Time Marches On

Magictree_nMy dear friend and colleague, Rev. Jeanette Keil, made her transition last week, while I was at the Asilomar conference.  I’d been saying good bye in my heart for while, but I was sad. At the same time, nearly everyone was a little bit sad because this is the last time we will hold our conference on the beautiful Asilomar campgrounds.

 When I was a kid, they ran newsreels about World War Two at the movies. They always began with a man’s deep voice, announcing, “Time Marches On.” Despite that message, the war seemed endless, and Roosevelt was our president until I was eleven years old.  Life felt pretty static.

However, time did march on and I learned that things change all the time. I now understand that moving on is the nature of life. I do not expect to live forever, nor do I expect my friends to live forever. The sun rises and sets. I get that. Even so, sometimes change really hurts. Sometimes it is difficult to let go.

It is natural to feel grief when we let go of something or someone we love. I know that Love never dies. Jeanette’s life was wonderful and she now enters a new experience with God. My grief over Jeanette’s transition  was personal.

There was a collective shadow at the retreat. Religious Science has used the Asilomar campgrounds for more than fifty years and so there was some resistance to that change hovering over our activities and conversations. Not so much doubt about the decision, but nostalgia and foot dragging fantasies to protect our hearts from grief.

In Science of Mind, I have learned that what we call God is the Creative Intelligence of the Universe. It is Spirit and everything is created by this Spirit. What’s more, this Spirit is the Cosmic Energy or Life Force that shifts, recreates, renews, builds up and tears down.

Creating, tearing down and recreating is what Life does. It does this because it is the nature of Life. Our personal consciousness directs the Life Force to some extent, because our minds are connected to the Great Mind. But with or without our direction, change is what God does.

Most of the activity is impersonal. There is no Old Man in the sky who rewards or withholds blessings to good or bad children. These ideas were abandoned long ago.  In New Thought, we envision God as the Creative Energy of the Universe in action.

This Creative Energy is Love working as Spiritual Law in our individual lives. We are living in God and constantly communicating with God because we are God.  Science of Mind teaches us to pray so we can direct the flow of our lives. But try as we might, we cannot change the flowing. Life will continue to create change.

Changing locations for conferences is really a small matter. Several speakers at Asilomar pointed out that the magic is not in the grounds but in our personal consciousness. They said when you visit Asilomar at another time, it doesn’t feel the same at all. I know this is true because I’ve tried it.

We associate the campgrounds with love and joy but we created that experience ourselves. The setting is gorgeous, however it is our consciousness of love that really matters. Our loving consciousness will travel with us so wherever we go. We need not resist change.

Resistance is fear and resistance to change is common. Some people wear their high school hairstyles despite the wrinkles of time.  Some people won’t change their diets after switching to sedentary jobs.  Some of us won’t try new foods or abandon old beliefs. When we hold on and resist, we are confronting the Life Force Itself.

Much recent political activity is simply resistance to the march of time. The Tea Party seems to be all about holding on to an imaginary past.  These right wing politicians who insist on ruling women’s bodies are deeply mired in the 1800’s. I have been quick to call these guys dinosaurs.

This week I got to see my personal resistance in my “good old days” conversations at Asilomar. It was also there in my grief about losing Jeanette. But I’m not stuck. I know I cannot remain in resistance and be happy or healthy. I thank God for the gift to see my foibles and love myself as I move into the new expressions of life.

I cannot defy the nature of life. I can influence my destiny through prayer but whether I want it or not, things will change. What makes me happy is that I know I can guide at least part of that change in my personal life.

I have choices and I have free will. I can choose to be happy and grateful as I live my life. Meister Eckhart, a mystic of the middle ages told us that “Thank You, God” was the prayer we needed.  I believe that with all my heart. I am grateful for every day. My aim is to live in gratitude.

I appreciate the many wonderful years I enjoyed at Asilomar and I look forward to the new places for future conferences. I can appreciate the past and greet the future cheerfully.

I am deeply grateful for Jeanette’s, love, clarity, and support all those years. It was wonderful to serve God and grow together. It was wonderful to be prayer partners. She will live in my heart forever.

I am grateful for many other wonderful people as well. My trip was possible because of love and support from my daughter Kate. I was so proud of my student Lori Mac and her excellent dance workshop. I loved my talks with Dr. Nancy Anderson, Dr. Arlene Bump,and, Dr. David Leonard, There were many others. I appreciate them all.

One of the best parts of my Asilomar trip was driving along the seacoast at sundown of the last day. The familiar scenery of quaint, gaily-colored, Victorian homes were on my right. The gorgeous coastline was on the left. The Monterey Pines twisted in intricate beauty as they were waiting to pose for post cards.

On this evening, the sky and sea were silver and the village of Pacific Grove looked like a romantic fairy tale. I found great promise in that silvery sunset drive. Beauty takes many forms and this shimmering scene was so serene, and so full of promise that the world seemed to be born again – totally new and quite lovely.

It reminded me that we are spiritual beings having human experiences. We live in God and we are always surrounded by the Love of God. Wherever we go, whatever we do, God is always waiting to express more Love, Light, and Joy through us. It is always NOW in God’s time and we are always in the arms of Infinite Possibility.

Ask Yourself

What am I holding onto?

What do I choose to release?

What am I grateful for?

How can I express my gratitude today?


13 Comments on “Time Marches On”

  1. Vince Kueffner says:

    HI Jane, what a beautiful article on Asilomar. I have gone down there a couple of times and walked around to visit the “Ghosts” of Asilomar past. You are right, it is not the same. Your beautiful writing style flowed so well and said so much. Please know you are appreciate.
    Vince Kueffner

  2. Dennis Merritt Jones says:

    Very nice…a truly beautiful piece Jane. Thank you for expressing your insights so poetically.

    Peace, Dennis

  3. Susan says:

    Thanks for your reflections on Asilomar. I’m glad to hear that Lori’s presentation went well! I’m wondering why future retreats are not going to be held there and where they will be held instead?

    • Jane Claypool says:

      The future will unfold but at the moment, we are in the planning stage. No matte what comes next, i see a bright future for you. Love, Jane

  4. What a beautiful reminder of the Truth. I needed that; to be reminded that things happen just as they should. Melancholic to hear of Jeanette’s transition and that Asilomar will no longer be a place for Science of Mind seekers and teachers. But this is how life works; growth coming from change.
    Love you so much, Marvis

  5. Jane Pool says:

    I was lucky enough to have known Jeanette for a short time and taken a class with her. A beautiful person. Your tribute to her and to Asilomar and to enduring lessons of life and beauty were soul-touching. Thank you, Dr. Jane

    • Jane Claypool says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you knew her and experienced her as a teacher. She taught me a great deal. We shall miss Jeanette.

  6. Janet Bradbury says:

    Dear Dr. Jane, I too was at Asilomar. I loved reading your piece. I apologize that I either did not see you or did not recognize you, or I would have spoken to you. I saw Rev. Nancy. I also remember Rev. Jeannette Keil very well. I had not seen her or communicated with her for several years. I honor and bless her in her new home. I see her still as young and vibrant.
    I now find myself at One Heart One Mind with Drs. Tom and Gisela Sannar. The church I previously attended was Light of Life in Rancho Bernardo which closed a few years ago.
    I have had the joy of seeing Rev. Lisa from Minneapolis at the ANTN convention in Phoenix.
    I took minister training with Dr. Marilyn Hall via the Emerson Institute or the Seminary of the Sierra. I wish you well and hope you’ll be my facebook friend.

    • Jane Claypool says:

      I’m sorry I didn’t see you at Asilomar and I am happy to her from you. I am glad you are continuing your studies with Drs. Tom and Gisela. They are fine people. Love, Jane

  7. mari saavedra says:

    Until then Rev. Jeannette Neil; we love you and you’ll always be in our hearts.

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