Trick or Treat

October 2016 Blog
By Rev. Stephen Rambo
Spiritual Leader
Center for Spiritual Living – Simi Valley
Simi Valley, CA
I want to share with you this month some thoughts that arose from reading an article, “Bless and Curse Not” by our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes.  It’s one of many articles available for download in the FREE section of our New Shop.  In four pages you’ll get a lesson with the potential to impact your everyday experience of life.  But don’t take my word for it, be a good religious scientist.  Conduct an experiment of your own using the formula presented in the article.  So, let’s explore the elements Dr. Holmes puts before us to help us better understand the power of appreciation and the stagnation of judgment.  In keeping with the season, I call it “Trick or Treat.”  Dr. Holmes titled this “experiment” in principled spiritual living, “Bless and Curse Not.”
One of my favorite examples to explain the power of thought involves traffic.  Maybe it’s the result of living in Los Angeles, a city infamous for its traffic snarls, or maybe more precisely, crawls.  Here’s the scene. Bumper to bumper traffic is inching down the 405 freeway.  Locals call it the 4-Or-5-hour freeway because of its regular back-ups.  In one car you have a driver thinking, “This is the worst traffic jam ever.  I can’t stand it.”  Every few feet his stress level rises, his hand finds a steady companion in the horn.  Other drivers are the enemy. Irritable. Tight.  Approaching road rage stage.  Let’s keep it 100, we’ve all been there at one time or another.  In the very next car, a driver is listening to a wonderful audio book; let’s say “This Thing Called Life.”  She looks out the driver’s window and marvels at the commerce that has created the architecturally spectacular Westwood skyline.  Out the passenger window she imagines a sunset stroll along the beach.  Who is having the blessed experience?  Who is feeling cursed?  And the situation for both, in objective terms, is exactly the same.  Dr. Holmes wrote, “It is hard to believe that just by reversing our thinking about a situation we can change that situation.”  How many of us know that we absolutely can?
The treat is to taste the sweetness of life through the power of love and faith.  According to Dr. Holmes, “Love really is the great motivating power of life.  Love, combined with faith, is the most dynamic thing on earth.  Therefore anything that blocks the flow of love, blocks the flow of life.”  It’s life’s “tricks” that can so easily block the flow.  Our habit of living by the law of averages subjects us to the whims of a collective consciousness that focuses on lack, has a propensity to judge by appearances, withholds forgiveness and practices greed.  The list of tricks is long.  And fortunately, the list of treats is longer still.  Dr. Holmes reminds us that the list of life’s treats appears when you decide to shine your light, “Let us learn to light the candle of faith in our own soul and let it shine, not peering into the darkness and thinking how black it is but rather, thinking only of the light.”
We often think our problems are outside of us.  And in some respects they are but the power to overcome them, move beyond them and change our conditions resides with a great power that is within us.  That power is the Light of consciousness, which can illuminate the pathway to wholeness, peace, and blessedness. The ancients intuited, “it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”  You are that candle, if you choose.  Be the light.  Cast aside the trick.  Enjoy the treat.  Bless and Curse Not.
Use this link to access the article “Bless and Curse Not”
Feel free to contact Rev. Stephen at  You can watch Rev. Stephen live, Sundays at 10:30 Pacific at or archived on the CSL Simi Valley YouTube Channel.