I asked Caitlyn to share with us her metaphysical approach to making life decisions, especially in cases where authorities, or experts, are involved who assume they know all the facts.
One hundred years ago, Mary Baker Eddy died, leaving an astonishing legacy to the world. A few people cherish the religious organization and church buildings Eddy left behind; however, one of Eddy’s books is regarded as the most valuable heirloom given to humanity, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Weather and exposure tarnish gold, silver, and marble. Similarly, human language, time, and misinterpretation tarnish the written word. Therefore, the 19th century church buildings are restored and Science and Health is revised.
The revision I produced, 21st Century Science and Health, required years of preparation, prayer, and research. Thankfully, Eddy revised Science and Health over 300 times during her lifetime so there was a definite pattern to follow. And, I can honestly say, this work was motivated by immense appreciation for Eddy’s explanation of divine Science. I did not revise Eddy’s book out of desperation; I did not do it to prove a point; and I did not do it because I thought I could do a better job than someone else. The work was done vigilantly, delicately, meticulously, conscientiously, prudently, firmly—through sweat and tears.
Eddy’s Science and Health was carefully excavated. I gently removed decaying language, clichés of institutionalized religion, misconceptions found in society, and the outdated social references. Readers of 21st Century Science and Health can also relate to examples and illustrations apropos to today’s globalization and technological discoveries. Science and Health is no longer aloof or weird.
The requisite revisions were made in order to present Eddy’s ideas intact and correct to this present time. A case in point is the paragraph discussing “Novel Diseases.” Eddy listed new diseases of the 19th century while I listed new diseases of today. I also updated terminology such as: animal magnetism, phrenology, humors, brainology, and consumption. Science and Health is now gender-inclusive. Also, Biblical quotes come from the diverse English Bible versions available to people at the many bookstores around the world.
I continue to update Science and Health, keenly noting the thoughts and suggestions of the global thought, proving that Christian Science can’t be trapped in history or culture.
Eddy’s Science and Health gleams again with the facts that: divine Science is timeless; other cultures and people have also discovered and articulated divine principles; the ability to heal spiritually is accessible to people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and faiths; a divine perspective of truth can’t be hidden; there is no mystery to understanding and practicing scientific mental healing; and, the elements of human ideologies never harmed Mind-science.
Immense work is yet needed to advance divine Science and its interpretation of health, harmony, and holiness. I continue to buck the lure of remaining in a human comfort-zone and consequently have successfully finished the 3rd edition of 21st Century Science and Health which can be read side-by-side with Eddy’s version. The 3rd edition can be purchased from Trafford Publishing in paperback, or as a Kindle eBook from Amazon
Posted by Cheryl Petersen on August 23, 2010
When Doug got home from work yesterday, he washed his face and we jumped in the car and drove to Oneonta to find Pam Strother’s house. Pam had invited us to dinner at 6 p.m. We found her happy home easily enough and were welcomed in along with other guests from the Unitarian Universalist Church.
Pam graded her guests and Doug and I received A’s while all the other guests received F’s….because Pam told everyone NOT to bring anything except ourselves. In other words, Doug and I were the only people who didn’t present a gift to the hostess. We may have received A’s, but we looked like heels.
Pam had prepared a cold zucchini soup, salad, and egg plant scaloppini with pasta. Her table was set with china trimmed in gold. Fresh flowers were on the table, and a gentle breeze was flowing through the windows. The meal was fabulously tasteful and a fancy dessert topped it off.
Conversation covered books, travel, children, God, and the highly prized tidbit of reaching Long Island via the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry. We also concluded as church members, we have the right to re-claim ”church” if it has been hijacked by hypocrisy, self-righteousness, or sloth. Church is a wonderful tool to use on a spiritual journey and belongs to humanity as a whole.
Doug and I stayed up past our bed-time, the evening was so refreshing, pleasant, and mind-enlarging. Thanks for a great time Pam.
Posted by Cheryl Petersen on July 23, 2010
Our daughter, Leah, and her boyfriend, Anthony, were visiting us last weekend, so we decided to have a party. I walked to our neighbors houses and invited them. I emailed a few friends who live in the nearby village, and I invited whoever happen to call me on the phone before our early Sunday dinner party.
Leah made scrumptious black-bean burgers. I made tasty black-pepper/ginger greenbeans and beef, cheesecake, and tiramisu. Friends brought fresh green salad, couscous, chili, and applesauce. Simple, yet delightful.
The atmosphere was alive with diversity and interest. Our cat, Richard, was skulking around the house trying desperately to find a quiet hiding place. The young children had to resort to playing with Richard’s toys, because our house is toyless since our chidlren are grown and gone.
Fortunately, Liz carries drawing pens and paper with her to use as an outlet for her ever-flowing love and creativity. Liz shared her coloring pens and paper with three year old Maica. Leon came as a newbie to us all, via Liz. It was comforting to meet him, an astute thinker and calming influence.
After eating, the attentive, lovely mothers took their children outside to romp. The rooms loudness factor dropped significantly, as if 13 people left, instead of 3 children and 2 mothers. We all inside immediately began misisng them.
Not that we didn’t have good conversation during the quiet lull. Annie spoke with her eloquent and attractive vocabulary that makes me appreciate the beauty in language. Paul and Eliane, shared travel adventures they had experienced over the last seventy years. Leah and Anthony chimed in with enterprising enthusiasm while discussing their new domain Stunt Bums Venus, Leah and Anthony’s doggie, sat on Anthony’s lap the entire time!
Eventually, the dispersion began. I cleaned up and within an hour there was no evidence of such a fortunate inclusive event.
I hope no one was offended that it isn’t my habit to say grace before eating. However, if I did say anything it would be, Thank you all for coming. I know most of you and find you stunningly interesting, therefore it stands to reason that when you get to know one another you will love each other as much as I love you all.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (NIV)
Posted by Cheryl Petersen on July 2, 2010
Weeding was a job that needed to be done, and girls can weed just as well as boys. Therefore, I weeded the row crops on the family farm right along with my 2 brothers while growing up. However, when I reached the ripe responsible age of 12, Dad also didn’t hesitate to teach me how to operate the John Deere 4020 tractor. As I proved my ability to operate machinery, Dad advanced me to balers, caterpillars, combines, and land movers. It wasn’t easy being a girl, working alongside brawny guys, but I had a Dad who stood undaunted by my side. Dad impressed me with the fact that sex, stature, or fear was not an obstacle to progress. However, what makes Dad more real to me today than ever before is he lived the fact progress can’t be stopped.
You have a mind, don’t be afraid to use it to the best of your ability; was Dad’s motto. He spoke from experience.
Almost 50 years ago, Dad was of the mind to pack up his new small family and move from the rocky farming ground in upstate New York to the better soil in Idaho. Within 3 more years, Dad packed us all up again and we moved to the warmer climate of Southeast Washington’s Columbia Basin. From that point on, I spent more time out on the farm with Dad, than in the house with Mom.
Cooking? Sewing? What’s that?
But, give me a double-stick shift Mack dump truck and I can gravel your roads. Thanks to Dad.
Besides moving to the Idaho farm, we moved to 4 different farms in Washington, leaving them healthier and more productive then before we arrived. Dad never missed a chance to improve the land. Even when the family went on vacation, we were expected to leave negligible impact on the land. Maybe foot prints, but no litter, no holes, and no markings.
Dad was tight with his money, in that unawareness was not affordable. I would get in trouble if I bought 36 bolts and didn’t know the price of each was $1.15. What if the price of bolts at the store next door was $1.02/each? But, Dad was generous beyond words when it came to church, the community, or helping people who needed a leg up.
When the local school district asked people to open their homes to visiting teachers from Japan, Dad made sure we had the opportunity to do so. A teacher was given my room. I was sent back to sleep with my 2 sisters. The adventure of meeting another culture and language immediately negated any sense of sacrifice.
Dad was a successful potato farmer. However, when I was in High School, the activity of developing an apple orchard was presented to him. Dad stood unfazed by the prospect of a different management style, different fertilizer plan, and different everyday life. His one remark to me was, “I always wondered why I took that fruit tree class at Cornell.” Dad simply applied the principles of hard work, honesty, and open-mindedness to achieve the result of success.
For advice on how to progress as painlessly as possible, Dad would read books and seek out answers from people who weren’t afraid of change. It isn’t that Dad went against the standard practice in orchards, he raised the standard. For example, Dad implemented the latest technology that allowed farmers to plant twice, or greater, the number of apple trees per acre. Production increased and because the trees were shorter, harvesting the apples was much easier for the worker.
The day Dad bought acreage in Oregon State’s Blue Mountains was a milestone in our family’s history. We discovered Dad could engage in recreation.
Well, sort of.
The first thing we had to do was plant the 1000 evergreen tree saplings he mail ordered. But, after that, through my junior and high school years we hiked, picked huckleberries, and snowmobiled in the Blue Mountains.
Dad had a mountain cabin built and then he taught me how to sheetrock and plaster a small room in the cabin basement so I could have a room of my own. It was freezing cold in that room, but better than listening to someone breath at night, which is my nemesis. Needless to say, my sisters didn’t think I’d ever find someone to marry me. But I did. And, after 27 years now, we are still happily married.
Guess what, I married a farmer (big surprise). We raised 2 fabulous daughters and fostered intriguing children for 15 years (okay, they raised and fostered us), and I taught myself how to cook and sew. Dad lived to see most of this, and although his body is gone, I still feel the essence of a father who stands by me when I face up to my fears and join the flow of progress.
My husband’s and my children are now on their own, so we sold the orchard and our house on it, and then sold all of our possessions. We then bought 2 used Suzuki C50’s, packed our saddle bags and drove across the United States, landing in upstate New York where we now live and have property. Dad was correct; some acreage in New York is too rocky and hilly to farm. Not a problem, I immediately located a certified Forester and signed up for Forest Management Plan.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you but I know you are with me.
Posted by Cheryl Petersen on June 19, 2010
Signs are everywhere. Some signs are excellent help, some need to be followed in stride.
For example, the famous, “Click-it or Ticket” sign is frequently seen while driving on the road. And, yesterday, after deciding to go visit my cousin, Darry, and his wife, Jan, in Naples, NY, we could have gotten in my car, buckled up and driven, but instead we swing our feet over the seat of our motorcycles and, with no seat belts, drive our merrily way, with feet 5 inches from pavement whizzing by at 65 miles per hour. Ah, the irony of click-it or ticket.
But, the day was gorgeous. There were signs of people relaxing and reuniting on this Memorial Day weekend. There were signs of rejuvenation and spring planting. There were signs of progress everywhere.
Almost 5 hours later, we motorcycled onto Darry and Jan’s driveway. The two of them were outside working hard, showing signs of artist creativity and newness.
We went inside for ice-tea and caught up on the news. We discussed how we could keep motivating children to be active, and not fall into the slump of obesity. The signs of revolution are in the air. People are going to war, fighting for our independence to be free, healthy, and fit.
On the way home, we drove past the sign “Newtown Battlefield,” in Elmira, NY, where a 1779 battle was successfully fought during the American Revolutionary War.
Signs of Memorial Day Weekend dominate the enviorment. We carry a sense of humility, knowing life has been sacrificed for freedom, however, signs of comaraderie and humor also fill the air as we help one another fight, not only physical battles, but also mental battles. We can win the mental freedom to take things in stride, share our joy, and be free of fear. The signs are here.
Posted by Cheryl Petersen on May 30, 2010
Oh, I rue the days when I hear someone tell me they can’t be a Christian Scientist because they took a pill. This is as valid as me saying, I can’t be a woman because I wore pants.
A Christian Scientist is a human being working out their salvation with God. And, it is impossible for God, Spirit, to know physical matter whether it is in the form of a plunger, a pill, or a poppy.
Don’t be fooled. Reading Bible Lessons and going through the motion of church rituals does not qualify a person to be a Christian Scientist. Take away their prayer time, their sacred readings, and ceremonies, and you will witness the same scene as an addict going cold-turkey from heroin.
If your heart is striving to love and rely on God, Spirit, go for it, even if it leads you to study Christian Science as taught by Mary Baker Eddy.
I know plenty of Baptists, Catholics, non-church goers, blue-collar workers, and material scientists who are genuine Christian Scientists working out the rules of spiritual love.
The bottom line is: human beings can rely on Spirit, Love, with scientific confidence.
“Do Christian Scientists seek Truth as Simon sought the Savior, for material conservatism and for personal politics? Jesus told Simon that seekers like him were stingy, giving little in return for the spiritual reward that came through the Messiah. If Christian Scientists are like Simon, then it must be said of them also that they love little. On the other hand, do students of Science show their regard for Truth, or Christ, by their genuine repentance? Are they conscience stricken and submissively expressing goodwill as the woman did? If so, then it may be said of them, as Jesus said of the unwelcome visitor, that they indeed love much, because much is forgiven them.”—21st Century Science and Health
Posted by Cheryl Petersen on March 13, 2010