Welcome to HALO, the quarterly newsletter of the City of Angels Church of Religious Science. Here, we spread the glory of God and further our understanding of the Almighty through affirmations, enlightening articles, reviews of publications that can open hearts and minds, and profiles of the Church’s most respected members. We hope this newsletter brings you closer to God and brings comfort and peace closer to your life.
The Birth of An Idea
As Birth and Transition
All Things Are Made New
Life as Birth and Death
UCLA Trailblazer: Billy Mills
Interview with a Six Year Old on the Experience Called Death
Generative Life – I don’t work to make things right. I work with God’s ideas and see things right. I am open and receptive to the orderly growth of Spirit’s healing power within me. I let go of my personal opinion of what is good. I know that Divine Mind is the source of all true ideas and I lock myself into Its guidance. I no longer look for satisfaction in outer things. With this I am kept in perfect peace for I am attuned to the God Within. And So It Is.
Dr. Robbie Gholson Smith
The Birth of An Idea:
The day I walked through the green doors of the “House of Slaves”, on Goree Island, Dakar, Senegal in 1994, my life was changed. This house was built by the Dutch in about 1776 and I’m standing there 200 years later feeling the energy and pain of those who had occupied this space.
As I stood facing the pink stucco walls which are embraced with stairways on each side and a corridor which lead to the door of no return standing with an air of hopelessness in the distant middle, my heart began to pound in anger.
There was a little man named, Baubacar Joseph Nalaje standing there holding chains and shackles telling the story of life in this space of many years ago. However, as he spoke it seemed as if it were yesterday. I was there with a young tour guide as a pre trip to the trip the Church had planned to bring 100 people to Africa in July. As Baubacar spoke I looked in her eyes and tears were rolling down her beautiful brown cheeks. It was that moment that I made my personal connection to my ancestors. It was that moment that I truly understood the bond of Africa and African-Americans. The process of divide and conquer worked miracles for the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British because most African American feel no inner connection to their heritage.
What does the Middle Passage mean to me? When I think of the Middle Passage I think of the triangular route that brought salves from Africa to the Americas and rum and sugar cane to Europe. When I think of the route from Europe to Africa to the Americas I think of Goree, Island and the Door of No Return. I think of how after living in unbearable quarters for 3 or 4 months in shackles and chains, waiting for ships, separated from their families, living like animals and being totally abused and used that the slaves were packed like sardines on the ships that sailed the Middle Passage route. I think of how all along the way deep in the ocean there are bones of all the slaves who were thrown overboard, bones that the sharks left behind. It is reported that during the 17th century, approximately 25 – 50 million Africans died at sea. I think of the smell that must have existed because of poor hygiene. I think of the anticipation of the slaves not knowing that they were being transported to slave factories, dehumanized and viewed as property I think of the birth of racism, and the development of “White Supremacy”. I Think of how with all their religious beliefs, the European really belief that Africans had no Soul.
I have been to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Tunisia, Timbuktu, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Tanzania, Egypt, Senegal, and Kenya. Continuously taking groups because I know that blacks can never identify themselves with what they read in magazines or see in films. You have to be there. You have to feel, smell, see, touch, hear and know that who you are as a black person is so powerful. To be a descendant of those who were a part of a “spiritual disease” stripped of everything and yet somehow survive shows that our Forefathers and Foremothers were apart of the ultimate revolution. They changed the World!
As Birth and Transition:
From the first breath until the last…what is in between is the space we call life. Each breath we take is a new opportunity to live this life and experience it at the highest-level possible. We can see that as being, feeling, experiencing love for God, self, all humanity without fear or favor. Such an event can last for a second, a day or a lifetime. It is our choice. In our walk in this time and space we choose how we experience the breaths we take. Each day can be a new birth or we can die slowly by killing our dreams. We can deny life’s pleasures by sleeping with pain and misery. We can choose to linger and languish in regrets. We can scream with pain and anger and die a painful death daily. We get to choose.
Beauty breaks anew with every new dawn. Rest and repose awaits to calm our clamoring senses. We get to know the secret word. We hold the key that unlocks the treasure vault. We have the winning ticket. Each one of us is the creator of our fate this life; this new birth is a realization that …I am as new, claiming a new birth. I am seizing the opportunity to love my creator and myself just as I am today. I see my world with everything and everyone in it. Today I see the beauty. Today, I now feel a new vibration of life.
I let go of fear and limitation. When old fears knock on the door of my consciousness I answer with confidence and faith. I declare a new resident now resides where fear and limitation once lived and ran amok. When the universe sends me messages of doom and gloom, I delete, erase or ignore. I allow negativity to dissipate into the nothingness that spewed it out. My new lovely, loving thoughts have life and a new birth. The old ideas and thought patterns die. They are transitioned and give way to love, light and illumination for all time. I choose to remember, I have a choice. I am a new being. The old ideas may linger, I recognize their appearance and make daily decisions to choose wisely. I stay in the light. Old ideas slowly gradually die and dissipate into the nothingness from which they came.
Today I choose to walk in the world as my light shines brightly. I choose to see love in everyone and everything. I realize I have the ability to think, to reason, to choose and to create.
Rev. Dr. Delores Storey
All Things Are Made New:
I have many happy childhood memories of growing up in Minnesota. One recollection stands out for me. I was eleven years old, and my dad surprised my sister Diane and I with a trip across the bridge from Minneapolis to St. Paul, to buy each of us our first bicycle.
When we arrived at the Montgomery Wards bike department, Diane and I were set loose to choose any bike that we wanted. Excitedly, we scurried about looking at first one and then the other. Then my eyes fell on a bike from heaven. It was pale blue and gray. It had a horn and a light. It was perfect. However, when I looked at the price tag, it occurred to me that probably my dad couldn’t afford it. Reluctantly, I chose another bike of lesser cost.
The trip home was a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, I was excited about getting any bike. On the other hand, I kept thinking that if I could have had the other bike, I would never want anything else for the rest of my life. I would be satisfied.
Well apparently it was a magical day because then we left St. Paul it had been raining. Remarkably, right in the middle of the bridge, where there was a sign saying we were entering Minneapolis, the sun was shining on the other side with a beautiful rainbow.
Yes, when we got home and unpacked the bikes, my dad had gotten me my dream bike. I was the envy of the neighborhood kids. I rode like the wind. I had obtained permanent joy all in one bicycle.
In six months, guess what? I had lost interest in it. I wanted something else. I don’t remember what the new thing was, because there have been so many new things since then. I do remember having the realization that I somehow knew, that I would never be satisfied for very long with anything.
I had discovered one of the mysteries of being a human, what I have come to refer to as “DIVINE DISSATISFACTION”, eventually everything loses its luster. WHY? From that day on, I always wanted to solve this question, to know why there was always a driving need for more. It took me many years, many cars that I couldn’t live without (I can’t remember the colors now), many homes(addresses long forgotten), that I just had to live in, many relationships (whose names elude me now), I just had to have, to discover the reason.
Nine years ago, I returned to school. I was not seeking a degree, but I felt the urge to expand my personal knowledge. I only studied subjects that perked my interest. I took varied courses for various reasons: Child Development, because I was expecting my first grandchild; various psychology courses, to enhance my counseling skills; two anthropology courses, to see from whence I came; African American history for the same purpose; Algebra, to see if I still had the same phobia for numbers (I did); creative writing, to expand my expressiveness; and Spanish, so that I could order food in a Mexican Restaurant.
I was probably the oldest and most enthusiastic daytime student on campus, to the nausea of the younger students. The fact that every day when I returned, I knew more than when I had left that morning, was beyond exciting for me. I felt alive again for the first time in years.
Biology gave me the answer to my search and a whole new spiritual home. While studying the human cell, I came to realize that from the time of conception, when this single cell meets and blends with its counterpart, and begins to clone itself, we are being created a new, every moment of our lives. Life is always in a forward motion.
We are life, so we are constantly changing and evolving, becoming more physically, mentally, and emotionally; every day that we live. The more that I studied, the more aware I became of the genius that resides in each of us. This genius is contained in each individual cell of the millions of cells that make up who we are.
It is these atomically based microscopic cells that irrepressibly surge forward, with no regard for the past, toward the adventure of newness. They cause us to be hungry for new information, for new experiences, new things, new people, new feelings and emotions, for growth and expansion.
With this information, I have since, made my peace with this phenomena of “DIVINE DISSATISFACTION”. I realize that it is this driving force that is responsible for all of the wonderful progress being made in this world. The practice of non attachment, became easier when I realized that it was virtually impossible to be attached to anything because of the nature of life itself. I have learned to enjoy and appreciate what I have, when I have it, with realization that, just like my wonderful bike, nothing is forever, and that’s okay.
The same goes for what would seem to be intolerable situations, they too have no staying power. When I find my old beliefs and perspectives no longer fit my present circumstances, I gladly let them go for the new.
Now, when I feel myself growing bored, or totally losing interest in a person, place, or thing, instead of feeling like a spoiled, ungrateful brat, I know that a natural evolution is taking place in my life and my Soul rests. I look forward with great anticipation to all things being made new again.
This year at City of Angels is the year of “Great Vision”. As we each allow our personal visions to come forward from within us, we will recognize that it is the calling of our spirits, demanding that we take our next evolutionary step. Simply comply, by making your thoughts word and deed fulfill the promise of your vision.
Rev. Dr. Linda Logan
The Shift By Peter Arnell
Book review by Bonnie H. Dykes
Peter Arnell, authors a self help book titled, “THE SHIFT” which approaches weight loss and healthy lifestyle through a fresh direction. He utilizes concepts from his profession of marketing and advertising to lose over 150 pounds, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This book compels one to reach within and look at themselves in a light which they may never have before. This book left me feeling spiritually lighter as well. Clients, whose marketing success was spearheaded by Peter Arnell , include Donna Karan, Chrysler, Banana Republic, Reebok, and more.
The book content is delivered by Peter Arnell in straight-to-the-point form and words. New transformation is just not enough. Help others who come in contact with your achievement in your weight loss. Don’t hide. Announce that you are on a diet. Your attitude is inspiring. Ask for help, love and support. It is one of the most powerful tools for weight change there is.
Have one life. Bring business and personal together in harmony. Live one life concurrently. Compartmentalizing allows for excuses not to stay on a healthy mission, i.e. Not enough time, etc. The highest level of stress comes from not doing anything. One should not change themselves radically. Keeping track of foods he ate from his “limited” list was critical and he ate freely from his “unlimited” food list which consisted of salads and vegetables. He drank at least 32 oz of Fiji water a day. He worked with the managers at his favorite restaurants to tailor his favorite meals. Peter embraced the habit of eating oranges because of their high nutrition, taste, and they are easily accessible when he travels.
Embrace mistakes, they are how we learn what not to do. Mistake and revelation are almost synonymous, i.e. The discovery of how mold on a bread crumb killed bacteria in a culture plate led to the development of penicillin. Occasional mistakes should be expected and looked at as signposts along the way toward success. Take risks and push boundaries to bring oneself to an exciting place where old assumptions don’t apply, i.e. Wright brothers pulling the truth out of Leonardo de Vinci’s sketch. Dare to make major changes toward your weight loss. Pull your mental screen back and take a clear look at who you are and how you are living. Go into your weight loss your own way. Don’t follow a group. Wow people with the new you. Martha Stewart told Peter to not buy new clothes until he is ready to reveal the new him. Progress gives one energy and purpose.
Peter encourages one to unwrite his life. Write a list of what not to dos as well as to dos. Do not make it a rigid agenda. Inflexibility doesn’t push one forward. Trust your own hunches and intuition. Rewire yourself in a simple strong way that won’t unravel at the first hint of challenge. Peter has decreased the amount of espresso he drinks. Personal transformation is long term evolution.
Comedian Chris Rock spoke of a captive tiger which bit its trainer and Chris Rock stated,” The tiger didn’t go crazy. The tiger went tiger!” Peter says, “let your tiger go tiger.” Ralph Waldo Emerson states, ”If I am born to write a few good sentences or verse, those shall endure and my disgraces utterly perish out of memory.” Emerson understood the meaning behind “go tiger”. Peter encourages one to throw out excuses to go off his healthy eating pattern. Going tiger makes one clear focused, concentrated, powerful and true to oneself.
Go “helium” by embracing your fears and concerns, then let it float away and be done with it. Instead, focus on success. Go beyond the obvious. Reinvent ways to work out if the gym is not an option., ie. taking the stairs, etc. Give a new look to your face, hairstyle, clothes, etc. One should bring out his best self, minimize what he doesn’t like about himself. Perception is often reality.
Create a fan club to encourage effort and support. Socially network. Even Leonardo de Vinci had to pitch for new business when he was alive. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness. Email to fans and share each other’s struggles.
Political candidates are marketed. They project a vibrant and winning image. Obama’s campaign staff always kept the people involved. This is the national sport of branding and self invention. What works on national stage is widely accepted. Broadcast yourself. Dick Tracy had a two way wrist TV. Today there are smart phones. Technology is a living ecosystem. Show it , tell it, and do it all over again. Don’t ask but compel instead. Stop looking for feedback to make you adjust to others expectations. Russell Simmons mind set is DO YOU. He compels you to see him as a role model for vegan, yoga, and meditation. You earn allegiance, attention, recognition and admiration by doing something from the heart for the heart.
Fuel imagination. Study the world around oneself, go into all kinds of stores and shops. Visit cities. Draw from legacy and history. Don’t be afraid to live in the world of original ideas. The past can inspire your future. One must tap into his past experiences. This is an opportunity to enrich one’s life. Peter was previously an architect, he understood design. He also drew on his study of the masters of art when working with his clients. What you don’t know always remains more important in your journey of discovery. This way your chances of growing become much greater.
One of the strongest Religious Science concepts which Peter utilizes in his book is that your mind is your most powerful tool in bringing about change. Change your mind (your thoughts coupled with your passion) and change your life!
Life as Birth and Death:
There are many ways to express Life. I have thousands of books and 99% of them either have the word Life in the title or are using analogies of it within the content. I have come to the conclusion that there is no beginning or ending to Life. Life just is.
It doesn’t begin with birth or end with death for where does birth begin and where does death end? By saying we’re done? We are never done. Life is an enormous structure in constant movement.
That part of Life which we call birth is an amazing feeling. Whether it is birth of a human or birth of an idea it produces excitement and joy. Oh those powerful words, “In The Beginning.” Know this; we are all artist latching each moment together with an invisible energy. You wait, you watch, you move, you learn, you grow. In the process, there is time for movement and stillness, there is a time for noise and there is a time for silence. There are times when nothing a person can say or do is nearly as powerful as silence.
And then, there comes an ending. The untying of the knots created on the journey, a feeling of sadness. Not to worry, it will start again, something different, someplace else. An ever changing, never ending journey. For you see, Life really is a continued adventure.
The clock is a man made thing. Your time with Spirit is Infinite.
Dr. Robbie G. Smith
UCLA Law Alumni Trailblazer:
Judge Mills earned the admiration and respect of his colleagues, friends and the Los Angeles community during a long and distinguished career.
To veterans watchers of the Los Angeles political scene, few names evoke as much admiration, respect and genuine affection as that of Judge Billy G. Mills ’54. Widely credited with helping to usher the city into a period of renewed unity and cooperation after the tumultuous Watts Riots in 1965, Judge Mills is a revered civic leader whose life and career have been marked by a history of trailblazing achievement, including distinction as the first African-American graduate of UCLA School of Law. After finishing high school in Waco, Texas in the late 1940s, Judge Mills put down roots in Southern California, enrolling at Compton College, where he also played football. He excelled both on and off the field, and in short order transferred to UCLA, graduating with honors in 1951. His next step: beginning a course of study at UCLA’s new law school, which even then was emerging as a proving ground for the state’s brightest legal, business and political minds. It was while at UCLA Law that he met and married his wife Rubye, also a UCLA graduate.
Though his race set him apart from his law school classmates, Judge Mills, says his son Bill Mills, also a UCLA Law graduate (’82), “drew no significance from the challenges of being black. He just knew he had to be better than everybody else, and that was his overarching goal”—a goal, the younger Mills says, that his dad tackled with characteristic discipline, ambition and drive. “He’s a prodigious note taker, and he studied all the time, spending long nights in the library and working to be as successful as he possibly could be.”
That success quickly translated to the professional world, in part because, says Bill
Mills, “the fact that he was both a UCLA undergraduate and UCLA Law graduate made him extremely unique in Los Angeles generally, and certainly in South Central, where he was practicing law.” Judge Mills soon caught the attention of prominent Democratic politicians Jesse Unruh and Mervyn Dymally, who encouraged him to run for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council. His victory signaled another impressive accomplishment, making him the first black councilman to win a regularly scheduled election. A rising political star and a model of bipartisan collaboration, Judge Mills was selected to co-chair the Democratic National Convention in 1968 before being appointed by Republican Governor Ronald Reagan to the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Throughout the course of a remarkable career, Judge Mills has never forgotten his academic roots. “He loves UCLA Law more than anything,” says Bill Mills, citing Professor Chad Bourne and Dean Coffman as his father’s favorite law school professors. “He’s very proud of the time he spent there and stays close with members of his class.” One fellow student, Martin Horn ’54, remains a good friend. Judge Mills, says Horn, is not only an exceptional and groundbreaking figure in recent Los Angeles history; he is also “a very warm person” who is “liked by all who meet him.” This easy camaraderie served him well as president of the UCLA Law School
Alumni Association, a position that enabled him to give back to the institution that helped set him on his extraordinary path.
It was perhaps inevitable that Judge Mills would pass this passion for UCLA Law on to the next generation. As Bill Mills sees it, it was a genetic inheritance. “It was engrained,” he says. “I knew from the very beginning I wanted to follow him–and I never wavered from that, intellectually or emotionally. For every minute I was thinking about my future, I knew my future was at UCLA School of Law.”
Interview with a Six Year Old on the Experience Called Death:
Teacher: Robbie, how did you feel when you were told your Aunt Ann had died?
Robbie Tate: When they told me about Aunt Ann Dying, I felt sad. The next day we went on the airplane to Gary, Indiana I kept thinking that I wish she hadn’t died and could she live with us again. She was like my second grandmother. When I went to her house, I kept thinking maybe she would walk up the steps with one of her trophies. One day I went outside and I kept looking at the sky and I said, “I hope Ann is OK.”
T: Why were you looking at the sky?
R: Well, I was thinking about God and I guess I forgot God was everywhere.
T: Did you cry at any time?
R: Yes, a little when I was looking at the sky.
T: So where do you think Ann is?
R: In Heaven.
T: Where is heaven, Robbie?
T: Can you think of her and bring her presence here with you?
R: Yes, sometimes when I’m playing house in my mind I see her standing there playing with me.
T: Robbie, are you more than your body?
R: Yes, I’m spirit.
T: How do you know you’re spirit?
R: Because, I’ve learned in Sunday school that I’m made in the image and likeness of God and if God is spirit, I am too. God is spirit, life, love, wisdom, power, all good.
T: Is Ann Spirit and Life?
R: Yes, we all are.
T: Yes, Robbie, we are and Life never dies.
Interview conducted by Sunday School teacher Robbie Smith