It has been a tradition in the Science of Mind teaching that, with the start of the new year, we go back to the beginning of the Science of Mind textbook and explain the basics of this philosophy.
And so, the topic of today’s talk is from the first chapter of the Science of Mind textbook: “The Thing Itself.”
The first question that always comes to my mind is what do we mean by “The Thing Itself”? It certainly does not sound very “Woo Woo” as a word to describe God. Personally, when I think Woo Woo, I think more like “The Etherial Nothingness” or “The Celestial Juju”.
I think the real reason Ernest termed it “THE THING ITSELF” was to call attention, in a neutral way, to something nameless on one hand, and on the other hand, to something that we can point to as real, even if we are not sure what to call It.
If you have come from or studied other teachings, you may be familiar with some of the other names associated with “The Thing Itself”. For example, Christianity uses God. A Hindu name for It is Khuda; In Hebrew, It is Jehovah or Yahweh. In Islam It is Allah. Abraham Hicks refers to It as Source, and in Buddhism, It can be referred to as Transcendent Being.
In the Science of Mind Textbook Ernest Holmes refers to This Thing Itself in at least 150 different ways: These include: Creative Intelligence, God, First Cause, Spirit, Mind, Greater Consciousness, Intuition and many others. I suppose that giving It a name can help to create a commonality in which everyone knows what is being referred to. But that’s not really necessary.
So what is this Thing? Intuitively we know that there is some Thing that represents more. If we close our eyes and allow the rampant noise of our surroundings to fall away, this Thing becomes familiar. It flows into and out of us naturally, bringing with it a stillness and sense of oneness with the world around us. It allows us to understand that there is a Power and a Presence and not only is It available to us but that we are part of It. There are many ways to define It and these definitions ultimately, as we study this philosophy become personal to each of us.
Science tells us that everything in the Universe, and I mean everything is made of energy. It is the same energy regardless of its shape or composition. The only difference is the vibration at which it moves. This includes our physical bodies, the air we feel on a windy day, the synapses of the brain when a thought is created. It is all interconnected. What holds it all together and allows it to manifest into what we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch is a very simple, yet powerful idea. Ernest Holmes puts it quite clearly in the beginning of his second chapter which we get into in depth next week: On page 35: “There is a Universal Mind, Spirit, Intelligence, that is the origin of everything: It is First Cause. It is God. This universal Life and Energy finds an outlet in and through all that is energized and through everything that lives… There is one Spirit back of all expression. That is the meaning of that mystical saying: “In Him we live, and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
In other words, There is One Universal Presence/Intelligence/Mind/ (You fill in the blank) that is all things and all things are expressions of that One Presence. Does that mean that I am an expression of that One Presence? Yes. It also means that each of you, each person on the street, every tree, every rock, every particle of energy that exists (whether in physical form or not) is an expression of that One Presence.
What does it mean to be an expression of that One Presence? Some years ago, I came to understand an experience. It was a feeling of emptiness. (Not like when I was alone in the wilderness and feeling poopie because I did not have anyone special in my life.) It was a vast expanse of blank. No light, no darkness, nothing.
Then, in an instant, there was everything. There was power, there was a realization. A knowing if you will. And with it was a first thought. “I AM” And it was from that thought that everything came into being. Love, curiosity, creativity; and with this came a desire to extend myself into as many areas of expression, as creative thought would allow. All that was needed was a desire and a thought and an understanding that as it was spoken so would there be. And through this state of being there would be a connection, a part of me and an extension of me bringing forth more desires, more expressions of life in which I can and do share.
Being an Expression of that One Presence means you are connected. You are connected with that One Presence. Always have been, always will be. It’s like a drop of water being connected to the ocean. You are an individual drop of water; whole and complete and perfect as you are but you are also part of that infinite body of water. You are connected. You share the tide, the storms and the evaporation cycle but you came from and will always return to the whole.
As an expression of the One Presence, you are both part of it and yet you have your own thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes and desires. So what you say, think and do matters. Not only for your own life and direction but for the benefit of the whole. There is never going to be a time when you do not co-exist with that One Presence. What there is, however, and this is what many have mistaken as the basis for duality (a feeling of being separate and apart). That is the difference in the use of what Ernest labels the objective (the conscious) and the subjective (Unconscious) minds.
We all have conscious thoughts. Those are the ones that we use in conversations, in our writings and in our wishes and prayers. We also have unconscious thoughts–the ones that have formed over time–the ones that cause us to form opinions of ourselves (and others), that help or hinder us from moving forward with what we think we want in this physical expression. Both are very powerful in the creation of our experiences. Both also interact with each other in forming the basis for how our experiences come into being. The difference is how they operate.
I like to call the subjective or unconscious thoughts the “but for” thoughts. “But for how I have developed my unconscious thoughts about myself and life I would really be moving forward with the flow of my good.” That is why it is so important to think critically (and I mean by that to be aware) of what is going on inside ourselves, so we can keep those negative, race conscious thoughts from taking over.
Have you ever heard the story in the Bible found in Mathew 29: …28 After Jesus had entered the house, the blind men came to Him. “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” He asked. “Yes, Lord,” they answered. 29Then He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” 30And their eyes were opened. “ Ernest paraphrases this story throughout his writings as “It is done unto you as you believe.” This is because this Thing Itself, of which you are part, to which you are connected and which experiences life in, as and through you, has created the Law.
It is a powerful, unrestricted and unbiased law, based solely on the premise that “It is done unto you as you believe.” It is a neutral law. It does not judge your desires, it just grants them. It does not poke at you and say: “Hey George, you might want to rethink that one.” It simply says yes. It’s kind of like the genie in the magic lamp. Wishes are granted but with the understanding that each wish comes with natural consequences. And those natural consequences really only apply to you.
Have you ever had a day when you woke up in a really crappy mood and just knew that it was going to be one of those days where everything would go wrong? And did it? Was traffic crappy, were there grumpy people interrupting your day? Did it just seem like it was impossible to get anything done?
Have you ever had a day when you woke up with a smile and a knowing that everything that day was going to go just perfectly? Like the perfect parking spot opened up just as you arrived, or the situation at work that you originally thought was going to be not so good turned out better than you could have imagined? Someone delivered flowers or took you to lunch? What was the difference in your mindset or belief about yourself on those two days? Do you really think it was coincidence?
How many other days or life experiences have you had that also matched your attitude or belief? The truth about this teaching, and the truth of how this Universe is that this One Powerfully Creative Presence works according to your belief. It works because you are connected. And being connected, you are powerful. But your power is only as you believe it to be.
As stated by Thomas Toward in his Edinburgh Lecture, (I’m paraphrasing) Devine intelligence is the essence of all things. The more we become self-realized in this concept the more ability we have to control it. For this Intelligence, which permeates all things, responds to individual intelligence, when appealed to, by those who are aware of it, manifesting those things of our conscious beliefs from the primordial substance (ooze) of that which is all things.
So let’s summarize a little. There is a Power and a Presence in the universe available to us. It is available because it is connected. It is connected in that we were created OF this power and presence which experiences this life in, as and through us all and yet recognizes that each of us is perfect, whole and complete just as the unique individuals that we are. That includes all our so-called defects and shortcomings. Because we are connected, we have power to create and our creations begin with a thought.
Conscious or unconscious, your thoughts create. However, the more you are aware of your thoughts, the better you are able to steer your life in the direction you want it to go. That is because this Universal Presence operates upon a Law of neutral acceptance. It does not discriminate based on wants, needs, color, sex or creed. It treats everyone the same and just says yes. And this makes you a VERY POWERFUL PERSON!
Paraphrasing Holmes from the Science of Mind textbook, the key to understanding and using this power is a conscious understanding of our relationship to It, our belief in It and in our knowing that It and we are, have always been and will always be joined as one.
It is Individualized within each of us and yet shares within that common ground of the whole. So, I guess that we could say The Thing Itself is a combination of the One Presence, our connectivity to the One Presence and our knowledge and acceptance and conscious use of the Law in the creation of the life/expression/physical experience that we want to have on this plane.
See you again next week.