18 Jun Our Sunday Talks | Spirituality Podcasts for Spiritual Growth
The Living Hour is pleased to announce a new podcast series “Our Sunday Talks,” which is available exclusively to our patrons who are sponsoring The Inspirational Living podcast at the $3 a month level or above.
The Our Sunday Talks series features readings from classic authors (East & West) on topics related to spirituality. Expect thought-provoking discussions on the soul, prayer, divinity, mystical experiences, enlightenment, love, and much more.
Gain access by becoming a patron of the Inspirational Living podcast today. I look forward to seeing you among our Patreon community.Become a Patron Now
Spirituality Podcast Series – Episode List
Episode 1: Prayer & The Art of Believing
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: PRAYER is an art and requires practice. The first requirement is a controlled imagination. Ostentation and vain repetitions are foreign to prayer. Its exercise requires tranquility and peace of mind.
The essence of prayer is faith; but faith must be permeated with understanding to be given that active quality which it does not possess when standing alone.
Our Sunday Talk today is an attempt to reduce the unknown to the known, by pointing out conditions on which prayers are answered, and without which they cannot be answered.
Episode 2: Vedanta & The Immortality of the Soul
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: What question has been asked a greater number of times; what idea has sent people more to search the universe for an answer; what question is nearer and dearer to the human heart; what question is more inseparably connected with our existence, than this one, the immortality of the human soul?
Various answers have been presented to the world by various minds. Thousands, again, in every period of history, have given up the discussion, and yet the question remains fresh as ever. Many times in the turmoils and struggles of our lives we seem to forget the question; then all of a sudden, someone dies (one, perhaps, whom we loved); one near and dear to our hearts is snatched away from us. The struggle, the din and turmoil of the world around us, then cease for a moment, become silent, and the soul asks the old question, “What after this?” What becomes of the soul?
Episode 3: What is the Aim of Life?
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: You ask, “What is the aim of life?” In a sense, you cannot aim your own life. There is a destiny that aims it — a law which governs and carries it. To what? To an ever-increasing and boundless capacity for happiness as your power increases, and increase it must. You cannot stop growing, despite all appearances to the contrary.
The pain you have suffered has been through that same growth of the spirit pressing you harder and harder against what caused you misery, so that at last you should take that pain as a proof that you were on some wrong path, which you must leave behind as soon as possible.
Episode 4: How to Develop Real Spirituality
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: When we attempt to define the spiritual, we begin by declaring that the spiritual world is absolute. We speak of the Divine as absolute because we realize that we can add nothing to the wisdom, the power, the life, the light and the glory of the Supreme. We say that God is All in All, but we can also say the same of the spiritual world.
The spiritual world is, even now, at the apex of absolute perfection, so that there is no law in the cosmos through which anything could be added to the completeness of that world. However, the spiritual world, even though it appears to be the very reverse of the external world, is not a thing apart. It is not a universe that exists beyond or away from the physical or external universe. The spiritual world is, in truth, the very soul of the external world, and therefore is present everywhere.
Episode 5: The Divine Paradox: Mind vs. Matter
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: What the mystics know as “the Law of Paradox” is an aspect of the Principle of Polarity. Mystical writings are filled with references to Paradox in the consideration of the problems of Life and Being. Hermetic teachers are constantly warning their students against the error of omitting the (quote) “other side” of any question. And their warnings are particularly directed to the problems of the Absolute and the Relative, which perplex all students of philosophy, and which cause so many to think and act contrary to what is generally known as “common sense.”
Therefore, we must caution all students of spirituality to be sure to grasp the Divine Paradox of the Absolute and Relative, lest you become entangled in the mire of the Half-Truth. With that in mind let’s begin our discussion…
Episode 6: Realizing Selfless Divine Love
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: It is said that Michelangelo saw in every rough block of stone a thing of beauty awaiting the master-hand to bring it into reality. Likewise, within each one of us there reposes the Divine Image awaiting the master-hand of Faith and the chisel of Patience to bring it into manifestation. And that Divine Image is revealed and realized as stainless, selfless Love.
Hidden deep in every human heart is the spirit of Divine Love. It is the Truth within us; it is that which is real and immortal. All else changes and passes away; this alone is permanent and imperishable; and to realize this Love by ceaseless diligence in the practice of the highest good, to live in it and to become fully conscious in it, is to enter into immortality here and now, is to become one with Truth, one with spirit, one with the central Heart of all things, and to know our own divine and eternal nature.
Episode 7: Love Letters from God
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Walt Whitman looked upon everything in nature as a message to humanity from the Infinite. He says: “To me converging objects of the universe perpetually flow; All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means. Did you ever think that every flower, every tree, every ray of sunshine, every beautiful landscape, is really a loving message, a letter from God to us, His children? If we could only read His handwriting in the rocks, in the fields, in the flowers, in the stars, in the moon, in the clouds, in the sunset, in all His handiwork, what joy would be brought into our lives!”
Whitman urged people to learn to read God’s handwriting by going direct to the fountainhead and studying and interpreting His messages for themselves. This is the only way to get their full meaning…Become a Patron Now
Episode 8: The Divine Law of Human Service
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: Life is serious. Each one must decide for themselves, acting from the intuitions of their own soul, and in the light which comes from the circumstances by which they are surrounded. The seductive voices of ease or temporal advantage must be ignored. Not even may public opinion be considered. The choice must be made under the behest of conscience.
The voice of God is the only voice which may bid the soul be still and listen; and when the choice is made, we find that the law of life, as revealed by all the lessons of human experience, is the Divine Law of Human Service.
The love of God is best shown in the love of humanity. Those souls which are the most reverent, and most completely fulfill the Divine will, are those that yield most readily and cheerfully to the pressure of human need. This truth is seen moreover in large, as well as a small, ways.
Episode 9: Native American Spirituality & Wisdom
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: The original attitude of Native Americans toward the Eternal, the “Great Mystery” that surrounds and embraces us, was as simple as it was exalted. To them it was the supreme conception, bringing with it the fullest measure of joy and satisfaction possible in this life.
The worship of the “Great Mystery” was silent, solitary, free from all self-seeking. It was silent, because all speech is of necessity feeble and imperfect; therefore the souls of my ancestors ascended to God in wordless adoration.
It was solitary, because they believed that the Creator is nearer to us in solitude, and there were no priests authorized to come between them and their Maker. None might exhort or confess or in any way meddle with the religious experience of another.
Episode 10: Reincarnation & Evolution | Science & Religion
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: The Indian philosophy of Vedanta accepts evolution and admits the laws of variation and natural selection, but goes a step beyond modern science by explaining the cause of the “tendency to vary.” It says, “There is nothing in the end which was not also in the beginning.” And this law governs the process of evolution, as well as the law of causation.
If we admit this grand truth of nature, then it will not be difficult to explain by the theory of Evolution the gradual manifestation of our higher, spiritual nature. Each germ of life, according to Vedanta, possesses infinite potentialities and infinite possibilities. The powers that remain latent have the natural tendency to manifest perfectly and to become actual. In their attempt they vary according to the surrounding environments, selecting suitable conditions or remaining latent as long as circumstances do not favor them.
Therefore variation, according to Vedanta, is caused by this attempt of the potential powers to become actual. When life and mind began to evolve, the possibilities of action and reaction hitherto latent in the germ of life became real and all things became, in a sense, new.
Episode 11: A Mystical Understanding of God & Spirit
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: A Hindu child once said to his playmate: “If you can tell me where God is, I will give you a mango.” The playmate replied: “If you can tell me where God is not, I will give you two mangos.”
Yes, where is God not? While most religions teach that God is omnipresent, the majority of people have difficulty in grasping this truth. They are under the illusion that God must be sought in particular places and in definite localities, such as in churches and in Heaven.
Many make the mistake of attempting to fit their ideas of the Deity into their limited intelligence, and liken God unto themselves. They ascribe to Him hands, feet, a face, senses, and emotions. The majority are also unable to realize God’s ever-present nearness, but believe He is remote and separated from the universe, inaccessible and only to be approached through intermediaries.Become a Patron Now
Episode 12: Growth & The Spiritual Laws of Being
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: Overflow. And live in the present. Life is for us today. There will be no change for tomorrow unless we do the changing today. Today we are setting in motion the power of tomorrow. Today is God’s day, and we must extract from it what of life we are to live. Tomorrow, in the divine course of events, will care for itself.
The soul that learns to live in the great gladness of today will never weary of life, but will find that it is living in an eternal here and now. Now, all good is yours; now, all life, truth and love are your; now, you have entered in, and the good things of life are yours today.
Let your soul sing today and the song that comes tomorrow will be all the sweeter, will ring out over the vistas of time with an unmistakable clearness. Here is a soul who knows itself and has found life within itself, who has met God today. No more waiting, no more longing, no more weary roads to travel. You have arrived. The goal is won and peace has come at last. Today.
Episode 13: The Spirit of Hope vs. The Philosophy of Despair
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: According to Schopenhauer, we move across the stage of life stung by appetite and goaded by desire, in pain unceasing — the sole respite from pain is the instant in which desire is lost in satisfaction. To do away with desire is to destroy pain, but it also destroys existence — with death only comes complete relief from pain.
Thus the Pessimist tells us that “the only reality in life is pain.” But surely this is not the truth. The person who knows no reality save appetite has never known life at all. The realities in life are love and action — not desire, but the exercise of our appointed tasks.
Our sensations and power to act must go together. We can know nothing that we cannot somehow weave into action. To weave knowledge into action is the antidote for ennui. To plan, to hope, to do, to accomplish the full measure of our powers, whatever they may be, is to turn away from Nirvana to real life. A useful person, a helpful person, an active person in any sense, even though their activity be misdirected or harmful, is always a hopeful person.
Episode 14: Ancient Mexican Code of Moral Precepts
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Take always the good part, O my child. Sow, and thou shall reap. Thou will live by thy labour, and consequently thou will be satisfied, and cherished by thy parents and thy friends.
We live not in this world without much labor. We procure not easily what is necessary. I have borne much trouble to rear thee, and yet I have never abandoned thee, and I have done nothing for which thou can blush.
If thou desirest to live in tranquility, keep clear of harsh criticism and judgements, for these occasion quarrels.
Keep secret what thou hearest. Let it be learned from others rather than from thee; and if thou cannot avoid telling it, speak frankly, without hiding anything, even though thou believe it were well to do so. Repeat not that which thou has witnessed. Be discreet, for to be a tattler is a mean vice, and if thou liest thou will certainly be punished, one way or another.
Episode 15: The Secret of Work, Freedom & Attachment
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: You must remember that freedom of the soul is the goal of enlightenment, and each path equally leads to the same result. By work alone we may get to where Buddha got largely by meditation or Christ by prayer.
Here is the difficulty. Liberation means entire freedom—freedom from the bondage of good, as well as from the bondage of evil. A golden chain is as much a chain as one made of iron ore.
There is a thorn in my finger, and I use another thorn to take the first one out, and when I have taken it out, I throw both of them aside. I have no necessity for keeping the second thorn, because both are thorns after all.
So the bad tendencies are to be counteracted by the good ones, and the bad impressions on the mind should be removed by the fresh waves of good ones, until all that is evil almost disappears, or is subdued and held in control in a corner of the mind. But after that, the good tendencies have also to be conquered. Thus the “attached” becomes the “unattached.”Become a Patron Now
Episode 16: Human Evolution & Limitless Possibility
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Humanity has ever stalked the world like an idle sleep walker, in a dream of bewilderment, unconscious of the boundless resources of our own nature and the limitless heights that the fully developed person may reach. Limitation has always clouded our vision. Of the limitless reservoirs of mental life within ourselves, we have been totally oblivious. We are a stranger to ourselves, an unguided wanderer, ignorant of our own greatness and possibilities.
We supposed we were made in an instant, the result of a fiat, and that our limitations were set by the divine decree that brought us into existence. We were never told that we were not finished, or of the slumbering possibilities within ourselves. But we are awakening from our long dream, to the realization that “The full measure of the individual has never been taken” and that the infinite path of progress stretches away before us.
Episode 17: Reincarnation & The Law of Karma
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: “Karma” is a Sanskrit term for that great Law known to Western thinkers as Spiritual Cause and Effect, or Causation. It relates to the complicated affinities for either good or evil that have been acquired by the soul throughout its many incarnations. These affinities manifest as characteristics that endure from one incarnation to another — being added to here, softened or altered there, but always pressing forward for expression and manifestation. And, so, it follows that what each one of us IS in this life, depends upon what we have been and how we have acted in our past lives.
Throughout the operations of the Law of Karma, the manifestation of Perfect Justice is apparent. We are not punished for our sins, as the current beliefs have it, but instead we are punished by our sins. We are not rewarded for our good acts, but receive our reward through and by the characteristics, qualities, and affinities that we have acquired — by reason of having performed these good acts in previous lives. We are our own judges and executioners.
Episode 18: Affirming Life in The Great I AM
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt:We often do not sufficiently recognize the truth of Walt Whitman’s pithy saying, “I am not all contained between my hat and my boots.” We forget the two-fold nature of the “I AM” — that it is both the manifested and the un-manifested, the universal and the individual. By losing sight of this truth, we surround ourselves with limitations. We see only part of the self, and then we are surprised that the part fails to do the work of the whole.
Factors crop up that we had not reckoned with, and we wonder where they came from, and do not understand that they necessarily arose from that great unity in which we are all included. It is the grand intelligence and livingness of the Universal Spirit continually pressing forward to manifest itself in a glorious humanity.
Episode 19: The Foundations of Spirituality & Religion
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: The way to find the truth is to do the truth — for only the truth that we can do is worth discussing. If you will give yourself to the business of living the truth that you have, you soon will have the living truth for this new day.
Too many people are holding up as saving doctrines matters of philosophy and speculation, matters of childish curiosity, because it is easier to hold these things theoretically than to hold living truth practically. The truths that save us are the ones that change our characters; the greatest translation of the Bible is the one that translates into present day lofty living.Become a Patron Now
Episode 20: Our Shared Human Destiny
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Why am I here? Where am I going? What’s the point of it all? These are eternal questions asked by every man and woman who has ever lived. The true destination of human kind, the proper end of our being and life, lies beyond the present world in an order of things which are supernatural; and it is absolutely necessary that you should know this, and have supreme regard for this fact, in order that you may not live in vain.
This is the theme on which I plan to speak with you today — the one great thought I wish to bring before you, and to leave with you, in the full earnestness of its own proper consequences and relations. May the Spirit of all truth and grace serve to fix deeply and lastingly in your minds the living force of the thought itself, so that it shall be found hereafter the pole-star of your existence, lighting it onwards and upwards through immortality.
Episode 21: The Chapel of Silent Demand & Prayer
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: There will be built in time an edifice, partaking of the nature of a church, where all persons (of whatever condition, age, nationality, or creed) may come to lay their needs before the Great Supreme Power and demand of that Power help to fulfill those needs. It should be a church without sect or creed. It should be open every day during the week, and every evening until a reasonable hour.
It should be a place of silence for the purpose of silent demand or prayer. All who enter it for any purpose should be asked to refrain from loud talking or irreverent whispering. All who enter it should be counseled not to bring with them any frivolous mind or thought. It should be a place of earnest demand for permanent good, yet not a place of gloom or sadness.
Episode 22: The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: These are the hidden sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Thomas wrote down.
And Jesus said, “Whoever discovers the meaning of these sayings won’t taste death.”
“If your leaders tell you, ‘Look, the kingdom is in heaven,’ then the birds of heaven will precede you. If they tell you, ‘It’s in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and outside of you.
“Whoever seeks shouldn’t stop until they find. When they find, they’ll be disturbed. When they’re disturbed, they’ll be […] amazed, and reign over the All.”
“When you know yourselves, then you’ll be known, and you’ll realize that you’re the children of the living Father. But if you don’t know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.”
Episode 23: The Adventure of the Last Open Door
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: Those of strong religious faith have been able to view death with tranquil eyes, because it was to them the gate into larger life. But, without dealing with the issues of religion and faith, we can say that even from the point of view of an inevitable adventure, death may lose some of its terrors, which are really the terrors only of the unknown.
We judge a thing by what it leads up to. It is foolish to judge a process by its beginning. A consideration of origins will never give the value of an evolving force. So the thing of importance is not where life came from, but where it issues. The value of life is that it is the only road, which leads to the open door of the new mystery. We need life, that it may usher us to death as to another birth.
Episode 24: The Magic Mirror
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: The most difficult thing in the world is to make people believe in their own bigness, to take stock in their own latent ability. If we had a larger conception of our possibilities, a larger faith in ourselves, even those who are considered successful could accomplish infinitely more than they do. And if we only better understood our divinity we would have this larger faith.
We are crippled by the old orthodox idea of our inferiority. But there is no inferiority about the person God has made. The only inferiority in us is what we put into ourselves. What God made is perfect. The trouble is that most of us are but a burlesque of the person that God patterned and intended. And this is because we have no faith in ourselves, no knowledge of our divine possibilities.Become a Patron Now
Episode 25: Pathways to a Beautiful Life
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: We are searching for pathways to a beautiful life. But often we don’t know where to begin, and what guideposts we should use to navigate our journey. The first thing to do is to recognize the great truth that every individual can live their own life exactly as they wish to. You are the real master of your own existence, and it is you who may determine how perfect and how beautiful that existence is to be.
Your life is in your own hands. You may live as you wish. You may secure from life whatever you desire, because there is no limit to life, and no limit to your capacity to live. The elements of life can be modified, changed, developed and perfected to comply with your own supreme demand. The increase of life can be realized in the exact measure of your largest need. You are in living touch with Infinite life, and there is neither limit nor end to the source of your supply.
Episode 26: Do Not Syndicate Your Sorrows
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: The most selfish person in the world is the one who is most unselfish with their sorrows. Such persons do not leave a single misery of theirs untold to you or unsuffered by you — they give you all of them. The world becomes to them a syndicate formed to take stock in their private cares, worries, and trials. Their mistake is in forming such a syndicate. Instead, they should organize a trust and control it all themselves, then they could keep everyone from getting any of their misery.
Life is a great, serious problem for the individual. All our greatest joys and our deepest sorrows come to us — alone. We must go into our Gethsemane — alone. We must battle against the mighty weakness within us — alone. We must live our own life — alone. We must die — alone. We must accept the full responsibility of our life — alone.
Episode 27: No Room in The Inn: Christmas Symbolism
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: The world’s attitude towards the birth of every great truth is focused in a single phrase in the simple story of the first Christmas, the greatest birthday since time began. Mary laid the infant Christ in a manger because (quote) —“there was no room for them in the inn.”
For worldly success, fame, social prestige, laurel-crowned triumph, the inn is illuminated; welcoming music fills the air; and the inn doors are thrown wide open. But the struggle towards sublime attainment, heroic effort to better the world, simple consecration of soul to a noble ideal, means the manger — and a lonely pathway lit only by the torch of truth held high in the hand of purpose.
Episode 28: A Unitarian Sermon of Immortal Life
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: It is the belief of many that we shall all live forever. This is not a doctrine of Christianity alone. It belongs to the human race. But how did we come by this belief? Our ancestors did not sit down and think it out; never waited till they could prove it by logic and metaphysics; did not delay their belief till a miraculous revelation came to confirm it. It came to them by intuition; by instinctive belief, the belief which comes unavoidably from our nature.
In this same way came the belief in a higher power; the redeeming power of love; and the yearning for justice. Some faculties of the body act spontaneously at first—so others of the spirit. Immortality is a fact of human nature; it is thus a part of the universe, just as the sun is a fact in the heavens and a part of the universe.
Episode 29: The Best of Rumi
Spiritual Growth Podcast Excerpt: Only the soul knows what love is. What matters is how quickly you do what your soul wants. My soul is racing ahead of me. It says, “The body is too slow for me – I am going.”
There is some kiss we want with our whole lives: the touch of spirit on the body.
Whatever you are seeking, is seeking you. What is planted in each person’s soul will sprout. There is nothing outside of yourself. Look within. Everything you want is there — you are that.
Until you remain blind and deaf I will be invisible. Look for the answer inside your question. Eyes cannot see you. You are the source of sight.
Whatever I was looking for was always you. Your calling my name is my reply. Your longing for me is my message to you. I see my beauty in you. I become a mirror that cannot close its eyes to your longing.
Be foolishly in love, because love is all there is.
Episode 30: The Logic of Faith
Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: Every act of our lives is an act of faith, based upon experience. We take food and drink into our mouths without thought of the process of nutrition, or understanding how waste tissue is restored. We take air into our lungs, though ignorant of the chemistry by which it will oxygenate the blood. We fall forward as we walk, depending on our unconscious will and muscle to maintain our center of gravity.
We direct our steps to a distant point without anxiety lest our brain should become confused and fail to lead us back. As the jingle rhyme so quaintly puts it — My feet they take me through the house; they hoist me up the stair. I only have to steer them; and they take me everywhere.Become a Patron Now