Category Archives: Uncategorized

The authority of the holidays

The holidays are coming at us full force. Are you ready?

Readiness comes with a willingness to participate. And just what are we participating in?

From 21st Century Science and Health, we read, “Let us pay attention and participate in spirituality.”

Can the holidays express spirituality? Why not? Spirituality is the reality.

The holidays are celebrations. Human beings seem to like to celebrate. It’s a reminder of something great and wonderful, whether we celebrate a freedom gained, a birth, or a hero.

The problems come when the celebration is given more authority than the spiritual idea behind the cause for celebration.

We can assert the true authority of our celebrations by remembering and acting on the freedom, the newness, and the power of good.

The scheduling, the food, the preparations, the cleanup don’t have authority and don’t need to stress us.

Celebrate the authority of spirituality. Look for and be, beauty, kindness, happiness, and joy.

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Religious experiences without religion?

Apparently, both the religious and nonreligious can receive, dare I write, revelations of truth, commonly referred to as religious experiences. A growing body of statements show that people of all backgrounds have experienced extraordinary moments of transcendence.

For millenniums, these extraordinary moments have been interpreted through religion and thereby are usually referred to as religious experiences, however, nonreligious folk are able to experience and interpret the experiences in their own ways and words, yet an underlying similarity exists: moments of wholeness, light, peace, understanding. Without fear.

These moments of embracing love are available to everyone. How can we better share them?

 

Retrospecting the Reformation

October 31 has been noted as the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and thus was the sufficient beginnings of what is now referred to as the Reformation, or the beginning of the Protestant Movement.

It wasn’t a pretty sight. Fortunately, Luther wasn’t alone, but it all came about with turmoil.

It didn’t matter if Luther’s intent was to reason with church leaders, who were restricting God’s mercy to the ritual of indulgences. Church leaders determined Luther was an irreligious heretic, no longer someone to listen to or include.

Luther himself may have felt a bit sacrilegious for what amounted to addressing the convictions of church authorities and pointing out the backwardness of false promises linked to indulgences. But he stood his ground and brought attention to new ideas about God.

Religion advanced. And human beings slowly followed, despite the destruction that comes with high-strung emotions. Time and experience help justice and mercy win. New ideas were entertained and put into practice over the following centuries.

Pew Research Center reported recently that the theological differences of the 16th century have tempered over the years, “And while the Reformation led to more than a century of devastating wars and persecution in Europe, both Protestants and Catholics across the continent now overwhelmingly express willingness to accept each other as neighbors and even as family members.”

While not denying that the profane in religion needs to decrease, respect goes to the likes of Martin Luther who personified the good in religion.

People who stop defending old ideas, we are open to new ideas. Newness is normal, healing.

New ideas are revealed when religion is no longer workable. What are the new ideas today? Can we entertain and manifest the new ideas sooner than 500 years?

Spiritual glance at both, front story and backstory

My neighbor Robert, told me a thought provoking story. True story.

The front-story: Robert took care of his step-mother the last few years of her life.

Robert told me, “She was afraid to die. Finally, one day, she asked me, ‘Do you think I’ll go to heaven?’ I told her, ‘If you don’t go to heaven no one else will.’ And she died peacefully a few weeks later.”

Now, Robert didn’t end the story there. He also gave the backstory saying, “My step-mother was a bitter person. She made my growing up hard and miserable. In my 20s, I went from one terrible relationship to another until in my 30s when I stopped what I was doing, even became celibate for a few years, to figure out a better way.”

He figured it out. “Love. Love is life and truth,” said Robert, who has been in a loving relationship for more than 20 years.

See, the backstory is necessary to understand the front story. Otherwise, we’d be tempted to believe we could just repeat Robert’s words and offer peace to someone afraid to die.

The step-mother’s fear came from religious teachings, showing yet again that religion isn’t perfect, but nothing in this world is. She was taught her behavior in this world affected whether or not she’d go to heaven.

Not all religions teach that strategy. Mine doesn’t. I believe heaven is a state of mind, of divine Mind, Love, God, and I can unite and rejoice with God now.

I also believe it was Robert’s earlier spiritual progress that transformed his heart and enabled him to voice those words to his mother with a healing effect.

From 21st Century Science and Health, sixth edition

“Put an end to the chatter in your head and calmly enter spiritual consciousness. In the refuge of sincere intentions, you must deny sin and affirm God’s allness. Become committed, “pray continually,”[1] and go forward with a pure heart to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. Such prayer is answered insofar as you put your spiritual desires into practice.”

 

 

[1] I Thess. 5:17

Brooklyn Book Festival

What a fabulous day at the Brooklyn Book Festival, last Sunday.

Met wonderful, unprejudiced minds. Sold books. Had fun with the family.

booth carly and teens.jpg

Our daughter also sold her newly published fiction for young adults, Magenta’s Family Christmas, click below to order

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Article in Daily Star newspaper

Click here for my article in the Daily Star newspaper. Or read text below.

Divine intent, a bigger influence than time

Has time ever disappeared briefly for you? Did you ever wonder where the last three hours went? Or, the last thirty years?

On another clock, did an extra 15 minutes ever appear to allow you to finish a project?

“Time is not a factor in your life,” was the title of a talk given recently by David Hohle, of Chicago, Illinois, in the Upper Room at the United Presbyterian “Red Door” Church in Oneonta. The talk was hosted by the Oneonta Christian Science Society in the Upper Room, entered by means of the elevated walkway from Roosevelt Avenue. The Society also meets there for regular church services.

But while listening to Hohle speak, I found myself admiring the large beautiful stain glass window in the background.

Obviously in the past, the window started with many piles of colored glass. Pieces were cut from the stained glass and then connected to showcase order, appeal, inspiration, and even a sense of transcendence.

But it’s the light that makes the indescribable goodness possible.

At the talk, I heard Hohle mention “revelation” and “divine intent.”

Yes, I really did pay attention.

I interpreted the revelation and divine intent as light, shining through ideas that counter restrictions, such as time.

Hohle pointed out what physical science teaches, the relativity of time. He also noted that religious thinkers came to the same conclusion millenniums ago.

Hohle read from the King James Version of the Bible. He also read from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Mary Baker Eddy’s lifespan was from 1821 to 1910. She published her Science and Health in 1875, however she revised the book hundreds of times until her death and explained in Science and Health that revisions are “requisite,” because “spiritual ideas unfold as we advance.”

Certainly, Eddy’s Science and Health is not the Bible, yet it talks about the Bible, and because the household Bible of the 19th century was King James Version, that’s the one she quoted.

Modern Science and Health revisions quote modern Bibles, to correspond.

Anyway, I went home to locate in the English Standard Version a verse Hohle read from II Peter. It reads, “Do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

God can have greater influence on our life than time. A good God with good ideas that come to us through revelation or divine intent. Can they be cut and connected to showcase order, wellbeing, and safety?

I think so.

Whether I’m trying to understand better the current political situation or world events, I see the benefits of first understanding God better, of responding to revelation or divine intent, rather than to religious or political ideology.

We all have the capability to receive revelation or light, whether in religion or politics. Therefore, I see the wisdom of many versions and freedom of speech. For the news, I don’t only read one newspaper. I read at least three newspapers to try to get a bigger picture.

I use time or text as tools, not a truth.

Only truth is truth.

When I’m conscious of divine intent, or let light shine through me, rather than block the light with dread, frustration, or anger, I can experience fewer constraints.

Not all constraints have dropped away in my life, maybe they don’t need to. I still respect time, however it’s nice knowing and watching the possibility that time doesn’t have to control my life. It’s nice becoming familiar with the influence of divine intent on life.

Cheryl Petersen is a freelance writer and covers religion. Her website is www.HealingScienceToday.com

 

 

 

 

Desires

Some desires are good, some are not so good. What’s weird is, they are rarely fulfilled, or if they are fulfilled, it isn’t for very long.

Can we have desires that automatically come with a constant fulfillment?

Only if those desires come from infinite Mind.

For example, the desire of Mind is intelligence, they are one and the same, therefore satisfied.

I think Mind’s desires are recognized when the human desires become lesser.

I was in New York City with my 3-year old granddaughter. We were going through the subway turn stall. I held her hand and had her scoot under the turn handle, while I slide my subway card through the slot.

Beep. Swipe again.

Beep. Swipe again.

Beep. Swipe again.

I was getting nervous, nearly annoyed, but my desire was not to. I wanted to feel the satisfaction of divine Mind, knowing everything is okay.

Before I knew what happened, a woman from the other side of the turn stall, swiped her card through the slot.

Paid. Go through.

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