Category Archives: Review

Winter reading

I bumped into a book that I’d like to recommend. It was an easy read about why human beings have religion. It wasn’t offensive and I didn’t feel any attempt to convert me toward, or away from religion.

The book:

A Little History of Religion

By: Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh

Number of Pages: 288

Holloway brings up some good points about human nature opposing new and useful changes. But the author also shines light on the fact that we do progress, we do change for the better.

 

March for good in human nature

I vote, but I don’t vote a party line and I always try to support whoever makes it to office with the intent to support our ongoing struggle to fight for justice and equality. I rankle when public servants impose their personal agendas on us.

Because this nation’s last presidential election was so, well, bazaar, I decided to make my way to the Women’s March, to unite for the sake of uniting.

While traveling to Washington D.C. on Friday, I sat in a truck stop diner eating lunch and watched and listened to the inauguration over the television. President Trump spoke pointedly against government status-quo.

But, my take-away on the inauguration was President Obama’s display of decency. A decency I hope never to forget and always to respect.

Come Saturday morning, I was on The Mall at 7 a.m. Words that come to mind to describe my observations until 6 p.m. are: impressive, well-organized, peaceful, offensive, and massive.

I chatted with Lisa Christopher. She told me, “I’ve lived in Washington D.C. for thirty years. I walk this street to work every day. This is big. I haven’t seen close to this big of a crowd since President Obama’s first inauguration. This is big. I was here yesterday during President Trump’s inauguration and it was nothing like this. I had to come see it for myself.”

Apparently, arrests were made on the day of the president’s inauguration. I was aware of no arrests on January 21.

The Women’s March pulled in an estimated 500,000 people.

Activist, Gloria Steinem, told us, “You look great. I wish you could see yourselves. It’s like an ocean.”

Steinem thanked the “hardworking visionaries. The women who led this inclusive march, one of which gave birth when organizing.”

Mayor of Washington D.C., the Honorable Muriel Bowser, talked about female empowerment and D.C. statehood. She told the crowd that women officials are more wrongly criticized than men, and when women are more harshly criticized for speaking up for equality, both women and men need to speak up for women.

The list of speakers goes on. Much of the language mirrored the condemnatory, self-serving agenda rhetoric touted by President Trump. But the majority demonstrated and gave voice and presence to integrity. I hope the same for new administration.

I personally knew someone at the March who voted for Trump. The voter wasn’t angry, but he listened to the marchers. I listened. We went to learn.

When the over-extended, fatigued human emotions were filtered out, a strain of awareness was apparent.

It was a show of we the people. Waking up maybe.

Singer, Alicia Keys, recited Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Rise,” before telling the crowd to respect mother energy.

Filmmaker, Michael Moore, encouraged us to join organizations, talk to our representatives, and run for office. He said, “Petition to run for any public office, whether for congress or the school board, be active.”

A few favorite signs I saw bobbing up and down in the crowd read: Trump, start leading, stop tweeting. All elections matter, local, state, national. I’m with her (next to a picture of the Statue of Liberty).

Once the speakers ceased, the mass of human bodies began walking to the White House.

The march was orderly, respectful, and powerful. We made way for wheelchairs and strollers without hesitation. There were some crude signs and language, but it didn’t barb the true purpose to unite and fight as we the people for the higher good.

During the hours required for the gathering to move, they chanted or rather yelled. The chant I remember: What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like.

marching-to-white-house-wm-small

New Book

Thought provoking book for those interested: Click for link to Amazon

pondering-cover

The power of humility or contrition

A friend is writing a book and gave it to me to review. I found it interesting, a real page turner.

At one point in the book, a man and his buddies had done a girl seriously wrong. He carried that knowledge with him for fourteen years before coming across the grown girl. Although he wasn’t confronted about his past behavior, he knew it had hurt her. He took her aside and asked her to turn him into the police. He didn’t ask the woman for forgiveness, he admitted he was wrong and wanted to make it right.

Our society uses the method of punishment or jail as a means of making bad behavior right. It was all he knew.

But the woman, watched him confess and knew he had already punished himself for fourteen years. She told him, “Your contrition has changed you and made you better person.”

This sentence struck me. It paralleled my thoughts on how powerful divine Mind is to transform the human mind. It is the human mind or ego that is the real criminal. Sitting in a jail won’t change a person, although we need jails most of the time because we aren’t so advanced as to know how to help people become changed for the better very well.

Real change happens in mind and involves contrition or humility.

I can think of the times when out in the woods, or with my pets, or watching people help people and I feel a wave of humility or contrition come over me. It does change me for the better.

I can think of the times when I was with a foster child and felt as though the child was equal to perfect innocence and a life of goodness. The child’s background, ethnicity, or skin color was irrelevant, completely vanished as elements of reality. The human personality was gone and the spiritual child was there, is here.

This also shows me how ridiculous it is to argue religious doctrine or church conformity or social standing. They too have no bearing in the realm of reality.

We work with what we have and we humans do have enough understanding to continue to progress mindfully. We can internalize the humility or contrition that changes us, or puts us on the path of love.

turning colors August 2014

Recommended book on Angels

“Angles take different forms when they appear. Some say they seem like ordinary people. Others say they could be mistaken for mighty warriors. But a man named Isaiah described the angels he saw as, well, very strange looking indeed.” Angels in the Bible Storybook, by Allia Zobel Nolan

I got this book for myself in the audio version. I listened to it before falling asleep, and enjoyed its simplicity and honesty. It’s written for adults and children.

I ordered a hardback edition to have at our home. We can read it to our granddaughter when she comes to visit. The Storybook is illustrated nicely by Alida Massari.

My book, from science & religion to God, defines angels as God’s messages to us. They are messages of love, forgiveness, strength, purity and progress. We can feel surrounded by angels.

angel book

 

Pain and pleasure

The comedy movie, A Walk in the Woods, (a remake of author, Bill Bryson’s book, A Walk in the Woods) stars Robert Redford, Emma Thompson, and Nick Nolte. This 2015 film was a fun watch.

Bryson, and estranged buddy, Ktaz, hike the Appalachian Trail, or rather, get a good start on the 2,200-mile long trek from Georgia to Maine. The childhood buddies become reacquainted after drifting apart, living two distinct lifestyles.

Bryson is a successful author, faithful husband, and happy father. Katz is a recovering alcoholic and girl chaser, trying to stay ahead of the law.

At one point, while resting on the trail, Katz admitted basically, “I love everything about drinking. I love the smell, I love the taste, I love the buzz. But alcohol only brings ruin. It ruins everything good in life.” So, he stopped drinking. Even though he still loved it.

I think it was the self-indulgence that Katz had to let go of. He realized the physical pleasures were delusive.

There are many things in life that we can love. I love personal relationships, food, and recreation. But if I give so much power, in other words, more power than I give God, to those physical things, it brings ruin. Personal relationships can become constraining, food can ruin balance, and recreation can divert my away from spiritual study.

Quoting, from science & religion to God: a briefer narrative of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health:

“Pain and pleasure are not in the human body but in human belief. God is not the author of false beliefs. As we better understand the nothingness of material beliefs their effects disappear. Choose spiritual good as the reality.

“Consciousness, as well as action, is controlled by Mind. Harmonious action proceeds from Spirit.”

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Film: Age of Adaline

I wouldn’t say the film, The Age of Adaline will be a classic but I liked it. The storyline reads: after miraculously remaining 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.

The film crew includes Blake Lively as Adaline, Michiel Huisman as Ellis Jones, and Harrison Ford.

The explanation as to why Adaline didn’t age was a fictional cosmic narrative, nonetheless it didn’t dent what I got out the movie.

Three words.

“She can’t change.”

The show concluded with Adaline regaining the ability to change. She began aging and was glad.

From I Corinthians 15: 50-58, ESV

“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

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