Category Archives: Spiritual journey

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.

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Individuals within the collective

A dance teacher told me, “When I teach a class, I teach each student individually according to their talent and skill.” Yet, she teaches a class, a collection of individuals.

This topic fascinates me.

I know I am an individual separate from other people, however, I also know we all are connected.

The fact we are connected shows me that unity or compromises are possible. The fact we are individual shows me we all are important and conform to God, good, not to other human beings.

The fact we are separate also shows me I must take each individual step to reach the goal of unity and peace.

When I only think about how we all are connected, I get fantastical notions and try to take on the world. I try to solve all the problems at once. It doesn’t work. I must respect and take each step on my life journey. I can’t expect someone else to take a step for me, although I can use their example to follow.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Smothering Jesus with emotional affection, or claiming to be a devoted follower, will never alone make you like him. You must “go and do likewise,”[1] or you are not improving the great blessings that he worked and suffered to offer you. The spirituality of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.

“Spiritual harmony constitutes individual and collective happiness, strength, and permanence.”

[1] Luke 10:37

God invasion

An invasion is usually associated with armed forces, or the infiltration of a large number of people or things.

When we hear the word, “invasion,” our brains are quick to picture armed forces, or an infiltration of a large number of people or things.

We read in the news, or remember typical headlines such as:

January, 2013, France deploys thousands of ground troops to Mali, a former colony in Africa, to reinforce aerial strikes, in an attempt to quell a coalition of disparate extremist groups.

Thirteen years ago, President Bush announced military operations to disarm Iraq.

In 1935, venomous cane toads were released into the Australian ecology with the hope they’d control the destructive can beetle population. A total failure. There are now millions of poisonous toads hopping around northeastern Australia. When visiting Australia in year 2007, I remember walking at night on the sidewalk, trying not to step on the pests.

Then of course, there are stories galore in the Bible relating to invasions. A few examples are, grasshoppers, bands of Moabites, or the Israelites invading the land of Canaan.

Invasions generally assume there is an outside force, however, do we ever self-invade?

Do we ever self-assault our humility with pride?

Does hate raid and occupy our love?

Does revenge infect our forgiveness?

Do we ever self-attack our divine purpose in life?

Invasions are real to the human mind. The determination to let go of the human mind’s reality and take on a new spiritual reality, causes us to think along new lines. Here is a statement from 21st Century Science and Health worth contemplating, “Computer software can’t inform the programmer. The stomach, heart, colon, and lymph nodes don’t inform us that they are nauseous, diseased, cancerous, or invaded by malignant tumors. If this information is conveyed, human mind conveys it. Negative information certainly doesn’t come from immortal Mind and it can’t come from inanimate matter/energy. God’s “eyes are too pure to look on evil,”[1] and physicality has neither intelligence nor sensation.”

Listen to radio interview over internet

On August 9, 2016, Bonnie Lykes-Bigler interviewed Cheryl Petersen about her revisions of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, on WIOX Roxbury radio.

To listen to a recording, click here and scroll down to the streaming box with Cheryl’s photo before clicking Play.

 

covers both 21st and from S&R to God

Cheryl talks with WIOX about her books

Lion or lying?

We read in I Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” This knowledge oftentimes leads me to pray for more courage to stand up against the world, as if the world causes my problems. However, when no healing results, I switch out my prayer and stop lying to myself.

I very well could be dealing with my own apathy, not a lion.

I pray for courage to become less apathetic.

It’s the story of Joseph that taught me this lesson. It’s not the story of the personal Joseph, but the story of how he was connected, more specifically to Moses and the Exodus of the children of Israel.

The personal Joseph has been put down as a hero who saved the people of Egypt and Israel. Joseph has also been put down as a villain who enabled a population to be dependent and enslaved.

As far as the Exodus, there is no conclusive historical evidence that it’s massive movement even occurred, but again, I learn my lessons from the bigger picture, the myth of it all, if you will.

Joseph, an Israelite, was sold into slavery as a teenager. In a zig-zag almost unbelievable way, he ended up ruling the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, because he had a dream that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.

During this famine time, Joseph’s family was moved to Egypt so they too wouldn’t starve to death. After the famine, Israelites lived with Egyptians. I can only guess that the Egyptians felt relieved the famine was over and the Israelites felt appreciative for being saved. Years passed. Centuries passed.

Maybe resentment crept in, but the Egyptians started feeling impinged upon and began asking the children of Israel to do jobs around the place. I suppose the Israelites could have done the jobs out of appreciation, but it dawned on me that at some point a few of the Israelites probably felt like the Egyptians could do their own work. Bucking the majority of Israelites who wanted to keep the peace, the few went along with working for Egypt.

The asking quickly became demanding and the Israelites became slaves. Resentment or not, apathy to keep the peace played a role in this high action saga. I tell myself, this wasn’t a case of the Egyptians kidnapping the Israelites and enslaving them, it was a case of the Israelites becoming so lethargic, even though their physical bodies were actively at work in the fields, they were so spiritually lazy that they were basically self-enslaved.

By time Moses came on the scene, the Israelites were fully isolated in Egypt. They had no energy or ambition to seek and stand with their God. They were visionless, except one woman who birthed Moses and took extraordinary measures to save him.

It was a lot of rig-a-ma-roll, but Moses grew up and eventually led the people of Israel out of Egypt and the saga continues.

Anyway, if I catch myself following a peaceful routine and even planning my day so that routine remains, I try to snap myself out of the pending apathy. I do not want to use spirituality to make a comfortable mortal life. I do not want to try to use spirituality to preserve a past. There is no such thing as a peaceful mortal life.

Spirituality is powerfully useful to reveal mental and interconnected peace. Our physical situation is peaceful only when those around us are peaceful to an increasing degree also. I can’t isolate myself from others and I don’t want to isolate others from me. With this in mind, I pray and find there is no famine of spiritual ideas to move forward and respond to this human life with courage and confidence in God, Truth, Love.

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Brick walls

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel like I run up against brick walls. PHAP. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I can even do something, if I did know what to do.

It’s not a bad place to be when I realize it is the opportunity to return to the now, to know God NOW.

Brick walls seem to come about when my mind is in the future, when I’m really busy aiming for some future goal. Say a trip. A trip that will bring me closer to a job that will help me in my career.

Another “future” issue that can get stuck in the head is an avoidance of death. We do everything possible to keep our life pattern today the same. But, death isn’t what we make it out to be. Death isn’t the stoppage of life, but the end of false beliefs, fears, and desires.

The desire to push for advancement in my career is not that good. It can actually keep me from doing the job I need to do today. Advancement will come, it’s the law of God, but it comes by God, a good Spirit.

The brick walls fall when I, this is funny, when I go back into the past and recall truthful convictions, finished embraces. I remember a time when I was alone and couldn’t get up my driveway, after a long day of work, because of eight inches of new fallen snow. I have a long driveway. A truck pulled up behind me and it was our neighbor, who never comes home at that time. He said, “Cheryl, I felt like I needed to come home right now. I even drove my bosses truck. It has a lift in the back and I will go get our snowblower and come back and clear your driveway.”

I wonder, Are there really brick walls? Or, opportunities to see more of our infinite God, Love?

 

Rest is relevant

My house was a mess. I didn’t know where to start cleaning. I felt tired.

Then I woke up. Heeh, I was cozy in bed. I had rested.

My house was still a mess, but the “tired” feeling was only a dream, so I didn’t buy into it. I stood firm with the truth that I have the consciousness of being rested because that is surely what a good God has expressed through me.

I cleaned the house.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”- Psalms 23:3

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