Welcome to my blog * thoughts and things * poetry, pictures * ideas * opinions * kindness * video * stay and read a while.

Monday, March 18, 2019

What We Can Learn From Minsiter Jacinda Ardern and Queen Ester

One of the world's youngest leaders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, demonstrates to the world how to respond decisively, and compassionately to tragic and dangerous events.

To see this week's video on YouTube click here.

The Center for Spiritual Living teaches that the indwelling presence of the Divine is the single most important factor in our spiritual lives. It means, as our founder said, that there is nothing between us and God, no intermediary, no place to go to find God. This is an important awareness to cultivate for anyone wishing to live a spiritual life, and it is equally important to realize that what is true for an individual is true for all individuals.

Dr. Holmes wrote, in A New Design for Living, “God is not lost, and neither are we lost or separated from God. The more completely we are able to see God in everything, the more completely will the One God in all things respond to us.” (p. 173.2) And, the more completely we are able to see the Divine in others, the more completely the Divine in them will respond to us.


                Edward Viljoen

Photo by CJ Lamb on Unsplash
Continue Reading...

Saturday, March 16, 2019

If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies - optical delusions

To view this week's video on redefining standards of beauty, escaping optical delusions, and the importance of recognizing our oneness, click here.

In our Recommended Reading for March, Beyond Religion, H. H. Dalai Lama invites us to consider that it is in everybody’s interest to do what leads to happiness and to avoid that which leads to suffering. He says that because “our interests are inextricably linked, we are compelled to accept ethics as the indispensable interface between my desire to be happy and yours.”

Our founder, Ernest Holmes, writes, “We know that it is not a natural order of things for people to be at war with one another. We know that the human heart is instinctively kind, that it desires peace, it desires self-expression, it desires liberty, and it desires happiness. If we would promote the idea of peace in the world, we must begin with our own individual consciousness.”

Our task, then, is to begin—in our own consciousness, recognizing our shared humanity and our interconnectedness—to take responsibility for the effects we set in motion in our world.


Edward Viljoen

Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

There's No God Reason for That!

Dear Friends,

On page 161 of The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes writes, “There is nothing in the universal order that denies the individual’s good, or self-expression, so long as such self-expression does not contradict the general good, does not contradict Goodness Itself.”

Oneness is the basis of our entire teaching and the world view of the Centers for Spiritual Living. Oneness, however, is not sameness, but rather a recognition of the shared humanity we have, and our kinship with all life. Affirming oneness is a great place to start, and even better is following up the affirmation with action: actively seeking out the common good. 

Metaphysics does not teach that you and I can get whatever we want whenever we want it. Instead, it shows us to align our effort with Goodness Itself. Goodness is a synonym for Divinity, and as such, it means wholeness and must include good for all.

In our recommended book of the month, Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, by H.H. Dalai Lama, self-interest and others’ interests are depicted as being closely related because of the fundamental interconnectedness at the heart of all being. Your well-being, then, is my well-being.


Edward Viljoen

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash
Continue Reading...

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Our Highest Values

This month we explore how consciousness works with absolute integrity. There is no way to escape from the way our highest values shape our lives by influencing what we say, think, and do. 

Where we run into difficulty is when we live out of sync with our values, holding one thing to be essential but acting in a way that contradicts that. For example, when we say Oneness is a value but turn around and demonize people who have different values from ours. Or when we say we value equality but deny that some people in our world have a real experience of inequality.

To see the video below on YouTube, click here.

In our recommended book of the month, For the Inward Journey, on page 13, Howard Thurman writes that “Commitment means that it is possible for a [person] to yield to the nerve center of [their] consent to a purpose or cause, a movement or an ideal, which may be more important to [them] than whether [they] live or die.”

As a spiritual being interested in co-creating a world that works better for everyone, what is your highest value, and what does a commitment to that value look like to you?

Our founder, Ernest Holmes, wrote, “I invite the inspiration, the illumination, and the guidance of God and gladly cooperate with them.”


Edward Viljoen

Photo by Takahiro Sakamoto on Unsplash
Continue Reading...

Sunday, February 24, 2019

What Did We Expect When We Said We Stand for Inclusivity?

Something happens when we take a stand for a value such as inclusivity, or unity, or loving-kindness.  It is as if the Divine creates a hunger in us to fulfill that value.  When we don't live in integrity with our values, that hunger disturbs us.

To see the video below on YouTube, click here.

What is stopping me from living authentically in integrity with the Truth of my spiritual being? Integrity is the state of being whole and undivided; we demonstrate integrity through such practices as honesty, compassion, forthrightness, generosity, and strength of character. We are imbued with choice, which, unfortunately includes being able to opt out of integrity.

If that should happen, we may ask ourselves, what is preventing us from choosing integrity? Then it is important to get still and listen deeply so that God can work through us to lead us back to choices that empower and inspire the best that is in us. After quietly listening, we can affirm “I understand that God works through me, for I know that God is the God of all life, of everyone’s life, of everything that lives. God is the intelligence, the beauty, the love, the order, and the animating principle in and through everything. God is my life.”


Edward Viljoen, author of Ordinary Goodness

Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash
Continue Reading...

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Induividual Versus Individualized

This week's message is brought to us by Rev. Ruth Barnhart. To view it on YouTube, click here.

2019: Spirituality in Action

In our anchor book for this year, 365 Science of Mind, we find a passage by Ernest Holmes to contemplate for every day of the year. Today’s reading includes this affirmation:

“Today I accept this gift of Divine Life and Love that God has eternally given to me and to everyone. With deep gratitude and childlike simplicity, I enter into the joy and the peace that come from the realization of Divine Guidance, for I know that Love guides my thoughts even as It guards my life and action.”

A beautiful way to use this book is to take time first thing in the morning to sit quietly and read the day’s meditation. Then close your eyes and let your thoughts gently roam where they may by considering the question, “How does this uniquely relate to me?” Each of us has access to the gift of Divine Life, and It individually comes through us. We individualize it by the decisions we make regarding how we will express it.


Edward Viljoen

Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash
Continue Reading...

Monday, February 4, 2019

Black History Month, White Privilege and Integrity

To see this week's video, click here.

Dr. Ernest Holmes, our founder, wrote that “Many people may be under the mistaken concept that the metaphysical philosophy is attractive to people because it says God is Good and everything is all right; therefore, there is nothing to fear. This is far from the truth. What it says is this: Do you wish to be loved? Then stop hating. Do you want to be happy? Then be sure that you are never the occasion for unhappiness in others.”

This month, as we explore the role integrity plays in our spiritual development, we will aspire to make our thoughts, words, deeds, and intentions match what is in our hearts. In his book, The Inward Journey, Dr. Howard Thurman gives us the inspiration to stay the course:

“In the quietness of this place, surrounded by the all-pervading Presence of God, my heart whispers: Keep fresh before me the moments of my High Resolve, that in fair weather or in foul, in good times or in tempests, in the days when the darkness and the foe are nameless or familiar, I may not forget that to which my life is committed. Keep fresh before me the moments of my high resolve.”
Warm regards,

Edward Viljoen

February Nonprofit Partner

COTS 572 LIVES is a new program with the goal of re-housing 572 people impacted by the North Bay Fires over the next three years. The vision of the COTS organization is to end homelessness in Sonoma County. They do this by assisting people to transition from homelessness to a permanent residence. Go to www.cots.org for more information.
Continue Reading...

Sunday, February 3, 2019

How to Use It with Rev. Shannon O'Hurley

Dr. Ernest Holmes, our founder, used the pronoun “It” to refer to the Divine. He wanted us to move away from an anthropomorphic idea about God and offered a number of suitable words to use for God to help our understanding expand: The Thing Itself, Life, Mind, Creative Genius. He taught that we exist within the allness of The Thing Itself, and that our thoughts take place within It. Our practice of Spiritual Mind Treatment (affirmative prayer) is based on this idea, and we have been taught to think clearly, affirmatively, and kindly, knowing that our very thoughts are prayers.

Today's message about How to Use It comes to us from Rev. Shannon O'Hurley.  To see this video on YouTube, click here.

Dr. Holmes suggests that we should daily affirm: “There is one Life, that Life is God, that Life is my life now,” so as to regularly return our thinking to the acceptance that The Thing Itself is all around us, within us, and through us.


Edward Viljoen, author of 
Ordinary Goodness
The Power of Meditation

Continue Reading...

Popular Posts


Science of Mind and Spirit For Begnners

Science of Mind and Spirit For Begnners
"This wonderful book guides any individual to understand Science of Mind with ease and grace. It is a simple and beautiful presentation of the Spiritual Principles Science of Mind teaches. I highly recommend this book to students, licensed Practitioners and ministers. Blessings to Rev Edward." ~ Johan Gonzalez RScP. Science of Mind and Spirit for Beginners: Four Chapters in Simplified Prose, paraphrased by Edward VIljoen

Practice The Presence Journal

Practice The Presence Journal
Journaling offers a powerful way to record your spiritual growth. Writing in a journal calls on you to be more conscious of the insights that occur daily in your life. It gives you an opportunity to examine your beliefs and be mindful of your choices.

Seeing Good At Work

Seeing Good At Work
I have been through the book three times over three years, and am starting it again. This is not because the material in the book is not working, but because it is working so well! The weekly lessons keep me on track and focused on what is actually true and important, and help me experience more good in every area of my life. LS