Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
Week #2 of the 9-Week Series, "The Game"

Click HERE to download this transcript.

Click HERE to view Rev. Rogers’ guided meditation during the service.

So the question I have for you tonight is: How do you see yourself? Because probably the greatest spiritual work that we have is learning to see ourselves with new eyes.

Because the way that most of us were raised, we learned to see ourselves in a diminished way. Even if we had the most wonderful family, the most wonderful parents, the most wonderful life, it was hard in our culture not to see ourselves in a diminished way.

And as spiritual beings — who are doing their spiritual work and desiring to live a God-centered life — one of our greatest tasks is to be able to see ourselves with brand new eyes. To see ourselves beyond our limitations and our mistakes and our shortcomings, and to see ourselves from the highest point of view. To see ourselves the way God sees us.

Because in our culture, we say that, if you have too high of an opinion of yourself, it is of the ego. And I’d like to suggest tonight that we need to really truly let go of that concept. Because spiritual people for eons have truly missed the point: that if you’re created in the image and likeness of God, a diminished sense of self only gets in your way, and actually impacts the work that you can do in God’s name.

So for all of us, there needs to be a time of reworking this image — this sense of self; our own internal value; our sense of worth — so that we can see ourselves from the point of view that God sees us.

You know, I started last week doing The Game of Life and How to Play It. And there’s a companion book. The Game of Life and How to Play It came out in 1925, so it’s almost a hundred years old. So some of the wording — some of the vocabulary — is a little “hundred-year-oldish.” [Congregation laughs] Well, in 2006 what they did was they went through, and they left some of the original words, but they changed all the pronouns from — in this version: The Game of Life and How to Play It for Women — they changed all the pronouns to “she.” It’s better! [Congregation laughs] Even as a guy, it’s just better, right? Because you get so used to hearing spiritual things and old language from “he” and “him,” and the idea of “her” and “she” is just better!

And so the whole book is about learning to play a new game. And on the second chapter, she talks about prosperity and what that means, and what that looks like, and what that feels like. And having a new vision for that.

So Webster’s defines prosperity as “the condition of being successful or thriving.” Like, does anybody not want to be successful or thriving? Like, that is, I think, a human condition. Another definition is “prosperity is a state of wealth or having a rich and full life.” Charles Fillmore, the co-founder of Unity, said it is “spiritual ideas in consciousness of the abiding of the one presence and the one power that support us in the expansion of our soul.”

Deepak Chopra said, “True abundance is the experience in which all our needs are easily met and our desires spontaneously fulfilled.” I want to say that again! It is the experience in which all your needs are easily met and your desires are spontaneously fulfilled. Just take that in for a minute! I want you to feel what it would feel like if all your wants and needs and desires were spontaneously fulfilled.

Wayne Dyer said that “Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.”

My definition that I work with in my own life is having what I want and need when I want it and need it.

And there tends to be two models for this idea of abundance or prosperity. And, you know, the one model is what I call the “banker’s model.” And the banker’s model that I am prosperous if I have everything that I could ever want or need tucked away in the bank somewhere. Right? That, if I feel safe and secure — if I have enough resources already put away somewhere — so that, if anything goes bad, anything goes wrong, I know that my source is tightly tucked away. And then the market goes up or down, and then we freak out a little bit, because it’s doing this or it’s doing that. and so it tends to be an up-and-down kind of a thing.

Jesus’ model was different. Jesus’ model of abundance was that whatever he wanted or needed in that moment, he spoke the word and it was done. I like that! I like knowing that I can access the infinite reservoir of God’s good at any moment, any day, and call upon the infinite of God and bring it into manifest form.

You know, Jesus wore a seamless robe. That was the Armani suit of his day. Right? That meant that they had to weave it for him; it was for him. It was his size, and they wove it all in one piece. They didn’t sew it; they didn’t hem it. It was woven for him. That was the bomb! That was as good as it got! That was the best! And he trotted around … Now, did he have a closet full of them in two different sizes [congregations laugh] in case he got a little big around the middle, right? No! He had one outfit, but he had the very best!

And I want you to really think about, in your life, that if you lived your life knowing that all of your wants and needs were going to be provided, and that you could live in the very best, how would that feel to you? How would that feel to move into that consciousness of our oneness with God?

There are three principles that I’ve been talking about on the basis of this book. And the first principle that we talked about last week was this idea that energy is infinite. This idea that, in the Universe, energy has infinite supply. And what I shared with you last week that I just want to touch on is: the first law — and this is where I get a little science nerdy. So if you don’t like science, just go to sleep for two minutes and I’ll be back, okay. [Congregation laughs]

The First Law of Thermodynamics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed, and that energy is actually constant. Now, in a Universe where energy is constant, by definition it can’t be infinite. It can’t be constant and infinite. Because infinite implies — or it’s stated — that it is inexhaustible. But if energy is constant, that means it’s always the same. But in the Universe, energy is so prevalent — the energy that created black holes, that created supernovas, that created galaxies and universes — and the energy is so big that, from the human mindset, we have to look at it as infinite. Because we can’t — even though it’s constant, it is so big — we can’t conceptualize all the energy that is available that is in the Universe. And that energy just continually changes form. It’s constant, yes; but it’s so much, it boggles our mind.

So that’s the first principle. That if we’re really going to live — and we’re really going to play a new game in our life — we have to really get our arms around the fact that energy is so prevalent — so much — that it’s really an infinite supply that’s available to us. Even though it’s constant, it’s bigger than we can hold. It’s bigger than we can understand.

And the second principle that we talked about last week, that I want to address again, is the idea of 99.999% out as far as you go of everything is nothing. Right? So that everything that you see is mostly not there. Okay?

Now, does everybody know what I mean by that? So everything is made up of molecules; and molecules are made up of atoms; and atoms are made of electrons and neutrons and protons. And most of that — when you get down to the smallest level — most of everything is not there. So this [points to podium] looks solid, right? But most of it is not there. The chair that you’re sitting on, and you have the faith that it will actually hold you up for the whole service — or at least most of it — is 99-point-to-the-ninth-degree not there.

Now, why is that important? Well, it’s important because, for most of us, we have challenges or obstacles or issues in our life. And those problems and challenges and obstacles in our life: they look so present. They look so real! But when we really get to the point where we understand how the nature of reality is that: most of everything we see is literally 99.999 (as far out as you go) not there.

So if you had a problem, and it was 99.9999% not there, how much sleep would you lose over it? Right? Because, as a kid, I wanted to understand how Jesus did the miracles in the Bible. I did! I wanted to understand it. And there are those people who think that it was just a metaphor, but I always believed that he did things that most people had no concept of what he could do.

And as I looked at this over and over again, it’s like, “Okay, Jesus; how did you do that? How did you turn water into wine? How did you say that, if I had faith as great as a grain of a mustard seed, I could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there?’” He created the loaves and the fishes, and fed the 5,000. And I really wanted to know: How do you pull that off?

Because I believe that, as a great teacher — as my spiritual guru, if you will — he would want me to know that. Right? He would want all of us to know that. Right? As our wayshower, he would want to reveal that.

And that I realized that, through science, that if you look at matter as hard and fixed, then changing matter from one form to another becomes very difficult. If you look at matter as flow — as energy — then it becomes much more possible to watch it transform.

And so one of the things I want you to look at in your life is: when things are difficult or hard or a challenge or a problem, are you believing that it’s hard? Or are you believing that it’s just mostly nothing?

Now, there’s some spiritual teachings that teach that everything is an illusion. That everything is an illusion! That there’s really no matter; everything’s just an illusion. It’s just an illusion. And Unity doesn’t go that far. Unity just acknowledges that everything is flow; everything is energy; everything is in the process.

Now, if you live in a world that’s soft, is it easier or harder to create what you want? I think it’s easier! If I live in a Universe where everything is hard and heavy and fixed, then everything is always the way it has been, and will always be. But that’s not what science teaches us! Science teaches us that everything is energy, and everything is in flow. And as spiritual people, if we don’t like the form that something’s taking in our life, then we have the ability to speak the word and watch it transform! Because it’s waiting for us.

The whole thing about quantum physics is — whether it was a wave or a particle — how/what the observer expected actually changed how it showed up. Like, I really want you to see that, if you live in a world that’s soft, it becomes very empowering.

Now, if you live in a world that’s soft and flexible and always in the flow, some of us freak out with that, because we want everything to always be the way it was once. And we’re trying to keep everything static and exactly the same every day, in and out.

And over and over again, what I want you to see is that, when you allow life to be energy — when you allow it to be soft; when you allow it to be in the flow — then you can speak the word and have it done! Have it transform! Because it’s actually waiting for you to declare a new reality!

So two weeks ago I gave you the affirmation: “Every day, in every way, my life is getting better and better and better.”

Will you say that with me? [With congregation]: “Every day, in every way, my life is getting better and better and better.”

One more time! [With congregation]: “Every day, in every way, my life is getting better and better and better.”

And then the third principle that we talked about last week was this idea each person creates their own experience. And this is so fascinating to me! That each and every one of us — even the person that you may live with 24 hours a day — is not having the same experience that you are. That each and every one of us is creating our own experience based on our internal beliefs and ideas and intentions and desires and fears, and all that stuff. Every one of us is creating our own experience over and over again.

So energy is infinite. Matter is actually soft and flexible, even though it doesn’t look like it. And each and every one of us is creating our own experience over and over again. And we can actually change our life based on those three ideas.

And whatever miracles you pick, I believe that Jesus was able to do it because he looked behind the curtain. He somehow figured out that matter would be what you expect it to be. And he wasn’t afraid of that! He wasn’t afraid to watch matter change forms right before his eyes.

So I want you to see something in your life that looks fixed or a problem or an obstacle or a challenge. And how much easier would your life be if it was 99.999% not there? If it was empty space?

See, in Unity we teach this process called denials and affirmations. And pretty much, most people don’t use denials, because they’ve been confused with psychological denial. And psychological denial says, pretty much, “I don’t have cancer; I don’t have cancer; I don’t have cancer.” Then you die of cancer. Right? So psychological denial is denying the reality: the physical reality.

But spiritual denial — or the way Unity uses denial — is the mental process of erasing from consciousness false beliefs of the sense mind. It clears away false beliefs and limitations by actually moving the energy off of the thing and on to God.

So in Unity, a denial would be that, “This situation, this condition, this moment cannot keep me from God. It cannot keep me from abundance. It cannot keep me from joy. It cannot keep me from …”

So in Unity, what we actually do is move the power off of the thing and back to God, back to Source, back to our understanding. And then we use affirmations as a positive statement of truth.

And I want you to see how much those two principles that we began with — that energy is infinite and that most of everything we see is nothing — that those two things actually fit together with denial and affirmations. That as we get better and better at moving the energy off of the object and bring it back to Source or creative possibilities, it becomes easier and easier to create what you want. And the real challenge for all of us is [knocks on the podium] what’s real. And to begin to move that back into your awareness.

How many of you have heard the idea that seeing is believing? Anybody heard that idea? That seeing is believing? You know the original quote came from Thomas Fuller, who was a 17th-century English clergyman. And this is the full quote. He said, “Seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth.” Can I read that one more time? “Seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth.”

So when something goes on in your life … And has anybody had a freakout lately? [Congregation laughs] That’s a spiritual term I think Moses had once when he was trying to lead them into the Promised Land. Have you had a freakout lately? And a freakout is when something in your life so scares you or upsets you or whatever, that it discombobulates you. Right?

So by Fuller’s definition, seeing is believing, but your feelings tell you the truth. So when we’re in the process of having a freakout, what we’re doing is saying that this is so scary or overwhelming or upsetting that we believe in the reality of that more than we believe in the power of God within us. Our feelings tell us the truth.

Now if a situation is going on in your life and you go: [Scoffs] “No problem!” What was your feeling? It was confidence or faith. It was a feeling that you could overcome every situation. So feelings tell us the truth about what we truly believe. So we think if we see it, we believe it. But actually our beliefs are deeper than that. And our feelings reveal what we really believe about everything.

And you would probably say, “You know what, Richard? It’s not really very spiritual when I freak out. Like, I try to do that in the privacy of my own home.” [Congregation laughs] “Better yet, if I’m in the bathroom by myself, so nobody really knows how really un-spiritual I am.” Right?

But what I want you to see is that your feelings tell you the truth! And as you see what you really believe — not what you wish you believe or could believe — but what you really believe, and you actually begin to say, “Ohhhhhh. I want to believe that that situation is soft, and that God in me is greater than that.” And then we move forward with a greater sense of power and authority. Right? So that we get to move forward and really transform our lives.

Reading from The Game of Life on page 11. This is, again, the “for Women” version:

For example, a woman came to me to speak the word that a certain debt would be wiped out. I found that she spent her time planning what she would say to the woman when she couldn’t pay her bill, thereby neutralizing my words. She should have seen herself paying the debt in full.

We have a wonderful illustration of the Bible related to the three kings, who were in the desert without water for their men and their horses. They consult the prophet Elisha, who gave them this astonishing message: “Thus sayeth the Lord: you shall not see the wind; neither shall you see the rain. But make this valley full of ditches.”

A woman must prepare for the things that she asks for when there hasn’t even been the slightest sign of its fulfillment.

Right? So when it says in Scripture, “fill this valley full of ditches,” why would they do that? Why would they dig a ditch? If you’re praying for water, why would you dig a ditch? To hold the water! Right? That if you’re praying for action — if you have a vision for what you want; if there’s a desire that you want — what is the practical action that you’re taking that demonstrates that you have faith in the fulfillment of that desire?

Moving on, page 12:

A woman can only receive …

And this is a man, too. Right?

A person can only receive what she has and can see herself receiving. The children of Israel were told that they could have all the land that they could see. This is true for every person. She has only the land within her own mental vision. Every great work, every great accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding a vision. And often just before the big achievement comes an apparent failure or discouragement. However, when one knows the spiritual Law, they are undisturbed by appearances, and rejoices that, though she is “yet in captivity,” it will be done. That is, she holds her vision and gives thanks for the end accomplishment,

Jesus gave us this wonderful example when he said, “You say that it’s three months and then the harvest. Behold; I say lift up your eyes and look; the fields are already ripe for harvest.”

So here’s what I want you to look at. See, without the power of imagination, all we could ever see is what we’ve already seen. Without the power of imagination, you don’t have the ability to envision a greater world. And ost of us are spending most of our energy coping with the world that we see now. Trying to solve the problems of the world we see now.

And I want to suggest tonight that, if you want to change your life, you need a bigger vision. You need a bigger vision for yourself; you need a bigger vision for your family; you need a bigger vision for the world. And then we actually have to live into that vision.

So when you look at yourself, truly: what do you see? Do you see a person capable and successful and prosperous and loving and kind and living in all the good gifts of God? Or do you see somebody “less than” or broken or wounded? What do you see?

Because your vision actually is the thing that matters the most. How you see yourself actually matters the most!  And I want you to see yourself with brand new eyes. I want you to see your life with brand new eyes.

Anybody remember Bear Bryant? Anybody old enough to remember? There’s three of us; okay, good. [Congregation laughs] Right?

So Bear Bryant was the eighth all-time most-winning football coach at Alabama. He won six national titles as ‘Bama’s coach; he won 14 SEC championships. And in 1982, his team took sixth place in the SEC. Lost to LSU; lost to Tennessee. And they hadn’t lost to LSU or Tennessee in about 13 years. So that was just a low point.

And Bryant had just turned 69 the September before. And at their final regular-season game, he made this retirement statement, He said, “This is my school.” He actually went to Alabama. He said, “This is my school; this is my alma mater. I love it and I love my players. And in my opinion, they deserved better coaching than they received this year.” And that was his final statement.

The last game that he ever coached was a 21 to 15 victory in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee against University of Illinois. And after the game, one of the reporters said, “Bear, what do you see yourself doing after you retire?” And he said, “I’ll probably croak within a week.”

Four weeks later, after making that comment — just one day after passing a routine physical check-up — on January 25, 1983, Bryant checked into the hospital after experiencing chest pains. A day later he was being prepared for an EKG, and he died of a massive heart attack.

So did he have a vision for his life? Did he have a vision for his life? Yes; he did. He had a vision for her life that he was going to croak in one week. He wasn’t quite accurate with it; it took him four weeks. But what I want you to see is: he had a vision for his life, and that vision was so small that he couldn’t live into it anymore.

And some of us know what it feels like to have a vision for ourself and our life that’s too small. That we don’t have room to live into that anymore. And it looks like it’s easier to fix all these thing “out here,” but until you fix the most important thing, you’re not truly playing a new game.

And the new game that I want you to play tonight is: I want you to have a vision for your life that allows you to be great. That allows you to express all that God is in you. That allows you to be happier, healthier, more prosperous. And I want you to commit that vision daily to seeing yourself fulfilling and living that life.

Next week we’re going to talk about the spoken word. But it all happens when you have a vision big enough to speak into existence.

So here’s your homework. This week I want you to have a new vision for your life. And I want you to have, really, four areas in your life that I want you to look at. I want you to have a financial vision. I want you to have a health vision. I want you to have a relationship vision. And I want you to have a future vision. I want you to have a vision of the man or woman you would love to be most!

And I actually want you to commit that vision to your daily practice — to your spiritual practice. That you see a new vision for your life, and that you breathe life into it. You bring your prayer life into it. Then — we’re going to talk about next week — you’re going to speak the word into that vision. Are you willing to play?

So next week, when you come, you’re going to have a new vision for your life. You’re going to see your life in a greater way than you’ve ever lived before. Not based on your past. Not based on your history. Not based on your drama. Not based on your limited beliefs. But you’re going to have a vision for your life that is worthy of being a child of God. Are you willing? Pinky swear? Get your pinky swear out! [Congregation laughs]

Okay; here we go! Let’s take it into prayer:

I want you to take a deep breath, and I want you to feel the presence of God, right here, right now. And I want you to see yourself in a brand new way. I want you to lift up your eyes and see yourself created in the image and likeness of God, fulfilling every desire. Fulfilling your best life. Being the radiant spiritual presence you are in the world. Letting your light so shine. Being the man or woman that you know you came to be. Tonight we give thanks for the power of God in us and a new vision for our life. And so it is. Amen.


Copyright 2022 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

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Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

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

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