BLOG FOR SEPTEMBER 2016
What Has Become Clear to You Today?
By Reverend Kathryn McDowell
Founding Minister–East Valley Center for Spiritual Living, Tempe, Arizona
SOM Magazine – May 1959
In a certain sense, we never leave school. We are tested not by formal examinations, but by the way we live, by the quality of our relations. The educated individual has maturity in youth and a feeling of expectancy in old age. Action is the final test of our theories. As Horace Mann said: “It is well to think well, it is divine to act well.”
Frederick Mayer, Professor of Philosophy, University of Redlands, California, is one of the outstanding men in the country in the field of philosophy of education, and author of many books and articles. He is also a member of Science of Mind Magazine’s Editorial Board.
It is recorded that Ralph Waldo Emerson would greet his friends after not seeing them for some time by asking, “And what has become clear to you since last we met?” What a wonderful way of inviting a discussion of insights, awakenings and growth. I use this question in almost every class I teach, and often repeat it weekly throughout the length of the course. And I always, always give them the link to The Science of Mind Archives!
It is so important that we not only continue our spiritual studies and practice, but that we remain conscious and mindful of what we are embodying from those studies and practices. Certainly we are gaining information and knowledge. The real question, however, is whether we are just warehouses of data, aphorisms, and metaphors, or are we actually enriched to the point of true awakening to new (or renewed) insights that profoundly change our lives and the world around us?
In most of our studies we are satisfied with basic information for a specific answer that we believe we need in that moment of life. “What did Ernest Holmes write about a particular topic?” “Did Ernest ever meet Bill W who founded Alcoholics Anonymous?” “How does Science of Mind expand itself in the world today?” And what if the answer is actually another question? What if the current answers we receive require that we pause to contemplate the effectiveness and application of those particular answers for our needs and even redirect the focus of our question to get the most valuable direction for our new awakening? Many people bounce around from one spiritual discipline to another seeking a momentary experience of awakening (the answer) without checking in with our inner Self to see if they really gained anything; they just bounce against a momentary pleasantry or satisfaction, and then proceed forward still feeling unfulfilled.
We are all unique in our pursuit, awakening, and application of this spiritual journey. How blessed we are to have the richness of 90+ years of Science of Mind magazine, Religious Science documents and history, recordings and contemplations of students, Practitioners, and Ministers of the Science of Mind. Our explorations never cease. Our awakenings are perpetual and always within that upward spiral that Holmes references. The breadth of authors and topics covered through the years in the magazine are a testament to Ernest Holmes’ ever-present questions. He talked to everyone. He learned from everyone.
I just teach Science of Mind. Yes, I study Buddhism, Native traditions, Druids, Christianity, Judaism, new sciences, mysticism of all kinds, etc. And after delving into them with my many inquiries, I always ask, “What has become clear to me since I began this study?” What clarity is shared between those studies and Science of Mind? What clarity have I gained in what Ernest Holmes offered us in his writings and talks? How can I blend and merge the many disciplines and studies to truly make a better world for us all? The Science of Mind Archives is a tremendous resource for my studies and comparisons of disciplines. It is not just a storehouse of reminiscences of one author or organization. Just like Ernest Holmes, it provides a synthesis of many traditions, thinkers, teachers, and texts that speaks to me every day. One thing has become clear to me – my frequent visits to the Science of Mind Archives always surprise and enrich me.
See you there!