On this day (May 14th), 73 years ago, David Ben-Gurion, then the leader of the Jewish community in British-mandated Palestine, with the blessing and support of the Jewish People's Council, proclaimed independence, thereby establishing the State of Israel, and, however indirectly, precipitating the first Arab-Israeli war in the modern era: a seemingly unending struggle for power.
In the years hence, there have been many conflicts in this region between the students of Judaism and the students of Islam... many wars in the Holy Lands, deeply rooted in thousands of years of human history, even up to the present day. And once again, this week, armed conflict between Israel, Hamas, and the Palestinian people dominates the headlines...
In times like these, I ask myself the question New Thought composer Eddie Watkins, Jr. has asked: "What Would Love Do Now?"
Throughout this calendar year, we have been studying and practicing How To Stay Centered, No Matter What: 12 Tools For Achieving Inner Peace In a Chaotic World. The Apostle Philip represents Power, the fifth of what we in Unity call the Twelve Powers - spiritual abilities we all share as Children of God. The name "Philip" means a "lover of horses." Power, in short, is our ability to "seize the reins" and take control of our lives - to create or change our life experience through the activity of our thoughts, words, and actions.
On this anniversary date of the modern State of Israel, I invite us to take a deeper look at Israel: not only its historical meaning, but also its importance this moment in human history. Charles Fillmore, in the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, defines the metaphysical meaning of Israel as "spiritual consciousness." Israel is a Hebrew word that means "striving for God," or "contending for God."
In the book of Genesis, Chapter 32, Jacob, son of Isaac - and grandson of Abraham - with the blessing of God, changes his name to Israel. Jacob represents the mental consciousness within each of us, and "an idea of the I AM identity." Fillmore, as well as many of Unity's early teachers, referred to Israel (the region) as "the realm of the real." For when we merge head with heart, knowing there is no separation between the spiritual and the physical, then we open our awareness of our Oneness, with all persons, all Life, and with God. That is real.
Fillmore writes: "A great light of understanding breaks in the struggling soul when it discovers that there is a divine-natural body, and it clings to that inner life and strength and eventually brings it to the surface in perpetual vigor. This is the significance of the blessing and the new name, Israel (one who has power with God and man, spiritual and material)." [MBD]
Unity minister and author Eric Butterworth, in his classic book, Celebrate Yourself! says, "Power, God-power, is with you and in you every moment. Whenever you turn your thoughts to God, you become one with power without limit." Through the gift and blessing of affirmative prayer, we exercise our power of Power, using the power of our minds to focus and direct our energies inward, turning away from reactivity to the latest news headlines, stock quotes, etc., toward the Christ - the center of our being. In this sacred space, the eternal NOW is the moment where / when we meet our Divine potential, know our true power as spiritual beings, and make the mental shift necessary to transform our lives. Prayer is our way of projecting that spiritual consciousness outwardly. As one is uplifted, all are uplifted.
A dear, dear friend of mine, LeRoy White, a beloved composer, musician, dancer, philosopher, and teacher within our New Thought field, wrote a song years ago called "Seize the Day," which perfectly sums up what I believe Spirit is calling us to do as a people - certainly as individuals, as a ministry, as a community - but, most of all, as a collective consciousness. Part of the lyric invites us to "listen to the voice inside," for we are "a part of Eternal Life," and that this is our "inheritance" as spiritual beings. LeRoy made his transition recently, on April 26, 2021. Thank you and God bless you, LeRoy, for this and your many inspiring songs over the years.
Perhaps this is the day, now is the year - THIS is the moment - when we decide to stop hurting each other, killing each other, for glory, for profit, for religion, for the notion of supremacy of one race over another, or any other reason our egos may conjure. Maybe we will come to an awareness that there are no "winners" in war. Is it conceivable that, within our lifetimes, humankind may awaken to a new reality? That we are all One? The power of Power is the key - our key - to transmute possibility into manifest reality. We have the power to control our thoughts and feelings; we have the power, God-given, within us, to let go of fear, and release our "imprisoned splendor," as Robert Browning would put it, giving way to the effervescent flow of Divine Love, allowing the light of spiritual understanding to shine forth, filling us with its radiance. Not only do we have the Power - not only is the Power within you - the Power is you, at the point where you now are.
From that consciousness, we no longer feel the desire to "contend for God" or "strive for God," for God Is ever-present. God Is right here, right now. God Is real. One of my favorite Latin phrases is Carpe Diem: "Seize the day!" As Lisa Ferraro put it in her powerful (read: "Power-full") Sunday message on May 9, "There is no time but the present."
I'll share more on this great power we call Power, Dominion, or Mastery, as the month progresses. In the meantime, we'll see you on Sunday!
Blessings of Peace, Love, and Light,
Daryn L. Wells