A NEW AGE CHRISTIAN

A New Age Christian,
How can this be?
But here I am…
And more like me.
Yearning for connection,
Seeking to be whole,
To know God’s Love and Law,
And peace within our soul.
Should we be so bold?

After a long hiatus from blogging, I am now prepared to speak out for the legitimacy of New Age Spirituality. An umbrella term for all seekers of truth, we are a varied lot, from all walks of life, from all beliefs and faiths. Our commonality is a longing for peace and inner knowing, and for healing of mind, body, and soul.

The first forty-nine years of my life were spent as a traditional Christian. The past forty-three years have been as a seeker of Truth, following an Inner Light. This has been my personal quest, to know more of who God is and who I am as a creation of God.

Truth seekers best describes those of us who are consciously walking our spiritual path, “asking, seeking, knocking at the door of Wisdom.” As uniquely different as our paths may be, we are all part of the New Age—A phenomenon whose time has come.

My identity as a seeker of truth might never have occurred had I not faced a crushing mid-life crisis that brought me to my knees. In an instant a radiant Light/Energy entered the crown of my head and swept through my entire being in wave after wave of surging, pulsing Light. Powerful, yet also warm and loving, I felt embraced by a Holy Presence.

Once this Energy subsided, I rose and walked into my breakfast room. Still shaken, I wanted to remain in this soft afterglow, to stay with the feelings of being cleansed, healed, and blessed. It was then I noticed that the pain in my swollen, fevered, arthritic hands was gone, and so was my despair. Without forethought, I heard myself say, “Wherever This Light takes me, I will follow. Whatever I have to give up to follow This Light I will give up.”

Naturally wanting to share this incredible experience with my husband, my minister and my closest friends, I did. Sadly, none were able to comprehend something so surreal and ‘other-worldly.’ Disappointed and alone, with no one to share my joy, I tucked it away in my heart and set forth in search of greater spiritual knowledge and understanding.

Finding nothing in my Church Library, I rummaged through public libraries for several days before finding the book I didn’t know I was looking for. It didn’t actually come off the shelf in my direction, although that’s how it seemed. Rather, I felt mysteriously drawn to its title and an author I had never heard of. The book was The Science of Mind by Dr. Ernest Holmes. Inside was a clear map and guidebook for my journey.

Dr. Holmes gave me a larger vision of God—as Infinite Spirit, Divine Mind, Creator of all life….All-Knowing, All-Loving, All-Powerful, and Everywhere Present. He also gave me a larger vision of myself and all humanity as beloved children of a Loving, Forgiving God.

The healing power of prayer is a theme throughout his book, with 138 pages devoted to meditations on the teachings of Jesus.

Until next time,

Nita Anders

Why Meditation?

No one can deny the increasing levels of stress we are all subjected to in this day and age.  In the midst of the chaos and insanity in our outer world, meditation is the key to our inner sanctuary.  That there is such a sacred place within, where we can find shelter from the storm, is a secret kept from those who don’t believe it and/or are unwilling to take the time to sit and allow the blessings to come through.

My first reaction to the practice of meditation was to wonder what it was and what it was not.  All I knew was that it was an Eastern tradition, not embraced by Christians, except those in monastaries, serving God through prayer, meditation, and service.  From my perspective, I saw prayer as talking to God, whereas meditation was listening in the silence, open to Grace.  Both seemed relevant.

The goals of meditation are many, but initially mine was to seek a state of inner peace and well-being for healing and renewal.  To reach this state of consciousness one must be able to relax the body, quiet the mind, and calm the emotions.  This alone would be worthy of achievement.

Two methods are recommended; to learn to breathe deeply and slowly, and to find a mantra that resonates with the soul.  A mantra is a sacred word or short phrase that will, with time, patience and persistance, bring the desired results.

My first attempts revealed just how scattered and unfocused my thoughts were.  Reining them in was going to be a formidable task.  The first mantras I chose didn’t help.  Intuitively, I decided to focus on The 23rd Psalm, which I had always loved.

From beginning to end, slowly repeating each line, breathing in its meaning before moving onto the next phrase, had the effect of soothing my mind and emotions.  Fairly soon I only had to begin the Psalm to feel calm and relaxed.

If you are one who already finds meditation deeply meaningful, you may or may not have had difficulty in the beginning.  However, for me, and I think for many, progress

was/is initially slow.  Don’t be discouraged.  If you are patient with yourself and persist, you will succeed.  Taking time to find this inner sanctuary will give back those deeper aspects of yourself you may not have known existed.

This practice continues to enrich my life on so many levels, opening my mind and heart in ways that prayer, by itself, has not.  It brings awareness to areas within me that need healing, expands my view and appreciation for all living things and for our beautiful and endangered planet.

Meditation always brings me back to center, to what is most important in life.  Here is where I experience deep compassion, true understanding, and the ability to forgive myself and others.  Yet, the most outstanding gift from meditation has been a real sense of an Inner Holy Presence and feeling my connection with this Presence.

Jesus’s statement, “Seek ye the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Luke 12: 31) is a promise that all of God’s gifts await those who seek and find this inner kingdom.

Until next time,

Nita

Why Prayer?

In my book, Hidden In The Heart, A Glorious Secret, I give a detailed account of an Epiphany experience in 1972 that forever changed my thoughts and beliefs about God and prayer.  If you are interested you can read it there.  However, this blog is to share some of what I have learned about the healing power of prayer over the years.

Stella Terrill Mann, in her book, “Change Your Life Through Prayer” says, “We do not get what we pray for, but what we believe we shall receive.” Paraphrasing, she says that we not only listen to those old patterns of fear within us, ignoring our own voice of faith and common sense, but we also cut off our faith by listening to current world events, believing and judging from them.

Following my spiritual awakening, a search for greater spiritual understanding led me to a philosophy dedicated to healing prayer.  My first observation was a prayer box in the church foyer, where one could write a request for prayer.  Licensed practitioners were available through the week to counsel and pray for others.  Greatly impressed, I soon began my practitioner studies.

Dr. Ernest Holmes, author of the book, The Science of Mind, and founder of this church (now renamed Centers for Spiritual Living), carefully analyzed “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matt: Ch. 6, verses 9-13) and found five essential elements as follows:

1) Recognition of God as Creator of the universe and all life,
2)  Unification with God as the Source and Substance of our life and all life,
3)  Realization that the gifts are already given but must await our asking,
4)  Thanksgiving for life and all of its blessings,
5)   And Release—trusting both the Love and the Law of God to know what to do, how to do, and when to do.”

A word of caution:  Release, for many, is difficult.  If we find ourselves heavily invested in a particular outcome, unable or unwilling to surrender our will to a Higher Will, our prayers are destined to fail.  If we can trust the power of God and of prayer to heal and bless us, we will not be disappointed.

Til next time,

Nita

 

 

Who Do We Think We Are?

Western society has been slow to grasp the powerful and significant role the unconscious mind plays in our daily affairs.  The reason, I believe, is that we have given all credit to our conscious intellect, to our logical, analytical mind, as though that was all of who and what we are.  For the most part, we have left the psychological and metaphysical mystery of the unconscious mind to the mystics, theologians and philosophers of the world.

Dr. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist (1875-1961) explored in depth the nature of the unconscious mind, developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personality, and archetypal characteristics.

Here he defines the unconscious:

The unconscious is not just evil by  nature, it is also the source of light;  not only bestial, semi-human, and demonic, but superhuman, spiritual, and  in the classical sense of the word, ‘divine’.”

His observation of the nature and scope of the unconscious mind describes, not only the Collective Unconscious and its global effects on all of humanity, but points to our own unconscious patterns as well.

The fact that we are not conscious of our own material explains why we are able to see the shortcomings of others, but unable to see our own.  Ignorance of both our shadow and our light blinds us to our own evil, and unfortunately, to our own goodness as well.  To blame others for the sins of this world, as though we ourselves are blameless, does not address the real problem.  The real problem lies within one’s own unconscious patterns, in what we are believing wrongly about Life Itself, about God, our neighbor, and ourselves.

To begin to heal, we must become conscious of what is hidden and dishonest within ourselves.  Healing takes place the moment we can fully embrace those unloved and unloving parts of ourselves with compassion and forgiveness.   Gradually, as inner peace calms our fears and love overcomes feelings of hate, we become a witness to our inner healing.  Divine wisdom will then have revealed the truth of who we are.

Until next time,

 

Nita

 

Light and Shadow

 

In my last blog, Both Human and Divine, I presented the notion that we humans are both “sinner and saint.”  Believing that for some this was a brand-new idea, I felt perhaps further elaboration was needed. Personally, I was ignorant of my own human psychology until age forty-nine, when a crisis awakened me to deeper parts.  In that brief glimpse into another reality, my first experience was one of feeling a Holy Presence enfolding me, healing me, and loving me unconditionally.  Having always felt separated from this Infinite Intelligence that created me,  now I knew that I had never been separated from God except in my own mind.  I also knew that if this was true for me, it was true for everyone.

Now that I was awakened to the Reality of Spirit as an Indwelling  Presence, I became increasingly aware of my underlying thought patterns.   For instance, I began to notice that my unconscious patterns were geared more toward a negative and judgmental attitude rather than a positive, happy outlook on life.  Plainly, this state of affairs was definitely out of alignment with what I now knew to be true.  It was as though Spirit was showing me those thought patterns in my unconscious mind that now needed to be reevaluated and healed.

This discovery has led me to believe that perhaps most people are still unaware of the patterns of light and shadow within themselves.  Yet as we grow into a fuller realization of ourselves as both human and divine, our faith will help conquer our fears, compassion and forgiveness of ourselves and others will gradually replace distrust and suspicions toward our neighbors, allowing peace of mind to finally settle over us.  And as we become healed, the world will follow.

In November 1989, during my first conference with Dr. Brugh Joy, he pointed out that “we are polarities of light and shadow – projecting onto others that which we deny in ourselves, not realizing that what we see and judge as being outside ourselves is, in reality, within us.”  I had heard these words before as a mental concept, but now they were presented as real aspects of my unconscious mind!  As Brugh says, “We are many selves inside, operating consciously and unconsciously as circumstances dictate.

In 1992  I wrote the following poem:

PATTERNS DANCING

Marvelous creatures, we humans;
And formidable, too.
Surface-conscious mostly.
Of our Depths – hardly a clue.
If we only knew!
*
Do we realize that our focus forms the boundary of our lives?
That the life we are experiencing comes from inner eye and mind?
If we looked, we’d find.
*
The people in my life aren’t all they seem to be,
Mirroring reflections of deeper parts of me,
Parts I cannot see.
*
With each individual I choose a certain stance,
Sometimes parent, sometimes child,
We dance a different dance.
Is this just happenstance?
*
Perhaps today a tyrant, tomorrow victimized.
Who is this mysterious stranger, always in disguise?
Am I these many selves insides?
*
Are these inherent patterns from a cosmic master plan?
And if brought to consciousness might we understand?
Wouldn’t that be grand!

Until next time,

Nita

 

Both Human and Divine

We may wonder, as we view the world today on the big screen of life, if we are not now experiencing Armageddon. There is divisiveness in all quarters and on all levels; hate crimes, drug wars, family abuse, beatings, rape, bullying, suicide, terrorist attacks, and nuclear threats – where will it take us, and when will it end? Whatever our beliefs, we cannot deny the negative impact.

How do we deal with the pain and stress of it all? I believe we are in a time of cleansing and purging of all that has been hidden and dishonest within us, so that we can begin to recognize The Light of God within, as our divine nature – our own innate goodness. In my heart I believe that this is how we confront and disspell the darkness in our outer and inner worlds.

The paradox of human life is that we live in an outer world with all its physical senses, while also inhabiting an inner world of soul and spirit that is silently alive and active in our subconscious mind. This division can be so subtle that there may be aspects of ourselves that go unnoticed and neglected for years, or even a lifetime. Our unconscious mind automatically takes our beliefs, thoughts, words, and deeds, and weaves them into our life experience.

If we give the complete care and responsibility of our spiritual life to the keeping of others, we deprive ourselves of treasures beyond our imagining. In truth, we have denied ourselves the love and wisdom, peace and power, that comes from quiet listening for that “still, small voice” within.

The conclusion I make is that we are indeed locked in a battle of good versus evil. I believe this is a wake-up call to arm ourselves – not with guns – but with knowing that we are Beings of Light, and are meant to shine that light into every dark corner of our inner and outer worlds. When we can accept that we are both sinner and saint, earthly and divine, perhaps we can embrace and forgive our human mistakes and love ourselves and our neighbors as totally and unconditionally as God loves us.

Until next time,

Nita

Please feel free to respond in the light of your personal experience and understanding.

http://a-glorious-secret.com

 

 

Hidden in the Heart

The Epilogue of my book, Hidden In The Heart; A Glorious Secret seems an appropriate place from which to begin.  It is this simple prayer:

May the gradual understanding
of our oneness as a human family
bring peace out of chaos,
wisdom out of ignorance;
And in all human relations
May that which is hidden and dishonest
Be revealed and healed;
Not only in our nation and our world,
But in ourselves as well.

Today we find ourselves ‘a house divided against itself’;  even though our Christian Bible clearly states that, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against itself falleth.  Luke 11:17.   Perhaps to ponder this great truth as it applies to our present day divide would be wise.

Presently, our nation is divided over government policy issues, and more intimately, the social issues of our time.  These challenges appear beyond our human capacity, and our willingness, to resolve; mainly because our ideologies have grown so far apart.

I remember a time when citizens could discuss, openly and objectively, their differences without rancor.  There was a baseline of respect and tolerance toward those who held an opposing view.  Now it seems that ill-will has replaced goodwill; each side sure they are right and the other side wrong.

I am reminded of a vivid dream I had in the ’80’s during a prolonged impasse with my sister over religious issues.  In one scene, I am struck with the knowledge that we are both right and we are both wrong.  I realized that from our human consciousness neither of us had all the answers to God’s truth.

Likewise today, in a shrinking world, where global access to so much information floods our senses, it is a challenge to maintain a sense of order, harmony, and balance in our personal lives.  It is a bigger challenge to cull fact from fiction, and to hold to our true convictions in the face of media propaganda.

Nonetheless, there lies within us a Wisdom and Power for good that can be accessed through prayer and meditation, that allows us to find answers to life’s most difficult problems.  When we surrender our human will to the Divine Will, our minds open to reasonable solutions and our hearts soften toward those we once thought were our enemy.

On that day we will see order, harmony, and balance restored to our nation; in our workplace, in our home, and in ourselves as well.  Jesus gave us only two commandments to live by.  We seem to have forgotten what they were.  We are “to love God with all our heart  and mind and soul, and our neighbor as ourselves.”

I challenge myself and others to ponder these words and think, if we could begin to love our neighbors and ourselves as God loves us, what would change?

Until next time,

Nita Anders