Gail and I were listening to Deepak Chopra being interviewed by Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday show. She was questioning this present day healer, teacher, mystic and example of spiritual living about God, the Universe, Life and other perennial subjects. Finally, she asked her signature favorite: “What do you know for sure?” His answer blew me away! “Nothing!” he said! Me too, I thought. Later, it occurred to me that I am often comforted by what I DO think I know for sure. That place he came from, of humility and ambiguity, is not always a gentle resting place. What I tell myself all the time, that I know for sure, is that Life is eternally and always giving. It is however, as Forest Gump’s mother explained, like a box of chocolates in that we never know what we are going to get. But the eternal is always everywhere present and giving all the time! What if I’m wrong though? Giving implies the possibility of withholding. What if life no more gives to us than flowers give us their fragrance. What if Life is just expressing and our experiences are an unintended consequence? Or, what if you and I are Life itself, the flower as it were, expressing with no thought of “other” to receive? What do I know for sure? Not much!
This great song composed by Henry Mancini with Jay Livingston and Ray Evans as lyricists reminds me of the vast importance of living in one’s highest imaginings, (Gail calls it “imagineering”!) the area of unlimited possibilities, miracles and magic.
I’m in Dreamsville
A dreamy view
Just we two alone in love
Time is new
We’re here to love
And we do
We can see the rest of the world
From our pink cloud
There’s no boundary to this magic land
As we go exploring
Hand in hand
In dreamy Dreamsville
And here we love
Here we’ll stay
“I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours,” said Thoreau. I have learned that there are no limits! The bigger the dreams, the more seemingly outrageous or impossible the goal, the more deliciously satisfying the miracles that result! I have learned to manifest, and intend to continue living, the “Ideal Made Real,” the higher side of life, about which Christian Larsen, one of Ernest Holmes’ greatest inspirations, wrote. This, like everything else, is an inside job. I do it to, and for, myself, as do you. The temporary appearances of life must be of no consequence to us. Love God, have the faith of God, the source of all good, and enjoy the Ideal life made real! Here’s to a FABULOUS 2016!
I GOT A LITTLE CHRISTMAS … right this very minute!
Our great room here at the condo was transformed yesterday (miraculously) by a bunch of elves! A visiting five year old named Nikolai, my nine year old granddaughter Aiden, mother-in-law Nikki at 97, my son Adam, his lady friend Christina, and my wife Gail were gnomes for a day! It was almost like: I took a nap and “Voilá!” (as Aiden likes to say) I got Christmas all at once!
As I live in the heights, every moment is a beautiful new exciting experience! When I regress down into the pits, (“If life is a bowl of cherries, then why am I in the pits?” Erma Bombeck) my choice is very clear: If I don’t want a rehash of previous unskilled choices and experiences, then I consciously choose the heights of exhilarated thrills from the upper level of raised consciousness! When I do this, every time, I have a little Christmas, right now! Please join me up here in the upper atmosphere. Ho, Ho, Ho! Life is SO good!
Frederick Nietzsche wrote “There are no truths, only interpretations!” Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the deluge of interpretations masquerading as truth that pour over us all the time via both the news and social media! It feels to me like I imagine a duck would feel after an oil spill, when its world is saturated with gooey, slimy gunk. I have no good response to the goo, the slime and ugliness being spoken, written and published. No one is exempt, from ordinary citizens to public figures and elected officials. Everything is fodder for the hate-mongers it seems. Civil discourse used to be civil. People with opposing opinions were “learned colleagues on the other side of the aisle.” Even one’s sworn enemy was a “noble adversary” deserving of, worthy of, and getting our respect. We had a creed handed down from our grandmothers: “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all!” We lived by that, remember? I have a question for the goo-makers and the mud-slingers: How does it make you feel?
Here is what lives in my heart; I offer it to you if it touches yours: “I am a whole, complete and perfect creation of God and all right action is taking place in my life, right now. This is the truth and for it I am grateful, and so it is!” Climb out of the ooze with me and let’s live the Ideal!
SONGS AND MORE
I’m attracted to most music and songs, bet you’re not surprised! “Make Someone Happy” came to my mind today. Years ago I used to believe I could. Naive, huh? A line in it says: “Fame if you win it, comes and goes in a minute.” I almost experienced fame in the ’60s. I”ll explain. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass had achieved a lot of success back then. An agent I was working with told me, “Gil, if you put together a group similar to that, I will book it for you.” I was busy traveling with Billy Eckstine about 35 weeks a year and in the big show rooms the rest of the time, but I thought “Why not? More work is always good!” Long story edited: the agent went the way of many agents, he vanished. I put together a group I called Tequila Brass and we auditioned for the then-Sahara Hotel at Tahoe. We only had twelve arrangements and some sort of jive costumes, (mostly sombreros, I think). And to my delight and amazement, the entertainment director there hired us: two trumpets, trombone, bass trombone, piano, bass and drums. It was an afternoon gig in the Juniper Lounge for the summer. Twelve charts are not enough music for four forty-five minute shows, which the gig called for! So, our bass trombonist, who was a great player and superb arranger, busily wrote out charts on paper napkins during our breaks in the coffee shop! Other members soon contributed and, in time, we got really tight and good. Count Basie used to come in and dig us. It was a gas! We played two summers at Tahoe, then they booked us for a gig at the Mint Casino in Las Vegas. That was a success also and we were even held over. Shortly afterward Harvey’s booked us in their lounge back here, at home in Tahoe, a nice contract. I bought wicked-wonderful, outrageous mariachi-type costumes, new charts, expanded the band, added a pretty girl singer; I spent a ton of money! We played one show, opening night, and the musicians’ union called a strike and we all went home! There had been talk of our going on the Ed Sullivan Show, recording an album, the whole package: real fame and fortune! It all ended after that one set. By the time the strike was over my almost-fame had disappeared. Then I got a call to go back to Vegas and work an afternoon show and a night gig simultaneously, which lasted about three years. Thus went the brief flame of Gilberto’s Tequila Brass. (Does anyone want to buy a Herb Alpert style library with enough charts to play four forty-five minute shows?) So much for fame! Even if you win it, it can come and go in a minute! The Real stuff in life I can count on is to follow the spiritual paths taught by ancient as well as now-living spiritual masters. The Ideal is mine NOW!
In the living of every day life, I have found it helpful to consciously call forth and release the spiritual genius that resides within me. This Presence can be hampered or impaired by conflicting thoughts emanating from my own mind or even the combined consciousness of humankind. To illustrate simply, anytime I deviate from the inherent love, peace, joy, power, beauty and wisdom that already resides within me, it is evidence of unskilled, incoherent thinking. Being aware of this problem is the beginning of its healing. There are a multitude of paths that all lead to conscious re-unification with God, the source of all Ideal goodness and love. I chose to be a life-long practitioner of the Science of Mind in 1958. My wife and dearest love was taken as a toddler into her first Religious Science Church on Easter Sunday of 1955. We still do our best to live what we’ve taught for all these years. But it’s not the only way, nor even necessarily the best way for all. There is, however a “perennial philosophy”, what Ernest Holmes called “a golden thread of Truth” that can be found in all righteous systems. Once one has decided upon on a spiritual path, stick with it. The “spiritual athlete syndrome” of jumping from one to another should be avoided. Which is not to say that an evolution of consciousness does not occur on one’s chosen path. It will. The hallmark is an expansion and inclusion of all previous awareness and knowing. I remember to stand guardian at the portal of my own consciousness to remain at ONENESS. What is required of me is new ideas, higher thoughts, greater concepts that allow the Power within me to demonstrate the Ideal as real, the lofty heights of a grander, heart centered life. LIFE IS GOD. LIFE IS GOOD. ONENESS PREVAILS!! THIS IS SO NOW!!
A TRIBUTE TO OUR TEACHERS
Being a self conscious and sentient human being is amazing!! This is because life is about (wait for it!) aliveness, not deadness. It is, in Itself, grace, serendipity, joy and coherence! It has produced a delicious feeling within me of what Christian Larson described many years ago as “the Ideal made real.” As I blossom every day in this amazing grace, every moment of my experience proves Life is Itself THE IDEAL MADE REAL!!!
However, sometimes my opinions on the appearances in life seem rather alarming so I turn (as a last resort of course) to my preferred method of affirmative prayer known as Spiritual Mind Treatment, all the while subjectively hoping that this will work or else I am in serious trouble! This, in return, sets up what Job predicted in Biblical times: “that which I greatly feared has come upon me!” What a dilemma! Why do I forget about THE IDEAL MADE REAL? SERENDIPITY and GRACE are built into the system. I know this! My only gig is to get my bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits. Why don’t I “just do it?”
My wife, Reverend Gail reminded me recently of an early story about Charles and Mrytle Fillmore, founders of Unity. Myrtle had suffered all her life from tuberculosis and believed herself to be chronically weak and sickly. She and Charles went to hear noted metaphysician Dr. E. B. White. He spoke eloquently of our innate ability for divine healing through affirmative prayer. Myrtle really “got” this message and was healed! As her husband witnessed her amazing transformation and they began to explore their healing potential for themselves and others, what was to become Unity Worldwide Ministries was born!
An interesting event took place in Gail’s and my life back in 1984. We were hired by the trustees of the Unity Church in Carson City. Gail and I had been trained and ordained by the (then) United Church of Religious Science, which was headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, but we accepted the call to serve this Unity congregation because 1) they wanted us, 2) we felt we had something to give and 3) we had wonderful support from Reverend (now Doctor) Ruth Faulkner (now Deaton) who was Director of the Department of Member Churches for UCRS! One of our congregation was a life-long Unity student of more than fifty years and a retired nurse. Georgie Gressot was taking our Science of Mind I class, the introductory curriculum of the time, taught by Gail, when one of the other students queried “what’s the difference between Unity and Religious Science?” Georgie offered to answer! “Unity creates the bridge from traditional Christianity to New Thought. Once we cross over, Religious Science brings us home!” A brilliant answer which she was uniquely qualified to give! She also used to like saying “God is in charge!” Whenever I forget what I know, or worse yet, remember and still neglect to live it, Georgie and Myrtle come to my mind and snap me out of it! No one needs to be sick, unhappy, impoverished or anything less than their ideal! The Ideal is what’s really the Truth about every one of us! Life is and always has been an INSIDE job, never the opposite. Be happy. Live YOUR Ideal life today!
There is NO reason to think that Life is serious. To the contrary, there is ample evidence pointing to how benevolent and creative is the mystery of life itself There is, in this particular moment, this tiny point of consciousness known as me, on this teensy weensy planet called Earth, that exists on the fringe of a curiously small galaxy, in a seemingly endlessly BIG Universe. In the cosmic scheme of things, how can what I think make any impression on God, the Good, that created ALL that exists.? Well, this is, in fact, that very great mystery of life, because the answer is: my thought DOES matter, it actually becomes matter, literally! Thought is forever in the process of creating form and then deserting the form it has created to begin again! Thought changes everything, or thought is the method by which the continuous flow of things occur! Ernest Holmes wrote: “Thoughts are the causes of things. Change your thinking, keep it changed, and you will change your life.” Actually, it’s much harder NOT to change your mind! I do it so often I’ve got the cleanest mind around! It’s all very mysterious and incredibly wonderful. And totally my choice! Who shall I be, what shall I do, how can I play more wholeheartedly in this glorious experience of life, today? I choose to live in the grace of God, the good, now.! It’s a miracle, a mystery and I love it!