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Message from the Minister February 2022

The Essential Experience

When contemplating the journey of my spiritual awakening, I am reminded of the essential experience necessary in cultivating awareness. A Course in Miracles calls it the universal experience. The Bible speaks of the peace which surpasses all understanding, the revealing of the mysteries of Heaven. In the book of Job the question is asked, “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?” In every religion or spiritual path, we are directed to an experience of the eternal; but we must remember there can never be an end to our personal discovery of the divine. As Rumi once said, “As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” The way is always unfolding before us, as we continue our journey.

I once visited a man in Bogota, Colombia who was a philosophy professor and spiritual teacher who had amassed a great collection of books. His house was filled with bookshelves, floor to ceiling, with some of the most important works containing the highest thoughts of humankind. During our conversation about God and humanity, he turned and said to me, “None of these books contain the truth. They merely point the way to truth. You have to discover it for yourself.”

This was another turning point in my experience of truth, for it once again opened the door to a greater experience, the essential experience necessary for every human being to come into awareness of their own divinity. Up until that point I had revered the Bible, A Course in Miracles, the writings of many spiritual masters from the east; but I also fell into the same old mistake of looking for the truth in words and concepts, revelations of the mind, forgetting about the essential spiritual experience which cannot be described within the parameters of thought.

The experience I speak of is often preceded by a miracle, a revelation or a sudden shift of consciousness brought about by prayer, meditation or an act of true forgiveness. The experience is also quite often followed by a realization of our immortal, infinite nature, the oneness of all creation and/or the sacredness of all life. We may subsequently have visions and experience wonderful frequencies of light energy. We may have the feeling of total oneness with the Universe, and still, these are mere reflections of the essential experience.

The Universal Experience is something we have attempted to define and explain throughout the ages. Men and women have attempted to create the definitive way to achieve this experience, more often than not formulating religious dogma or spiritual paths based more on the establishment of those limited ideas rather than the experience itself, further separating the human being from the divine. Even in our most sincere attempts to convey the truth, the best we end up with is limiting religious doctrine, a collection of the worlds most revered books, and thoughts about our experience. Although valuable and necessary in pointing the way toward the experience, they must ultimately lead beyond the practice of religion, the pages of history and results of contemplation.

That day, standing in awe of my friend’s collection of books, which represented a majority of his life’s work, I was transported by his words to a place beyond the world of thought, to an open door which led me to inward journeys previously unknown. I was reminded once again that in the evolution of the soul there is always something more waiting for us, yet already here, an experience of truth which there are no words to describe; but I will always attempt to use my words to point the way.

Be Blessed my friends and be a blessing!

Rev. Tony