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Subject: Vessel of Earth and Spirit

Church of All - Pagosa Springs, CO January 15th, 1995 10:00am 
Attendance: 5 adults, 5 children Style: Formal Service - no music 
Readings collected by: Rev.Reverend Hamid Cecil Touchon Sermon delivered by: Rev. Hamid Cecil Touchon

From the Hindu Tradition

Bagavat-Gita, Chapter 7:2-6,13,15-17

"One man among thousands strives for success, and of the few who are successful, a rare one knows My reality.  
My nature has eight aspects: earth, water, fire, wind, space, mind, understanding, and individuality.  
This is my lower nature; Know my higher nature too; The life-force that sustains this universe.  
Learn that this is the womb of all creatures.  
I am the source of all the universe, just as I am its dissolution.  
All this universe, deluded by the qualities inherent in nature, fails to know that I am beyond them and unchanging.  
Arjuna, Four types of virtuous men are devoted to me: The distressed, The man of wisdom, the supplicant, and the sage.  
Of these the disciplined man of wisdom is set appart by his singular devotion.  
I am dearer to the man of wisdom and he is dearer to me.  
They are all noble, but I regard the man of wisdom to be my very Self; self-disiplined, he holds me to be the highest Way.  

From the Buddhist Scriptures

Life and Hymns of Milarepa (from, A Buddhist Bible, pages 562-62)

I have understood this body of mine to be the product of Ignorance... composed of flesh and blood, lit up by the perceptive power of consciousness. To those fortunate ones who long for Emancipation, it may be the great vessel by means of which they procure Freedom and Endowments; but those unfortunate ones, who only sin, it may be the guide to the lower and miserable states of existance. This our life, is the boundry-mark whence one may take an upward or a downward path. Our present life is a most precious time, wherein each of us must deceide, in one way or another, for lasting good or lasting ill. I have understood this to be the chief aim of our present term of life. Here, again, by holding on to Thee, O powerful Lord and Savior of sentient beings like myself, I hope to cross over this Ocean of Worldly Existance, the source of all pains and griefs, so difficult to escape from.  

From the Tradition of Tao

Tao te Ching, Chapter 7

Heaven lasts long, and earth abides  
What is the secret of their durability?  
Is it not because they do not live for themselves  
That they can last so long?  
Therefore, the sage wants to remain behind  
But he finds himself at the head of others;  
Counts himself out  
But finds himself safe and secure.  
Is it not because he is selfless  
That his Self is realized?  

From the Jewish Tradition

Bible, Genisis 2:7

Yahweh God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of Life, and thus man became a living being.  

From the Christian Tradition

First letter to the Corinthians of Paul Chapter 15; 44-50 and Matthew, chapter 16:24-25

If there is such a thing as an animal body, there is also a spiritual body. It is in the sense that the Scriptures say, 'The first man Adam became an animate being, whereas the last Adam, has become a life-giving spirit. Observe, the spiritual does not come first; the animal body comes first, and then the spiritual. The first man was made, 'of the dust of the earth': the second man is from heaven. The man of dust is the pattern of all men of dust, so shall we wear the likeness of the heavenly man.  

What I mean, my brothers, is this: flesh and blood can never possess the Kingdom of heaven, and the perishable cannot possess immortality.  

Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine he must leave self behind; he must take up his cross and come with me. Whoever cares for his own safety is lost; but if a man will let himself be lost for my sake, he will find his true self.  

From the Tradition of Islam

Qur'an book 2, chap. 76, verse 3-4 and chap. 49, verse 15 

We created man from a sperm-drop, a mingling, trying him,  
and we made him hearing, seeing.  
Surely we guided him upon his way  
whether he be thankful or unthankful.  
We indeed created man,  
and we know what his soul whispers within him  
and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.  

From the Gayan of Hazrat Inayat Khan

Matter is a state of the spirit  

The true Ego is born of the ashes of the false ego.