Look at the ways we’ve touched the fabulous spiritual teachings in our world: the Bhagavad Gita, and Tao te Ching and the Hebrew scriptures and the Gospels—the beautiful presence of Jesus’ teachings. I want to complete by going to one of my favorite teachers, Winnie the Pooh.
Oh that Hundred Acre Woods! That beautiful place which shows us in such simple terms our own spiritual journeys. In the forest we see parts of us. Rabbit has to keep busy all the time, and there’s a part of you that is Eeyore. There’s Piglet—you know, eager, but then afraid of everything bigger than he is and everything is bigger. And then there’s Pooh, the picture of the soul unfolding, discovering and open to what life has. We’ve been going along, discovering.
Winnie the Pooh and Piglet discover their own tracks in the snow and believe they’re from woozles and wizzles. And there’s Christopher Robin, the Christ Bearer, that delightful symbol that in tradition we call the Christ, but also the Atman, the I Am, the Buddha Mind. We discovered the universal laws, that the woozles we are following and kind of afraid of are really ourselves! It is us that’s been creating our experience and our fear; it’s us who have been journeying. Wow! What beautiful understandings.
Then we had a heffalump experience here. You know how Pooh sets a trap for a heffalump. We set a heffalump trap—we decided to build a building. And what we heard were things that were kind of frightening and go bump in the night. The whole world had decided to be afraid of lack, and some of us did a very good job of making that deeper. And then we ran into this insane statement by this guy named Charles Fillmore, “Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance and you will be prospered though all the banks in the world close their doors.” And they just had! And we decided, “well, wonder if he’s telling the truth.” So we took on our heffalump, and we discovered it was just our fear. And the building got built. And there was more than enough, because more than enough is the truth of that divine love for each of us.
I looked at these beautiful teachings and I thought, “Wow! What in these last few minutes do I get to share with you? What is most important?” The times we ventured into prayer and meditation? Prayer is so important, but it’s not most important. And meditation is tremendously valuable, but it’s not most important. And the great teachings that focus on God in magnificent ways are not most important. What is most important is so simple: in this moment, do I choose love? That’s it. That is what’s important. If you choose love and you don’t know anything about the great scriptures, it doesn’t matter. They were just there to say, “Choose love.” If you gave up prayer because you spend more time arguing with God than listening, but you choose love, then it didn’t matter. God is right there, because the truth is, God IS love. Choose God and suddenly this amazing thing happens. Instead of seeing this world through this brilliant mind that we developed, this fabulous brain that figured it all out, we see that it was lying to us. It was saying, “That’s separate, and that has control over you.” It’s still a wonderful tool. It’s just a lousy boss. So we learned, didn’t we? We learned how to go. We learned how to make the choice.
It was the reality that touched me when I was young and in that place of pain and not knowing, and suddenly I was overwhelmed by love, and then there was peace and forgiveness and understanding. What happens is we are suddenly experiencing life from the truth, from a greater reality. So I tried to figure, “How do I get back to that place?” When I first started in ministry, I knew choosing love was the answer. I just didn’t have a clue how to do it. I looked around at all the spiritual students I knew and realized they didn’t either. They could love real well all those folks that loved them, but it was not their response when someone got in their face.