Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sadness over gay club killings

The distressing news about a gunman killing 49 people in a gay bar in Florida prompts me to express sadness and alertness. The notion that murder is an answer is very sad, and demands vigilant alertness. I want to see the bigger picture so as not to fall into the trap of spiritual amnesia.

Spiritual amnesia comes from broken memories consisting of a few imprints, whether detestable imprints or our favorite imprints. It’s an easy trap to fall into because our human minds are so limited, however, we can courageously and constantly stand with truths to counter these supposed answers that bring so much pain.

The gunman allegedly was affiliated with Islamic extremists and acted on homophobia. On the flipside, the gunman acted on tightly bound fundamental beliefs that heterosexuality is the one right and only way to live humanly and human beings who don’t conform to it will be damned.

Tearing apart those beliefs, if a person does believe heterosexuality is right, fine, they can live that way, but to impose their belief on others or disallow a loving relationship with others who think differently, is painful, unloving, ungodlike.

While we deal with this current gross tragedy, let’s not forget to break apart fundamental beliefs in their emerging stages at all levels, even those beliefs going on right now under the radar. Divorce won’t establish one right and only way of relating. Excommunication won’t promote a right and only way of behavior and thinking. A scientific invention won’t become a cure-all. Acting on those beliefs is also disastrous to humanity’s wellbeing.

Everyone seeks their understanding in different ways because there is no one describable truth to stand on or establish.

Spirituality broadens our views and keeps us from forgetting truth and love as it constantly unfolds. And, I’d like now to share some news so as not to be negatively influenced by my sadness. I do know personally a Muslim community in which are people who are loving and tolerant. I know a Muslim man who purchased a restaurant from a gay couple who he respects and appreciates immensely for their support and help in the business transaction.

I will not forget the good images.

Quoting from science & religion to God:

“People who insist on proving another method wrong, as if their way were the only way, will end up living out their condemnations. Like the person who adamantly opposes abortion, calling it murder, killing a doctor who performed abortions.

“The malicious instinct and morbid curiosity, with intents to kill morally and physically even fellow human beings, is unloosed, in order that the false claim of mind in matter might uncover its own crime of defying infinite, spiritual Mind.

“Does God create a material human out of Spirit? Does divine Mind commit fraud by making man and woman free to do wrong? Does God then stand on the sidelines waiting to reward the pious and punish the wrongdoer? Would anyone call it wise and good for God to create people and then condemn them to remain servants? Did God create human beings and challenge them to take control of, and dominate creation? No. No. No. No. No.

“God remains forever and is our Mind. We can’t lose Mind. Our relationship with God is indestructible. We can admit these facts even if they aren’t supported by human beliefs. Our spiritual senses can detect our unity with the one Mind and its manifestation of truth.

“Prayer is a mental exercise involving spiritual understanding, not human understanding. Our prayers start with faith in God and become deep and conscientious acknowledgments of Truth. We acknowledge a knowingness that we are the image and likeness of Spirit, in full unity with Life and Love.”


Hand picking Bible verses

The Bible is used for many things, good and bad.

Maria Stewart (1803-1879) used the Bible to defend her right to speak. At a time when the public consensus declared women were to be silent in church and public. Before 1832, when Stewart spoke before an audience of women and men, she was orphaned by age five and became an indentured servant, bound to a clergyman until she was fifteen.

At fifteen, she began supporting herself by working as a servant. She married in 1826, but her husband died in 1829. Her inheritance was taken from her. Six months after her husband died, Maria Stewart felt a transformation. She experienced a religious conversion in which she became convinced God was calling her to become a “warrior” for God and for freedom and for the oppressed Africa.

God may have an ambiguous reputation, however, when a person is left alone after being treated sorely unfair, it helps to have someone or something to rely on for support. God.

While mass consciousness touted Bible verses that implied it godless for women to speak up, Stewart used Bible verses that reinforced her right to be equal and to be one with God.

We pick and choose our Bible verses, only it’s best to do so with a good intent for the whole of humanity, for the exercise of tolerance and ethics.

Why make vigorous claims that the Bible says we are doomed if we don’t follow outgrown social rules?

No one follows all the rules in the Bible. We can’t. We have no desire to offer 10,000 sheep for burnt offerings. Bigamy and a man with 200 concubines is ridiculous today. There is no inferior human being. Women are completely able to spiritually interpret Scripture or sacred text of any kind, and write and speak on the subject.

Using the Bible for exclusion, isolation, and restriction is a bane. We can use the Bible for equality, spirituality, justice, and happiness.

II Timothy 1:7, ESV

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

From science & religion to God: A briefer narrative of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health

“The law of Truth annihilates idolatry and improves social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes. Spiritual metaphysics equalizes the sexes, annuls curses, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”

Mike Noonan with Glenanore Farms Boer Goats 2 cropped


Mindful success

“All in good time,” we’ve heard it been said. All in good time will the goal be reached. But it’s difficult to be patient when we have bills to pay, a rickety marriage, or a crummy job. We want change right now.

“It’s the journey, not the end,” we’re reminded. Success isn’t a destination, but the road we’re on. But what if the road is full of ruts, rocks, and too many intersections? What if the journey feels like a big pot of boiling melodrama and anxiety?

We can simmer that pot with mindfulness.

The most important step to mindfulness, however, is putting aside our own mind and immersing our consciousness in divine Mind.

Too often, we let our human minds organize, categorize, and mull over who has done what, or not. But, this action of the human mind isn’t “action” so much as “reaction” to past events. Not very mindful.

We have a spiritual consciousness in tune with a mindfulness of the now, which is directly linked to a promising future.

Here are three ways to feel your consciousness in tune with mindfulness:

  • Don’t be patient with problems, but be patient with solutions.
  • Get over yourself. Be in and of the universal Mind that wants the best for everyone.
  • Look for and admit each tiny success in your journey.

Spiritual successes are true victories. They are those times when we forgive our enemy, the times when we let go of a bad habit, those times when we stop loving chocolate more than God’s goodness, those times when we let the driver cut in front of us without getting angry, those times when we don’t blame someone else for our problems.

Every second we exercise a spiritual success we are getting stronger. The good times increase and the journey becomes interesting, creative, and welcoming. I talk more about these powerful ideas in my new book, from science & religion to God: A briefer narrative of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.

We aren’t here to master the world as much as we are to master those thoughts that place limitations on our health, happiness, and peace. Because so many people in the past and present are able to overcome their limitations, that means we can too. The divine force is universal, available to everyone.

In my new book, core spiritual principles are stated. The timeless ideas are tools to use when on our spiritual journey. You can be patient with progress. You can be a deep and inclusive thinker. You can find each success in your journey.

cactus and palm trees






Book signing

I’ll be at Green Toad Book Store, Saturday, May 21, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Discussing and signing copies of my book, from science & religion to God.

Green Toad, 198 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820

Times Union prints my op/ed on Muslim neighbors

‘Anti-jihad’ bike ride picks wrong target

Op/ed at Times Union, Albany, NY

Terrorism is as old as dirt. Incarnate violence and intimidation go way back with human beings. Remarkably, we also have the capacity to gain new knowledge that brings about good-will. In other words, we outgrow knowledge that is no longer appropriate.

A Facebook event page, recently created by the American Bikers United Against Jihad, calls for a May 15 rally ride, headed to Islamberg, in Hancock, Delaware County.

Islamberg is a 70-acre rural hamlet for Muslims of America, Inc.

The jargon on the Facebook page hits me like a bug in the eye. The bug of inappropriate information. You can read about Islamberg online. The community has made headline news for years, nationwide. They’ve been tied to terrorism with a mix of correct and incorrect images.

Images are powerful. Eight years ago, I rode my bike from Washington State to New York. When pulling into towns for a doughnut, disguised in my helmet and armored jacket, I encountered a few people who withdrew. The old image of tattooed Hells Angels made it difficult for them to see me, a 49-year old, graying mom, weighing in at about 115 pounds.

Granted, it’s legitimate to admit our fears and concerns, however the legitimacy wears off when there is little, or no real evidence to validate the fears.

The community of Islamberg got started more than 30 years ago. It consists of about 20 families, more children than adults. Muslim individuals and families moved to Delaware County to get away from unsafe big city life and to raise their children in a rural wholesome environment.

Muslim, Rashid Clark, admitted, “Our family moved from New York City when I was young. While attending the local school, I assimilated. I didn’t talk about my religion because my past taught me that I’d be treated with biases. I played baseball with the Hancock Wildcats, went home, said my prayers, and did my math.”

Basically, prayers and religious celebrations were done in private to avoid bigotry. Therefore, Islamberg, to the skeptical outsider, felt mysterious.

As global consciousness became aware of terrorism linked to radical Islamist groups, specifically the Islamic State, the mysteriousness in Hancock became a target for suspicion. Insidious threats were hurled at our Muslim neighbors.

It’s no wonder they then appeared guarded and secretive.

Residents of Islamberg and other local Muslims made it a practice to work with law enforcement officers. They allow investigations which lead to reports able to clear the false records and invented evidence.

After getting to know them, I have found that my Muslim neighbors don’t identify with Islamism, defined as the determination to enforce a single version of Islam on society, and as espoused by ISIS.

They respect not only an internally diverse Islam, but also other faiths.

I have not noticed an appeal to theocracy, or a system of government in which a religious leader rules in the name of God.

“I am an American,” said Faruq Baqi, spokesman of Muslims of America.

Muslims can be and are Americans. While faithful to their form of spirituality, they abide by a democracy, a system of government by the people. I have only felt good-will from my Muslim neighbors.

We all are entitled to good-will. Come Sunday, I won’t ride with the American Bikers United Against Jihad, but I will wish good-will on them. I hope they ride with good-will as well.


Bio: Cheryl Petersen is a freelance reporter and author of, “from science & religion to God: a briefer narrative of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.” She lives in Delaware County.


Article in Beacon Hill Times

Printed in Beacon Hill Times (Boston, MA) April 12, 2016:

150th anniversary points to a future of good

By Cheryl Petersen

One hundred and fifty years ago, a woman living in Swampscott, Massachusetts, had an ah-ha moment. She couldn’t describe the epiphany, but it resulted in an instant recovery from an injury caused a few days earlier that had left her bedridden.

The attending physician and friends of the New England woman called the recovery a miracle. She explained her healing as the “falling apple” that compelled her to learn “how” she was healed. It led her to discover a timeless spiritual force that she later labeled, Christian Science.

By the turn of the 20th century, Christian Science was all the rage in America and Europe, along with the woman’s name, Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910). She was a pioneer in mind-study, though not the human mind, but divine mind.

Eddy became a prolific writer on the subject of Christian Science, defined as a law of God interpreting a divine order. She taught classes on the power of prayer. She started a publishing house. She started a church. She founded a secular newspaper. She revised her principal book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, hundreds of times up until her death.

Visitors today can visit the Swampscott house, along with other houses connected to the life of Eddy. The houses are maintained and open to the public by Longyear Museum, founded by Mary Beecher Longyear (1851-1931) and headquartered in Chestnut Hill.

There is also a Mary Baker Eddy Library on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. The museum and library contain documented evidence about Eddy and Christian Science to intrigue the mind to learn the actual historical environment from which Eddy plucked her ideas.

In 1866 and the decades that followed, racism was rampant and working conditions were unfair and unsafe. The schools, if you went to school, taught that physical matter and cultural standings were fixed. Science and religion were butting heads as Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution took hold.

Despite the dreadful circumstances, mass consciousness was poked to explore ideas that inspired people, not to take what came, but give what is worth giving to improve humanity. People took a stand for more credible science and religion.

Science was becoming more systematic, separating itself from philosophy. Eddy valued the systematic approach and applied it to religion. Christian Science was acknowledged and chronicled by thousands of people as the power behind remarkable spiritual healings of hate, fear, addictions, depression, tuberculosis, tumors, constipation, and fatigue. Christian Science was noticeably celebrated more than it was satirized.

Christian Science isn’t well known, or known well today. It’s confused with scientology. It carries baggage, the heaviest burden picked up in the 20th century when Christian Science was nearly redefined to mean radical reliance on prayer or sacred words, instead of relying on a spiritual understanding of God.

It is disingenuous to argue that committed prayer is divorced from Christian Science, as it is to assert that ritualistic prayer is synonymous with Christian Science. Human beings make mistakes. Mary Baker Eddy made mistakes.

Some may wonder, is Eddy original or a fraud? Is Christian Science Christian or cult? Is it’s spiritual healing genuine or bogus?

Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science will be any of those to different people at different times. Their accomplishments will always be up for debate. History shows however, that Christian Science challenged the thinking that health is only a state of matter. It challenged thinkers to examine how that thinking distorts approaches to mindful healing. It challenged thinkers to consider how spirituality improves approaches to health, science, and religion.

As we wonder about any religion or science, let’s remember that the fine museums offered within the greater Boston area offer lessons that humanity can act on the courage that promotes progress, not fear. The good can outweigh the bad.

Bio: Cheryl Petersen’s book is, from science & religion to God: a briefer narrative of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health. Available at  Cheryl’s website is

Past and present thoughts

“Heredity is a breakable string of past and present thoughts.” —from science & religion to God

When reading that statement, I got a bit of a jolt the other day. I could see how what my parent’s thought wasn’t necessarily what I thought, so heredity isn’t all-encompassing. However, the jolt came from me realizing that I’ve been unconsciously attaching myself to past thoughts through history.

I love history. Read and write about history all the time. I caught myself identifying with thoughts from the past.

I’m certainly not going to continue respecting and learning history. It is a tool to understanding, however, I can see my opportunity not to attach myself to thoughts not from God, divine Mind. Sorry for the double negative. But, I can see my opportunity to detach from human thoughts from the past.

This isn’t a loss, but a gain. It opens wide the door of opportunity to acknowledge my unbreakable connection to divine thoughts from Mind, Love.


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