02.13.2022

Your Power to Create

Sunday, February 13, 2022
Featuring: Rev. Jimmie Scott
Inspired by the don Miguel Ruiz book, "The Fifth Agreement"

Click HERE to download this transcript.

So my task this morning, as assigned to me by Rev. Richard, was to give a lesson on your creative ability. It's based don Miguel Ruiz's book, The Fifth Agreement.

And so I was able to get a copy of the book online, and I literally could not get past the first chapter. It was deep and intriguing to me, because I'm a student of the self. And I don't have a clue where Richard would go with this lesson, but I know where I'm going. [Congregation laughs]

So the book created a space for me to re-enter some experiences that I've had over the course of my life. Because it raised issues that I've been speaking about for the past 30-some years. To me, spirituality and religion is entirely for us as individuals, and it's always personal. And one of my shortcomings is not wanting to get too "churchified" about religion. I think that it is the foundation for building our lives, but it can also be a foundation for tearing a life down.

And I remember far too many sermons as a child, where I heard the preacher talk about how bad humanity is and always will be. And I always had some nagging questions as to why that was the case, because what he talked about as being "sinful" and "damning," and all of those terms that they so eloquently tossed around, to me was just real life. So I couldn't figure out, as a thinking child: How am I going to exist in this world if all I am is a worthless sinner? And everything that I enjoyed doing is a -- quote -- "sin."

So that began my rebelliousness, which later turned into my journey in ministry and, more importantly, my journey in study, and trying to get a handle on this incredible book called the Bible.

So the subtitle of the book is -- the first chapter is, "In the Beginning." And it is subtitled, "It's All in the Program." And, for me, I instinctively went to the theological perspective of that, because it's in alignment with the Biblical statement, "In the beginning God created ..." And everything that God created was good. And when I read that, I said, "Okay; I'm ready to go with this!"

And the thing that it brought up for me is that we human beings -- as we grow and as we unfold -- we have a tendency to forget about that creation, and the affirmation that it's all good. And we start to look outside of ourselves for affirmation. We look for it in our childhood friends; we look for it in our family systems. And then the process kind of spreads out into the larger society, where we look for affirmation from them.

And then that's where the trouble starts. Because we run into the judgements; we run into the criticisms. We run into the affirmations that you're too short; you're too tall; you're too skinny; you're too fat; your hair is too coarse; your skin is the wrong color; your feet are too big to be a girl. I've heard all of this stuff all of my life!

And it's insanity, because the fact of the matter is: if we are part of the Creation, it's got to be good! And we're created the way we're created, so why don't we celebrate that, and enjoy it?

He says this, and I quote:

"From the moment you are born, you deliver a message to the world. The message you deliver is you: an angel; a messenger from the Infinite in our human body. The Infinite -- a total power -- has created a program just for you. And in this program is everything you need to be what you are; everything you need is in this program. And then you grow up. You mate, or not. You grow old. And in the end, you return to the Infinite."

This circle of life that he so eloquently speaks of is also in the Bible. In theological language the Apostle Paul called this natural process, "Christ in you; your hope of glory." In other words, it's a natural unfoldment of your innate nature. And Paul used the word "hope" because he understood fully the power of the individual to set his own or her own direction in life. And then create a world that they can enjoy and love and appreciate.

But therein, also, is the problem. Because society wants us to be compliant to the image that they set forth for us. And in many -- if not most -- instances, those images conflict with our natural wisdom and our natural instincts that come with our own divine guidance system.

You see, our souls know what we need to grow. Our souls know what we need to be prosperous. Our souls know what we need to create any kind of life we desire. But we have become so accustomed to wanting that external affirmation that it's easy to override the needs of the soul and believe all the stuff that comes from our external friends, families, teachers, preachers ... what have you.

The original program was -- and always will be -- for us to be free spirits. We are created with freedom of the spirit. And with freedom of the spirit, you learn as you grow, and you learn as you go ... or as you move along in life. You learn as you progress in life.

And the author of the book, don Miguel, uses the term "human domestication" to point out the undeniable fact that many of our societal systems are based on punishment and reward. Religion: if you're good, you get into heaven. If you're not, you go to hell. That's our religious system. Which raises the question: What is good and what is bad? Who gets to answer that? What is morality? Who gets to determine that?

In education, you can't figure out the solutions to any of the learning challenges that you face in education without using some pre-existing systems to figure it out. I know that to be a fact, because I have vivid memories of figuring out some algebraic problems in high school, and then getting a lower grade than the rest of my class because I didn't use the standardized formula for arriving at the answer. His response to me was, "Your answer is right, but you didn't figure it out right." [Congregation laughs] Now, how in hell's bell [congregation laughs] can you get a right answer, but not figure it out right? Because it's standardized.

And this is big stuff, in my mind. Because I've had to fight this battle all of my life. You know, I was born with a physical defect that impacts my ability to see. And so I have to find creative ways to be able to survive. And many times, as a kid, sitting in the back of the room, I'd have to get up and walk to the pencil sharpener to see the blackboard, memorize a few questions, and go back to my seat, sit down and answer them, and then create an excuse to go back to the pencil sharpener again to get a few more questions answered.

So the point is that I know how to survive, because I had to figure out how to survive. And the same is true for us; it's true for all of us. It's true with our health. It's true with our finances. It's true with our relationships. It's true with every aspect of our lives. We have the answers within ourselves! And that' what creativity is about in my estimation. It's the understanding that, innately, we have everything we need to survive.

Einstein said, "Imagination is much more important than knowledge." Hmmm. Einstein! Imagination is much more important than knowledge! What's the first thing we quash in our children? It's imagination! If a child is sitting alone, playing by themselves, coming up with all kinds of answers that don't seem to make any sense to us, the first thing we do is say, "You're not thinking right." And all of that, inevitably, has an impact on our society and who we are as a people.

If you think about it, imagination is the thing that created a Madam C. J. Walker, who became extremely wealthy in a nation where she couldn't get a job most of the time because of the color of her skin. Imagination is what created that incredible beast that we all love to hate called Amazon. [Congregation laughs] And made Jeff Bezos one of the wealthiest people in the world. Imagination. So we all have this in us, and it's imperative for us to be able to use it to our advantage.

 

don Miguel uses a term I've not heard in the context of spirituality. That term is "domestication." And he makes the point that, at certain times in life, all the opinions of our parents, our teachers, our religion, our society would have us believe that we need to be a certain way in order to be accepted. They tell us the way we should be; the way we should look; the way we should behave. They tell us we need to be this way or we should be that way. And, because it's not okay to focus in any direction that we choose for ourselves, we start to accept that as absolute Gospel. And then many of us live our lives burdened down by other people's beliefs. And this, again, impacts every part of society.

I almost tossed out of ministerial school because I was too quiet. [Laughs] They wanted to know what I thought. I said, "Well, if I tell you what I think ..." [Laughs, and congregation joins in] "I'll be out of here pretty quick." [Laughs]

Oh, man ... I shouldn't ever get into this stuff! [Laughs with congregation] Because it just ... it's just engrained so deeply in us: to be followers. To not trust our instincts. To not trust our gut. To not trust our souls. And it's an abomination. It really is! Because we could be so much greater. We all have such creativity in us. And being able to find it and release it is one of the greatest gifts that we'll ever achieve in our lives.

So don Miguel kind of gets really deep into this in that first chapter of The Fifth Agreement. And he's the first author that I have read who really takes a hard look at our society. And, in one way, he's gifted, because his original language is Spanish. And many of the symbols and words that he used in one language has to be transferred into English now, because he's writing in English. And that's an amazing event, to be able to do that, and get a handle on how much this insanity -- for lack of a better word -- has impacted our world and impacted our society.

It's time to change! It's time to allow our creativity -- our innate creativity -- to guide our lives and direct our lives if we want to be happy and want to be successful and want all the true joys of life.

I told the story at the earlier service -- I don't have enough time to tell it correctly now -- about working with a blind man who I knew as a child, who made his living with a horse and a wagon. And he'd take that horse and wagon to the mill in town to get wood: kindling that was left over from the sawmill work. And he'd load his wagon up; I'd help him. He'd give me a nickel or a dime; now that I think back on it, he was using me a little bit ... [congregation laughs] But that's a whole other story! [Laughs]

And then he'd go around to different people's houses. And, of course, we used wood stoves. Some of you younger people probably don't understand/remember much of this stuff. But when I was a kid, the only heat that we had came from the warm morning stove. And you'd have to have wood to have in it, and kindling was the thing that helped you get the fire started in the stove. So he made a living off that. He had 17 children! Now, I'm not going to talk about being blind and having 17 children, because that's a mystery unto itself! [Congregation laughs] But there was just so much life lessons learned in that experience with him.

And it's made me a lifelong advocate for being individualistic, because I think that's what we were born to be. Instead of being conformists, which is what we typically are -- we are created to be individualistic. And the people who excite us the most, the people who bring the most joy to our lives, are individuals. It's not copycats; it's individuals.

To make a long sermon short, if you want to learn how to be creative. learn how to trust your instincts. God bless! [Congregants applaud]

Copyright 2022 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Jimmie Scott

CLICK HERE to view Rev. Scott's guided meditation during the service.

 

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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