There Is No Wizard In Oz

scan016We leave for the Spiritual Living Conference at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, CA on Saturday! I’m excited about the trip because my daughter, the ministerial student, is driving me

This is Kate’s first Asilomar and it will apparently be the last Religious Science Conference for all of us. It is kind of sad to move on, at the same time, I am especially glad to have this experience.

Even before we got the news about the end of an era, this year felt really, really new in a good way. Kate is with me and that is so special, It also seemed new because the two organizations, Religious Science International and United Religious Science have come together to be One. We are now called Centers For Spiritual Living (CSL).

Asilomar is a beautiful place and it holds many memories for me. I attended every year from 1988 until about eight years ago when health issues began to keep me away. I’m feeling pretty good now so,with Kate’s help, and their recent  improvements on handicapped access, it will work.

Kate’s choice to study for the ministry is a true blessing. I have another wonderful student, Lori Mac, who will also be there. She is a former Rockette and she’s presenting her workshop on Spiritual Dance. I know that will be great.

These past two years, I’ve had the privilege of teaching Lori and Kate and that’s been on my gratitude list every morning. They are both outstanding candidates for the ministry – open hearted and good business people with a tremendous commitment to the teaching. These gifted, intelligent, and beautiful students are the frosting on my cake.

They are probably the last in a long line of wonderful ministerial students. Before we came together as one organization, I trained many people in church but from now on, the ministerial training will be through the Holmes Institute.

I’m glad I started under the previous system because it has been such a delightful part of my career. Many of my students went on to started new churches. Some took over existing works and some became assistant or staff ministers. Some folded their studies into their existing work in medicine, counseling, coaching or teaching.

At one time, I don’t know how many more I trained but I counted once and I had more than thirty people practicing the ministry.I am proud of them all and they seem proud to claim me. Teaching  ministers has been the high point of my ministerial work. Teaching my daughter is special, but in heart, all my students are my sons and daughters.

When I see how my students have reached out and taught others, who will also be teachers, I see a beautiful picture. I envision an interlocking chain of wisdom teachers circling the planet. Religious Science grows exponentially and we are spreading much wider.  Now that we are one organization, we are positioned to reach out to the world. It is a beautiful thing to contemplate.

My students bring me great joy and I am glad I was there when they needed to learn. I am also very glad my teacher, Dr. Nancy Anderson, was there for me. She has held the dream of a global network for a long time and Dr. Nancy has been instrumental in reaching out to many nations.

One wisdom teacher enabling another wisdom teacher who enables another, and so it goes…. One of my students calls this the lineage system and I’m not sure I like that. It makes me think of gurus which makes me think of the Pope. I am a teacher, not a guru, and I understand teaching as helping people find their own wisdom. I would be ashamed if my students were just like me and, believe me, they are not.

The glory of  Science of Mind is that there are no hierarchical authority figures. There is only a teacher offering a process that enables people to turn within and find God. When you think about it, Religious Science is a very democratic spiritual teaching.

There was a time when I didn’t quite know that. In the beginning, I looked at my current leaders, including Dr. Kennedy Shultz and Dr. Earlene Castellaw, as though they had all the power. I felt less powerful because I was a beginner even though one of my favorite books was Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki . I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, I had been an  independent seeker for years.

Even so, when I got into the church structure, I carried too much left-over fear and awe over from my childhood church. Religious Science  was my church of choice, but I trembled inwardly when Kennedy frowned or Earlene scolded. That first year at Asilomar, I did a lot of reacting to everything I thought was wrong, including my room assignment. It was a long time ago and I have learned that I have my own power.

Have you ever felt cowed by authority? Have you ever felt as though you might not be up to the job? Have you ever felt as though you are not enough? Don’t know enough? Or  are invisible?

Science of Mind doesn’t teach us to respect outer authority. It teaches us that there is a Power For Good in our lives and we can use it. We don’t  look for outside ourselves for answers.We are the ultimate authority in our lives.

I learned self-reliance and self-trust a day at a time, mostly by taking and teaching classes. You can also. And if you are looking for instant lessons, you can find them at the movies. Remember the Wizard of Oz? Buy yourself the DVD and play it often.

If you  feel like Dorothy, remember there is no wizard. If you feel  you are out of your element (Kansas) entering strange territory (Oz) remember you are the only wizard in the picture. You are the writer, producer, director and star of your personal movie.

Dealing with threats or bullies at work or home can be simple. Grab hold of Truth. Dump your fear and remember there is no authority greater than your own self- direction.

Don’t let anyone or thing overwhelm you. No one knows more even if that is the message you hear.  There is no great Oz – only human on the checkerboard of life. We are all on a learning curve.

When I remember how I felt at my first Asilomar, I see how much I had to learn. My students are wiser. They will make their own choices about what to attend and what to skip, about who they want to know, what to eat, and what to do. As for me, I’m going to have a wonderful trip filled with happiness, a day at a time. I have no plans beyond having fun and attending Lori’s Spiritual Dance workshop on Thursday afternoon at one. See you there? 

Am I afraid of anyone?

Am I trying to please anyone?

Do I want to take more charge of my life?


9 Comments on “There Is No Wizard In Oz”

  1. Marvis says:

    And I am proud to be one of those many ministerial students that you taught and mentored. Enjoy Asilomar; so many amazing memories and insights happen while there.

  2. Jane Claypool says:

    Yes, you were certainly one of my students and I am proud to claim you. You did an amazing job, starting two churches in Arizona and both of them are successes. And you commuted from Tucson to study in Carlsbad. Be proud my friend.

  3. says:

    Hi Jane,

    What wonderful memories. When I was called back to the ministry after a 10-year absence, Dr. Kennedy Shultz threw all sorts of obstacles in my way that I had to overcome to be reinstated. But when I finally made it (with Kennedy becoming my sponsor), I said to him: “What I learned in the process was well worth the resentment I had against you.” For which I received a very rare Kennedy Hug.

    Bill Arrott

  4. Jane Claypool says:

    Thanks Bill,
    It’s good to hear from another “old timer”. I could see Kennedy loved the teaching but he could be something else when he got on a high horse. I always liked and usually admired him but I didn’t want to grow up to be like him. Of course, I did. He was certainly my inspiration when it came to teaching wonderful people and sending them out into the field. I probably quote Kennedy more than anyone except Dr. Barker.

  5. Lori McMacken says:

    Yes, were going to have a wonderful time at the Asilomar, great blog! Love Lori 🙂

  6. Judith Churchman says:

    Hi, Jane, so glad to hear your daughter is a ministerial student. Many blessings for you and her.I don’t know what you mean about this being the last Religious Science conference.Do you mean at Asilomar? Bob will be there this year (he’s accepting the honorary doctorate, and is so excited about it.) As you know, I’m in South Africa during this time, and he will join me after Asilomar. Have a great time!

    • Jane Claypool says:

      Yes, of course, I meant the last one at Asilomar. Nothing more dreadful than that. It was a great conference and I’m glad you are having fun in Africa with your child. And congratulations to Bob who I saw several times during the week. He was having fun and so was I. Love to you, Jane

  7. Lynn Guilfoyle says:

    Although this is an exciting time, the beginning of a new era as you say, I find myself sad that I do not get to be in your ministerial class – have you as my teacher. I know that it is all good – all God………. No matter what the future holds, I will cherish every opportunity I get to learn from you! Enjoy your time at Asilomar.

    • Jane Claypool says:

      Hi Lynn,
      But you get to see a lot of me and we will make that ever more true this year. I look forward to spending more and more time in your lovely presence.
      Love, Jane

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