Creating a Better World Through Consciousness
(c) 2019 Mike Davis
'Foundations of Unity' class by Rev. Robin Volker
'Lessons in Truth' by Emilie Cady.
Cady’s Primary Themes:
One - Our soul's evolution is working towards identification with our higher, divine nature. She calls this 'Christ Consciousness.'
Two - Mind, body and spirit are all aspects of our human selves. She compares this to ice, water and steam. All the same thing, just in different phases at different times.
Three - Our most powerful spiritual tool for expanding our thinking and consciousness is a daily prayer practice. It can take several forms.
We speak, think and feel affirmative prayer and denials.
Our prayers can be set or improvised. These are two different experiences, each important and beautiful in its own way.
We spend time in pure silence. This is most challenging and the most rewarding.
There are some parallels here to life as a musician.
Most musicians know that daily, disciplined practice is important.
From an early age we are taught several different approaches, all important, all to be worked on at different times.
Physical foundations of the craft - scales and technical exercises. And like a pro athlete, it doesn't matter how accomplished you are, it's still beneficial to work the basics. Muscle memory will show up when you need it.
Zoom in with a microscope - We break a piece of music down into smaller increments, sometimes just a couple of notes, and get close with the idea of perfecting that one phrase. We may play it very slowly. Pianists may work on one hand at a time.
Zoom out for the thousand foot view - We also do the opposite. Musicians who want to improve their sight reading will take a stack of unfamiliar sheet music, and read through it. Real time, no stopping for mistakes. This trains the mind to take in large amounts of information, and it trains the eyes to expand their view. A great sight reader can take in a whole page of music.
Analyze -- this is the intellect working. Musicians, for the most part, hear music differently from other people.
"Interesting! She played a tri-tone substation to set up the last verse."
"Hmm, the chord progression goes D, Bm, G, Bb. I was expecting an A there. Unexpected! Nice."
"Needs more cowbell."
Sometimes, though, the beauty and emotion are so strong that you are able to let go of everything we've just talked about, transcend your thinking mind, and know music as pure experience. Now you're not thinking about the notes. You're in the space between the notes. Into the mystic, indeed.
How do these two things connect? And how do they connect to the idea of creating a better world through consciousness?
Many of us have heard the expression "change your thinking, change your life." A variation on that might be "change your inner world, change the outer world."
We change our inner world when we experience clarity in our quiet time. We see clearly when we practice seeing clearly. We change our outer world when we live our vision with nothing between us and God. The gap between our human selves and our divine selves narrows into oneness. People see that. They feel it.
When, in Matthew 7:5, Jesus said 'take the log out of your own eye before you criticize your brother for the speck of dust in his,' you could take that a couple of ways.
One would be, 'don't be a hypocrite.' He was pretty explicit about that.
Another interpretation would be that if you wish to improve the world around you, it helps to see it clearly!
It's not a coincidence that he chose a metaphor about the eye.
Working with a daily or even constant prayer practice is like putting in some eye drops, or washing your windshield. And yes, it's like a great NBA player getting up in the morning and practicing free throws.
Speaking of which, when Dwight Howard was with the Lakers, he had one year in which he made 82% of his free throws in practice, and 49% in actual games. The game is not the same, as they say. What that tells you is that Emilie Cady was right when she said that we are mind, body and spirit. Ice, water and steam. All one thing, and when we pray our souls evolve toward Oneness.
We radiate what we are. When we expand, evolve, go deeper or higher spiritually, the world around us senses that and responds. Be it at the practical level of more kindness and consideration in traffic, or the mystical level of exuding an indescribable joy, or even the cellular level of knowing total connection and oneness, we see it as we be it.
Let's get prayed up.