Author Archives: Cheryl Petersen

What about that heat?

With the summer heat upon us, I’ve been using reason to make sure I don’t over-heat.

I drink plenty of water and do the heavy outside work in the early mornings or evenings.

I’ve also been thinking through something I read in 21st Century Science and Health: “We say people suffer from the effects of noise, heat, and fatigue; but this is a human creed, not the truth of being, for matter cannot suffer. Human mind alone suffers—not because a law of matter has been violated, but because a law of this mind has been disobeyed.”

Heat doesn’t affect material atoms. It may transform the atoms into different forms or atoms, however in the long run, heat just doesn’t bother matter. So, why does it feel like heat bothers my material body? Because I believe heat affects me. Things is, I’ve set it up as a law in my mind. I didn’t use to. When younger, I worked in the heat, hot desert heat, every day on the farm. No big deal.

Now that I’m older, it seems that heat drains my energy. To blame it on an aging body is only another law I’ve set in my mind. In comparison, I know many older people who work in the heat just fine.

I have no over-the-top imagination that I’ll change my thinking and soon be working in the heat at all times of the day, however, I am able, with this knowledge, not to let my mind get out of hand and start assuming the worst. I then feel open to spiritual knowledge, the knowing that I can have the Mind of God, Spirit, untouched by matter or heat, and this helps me get through whatever I need to do, just fine.

puddly josie looking down

Stretching soap

When taking a shower, I’m the type to use a bar of soap, rather than like my sister who uses “body wash.” When the bar of soap wears down so thin that it breaks, I put them together. But, when the piece is too thin to rub on the wash cloth, I used to throw it in the garbage. It bothered me, throwing out perfectly fine soap, but too small to handle usefully.

So, I started saving the broken halves.

After about a year, I had quite a gathering of these pieces of soap.

soap in panThe day came when I decided it was time to do something with them. After a little research, I found I could heat the pieces of soap in a pan on the stove and melt them down to eventually pour into a mold for a whole new bar of soap.

I put all the pieces into a pan and added a little milk before turning on the stove burner.

I turned the burner to medium heat and started stirring the mixture. Within one minute knew I made a mistake.

The soap mess started burning on the bottom. Instead of giving up, I carefully poured the mixture into another pan without disturbing the burnt bottom layer. I put aside the first pan to clean later.

I put the second pan, full of the soap pieces, on the burner and turned the heat level way down to melt, then added water. About a quarter cup.

I stirred patiently.

soap next to box soap barSure enough, it melted. Even when there were a few chunks in the mix, I poured it into a box, lined with wax paper. The box was one of those boxes I buy berries in at the store.

A day later, the bar of soap, shaped like none other, was retrieved from the box. It will last quite a while since it’s rather bulky.

Bulk aside, I now see how much soap I threw away in the past. No more. The process of re-forming the little pieces into a useful bar of soap is too easy. I’ll keep doing it.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.–Ps. 51:10, ESV

My relationship with pain

Most human beings invest time and money in the endeavor to get rid of physical pain.

Is that like getting rid of a rotten spouse?

Some people take pain better than others. I’ve often marveled at those people who follow through on extreme sports, immersing their bodies in harsh conditions (e.g. racing the Iditarod, climbing the 8,000 meter peaks). They don’t seem to notice pain even though their bodies are assaulted by severe weather or lack of nutrients.

For us normal people going about a daily life of family and work, we sometimes resort to psychology, massage, or medicine to try to manage or control pain.

But alas, pain still racks human beings.

CHINA - AUGUST 16: Digging out a tent after a summer snow storm. China. (Photo by Tommy Heinrich/National Geographic/Getty Images)

CHINA – AUGUST 16: Digging out a tent after a summer snow storm. China. (Photo by Tommy Heinrich/National Geographic/Getty Images)

On a personal level, pain doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve had pain, but it doesn’t scare me and when I calm myself down and focus on spiritual good, eventually the pain goes away.

One day, I thought about my relationship with my husband. It’s a good relationship. We’ve been married more than 30 years and the way it works is when we don’t try to get rid of one another. “Getting rid” of one another isn’t even an option.

We also don’t try to manage or control one another. Doing so only produces a disaster of hurt feelings, sloth, or anger.

We don’t love one another so much that we don’t love others. We just love the goodness each of us expresses.

Do I have a relationship with pain?

Pain doesn’t express too much goodness, except when it tells me, “Don’t stick your finger in moving bike wheel spokes again.”

I don’t try to manage or control pain. I don’t love pain, but I don’t hate it either. I can respect it enough to listen to it. And, this relationship with pain seems to work for me in that it doesn’t take over my consciousness and it doesn’t dictate my future.

Find satisfaction before the experience

Raising chickens was a great experience. We had chickens when our daughters were living at home. I didn’t have to buy an egg the entire time. We ate brown eggs from hens that roamed the pasture. We boiled, scrambled, and baked with fresh eggs.

It was a good experience.

We want experiences. A religious experience. A position of power experience. A sexual experience. Out of body experience. A death defying experience.

Sometimes, I want to get chickens again, to repeat the experience. But that won’t happen. I already know what it means to have chickens. So, I crave more satisfying experiences, ones that expand my consciousness.

I can’t help though, to back up a bit and think that maybe I’ve already experienced what I’m looking for.

I just need to recognize my satisfaction in it. And, maybe this is very simple.

For the last 4 days, it’s been raining here in upstate New York. We are starting to mold!

But, during a 2 hour break in the rain 2 days ago, I dashed out and mowed the part of the lawn that was out-of-control.

That lawn is still growing, in this ideal grass growing weather.

Instead of thinking I need to experience something, I am satisfied.

To find satisfaction “first” helps me not believe I have to have a certain experience first, a belief that can lead to obsession or addiction.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Song, sermon, and Science—crumbs of comfort—are capable to inspire us with wisdom, Truth, and Love. Spiritual comfort blesses the human family, feeds the unsatisfied, and gives living water to the thirsty.

lawn mower

The devil and God

Sometimes I’m reluctant to read the news. Murder, slander, hate crimes, prison escapes, it gets to be too much.

This is where “the devil” comes in handy. And, I mean that in a singular tone. A devil; an impersonal devil. Not a bunch of human devils.

To believe people are devilish, is futile to a consciousness improving. The thinker gets caught in a whirlwind of seeing horrible acts, trying to identify its motivation, and applying non-conclusive solutions.

All the while, horrible acts still continue in the world, even though we have confinement, capital punishment, and counseling.

The advanced consciousness, though, is able to separate the person from the act, and better defeat the “tradition” of horribleness, the devil.

I can only arrive at this belief in “a devil” by believing in one God, even if my concept of God expands each day. But it allows me to get out of myself, my fears, and my egomania, to connect with the ideal of goodness, God. I’m better prepared to overcome the devil.

My mind opens to see goodness overbalance the crap.

In the world, I can not only read about, but also experience, milestones reached, forgiveness, cooperation, and common sense. I can move forward in these traditions.

thresh wheat

How to know what we need to know

I meet brilliant people, but find they are brilliant only in a specific field. They can even be dull in another area in life. This is because the human mind is limited. It can’t know everything. It can’t see everything.

So, we meditate. We take in more information. We study to learn. Yet, the human mind is still limited, because there is never an end to discovery.

Spiritual knowledge allows me to recognize the infinite Mind. I don’t pray to know what infinite Mind knows.

I pray to affirm that infinite Mind knows everything, and knows exactly what it needs to know at any given moment, and that I reflect that knowing.

My human mind yields to those epiphanies that keep life meaningful and fun.

This is natural. I see nature reflecting the all-knowing. Animals just know how to live.

2c horse near Gammys house

Finding those oases

Spiritual power can sometimes be oases in the middle of the big desert of birth, maturity, decay, death, fear, gain, and loss.

Our life journey takes us from one oasis to another as we look for that heightened consciousness that controls the physical world with goodness, healing, and strength.

It’s a letdown when moving toward an oasis, only to find it is a mirage.

This is when we can tap into our reserves. Like the body. It starts breaking down fat when famine is the case.

My reserves can come in the form of memories. Because I don’t want to live in the past, my memories aren’t necessarily brought up often. But when I feel desolate, I can choose to remember when I felt forces of love.

As much as I’m convinced I love my children, I can apply that conviction to a God who loves me. A God who can do anything for me to make my life full of grace. I find an oasis and am revived to move on in the infinite.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.

—Isaiah 35: 1-2

desert oasis


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