Rising Above Today
By Gary Eby,MSW
Have you ever wondered how Easter can become more relevant to our life today? Of course, many of us celebrate Easter to honor the life and ministry of Jesus, the Master Teacher and Wayshower. He demonstrated many times how to rise above horrific adversity with the help of the Father within. In addition, he even conquered that last so-called human challenge: sweet victory over physical death. But again, how does all of this apply to us today?
In the Unity Movement, all the Bible stories including the Easter experience can be interpreted in three ways: the literal, historical, and metaphysical. Unity favors the metaphysical where all events and characters in the Bible symbolically represent various aspects of our own life journey to spiritual illumination, enlightenment, and God-Consciousness.
Along these lines, Ellen Debenport, in her book, The Five Principles (which outlines Unity beliefs), gives us her metaphysical view of the Easter Experience: The Easter metaphor of crucifixion, tomb, and resurrection reflects our lives as they play over and over. The worst of our experiences can become the greatest blessing in our lives. The darkest human behavior can move us to compassion and the expression of our higher selves. She goes on to say, "Love outweighs violence, our human oneness trumps our differences."
Deepak Chopra in The Third Jesus also makes this interesting point about Jesus: I want to offer the possibility that Jesus was as he proclaimed a savior. Not the savior, not the one and only Son of God. Rather, Jesus embodied the highest level of enlightenment. He spent his brief adult life describing it, teaching it, and passing it on to future generations. Jesus intended to save the world by showing others the path to God-Consciousness.
Today, I invite you to join in having a deeper, personal Easter experience. In other words, I believe spiritually Easter personifies how to rise above any form of human or worldly adversity by realizing the Light or Kingdom of God within us. Before my elaboration of this, let me repeat my 'famous' disclaimer: You can reject everything I am about to mention about Easter, spirituality, and all that is Divine. The heart of Unity embraces diversity and accepts religious freedom. You are always completely free to find your own pathway to the faith or truth that gives your life meaning, direction, and fulfillment.
The First Step
With the above being said, the first step in personalizing the Easter experience for me, is to make a mental list of all the problems, issues, or concerns one might wish to rise above and overcome. Take a moment to put together your own list. Meanwhile, I will share mine with you:
#1. I seek to rise above the culture of violence in America and in the world. There is no answer in rage, aggressiveness, killing, or behavior which harms our self or others.
#2. I wish to rise above all who preach hate, prejudice, bigotry, homophobia, and misogyny. There is no answer in any form of racial, social, economic, cultural, or religious superiority.
#3. My grandson, who is two-years-old, has a diagnosis of hemophilia. For me, there is no answer in any type of chronic or life-threatening illness. I strive to rise above all human labels of lack, limitation, discord, or disease. For I believe we are spiritual, not just material.
#4. Some say, due to financial problems, the doors to Unity Church in Grants Pass, Oregon will have to close within twelve months. There certainly is no answer in closing a church. Let us rise above this notion of financial hardship, and understand that a church doesn't exist in a building. Church lives in our hearts. There is no way that the doors to our heart must ever be closed for any reason.
#5. Lastly, I desire to help my loving wife rise above her pain and suffering from the claim of liver disease. The founders of Unity...the Fillmore' s more than 135 years ago, emphasized that all of us are "perfect children of God, and we do not inherit disease." There can never be an answer in any kind of human pain, suffering, or misery.
What is the answer? How do we rise above our lists of significant and even overwhelming human adversity? Well, I have some good news about that.
We are One!
I think there are many ways to defeat and heal all manifestations of negativity. One could use Ellen Debenport's book, The Five Principles. One could try out my five steps that I advocated in my previous articles like, "Just be Happy." Unity favors prayer, meditation, doing good works, and serving our Creator. Let me present another and more symbolic way to have our own Easter experience of rising above.
Today I hold a flower in my hands. This is who I Am. This is who we are:
Beauty before me. Beauty behind me. Beauty above me. Beauty below me. Light and Love all around and within me as our Native American brothers and sisters might pray.
For we are One with each other and One with the infinite presence of the Holy Spirit. This is who we are. This is what Easter is all about!
As the Master said: "Lo, I am with you always." Such a wonderful message. Such a powerful message.
Open your heart; feel the unconditional Love and Omnipotent Grace within us. This is the Secret Place of the Most High. This is who we are. This is what Easter is all about.
Now I invite you to pick up your own flower. Pause and contemplate for moment who you really are...spiritually. This is the process of "taking your focus off the problem, and putting it on God" that the great New Thought leader, Emmet Fox mentioned in his "Golden Key" booklet.
Come; sing "Alleluia" with me. Place your flower in the wreath that stands in front of us as a reminder of our connection to all the is Divine. We are One. We are all One. This is who we are. This is what Easter is all about: "Lo, I am with you always!" And we shall all rise above...
Just Be Happy
- Just Be Happy Eby Way
Happiness is not a goal. It is a state of being that all of us can access by simply counting to five!