Expanding Our Oasis
From the Gospel of Thomas, an ancient text found at Nag Hamadi in Egypt in 1945 the following words of Yeshua of Nazareth were recorded:
(3) Jesus said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will go before you; if they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will go before you.
But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you.
When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father.
But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.
As of this writing in Nov. 2023, at AHIAH CSL Pasadena, we are in the midst of our annual prosperity series and exploring the idea of Becoming the Oasis of Life, for ourselves and for others. One definition of oasis that I resonate with came from ChatGpt AI which says that an oasis is “a pleasant or peaceful area in the midst of a difficult, troubled, or hectic place or situation.”
The reason that this resonates so deeply for me is that I have found the AHIAH spiritual community to be a place of oasis, refuge, and sanctuary.
I came to AHIAH when it was the Pasadena Church of Religious Science (originally 1st Church of Religious Science back in 1942 when it was founded) because I have always been a seeker of the spirit. I was led there by synchronicity and coincidence. I had no intention of becoming a practitioner or a minister. But as my prayer partner JW would say, “God Knows and God Shows!”
Even as a child I was super curious and often accused of being too curious or even nosy. My grandmother and my aunts would say to me, almost on a daily basis, “Hush boy! You ask too many questions!” Invariably I would protest and ask, “But why? I wanna know!”
Once I almost had my mouth “washed out with soap” (at least that was the threat) when I asked my 2nd-grade teacher, a nun, an innocently curious question.
“How could God burn me in hell forever, if he loved me?”
“I wouldn’t do that to someone I loved,” I dared say.
She turned the reddest I have ever seen a human being turn and then trembling with fury, threatened me to not ever dare to say that again. It felt like she would have burnt me at the stake if there was one nearby.
But alas, I suffered from insatiable curiosity and often in my prayers asked the God of my understanding to clear things up for me and to help me understand this mess of religiosity that I had discovered. For I discovered early in life that there were thousands and thousands of religions who all claimed to be true!
Fortunately, that thing we call Intuition, or the voice of God in humankind, was active in my life early on, and the saving grace for me was that I was listening.
The positions these various religions held and taught, at least the ones I was exposed to at a very young age, were mostly fear-based, and I knew inside of me that God was Love. So, I experienced very early in life a state of cognitive dissonance.
“Cognitive dissonance” is a term used in western traditional psychology to describe the mental discomfort or stress that a person experiences when they hold two or more contradictory beliefs, values, or attitudes.
The fact that I had folks around me who believed differently, in a God to be feared, created an inner conflict that drove me to become a lifelong seeker of a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit within me. From my own experience, I believe that it’s in the seeking that we become open to the answers that are already inside of us. We must have our own experience and cannot be “saved” from the experience of another person.
As Yeshua said, “When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. “
I realize that my cognitive dissonance was a type of divine discontent that led me to want to have my own experience of God. In the Christian scriptures, it’s referred to as being baptized of the water and of blood. The “water” is knowledge and the “blood” being the experience, the knowing, the gnosis of the Spirit.
My experience at AHIAH over the past 25 years is that our intention is to Be the Love that God is, in our community, our neighborhood, and with one another. We prove this by being the oasis for one another and taking the love and learning back into our families and the world. I feel that I am a better volunteer in my prison ministry and the work I am doing in the land of my ancestors because of the loving support I have received from my Ahiah Oasis.
At AHIAH, we have a design for living that coincides with my personal philosophy of life, which is to Love one another as God loves us.
I am grateful that I found Ahiah back in 1998 and so very grateful for the continuous stream of classes, workshops, spiritual gatherings, and the spirit of continuous learning that guides me to continue my Earth School journey as an Oasis of the Divine.
I also appreciate the prosperity consciousness of the AHIAH community that supports me in knowing I can never outgive God and that the dreams of my heart to create a world that works for everyone is God’s dream coming to life through me.
Listen to the inner voice of the Divine Presence and join us in expanding our Ahiah Oasis so we can do even more good in the world. You are the essence of that loving Oasis!
“Before you formulate a desire in mind, it is God in you desiring. Before you have an urge…there is a moving of Spirit in you prompting you in that direction.”
Eric Butterworth, Spiritual Economics