A positive path for spiritual living

7-26-20 Talk Notes: Authenticity and Character (Rev. Mark Schindler)

The Over-Soul by Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The Supreme Critic on the errors of the past and the present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Over-Soul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart, of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains every one to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character, and not from his tongue, and which evermore tends to pass into our thought and hand, and become wisdom, and virtue, and power, and beauty. We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. 


Our Authentic Nature and True Character:

Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society Nicholas A. Christakis MD, PhD. 

Dr. Christakis shows that, despite a human history filled with violence, we cannot escape what he calls our social blueprint for goodness and that over time; we are creating a positive feedback loop which reinforces that tendency and helps us to make the world a better place for more and more people.

“For too long, in my opinion, the scientific community has been overly focused on the dark side of our biological heritage: our capacity for tribalism, violence, selfishness, and cruelty. The bright side has been denied the attention it deserves.” Blueprint (p. xxi).

Second Unity Principle: Humankind possesses an inherent goodness that some call Divinity or The Christ.

Birthing a Greater Reality by Robert Brumet:


“…evolution is on our side; it is the river in which our lives flow. The river moves us whether we like it or not, but we can no longer drift mindlessly. We are at the point where we must evolve consciously. Yes, we still go with the flow, but we now influence the course of that flow.”

Dynamics For Living by Charles Fillmore

“Every word has its effect, though unseen and unrecognized. What we think, we usually express in words. Our words bring about in our life and affairs whatever we put into them. A weak thought is followed by words of weakness. Through the law of expression and form, words of weakness change to weakness the character of everything that receives them.”


Passing for what we are and speaking from our character and not our tongue requires us to "be impeccable with our words" as suggested by Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements.


Before speaking ask: is it true, is it kind, is it necessary.


Before engaging someone with whom we disagree, consider the following four points recommended by the philosopher Daniel Dennett:

1.You should attempt to re-express the other person’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that they say, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

3. You should mention anything you have learned from the other person.

4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.