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The Value of Truth" by Rev. Christine Emmerling DD, 2/18/2024

“The Value of Truth” by Rev. Christine Emmerling DD, 2/18/24

This year’s Lenten Season began on Wednesday Feb. 14th. Lent is a Christian annual period that starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays) representing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. Many people follow a practice of giving up something. For this season of Lent we shall be focusing on Community of Infinite Spirit’s core values. Today we’re beginning with the value of truth. We will be exploring what is truth, to seeking and living the truth we know and understand.

The following is a summary from Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” (The Republic, Book VII) Socrates is speaking: We are invited to imagine a group of people sitting in an underground cave, facing the walls. They are chained up and they cannot move their heads. Behind them, a fire is forever burning, and its flames cast shadows onto the cave walls. Between the fire and the cave walls, there is a road, and people walk along this road, carrying various objects: models of animals made of stone and wood, human statuettes, and other things. The people who walk along the road, and the objects they carry, cast shadows on the cave walls.

The people who are chained in the cave and facing the wall can only see the shadows of the people (and the objects they carry): never the actual people and objects walking past behind them. To the people chained up in the cave, these shadows appear to be reality, because they don’t know any better. Reality, to these people chained in the cave, is only ever a copy of a copy: the shadows of the original forms which themselves remain beyond our view.

But someone comes and unchains the people in the cave. Now they’re free. Let’s say that one of them is set free and encouraged to look towards the fire behind him and his fellow cave-dwellers. He can now see that the things he took for reality until now were merely shadows on the wall.

But this knowledge isn’t, at first, a good thing. The revelation is almost overwhelming. The light of the fire hurts his eyes, and when he is dragged up the slope that leads out of the cave, and he sees the sun outside, and is overwhelmed by its light. In time, however, he comes to accept that the sun is the true source of light in the world, the cause of the seasons and the annual cycle of things. And he would come to feel sorry for those who remain behind in the cave and are content to believe that the shadows on the cave wall are reality. Indeed, the people who remain behind in the cave believe he wasted his time in going outside and simply ruined his eyes for nothing.

Jesus said in John 8:31, “To know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Truth of God is an ever unfolding process moving from the darkness of ignorance towards the light of Truth, and then stepping into the light and more light, becoming the light.

We start with the Universal Principle of Oneness and unity; that which we call God. We also use the following terms to describe God: Omnipresence - everywhere present, Omnipotence - all power, and Omniscience - all knowledge. This living everywhere presence is the only true power and it is good - it is love. This goodness is also creative intelligence, all knowledge, and the one true science - the science of God.

Divine Science teaches the trinity as the Law of Expression; God as the creator, as the creative activity, and as the creation. God is consciousness, and we are all one in and of this same consciousness. This consciousness expresses in through our very being as mind, body and soul.

In John 3:6 “That which is born of Spirit is spirit.” We too are of spirit both invisible and visible. Therefore we can never be outside or separated from God; our one and only source. We can only through our ignorance of Truth imagine ourselves to be separate from our source and all of life. We can only experience or live this Truth according to the level we understand it.

There comes a time in our life when we ask the questions “Why am I here? Who am I?” Or for me it was “Is this all there is?” Sound familiar? Most people believe that our stages for life are infant, child, youth, adult to old age. But that is about our physical, mental and emotional development. There is something else, that is our spiritual development that adds the true character and meaning to our life.

I’m reminded of how an avocado tree takes about 9 months to produce its fruit. It all starts with a female avocado tree having its blossoms pollinated by a nearby male avocado tree. After the blossoms fall tiny buds appear. Each bud has the potential to be a full sized avocado. The final stage in maturing takes place after it is harvested. In a sense could be considered a rotting stage, but it is this last part of its life that the avocado becomes edible and most delicious. It is this final stage that reveals its full potential.

Our spiritual unfoldment is much like that avocado, realizing that its not all in the outer unfoldment, but a deeper enrichment that goes on from the inside. An avocado will ripen faster when placed in a paper bag or in an oven at a very low temperature. Think of reading spiritual works, contemplating upon them, and in silent meditation as in that inner place being ripened, where deep truths are revealed and preparing us for something greater.

When that inner urge comes to unfold nothing can stop us, and we begin our seeking truth. Sometimes this urge is brought forth be a trauma, a death, an illness or accident. It can be by an extraordinary experience that does not fit in our 3-dimensional reality such as, a vision, spontaneous healing, ghosts, angels, out of body, near death, or mystical and cosmic consciousness experiences.

Then I must ask the question, “Are we seeking truth, or is truth seeking to unfold and express through us?” It seems some people are just more willing vessels for this urge to spring forth and unfold in their life than others. And yet we are assured that truth will eventually come to all that earnestly seek.

According to the Bible the spiritual journey began with Adam and Eve having been exiled from the Garden of Eden. From there on the Bible is about finding our way back to the Promised Land, the Tree of Life, to God and the Truth of who we are. The many prophets and Jesus the Christ all had their spiritual journeys seeking.

Malinda Cramer, the founder of Divine Science wrote about her journey to awakening and healing. For Cramer it began with an illness of over 20 years which had led her to see many doctors, and by recommendation she moved to San Francisco CA. Still she found no relief.

Then one morning in 1885, during an earnest meditation and prayerful seeking, that she asked “Is there any way out of these conditions; is there any power in the vast universe that can heal me?” An immediate all convincing reply came. It was an intuitive response from the depths of her being which embodied its very nature. The realization pervaded her body thoroughly throughout, illumining and vivifying its every atom with newness of life and strength. Instantly Omnipresent Spirit was realized, and everything was transformed in Spirit.

This presence was more than personal, it was Omnipresence; it was more than any visible object; it was real and permanent. Cramer knew she was one with it. She realized it to be her life; the very being, knowledge, health and power. It was a “consuming fire,” in that all things became It and were this One Presence manifested. Simultaneously with finding herself in God, she experienced the in drawing of all things, that all are in the embrace of one eternal Good. As she looked out over creation, she beheld a new heaven and a new earth, old things had passed away.

That hour was the beginning of her realization of the oneness of life, a gleam of its truth flashed across her mental vision at that time which she now understood to be the at-one-ment of the whole, Creator, Creative Action, and Creation. What she had heard of Spirit, with the hearing of the ear, from early childhood became an actual reality, a conscious living presence.

From the depths of this knowledge of the conscious presence of spirit or God as all, she felt and knew to a certainty, that if she ever got well it would be by the power of the Holy Spirit. Her health improved quickly, and was fully healed as old beliefs were released. Then she went on to teach and heal, publish the Harmony magazine, authored books, formed organizations and traveled the country teaching.

Cramer wrote in Divine Science and Healing, “Teachers can state the truth of the basic principles to their pupils, but the pupils must work to prove the principles for themselves by right thought, word and deed. Then, “There are three steps in the understanding of any principle that is new to anyone’s thinking: First, it must be perceived; then, it must be accepted; and last, it must be applied. Truth is not theory merely but practiced also.”

Nona Brooks, co-founder of Divine Science of Denver, CO, stated “The whole of Divine Science is the practice of the Presence of God.”

Then how do we practice this Presence of God, this At-one-ment in our daily lives?

1. We begin each day by acknowledging this Presence of God. We have gratitude for our existence and life. Throughout the day take moments to reflect on the Presence of God. And, then close the day in gratitude and reflection on God.

2. Affirm Truth about God. Affirmations are an essential practice, especially to a new student of Truth. Its about retraining the mind from false beliefs; our concepts about the world, situations, and ourselves to what is in Truth Principle - All is God and All is Good. The truth is what sets us free from our created effects.

3. Study Truth Principle. Read and contemplate upon spiritual books, take classes, put lessons to practice and apply, and be with like-minded people.

4. Daily practice of going inward to connect with this Infinite Spirit of God in silent meditation.

5. Daily reflection on our thoughts and behavior. Not to berate ourselves, but to make improvements. Also to forgive. A saying of Jesus that has helped me to forgive is “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” And this can apply towards ourselves as well.

6. Practice seeing God everywhere. Learn to see beyond the outer appearances to the spirit within. Find the good. When an appearance or condition challenges our belief, simply state “How can I see this differently?”

7. Practice being one with everything. Observing the world, all of nature and even inanimate objects to say “I Am that, I Am!” This is a great way to identify and connect to be at-one. Eventually the veil is lifted and can even see the light energy of Spirit emanating forth.

As Truth students, we begin by understanding the Oneness of God as eternal Truth Principle; of what it is and how it operates in and as our life. We seek and study, and then we put to practice, testing, refining and proving these truths according to our current understanding. It is a constant practice that leads to further spiritual unfoldment, healing, a purposeful life, and fully awaken to enlightenment.

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