Frontiers_of_Fu by ray87989

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									Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                1




                                Frontiers
                                   of

              Fulfillment


 HOW TO LIVE SO SATISFYING A LIFE YOU SHALL
        WANT IT TO GO ON FOREVER
                                             by

                   JARD AND ROBERTA DeVILLE
                         GENRE -- PSYCHOSPIRITUAL, SELF-HELP
                            Single spaced, letter sized pages -- 229

    THE INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED FULFILLMENT SEMINAR
    THAT INCLUDES THE WORLD’S MOST COMPLETE SELF-HELP
      BOOK, MANY LIFE FOCUSING EXERCISES, A SELECTION
        OF SELF-REVEALING REALITY CHECKS AND MANY
               POWERFUL, LIFE-SAVING PROJECTS


                  http://www.fulfillmentforum.com
                                JARD & ROBERTA DeVILLE
                                      3414 W 46th St.
                                 MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55410
                                      (612) 920-5029

                    Copyright 2004 All Rights reserved By the Authors
                           ESBN: 14909-030327-215553-98
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                 2




                           FULFILLMENT
               (THROUGH FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE)
FOR THE READER
In one of our earlier FULFILLMENT seminars, at the University of Arizona for the
Affiliated Women’s Clubs of Arizona, a charming and successful woman unintentionally
made our point about success and satisfaction. Catherine Hendricks spoke about several
major problems that are caused by living too secular a life-style in this period of swift,
destabilizing and often disconcerting change. Catherine lamented;

       I’m one woman who did everything well. I stayed out of trouble in
       school, married the right guy and joined a great company when it
       started taking women seriously. I’ve made sound business decisions
       along the way and shall surely become a V P before I’m forty. I live in a
       home my parents think a mansion and have two beautiful children. I do
       job thousands envy. Obviously, I have everything. Right? Wrong!
       Much of my life feels incomplete and caught up in trivia. My kids are
       rebelling with sex and drugs and I’m almost certain my husband is
       having an affair with a little twerp. I feel deeply dissatisfied at the most
       inopportune times, as if nothing counts except for my sixty-hour
       workweeks and paying for the house and the Mercedes. There must be
       more to life than this but when my therapist asks what‘s missing, I can’t
       even tell her. I worry that I’m going mad to feel this way despite my
       accomplishments in the company and my prestige in my community.
       What do I do when I’ve won everything I’ve ever wanted and it isn’t
       enough to keep me happy?

What, indeed -- and what of the many persons who fall short of her achievements, who
fear life is passing them by, who feel stuck in their careers or frustrated in their
relationships? They are not mentally ill but virtually always spiritually maladjusted
through secular values, negative attitudes, low expectations, immature beliefs and often
irresponsible choices. They are left wondering how they can find consistent satisfaction.
This course answers Catherine’s troubling question along with a great many more. Our
emphasis is on joyful living through spiritual values (or ethical virtues), positive
attitudes, high expectations, mature beliefs and responsible choices. We have learned
as Viktor Frankl, Karen Horney, Karl Jung and many others taught, that the unfortunate
souls who are suffering from neurotic ailments and existential alienation, are those
persons who have failed to find a consistent sense of meaning that assures their
satisfaction through life’s several stages. We have also learned that few persons are going
to simply get lucky and have fulfillment handed to them. Life is filled with many quid-
pro-quos in which we must do our part wisely and well to have life become consistently
satisfying as a by-product of our responsible choices.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                       3



        Obviously this means that those persons doing the best they can -- while
        still feeling stuck in their careers, dissatisfied with their love
        relationships and anxious that life is passing them by, must learn better
        ways of managing their existence. Of course, that is what this book is all
        about!

FRONTIERS OF FULFILLMENT is a powerful interactive self-help course, within a
book of some 231 letter size single spaced pages, which teaches you how to make life
consistently fulfilling for yourself and those persons you love. This program was first
conceived when Jard was psychology professor and convocations chairman at Olivet
College. He had Viktor Frankl flown from Vienna to the campus to lecture and counsel
about his approach to psychospiritual healing. Viktor had written several outstanding
books, including MAN‘S SEARCH FOR MEANING, PSYCHOTHERAPY AND
EXISTENTIALISM and THE DOCTOR AND THE SOUL. The Viennese psychiatrist and
psychologist called his approach Logotherapy -- which means spirit healing -- for
existentially frustrated or spiritually bankrupt souls. Viktor who spent more than three
years in Nazi Germany’s brutal death camps, was spiritually transformed by his covenant
relationship with God despite the suffering and fear surrounding him, into a virtual saint.
Even in that anteroom of hell, with God’s help, he found meaning by helping others
survive.

In our distinctive Christian approach to Logotherapy, you shall study crucial
presentations and use revealing reality checks, self-focus exercises and powerful projects
to consider serving society well, worshipping devoutly, relating warmly, persevering
bravely, learning wisely and playing enthusiastically. Your interactive assignments can
lead to spiritual values, positive attitudes, high expectations, mature beliefs and
responsible choices that enhance life for persons who apply them wisely.

This program, when piloted some hundred times in business organizations, churches,
professional associations and universities, often received a standing ovation from the
many participants. The authors won a 3.68 evaluation with it on a one to four scale for
years. We have learned, in our presentations that range from hour-long church forum
lectures, to business seminars, to three-day summer college classes, that participants are
indeed fascinated with our materials. And while we are not entirely unbiased, we feel this
interest is the result of our addressing vital human needs that are seldom considered in
commercial seminars or even religious classes -- despite their importance to each human
soul. We are dealing in applied Logotherapy -- the healing of the human spirit through a
covenant relationship with God the Cosmic Creator.

If you or a loved one faces career, relationship, emotional or spiritual challenges that leave
you dissatisfied and feeling stuck in life, worried that life itself is passing you by, that your
life is bereft of meaning, this can be the most valuable single experience of your life. It can
and will assist anyone seeking consistent fulfillment in many special ways -- that is,
helping the reader find satisfying sources of lasting meaning in those places of the heart
where he or she belongs.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                   4




For a generation we, Jard and Roberta DeVille, have written such psychology books as
NICE GUYS FINISH FIRST, LOVERS FOR LIFE, LEADERSHIP PSYCHOLOGY,
LEADERSHIP POWER (Japanese), LOS BUENOS TAMBIEN GANAN (Spanish), THE
PASTOR‘S HANDBOOK ON INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF
WITNESSING and others. One religious denomination, one of the fastest growing church
organizations around the world, used our PASTOR’S HANDBOOK and WITNESSING as
study guides for many thousands of American and foreign pastors. We feel deeply
honored to have taken part in their outstanding ministry. LEADERSHIP PSYCHOLOGY
was the lead-off book in the Executive Growth Series offered by New American Library,
a major American publishing company. NICE GUYS was an American best seller while
LEADERSHIP POWER was extremely useful to executives and managers throughout
Japan. Obviously, we are not novices and we now offer you our best growth programs in
this our Fulfillment Forum.

Fortunately, life can become deeply meaningful for loving persons who are maturing,
who are meeting the needs of their spiritual unconscious that Frankl wrote about --
which is as vital to satisfaction as our psychological unconscious that Freud discussed. It
is this spiritual unconscious that is so often neglected by persons who live with secular
values and too pragmatic choices -- which is why we combine the psychological and the
philosophical in our work. After all, every society from primitive clans with be-feathered
shamans chanting spells around campfires, to building mysterious Stonehenge, to
completing towering European cathedrals, and even attending Billy Graham’s relational
campaigns, has been trying to meet the spiritual yearnings throbbing within every human
soul. These hungers are universal and repressing or neglecting them causes spiritual
bankruptcy or what Viktor Frankl called existential frustration and alienation.

We have researched the emotional and spiritual aspects of satisfaction for half a century,
drawing from brilliant existential philosophers, theologians and psychologists of whom
Soren Kierkegaard, Carl Jung, Karen Horney, Tielhard de Chardin, Otto Rank, Melanie
Klein, Paul Tillich, Viktor Frankl, H. Orton Wiley, Laura Perls, Rollo May and Carl
Rogers are deeply representative. Wayne Dyer, who remains a contemporary existential
seminar leader on Public Television, has an excellent approach for improving spiritual
health. We have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt, that fulfillment is never won
directly but always the by-product of a maturing life-style. We didn’t stop with concepts,
however, but hammered the issues of life out in the real world, getting down into the mud
and blood of existence with people experiencing differing degrees of emotional and
spiritual failures. We have also discovered that human existence can indeed be filled with
purpose and permanence for perceptive women and men. However, there is a major
Catch - 22 in the search for consistent satisfaction. There is nothing automatic or universal
about succeeding in our quest. There is no single approach to Fulfillment with a capital F
that meets every person’s needs. Each one of us has to open personal channels by
applying our own powers along lines of excellence. We must move beyond the
theoretical to the practical.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                  5



       Despite the assumptions of so many persons, our search can seldom be
       for happiness per se. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that will always
       fade and eventually vanish. We all need times of joy, obviously, but it is
       far more satisfying to create lasting sources of meaning in our lives --
       in those places of the heart where we belong, connected to persons with
       whom we share love, acceptance and support.

We all hold values, attitudes, expectations and beliefs and make choices that are relevant
to our lives. These key aspects of life affect us according to our inherited traits,
environmental experiences and formative choices. Naturally, not one of us is exempt
from civilization’s pressures. All men and women inherit homosapien angst and rage,
resist childhood socialization, struggle to break the apron strings during adolescence and
to remove emotional scar tissue in the unconscious aspects of our minds. We are indeed
forced to deal with the tragic elements of suffering, guilt, rage and death. It doesn’t end
there, fortunately. We are pleased to report that despite many existential frustrations,
spiritually minded persons who convert their earthly meandering into purposeful, love-
filled quests can enjoy consistent fulfillment. Women and men who cultivate faith, hope
and love do find joy even as waves of complex change batter society relentlessly.

We recently had this approach confirmed by an unlikely source in an entirely unexpected
setting. The carnival barker on the Minnesota State Fair Midway didn't look like a
philosopher. His fingernails were ragged and dirty and a broken tooth gave him a cynical
and somewhat sinister leer. Tough-Tony Gallo seemed too rough-hewn a man from
whom to learn much about a meaningful life. Nevertheless, Tony went right to a major
aspect of fulfillment when he said;

       Life’s sorta like ridin’ a bicycle uphill. Ya gotta keep pedalin’ along or
       ya gotta stop and get off. There ain’t no reverse gear and ya gotta keep
       yer balance.

How marvelously well expressed! There you have it -- much knowledge and wisdom in a
nutshell! Tough Tony had just relieved Jard of six dollars in a futile attempt to win a
stuffed panda for a granddaughter at his milk bottle-toss game. Neither Jard's arm nor his
aim is what either was in his youth but he was delighted with the transaction. After all, in
these days of expensive therapy, that was a bargain price for such excellent counsel about
living successfully. As our philosophical friend with dirty nails so succinctly said, a
satisfying life has an ongoing flow that must be embraced if we are to find consistent
meaning and belonging with the powers God through nature has given us to invest in
spiritual growth. To sum this up even more succinctly than Tony did, we use this simple
equation;


 PERSONAL FULFILLMENT = f (Heredity x Environment x Choices)
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                               6



Everything we inherit from all of our ancestors is acted on by our environment whether it
is good or bad. And that product is multiplied by the excellent, mediocre or disastrous
choices we make about life and our place in it.

       Through this seminar we use the word existential to mean that
       something relates to the cultural and personal life-style humans choose
       to follow or have thrust upon them by society. It has nothing to do with
       the grim European philosophy of Existentialism taught by Sartre, Camus
       and others in the desperate decades of the World Wars, the murderous
       Holocaust and the long, debilitating Cold War. To us, existential just
       means that something being discussed is related to the life-style we
       follow.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                               7


                             CONTENT
                              FOR THE READER

        BOOK ONE -- CONSISTENT SPIRITUALITY
             PART ONE -- KALEIDOSCOPIC CHANGE
UNIT ONE -- COSMIC CONNECTIONS                 Only by connecting our lives with the
Cosmic Creator, God the Seminal Spirit, can we satisfy the deepest aspects of the
human soul that Viktor Frankl calls our spiritual unconscious. The reader will learn
that we the children of the stars must mature through spiritual principles for life to
become successful.
       Self Focus Links 1 2 3 4 5 6 7                             Project 1

UNIT TWO -- MOTIVATION TO CHANGE THE WORLD                    We all need to mature
through the physical, psychological and philosophical aspects of life -- through the
pleasure/pain, power/prestige and purpose/permanence principles of existence. The
reader will learn several crucial factors in successful self-motivation and
enlightenment.
       Self Focus Links 8 9 10 11 12 13 14                        Project 2

UNIT THREE -- THE GREAT TRANSITION                     In this age of unending and often
disquieting change, when nothing remains as it was in the past, we are bedeviled by a
cruel philosophy of nothingness, a belief in disbelief that savages the human spirit. The
reader will learn the importance of coping wisely with nihilism in shifting
circumstances.
       Self Focus Links 15 16 17 18 19                            Project 3

                 PART TWO -- HOW SOULS MATURE
UNIT FOUR -- CHANNELS OF SPIRITUALITY                   We mature spiritually through
spiritual virtues, positive attitudes, high expectations, mature beliefs and always
responsible choices. The reader will learn how to apply the by-product approach to
successful fulfillment.
       Self Focus Links 20 21 22 23                               Project 4

UNIT FIVE -- EXISTENTIAL FRUSTRATION                   Industrial age institutions have
created a civilization that frustrates many and leads to the selfish aggression and/or
apathy that caused a hundred million battle deaths in the terrible 20th century alone.
The reader will learn what frustrates us most and how to cope with frustrating
pressures.
       Self Focus Links 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                               8




UNIT SIX -- BEYOND FEAR AND ANXIETY                   Maturing love, whether Eros, filias
or agape, casts out fear and much frustration and consistently empowers us to live a
life of trust in God. The reader will learn that being faithful to God, to others and to
yourself, keeps life from reverting to the fearful and banal.
       Self Focus Links 33 34 35 36                               Project 5 6 7

     PART THREE -- PRACTICAL PROCESSES TO APPLY
UNIT SEVEN -- THE PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY                       The DeVille Sidewalk
Test confirms Jesus' observation, that normal persons respond to us as we first treat
them, thus allowing loving souls to establish sound relationships. The reader will learn
why and how the Golden Rule works so well in normal interpersonal relationships.
       Self Focus Links 37

UNIT EIGHT -- A PRINCIPLE OF SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIPS                              We can
promise others that to the best of our abilities -- good things happen to people who deal
honestly with us -- also that, Bad things don't happen to people who deal honestly with
us. The reader will learn that this isn't necessarily the way of the world but can be our
personal commitment to fairness, maturity and sound interpersonal relationships.
       Self Focus Links 38

UNIT NINE -- BEYOND SELF-DECEPTION                     Because each person has a self
serving perceptual screen through which everything is interpreted to one's best
advantage, we can easily deceive ourselves in our unconscious attitudes, activities and
relationships. The reader will learn how to deal with hidden agendas, whether our own
or of someone else.
       Self Focus Links 39

UNIT TEN -- SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY                   The outcomes of life that we
anticipate, plan well for, develop a vehicle to attain and work hard and smart to
accomplish -- are what usually occur. The reader will learn how to succeed through
sound and supportive practices.
       Self Focus Links 40

UNIT ELEVEN -- LIVING PEACEFULLY                 We can avoid and control conflicts
through the THREE STAGE conflict avoidance process and through the ASRAC
conflict management technique. The reader will learn two powerful methods that take
peace making from chance to consistency.
       Self Focus Links    41 42 ASRAC Process
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                               9

     BOOK TWO -- FOCUSING ALL YOUR POWERS
                    PART ONE -- LIVING BY FAITH
UNIT TWELVE -- WORSHIPPING DEVOUTLY                    By connecting with God through
faith and grace, we transcend most of life's banalities and meet the vital needs of our
spiritual unconscious. The reader will learn how to mature emotionally and spiritually
through permanent cosmic connections.
Self Focus Links 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50                          Project 8 9

UNIT THIRTEEN -- PERSEVERING BRAVELY                    By living courageously, we are
empowered to deal wisely with life's universal Tragic Element of Suffering, Rage, Guilt
and Death. The reader will learn that despite life’s often grim aspects, there is no
Situation we cannot improve by holding spiritual virtues, positive attitudes and high
expectations.
                    PART TWO -- LIVING BY HOPE
UNIT FOURTEEN -- SERVING FAITHFULLY                    By working diligently within a
legitimate enterprise, - we pay our dues to society for the privilege of becoming an
authentic or maturing person. The reader will learn how to choose a specific mission
in each of life’s key stages.
Self Focus Links 51 52                                            Project 10 11

UNIT FIFTEEN -- LEARNING WISELY                  Learning what we need to know when
we need to know it, Learning to Learn, Learning to Choose and Learning to Relate,
keeps us maturing consistently. The reader will learn how to stay ahead of the learning
curve in a way that makes life satisfying.
Self Focus Links 53 54 55                                         Project 12

                   PART THREE -- LIVING BY LOVE
UNIT SIXTEEN -- RELATING WARMLY                  Living in consistent love and friendship
is the most valuable aspect of life, even though a great many anxious persons in this
confusing age will do anything to receive love -- except become lovable. The reader will
learn how to maximize the power of love in his or her relationships
Self Focus Links 56 57 58 59 60 61 62                             Project 13 14 15

UNIT SEVENTEEN -- PLAYING JOYOUSLY                     Play and entertainment are not
frivolous aspects of life but rather the way we recharge our batteries for the long haul
ahead of each person. The reader will learn how to keep entertainment and play in
perspective with the rest of life.
Self Focus Links 63 64 65 66 67                                   Project 16 17

     CONCLUSION -- BECOMING FOREVER BECOMING
              Project 18 – WRITING YOUR NEW AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                10


SELF FOCUS EXAMPLE

Why is Catherine so dissatisfied when she is living the great American dream?

When have you felt like Catherine in your activities and relationships?

        We, Jard and Roberta, have both connected joyously with God in a covenant
relationship of the kind Viktor Frankl discovered for himself as he survived in Nazi death
camps. Jard came to a spiritual awakening and to the church during that same terrible
period of great violence while the world went mad. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt
he would never live through his twentieth year. Roberta connected as a child, as a lamb
who trusted Jesus with a simple faith. By the time we became college sweethearts, we
understood that our lives must be invested wisely. We could find nothing meaningful
except through serving humanity with some legitimate service. Despite our many
shortcomings and a few spectacular failures, we have done our best with the poker hand
God dealt us. We remain connected to God the Seminal Spirit within our faith
community -- not to demonstrate any innate virtue but because our spiritual hungers must
be nourished through worship as well as humanitarian service.

Jard pastored seven years before he taught psychology at Olivet College and taught and
chaired psychology at Westminster College. He served as the Vice-President of
Manufacturing for the small Derardean Corporation and as Manager of Engineering
Research, Methods and Training for a huge 8,000 worker UniRoyal industrial complex.
He became Director of the Learning and Learning Disabilities clinic for learning
handicapped children in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin and Professor of
Leadership Psychology in the Executive Development Program at the University of
Arizona. He wrote books, with Roberta, and consulted around the world for more than a
decade.

Roberta mothered three kids of our own, taught inner-city children in Cincinnati and
Minneapolis, becoming an outstanding reading specialist for students with learning
disabilities. She wrote school-wide curricula and although technically retired, maintains a
full schedule. Roberta progressed to high responsibilities for the American Cancer
Society, eventually becoming chair of the Minneapolis fund drive. She also served as
chair of her home congregation’s official board, the first woman to serve as Lay Leader in
our parish. She next served as a state officer for our denomination, helping make it more
relevant for twenty-first century worshippers.

Our most satisfying personal service to date was recently providing tens of thousand of
workbooks similar in style to this one -- first, The Pastor’s Handbook (Keys To
Successful Leadership) -- then, The Psychology Of Witnessing for one of the world’s
fastest growing denominations. They are used from Stockholm to Singapore, on five
continents. Virtually every minister in the Seventh-day Adventist fellowship studied The
Pastor’s Handbook to improve leadership skills and many thousands of S D A
congregations around the world are now using our book Witnessing as the guide for the
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                  11


denomination's swiftly growing outreach into twenty-first century Africa, Asia and
Europe.

This means that silly old Jard, who as a great-grandfather restores antique racing
motorcycles and sings badly in plays like Wenceslaus and Fiddler and Roberta who
teaches the Disciple study groups, sings very well in several choirs and works long hours
in our segment of society, shall have a positive influence on the church we love for
generations to come. For once sound concepts are accepted within the body of the
church, they can go on and on for centuries. Thousands of devout pastors and hundreds
of thousands of committed lay persons shall improve their local towns; shall change the
world by forming stronger faith communities and leading many persons toward spiritual
maturity. In part, because Jard and Roberta persisted and persisted and persisted to
accomplish something meaningful for society. They persisted, which is not the least
valuable human virtue, until they succeeded joyously.

You must understand this about our work. In our books and seminars we use a distinctly
Logotherapy approach. We neither offer readers psychological consulting nor practice
psychotherapy, because both have pretty well reached their limits in dealing with the
existential alienation or spiritual bankruptcy that is epidemic in scope in the 21st century.
This may help you understand our work better.

       We have become existential sages; philosophical practitioners or even
       Christian Logotherapists. We deal with the major issues of meaning and
       belonging as they open avenues of spiritual satisfaction through
       connecting consciously with God and by maturing emotionally and
       spiritually.

Obviously, our generous assumptions appear throughout our work. We would have it no
other way, for with Viktor Frankl, Carl Rogers, Otto Rank and many more blue-ribbon
scholars, we have found that an open-minded liberality is vital to consistent fulfillment. A
fearful and reactionary mind-set is always self-defeating -- always eats away at one‘s soul
like a bleeding ulcer. We must connect with a compassionate God in this awe-inspiring
Cosmos -- although many persons repress their longings for love and acceptance. They
fail to understand that the festering wounds in their souls come from spiritual bankruptcy.
Carl Rogers expressed this well. With Jesus and John the Beloved, he said;

       There are only two kinds of persons -- those who love others and those
       who do not love.

Through this book, we shall ask you to decide into which category you fit.

       We have discovered through half a century of teaching, researching and
       counseling persons with emotional and spiritual wounds that neurotic
       and reactionary men and women have severe limitations in their ability
       to love others. They have an unconscious strata of fear, rage and
       resentment that limits their love only to those who offer benefits to them
       personally. They do not necessarily hate everyone who doesn’t contribute
       to them or their causes -- they are primarily indifferent to them.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                    12




As Pope John XXIII said; We cannot be loving and good without God. We go further;
insisting that persons cannot mature as consistently satisfied souls without an individual
and conscious connection with the Cosmic Creator. We shall explain why in a later
section.

Our Logotherapy approach is about the loving acceptance of other persons and always
striving to reject narcissistic rage, greed and guilt in all aspects of life. As far as our own
spiritual awakenings, the poet laureate of early Methodism, Charles Wesley, stated it
much better than we can.

                      Once our imprisoned spirits lay,
                      Fast bound in sin and nature's night.
                      Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
                      We woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
                      Our chains fell off, our hearts were free,
                      We rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Each person really needs a spiritual awakening, connecting with the Lord of Life, always
maintaining a faithful covenant relationship that lifts one beyond the banal and routine
aspects of life. We have learned that personally, having long found spiritual solace in our
dark nights of the soul and joy in the morning.

       We see spiritual fulfillment as connecting with God and maturing
       enough in all our powers, to serve humanity through faith, hope and love
       as life shifts relentlessly around us -- or joining the dinosaurs on the way
       out.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                     13




      BOOK ONE -- CONSISTENT SPIRITUALITY

              PART ONE -- KALEIDOSCOPIC CHANGE

                    UNIT ONE -- COSMIC CONNECTIONS

        We, Roberta and Jard, want to discuss with you what is obviously the
        greatest existential event of all time. It is nothing less than awe-
        inspiring, mind boggling and humbling to realize that you can connect
        your life with the very author of existence itself.

        In the beginning was -- hydrogen!     Nothing else existed within the cosmos for
countless eons after everything exploded in motion during the first nanosecond of the Big
Bang. In fact -- there was no Cosmos, as we know it today. The universe was in chaos for
an eternity and then, slowly but with irresistible force, gravity sucked the swirling
hydrogen clouds together into gigantic glowing globes that grew so dense and so violent
that they cooked off as incredibly vast and powerful nuclear furnaces. Stars were born,
lived, died and were then reborn in incalculable numbers. We have trouble wrapping our
minds around that initial concept alone for there are more stars in our Milky Way galaxy
alone than grains of sand on all the beaches of Earth. And there are up to three or four
hundred million galaxies across the void. Perhaps you are beginning to understand what
we feel when we use the term mind-boggling, with our statement that this is the greatest
story ever told, that God the Cosmic Creator, the Seminal Spirit, the author of existence,
can be welcomed as a loving companion in our lives.

        The starter stars in each island universe, such as Andromeda or the Milky Way,
spewed off immense clouds of radioactive stardust that is still being transmuted through
cosmic alchemy into the ninety odd elements needed to form more sophisticated stars
and their planets. Much as uranium is changed into plutonium within a nuclear reactor,
so simple hydrogen is transmuted into new elements within the blazing nuclear engines.
Then, as radioactive stardust spewing away from each star is compressed through gravity
into further generations of stars, it is transformed still more into all the matter needed to
support life. God's process of continuous creation continues on this divine scale, for
astronomers now have incredible photographs of developing stars popping off like strings
of firecrackers along unimaginably long columns of hydrogen based stardust. Every day -
- yesterday and today and tomorrow, hundreds of millions of tons of this stardust drift
down to earth, growing our planet about an inch in diameter every million years. And if
that seems slow, it is only because you haven’t caught sight of God’s time frame!

        Jard has often wandered in awe under the stars in the clean, dry nights of the New
Mexico desert, trying to picture what the universe is really like out there. Finally, after half
a century of study, he only thinks he understands the Cosmos. He really doesn’t. There
is nothing simple about this god-like alchemy that culminated eventually in the meta-
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                14




universe in a time frame our flea-bitten, snaggle-toothed ancestors couldn’t possibly
understand. Indeed, how do we ourselves describe a wormhole that may open into a
parallel universe in a different space-time continuum? Or a cosmic singularity, a black
hole of ultimate density in which time and space cease to exist? Of course, the time span
and the distances of the Cosmos are much too vast for our limited human frames of
reference to comprehend. As people watching a movie in which each frozen frame lasts
longer than our lives, the universe only appears to be static because we don't live long
enough to see much of the show. This apparent lack of movement confused our
ancestors, especially ancient theologians and philosophers who tried to understand the
Cosmos in relationship to God without any real understanding of science to guide their
assumptions.

       Unfortunately, many individuals, denominations and bureaucracies have
       frozen that illusion of rigidity into their traditions and ideologies where
       it causes considerable harm when circumstances shift and they and their
       rigid organizations must adapt enthusiastically or perish.

ABOUT STARS AND SOULS

        According to researchers Alan Guth and Stephen Hawking, the Cosmos seems to
function beyond normal scientific principles in a metaphysical or spiritual manner.
Nothing shows this better than research into the origins of matter and life -- cosmology.
God has always functioned on an eternal time scale and that in itself causes some of the
conflicts between science and religion. We believe, while Islam, Judaism and Christianity
originated in Eastern mysticism, the time has come when we must weave Western
empiricism in with the mystical to keep our faith from becoming sterile and absurd. Of
course, we understand that many within different religions have clung to concepts that are
obviously impossible myths used by our ancestors to explain events they couldn’t
comprehend. Today, thoughtful souls can better understand nature’s laws -- but only
through long study for which few persons have the time. The laws of life are not simple
and very few things are what they appear to be to our unaided senses. And worse, our
understanding of nature through science keeps changing. And if there is anything we
humans consistently hate with a vehement passion, it is having to abandon anything we
learned once and for all while growing up! We do like our knowledge plain and simple,
without any shifting ambiguities to confuse us.

        To Isaac Newton, matter behaved much as billiard balls that bounce off of each
other. Billiard balls still bounce, but now, after Niels Bohr’s quantum mechanics research,
matter is better seen as waves of energy, as sub-atomic particles behaving much like
minute electronic solar systems whirling in constant motion. In short, most of the
apparently solid disc on which we work, is space and energy as empty as the long parsecs
between the great spiral galaxies. If Jard could align his molecules with the desk’s empty
spaces, he could ease his fist right through the wood. In other words, the skeptic who
says show me God and I’ll live a life of faith, is much like a physicist who rejects Bohr’s
quantum studies.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                              15




       Jard perceives the emerging of countless proto-universes, each one
       probably teeming with life, as God's vast existential vision of what was
       and is and forevermore shall be.

        Bohr saw existence much the same way in his brilliant research. Around 1910 in
Berlin, he teased his friend Albert Einstein, saying;


       Albert, you must stop telling God what he’s thinking. And you must stop
       telling the people what you’re telling God. You’re scaring the hell out of
       them.


      The Cosmos isn't some vast clockwork mechanism ticking ponderously along as
Newton thought and most persons still assume.


       Actually, energy, time, space and matter fuse in a virtually mystical
       manner which reveals their essential metaphysical nature and that is
       what Einstein was saying with E = mc2


         If you look far enough back in time through astronomy, you find yourself peering
right into the face of God doing a hands-on operation of the first magnitude. When Jard
was lecturing in the Executive Development Program at the University of Arizona, he
made a significant discovery. When he openly confessed his faith, it was as if he were
giving several other professors permission to discuss their own. They opened up and he
eventually discovered that the astronomers and cosmologists working at the Arizona’s
Kitts Peak astronomical laboratory, outnumbered psychologists, economists and other
earthbound scholars by two to one in the faith communities of Tucson. Like Jard, they
were filled with awe by the magnitude of the cosmos, and being intelligent scholars,
connected existence with the Cosmic Creator. We realize that the processes of creation
are incredibly complex but God puts no great premium on ignorance in any form. God is
indeed the seminal Lord of the Cosmos but to ignore scientific scholarship in the name of
faith, is to deny God's methods used in shaping and using matter and life to great and
majestic purposes. Through rigorous study, it has become obvious to all except the most
obtuse or reactionary persons, that the Cosmic Creator didn't wave Merlin's magic wand
or snap some mighty fingers once and for all in creation. We believe that ignoring God's
continuous creation processes is as close to heresy as denying Gods existence! We both
bow in awe when we catch glimpses of creation and we devoutly worship God the First
Cause, the Ultimate Personality of Cosmic Creation.

        Here now, are two incredible discoveries that should really make you question any
traditional or ideological assumptions about your life and place in the scheme of things.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                 16




FIRST -- Despite sounding manifestly impossible, minute bubbles of matter, smaller
than the period at the end of this sentence, contain enough hydrogen to form vast spiral
galaxies, each one containing billions of stars, galaxies that expand exponentially for
billions of years. These cosmic bubbles of inconceivable density flow out of God's heart
and mind to form entire island universes in countless dimensions. They are not only
isolated from each other in space but also within time. There is no way to get from one to
another even if we could travel faster than light. Sorry, all you Trekkies. We also enjoyed
the adventures of Jean Luc Piccard and Captain Janeway in the Star Trek saga, but it just
isn’t going to happen in the real cosmos. Not without mastering some exotic principles of
nature we haven’t even glimpsed yet.

SECOND -- If those galactic bubbles aren’t beyond comprehension, try to understand a
vastly more complex processes. The poisonous radioactive elements and compounds
spewed off by the stars, the three or four dollars worth of chemicals that form your body,
were transmuted into thinking and loving persons who once brought to life, perpetuate
their species. Roberta says that she has trouble understanding a flea, to say nothing of the
way children are conceived, programmed genetically to mature and grow to adulthood
with seldom a glitch. And she had three of them -- children, not fleas!

        No wonder Guth and Hawking say that the Cosmos seems metaphysical in nature
rather than simply a physical entity. It appears to transcend its own laws in complexity,
seems almost to live and breathe as if the personification of its Creator. No doubt they
are right. We two certainly cannot accept the development of life and love without
accepting the existence of a Lord of the Cosmos.

       We don't believe for one moment that the appearance of living creatures
       across our earth and sea and sky is the result of blind chance. There is
       unimaginable intelligence, vast wisdom and limitless power behind the
       arrival of we the products of that eerie looking, green-glowing stardust -
       - and that entity is the God who enters into a covenant relationship with
       every human who connects contritely and commits his or her life to
       spiritual growth and generous service to humanity.

        We are here because God's deepest passion has always been life, life in every
nook and cranny of our world. From the mountain peaks to the depths of the seas, life of
every shape and style emerges constantly. Life seems to ooze out of the very pores of
Mother Earth. The six or eight billion-year-old record of fossils in the rocks is staggering
in volume and complexity. When Jard was in graduate school and teaching science in the
Cincinnati school system, he’d occasionally take the kids fossil hunting with picks and
hammers along the creeks that carved passages through the chalk bed of the vast,
primordial Mississippian Sea. The white deposits are hundreds of feet thick with the
skeletal remains of creatures that look like everything from twigs to trilobites and one or
two inch long beaks of prehistoric squids. One year, a nearby farmer plowed up a giant
squid’s beak over four feet long. Even the professors at the University of Cincinnati,
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                   17




where we were studying at the time, had trouble estimating how long its arms must have
been. Perhaps, one of them finally ventured a guess, tentacles of sixty or more feet!

As anthropologist/priest Tielhard de Chardin expressed so brilliantly, life in the universe is
no accident - no one time collision of random factors that led eventually to humankind's
appearance on this lonely planet. Rather, life's forces of free radicals and electricity are
bubbling continually throughout the Cosmos, under enormous pressure to burst through
every seam on every viable world, into existence in every possible environment. Of
course, as children of the stars we simply cannot boast that God created the cosmos for
us alone, when one planet around an insignificant yellow sun would have been quite
enough.

       Here now is our crucial point about cosmic origins, about stars and humans.

       When God’s processes of Continuous Creation produced our species
       through cosmic alchemy, we retained the metaphysical nature of God
       and the Cosmos from which we came. No other species became so self-
       aware, with spiritual yearnings that go far beyond our physical and
       psychological needs. We are the only philosophical species. Like no
       other creatures -- we know that we know that we know. We think
       constantly about thinking and must find consistent spiritual sources of
       meaning and belonging or go spiritually bankrupt.

       We ponder being alive, wondering who we are, why we exist and where we are
going. After making a bad choice and receiving punishment, no dog lays awake
agonizing over what a bad thing he has done. To think about good and evil is a human
concept. So is success and failure. It is our intelligence, a vital part of the spiritual
unconscious of which Frankl wrote, that actively seeks more than bread and circuses,
more than power, possessions, prestige and pleasure. We live within the physical and
through the psychological. But we dare not neglect our philosophical needs or we wither
and blow away as rootless tumbleweeds vanish in a barren desert.

       Until we connect consciously to God by developing a purposeful and
       permanent covenant relationship, we remain fragile individuals trying
       to navigate our little boats on a desperately complex voyage that
       stretches from eternity to eternity with very little security while
       traversing the void. And it is from this challenge in an age of incessant
       change that the many existential frustrations of our era come to bedevil
       us!

        Fortunately, God, the Continuous Creator and Lord of the Cosmos in whom we
live and move and have our being, is the all-powerful and all-pervasive spirit who knows,
understands and loves all persons. In other words;
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                               18




       God loves you and all of your loved ones, although multitudes shut God
       out of their lives until they are unhappy, frustrated and in desperate
       spiritual straits. Then, with their souls wounded, they turn to any
       number of self-defeating ways in a futile search to find meaning.

       God’s obvious passion is life, life beyond understanding in every nook and cranny
of Earth and probably beyond our limited vision to populate the entire Cosmos.
Astronomers have now identified more planets beyond our solar system than within it.
We believe that God communicates with each person through the written and the living
word, through the Scriptures and through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. God also
speaks to humans of reality within the ever-maturing, ever-enlightening knowledge of the
different scientific disciplines. We insist on this;

       The universe throbs with God's passion for life; life under intense
       pressure to burst through at every seam in every viable environment, on
       every borning world. This is no little fly-by-night operation we are
       invited to join but the very purpose of existence! God’s passion is why
       there is something here rather than nothing at all.

       If we foolishly reject conscious spirituality or just ignore God through ignorance,
we are missing the main element of fulfillment. For the health of our souls, we must meet
our cosmic needs through the Lord of all life.

       Despite the quarrels of some fearful persons within formal religion and academic
research, there never has been any real conflict between spiritual wisdom and scientific
knowledge. There is nothing that should cause spiritually minded persons to cower in the
stagnant backwaters of research, education, the arts, commerce and government. Of
course, science considers the how of cosmic creation while religion deals with the why of
our extraordinary cosmos.

SELF FOCUS 1
Why do so many contemporary persons have trouble seeing God’s footprints
throughout the Cosmos spread so magnificently around us?


Do you live in the Cosmos without appreciating the incredible knowledge, power and
wisdom obvious in its creation?


God is pure spirit and while meaningful discipleship begins with a personal covenant with
the Creator, we must mature toward more sophisticated spirituality, even as our lives
encompass the physical, psychological and philosophical aspects of being. As 21st
century worshippers, who have seen beyond the medieval superstitions of the church, the
authors perceive God as the Seminal Spirit, whom Jesus called Heavenly Father so we
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                  19




could better understand his mission. We use Jesus' human analogy, although we realize
that God as spirit is forever beyond gender considerations. We see God as neither male
nor female --- or -- perhaps both at the same time. For while Jard recently enacted the
role of God in a play presented by the Aldersgate Church Theater Of The Spirit, he
doesn’t really know much about that! Intellectually, we see God as the Lord of the
Cosmos but emotionally we adore this grand Old Swedish hymn and sing it joyfully;

       Children of the heavenly Father
       Safely in his bosom gather;
       Nestling bird nor star in heaven
       Such a refuge e're was given.

       Neither life nor death shall ever
       From the Lord his children sever;
       Unto them his grace he showeth,
       And their sorrows all he knoweth.

        Along with Jesus, we each had a strong, spiritually minded earthly father through
whom to make such a loving association -- although we don't press the male analogy very
far. Obviously if this God-Ideal, as Otto Rank put it, is the ultimate spiritual role model
for women and men alike, the Cosmic Creator must have feminine characteristics equally
with masculine. Unless, of course, women really are inconsequential in God’s scheme of
things as so many neurotic men pretend. Roberta thinks it heretical to portray God
through testosterone driven blustering in order to deny women first class spiritual
citizenship and opportunities for religious leadership. She bet her happiness on it.
Roberta broke off a marriage engagement with Anthony, a young Southern minister who
after they fell in love, demanded her meek obedience for the rest of her life. He claimed
the Bible appointed each man the family master, regardless of his neuroticism or
ignorance.

        Boy, did he ever have the wrong girl! She soon bailed out and married Jard who
supported and encouraged her to become a spiritually maturing woman. Jard had no
desire to keep Roberta standing obediently two paces to his rear and one to his left,
subordinate to men less competent than herself in life's activities. He accepts as valid the
ancient Chinese wisdom that women indeed do hold up half the sky. Of course, Jard and
Roberta, feel deep sorrow for the millions of long-suffering women in some thirty
thousand fundamental churches across the United States who have fewer than twenty
women pastors with whom to share their most intimate yearnings. We feel they have
been brainwashed by their men to accept second class citizenship for generations. Or else
they dabble in spirituality for an hour or two on Sunday and live a secular life-style the
rest of the week! We are happy to report that even Anthony grew up to become a true
hero of the church in the New Orleans civil rights struggles during the previous
generation. We have an old newspaper photo of him crossing the picket line of rage-filled
bigots cursing and spitting on him and throwing feces at his little girls going into the
school with their black classmates. And amazingly, just recently, one of the women who
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                 20




led that fight against equal schooling for all of New Orleans kids, admitted on a news
program that she is now deeply ashamed of the role she played to keep segregation in
force. Today she lives and works and relates comfortably in an integrated community.
She too matured spiritually and emotionally, although a great many haters never did.
They remained filled with bigotry and hate, growing more and more barren while life
passed them by. Fortunately -- there can be maturity for all who will listen to God’s still,
small voice guiding them toward the light.

A CONSCIOUS AWAKENING

An old and treasured friend asked Roberta for advice because she respects her spiritual
values. Donna explained that her brother Warren, long the black-sheep of their family,
had become obsessed with religion. After a soap opera life-style filled with conflicts,
disappointments and a messy divorce, Warren claimed to have had a spiritual awakening
that makes life deeply satisfying. His persistence was annoying to his older sister. When
Donna paused to catch her breath, Roberta asked about Warren. She wanted to know
what was currently going wrong in the brother's soap opera life. Donna hesitated for a
moment before answering.

       Well, nothing actually. Warren’s stopped his carousing and running
       around with other women and has gone back to Susie. He’s patched
       things up with the kids and taken up his career. He’s paying off his
       debts with interest.

       Roberta couldn’t resist the temptation.

       And that disappoints you?

       Donna was annoyed with her question.

       Of course not! I’m pleased for him but he keeps calling to talk about my
       lack of faith. Warren is fanatic about it. He wants me to accept Christ,
       to relate to God as he has; whatever that means. Why should I, when
       I’ve never messed up my life as he did?

Seldom has anyone opened a door so wide for spiritual witness about the vital faith factor
in a life of personal satisfaction! Roberta quickly pointed out the difference to Donna
between a casual acceptance of religious beliefs and a focusing of one’s life in a covenant
relationship or a personal connection with God. For, her friend was wrong about not
needing a relationship because she'd never made the mistakes Warren had. We know
Donna too well to accept that - her tragic triad of suffering, guilt and death is as real as
yours or ours. Eunice Tietjens spoke for all of us in her poem written metaphorically in
blood during the desperate days of World War I.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                21




      I have too many selves to know the one.
      In too selfish a schooling was I bred.
      Child of too many cities that have gone
      Down wicked crossroads of evil schemes,
      And at too many altars bowed my head
      To light holy fires to self-proclaimed gods.

         Warren was phoning Donna to share the good news that his spiritual slate was
wiped clean, that he was empowered to start life over anew with a spiritual restoration so
dramatic Jesus called it being born again. His life is far more satisfying than it had been
during his locust years and he lives with a new sense of purpose and permanence in
something greater than his narcissistic appetites. Rather than selfishly grabbing all the
pleasure he can, he now lives with an accepting, loving life-style. No wonder he wanted
to tell his sister about it! He'd found the strength and courage to become the kind of
husband he always wanted to be and could never become in his own strength. Donna
may have been annoyed but Susie was delighted since she’d never stopped loving
Warren. He is no longer a cosmic orphan in a cold and dangerous universe and that
changes everything in their marriage. He's ended his spiritual bankruptcy through God's
grace and is at peace with the Lord of the Cosmos, with Susie and their children for the
first time in his life. He is consciously connected to God and cannot be silent about his
consistently satisfying life.

        Each person who seeks satisfaction, whether good or bad or more realistically a
combination of both spiritual and secular, has to deal with the tragic human triad of
suffering, guilt and death. Because of our primordial ancestors’ terrifying experiences as
fangless and weak little hominids, struggling to survive the great felines and canines on
the African Savannah, we still have hidden deep within our souls an anxiety that never
completely vanishes. This homosapien angst includes the potential for greed, rage,
dishonesty and violence when we feel frightened, devalued or endangered. We don’t
have to point out that every person who ever lived has suffered from various sources, life
teaches us that. We fear pain and try every way possible to avoid it but it is part and
parcel of human existence. Our suffering includes physical distress from accidents and
illnesses and emotional pain from the loss of loved ones and, for example, the suffering
from being discarded by a lover. Existential frustration or spiritual bankruptcy causes
philosophical distress. Then too, every person with the slightest grasp on reality realizes
we are all doomed creatures. We perish and to go the way of all flesh. William
Shakespeare expressed it well when he wrote in one of his brilliant plays;

       Every man born of woman owes God a death that shall be collected at the
       time and place of God’s choosing.

Between the beginning and the end of human existence, every person must cope with the
distressing feelings of fear, inadequacy and guilt that are buried deep within the
unconscious aspects of each soul. No one escapes unscathed the death dread that comes
from our approaching extinction. Neither do we miss the guilt that follows our sins of
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                  22




commission and omission. None of us, except for paranoid psychopaths, go through life
without making choices that we regret and also failing to do many decent things we
should have done. Our greed and our fear of being hurt sees to that. Even today, both of
us can think back and feel twinges of guilt and relive times of inadequacy that come from
relationships we bungled as teenagers and from choices we handled badly in adulthood.
We have no doubt that the parents of the youthful shooters in the Littleton, Colorado
tragedy at Columbine High School were crushed by their guilt of commission and
omission. Actually, the only secular way to get rid of the tragic triad with its suffering,
guilt and death dread is by repressing our anxieties into our psychological unconscious.
There they fester and disrupt almost every activity and relationship we have. To break the
grip of the tragic triad, to mature beyond the turmoil it causes, we must step up to a higher
level of personal responsibility. Here is the truth of the matter.

Over fifty years we have synthesized the work of the best psychologists in the world and
have discovered that science and faith, psychology and religion and psychotherapy and
worship are far closer and more crucial to satisfaction than most persons realize. Both
well up out of our human traits; they come from our need to deal with the tragic triad, to
find security and peace in our complex world. After discarding our homosapien
anxieties, rage and guilt, after connecting with God, we discover for ourselves what the
deeply dedicated physician Albert Schweitzer meant when he wrote;

       We must stop attributing our personal and cultural evil to other persons
       and to society, and learn to exercise our own wills and to accept our
       responsibilities in the realm of faith, worship and morals.

Indeed, a conscious commitment to God includes a regained sense of personal worth and
responsibility for self and humankind or it is a self-serving and bogus connection. Early
Christian faith was intensely personal, including a conscious relation- ship with Jesus
when he was alive and later, metaphysically in the spirit. Unfortunately, after a few
hundred years that personalized faith was lost as a secular nobility and a church
aristocracy ripped Christianity away from the people and reorganized the faith for their
own benefit. The concept of meeting God personally was discarded in favor of a
hierarchy that stood in the door to determine who would be acceptable to God and who
wouldn’t. The priesthood substituted ritual which they could control for a personal faith
they couldn’t, demanded payment for deliverance and used torture against dissenters that
would have gagged a Nazi storm trooper. As late as 1960 the Magdalene Society of
Ireland was still flogging, starving and working to death poor pregnant girls who’d come
to them for help. The psychotic Mother Superior called it redemption through penance
but it was a vicious punishment scheme right out of the horrors of the medieval church.
No wonder that Pope John Paul, as he approached the end of his life, suffered much guilt
for the way his church completely justified the assailing Muslims, burning odd women as
witches, murdering heretics and Protestants during the Inquisition and failing to challenge
Germany’s destruction of European Jewry during the Holocaust.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                  23




The Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran traditions have always stressed growth in faith
through the sacraments and learning rather than a dramatic Damascus Road experience in
which St. Paul was knocked senseless from his saddle when God finally got his attention.
Obviously, there is much good to be said about rearing children in the faith from their
earliest days. We know only enough theology to get into trouble with it but we do
understand that at the very least a personal commitment is sound psychology and good
theology. Which is why denominations that forty years ago wouldn't have anything to do
with Billy Graham's relational ministry, now have prominent pastors and laypersons
leading city wide crusade teams! They have learned that spiritually committed women
and men make more faithful members than those who merely agree that faith is nice and
possibly more satisfying than a secular lifestyle.

SELF FOCUS 2
Why would a personal commitment be more meaningful than a casual acknowledgement
that God exists and that faith is good?


Why would it be better to combine a life-focusing covenant relationship with God with
a maturing spiritual life-style rather than demanding that people make an either/or
choice?


FAITH’S REWARDS

        Although it is difficult for secular skeptics to believe that joy and satisfaction is
found through a spiritual life-style, we can prosper in many ways through our faith. This
can now be seen through a large body of research. Psychiatrist Raymond Moody, some
years ago, researched and wrote the amazing book called Life After Life. In it he
described scores of experiences through which persons from all walks of life died
clinically and then were called back through heroic medical procedures. Multitudes of
persons, perhaps as many as several million, including Roberta who bled to death during
the birth of our third child and was revived miraculously, went through the now famous
tunnel to the light on the other side of life and then returned to complete earthly missions.
The life after life experience has become too common to deny, although some scientists
legitimately debate its cause. However, most researchers see it as a real event. From time
to time we catch glimpses that existence isn’t all over for us with the death of the brain
and body -- some aspect of our soul seems divine and linked forever with the God who
brought us into existence. We suspect the human race has been experiencing this for a
long time, which would account for the elaborate Egyptian celebration of life after life
during the ages of the pharaohs.

       We can also verify the power of prayer in our lives as believers after relating to
God. Professor of Cardiology Randolph Byrd of the University of California Medical
School in San Francisco studied some 400 patients at San Francisco General Hospital
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                    24




over a period of several years. They were in the Cardiology Unit with massive heart
attacks or severe chest pains that required serious treatment. Dr. Byrd conducted
traditional double blind research in which neither the health care professionals nor the
patients knew which half of the sufferers were being prayed for - in addition to the best
care the hospital could offer them. Their names were sent to church groups around the
Bay area for regular prayers. The two hundred control patients received the precise same
medical treatment but without consistent prayer. The results were spectacular, far beyond
statistics, almost beyond belief!

        According to Larry Dossey, M D, who has written Meaning And Medicine and
Healing Words (The Power Of Prayer), the group being prayed for reacted precisely as if
the patients were being given a miraculous new medication. The 200 being prayed for,
although taken at random in a double blind, had far fewer deaths, required less surgery
and were soon put on a much milder medication schedule. They healed more quickly
than the control 200. Dr. Dossey reports that had any new drug been so effective, it
would have been hailed world wide as a modern medical miracle. Dossey cites some one
hundred and thirty research studies, which show that prayer heals, and how it is
connected with the temporal area of the brain's right hemisphere! We can call this
telepathy or communicating with God or whatever, but the truth is; When we pray for
you with love, compassion and concern, knowing we are connected with God, something
good happens to you! Also -- the other way around when you pray for us.

        From the day Jard learned that his innocent nephew on Death Row in an Arizona
prison was getting an appeal hearing, he prayed that justice would be served, that the
judge would see the truth and release David. What happened at the hearing? Within
forty-five minutes the judge threw the conviction out as being without any merit and sent
David home with his mother and father. When we connect with God -- we also connect
with each other and it can be a fulfilling connection! It was a tremendous victory over evil
men and systems through prayer.

SELF FOCUS 3
Do you know anyone who returned from the other side?


When have you seen sincere and loving prayers work miracles?


ABOUT BELIEF

The operative word in the all-time favorite gospel song Amazing Grace is believe; to
believe God's great spiritual revelation to humankind. Some years ago, the story goes, a
college pre-med student told her professor of New Testament Studies that she could no
longer believe the Bible, that it was filled with impossibilities such as the virgin birth, the
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                 25




calling forth of Lazarus from the tomb and the resurrection of Jesus. The professor smiled
benevolently and explained.

       Mary Ellen those are the little issues, the starter beliefs to get you
       moving in the right direction. If you think those are odd, wait until you
       find that Jesus expects you to come for communion and to believe that
       the big and ragged, scary-looking black man kneeling beside the altar
       rail is your brother in Christ. And that you are being called to leave your
       prestigious medical practice to serve as a clinic doctor to the Hottentots
       of Africa. That you are to take up your cross daily and follow Christ in
       simplicity as the Shakers taught rather than buying a new Mercedes
       coupe every other year. That’s what you shall find almost impossible to
       believe!

        Viktor Frankl, Jard's mentor in this distinctly spiritual approach of Logotherapy,
wrote that each person has a deeply philosophical nature, the spiritual unconscious, that
is as vital to health as the psychological unconscious discussed by Freud. Of course
Christian philosophers have always taught this in the church’s dual emphasis on personal
redemption and maturing discipleship. Research reveals in a variety of studies that men
and women who hold strong spiritual beliefs - who live with a focused faith, hope and
love -- with God’s grace, have far fewer physical, psychological and philosophical
ailments than those who do not. Life is much more satisfying in a wide number of ways
when we consciously connect to God through a personal covenant relationship with
Christ.

Sound research studies also reveal that women who relate to God have about sixty
percent more sexual orgasms, of a deeply satisfying nature, than irreligious women do.
Also, husbands and wives who consistently worship together are sixty-eight percent more
likely to enjoy loving, peaceful lives. Quarrels, child and spouse abuse, divorce and
family abandonment are reduced enormously in families that worship together.

        In other words, if you want to marry well, to have a long, deeply satisfying sexual
relationship with someone who will be a supportive lover for life, with a true partner who
shall not abuse or abandon you and your children, you'll cut the odds of failure by more
than half through finding your soul-mate within a faith community. Of course you shall
have to continue maturing spiritually through your own acts of grace in order to meet the
needs of your spiritual unconscious.

         Accepting Jesus, becoming conscious of God's grace, being born again,
establishing a covenant relationship or committing your life to Christ -- is an early step
toward maturing spiritually. Then we must love each other and pray regularly for one
another. A fulfilling life through a covenant relationship and service to humankind isn’t at
all like buying a ticket on the Boston to New York shuttle. We are required to keep paying
our dues to the people with whom we share life and love. Warren has discovered this as
he keeps pedaling his bicycle along and we hope his sister does also.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                  26




        Here is a great starting point. God the Cosmic Creator and Seminal Spirit is open
to all souls who hunger and thirst for a spiritual restoration. No one gender, race, class,
country, congregation, denomination, political party or economic system is more precious
to God than any other.

        God offers us a come as you are invitation!

        Unfortunately, we regularly see nihilistic, narcissistic persons pretending that God
loves them, their political parties, countries and companies best, in order to claim power
and prestige over and to collect money from others. Such narcissistic religious, racial or
gender exclusivity and superiority is always an egoistic, all too selfish way of dominating
others, of boasting;

       I speak for God so all you inferior sinners must bow to my spiritual
       superiority. You must believe as I believe, worship as I worship and even
       vote as I vote or the God who gives me power over you, shall reject you
       as unworthy of associating with we the better people.

        This is the narcissistic, pharisaic sin of spiritual neuroticism that Jesus condemned
more harshly than any other human failing. He blasted the religious egoists of his day,
calling them empty cups with nothing to offer, calling them brightly painted tombs filled
with rotten bones rather than life. Unfortunately, the more frustrated and alienated from
God and each other persons become, the greater the temptation to pretend that one is
superior to the rest of humanity. That way, the pretenders' spiritually bankrupt don't
seem quite so meaningless. Of course, it is all a sham -- any form of exclusivity and
superiority is devastating to spirituality and loving relationships. Superiority pretensions
really are a form of neuroticism, a defense mechanism by which possessions, pleasure,
power and prestige are substituted for a spiritual sense of purpose and permanence.
Spiritually maturing persons don't need egoistic self-deception to feel good about
themselves. They can prosper without making others look bad. They are able to see the
good in other women and men without becoming petty and mean spirited. Ranier Maria
Rilke cautions us in these words:

       All those who seek God tempt Thee,
       And many who find solace would bind Thee,
       To gesture and to form, to ritual and release.
       As if their small candle had banished the darkness!

       Alberta Jernigan of Houston spoke at a recent conference of Christian women.

       We affluent American Christians are the fortunate of the world. We are
       the people who must express love by doing all we can for suffering
       humankind. Henry and I worked hard for decades to build our oil
       business but we never grew greedy and mean as so many financially
       driven business people do. We never tried to pull up the ladder after
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                   27




       ourselves as many Texas politicians did when they sold out to the racists
       and sexists. God has blessed us, but our love becomes real only when we
       serve others.

        Love makes a tremendous difference in our values, attitudes, activities and
relationships. As we said above, perceptive writers from John the Beloved to world-class
psychologist Carl Rogers report there are two basic types of persons.

       There are those who love others and those who do not love.

        We, Roberta and Jard, take that one step further. There are many reactionary
persons in business, government, education and even in the church who are so filled with
frustration, fear, greed and resentment that they cling desperately to the past. They are
unable to love freely, unwilling to adapt when change threatens them and thus they
cripple themselves and their families because life keeps shifting inexorably around them.
There are also courageous women and men who accept change as it comes, adapting in
new activities and relationships, thinking creatively about life and their place in it, loving
others deeply. They go on, empowering their families and organizations psychospiritually
in confusing times.

SELF FOCUS 4
What difference do you see in the lives of persons who love and those who fail to love
and accept others?


       Each loving believer needs to deliberately affirm,

       I really do begin with a conscious commitment to God and connect
       consciously in a community where I belong.


        Otherwise, our relationship with God remains passive and weak rather than active
and strong. Of course, as Christians we do believe that a covenant connection occurs
through faith, hope and love in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must work at developing
sources of meaning and create places of the heart in which we meet with the people with
whom we share love and life. All our maturing attitudes, activities and relationships begin
with God and probably end with God.           As we commit our lives spiritually through
purposeful activities, focusing our powers within God's grace, our lives do become
satisfying. We shall not always be happy, although we have often heard thoughtless
young people assert that a spiritual commitment resolves all of life's difficulties. They're
mistaken; their problem is that they haven't lived long enough to gain wisdom about life's
Tragic Triad of suffering, guilt and death. They don't realize that on the average of five
years, every person, family, church, company and community faces a major problem that
cannot be resolved but must be bravely endured. The great floods that ravaged much of
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                 28




America over several years ruined spiritual and secular people alike. Kindly saints lost
everything as quickly as violent dope dealers.

SELF FOCUS 5
Why are so many persons apparently unable to love others?


What noble purpose might God have for your life?


REAL WORLD SPIRITUALITY

        It is obvious to any thoughtful person that our spiritual conflicts are real enough.
Humans do indeed have the desire to be in control, to force other persons to yield to our
choices, to rule the roost as we did so briefly in childhood. Yet, there is also that inner
aspect of the mind Frankl calls the spiritual unconscious. We all start with an inner
response to the way life should be lived, a sensitivity to beauty, love, decency and
wholeness. Immanuel Kant, the philosopher, called this tendency the moral law within
each human soul. Kant felt there was no way to explain it, that this law existed within
everyone from creation. We believe it is what our ancestors in the living religions of the
world called the god-ache -- the yearning to be connected to the Seminal Spirit. We have
discovered through our decades of research, counselling and teaching, that any attempt to
understand the meaning of life must account for Kant’s universal conscience that exists
within human hearts and minds. We all want to feel good about ourselves. We strive
constantly to increase our times of satisfaction in ways that reveal how nature itself is
thrilled by the joy of wholeness in working and playing, loving and learning and in
worshipping and persevering. But, along with this need for completeness, nature has also
arranged that is almost impossible for humans to find fulfillment directly in our activities
and relationships. As with so much of life, we have to use a by-product approach.

We humans have our spiritual unconscious that leads us to seek the love, grace and
beauty of God. This is the ultimate source of all music, art and creativity as we live
communally with those who appreciate and support us. Of course, we also wish to be
unique, to shine greater than our peers, to dominate them in order to gain the lion’s share
of life’s benefits. The first motive comes from our fear of being alone, our horror of
isolation, of being at the mercy of nature, having to rely on the scant physical, emotional
and spiritual resources we carry within ourselves. We want to love and to be loved, to co-
mingle with our peers in all manner of ways. This desire to be part of something
important from which we gain respect creates feelings of self-transcendence. This is the
religious love called agape, the delightful uniting of the creature with the Creator that
leads to conscious kinship with the Cosmos and its elements. Psychoanalyst Otto Rank
put it this way;
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                 29




       For only by living in close union with a God-Ideal that exists outside our
       own ego, are we able to exist at all.

        The need to connect with the divine isn’t merely a simple superstition or a search
for assurance because of our limitations in a vast and dangerous Cosmos -- even if that is
what some contemporary researchers think. They assume that the concept of God is a
human invention used to compensate for the terrors of existence. Actually, faith and
belief are developing perceptions of what is really going on in this incredibly complex
Cosmos of which we are each so small a part. Connecting is an out flowing of our human
need for completeness -- now and forever in a self-transcending relationship with the
Cosmic Creator that lifts us up and out of ourselves. As Rank said, we cannot prosper
alone, in our own strength, although in our secular society, many abandon spirituality
along with simplistic forms of worship, neglecting faith, hope and love and trying to
prosper with inadequate searches for satisfaction. Such persons starve spiritually while
going to great lengths to fill their emptiness with possessions, power, prestige and
pleasure -- becoming careerists, gamesters, gangsters, recluses and even deviants. They
become existentially frustrated and alienated in the midst of the greatest prosperity of all
history; then wonder why they feel lost in life, stuck in a swamp of meaninglessness that
breaks their spirits and leaves then feeling purposeless.

        This is the other side of human nature. Along with the universal search for love
and support that we call agape or divine love, we often yearn to dominate and manipulate
others -- to stand superior to all the world, to win prestige and enjoy pride as if one were
god-like. While the self-transcendent aspects of life are called agape or divine love, these
narcissistic elements are certainly eros or sensual love. This is far more than mere
sexuality, including all forms of potency and power. This includes the urge -- the
compulsion -- for a life free from rules and regulations, for exciting experiences, the
unfettered development of one’s powers, the longing to rise above nature and to win
prestige greater than one’s peers through pleasure and possessions. This is the urge to
maximize one’s personal gifts, to achieve on one’s own terms through self-expansion.
However, if we focus too completely on eros we become ruthless predators. If we live
only with agape, we fail to develop our powers to any large extent. As Tough Tony said
in his bicycle analogy, Ya gotta keep yer balance!

SELF FOCUS 6
What is the greatest barrier to becoming a consistently spiritual person in the real
world of work and play, love, worship and study?


What does Otto Rank mean when he writes that only by holding to a God-ideal can we
prosper at all?
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                 30




INDIVIDUALITY CELEBRATED

        We, Roberta and Jard, really do see a need for faith communities that enable souls
to mature spiritually with God. We read the Scriptures, which we study as God's
theological statement to humankind rather than a scientific document. In fact, any
attempt to turn theology into science distorts God's message and puts the church on an
intellectual level with the Flat Earth Society. According to Christianity from the
beginning, we are connected to serve as God's change agents, as yeast in society rather
than as conservators of orthodoxy, as embalming fluid. The early Christians were
accused of turning the world upside down in their enthusiasm over connecting with God,
but few of us have been so criticized lately! Of course we want to keep the best of the past
-- those elements of life that enhance fulfillment, but never to defend the evils of racism,
sexism, greed and violent nationalism that many individuals and congregations have
made central to their narcissistic views of religion. Remember, a basic human principle is
this;

       Women and men continue making the choices and maintaining the
       relationships that satisfy them or appear to reward them, while ending
       the relationships and activities that fail to please them.

        Because this is true, the ninety plus percent of Western Europeans who attend
church less than once per year and the masses of young Americans who have abandoned
their parents’ congregations, find little of value in Christianity as previous generations
practiced it. Nevertheless, living with a connection to God is crucial in keeping our love
focused. However, there are several different levels of commitment. So much of religion
goes against the untamed, homosapien traits that still trouble humankind that becoming a
disciple is never easy. Serving God in our society still martyrs a great many women and
men who take the teachings of Jesus seriously.

        We must accept as completely acceptable to God that women and men connect,
worship God and serve others in many different ways. Human personality is too complex
for uniformity, as are faith and the church. Our one small candle never casts out the
greater darkness. We light up life only by uniting with others in places where we belong.
Roberta made a simple confession of her childhood sins when little more than a toddler.
The Nazi murderer of millions, Herman Goering, confessed his many crimes and
connected with God just before he was scheduled to be executed. Billy Graham, for
some years excluded ministers and congregations with a more sophisticated mind-set
than his rural fundamental view of Christianity. He had some success but his sinful pride
of exclusivity, limiting God to the people and cultures he was comfortable with,
weakened his ministry. It was not until he matured enough spiritually to bring into his
relational campaigns to congregations of all persuasions that his ministry became
international in scope. He lost some rigid Pharisees from his entourage but he eventually
became the most successful evangelist of all time by sketching a cosmic connection in
broad outlines and then trusting God to fill in the details in each person’s life.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                                    31




        Many confuse esthetics with spirituality, apparently unaware that humans have
always been a religious species -- that every one of our previous civilizations was built
around religious beliefs. Some of the worship was simplistic and occasionally very cruel
as with the Aztecs, but the clergy were scholars and engineers and often rulers. Humans
have always craved mystic, supernatural experiences and relationships to feel at home in a
vast and mysterious Cosmos. That is our yearning to connect with our Creator and we
are all vulnerable until we develop meaningful spiritual practices that take us closer to
God’s ideal for us in the community in which we belong.

SELF FOCUS 7
What should a personal commitment to God include?


Where is worship on your list of priorities?


Do you feel best about yourself when you are enjoying a spiritual relationship?


PROJECT ONE -- CONNECTING PERSONALLY

Write your reaction to the following or discuss the implications of each step with a
Spiritually minded friend you trust. Spell out your choices to clarify your spiritual
commitment or a renewal of your covenant with God.

FIRST -- Recognize the reality of your human narcissism, sin, guilt, and psychospiritual
dissatisfaction as a finite being in an imperfect world. Confront the regret caused by your
failures.

       Confess your shortcomings to God. Admit that you are, like everyone else,
       struggling spiritually, imperfect in your attitudes, activities and relationships,
       until you connect with God. Be honest, confess your limitations, failures and
       disappointments. Abandon your selfish attitudes and activities. Let your heart
       surrender and grow tender because of life’s pain and guilt.

SECOND -- Acknowledge that the Lord of the Cosmos is indeed the God-Ideal of
confused, troubled humanity.

       Not only confess that you are flawed and often frustrated, accept the fact
       that Jesus assumed the persona of a human and lived to complete God’s
       revelation so you can overcome the Tragic Triad of suffering, guilt and
       death and become a spiritually-minded, authentic person in your search
       for satisfaction.
Fulfillment Through Faith, Hope and Love                                             32




THIRD -- Commit your life to God in a covenant agreement that connects yourself to
consistent spirituality.

       Talk it over with God, promising that you do indeed repent your sins,
       accept Christ as your redeemer and consciously agreed to enter the
       fellowship of spiritually and morally transformed women and men.
       Consistently work toward becoming a more loving, more mature and
       accepting soul who shares life with every person possible in God's
       family. Then, serve society wisely and well as a committed disciple!

       After half a century of research and experience, studying some 15,000 volumes and
dealing with many thousands of students, communicants and clients, we know of no
other way. Neither did Kierkegaard, Jung, Horney, Rank, Becker, Frankl, Perle and the
rest of the best.




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