“This above all: to thine own self be true.” We are all familiar with this famous quote from Shakespeare. But the questions must be asked: What is this “self” of ours, and what must we do to be “true” to it? What is our true nature? Often when people change the direction of their lives due to discontent, unfulfillment or disillusionment they will say “I felt like I was living a lie.” What does it mean to live the truth?
Through the conditions of constant change and conflict of desires, how do we witness the perfection of soul. Will the peace of a balanced mind and the elegant beauty of equipoise direct us to a state of higher living? Is there an art as well as a science of yoga?
The inspiration for this Sunday’s service comes from a beautiful hymn we look forward to singing together during the service: “Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh." In my mind this phrase has an interesting and inspiring double connotation. Does it mean that whatever befalls us in life God is always (still) with us? Or does it mean that in calmness (stillness) we realize the presence of God? Does it refer to the idea that “if I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." (Psalm 139:8)? Or, to the sage guidance given in Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.”?
What will lift our consciousness to the supreme source of all? What will elevate our thoughts to that which is noble and sublime?
There is the mighty forest that raises our vision to towering heights. And there is the exalted cathedral which inspires our voice to soar in worship.
There are majestic mountains that both span and scale our horizon. With them we climb eternally higher. There are the stars of the sky. And by their light they remove the boundaries of our universe.
Look upon the lotus as a symbol of the purity and bliss of the soul that dwells within all creation. Look upon the cross as a symbol of ascending power of the eternal, and immortal reality of God.
What power of soul will arise within us?
During each Sunday service we say these words from The Eternal Truths of Absolute Monism: “Truth is One, men call it by various names”. We know that God is Truth and that we are constantly surrounded by the manifestation of God as Truth. But how do we gain the wisdom of discernment that allows us to recognize the highest and purest truths? We will explore how we recognize and express truth in our daily lives and where we can find assurance that we are indeed following paths leading us to the Absolute Truth.
Let us try to get to the heart of the matter—why do we hold so tightly to things, to emotions, to desires? Sometimes it seems impossible to loosen our grip. Our attachments are so strong, they overpower us. We become lost in the trappings of our own mind and body. How do we free ourselves?
Think of all the ways we attempt get to the purest essence—to the indispensable quality that determines the true state, to that substance without which it would not exist. That is our path of self-dedication, self-purification and self-realization.