Did Jesus resurrect, or did we?

Cheryl and Richard discuss Jesus’ resurrection.

After the resurrection, the disciple, Thomas, had to touch Jesus before believing he had risen. This was Jesus’ response:

“‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” (John 20:29, ESV)

Cheryl: I can grasp this verse intellectually, but I wonder how I can apply “believing without seeing” in my everyday life. Does it mean that Christ is present, right now, here, even though I can’t see Jesus?

Richard: I don’t look at Jesus Christ as Jesus Christ. I look at Christ as Christ Jesus. Christ Cheryl, Christ Richard. A teacher once said to a student, “If there is a God, let me see it, touch it, feel it.” The students reply was, “If you have a mind, let me see it, let me touch it, let me feel it.” End of discussion. We are the manifestation of Christ. It’s not a matter of believing, it’s a matter on knowing.

Cheryl: As a news reporter, I work with a lot of different people. I want to believe and see Christ as expressed by all these people.

Richard: I agree. Where you see love, compassion, kindness, and truth in whatever form, you see the Christ in action.

Cheryl: When I feel grumpy or meet mean people, it seems as though Christ has been killed again. Do you think the “blessing” can reappear if I believe Christ can continue to be risen?

Richard: In reality, the truth stands on its own, so, Christ can never be killed, but like Thomas, when we are afraid or suspicious, we are basically dead to Christ. Human beings sometimes refuse to acknowledge the truth, and when we are able to see the truth, it feels as though Christ has risen.

 

What can Easter bring?

With Easter approaching, Cheryl and Richard discuss a verse from the Gospel Luke:

“And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed his last.”

pink flowers person quietCheryl: Jesus knew he was going to be crucified. He also had plans to resurrect, and in order to do this, he had to “breath his last.” But his prelude comment, “I commit My spirit,” shows he attached to something greater before giving up the lesser.

Richard: I don’t know if I would use the term attaching to Spirit. I think Jesus fully knew his Divine Image, he understood that he wasn’t material, but Spiritual. By detaching himself from the physical world, he was trying to teach that we are all of this Divine Spirit.

Cheryl: Hindsight shows me that when I committed to Spirit, before giving up something, things went better. Usually it began as a necessity. For instance, when our daughters were approaching college age, I had to commit my mind to God as the Parent, and understand better that God was always guiding them even though I wasn’t with them. The transitions went well.

Richard: Committed to Spirit to me is joining Spirit as one. I do this through prayer and meditation. The more I bond with Spirit, the more I see, the more I trust, the more I truly believe.

Cheryl: I remember struggling to quit eating so much chocolate. I could not give up that chocolate until I committed myself to Spirit, by learning to really feel the satisfaction that comes from Spirit. I suppose it was a lesson in gratitude for Spirit.

Richard: I struggled with smoking for years. Bonding with Spirit makes giving up some habits a bit easier. By focusing on Spirit, we focus on love. In order to give love, we must first be able to love ourselves. When we love ourselves, we do good things for ourselves, and are able to pass this gift to others.

 

Synthetic biology and the Bible

I’m reading J. Craig Venter’s book, Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life. Venter is a scientist, a genetic engineer. In year 2010, he and his colleagues became the first to successfully create “synthetic life.”

Not an easy task, in light of the fact that Venter first had to achieve genome sequencing which involved sequencing millions of genes to decipher their codes. Scientists now can take genes from a simple organism, write a new code, and construct a synthetic genome that creates living proteins.

Venter sees the possibilities of creating organisms that can eat carbon dioxide. Others wonder: Are these scientists trying to be God? What if someone creates a monster? This situation gets a little scary, a bit divisive. So, I look to divine Science for insights.

geneFrist off, throughout his book, Venter stresses the ethics necessary in this phase of biological research.

Secondly, the “synthetic” product is not anything “new.” A synthetic product is an artificial imitation, or copy, of something that already exists. The genes used to produce synthetic materials already exist.

Granted the manipulation of those genes may seem a bit egocentric, however thought barriers are being broken and humankind is being forced to look beyond themselves. Although Venter believes life is of the material/physical construct, he admits that DNA synthesis is error-prone, and that genes alone cannot define life, because environment also plays a role.

Humankind has also admitted life is more than that which is attached to the fluctuating substance we call matter.

These admittances push the question, What is Life? What is a substantial life? Is life  tactile to the physical senses? Or is life metaphysical? Is life from matter or Spirit?

The whole scenario of trying to find life in matter has been repeated over and over again throughout history. Humankind has tried to mimic God by generating, yet what we create always dies while God still lives. We are taught that the heart or brain and genes are the source of life, but not completely.

Looking to our genes as a source of life, or security, is misleading, unless it circles back around to God. Remember Jesus, who said, “Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.”

Will the day come when synthetic biology can originate what they call “life” from a stone? Many doubts.

Maybe synthetic biology can originate life from dry bones, but again the idea is not original.

In Ezekiel we read about the valley of dry bones. The prophet writes, “And he [God] said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord GOD, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’” (ESV)

Living from the standpoint that Life is complete, we spend less time trying to create something and more time enjoying the good already created.

We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “There can be but one creator, who has created all. Whatever seems to be a new creation is only the discovery of some distant idea of Truth; or else it is a self-division of mortal thought. The human mind is not an originator, but is a mime, attempting to mimic the divine infinite.

“The multiplication of a human sense of persons and things is neither creation nor revelation. A temporal thought, like an atom of dust thrown into the face of spiritual immensity, is dense blindness instead of a scientific eternal consciousness of creation.”

The placebo effect

Posted by Richard Fischer:
I don’t like being sick, or laid up in bed. When I am, I have to wonder, “How did I get here?” I know some people who thrive on being sick because they get something in return.
1. Attention
2. Sympathy
3. Empathy
4. Pity

Some people feel special when they are sick. When you are special, people will do things for you. You are the center of the Universe. Me? I’ll take a healthy body and Mind any day of the week.

happy in carYears ago, I had a family member come and visit when I lived down south while serving in the military. We were all going to take a day trip to the Gulf of Mexico. As we all got into the car she said, “Uncle Richard, I ran out of Dramamine, and if I don’t have it, I will get car sick.” I said, “No problem honey, I will stop by Walmart and pick you up some.”
We were on the road for no less than a minute when she said, “Oh, how far is Walmart? I’m getting sick already.” As we got to Walmart, I told my wife that I’d get the Dramamine. I actually picked up some Long Fellow candies, and put them into a bottle and told her they were bigger, because they were the adult size. One will last you all day. We got on the road, and low and behold, I had a healthy happy young lady in the back seat enjoying her day trip to the Gulf.

She believed in her demise of car sickness. She also believed in the so-called cure Dramamine.
It amazes me of the power of faith, and the power of belief. Why do we carry these false beliefs with us for our whole lives? Is it because we need our sickness? Do we need to be special? Is pity and sympathy our friend? Or, our enemy? Our crutch? Or, our excuse?

When I get sick or am not feeling well, I affirm who and what I am. I am God’s child. I am made in the Divine image of the Creator, therefore I am whole and perfect. This is what makes me Special. Spirit, Mind, is my ally. The only sickness I have is that which human mind created, whereas Mind created health.

Five minutes of meditation

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been meditating for 5 minutes every day. Okay, one day I only managed to meditate about 3 minutes, but this meditation is little different from my daily praying, even though they can seem very similar.

Prayer is desire and I can pray to God when I’m driving the car, out on a walk, or crammed in an airplane.

Meditation, the kind I’m doing anyway, involves stopping my “activity” and quieting my mind. I affirm God’s presence. I affirm that I personify all the attributes of God, Love, Life.

Quieting my mind is not easy. My mind can wander in light speed. In a bazillion directions.

So, what’s a consequence of this five minute routine?

Last night I had a dream. I found myself sinking, being swallowed up. It felt real. It felt horrible.

I began meditating and I woke up.

The picture below is not me, but it is what I feel like sometimes when making the effort to meditate. But, I’m finding it’s worth it.

This isn't me meditating but its what I feel like sometimes because meditating takes effort

This isn’t me meditating but its what I feel like sometimes because meditating takes effort

Seeing what you believe

Posted by Richard Fischer:

About 8 eight years ago I realized the importance of truth. Truth is just that, there is no substitute, it is what it is, and no matter what we think, or try to tell ourselves, truth will always stand on its own.

I went to a Church of Christ, Scientist, in Washington State. I made some wonderful friends. One family in particular became very close to me. I would see the parents with their two children, and often a foster child, twice a week for three years. One of the daughters eventually left home to venture in life. We all missed her dearly. Moreover, every time she came home to visit, I would show up at the door just to visit. The young lady made the comment to me, “One Mind I guess, you always seem to know when I’m coming home.

A few years later, the family moved away. We still kept in touch and I learned that the daughter would be visiting our city for a few days. I told my wife how sad I felt that Leah is coming home and I won’t be able to see her. Maybe ego got involved because I was so sad that I didn’t make an effort to see Leah.

Soon after, my wife and I went to a Fred Meyer store to shop. As I was waiting for my wife in the store, a young lady stood in front of me, smiling. I thought I was in her way, so I said, “excuse me” and moved my cart out of the way. She didn’t move and kept smiling, and I moved over more. She didn’t move and kept smiling and now I was embarrassed. I finally said to her, “OK I guess you know me?” She smiled and shook her head yes. I then said, “and I guess I know you too right?” Again she shook her head yes. I then said, “OK I give up, who are you?” She smiled and said “Leah.”

I didn’t know what to do, I was so embarrassed. I ran over to her and gave her a big hug and said “of course it’s you.” She had grown into her own person. We spoke for a while and went our own ways. I felt so blessed to be able to see her.

That evening I remember thinking, “how come I didn’t recognize her? She hadn’t changed at all in her looks, and yet, I couldn’t see her.” Standing three feet away and I couldn’t see the truth before me. Why? I kept asking myself, Why?

I know why now.

I told myself that I wouldn’t be able to see her in the old way I’d seen her before. I believed I wouldn’t be able to see her. Low and behold, she stood three feet from me, and I couldn’t see her.

believe what seeIsn’t life just like that? We are told we get carsick, so we get sick. We are told these people or that religion is bad so we believe that. We carry all these beliefs with us which blinds our future.

I remember reading the child’s version of the Bible. Lots of people would say, “That’s not the Bible, and I’m wasting my time.” But it isn’t true. I knew I was getting truth in an easier version so I too could understand.

I finally found a revised book of Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy, and I can understand the meaning and concepts of the faith. The book, 21st Century Science and Health makes people in the churches of Christ, Scientist freak out, but I believe they refuse to see the truth of Christian Science because of their fear of growing.

We tell ourselves for so long that we can’t do this or that, and we soon believe it. I want my world and Universe to be much bigger than that. I believe all things are possible, and to share truth and its progress is possible. We can believe in, and see, progress and positive things and people.

The Fast Runner runs out the bad guys

Igloo-inside_largeThe 2001 film, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner doesn’t have a lot of dialogue or fast action, but even in light of our fast paced lives in America, the show did keep my attention. The setting is in Eastern Arctic wilderness at the dawn of the first millennium, in Igloolik.

The population of Igloolik could fit in one igloo.

The Canadian film, directed by Zacharias Kunuk is the first feature film ever to be written, directed and acted entirely in Inuktitut.

It’s rated R for a reason as there is murder and sex. The 172 minute movie showcases the patience of forgiveness. The story tells of an Inuit legend of an evil spirit causing strife in the community. Atanarjuat battles the menace with immense resolution, spurred by his love for his wife and child.

A ceremony is performed in the end and the people who caused so much hurt were asked to leave the community. There was wailing and begging for more forgiveness, but the Inuit Grandmother stood her ground. The envy, greed, and hate walked out of the igloo.

“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.” (Eccl. 9: 5-6, ESV)