Adventures of a Reluctant Student

(Thoughts based on Illusions II by Richard Bach) 

“If we agree that the world is not what it seems, then we have an important question: What shall we do about it?” 

One of the descriptions for the Unity movement is Practical Christianity. Many of us, myself included, are pretty comfortable exploring the realm of theory. We find explanations that help us to make sense of the confusions of the world, and discover reasons for humanity’s endless struggles. But is this enough? Is it enough to gain wisdom of the workings of Spirit unless we find ways to apply this knowledge? 

The phrase “Practical Christianity” (or “Practical Spirituality” if you prefer) entails that we actually practice what we learn. When faced with personal or collective challenges, we remember that we can use denials and affirmations, we can call for prayer, we bring forth our divine powers and allow them to guide and strengthen us. 

Improving our spiritual understanding allows us to interpret the world, recognizing things that are not what they seem, and learning a new perspective that brings greater peace. 

“If we want to end this lifetime higher than we began, we can expect an uphill road.” 

This is about our definition of success and the amount of effort required to achieve it. True success has little to do with material things: money, houses, education, status or luxury. Achieving these things often leaves us feeling empty and dissatisfied. It can be an uphill road to release what we’ve been taught about success—to give up the goals that most of us take for granted—and to design a lifetime filled with the riches of Spirit. Part of our journey into higher thinking includes redefining times of loss and grief, and learning that death is a natural transition into another phase of life. 

“The world of space, time and appearances can be wondrous beautiful. Just don’t mistake them for real.” 

Though we metaphysicians spend much time trying to convince folks that the world is an illusion, this does not mean that the world, and the life we lead on it, is meaningless or without beauty. Living is a worthwhile pastime, and we all volunteered to be here. When we have gained a spiritual perspective, we can enjoy the majesty of this world while suffering less from its seeming failures. 

We end these thoughts with this excerpt from “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann: 

“With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”