16.   Selected Religions

Table of Contents

The Newer Religions

All religions have their belief systems.  The western religions of Christianity, the Islamic Faith and Judaism closed ended are by the book, while the eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism are less dogmatic and concentrate more on the inner life.  What is said here is for informational purposes and may or may not be part of the teachings of Deepermind.

Center for Spiritual Living

The Center for Spiritual Living (CSL) formerly The Church of Religious Science is a new age church who welcomes everyone.  One of the main teachings is you are what you think and by prayer one can heal oneself and others. Some members take this as not seeing a doctor, but this is not what is taught.

Here some of the core CSl:

  1. We believe in God, the living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause. This One manifests Itself in and through all creation, but is not absorbed by Its creation. The manifest universe is the body of God; it is the logical and necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness of God.

  2. We believe in the incarnation of the Spirit in US, and that all PEOPLE are incarnations of the One Spirit.

  3. We believe in the eternality, the immortality, and the continuity of the individual soul, forever and ever expanding.

  4.  We believe that HEAVEN is within US, and that we experience IT to the degree that we become conscious of It.

  5. We believe the ultimate goal of life to be a complete emancipation from all discord of every nature, and that this goal is sure to be attained by all.

  6. We believe in the unity of all life, and that the highest God and the innermost God is one God. We believe that God is personal to all who feel this indwelling Presence.

  7. We believe in the direct revelation of Truth through our intuitive and spiritual nature, and that ANYONE may become a revealer of Truth who lives in close contact with the indwelling God.

  8. We believe that the Universal Spirit, which is God, operates through a Universal Mind, which is the Law of God; and that we are surrounded by this Creative Mind which receives the direct impress of our thought and acts upon it.

  9. We believe in the healing of the sick through the power of this Mind.

  10. We believe in the control of conditions through the power of this Mind.

  11. We believe in the eternal Goodness, the eternal Loving-kindness, and the eternal Givingness of Life to all.

  12. We believe in our own soul, our own spirit, and our own destiny; for we understand that OUR LIFE is God.

 

According to their web sites, the Science of Mind is intensely practical because it teaches us how to use the Mind Principle for definite purposes, such as helping those who are sick, impoverished, or unhappy. Each one of us should learn to become a practitioner of this science, a demonstrator of its Principle, a conscious user of its Power. There is a power already exists, but the existence of Power is of no particular value to us until we use it. We must not only be conscious of Power, but we must be actively conscious of it. This is one of the first lessons we learn in the Science of Mind.

This science is more than mental; it is also spiritual, since we live in a spiritual universe. The Science of Mind declares the Truth about this spiritual universe and it also declares the Truth about false belief, considering everything which is opposed to good as an accumulation of human thought, the collective negative suggestion of the race.

Wrong conditions are resolved into false beliefs, and through the use of right ideas a transformation of thought takes place. We learn to build our ideas upon an affirmative rather than a negative factor. To state the Truth and deny or disregard that which in belief is opposed to it, is to prove that the Principle of the Science of Mind is actual.

The ever increasing thousands of persons who are daily proving this Principle add to our conviction that we are dealing with the most intense reality the human mind has ever conceived. As you will learn later, the practice of this science is the application of a definite technique, the law of right thought, of true spiritual understanding.

Religious Science was founded by Dr. Ernest Holmes, a self-taught philosopher who rigorously studied all of the world's Spiritual paths for most of his life. In 1927, he wrote The Science of Mind, which synthesized the truths that he discerned were present throughout all of the world's faiths. That book is the foundation of the principles of Religious Science. He never intended to begin a new faith, but was persuaded to allow a church to be created to assure that the principles he synthesized would outlive him.

What Does Your "V" Symbol Mean?
The V symbol of Religious Science can be interpreted on many different levels. On a Universal level, the top of the V shows the Universal Spirit (God), then the universal subjectivity, which is the medium of all thought, power, and action, then, at the bottom, at particularization of our manifestation of Spirit.

The point drawn through the center symbolizes the descent of Spirit into matter, or form. It is necessary that Spirit be manifested in order to express Itself. The descending line shows that all comes from the One (God)). Humanity reenacts the whole Universal Life, and the nature of humanity is identical with Spirit. What is true of the Whole is true of any of its individual undivided parts. Humanity comes to a point of individualization in the Whole and is subject to the Law of the Whole. (Paraphrased from The Science of Mind by Dr. Ernest Holmes, p. 569.)

What Does CSL Teach About Meditation?
Through the ages, meditation is the time honored technique for taming, training and transforming the mind. Religious Science endorses all forms of meditation, from creative visualization to the more traditional mind stilling techniques. It is through meditation that we come into a state of God communion and thereby experience a greater sense of unity of all life.*

What Does CSL Teach About Prayer?
Religious Science / Center for Spiritual Living honors and endorses all forms of sincere prayer. In addition, it teaches a unique and scientific form of prayer called Spiritual Mind Treatment. This is a powerful, affirmative method of prayer that was developed by Dr. Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science. It involves a five step process that embodies all of the elements of the creative process of Life itself.

Note:  If your arm is broken,  see a doctor.  If you are having psychosomatic problems, use treatment.  Treatment is getting into alignment with God and this is essential to living a joyous and healthy life.


What is an Affirmation According to CSL?
The term affirmation is normally associated with a verbal statement that is made about some goal that we are trying to achieve, or some experience we desire to have. However, the act of affirmation is really much more than that. It is an act of faith. It is the ability to put aside your doubt and fear in order to act as if your desired goal were already a reality. In this sense, an affirmation can be any statement, act, or symbolic gesture that affirms the reality of your intentions. Through the process of affirmation we "act as if" our highest aspirations were already a reality.*

What Does CSL Teach About Sin?
The original meaning of sin was simply to fall short of or "miss the mark" of spiritual perfection. A sin is not a thing, it is merely an activity that produces an undesirable effect in our lives. In other words, we are punished by our sins, not for them.*

What Does CSL Teach About Evil?
Religious Science / Center for Spiritual Living does not deny the appearance of evil. However, it teaches that evil does not exist as a force or power in the world. That which is called evil is merely the obstruction, or inversion, of the only power acting, which is Spirit. The obstruction of Spirit's expression always occurs in the mind through the holding of false beliefs. According to Religious Science, the only presence acting in the universe is God, which is always Good. Evil is merely the way that we withhold our expression and experience of that good by accepting false beliefs into our minds.*

What Does CSL Teach About The Devil?
Religious Science / Center for Spiritual Living believes that, since the only power acting anywhere is God, the devil simply cannot exist as a force acting in opposition to God's expression through Spirit. Therefore, there really is no devil. There is only the manifestation of falsely held beliefs within our minds, which produces that appearance of some sinister invisible force, or being, acting in our lives. To blame unpleasant conditions and circumstances on the devil, or anyone else, is a way of avoiding responsibility for our own experience of life.*

What Does CSL Teach About Heaven and Hell?
Religious Science believes that heaven and hell are states of mind. We experience heaven when we are in harmony with the Life that surrounds us.

Hell is a state of mind that we experience when we don't understand why something unpleasant is happening to us. We can choose to create our own heaven or hell on Earth, and take our beliefs with us when we go through the transition the world calls death to the next plane of existence.*

What Does CSL Teach About Death?
Religious Science / Center for Spiritual Living  teaches the eternality of life. It accepts that our physical bodies operate within a natural cycle of birth and death. However, even though we may have a body, we are not just our body. What we really are is the Life that animates our body, and that Life is infinite and immortal. As we become increasing identified with our divine and eternal nature, our underlying fear of death begins to dissolve and our experience of life become more joyous.*

What Does CSL Teach About Reincarnation?
Religious Science neither endorses nor rejects any particular theory or concept of reincarnation. Since life is eternal, there are an unlimited number of possibilities for its evolvement after the experience of physical death. In Religious Science, we accept the on-goingness of life and we deal with what is before us in the present moment.

What Does CSL Teach About Miracles?
Everything that occurs in our lives is simply the outpicturing of our consciousness operating through the Law of Mind. Therefore, those events that seem to be miraculous in nature are actually the Law acting at a level beyond our awareness. As we evolve our consciousness, what previously seemed miraculous becomes a natural, normal and understandable way of life. In actuality, there is only one miracle, this is Life itself.*

What Does CSL Teach About Jesus Christ?
At CSL Christ is viewed as a universal principle rather than a person. It is the principle of God expressing through humanity. Jesus of Nazareth was a human personality through which the Christ Principle, or Divine Personality, expressed itself on Earth. The principle of Jesus Christ represents the mystical marriage of our inner spirit with our outer personality. This union produces an expression of Life that includes both, yet is greater than either. The potential for this expression lies within each one of us. Therefore, Jesus is viewed as a great example for humanity, rather than the great exception. Ernest Holmes, founder of the philosophy of Religious Science, says:

"Religious Science does not deny the divinity of Jesus; but it does affirm the divinity of all people. It does not deny that Jesus was the son of God; but affirms that all beings are children of God. It does not deny that the Kingdom of God was revealed through Jesus; but affirms that the Kingdom of God is also revealed through you and me. "*

Are CSL Members Christians?
Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science, came out of a Christian tradition. He studied all of the world's religions, and synthesized what he saw to be the truths running through them all, free of any particular dogma. He began the philosophy with the intention that all churches, especially Christian ones, would embrace the philosophy and incorporate those teachings into their own. When that did not happen on a large-scale basis, he allowed the people around him to talk him into starting a church to make sure that the teachings would endure. His original intention was not to start a new religion. Religious Science comes out of the Christian tradition in the sense that we believe in the teachings of Jesus and use them to create a "Heaven on Earth".

Are CSL Members Part of the New Age?
CSL  is a New Thought philosophy. Although many people with New Age leanings are attracted to Religious Science and some of the practices of Religious Science such as meditation are also practiced by those who consider themselves New Age, Religious Science does not consider itself a New Age Religion. Religious Science honors all paths that lead to God, whether they be Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, New Age, or any other spiritual paths.

Are CSL and Scientology Related?
No.

Is CSL a Cult?
No. Religious Science / Center for Spiritual Living  teaches that each individual has the power over and the responsibility for his or her own life. Religious Science highly discourages the following of or dependence upon any one person, including founder Ernest Holmes or any present ministers or teachers. Religious Science challenges people to think for themselves and only believe what rings true for them. One must look into one's own heart for truth.

Is CSL and Christian Science the Same Thing?
No, but Ernest Holmes studied with many of the spiritual leaders of his time, including Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. Religious Science / Center for Spiritual Living  attracts many from the Christian Science tradition.

Does CSL Believe in Doctors?
Yes. Religious Scientists believe that all is God, and that God is expressed through doctors and medicine just as God is expressed through all of the physical universe. Religious Science believes in spiritual as well as physical healing, and Religious Science Practitioners often work in conjunction with doctors and other physical and mental health practitioners to facilitate healing.

Why Was CSL Called Religious Science?
Ernest Holmes used the terms "Science of Mind", which he called the book that describes his synthesis of the truths running through all of the religions of the world, and "Religious Science" interchangeably. He believed that religion and science were truly complimentary, and named his organization the Church of Religious Science to show that. He believed that, eventually, science would prove what the mystics have been saying for thousands of years about the nature of God, human beings, and the universe. His beliefs have been borne out by many modern scientists, who have found that the universe is truly made up of energy. Religious Science, along with all of the mystics of the ages, knows that energy is God.

Are the Center for Spiritual Living, Religious Science and Science of Mind the Same?
Yes.

The Unity Church

The Unity Church was founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1889 by Charles Fillmore (1854–1948) and Myrtle Fillmore (1845–1931) after Mrs. Fillmore had been cured of her tuberculosis, she believed, by spiritual healing. This resulted in the Fillmores studying spiritual healing, and being influenced by Emma Curtis Hopkins and Mary Baker Eddy (the founder of Christian Science).

Unity describes itself as a worldwide Christian organization which teaches a positive approach to life, seeking to accept the good in all people and events, and as beginning as a healing ministry and healing.  Like CSL it teaches that all people can improve the quality of their lives through thought.

Unity has no set dogma, and no required ritual. It maintains that there is good in every approach to God and in every religion that is filling someone's needs.  Its position holds that one should not focus on past sins but on the potential good in all. Unity emphasizes spiritual healing, prosperity and practical Christianity in its teachings. Illness is considered to be curable by spiritual means, but Unity does not reject or resist medical treatments. It is an inclusive faith that welcomes diversity of belief. Unity is accepting of the beliefs of others.

Churches are either aligned with the Federation of Independent Unity Churches or the Association of Unity Churches.

Its basic beliefs can be summed up as: 

  • God is the source and creator of all.
     
  • There is no other enduring power.
     
  • God is good and present everywhere.
     
  • We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image.
     
  • The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
     
  • We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.
     
  • There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.
     
  • Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.

Unity also believes that:

  • the teachings of Jesus Christ can be lived every day.
     
  • Unity's basic position is that the true "Church" is a "state of consciousness in mankind."
     
  • Each person is a unique expression of God
     
  • Each person is sacred, and worthy.
     
  • In the creative power of thought in people's experience.
     
  • One should take personal responsibility to choose life-affirming thoughts, words and actions, holding that when people do this, they experience a more fulfilling and abundant life.

 

H. Emilie Cady's 1896 book Lessons in Truth, A Course of Twelve Lessons in Practical Christianity is considered a core text of Unity.

God is understood as spiritual energy which is everywhere present and is available to all people. In the Unity view, God is not a being in the sky who is capable of anger. Unity proclaims the divinity of Jesus, but also proclaims that we are all children of God and share that divine potential.

Unity founders, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, studied the Bible as history and allegory. They interpreted it as a metaphysical representation of each soul's evolutionary journey toward spiritual awakening. Unity understands the Bible as a complex collection of writings compiled over many centuries. The Bible is a valuable spiritual resource, but is understood as a reflection of the comprehension and inspiration of the writers and their times.

Affirmative prayer is understood, in Unity, as the highest form of creative thought. It includes the release of negative thoughts and holding in mind statements of spiritual truth. Through meditation and prayer, we can experience the presence of God. Prayer and meditation heighten our awareness of truth and thereby transform our lives. Although Unity is not a traditional Christian teaching, the foundations are based on the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. Unity stresses its agreements, not differences, with Christians. It has been generally accepted that Jesus' great works were miracles and that the power to do miracles was delegated to His immediate followers only. In recent years many of Jesus' followers have inquired into His healing methods, and they have found that healing is based on universal mental and spiritual laws which anyone can utilize who will comply with the conditions involved in these laws.

Unity considers itself to be a nonsectarian educational institution although Unity ministers do complete a prescribed program of courses and training. Due to the interdenominational nature of Unity, its influence extends beyond its membership

The Baha'i Faith

The Bahá' Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, There are an estimated five to six million Bahá's around the world in more than 200 countries and territories. In the Bahá'í Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people.

These messengers have included Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others. For Baha'is, the most recent messengers are the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. In Bahá'í belief, each consecutive messenger prophesied of messengers to follow, and Bahá'u'lláh's life and teachings fulfilled the end-time promises of previous scriptures. Humanity is understood to be in a process of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale.

The Need of an Educator

When we consider existence, we see that the mineral, vegetable, animal and human worlds are all in need of an educator. If the earth is not cultivated, it becomes a jungle where useless weeds grow; but if a cultivator comes and tills the ground, it produces crops which nourish living creatures. It is evident, therefore, that the soil needs the cultivation of the farmer. Consider the trees: if they remain without a cultivator, they will be fruitless, and without fruit they are useless; but if they receive the care of a gardener, these same barren trees become fruitful, and through cultivation, fertilization and engrafting the trees which had bitter fruits yield sweet fruits. These are rational proofs; in this age the peoples of the world need the arguments of reason.

The same is true with respect to animals: notice that when the animal is trained it becomes domestic, and also that man, if he is left without education, becomes bestial, and, moreover, if left under the rule of nature, becomes lower than an animal, whereas if he is educated he becomes an angel. For the greater number of animals do not devour their own kind, but men, in the Sudan, in the central regions of Africa, kill and eat each other.

Now reflect that it is education that brings the East and the West under the authority of man;  it is education that produces wonderful industries; it is education that spreads great sciences and arts; it is education that makes manifest new discoveries and institutions. If there were no educator, there would be no such things as comforts, civilization or humanity. If a man be left alone in a wilderness where he sees none of his own kind, he will undoubtedly become a mere brute; it is then clear that an educator is needed.

But education is of three kinds: material, human and spiritual. Material education is concerned with the progress and development of the body, through gaining its sustenance, its material comfort and ease. This education is common to animals and man.

Human education signifies civilization and progress-- that is to say, government, administration, charitable works, trades, arts and handicrafts, sciences, great inventions and discoveries and elaborate institutions, which are the activities essential to man as distinguished from the animal.

Divine education is that of the Kingdom of God: it consists in acquiring divine perfections, and this is true education; for in this state man becomes the focus of divine blessings, the manifestation of the words, "Let Us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness." This is the goal of the world of humanity.

Now we need an educator who will be at the same time a material, human and spiritual   educator, and whose authority will be effective in all conditions. So if anyone should say, "I possess perfect comprehension and intelligence, and I have no need of such an educator," he would be denying that which is clear and evident, as though a child should say, "I have no need of education; I will act according to my reason and intelligence, and so I shall attain the perfections of existence"; or as though the blind should say, "I am in no need of sight, because many other blind people exist without difficulty."

Then it is plain and evident that man needs an educator, and this educator must be unquestionably and indubitably perfect in all respects and distinguished above all men.  Otherwise, if he should be like the rest of humanity, he could not be their educator, more particularly because he must be at the same time their material and human as well as their
spiritual educator-- that is to say, he must teach men to organize and carry out physical matters, and to form a social order in order to establish cooperation and mutual aid in living so that material affairs may be organized and regulated for any circumstances that may occur. In the same way he must establish human education-- that is to say, he must educate intelligence and thought in such a way that they may attain complete development, so that knowledge and  science may increase, and the reality of things, the mysteries of beings and the properties of existence may be discovered; that, day by day, instructions, inventions and institutions may be improved; and from things perceptible to the senses conclusions as to intellectual things may be deduced.

He must also impart spiritual education, so that intelligence and comprehension may penetrate the metaphysical world, and may receive benefit from the sanctifying breeze of the Holy Spirit, and may enter into relationship with the Supreme Concourse. He must so educate the human reality that it may become the center of the divine appearance, to such a degree that the attributes and the names of God shall be resplendent in the mirror of the reality of man, and the holy verse "We will make man in Our image and likeness" shall be realized. '

It is clear that human power is not able to fill such a great office, and that reason alone could not undertake the responsibility of so great a mission. How can one solitary person without help and without support lay the foundations of such a noble construction? He must depend on the help of the spiritual and divine power to be able to undertake this mission. One Holy Soul gives life to the world of humanity, changes the aspect of the terrestrial globe, causes intelligence to progress, vivifies souls, lays the basis of a new life, establishes new foundations, organizes the world, brings nations and religions under the shadow of one standard, delivers man from the world of imperfections and vices, and inspires him with the desire and need of natural and acquired perfections. Certainly nothing short of a divine power could accomplish so great a work. We ought to consider this with justice, for this is the office of justice.

A Cause which all the governments and peoples of the world, with all their powers and armies, cannot promulgate and spread, one Holy Soul can promote without help or support! Can this be done by human power? No, in the name of God! For example, Christ, alone and solitary, upraised the standard of peace and righteousness, a work which all the victorious governments with all their hosts are unable to accomplish. Consider what was the fate of so many and diverse empires and peoples: the Roman Empire, France, Germany, Russia, England, etc.; all were gathered together under the same tent-- that is to say, the appearance of Christ brought about a union among these diverse nations, some of whom, under the influence of Christianity, became so united that they sacrificed their lives and property for one another. After the time of Constantine, who was the protagonist of Christianity, divisions broke out among them. The point is this, that Christ united these nations but after a while governments became the cause of discord. What I mean is that Christ sustained a Cause that all the kings of the earth could not establish! He united the various religions and modified ancient customs. Consider what great differences existed between Romans, Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Israelites and other peoples of Europe. Christ removed these differences and became the cause of love between these communities. Although after some time governments destroyed this union, the work of Christ was accomplished.

Therefore, the Universal Educator must be at the same time a physical, human and spiritual educator; and He must possess a supernatural power, so that He may hold the position of a divine teacher. If He does not show forth such a holy power, He will not be able to educate, for if He be imperfect, how can He give a perfect education? If He be ignorant, how can He make others wise? If He be unjust, how can He make others just? If He be earthly, how can He make others heavenly?

Source: Some Answered Questions by Abdu'l Baha, pages 7-11.

 

 

Belief Systems

The Law of Attraction

This is a belief, not a religion.  It means that "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results.  For example, if a person opened an envelope expecting to see a bill, then according to the law of attraction, the envelope would "confirm" those thoughts and contain a bill when opened. A person who decided to instead expect a cheque might, under the same law, find a cheque instead of a bill.  This is pure superstition.  However, the idea that we become what we think and what we think, we attract into lives is very often true.

Esther Hicks and Abraham

Another belief system is that of Abraham - Hickes Teachings. Esther Hicks goes into a trance and channel Abraham or "infinite intelligence,"  One of the main teachings is that people own reality through their thoughts, that emotions are constantly guiding people toward where they want to go, and that life is supposed to be fun. The essence of Abraham–Hicks' teachings since 1986 has been presented as follows:

 

  •     Individuals are physical extensions of the non-physical.
     
  •     People are in their bodies because they chose to be.
     
  •     The basis of life is freedom; the purpose of life is joy.
     
  •     People are creators; they create with their thoughts.
     
  •     Whatever people can imagine is theirs to be, or do, or have.
     
  •     Individuals choose their creations as they choose their thoughts.
     
  •     Emotions indicate what people are creating.
     
  •     The Universe adores people; it knows their broadest intentions.
     
  •     Individuals should relax into their natural well-being, and know
            that all is well.
  •     Life is not meant to be a struggle, but a process of allowing.
     
  •     People are creators of "thoughtways" on their unique "paths of joy".
     
  •     Actions and money are by-products of focusing on joy.
     
  •     Individuals may depart their body without illness or pain.
     
  •     People cannot die; their lives are everlasting.

 

A large part of Hicks' work centers around the Law of Attraction, a concept written about in the early 1900s by William Walker Atkinson (1862–1932), in his book Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World (1906).[7]One of my best sources of information is Abraham-Hicks.  This channeled information comes from Abraham, a group of non-physical beings.  They communicate through the physical being Esther Hicks who translates and filters the message.

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