Loneliness and Isolation. The Seeds of Alcoholism and Addiction.
One of my earliest memories is being taken to a birthday party by my mother where I knew no one. I don’t recall whose party it was, but I do remember the fear I experienced as soon as I arrived. I was around five or six years old at the time. My clearest memory of this event was hiding inside the house while all the other children played outside near a pool. A glass door divided me from the other kids as I watched them all playing games and swimming. Adults kept asking me why I wasn’t joining in the fun, but all I could do is cry and beg them not to make me go outside. They finally gave up and left me alone until my mother returned and took me home.
Loneliness, isolation and a feeling of separation from others is something that I've struggled with my entire life. I believe these feelings are the major ingredients of my alcoholism. I’ve always felt, starting from a very early age, that I didn’t belong anywhere. I was plagued with a nagging feeling that everyone else in the world understood what life was all about, and knew the secret to happiness. If I was at the party, I never thought I fit in. I felt as if everyone else was part of a secret club that I wasn’t allowed to join. No entry—members only!
I continued to feel this way as I grew into an adult alcoholic and addict. I’ve since learned that just about everyone has felt this way at some point or another. Perhaps not everyone felt it as consistently as I did, but everyone at some point feels separated from the rest of humanity, as if they are totally alone, without a friend in the world.
The worst thing, in my opinion, is feeling separated from God or Spirit. When we feel disconnected from a Higher Source or purpose, loneliness, sadness and darkness can fill our hearts. Perhaps I wouldn’t have felt so isolated and alone all those years if I had known how to connect, or unify, with life, humanity and God.
It is my deepest felt opinion that most addiction, violence, hatred and chaos in the world can be directly linked to a disconnection from God or Spirit. And let me state clearly, religion and God are not the same thing.
Religion allows men and women to gather together in order to seek God. But that doesn’t always mean we find God in a church, temple, synagogue or mosque. Quite often, religious leaders become so blinded by dogma, politics and power that God becomes secondary or sometimes even ignored altogether.
Religion, as we all know, has a very spotty history. A great deal of bloodshed has been spilled in the name of every major religion, Buddhism being the rare exception.
Nevertheless, I believe that religion has a very valuable place in the world. I would encourage everyone to pursue any religion that they feel comfortable with—after significant research and immersion in it. But what’s most important, and crucial to any true spiritual experience, is a genuine sense of unification with a Higher Power, a feeling that you are directly connected to, and in the presence of, God. And you don’t have to attend a church or temple to achieve it.
Spiritual unification has been practiced by almost every culture. Traditional Native American practices have placed an emphasis on respect for, and connection with, the Spirit of the earth and sky. The earth and the wider universe are expressed in terms of having parental powers that guide and protect us, not unlike how Christians view God as a Father to everyone and everything.
One very clear expression of unification with God and humanity comes from the Religious Science movement, most noticeably by the teachings of Ernest Holmes.
I first discovered Ernest Holmes when a friend introduced me to his book, “The Science of Mind.” When I read this epic tome of spiritual wisdom, I felt like I had discovered an entirely new universe that I never knew existed. My mind was blown. I read it over and over again, as slowly as I could so I wouldn’t miss a single word or idea. I was awakened to an entirely new way of thinking about my relationship with God and how I could unify with God. It was life changing.
In brief, Holmes posits that we are each a part of God’s mind, separate in our individuality but part of a greater whole. Much like a drop of water can be extracted from the ocean but still be part of the ocean once it returns. All is one, all is God. When we think and use our minds, we’re actually using a part of God’s mind. My mind and your mind are God’s mind. We are all expressions of God, not separate from God, but in fact a part of God.
This spiritual philosophy, known as Religious Science, emphasizes the “Law of Cause and Effect” that states that every action has an equal reaction. Therefore, we manifest what we think. Think negative thoughts, experience negative results. Think positive thoughts, experience positive results. Our happiness and destiny depend on how we train our minds. Joy and abundance are our birthright if only we can get our minds and prayers aligned with God.
There’s much more to the Science of Mind than my brief synopsis can offer. I encourage anyone who is interested in spiritual philosophy to read it with an open mind.
Unification prayer gives us the opportunity to feel connected with life, with humanity, with the universe.
We are all interconnected in some way. All of us carry of the same stardust. We all share the same world. We are all children of the same source of life. We all have a desire to love and be loved. We are all susceptible to loneliness and fear.
Unification prayer allows us to realize our relationship with one another and with God. Through unification we find strength, connection, and a shared desire for a positive, fruitful life free from addiction, hatred or violence.
A Prayer for World Peace
by Ernest Holmes
I know there is but One Mind, which is the mind of God,
in which all people live and move and have their being.
I know there is a divine pattern for humanity and within this pattern
there is infinite harmony and peace, cooperation, unity and mutual helpfulness.
I know that the mind of humankind, being one with the mind of God,
shall discover the method, the way, and the means best fitted
to permit the flow of Divine Love between individuals and nations.
Thus harmony, peace, cooperation, unity,
and mutual helpfulness are experienced by all.
I know there will be a free interchange of ideas, of cultures,
of spiritual concepts, of ethics, of educational systems
and scientific discoveries—for all good belongs to all alike.
I know that, because Divine Mind has created us all,
we are bound together in one infinite and perfect unity.
I know that all people and all nations
will remain individual but unified for the common purpose
of promoting peace, happiness, harmony, and prosperity.
I know that deep within each person the Divine Pattern
of perfect peace is already implanted.
I now declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere
this Divine Pattern moves into action and form,
to the end that all nations and all people
will live together in peace, harmony, and prosperity forever.
Amen. And so it is.