Practical Spirituality
for a Modern Life
(Sunday message by Rev Bill)

The POWER for the month of September is ORDER.

ORDEROxford dictionary)…The condition in which every part…unit…(and so forth)…
is in its right place.
ORDERLY…methodically arranged.
The power of Order works with all the other twelve powers…especially :
ZEALkeep us motivated in keeping things in order'
WILLchoose to be orderly in the first place.
STRENGTHkeep on keeping on.

It has been a challenge for me to be orderlyI am becoming more disciplined as I realise the time and agony I have experienced when I was unable to find an important document, or in the early days prepare the information for my tax return.
All the great prosperity writers from Wallace WattlesScience and the art of becoming rich

Napoleon Hill (Think and grow rich)
Unity writers Charles Fillmore and Catherine Ponder in their writings on prosperity all claim the importance of ORDER.

So farI have been talking about our physical life and environment.
We aim to store up treasures on earth…but there is another angle to this?
If we believe that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience… can we take our earthy possessions with us…and to where.?

St. Paul…There is a physical body out of which is sown a Spiritual body…and as Jesus said…Ye must be born againalso said "In my Fathers house are many mansions…if it were not so I would have told you.(other states of consciousness)
I go to prepare a place for you.

Jesus explains that it isn't a literal rebirth…but a return to the source of our being… which is awaiting our recognition of it.
That which is of the flesh is flesh and that which is of the spirit is spirit.
So in other words rebirth, or being reborn is a surrender of the many human demands and can keep us so busy we don't have time to "GO WITHIN" and seek that "Divinity in us."
Unity in the past has been called Culturally Christian but Spiritually eclectic…and I am always looking for similar sayings in other spiritual/religious teaching from around the world.

The Bhagavad Gita…"All roads lead to me."
We here at Unity have learnt some of the tools to go within…Prayer…Meditation…denials & affirmations…But it tales Zeal…Will…and Strength…to keep up this regular routine.

Discipline and order in our spiritual life is more than just these things.

The Unity Fifth Principle states Knowing and understanding the laws of life, also called truth, are not enough, we must also live the truth that we know.

This can involve seeing the Divine in all we meet…changing old habits for new ones (Thus storing up Treasures in Heaven) as our conscious expands.
In addition to this, we aim to give thanks for the good we already have.

George Lamsa an Aramaic scholar tells us that "To be born again" in Gallilean or Aramaic means "to be come like a little child."
That is to say, to change our thoughts and habits and become simple like a child and start all over again.(To learn anew.)
A knowledge of DIVINE ORDER can make our lives - whether NOW (or some NOW in the future) a better place. And when Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you…we can look for the metaphysical meaning of this FIAT.

JESUS represents our I AM consciousness.

MATHEW 5 : 1- 2

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain :and when he was set, his disciples came unto him. And he opened his mouth and spake."

Here is an example of going into the silence and listening to The Divine Within…..(explain).

Multitudesthoughts & inner chatter.
Mountainhigh state of consciousness.
Setthat sacred place within.
His disciples (twelve powers became aligned within
Spakeinner wisdom came forth.

The Bible is a record of our ever evolving consciousness.From Adam right through the Characters of Moses…Pharoah..Joseph
and all the other characters ( naughty and nice) and all part of our consciousness expanding.
I am grateful for the metaphysical Bible Dictionary for their explanations.

We have all seen the mayhem that results when things don't go to order…(7BU)

There have been many blooper episodes on facebook lately…Shows from the past like Keeping up appearances he vicar of Dibly, and Are you being served.
The humour is out of date now….They have been showing bloopers that never made the screen at the time……..(give examples)

In our spiritual journey it is wise to go easy on ourselves.
A sense of humour can be a blessing. So when things don't go according to plan we "Go with the flow" knowing we have done all that we could at the time. (Rev. Grace…Whats the gift.)

Overbalanced symptoms of order would be when we become over precise…trying to be a perfectionist…pickiness over little things and so on.

Underbalanced symptoms may include being unorganised , and procrastinating.

Different writers have their own way of putting it, but to me…
ORDER in the mind of God…is the idea of harmonious progress…evolution.

From the writings of Malinda E. Cramer we read :
"Any seed contains the form and potentialities of the complete plant before growth begins…so knowledge is the essence of our nature before our development in knowledge is started.
So the process of revelations of truths new to us comes from within rather from without."

ORDER IN MANKIND is our ability to perceive and cooperate with the Divine Blueprint in us.
There is no time frame for us to do this …we do it when we reach that point in our life where there is nowhere else to go.


Now is the appointed time for us to bring Order into our lives.
To help deepen our Spiritual consciousness.

Demonstrating the Power of Order can be a powerful blessing as we navigate the ups and downs of life in this physical world of duality.

Summer, autumn , winter , spring…the trees…the birds are building nests…soon we will be forgetting the cold of winter and start complaining about the heat.

Ecclesiastes Chapter Three.

"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the Heaven."

This book of wisdom is all about order.
Barbara Marx Hubbard writes about the ordering tendency of evolution. In her writing she reveals her understanding that God has two aspects…the eternal and the evolving.

"We see that each of us is called from within to stabilise ourselves as co-creative humans capable of using the eternal aspect of God - and at the same time awakening to the evolving aspect - humans expressing our God- given
creative essence as spirit in action in the world."

Each of us through our awareness, intention, affirmation and action are actually creating our own reality right now.
So from an evolutionary point of view, these truths do not represent a new religion, but the evolution of religion….
This week in our Unity Classes has been a step forward in our realisation of this.

So we can give thanks to Spirit for the conscious awareness that we are in Divine Order unfolding more of whom we really are….Spiritual beings in the form we have been blessed with at the moment.

I have found that by putting God first in my life, I feel I have made a conscious start. Divine Order has been proven to me in all areas of my life…spiritual…mental and physical.
I have found not to become over obsessed about events and details of my life - as I know that as I tune into Spirit all is being revealed to me as I need it.

As I organise my daily physical affairs in business or pleasure I can see that ORDER is essential to smooth community interaction…As above (Spiritual)…so below…(Physical.)

And so it is.
Unity Centre
Spiritual Understanding 23/7/2017.-26/7/2020.                                                    

Today's Reading: Proverbs 3:5,6.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
God In Every Face                          
Surely The Presence                       
The Lord's Prayer.                         
I Am The Thinker

Quote: "The Will must be strengthened by being constantly used in Divine Understanding. Spiritual understanding quickens and makes alive...claim your Christ understanding at all times and declare: I am not under any spell of human ignorance, I am one with infinite understanding." Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing. PP.113,114.                                                         
"Give me understanding and I shall live" Psalm119:144

And so, we come to the end of our month of understanding the power of Understanding and we have gained much of value as we have heard each presentation. The colour is Gold and the Disciple is Thomas, often referred to as Doubting Thomas. So- called because Thomas refused to believe the reports that Jesus was alive after the Resurrection. However, after seeing Jesus at a later gathering of Disciples, Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds. When Thomas did this, he dropped all his doubts and said, "My Lord and my God." Jesus said, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed." John 20: 29. We know that Jesus spoke many times in his Ministry about the power of Belief.
Thomas was a worthy Disciple who grew in spiritual understanding and took his task very seriously when Jesus commissioned the Disciples to travel out and spread His Word. Tradition has it that Thomas journeyed to India and spent many years spreading the Gospel there. Charles Fillmore, in his book Christian Healing, P.P.113, 114 that "The will must be strengthened by being constantly used in Divine understanding. Spiritual understanding quickens and makes alive. Claim your Christ understanding at all times and declare: I am not under any spell of human ignorance, I am one with infinite understanding."

So, what he is saying is that the will is informed by the power of understanding and they act in unison to lift us out of human ignorance and into oneness with Spiritual understanding.
In Proverbs it warns us not to "lean unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5,6. In other words trust not in the understanding of the human intellect alone, it must be linked with Spiritual understanding to bring us truly alive and to give us true interior awareness.

Going through life using the intellect alone is like going through life with one arm tied behind the back. We can never act in our highest capacity; we are limited in all that we can do until we develop our spiritual awareness.  

Charles Fillmore, in his Book The Twelve Powers, tells us of these two kinds of understanding. The understanding of the intellect where we reason and compare ideas and come to logical conclusions and this comes first in the Soul's development. Then as our consciousness expands and becomes more enlightened, we move into the second phase of understanding which is Spiritual discernment. This moves us into an intuitive knowing of the living Spirit within our very own selves and moves us on until, as he puts it, we ripen into wisdom. Then our character is strengthened and refined, and we live truly, knowing the truth of our own Spiritual being.

He tells us that understanding, knowledge, intelligence and wisdom are so closely related that it is difficult to define one without the others. In fact, we cannot reach the wisdom stage without first growing into an awareness of knowledge, intelligence and understanding. He goes on to explain that when we focus our meditation upon the understanding centre which is located in the front brain we stimulate the ability of the mind to apprehend new ideas of the laws of Life and Thought . This uplifts us into spiritual discernment which gives us more and more insight into the truth of our Divine Creator as we enter more deeply into our prayer-life. Living our lives in prayer and meditation opens up our consciousness and enables us to attract all avenues of knowledge from this vast web of life that makes up every atom of the universe. Do you really want to know what is best for you? Take it to your Divine Creator in prayer and the answer will be given. We will then be Spirit-led into making the right decisions in all our situations.

Just as Thomas graduated from Intellectual understanding to Spiritual discernment so do, we. We start off reading, questioning and searching until our intellect is satisfied. But after a while we find that this is not enough - we long for something deeper. We feel the inner urge of the Soul to get back to its Source - a spiritual hunger that just will not go away. This is when our prayer and meditations lead us into deeper understanding, a deeper atmosphere of pure knowing where we perceive the truth of Being which transcends all the outer evidence of the senses. This is an inner knowing which nourishes us spiritually and fills us with divine confidence. We know the Truth and nothing in the outer world can ever take that inner truth away from us. We move from the outer to the inner life. We are enlivened by the creative power of Spirit moving within us as It enables us to take charge of our inner potential and use it for good purpose. Our intuition is quickened, and we perceive the truth of situations and circumstances in a more telling way.

As Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32 And, in that freedom we learn to become more truly ourselves.

Emillie Cady writes in Lessons In Truth p.68. "Spiritual understanding is a spiritual birth. A revelation of God within the human soul." She goes on to say that we may have an intellectual perception of the truth …but until we have had an internal shift in consciousness and we apprehend the power of God working in us, until we hear the 'still small voice' within us and follow its guidance, then the purely intellectual understanding is of no particular benefit to us or anybody else.

Winifred Wilkinson Hausman, in her book: Your God-given Potential, tells us that when we have true understanding, we build something to stand on - for feet are, in the metaphysical sense, symbolic of understanding. She writes: "When you are meditating take your attention away from the nerve centre in the brain and let it drop to your feet. Say: MY FEET ARE PLACED ON THE FIRM ROCK OF UNDERSTANDING. When your understanding is developed in both head and feet, not only will you have the light in mind, but you will have the ability to apply it in your world." Page 138. She goes on to say that: "Understanding is perfected in Love, and without love it cannot be completely awakened in a spiritual way. Understanding as well as wisdom, must work with love or it will be cold and unfeeling. But an understanding heart provides the insight that enables one to continually provide the right answers, just as Solomon did." (We all know that King Solomon was known for his wisdom and his understanding heart.) Page 135.

Charles Fillmore, in The Twelve Powers of Man, writes: "Man first receives an intellectual understanding of truth which he transmits to his heart, where love is awakened. The Lord reveals to him that the faculty of love is the greatest of all the powers of man and that head knowledge must decrease as heart understanding increases." Page 91.

So, with understanding comes love - we no longer work from the intellect alone - we work from the heart where love dwells - for love is the very truth of us. To act from this loving truth at all times, completely changes our way of life - it fills us with loving compassion and brings us into right relationship with our indwelling Divine Presence. And, with right relationship with all other beings.

When we live with love and direct Love from our heart Centre - we will find that we attract our God-given Good in every avenue of life. Circumstances and situations fall into their rightful place, the right people come along to help us at the right time, and we live with an inner Joy of Spirit that sustains us through all our experiences. Life flows with Spirit and all is well.
But, as we are all Spiritual beings having a Human experience, we sometimes find it difficult to keep up this right relationship as we deal with the ever-changing human conditions around us. As I have said before many times, Self-Knowledge is the key to success.
So, I will not repeat it all again here. However, it is enough to know we must develop our own self-awareness, break the chains of our early conditioning so that we then act as our God-ordained authentic selves.
With our new-found inner knowingness, we get out from under the culturally engrained beliefs which are not necessarily true. Then there is the family folklore that we have absorbed since we were born which leads us to behave in ways which may not help us at all. So, we need to look at ourselves objectively, monitor our behaviour and consciously disengage from past hurts, past disappointments and any other emotional baggage which is holding us back from being our true, authentic selves. It has taken me a lifetime to work with my conditioning and I have told you before of it so I will only mention a couple of instances here. I can still hear my Mother saying: "A lady never wears sequins before 5pm. In fact, if she wears sequins at all, she is no lady."

"A man who doesn't know enough to place his knife and fork together correctly after a meal doesn't know enough to be a good husband." Just a couple of my Mother's earnest admonitions which I know I have told you before.
It took me until my late 70's before I could bring myself to buy a blouse liberally sprinkled with gold sequins. And when I wear it I feel quite daring. I ask myself: Am I really declaring to the world, Hey, get a load of me, I'm no lady! And when I am out to dinner and I start looking at table manners, I yell loudly in my head: Get thee behind me Mother!
So, we have to ask ourselves what conditioning are we still acting out that does not benefit us at all? What are we letting get in the way of our inner light? What is blocking our true understanding? It helps to develop self-awareness to dig out all the irrational false beliefs that are holding us back and dissolve them all in the revealing light of Truth.
However, my mother did give me some good advice. Her oft repeated, "Honesty is the best Policy." I have found to be true and it has guided me steadily over the years.
Proverbs tells us to "lean not unto thine own understanding" so we must not try to deal with our conditioning alone. Hand it all over to Divine intelligence and it will be as the reading says "Trust in him with all thy heart, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6

Just a few words to conclude from the great prophet Isaiah, who tells us that when we have developed spiritual understanding to the stage where we offer help to all others who need help in so many different ways, after our spiritually led actions " then shall thy light break forth as the morning , and thy health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee ; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward."                                                                                                                                                              

God Bless. Rev. Dr. Sylvia S. Eriksson 23/7/2017- 26/7//2020.
Message from the Committee

Those who knew Ralph within our spiritual community knew him as a bastion of Stability and Faith. We greatly appreciated his steady leadership at Unity of Melbourne, which he demonstrated over many years of close involvement.

In the early days, Ralph and Mariam played a key role in helping Unity through the turbulent times while we were arranging to buy this Renown Street property. He continued this influence afterwards, in the succeeding years of financial and organisational adjustment. Ralph and Mariam's major contribution to that successful purchase will remain a vital and unforgettable part of Unity of Melbourne's history, as will their ongoing support through the years. Unity owes them both an enormous debt of gratitude.

Ralph and Mariam both befriended and watched over our then America Minister, Rev. Leila Thompson, through the ten years of her ministry with us in Australia. Rev. Leila was delighted to have Ralph as her regular Platform Chairman at every Sunday Service. She fully appreciated his polished deliverry and professionalism in this role.

Ralph also served as President of the Committee of Management for many years, during this time when the Unity attendees were learning how to become a "community" and cope with the ongoing responsibilities of ownership.

We, at Unity of Melbourne, have always been able to count on the support of Ralph (and Mariam), whenever it was needed. Even after they moved away from Melbourne, Ralph kept his connection with Unity in Melbourne, and he continued to act as Platform Chairman for Rev Sylvia Eriksson, when she delivered her monthly Sunday messages.

Unity of Melbourne owes Ralph Baker such a large debt of gratitude for his loyal and willing service. He will forever live in the hearts of those who knew him. What a well-lived life! No matter what the situation, Ralph's positive outlook, his character and good heartedness always shone through!

On behalf of all at Unity of Melbourne, we deeply regret that due to the Covid 19 restrictions, we are not able to be present with you at this time, but be assured that we are all with you in Spirit, and enfold you in our love and prayers.

Vale Ralph. You will be much missed.


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