I have two favorite quotes regarding giving; the first and my
favorite is from Maya Angelou: "When you learn, teach. When you
get, give." The second is form the practical spiritual wisdom of
Florence Scovel Shinn: "Giving opens the way for receiving."
As you will note from the above quotes, there is an assumption
from both women that we already have something to give. This is
always the truth. The truth too, is that when we give, we are
not giving to individuals, charitable organizations, religious
or spiritual organizations or teachers, but to the core of our
soul that requires that we give. Most of us are so unconscious
in our giving that we don't register in our mind that we are
giving. Every day that we are awake we cannot help but give. Our
words, our thoughts, our imaginings all become part of the
Collective Consciousness in which we live. These things become
part of our individual consciousness as well. This is the
"subjective" part of our life that oftentimes brings experiences
in our lives that surprise us; perhaps even shock us at times.
We cannot count the number of times or the value of our giving
on a daily basis. Yet, if we look at our life experiences
objectively, we can figure out fairly well how our giving has
affected not only our individual life experience, but also the
world in which we live. Metaphysics will explain this as the
"Law of Correspondence" and it is an accurate explanation. Our
use of this universal, eternal and immutable Law, is no less
automatic than the action of gravity on the physical. This is
why we are always cautioned to choose our thoughts, our words,
our actions and yes, our imaginings too, wisely. As Dr. O. C.
Smith would say, "we need to put our consciousness under
Not only is it important to acknowledge that we are always
giving, it is also of utmost importance that when we receive, we
acknowledge the gift, no matter what form in may be in. I read
the Advice Column six days a week titled Miss Manners. It is
written by Judith Martin. One of the changes I have noticed
during the past five to ten years are the number of queries she
receives regarding "thank you" cards and acknowledgements.
Acknowledgement of gifts received has become a rarity,
especially in the younger generations. In order to open the
consciousness to receiving, we must acknowledge that which we
receive. It is not just a sign of good etiquette,
but also a spiritual practice that will register in our
consciousness, that we "freely give and freely receive."
Acknowledgement of the gift is "giving" and as Florence Scovel
Shinn teaches, "giving opens the way for receiving."
The American Mystic Ernest Holmes, author of The Science of
Mind, writes in his chapter on "The Way It Works": "We are
thinking, willing, knowing, conscious centers of Life. We are
surrounded by, immersed in, and there is flowing through us a
creative Something ... call it what you will. The sum total of
all our thought, will, purpose, and belief creates a tendency in
this Law that causes It to react to us according to the sum
total of that belief."
We can realize this simple truth "to give is to live" as we
become more and more conscious of who we are and what we are.
This self-realization may lead to an amazing transformation in
every area of our lives.
Keep the Faith!
(Reverend Dr. Henry Lee Bates)
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