Category Archives: Science and/or religion

Eliminating radical thoughts for peace

Radicalized religion has our attention. What else does it want?

War with religion? War with those of us struggling to practice a religion of love and a life of meaning?

I doubt it. No matter how much destruction radicals inflict upon religion, radicalized religion would be destroyed if they messed with religion.

But we can ask, why did radicalized religion reach such a crisis point?

Perhaps it’s because our religious policies are failing us.

Perhaps it’s because religion is divided by creeds specific to human behaviors and thinking rather than specific to worship of God.

Perhaps it’s because we are so busy lighting candles, reading Bible lessons, and maintaining buildings rather than increasing spirituality and correct interpretations of spiritual texts?

Thing is we need to do more because radicalized religion doesn’t only bother the religious. The nonreligious are also afflicted since radicals aim at anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

The nonreligious try to stop the radicals with bullets. How can the religious help?

It is time for religious thinkers to take the baton and run the race that eliminates radicalization by designing relevant policies and practices. It is time for religious thinkers to hold off defending their beliefs and go full force advocating the love of Christ.

The new ideas that come with progress don’t mean we give up lighting candles or stop reading sacred texts.

The other night I attended a village prayer vigil. We came together with our differing religious backgrounds.

Scriptures read were: I John 4:7-8, 18-21 and Isaiah 58.

A moment of individual prayer was respected.

And we all sang together a couple of times. The departing song was:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Everywhere I go, let it shine, let it shine. Won’t let anyone blow it out; I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. All around the world, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

prayer vigil

 

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Q & A’s on Christian Science

What is Christian Science? The mental process for improvement; the law of Truth and Love interpreting harmony to the universe.

When did Christian Science come into being? It’s existed forever.

How do I discover Christian Science? Through prayer, meditation, and revelation. It finds you.

Where is Christian Science? Everywhere.

Who has written about Christian Science? Many people however in the 19th century, Mary Baker Eddy wrote extensively on this Mind-force she termed Christian Science.

What has happened to Christian Science since Eddy’s time-period? The law of Truth and Love is still intact and translating harmony, health, and holiness to humanity however Christian Science has been buried in misunderstandings.

Why is Christian Science confused with a church? Because Eddy founded a church before she died and human beings began linking the law of Truth and Love to a religious organization and its behaviors rather than share it as a universal Mind-power for good.

How do I separate Christian Science from a religious organization? Know yourself as the representative of Truth and Love, not the representative of a religious organization. Know Christian Science as never able to be locked into a church or book.

Christian Science is free. The law of Truth and Love illuminating life and wellbeing is free. You are free. You can mentally know this power as able to support humanity in its endeavors to improve mind, body, and spirit.

Happy thoughts: The flower hat my granddaughter made me…

flower hat no eyes

The monks were nice guys

The value of interfaith is being recognized and many of us are developing relationships with people from other faiths. This is good.

We also know the value of inter-cultures. School aged teenagers from different countries become exchange students. It adds to the realization that in general, we people are the same, though we look and act different.

Last week I noticed a blend between interfaith and inter-cultures. It all started when I listened to the third Presidential Debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. I was reminded of my childhood days when America truly distrusted Russia, during the Cold War.

The debate carried that odor of distrust toward Russia. I pondered, just how much should we trust Russians?

I didn’t beat myself up trying to answer that question, mainly because I know not all Russians are the same, either trustworthy or untrustworthy.Same with Americans.

Therefore, I put my trust in God. I pray my spirituality is clear enough to trust the trustworthy, no matter what ethnicity.

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In Jordanville, NY

Anyway, a few days later, I noticed an Open House invitation from the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery, in Jordanville, New York. Jordanville is about an hour and half drive from my home.

I went to the Open House.

A little background from their website: “Holy Trinity Monastery was established in 1928 by Fr. Panteleimon, a Russian monk from St. Tikhon’s monastery in Pennsylvania.

“During World War II a group of a dozen monks came from Europe, bringing with them printing experience and a tradition which originated in the Pochaev Lavra in the Ukraine. Archbishop Vitaly was part of that group and became the head and Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, and construction of the Church and other buildings increased.

“Archimandrite Luke was elected the new Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery on May 19, 2008.”

I met Abbot Luke. I listened to him and others speak.

I learned that during the Cold War, the Holy Trinity published church materials and smuggled them into Russia for the few surviving Orthodox members.

Millions of Christians were killed and imprisoned by Stalin.

Now that the Cold War is over, their printed material has adapted. “In the past, Holy Trinity published in the Russian language. After the Cold War, the decision was made to print in the international language of English, and our material is now being sent around the world, especially Asia, North and South America,” said Abbot Luke.

Moreover, Abbot Luke had just returned from a trip to Russia and was thankful to report, “There were six hundred Orthodox members at the church meeting, whereas there might have been ten when communism fell.”

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Iconography inside Holy Trinity

I was impressed. Not only by the byzantine frescos and icons in the cathedral, and the sizeable bookstore, but also by the demeanor of these people. I may not agree with their theology entirely, but their desire to cultivate spirituality was not only agreeable, but also a powerful wall blaster.

The wall between American and Russian, was gone. I sensed a wholeness. I didn’t feel some irresistible emotional notion to embrace every Russian, or American, but I felt a relief. Borders or religions can’t separate us because spirituality unites.

Quoting from science & religion to God: . “We don’t invent spirituality, but find our spirituality is inseparable from God.

“It’s wise and healthy to give less intelligence to materiality and more to spirituality. Don’t interfere with God’s government by thrusting in your own views as if they are better than God’s.

“Through inspiration and understanding, God reveals the spiritual knowledge that unlocks the resources of truth. Spirituality allows us to read the human situation correctly, with healing intent and power.

“Spirituality isn’t in limited supply. It isn’t controlled by a person or organization. The spiritual idea and its healing power can’t be monopolized. The widespread belief that only specific people are entitled to spiritual authority implodes in light of the Biblical stand that all believers “will be called priests of the Lord.”[1]

“Unity with God isn’t popular with the world, but it is fair to our self and merciful to others.”

[1] Ex. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6

icon-resurrection

Fresco inside Cathedral at Holy Trinity

Artificial vs Divine Intelligence

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has announced that it will be co-hosting four public workshops over the coming months on topics in Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial intelligence is a field showing rapid growth. It’s been around since the advent of computers. I remember when the calculator came into being and I was able to use it in my algebra class in high school. My bulky calculator was definitely quicker than me when working through complicated mathematical equations.

Despite the benefits. Many people are concerned that AI can be taken too far. AI has opponents. Machines would replace people in jobs. And, what if the machine backlashes human beings? Can a machine become more intelligent than its creator?

It comes across as robots against human beings. But, let’s look at this closer.

Human beings exhibit the same template as artificial intelligence.

Usually, I feel as though my mind is in charge. I tell my body to get out of bed and enter each glorious day. But sometimes, my body overrules. Is my human intelligence only artificial?

Maybe, maybe not, but I do know that it is only spiritual truths that are able to overrule the overruling.

Positive thinking or “mentally getting after my body” work unreliably. My human intelligence isn’t up to the task of governing my body. And, maybe human beings aren’t up to the task of governing more sophisticated artificial intelligence either.

At times when conflict arises, this is when I pray to be aware of my spiritual consciousness. Of course, I wish I could always be aware of my spiritual consciousness, but it requires effort and time. The results though are fantastic. Spiritual truths, such as one divine Mind, always maintaining useful, health, or, that substance is purely spiritual can enlighten my mind and invigorate my body. It also reminds me my human intelligence, no matter how smart, is still secondary to divine intelligence.

While society investigates artificial intelligence, let’s investigate spiritual intelligence, which is in control.

 

 

Religion and legend poke Christian Science

In its 150-year history, “Christian Science” managed to shoot to fame and get lost in outer space.

The line between what religion and legend have to say are worth looking at.

Religion: Born in 1821, the woman who was to become Mary Baker Eddy, the leader of Christian Science, had the faith that God could heal spiritually. In 1866, this New England woman had a liberating epiphany that faith can be coupled with divine knowledge as the foundation of mindful healing. Her discovery was dubbed Christian Science, the law of a healing God.

Legend: There was nothing quick, certainly not instant or final, about establishing Christian Science in the 19th century. The New England woman spent twenty years prior to 1866, trying to trace physical effects to a mental cause.

Only until Mary started helping herself, by thinking and experimenting like a scientist, did she transform her faith into understanding. Otherwise, she was a dependent, a woman with little umph. She had lousy health and a lousy marriage.

Religion: Stirred by her new thinking, Mary’s health improved. She taught the principles of Christian Science to one student, then more students. Some of the students became public practitioners, who applied spiritual truths until the human mind and body of their clients yielded to the divine Mind, God ad was healed.

Legend: Not everyone was healed by the application of Christian Science. Not all relationships were made-in-heaven. Eddy herself continued to have relationship and health troubles to deal with.

As for her marriage, although Eddy touted a loving God that can heal marriages, her second marriage ended in a divorce. She later remarried, Asa Gilbert Eddy, the source of her famous name.

Religion: In 1875, Mary wrote and published the Christian Science textbook titled, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” Eddy’s book is from God.

Legend: The book published in 1875 was titled, “The Science of Man.” Mary Baker Eddy revised her book hundreds of times continuously until she died in 1910. The book was originally written for the public as a tool to learn spiritual, scientific Mind-healing. She may have been inspired when writing, however she continued to correct and clarify the book her entire life.

Science and Health didn’t evolve into a textbook for a church until 1895. The ideas in the book may be sacred, but the words are not, because human language is inadequate to voice the sacred spiritual.

Religion: Christian Science became popular and Mary Baker Eddy began preaching. She then took on the responsibility of leadership and organized a Christian Science church in 1879, calling it, The Church of Christ, Scientist. The religious organization became very prosperous, with branches around the world, at the turn of the 20th century.

Legend: Christian Science was defined by Eddy as the law of God, of good, interpreting and manifesting universal harmony. Christian Science is not synonymous with a religious organization. Just as Science and Health is not synonymous with Christian Science.

Religion: The Church of Christ, Scientist, is dying in the world today. Empty branch edifices are being closed and sold. Mary Baker Eddy’s, Science and Health isn’t being read, let alone studied by very many people.

Legend: Christian Science, as taught by Mary Baker Eddy is a spiritual idea that has existed forever. Many other people have discovered this law of God without reading her book because spiritual truth comes from within. It’s a divine force found with God and is still being interpreted and understood today in multifarious expressions. The ideas in Science and Health are not restricted to words written 150-years ago and that is one beauty of religion and legend working together.

Religion and legend are not at loggerheads. We can look at both to determine a line of spiritual progress. We can appreciate the facts and experience God.

lily red and buds

Creativity encouraged

Gillian Lynne is a successful dancer, actress, and choreographer. I never heard of Gillian Lynne until I watched Sir Ken Robinson talk about her on the Ted Talks Show. He was discussing the importance of revamping the public education system so as to allow the creative capacities of children to prosper, rather than get squelched as they go through school.

Lynne’s story is that she struggled as a kid in school. When young, she couldn’t sit still in school. She was getting in trouble. Gillian’s mother took her to the doctor. The doctor listened to her mother than asked to speak with her outside the office.

Before they left the office, the doctor turned on the radio. He then had Gillian’s mother watch Gillian through a window. Gillian got out of her chair and started dancing. The doctor told the mother to put Gillian in dance classes. The rest is history. Today, she is renowned for the amazing work she has done, particularly her choreography in the Broadway productions Cats and Phantom of the Opera, in which she has created magic worlds of dance and enthralled the world with them.

On the Ted Show, Sir Ken Robinson pointed out that, today her behavior would be called ADHD and Lynne would be medicated and put back in class. Robinson knows our educational system needs to re-think intelligence and creativity and allow it in children. He makes very good points.

However, I can’t help but realize that this re-thinking is going to require some major “creativity.” We can’t assume if we let everyone do what they have a passion for that problems will be solved. They won’t.

An artist can create multiple pieces of art, but how creative is that when materials for the creations become limited, or when so many pieces of art are created, there is no place for it all.

We do want to encourage creativity, however, it needs to be juxtaposed with selflessness.

From 21st Century Science and Health:

The universe of Spirit reflects the powerful creativity of the divine Principle, or Life, which reproduces the multitudinous forms of Mind and governs the increase of the multifaceted idea of spiritual being.

The unbroken connection between us

Science and religion are too large to describe. They are veritable conglomerates, diverse trades, mottled and immensely interesting businesses that can go bad.

But science and religion affect contemporary faith and how it is shaping, or reshaping, our institutions. Even the people who say they have no faith, have faith in something, maybe their dog coming home.

Today, beliefs and convictions change daily. New thoughts are hurled at us to ricochet in our spaces and minds. But, we may remember that science and religion associate with a tiny segment in the history of humankind. Centuries elapsed before human beings developed a consciousness of either. Human beings were too busy surviving. It took time for beliefs and knowledge to evolve and organize, sometimes self-destructing in the process.

In this evolution, factions reproduced, even as they matured and decayed. And through it all, there are peaks, the empowering heartfelt religious prayers, transformative sciences, putrid abuses, in short everything that is pleasant and irritating that attracts and repels, seduces and disgusts us humans. But, more important there are the people. How they fit into science and religion. How they complement one another.

Over the last half century, I’ve met people who observe Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, secularism, humanism, and naturalism. I see more complements than clashes. Science nor religion can break the unity of the spirit.

Neither science nor religion is truth. They aren’t even bodies of facts. They are methods to decide whether or not what we chose to believe has a foundation in physical or spiritual laws. I barely understand physical and spiritual laws, occasionally thinking they blend, but I have found common ground among science and religion in that they both can be used to pursue the law of healing and answer questions as to why the heck we are here and what should we do about it.

But let’s remember where we are starting from: Unbreakable unity.

 

 

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