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Henry Bates

Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for August 2, 2015

           Most of us with a past religious background are familiar with these words from the Book of Numbers 14:18, "The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations."  Since these words have been so universally misunderstood they have become the cause of one of those "race-mind" beliefs that have held so many people in bondage to guilt and its step-child, shame.  If we look at the words from the Book of Numbers with spiritual understanding we can read the word "Lord" as the "Law of our Mind" ... and then we understand the domino effect of guilt.  Far too many parents have allowed their own feelings that create guilt to be taught to their children either by themselves or by others.  And this is why we read that our children and our children's children and so on continue living with patterns of guilt.  Guilt is resident in the race-mind and has been throughout history due in part to a lack of understanding that not only does it diminish the joy of living but it also obstructs us from being receptive to the greater good that is always seeking to be realized by us.

            There are those who will tell us that if we live in the “Now” that guilt will go away but this is rarely the case for most people.  Like so many other conditions that affect our mind/body/spirit to know the specific “cause” of guilt within one’s consciousness is not easy to discover.  

               "The sense of guilt is called a mental disease (disease means "not at ease") and is extremely common.  In the field of modern psychosomatics and psychiatric medicine, it is clearly pointed out that a deep sense of guilt, coupled with frustration, lies in back of most of our mental disorders and consequently back of the personality conflicts and bodily diseases as well as business and home conditions.  The sense of guilt is abnormal and unnatural, even though it seems to be almost universal.  For example, a child is not born with a sense of guilt.  The feeling of guilt is imposed from without, usually by parents, teachers, and nurses, together with the beliefs of the race mind.
       All of us know that a baby has no sense of sin.  The baby's first feeling of guilt comes when he senses that mother is angry or displeased with him.  His mother is more or less a god to him; moreover, she represents authority and law.  He is dependent upon his mother for food, comfort, love, and security.
       When we were born into the world, we had little or no sense of true values.  As children we knew nothing about man-made religions, creeds, dogmas, or customs, or man-made laws, rules, and regulations.  In the beginning the child is like a little animal, and is free from inhibitions and does what seems to him to be natural.  But mother may scold him or perhaps punish him by slapping him.  She may say to him that he is a bad boy and that God will punish him.  The child does not understand and is baffled.  Instinctively the child feels himself cut off from love, from security, from a sense of kindness and giving-ness.  The child feels that he is punished for something which he doesn't understand, becomes confused, and concludes that he must be bad.  He has his first feeling of guilt and of being a sinner.  He is perplexed and proceeds to protect himself.  Instinctively he reacts to his mother's reprimand or display of anger in different ways.  He may become fearful, or he may fight back in his own way by going into a tantrum because of inner conflict.
      The child's failure to get his desires satisfied where these are contrary to the wishes of his parents (and later contrary to religious, social, and state laws and customs) deepens his sense of guilt and sin.  Instinctively he wants to do that which seems natural to him, but authority says, "no."  The result is some conflict with authority."
- Dr. Joseph Murphy, Special Lecture, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles

               Dr. Murphy gives some glaring examples of how guilt and shame are instilled in the minds of small children.  Many of us have experienced some of these and others have not but it is a rare person who has not experienced feelings of guilt at some time in their lives.  Even in today’s world where there has been an evolution of psychological reasoning regarding guilt and the healing of emotions, few people seek spiritual healing compared to other methods.  Feelings of guilt and shame have caused intelligent and educated people, even spiritual students, to reach for something outside of themselves to rid the complexities of guilt that they experience.  Yet, the spiritual solution is always available even though not always instant and in a culture that desires instant-gratification, it is too often overlooked or sneered at.  But, anything else is always temporary never permanent for the spirit (mind) is always in control of the soul (consciousness).   

                   Here is some more wisdom regarding guilt from the great Dr. Joseph Murphy: 
"Many people are full of guilt because they accept as right that which is actually wrong.  God condemns no one.  God has already forgiven you.  Forgive yourself.  Change your thought and keep it changed.  Think on whatsoever things are true, just, noble, and of good report.  Think from the standpoint of the Golden Rule and the Law of Love.  Would you think of disobeying the principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and engineering?  Would you build a wheel off center?  Are you believing in antiquated, dead, grotesque, ignorant superstitions and prejudices in the name of religious beliefs, or have you made a serious inquiry into the workings of your subconscious and conscious mind?  The modern scientist has to conform to natural law; he cannot change it.  Your religion must also conform to natural law.  The result is con-science, with knowing.  The Law of Life is the law of health, happiness, peace, order, beauty, right action, and abundance.  Divine Order is Heaven's first law.
             "Remember you not the former things, neither consider things of old."  (Isaiah 43:18)
              "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize." (Philippians 3:12-14)  "And enter into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

The most important two words in the message is “forgive yourself” … for  no one else can, not even G-d or Jesus or Buddha or Krishna or those who love us dearly, no one but ourselves.  And we “forgive ourselves” by “giving up” the pattern of guilt and “giving our mind” that which elevates our thoughts, our ideas, our spirit and our soul to be free, to feel joy and to live for this moment and the moments to come guilt-free and unhindered by anything that we have experienced in the past.  Let us practice daily the “loving-kindness” that is infinitely available to us from within our own soul and realize as we do that G-d will respond to us by corresponding to this loving-kindness by filling our heart and soul with joy today and always.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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