Who Told You? – Gaylon McDowell

This Sunday, in his talk titled, “Who Told You?”, Gaylon contributed to our April Series, “AWAKE”, explaining that you encounter life in your mind.

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This “talk” is electronically transcribed. Please excuse any errors or omissions.

Gaylon: Hello everybody, how are you doing? You’re good?

Congregation: Yeah.

Gaylon: It’s good to be here. It’s always good to be here. I always have a great time with you all, not just presenting a sermon, but also just being in this consciousness. I love being around people who are seeking to understand the truth about themselves, and are willing to be that stand even when it’s uncomfortable.

Gaylon: All right. So again, thanks to Lola and the staff and the board and everyone who is responsible for making everything work around here. And from my understanding yet it’s been stated many times that the service today is based around the theme “Awake”. Is that correct?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: All right. And when we start talking about being awake, and I was contemplating on what can I contribute to this conversation. And these words came to me, “Who told you? Who told you?” It was just like that. It was like, “Who told you?” And I started to ponder, “Okay, who told you?” And I’m going to tell you why I’m using those words besides being obedient, because there’s ties into what it really means to be awake, but most importantly, how do we fall asleep? Because sometimes we have conversations where we talk about being awake, or being consciously aware, or all these other things, but then we never have the conversation about the illusions and the delusions that we carry, that stop us from demonstrating the truth that’s all ready within us. And sometimes, like President Obama said many years ago, sometimes we try to put lipstick on a pig. We don’t clean up what needs to be cleaned up. Therefore, we try to put Truth, we try to apply these principles, we try to apply what we learn in a place like this on top of error consciousness, and then we wonder why it doesn’t work.

Gaylon: So today we’re going to have a conversation about how you got to sleep. Not literally, okay, let’s be clear. I’m the hardcore metaphysics guy. That’s what I do. All right. So what I’m talking about are states and stages of consciousness, not literal stuff. I’m talking about how our inner being works. Are we clear?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: If we’re clear let me see your hands. All right, okay.

Gaylon: My first point. People tend to believe that they are their experiences. We are not our experiences, we have experiences. Now, why is this point important? Because when you get caught up in the stuff, sooner or later, you might believe that you’re the stuff. You know, we go through situations, we go through relational experiences, we go through work experiences, we go through health experiences, we go through financial experiences, and we tend to identify with the experience instead of identifying with truth. So we become the problem instead of having a problem. Now let’s put it on the opposite end. We think we’re the, whatever our highest emotional moment is, and both polarities are false.

Gaylon: I’m not what I call my best experience, and I’m not what I call my worst experience. I am. That’s it. I am. As Reverend Ike used to say, “I am is your first name, whatever you put after I am is your last name.” So when you start to think about the concept that I have experiences, I am not my experiences, what that starts to do is pull you away from the drama and trauma of the story. So you can get to the truth, so you can free yourself. Are we clear?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: Going somewhere with this.

Gaylon: Next point. People have a high tendency to consciously and unconsciously accept disempowering beliefs that transmute into limiting experiences.

Gaylon: Now, this is a real key point. I wrote high tendency. Why? Because in my opinion, everybody does. I’m not throwing shade at anybody, but we all do it, including myself. One of my teachers at Christ Universal Temple, the Reverend Dr. Helen Carey used to teach us when we were going through the training. Teacher and counselor and ministerial training all the stuff you have to do to be certified where I come from. She used to say, “The only people that walk on water are people who spill water on the floor.”

Gaylon: Now, that’s important to remember because if you don’t get that then you will get egotistical about disempowering beliefs, but you have to recognize that a disempowering belief is like any other belief. A belief is what you accept is true. It doesn’t have to be true. It’s not the truth, but here’s the problem, or the possibility, depending on how you look at it. The problem is if you accept the disempowering belief is true for you, the possibilities if you accept an empowering belief is also true for you, because you get to live out and experience what you believe. Because if a person has a negative belief, you can drop them right in the midst of blessings. If they can’t see the blessings, they will have a negative experience, while anybody else who can see the blessings of the presence of God around them, will have a totally different experience. So you’re never encountering life except in your own mind.

Gaylon: Now, when we accept disempowering beliefs they transmute into disempowering or limiting experiences. Why? Because thoughts are things. But the reason why we don’t understand that thoughts are things is like I’ve told you before, is because watermelon seeds don’t look like watermelons. So we don’t understand how this thought, this belief, this feeling, in the invisible side of life shows up as limiting experiences or empowering experiences based upon the seed. What type of seeds are you planning? What type of thoughts are you holding in your mind? What type of feelings are you holding on to? What type of beliefs have you accepted? Because somebody a lot sharper than Galen McDowell said, “Judge a tree by the fruit it bears.” I think his name was Jesus. Said, “Judge a tree by the fruit it bears.” He said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit. And a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”

Gaylon: The person who ordained me, the Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon, was a straight shooter. Sometimes too much, you’re like, “Lord.” She was saying things like, “You don’t have to tell me what’s going on in your consciousness. I’m looking at you.” She even said at one time, “Don’t tell me you understand prosperity. I’m looking at your shoes.” I was like, “Oh Lord, no.” I make sure my shoes are in order when I come around her. But she was driving home a stronger point. You can only mask and pretend so long before consciousness starts to show up as form in everything that touches you. What you radiate, you will attract. What you are in alignment with, will show up. And what is out of alignment with you, no matter how much you wish for it cannot be a part of your experience because it’s not a part of your state of consciousness. So we have a responsibility to awaken ourselves and challenge the disempowering beliefs.

Gaylon: Joseph Murphy who wrote the classic Power of Your Subconscious Mind, he was a giant in the New Thought Movement. He would say, “You should always from time to time investigate the beliefs you have.” In other words, “Why do I believe this?” Because sometimes we pick up beliefs, we’re like the woman I’ve told the story here before. When her husband came to her and said, “Why is it that you cut the tip of the meatloaf off?” And she said, “I don’t know. That’s my mama did it. Let me go ask my mom.” She said, “I don’t know. That’s how my mom did.” They went, “I don’t know. That’s how my mother did and great-grandma who’s in Rome.” We were poor and the [inaudible 00:10:10] was small, so we cut off the edge of the meatloaf. And it just got practiced, and practiced, and practiced without conscious thought. And that’s what we do with life. We take on beliefs from our culture, we take on beliefs from our families, we take on beliefs based upon the identities. In other words, because I claim to be this, I have to show up like that. And what I’m saying is, it’s all made up.

Gaylon: Moving on. Duality thinking, or God and something else. That’s what I call duality thinking. God and something else, is the origin of human suffering. We believe we are separate and far away from God and our good. This erroneous belief causes suffering. See, one of the things that has happened with life is we have a real belief that good and God or something else is somewhere away from me. So we seek to find it, we’re chasing it, like the carrot on the stick, always trying to find something that we never catch up to, because it’s within. So if I believe that my good is within me, if I believe that I’m forever connected as a divine individualized expression of God, that changes my perception, and that tells me that there’s something radically right about me instead of something fundamentally wrong about me.

Gaylon: And religion has passed down to people, many forms of religion. I’m not throwing the shot, but I’m just talking fact. In many ways, many religions have sold us the belief that there’s something wrong with you, and they have the only remedy. So I have to convince you that you’re sick, and then tell you, you can only get the medicine from me. So we have to put that away. Why? Because when you feel disconnected from your good, when you feel disconnected from your source, how can you feel empowered in a world, in a life, in a universe that keeps getting bigger and you’re trying to figure out who you are in the midst of it? Is this making sense?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: I’m going somewhere. H. Emilie Cady, who wrote Lessons in Truth, I told y’all read that, last I was here. Who read the book? Raise your hand. Testify, testify. That’s not enough, y’all. Just saying. Well, we do all the studying, and then working, and then preparing, and then God will actually do the work. Love you anyway. But you know, get you some get right. That’s all I’m saying, get you some get right.

Gaylon: H. Emilie Cady said, “Every man believes himself to be in bondage to the flesh and things of the flesh, all suffering as a result of this belief.” This was written in 1903. So she’s not going to say person. But get the idea, every person believes or accepts is true, that they are in bondage to the human experience. What they consider the human condition, the vulnerability of humanity, and with no concept of their own spirituality, with no concept of what they’re connected to, with no context of what’s possible, and what God has placed within their souls to do. So you will suffer as a result of a belief that you are in bondage to something. And why the word bondage? Another word for bondage is slavery or enslaved. In other words, we think we don’t have choices or options.

Gaylon: Have you ever been in a situation where you were so stuck mentally and emotionally, that you literally felt like you were in bondage? Anybody could testify to that. But remember, understanding determines if something is a problem or not. A problem is only a problem if you don’t have the understanding of how to handle it. I use this analogy before. If I’m stuck on the side of the road, and my truck isn’t starting, and I call my insurance company, and they send a mechanic out, I can be under the hood for an hour trying to get my car to start. A person pulls up, looks under the hood, 15 seconds, starts up. What was the difference between me, one hour, and the other guy or woman, 15 seconds? Understanding. That’s it. That’s it. We never have a problem, we only have a lack of understanding.

Gaylon: We’re talking about being awake now. Right? What I want to do is give you an example of how this is taught metaphysically in the Bible. Now remember, I say metaphysical, not literal repeat after me, “Metaphysically.”

Congregation: Metaphysically.

Gaylon: Not literally.

Congregation: Not literally.

Gaylon: Metaphysically.

Congregation: Metaphysical.

Gaylon: Not literally.

Congregation: Not literally.

Gaylon: Those who are here, either watching live or online, when I mean metaphysical approach, I mean, using the Bible to symbolize aspects in consciousness, not people. Aspects and consciousness, not people. I’m not trying to mess with Bible and what grand mama taught you in Sunday school. All right.

Gaylon: Now, I’m going to use the Garden of Eden story to explain how we went to sleep and how we get awake. But please understand, just for the record, I don’t believe that a real person named Adam and Eve existed. Metaphysically I am a teacher, but I don’t even believe it literally. And no Hebrew scholar, or a Bible scholar [inaudible 00:16:24] teaches that by the way. But I want you to get the symbolism. Say, “Symbolism.”

Congregation: Symbolism.

Gaylon: Okay. So you read this story, if anybody here is recovering from what you consider an abuse way this was taught to you. Punishment thing or whatever, that that context is not where I’m coming from. I’m using this as a tool. Say, “Tool.”

Congregation: Tool.

Gaylon: To help you grow in consciousness. Are we clear?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: Okay, so let’s get the reading. So this is Garden of Eden story. This is after, in the story, Adam and Eve were told by God, “You can eat any tree here, except for this one over here. The Tree of good and evil.” You’re familiar with the story?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: Okay. And of course, when you tell people not to do something, wet paint, and they just gotta test it. Don’t touch, don’t move, and what do we have to do? Curiosity killed the cat. We do it anyway. So after they did it, they devolved in consciousness and started having a different awareness. And this is what they said happen. Again, this is not literal. This is, the Bible would teach even literally narratives to explain a principle, literally. I’m going to give it to you metaphysically. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden, but the Lord God call to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree, which I’ve commanded you not to eat?” Now, let’s drill down on this, because there’s a lot of stuff in here, and I don’t have time to teach all of it. But I want to give you the keys.

Gaylon: Next point. Metaphysically, Adam represents the thinking nature or conscious mind. Eve represents the feeling nature of the subconscious mind. So when you’re reading the Garden of Eden story, just to give you an example, Adam names everything. Everything that was brought to Adam, Adam gave it a name, Adam gave it a meaning. Adam gave it a nature. That’s what you’re thinking does. Don’t miss it. Eve, literally means the mother of all. So we say literally, but even though it’s not true that Eve is the mother of all. The feeling nature gives birth, the subconscious mind gives birth to the ideas, to the thoughts, to the concepts that you impress upon it, or Adam, or the thinking impresses upon it.

Gaylon: So if you have babies skis [inaudible 00:19:37] experiences, you may baby skis, that’s an old joke for those who are old enough to know better. If you don’t know what babies skis are, you’ll look it up later. Those who know they know. In other words, Adam and Eve, or you’re thinking and feeling, are parents of experience. Don’t miss it.

Gaylon: How does this work? Next point. Temptation, in the story of the serpent, into duality thinking normally distracts the feeling nature. And when our feelings get out of alignment, we continue to impress upon the conscious mind to choose what the feeling nature wants. However, true wisdom is the balance of thinking and feeling and alignment with spirit. Let me address this for you. Keep that up there. What this means is this. In the story, the serpent which represents temptation or sensation, comes with Eve. Convinced Eve and Eve convinced Adam. And then, the so called fall or dissension in consciousness happened. What this means metaphysically is this. When you slip up, when you’re out of alignment, when you do a stuff you know you’re not supposed to be doing, when you’re saying stuff you know you’re not supposed to be doing, when you are not following the intuitive readings of spirit and what spirit say … mess with them. Don’t mess with them. Because they comes like that sometimes. They never comes to your rational thinking mind. It always shows up as a feeling.

Gaylon: People just don’t fall into adultery, it’s a feeling. People just don’t fall into behaviors that are inconsistent with their upbringing, it’s a feeling. It shows up as you know, “But you know, you deserve those boots, even though you ain’t paid your car note.” And then Adam is like, “No, no, no. But I want those boots, but I will those boots, but I want those boots, but I want those boots, but I want those boots, but I want those boots.” And then the thinking man said, “Okay, because here’s the thing …” And I want you to get this. The soul, or the mind, or the consciousness can’t act until Adam gives permission. Because the thinking phase of mind is where you make a choice. Are you getting what I’m saying?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: Checking my time here. So the temptation of duality, the temptation of getting out of alignment and not following spirit, always comes to your feeling nature. Every time you’ve ever had a misstep, go back and look at how you were feeling. Not what you were thinking. I’m talking about how do we fall asleep, and how do we get away awakened. And I’m trying to paint a picture. All right.

Gaylon: Now, I’m going to go back up to the Scripture for a sec. Can you go back a few slides because I want to show the Scripture because this is coming up and I want to make sure that I’m clear. It said that I heard the sound of the Lord God walking, because in the evening breeze … Because even the Hebrew people like … It’s too hot for God to be walking in the day. Literally, that’s what it means. Because in their culture, they do things in the evening, because it’s so hot over there. And it says the Lord God, which symbolizes the in-dwelling spirit. “Where are you?” When we don’t want to walk in alignment with what the spirit is telling us to do, we symbolically hide, and we try to busy ourselves in stuff that we know is not consistent with what spirit is directing us to do. “Where are you? ‘I’m hiding myself from the presence.'” In other words, “I don’t want to accept the responsibility of my disobedience to my own intuitive nature.” Because I told you not to eat it. What does eat metaphysically? To metally appropriate. This is why Jesus said, “Take eat, this is my body. Drink, this is my blood.” He wasn’t talking about cracker wafers and grape juice. He was talking about, “Take my teachings and make them a part of who you are.”

Gaylon: I gotta move on. Let’s go back to the next point. Who told you, you aren’t enough? Who told you, you aren’t good enough? Who told you that you couldn’t make it? Who told you your body can’t heal? Who told you that you can’t have prosperity? Who told you that you can’t have peace? Stay away from those beliefs. Don’t eat of that tree. We bought into the beliefs of that tree. In other words, the belief and the psychosis of this limited duality thinking that makes us believe that we’re not good enough, or enough to handle the situations that happen in our lives. And I’m here to wake you up and say, “Who told you that you wouldn’t make it?”

Gaylon: Next point. When we lose our consciousness of oneness, we believe we are naked or powerless. We feel shame, fear, and guilt when we don’t know who we are in God and who God is in us. Our thinking nature realizes the depth of our disobedience and feels ashamed. It’s nothing like somebody knowing better and not doing it. And then have to live with knowing that they knew what to do when they didn’t do it because they followed the impulse of what was showing up at the time. That’s what Scripture says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” I show up, I do all this stuff for my kids, and I volunteer at the school, and all this stuff. And the story that we are, tell ourselves obedience is better than sacrifice. Are you following what is coming through your higher intuitive nature?

Gaylon: I want to hear the story. Are you being obedient? Yeah, you’re going to invite me back, right? The double checking here.

Gaylon: Next point. Choose your spiritual divinity. Claim your oneness with God and your good. Study, pray, affirm, meditate, and focus on God as your good. I’m going to give you an affirmation before I close in a few minutes. I got three minutes. Part of being awake is obedience. And when we get out of alignment, somebody has to say, “Who told you?” Now recognize that I’m the external, who told you? But you have an internal, who told you? But you can’t drown it out with the busyness of the mind and the busyness of nonproductive activity. What we try to do is when spirit is leading us to do something, we get busy doing other stuff. We jump both feet into the relationship and all of a sudden it’s about him or her. We jump all in into the work, and we make it all about the work. We jump in into our politics, and it’s all about politics. We jump into ideologies, and it’s all about our ideologies. We jump into our religions, and it is all about the religions. We jump into our artistic nature, and it’s all about the artistic nature.

Gaylon: And was trying to get your attention to spirit within and say, “Who told you were naked? Who told you, you’ve got to do all this busyness to be accepted? Who told you, you’ve got to do all this other stuff that’s out of alignment with what I’m seeking to express through you? Because you’re here to be my vehicle, my conduit, to bring my gifts into the world. And if you don’t do it, those gifts, go to the cemetery with you.”

Gaylon: So, life is always presenting us a Garden of Eden experience. Because the Garden of Eden, metaphysically symbolizes super conscious awareness, or what we would say in Christian metaphysics, Christ consciousness. But you can use your own term. The key that I’m trying to get across the is, when we are living in that state of mind, Eden, the word Eden in Hebrew means paradise. And in the paradise consciousness, the Edenic state of mind, you get to name it, give it a nature, and it does what it’s supposed to do. And being in a state of consciousness is solely dependent on, you can eat of any tree that’s consistent with the truth of who you are. But the moment you start to eat of the tree, that is inconsistent with the truth of who you are, you have to have the results of that tree, the appropriation of those beliefs.

Gaylon: So if you want to stay awake, stay away from the tree of duality. Start performing God and something else. Stop getting so caught up in your stuff that you lose your sense of balance. I’m not saying be passionate about your ideas, be passionate about your stances, be passionate about the things that you want to see change in the world. But you are not any of those things. You’re a spiritual being, living in a spiritual universe, governed by spiritual law. The moment you forget that, and you believe you are the label, that’s when you have eaten of the tree that you’re supposed to leave alone.

Gaylon: As I close, I’m giving you some homework. Say, “Homework.”

Congregation: Homework.

Gaylon: “I’m going to do it this time.”

Gaylon: I’m going to do it this time.

Gaylon: So, I want you to affirm every morning and evening for the next 21 days a real simple affirmation. God in me is my instant and everywhere present good. I am love. I am peace. I am wisdom. I am divine health. I am prosperity. If you have a phone, take a picture, or write it down. You can’t do it if you don’t have it. Now why this affirmation?

Gaylon: I chose this as affirmation, one, because this I am statement, is stating the truth of who you are at a spiritual level. And you’re connecting your mind to the attributes you want to see expressed in your life. You get want I’m saying? Because here’s the thing. Somebody is going to condition your mind, it might as well be you. There are people who make billions of dollars to tell you you’re not enough. Too tall, too short, too this, too that. Gender and race and all these other things that people try to tell people about, that says either you are enough or you’re not. And I’m saying discard all of it as nonsense. All of it, and walk in the truth. That which I’m seeking I am, I’m seeking love because I am love. I see prosperity because I am prosperity. And so on and so on.

Gaylon: So go forward from this day recognizing what being awake really means. It’s not just the acceptance of something, it’s the denial of something. And if you go forward with a powerful yes to what is true about you, and a powerful no to what is not true about you, you will empower your life way faster. God bless you, and thank you.

 

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Bodhi Spiritual Center is a non-religious spiritual community in Chicago, IL. We awaken individuals to live their inherent power and purpose. Through unconditional love, creativity and conscious community, we reveal Oneness in service of the people of Chicago and beyond.

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