It is a mark of the futuristic vision of the School of Metaphysics that its very existence confounds people.
Most people cannot understand that a group of individuals who come from different backgrounds, interests, religions, parts of the country and indeed the world can have anything in common, much less share a unified vision of what will be.
They are most perplexed when they hear that what SOM students and teachers learn invigorates and stimulates them to volunteer their efforts without thought of recompense. It is particularly the lack of financial reward ("….you don't get paid for teaching….lecturing….tending the bookstore….answering the phone….traveling to a meeting…!!") that challenges the limits of the average consciousness.
I know it was most intriguing to me when I was first exposed to it years ago. Responding to other's questions through the years has resulted in amazing expansions in my own consciousness.
This was brought home to me, over and over, as I shared with so many new and old friends the gifts that were presented at the 25th anniversary celebration.
Of all the gifts that were presented, the greatest gift any of us gave, that any of us ever give, is our time. On November 1st this manifested in many forms – a beautiful etching, a song, a "virtual" manifestation of our common dream, a play based upon over 200 intuitive reports written, directed, acted, and scored by students, and so many others.
The greatest gift in all of these is the time we invested to be free to give.
That is what life is.
Life is a series of moments. The quality of your life is totally determined by the choices you make in how you spend your time. To give a gift signifies time well spent. It is effort well spent that returns to us many fold in the spirit with which the gift was given. This is according to Universal Law.
Joy, omnipresent on Sunday, was the outstanding vibratory quality noted by Dr. Gerry Hatcher who is known for her keen perceptiveness. This is joy that arises only in the giver.
When I stood before the group to offer closing comments of the weekend, I was still in awe of the joy symbolized in these wonderful gifts and so I embraced that moment of speechlessness.
I remember mumbling, "I don't know what to say". And someone, I don't know who, responded, "How 'bout "Thank you?'"
I replied, "Yes, that." At that moment a stream of consciousness uniting the pairs of opposites arose within me. It was a moment of realization, of understanding thanksgiving in a new way, thanking everyone and thanking no one.
We all receive the benefit of the gifts we give one another. We exist within the same universe. The enlightened know giving is the reward in itself. This I have learned through volunteering, through the intention behind my actions, the thought in my giving. "Renunciation of reward" as the Bhagavad Gita describes it.
I watch my very good friend Dr. Laurel Clark continue to volunteer her time, her effort, her talent, her wisdom, her skills in so many areas to each of us through what we call the School of Metaphysics. All the while she is experiencing many forms of personal challenge and hardship as represented by the progressively failing health of her husband and the accompanying requirements upon her energies and her time that brings. Through it all she has never failed to give. She has never looked for ways out of teaching a class or asked to be relieved of duties we all depend upon her to fulfill. She has not asked for a sabbatical, although it would be very well deserved.
The same can be said of Dr. Pam Blosser whose mother withdrew last year and whose father is nearing his completion of life as I write this. Or Dr. Daniel Condron whose considerable talents and skills could be employed elsewhere yet he chooses to serve here, in Windyville. Each received all lessons SOM offers years ago. They could have left SOM then but they did not.
These people continue to give to the School of Metaphysics because they know how much they have received from it. They give in every way, even financially. This has been a little known fact, and would have remained so had I not encouraged Dr. Laurel to come forward concerning her generous, and originally anonymous, financial contribution for SOM's 25th anniversary. A few years ago it was a sizeable financial contribution from the Blossers that enabled us to spread word of the Universal Hour of Peace across the globe.
When I hear of people who are not allocating their resources to pay their minimum share of their own School's donations I know it is time they learn the truth. Someone made sure the School of Metaphysics was there for me when I was ready. The same is true for you. Someone cared enough to give so you could receive.
All people who believe in the School, what it is, what it can be, practice what they teach. We are the ones who insure there is a School of Metaphysics for every seeker of enlightenment. We all contribute to SOM in all ways.
These gifts you usually don't hear about because we teach to give, particularly money, in secret. This helps the student learn an essential lesson: it is not important who knows what you have to give, it is important that you give. (Reference holy scripture passages)
So it has always been in the School of Metaphysics. The "ten fold money" collected in each school each month is given in secret. And the cries of joyful surprise still linger in my ears from unsuspecting recipients of twenties, and fifties, and often hundred dollar bills.
The $15 ($20, currently) a week donation that each student is asked to financially contribute is only a start. I think in all cases it does not even begin to approach the Biblical concept of tithing 1/10th of what you receive back to your Maker. I practice tithing in my thinking and in my actions. And so I am vigilant in responding to the needs of others, spiritual and material. I began by giving 10% of what I earned, be it wisdom or money, to Godly pursuits. Through the years that percentage has and continues to grow. I was taught as a child to live so that my life glorified God, and I could not have told you at the age of ten that now over thirty years later I would be fulfilling that vision by giving all my energy to God and humanity. I am so very glad I am. For that I am thankful, and I know beyond all doubt the place the School of Metaphysics holds in my life. And the promise it holds for countless others now and in the centuries ahead.
The School of Metaphysics is constantly being created by the people who receive the most from her. What they are willing to give makes her what she is. As we each align our consciousness with Universal Law, our awareness expands and we find our capacity to give, magnified. We are able to give freely, completely, unconditionally. We come to understand the Truths taught by every spiritual master throughout mankind's history. And we increasingly become living examples of them.
In the next 25 years the spirit of giving freely and completely will grow in increasing numbers of individuals. This is an expected outcome of the Spiritual Renaissance at hand, the movement forward into cosmic consciousness which values the goodness of all concerned.
The next 25 years will see a generosity in all ways, a generosity of spirit the like of which this School has yet to see. It is this that will cause it to grow and expand to meet our imagination.
What we celebrated on November 1st secured this future for us all. We are just beginning.
May peace be with you all ways.
Thresholds Quarterly November 1998, ©School of Metaphysics
©2002 SOM, v. 6/04