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

 

 

 

 

 

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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Audio of childlike prayer

Click below to hear a child saying Little Children’s Prayer, written by Mary Baker Eddy

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-ku7pHfIq8BRWhUWEY1azAzSDFXMlVyTG43eWJjdzBzRUNZ

“Father-Mother God, loving me, guard me when I sleep, guide my little feet up to Thee.”

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-ku7pHfIq8BRWhUWEY1azAzSDFXMlVyTG43eWJjdzBzRUNZ

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.

 

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.

 

 

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