Beyond Counting Sheep    
June 2008

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Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!
Lyrics by Warren D. Cornell (19th Century)

     Insomnia is not a new experience in the human experience. When I was a child and people could not sleep from all the mental stresses in their lives, there was a method called, 'counting sheep'.

     What the individual did was imagine a fence, with a whole lot of sheep on one side of it. Then, mentally, see the sheep jump, one at a time, over this fence. As they jumped, you were to count them, one, two, three, and so on, until you fell asleep. This exercise was based on the fact that while one was counting the imaginary sheep jumping over the imaginary fence, it would create a mental concentration that would drive out any stressful thoughts that had been demanding one's attention. Once out of consciousness, the tension that kept one from falling asleep was removed. It replaced the conscious anxiety with peace.

     It was, in fact, a clever relaxation-of-the-mind technique that often worked quite well. The down-side was that it didn't address the cause of sleeplessness, nor did it erase the underlying fear that was afoot.

     The poem lyrics at the top of this article offer another way of doing the same thing, except with a more spiritual slant. By mentally repeating this short poem, one can almost feel the 'billows' of God's Love sweeping over oneself. Mentally repeating the words of the poem, however, isn't the lasting way to drive stresses from the human consciousness, which believes in a stubborn reality of the stresses of daily life in the material realm we seem to inhabit.

     The poem of God's 'billows of love' brings forth a higher concept to realize. That fact is: Peace is a quality of God which we each express, deep in our souls. Peace naturally resides in the Christ Consciousness within us all. We need only to call it forth and into the forefront of our thoughts.

     Peace is our natural state of being, devoid of the stresses of this world. It is our natural state of mind—the divine Mind within. Peace is our natural mental state because our kingdom is not of this world, and our deeper, spiritual sense within knows this.

     Our spiritual discernment realizes that the trials and tribulations of this material sense of things has no real place in our lives—more specifically, with spiritual discernment, we know that the situations of ill-health, lack of supply, and other discords aren't actually touching our true being or our lives in divine Spirit. Our true mental sense of things, beyond all else, looks at the human scene and factors in God's presence and power into our equation of 'how things are.' Our true kingdom is the realm and creation of the eternal, infinite Intelligence of God, always under the harmonious control of God. Our true kingdom is Spirit's realm, not the realm of matter.

     We are at peace with the knowledge of our true Kingdom and spiritual circumstances because, in fact, there is no disharmony under God's government of the true Kingdom to create stress. The divine Love is all there is, eternally. God is the sovereign Authority over all creation, including the true circumstances of Its own sons and daughters.

     Like everyone else in this human experience (where we seem to be material beings separated from God, our spiritual Source) I've had many bouts, throughout the years, with times of sleeplessness. Sometimes I've had trouble falling asleep at night due to some disquieting occurrence during the day. Other times, I'd awaken in the night with a problem that was plaguing me, like a conflict with some person, or a problem with myself.

     As I gravitated to more spiritual ways of thinking over the years (meaning that I began more and more to acknowledge God's presence, power and love for all) I began to realize the nothingness of the human trials and tribulations that arise in the material sense of things.

     Here's a specific example of what I mean:

     About six years ago, when online identity theft was growing, my mother's identity was 'stolen' through her telephone bill. It was called, "third party billing" and anyone could buy merchandise and online services and bill them to the telephone number of someone else. All they needed to provide for the online form was a name, address, and phone number of another individual, and claiming it as their own. The computer could be anywhere.

     Many online companies had little actual verification processes that worked. The several companies I dealt with didn't care; they simply let the phone company collect the charges and worry about the validity of these online-billed charges. My mom was in her mid-eighties, at the time, and didn't even own a computer, which didn't matter a bit to the phone company either (I think it does now.) The phone company in question wouldn't remove the charges.

     To make a long story short, I was responsible for her finances, so the problem appeared to be mine. For several months, new services such as email accounts, merchandise, special up-front offers for services, cash rebates, and even a security service which actually blocked the illegal activities, were all billed to her telephone bill. And these were monthly fees.

     I had no idea how to deal with this situation spiritually and lost a lot of sleep over the experience, even while praying my way through it; however, although I prayed about it from the start, I also tried to battle it, humanly, by myself. (I was just too fearful and overwhelmed, at first, to leave it to God, I guess.)

     One sleepless night (out of many) I had a break-through. I remembered that my Christ Consciousness within has no fear of anything because it is always at peace; nor is stress any part of my true being. Peace means freedom from all fear. During this line of thought, it came to me that not even mounting, erroneous financial debts existed in the ever-presence of God. New ways of theft could never actually invade the Kingdom of God, nor could God's loving control over all creation be altered, despite all human appearances to the contrary. There is only One real Mind in creation, and that purely, honest Intelligence is with each and every spiritual identity created; even in the collective reasoning of companies. It also came to thought that God, the ever-present Intelligence of Its own universe, has who we need as well as what we need, to deliver us from any and all discord.

     I began to relax, then, in the middle of that sleepless night, and finally fell asleep. In the morning, I suddenly knew what to do. I would call the state's Attorney General's office. They must know what to do, since I felt compelled to make the call.

     To my surprise, the Attorney General, herself, took an interest in our case and assigned someone to handle the whole matter. It actually took five months for all of the companies to comply and reverse charges (the phone company paid back all that I'd been forced to pay on my mom's bill, in order for her to retain her phone service); but I slept peacefully through it all, knowing that the divine Mind was really in charge, and no one could escape Its rightful correction of things for my mom.

     When all was settled, I clearly saw that no one can steal another's identity in the Kingdom of God. But I also saw the wisdom in the biblical advice: "Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you," (2 Chronicles 20: 17 to first,).

     In the Bible we read, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59: 19). This standard I believe to be our remembrance of our Sonship and Daughtership with God, and the always-present Christ Consciousness within that knows no fear, no discord, and cannot be mesmerized into believing the material threats of this world. Our divine Self, our Christly Self, is our completely awakened and enlightened, spiritual consciousness that exists, right where a limited, material, human consciousness seems to be, but is not.

     As false, material beliefs of existence are replaced by the spiritual Truth of God's presence and ultimate Authority over us, we release the fearful suggestions of mortal, physical being. We also release ourselves from the lie that we've been cast out of Spirit's realm and are existing (materially) in a realm outside of Spirit. We can never be separated from our spiritual Source and Origin.

     So, if you feel yourself to be a victim of identity theft, or anything else, don't try and go it alone. Nothing and no one can separate you from the Love of God, which has the responsibility to care for you eternally, wherever you are, or believe yourself to be.

     Every new trial, every threat of harm, is just one more tribulation of the human condition, which makes us believe we can be victims of the destructive behavior of others, or the elements of a physical creation. In God's ever-present, invisible-to-the-physical-senses Kingdom, every new effort at victimization is already met in the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of our divine Father-Mother. We need only acknowledge our true kingdom and circumstances, not of this material realm, to calm the storms of daily life and bring forward our innate peace. We sleep a lot easier after that—without the aid of sheep!

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