously.

Michael Bernard Beckwith


God and Dr. Einstein by Ernest Holmes

As heard on “This Thing Called Life” Sunday, May 21, 1950.

After many years of patient work, Dr. Albert Einstein feels that he has found one law governing all physical phenomena. If so, it is one of the greatest and most important discoveries of all time. But what has this to do with our subject – with This Thing Called Life, or with the possibility of using a Power of good greater than you are? Well, let’s see what we can figure out.
Is it any different to say that there is one law governing all physical phenomena, or to say with Emerson, “There is one mind common to all individual men”? The universe is a spiritual system. It is a manifestation of Divine Intelligence. Another world famed scientist has said that we can think of the universe in the terms of intelligence acting as law, which means mind in action. And another scientist has said that we can think of the universe in the terms of an infinite Thinker thinking mathematically, which means that faith acts as a law, and this is why prayer can be answered.
Here is another remarkable thing: Dr. Einstein has also said that time, space and light curve back upon themselves. This means that everything moves in circles. It explains what Jesus meant when he said, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” It also explains another saying of Jesus when he said that they that take up the sword shall perish by it. It really means that what goes out will again return; that the inner action of our minds decides what is going to happen to us, for “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
I would like for us to consider one more of Dr. Einstein’s propositions, in which he states that energy, which is invisible, and mass, which means physical form, are equal, identical and interchangeable. Is this any different from one of the initial statements of the Bible where it says, “In the beginning was the Word,” and while it tells us that the thought of God becomes form. What we see comes out of what we do not see. The invisible becomes visible through a law of mind. This is what is back of psycho-somatic medicine. Thoughts are things in that mental states produce definite results. This is why we meditate, pray and affirm the presence of good in our lives.
The cause of everything is hidden. What we experience outwardly is a result of silent but intelligent forces that operate on the invisible side of life. And, so far as you and I are concerned, our minds represent this invisible side of life. Another great scientist, Dr. Gustof Stromberg, said in his book, “The Soul of the Universe,” that there is an invisible pattern for everything in the visible world. This is no different from the Bible statement that the invisible things of God are made manifest by the visible. Everything, including our own being, is rooted in, and draws its life from, an invisible source. Is this any different from St. Paul’s statement that there are bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial; there is a spiritual body as well as a physical body?
It is wonderful that so many scientists are giving us a faith in the spiritual universe – a faith which we have already had through intuition, but which now is coming clearer and clearer into the mind’s eye. Wouldn’t it be strange if we should discover that the Bible is not only a book of spiritual inspiration, but that it also lays a spiritual foundation for many of the recent discoveries of science?
If there is one law governing all physical phenomena, then there must be one law of mind governing all mental action. And if time, space, and light bend back upon themselves then our thought will return to us. This is why Emerson said, “If you want a friend, be a friend.” And this is why Jesus said if you want something good to happen, accept that it is happening, which implies that there is a law that brings back to you a direct result of your thinking. Did he not say, “. . . when ye pray, believe that ye have . . .?“
Science also teaches us this very important fact: nature wills ill against no one. The laws of God are for us and not against us. It is our use of them that produces pain instead of pleasure. When we learn to live in harmony with them they will become our servant instead of our master. This means that many of the laws we have been using destructively can as easily be used constructively. Often our bondage is a misuse of freedom, just as much of the world today has used its freedom to destroy its liberty.
To realize this, is a step toward freedom, and will have a direct bearing upon our health, our happiness, and our success. For we shall no longer feel that we are fighting a power opposed to good, but rather that we are using a good power in a wrong way. We shall know that we have an ally with us, an unconquerable power of good and an irresistible law of love.
But the skeptic may say this is too good to be true. May I ask you this: is modern invention too good to be true? Are automobiles and nylon stockings too good to be true? Are the things being worked out in modern laboratories real or unreal? There is only one answer to this. They are real enough and we are merely discovering the possibilities of life. There are great spiritual and mental laws that govern everything and you and I really are living in the Mind of God, right now. There is a power for good available to all of us.
The laboratory of our mind is a place where we test out what our thoughts can do for good or for ill. “For mind is the power that molds and makes, and man is mind, and evermore he takes the tool of thought, and shaping what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills. He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass; Environment is but his looking glass.” Life is a mirror, reflecting back to each one of us what we really are.
Life has willed it this way, and you and I cannot change it. There are only two things we can do. We can learn to live in harmony with the law of our being, or, by opposing it, live in unhappiness until through suffering we learn how better to use that silent force of good that flows through us the Power greater than we are, but a power that is right where we are.
But if one can know, with complete certainty, that a law of good conspires to help him when he uses it, and that this law is a real law of God and cannot be changed, then he becomes victor, as the Bible says, through Christ who strengthen him. And Christ means the son of God within us, the Divine Pattern in which we, as human beings, are rooted, the perfect man that Jesus spoke of when he said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Faith is the most wonderful thing in life and we need a faith so rooted, so firm, so unshakable, that it will not waver. And this kind of faith is arrived at through a conviction in the intellect and through a feeling in the heart. For we need both conviction and inspiration to live happily. Without conviction we are never sure, and without inspiration we lack that most vital of all things – a zest and an enthusiasm for living.
Now I ask you, in all sincerity: Have you and I really tried God? I wonder. I wonder and I still wonder. Have you and I really tried God? Can we sit down in the midst of confusion and think peace? For if all the forces of nature curve backward upon themselves, then if we can think peace even in the midst of confusion, we shall establish peace in our lives. “Be still and know that I am God.”
This is no idle statement. It is as profound as life itself. Have you and I really consistently, over a period of time, kept careful enough guard over our thinking actually to know what might happen when we exercise a dynamic faith? I am afraid we haven’t. Well, there is no use crying over the past. If we have been defeated, the only thing to do is to rise and strive again, but this time with a new hope, a fresh vision and a greater certainty.
I cannot help but believe that the world is on the verge of great spiritual discoveries, that the late Dr. Steinmetz was right when he said the next hundred years of research in the realm of mind and spirit, will produce more important discoveries than the last seven thousand years of research. Let us definitely accept that we have an intimate and personal relationship with This Thing Called Life; that there actually is a Power for good greater than we are, that we can use, and that no one but ourselves can bar our way to a fuller life.
The one sure thing that you possess, and that no man can rob you of, is yourself – that hidden you, that something within you greater than all fate. Learn to trust yourself, because you first have faith in God. Take time each day to re-affirm your intimate relationship to the Spirit. Act as though you were the son of God, and you will surely discover that you are. Inspiration, hope and joy will come with this revelation.
This is the secret of life, the pearl of great price that you are to treasure in your innermost being, even as you share it with others. For the love you have for them will come back to you multiplied and the good you set in motion will return to you a thousandfold. This is the way of life. This is the law of your being. This is what the saints, the sages, the poets, the wise and the good of the ages have known. This is what Jesus taught. This is what you and I believe. This is what is true.

As I Began to Love Myself.

This is Charlie Chaplin at age 26, photographed 100 years ago. Below is a poem he read on his 70th birthday, written by Kim McMillen.

As I began to love myself
I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living
against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is Authenticity.

As I began to love myself
I understood how much it can offend somebody
if I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right
and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call this Respect.

As I began to love myself
I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything
that surrounded me
was inviting me to grow.
Today I call this Maturity.

As I began to love myself
I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call this Self-Confidence.

As I began to love myself
I quit stealing my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects
for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness,
things I love to do and that make my heart cheer,
and I do them in my own way
and in my own rhythm.
Today I call this Simplicity.

As I began to love myself
I freed myself of anything
that is no good for my health –
food, people, things, situations,
and everything that drew me down
and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is Love of Oneself.

As I began to love myself
I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since
I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is Modesty.

As I began to love myself
I refused to go on living in the past
and worrying about the future.
Now, I only live for the moment,
where everything is happening.
Today I live each day,
day by day,
and I call it Fulfillment.

As I began to love myself
I recognized
that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick.
But as I connected it to my heart,
my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.

We no longer need to fear arguments,
confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide,
and out of their crashing, new worlds are born.
Today I know: This is Life!

Credit to Susan Piazza for posting on her Facebook page!


Agape Love by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Agape Love by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Agape Love by Rev. Michael Bernard BeckwithAgape love is not something we can do, nor is it something we can force. The seed of Agape Love was planted in our hearts the moment we came into existence, and when our hearts become ripened, Agape Love blossoms.  This expression of unconditional love is developed through our spiritual practices.  Obviously, then, it is to our individual and collective benefit to continuously evolve through our practices so that year after year we become more mature lovers.  So that we no longer withhold our love based on whether or not others share our ethical standards, values, political affiliations, religious beliefs or spiritual path. As our capacity to love expands, we discover something very profound:  No one except we ourselves have the power to prevent us from loving.

Our interactions with others contribute to revealing the facets of love that we have yet to cultivate. We discover that loving a particular individual requires that we cultivate the love-expression of forgiveness, while another person teaches us patience, kindness, generosity, or compassion.  A fundamental characteristic of Agape Love’s fruitage is the ability to see that there is no separation between ourselves and others because we directly realize that every being is a branch from the same sacred Tree of Life.

The mystical magnetism of Agape Love ceaselessly courts us, drawing us into its magnetic field through the various forms of human love we experience with parents, siblings, lovers, spouses and partners, our children and friends, leading us to Love’s Source:  Pure Spirit.  The moment we surrender to its gravitational pull, we are transfigured.  Love is the ultimate religion.  When tasting its flavour, we enter the realm of mystical lovers. We become Love, allowing it to flow in, as, and through us.  Such joy!  Such bliss!

Excerpt from Agape’s Daily Inspiration Guide, Inner Visions, May 20, 2020


Gail Klein

Seeds of Love by Gail Klein

Seeds of Love by Gail KleinIf you look deeply with openness and availability to know the truth, you will find the seeds of Love—True Love—are in your own heart.  Love is inherent in you. The presence of love can show up as longing for it in the Other.  Yet, you won’t find your love outside in somebody else.

Often, we misplace our own hearts and set them in someone else’s keeping.  Thereby we let our seeds sit in a dark place, unwatered.  Waiting for attention.  We think the problem is: ‘They have not watered me. They forgot.’  In that darkness, we create a separation.  We put the responsibility for our own inner growth in someone else’s hands.  As long as you see the power to nurture your heart as coming from somewhere outside you, you will not be connected, empowered or sense yourself as whole.

Like the plant seeking the light through the pavement, the heart will seek love.  Thus, in any moment it is also possible for a miracle to happen.  For a bud long closed to blossom.  As we uncover the layers of gross negligence, of loss, of fear, of disillusionment, of heartbreak – there’s always the seeds of love there seeking to grow – thirsty for water and hungry for nourishment and light.

Start where you are.  Water yourself.  Tell yourself how good you are.  See the beauty in your seeds of love.  Shine light on them in every moment with loving kindness.  Be to yourself a vortex of your own awakening.  Stand on your holy ground.

Just nourish yourself.  It begins now.  Place your hand on your heart.  Close your eyes.  Say to yourself, ‘I am awakening within my own heart to the love that is here, the love that I am, and the love that I always was and ever will be.’

Forgiveness by Marsha Straubing, ALSP

Forgiveness by Marsha Straubing, ALSP

Forgiveness by Marsha Straubing, ALSPCertainly the world would be cured of all its ills if we, as a human race, developed and practiced a constant attitude of Forgiveness.
And what a wonderful world it would be.  Mostly we could sit back and relax… trusting ourselves and others to take responsibility for their projections and when things go phooey at work or at home there would be a sense that each side of an argument or misunderstanding would quickly go through a forgiveness process that would result in a resolution that looks and feels like love.  Well-being would be easily restored.

In the interim, as we are in the process of solidifying forgiveness as a dedicated way of life, we have forgiveness as a gigantic safety net…waiting patiently for us to fall into its loving arms when we are struggling with some judgment that is disturbing our peace.  If we dive into the safety net of forgiveness, not only does it support us by guiding us back to ourselves and back to love, but the impact causes us to bounce back just a little higher than before.  Our vibration rises.  Most likely it will be easier next time and even easier the time after.  Soon, the occasional falling into forgiveness by default, perhaps after all else failed, becomes more of a habit than a conscious practice and soon, a way of life.  Now the strength of forgiveness is no longer outside of us and we can remove the net as the process has become internalized. Forgiveness is what we do.  Forgiveness is who we are.

So, over time, we remove the training wheels and take off with confidence that we have embodied a way of life that is steeped in an understanding of Universal Law that allows us to Forgive and Love, Love and Forgive until all there is, is Love!


Divine Download by Kim Stanwood Terranova, ALSP

Divine Download by Kim Stanwood Terranova, ALSP

Have you ever felt like downloads were coming in so fast that you did not know how to contain them?  Those moments in time that you suddenly knew more than you thought you did, moments where you were intuitively guided to go in a certain direction, or where an answer to a question just miraculously landed on your lap?  Those precious moments in time where God was showing you that you were more than you knew you were, or more than you ever thought you could ever be?

Well, prepare yourself please, it is time to accept that this is your new normal!  As we continually set a bold intention to stay connected to Spirit and to embody deep wisdom, then we are actively inviting divine downloads to abundantly land upon our consciousness! Prepare yourself!

We came here to remember who we are and receive the blessings of the almighty Spirit.  That is our journey in the human form.  We grow to know more, to be more.  As awakened beings we get to remember that divine downloads from the Universal field of wisdom are the natural order of life.  We are receiving divine inspiration every moment, if we but listen.  Our divine duty is to be still and listen with an open heart, to listen with every cell, to listen to the inner workings of Spirit that is always walking with us.  The sweet messages are landing in our consciousness with every breath we take.  They are gifts of the divine that are yours to be received.

The downloads are coming, they are never ending, and you have all you need to catch them, and allow them to propel your life forward in expansively profound ways.  YOU are the access point where Spirit is downloading. Be open to say yes to receiving!


'Better than Sex' by Gary Renard, excerpt from 'The Disappearance of the Universe

‘Better than Sex’ by Gary Renard, excerpt from ‘The Disappearance of the Universe’

Better than Sex' by Gary Renard, excerpt from 'The Disappearance of the UniverseBetter Than Sex (excerpt) from ‘The Disappearance of the Universe’ by Gary Renard

I had noticed many things in my life about sex. Three of the most interesting were:

  • Although sex was as “natural” as anything in nature could be, people were always trying to make other people feel guilty about having it.
  • People kept doing it anyway, even if they did feel guilty.
  • Although one wasn’t supposed to point it out in a sexually obsessed society, sex didn’t really make anybody happy.

As a musician, I had known quite a few people who engaged in an unusually large amount of sexual behavior and were still miserable. Sex was a very transitory experience. People assumed that other people who got a lot of sex were happier as a result, but that wasn’t really true. If someone seemed content, it was because they had some kind of internal happiness that was not ultimately dependent on temporary gratification.

One of the things I liked about the Course was the fact that sex wasn’t even an issue. There was no judgment made about behavior. The only question was: Does the student want to have the body or spirit for an identity? If one chose the spirit, that didn’t mean one couldn’t have sex. To insist on celibacy for yourself or anyone else would be a judgment rather than forgiveness, yet it would be perfectly appropriate for someone to choose celibacy if they wanted to. Not having the body as their identity simply meant that at some point students should remember who they and their partners really were. For those in love, sex could be used as a symbol of joining and an expression of their love. The key was an awareness — even if that awareness was temporarily forgotten in the heat of the moment — that their partner was not really a body but Christ. In turn, how they thought of the other person is what established their own identity in their mind. (ACIM: T667)

A powerful advantage of A Course in Miracles is that instead of merely telling you to believe you are not a body, it actually gives you the means to experience something beyond — and better. Most people have no idea of how good they could really feel. A chief goal of the Course is to lead the student to an Identity, and associated experiences, that are not of this world. These non-intellectual experiences, which are paradoxically the result of intellectual processes, are in fact the forerunner to the Holy Spirit’s permanent answer to this world. Most people would hesitate to give up the world, but would they be so hesitant if they were given a clear taste of the alternative? Given an authentic spiritual experience, they would find the material world a cruel joke compared to what’s available.

All experiences, including sex, are mental states — even if the illusion is that they take place in the body. I remember visiting a church in Boston to hear a lecture by two Buddhist monks who grew up near the border of India and Tibet. After the lecture, people in the audience were given the opportunity to ask questions. Most of them were the nice “spiritual” questions people usually ask. Then one woman had the courage to get up and ask the monks how they could go so long — in one case, thirty years — without having sex. The monk who had been celibate the longest, and who spoke English as well as the Dalai Lama, thought for a minute and then surprised the audience with his reply: “When you’re coming all the time, it doesn’t make any difference.”

From the vantage point of my new experiences, I could now see that happy monk’s answer in sync with the Course’s answer to the dilemma of giving up the changing, illusory universe. What the Holy Spirit offered was constant, compared to the precarious and unreliable experience of each seemingly separated mind. The eternal Word of God could not really become temporary flesh, except in unreal dreams, but the flesh could be brought to the truth.

Given my desire to talk about the subject of sex during our next meeting, it was with happy anticipation that I would go into my living room in April of 1999, each time hoping for Arten and Pursah’s next expected appearance. Then, late in the evening of what New Englanders call Patriots Day, I received the visit I was waiting for.

ARTEN: Hey Gary. PURSAH: Hey Gary. GARY: Hey guys. I’m psyched! Thanks for coming. It seems like so long since I’ve seen you. PURSAH: We’re always here; you just don’t always see us. Speaking of a long time, after this visit our last three appearances will all be in December — the next three Holiday seasons — ’99, 2000, and 2001. You already know enough to forgive, and we know you’ll continue with your chosen path. At this point we’re just coming to support you and add a few observations for your benefit. Since sex is part of what you call life, and since we already know you want to talk about it, where would you like to begin?  GARY: Good old Pursah; always right to the point. You already talked about how the Course teaches that temptation wants to convince me I’m a body, so I guess the question is: How do I live the normal life you said I could live, practice the Course, and still not feel bad about that body identification part of my dream life? ARTEN: By remembering what it is and forgiving it at an appropriate time. A dream is nothing, and sex is nothing. But I wouldn’t recommend that you turn to your partner after making love and say, “That was nothing.”  GARY: I knew I was doing something wrong.  ARTEN: However, you can realize what the truth is whenever you want to. For example, the Course says very early on,

…Fantasies are a means of making false associations and attempting to obtain pleasure from them. But although you can perceive false associations, you can never make them real except to yourself. You believe in what you make. If you offer miracles, you will be equally strong in your belief in them. (ACIM: T15)

GARY: So it’s all a fantasy, and the sexual part of it is an attempt to derive pleasure from a false association. I take it part of that would be the fact that we’ve made a false idol out of the sexual feeling — like a substitute for God. PURSAH: Yes. Listen to this quote from the section of the Text called “The Anti-Christ.” J is talking here about different kinds of idols, and sex would certainly be considered one of them.

Let not their form deceive you. Idols are but substitutes for your reality. In some way, you believe they will complete your little self, for safety in a world perceived as dangerous, with forces massed against your confidence and peace of mind. They have the power to supply your lacks, and add the value that you do not have. No one believes in idols who has not enslaved himself to littleness and loss. And thus must seek beyond his little self for strength to raise his head, and stand apart from all the misery the world reflects. This is the penalty for looking not within for certainty and quiet calm that liberates you from the world, and lets you stand apart, in quiet and in peace. (ACIM: T619)

GARY: Now you’re really getting me in the mood.  PURSAH: Fear not, dear brother. As J tells you,

This course does not attempt to take from you the little that you have. (ACIM: W245)

It merely puts you in a position where you can claim your natural inheritance, which is far greater than any bodily feeling you can conjure up. GARY: You know, before the Course I wouldn’t have thought so — but the Holy Spirit is actually offering me something better than sex. In fact, it’s not even close.  PURSAH: That’s correct. At the same time, He doesn’t seek to deprive you of what you temporarily perceive to be your desires. Speaking of your desires, Karen isn’t here tonight? GARY: Nope. She went to New Hampshire to do some shopping with her mother. She’s spending the night there with her. PURSAH: A likely story. GARY: Funny. You know I was telling her a few weeks ago about when I was a teenager and I went to a dance at a Catholic church hall. I was dancing a slow dance, really close to this girl. All of a sudden, a nun came running over and stuck a ruler between us and said, “Now kids, let’s leave enough room in there for the Holy Spirit.” I always got a kick out of that. ARTEN: Yes, most religions have always sought to repress sexual expression — until it’s time to get married and make more bodies for the church, of course. Telling people to repress their unconscious, pre-programmed desires is like telling a bird not to fly. Do you remember that self-righteous minister at the Baptist church when you were in high school, who used to speak out against the evils of sex — all the while he was going after half the women in the congregation? GARY: Oh, yeah! We called him “Old bless ’em and undress ’em.” ARTEN: So when you’re in high school and you’re helplessly horny, how likely are you to listen to a hypocrite like him? GARY: Not very. ARTEN: No, which leads us to a subject that isn’t funny, but which we should cover briefly. For the first 750 and some odd years of the church’s official existence, from 325 to around 1088, there was no such thing as a requirement for priests’ celibacy. Then Pope Gregory, who had no sense of humor, insisted on all priests being celibate — even the ones who at that time were married! Of course that begs the question, what could Gregory’s decision possibly have had to do with J? GARY: Ah, nothing? ARTEN: Precisely. So for the last 900-plus years, priests have had to be celibate. In some cases that’s fine, but in other cases it has led to instances of sexual abuse that would not otherwise have occurred if only the priest had a legitimate outlet for his sexual desires. The illusory universe is a place of tension and release. That’s duality. You see it all through what you call nature. You even find it in music. It is not natural to make someone give up certain kinds of behavior until they themselves are completely ready to, nor in the case of most priests is it necessary anyway. And yes, there are child abusers who shouldn’t be priests no matter what the rules are.       Now with the Course the tension is released by forgiveness, but until someone is very proficient at it they shouldn’t be expected to give up most earthly desires. That’s something that comes naturally with the maturity of a mind that is advanced in the ways of true forgiveness. Even J was not always celibate, and though he didn’t need sex the last few years of his life, he was married for the final fifteen years.  GARY: Excuse me? ARTEN: Today, you find that idea to be unusual. Yet if you were there two thousand years ago, what would have been very unusual was a Jewish man of J’s age to not be married. It wasn’t until over a thousand years later that the Pope decided you had to be celibate to be a priest. Only because of your warped view of history, along with centuries of projection of unconscious sin and guilt onto sex, do you now see the idea of J being celibate as a necessity.  GARY: Hey, I don’t give a rat’s ass! Somebody else might. ARTEN: Then let them know the way it really was. The whole idea about sex being a bad thing never came from God and it never came from J. If you think there’s something wrong with sex then you may as well think there’s something wrong with eating food. They are both normal activities for a body, and any idea to the contrary is completely made up by people, not spiritually inspired. Yet it’s perfectly appropriate for someone to give up sex if they themselves feel inspired to do so as an expression of what they really are….


Enthusiasm: Our Passport to Awakenings by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith.

Enthusiasm: Our Passport to Awakenings by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith.

Enthusiasm: Our Passport to Awakenings by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith.Rev. Michael – “Enthusiasm: Our Passport to Awakening”,  excerpted from Agape’s Inner Visions Daily Inspirational Guide, June 12, 2019

Enthusiasm is our passport from the surface to the depths of awakened consciousness. Consider the etymology of the Greek word en + Theos, which means “inspired or possessed by God.”  When we are overtaken by an awareness of this Great Something that breathes our breath, walks through our feet, loves through our heart, communes with Itself in our soul, how can we not enthusiastically, passionately be on fire to enter the holy of holies and taste the ecstasies of awakened consciousness?

Enthusiasm keeps us steadfast during those “I don’t feel like it” moments.  We can’t be half-hearted about enlightenment—meditating, praying, chanting, visioning seven days in a row and then stopping for another month. When we are sincerely enthusiastic, whether our day’s meditation flowered into blossoms of bliss or not, we remain loyal to our practice.

When we are in a consciousness of en-Theos, inspired by Spirit, our nervous system becomes recoded because enthusiasm births inspiration; inspiration births gratitude.  Gratitude opens the floodgates of receiving. Entering its flow, we draw to ourselves all that is required for the next step in our evolutionary process.

Just as a photographer must go into the darkroom to develop his photos, so must we enter the darkroom of our spiritual practices to develop our soul qualities.  As Jesus instructed his followers, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet…,”  and we all know most closets are dark until we turn on the light.  Our spiritual practices provide that divine illumination.  In this cave of stillness you cultivate the qualities of Spirit that are etched upon your soul.
Then, equipped with a conscious realization of your true nature, even the crash of breaking worlds cannot disturb your equanimity, because you are standing in the unshakable realization that Spirit is, you are, and you are One.