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Monday, April 22, 2019

Are You the Person You'd Like to Spend Eternity With?

Every Easter I take a moment to pause and think about what I am taking with me to the next life. If what goes with me is my consciousness, then have I stripped away as much pettiness from my mentality? Have forgiven and loved as much as this current form can?

Because, if I am accompanying myself to the next world, then this would be a good time to become the kind of person I would like to spend eternity with.

To see the video on YouTube, click here.

In his Easter Message, our Founder, Dr. Holmes said:

“I often wonder just what would happen to us if this were a firm conviction in our minds. Would we not be more tolerant of each other's mistakes? Would we not be more forgiving? And would we not all come to realize that this life, after all, is but a temporary thing in a vast and eternal expansion of the soul? What would be your reaction and mine if we knew the only thing we could take with us when we leave this world would be that which we really are? Would not our reactions be more kind and gentle? Would not our very possessions seem of less value? And should we not come finally to realize that the only things that are really worthwhile are those things which cannot change?” 

Happy Easter,

Edward Viljoen, the Author of The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God Retold in Simplified English

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash
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Monday, April 15, 2019

Oneness is Not Sameness

To see this week's video about The Tower of Babel, and how oneness is not sameness, click here.

Dr. Marlene Oaks, one of the key contributors to our spiritual curriculum wrote:

If we were not free, we would be puppets upon some divine strings, or perhaps some not-so-divine strings. We would be like robots, having to act as we were directed to do. Life would be cold and sterile, perhaps like that of the wives in The Stepford Wives. There would be no surprises since all would be determined by some outside power. Accomplishment would not mean anything to us because we would not be doing it ourselves. There would be no triumph as we surmount challenges because we would not be doing it with our own uniqueness. We would be glorified robots.

Dr. Oaks was writing about the spiritual freedom we must think, feel, and believe. Each one of us different, producing unique results, and living a life unlike anyone else. Yet these differences in our self-expression never rob us of our shared spiritual heritage. Indeed, it is what we have in common that allows us to love each other in the presence of how different we can be.

Photo by Gavin Allanwood on Unsplash
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Monday, April 1, 2019

Women's History Month, Oneness, and Purim, all in one Sunday!

A story of betrayal, values, courage, and facing the unknown.  See the video on YouTube by clicking here.

Our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes, wrote a Spiritual Mind Treatment (affirmative prayer) using these words: “No one yet knows what might happen if a group of a thousand persons, gathered together for mutual benefit, should unitedly agree and without dissent or argument, fully accept simply and directly, that there is a Healing presence in the midst of them. Let us form a united front, create a great pool of faith, and from the power generated through this collective thinking, broadcast the message to the whole world.”

A group of meditators gathers at our Center on the last day of each month to do exactly what Dr. Holmes is talking about—contemplate peace for the benefit of all beings. Every last day of the month, I invite you to attend the special world peace meditation at 7 pm.

Edward Viljoen

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash
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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
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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

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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
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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
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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
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