Why I can love the sinner but not the sin

“No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.”

Mark 3:27 provides a basis for separating the person from the evil. The “strong man” is the devil, a demon, and Christ Jesus cast out demons or evil spirits, leaving behind healed individuals.

The “goods” of evil are depression, jealousy, fear, for examples. Christ is my authority to bound evil and plunder those goods. To bound evil is to immobilize jealousy, fear, and self-doubt. This weakens the devil and strengthens us to clean out our house and experience a freer consciousness.

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I listened to Eva Schloss and Wonder Woman

The date varies each year, but Holocaust Remembrance Day will be May 2, 2019. This year it was April 12.

Different countries designated other days also to honor the victims, rescuers, and survivors of the Holocaust, defined as destruction or slaughter on a mass scale by Nazism.

A few days ago, I visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. On the third floor is the New Dimensions in Testimony℠ installation, a place where you can ask survivors questions and their full-size image answers.

After touring the exhibits, I watched the documentary by Davino Pardo, “116 Cameras.” With the audience, we also listened to a discussion with Pardo, Eva Schloss, and Michael ?, I didn’t catch his last name, but he was a brilliant moderator.

Eva Schloss is a survivor and an amazing woman. After World War II, her mother married the father of Anne Frank who wrote the book “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

I can’t begin to tell you her story, but when she was asked how she maintained her “resiliency” throughout her trials, Schloss answered, “I love nature, I love life, and it is love that keeps me going…I don’t want to see another war.”

I would say, Schloss learns and experiences spirituality. From 21st Century Science and Health, “Earth has little light or joy before Life is spiritually learned.”

It’s difficult to describe spiritual learning. We all do it differently. But we can.

The next day, after humbly listening to Schloss, I watched Lynda Carter perform her show, “Red, Rock n Blues,” at the Lincoln Center. She and her group were entertaining. But she too shone light on the power of love, although next to Schloss, Carter is a privileged woman of a different generation.

While Schloss wears a tattoo on her arm, stamped as a Jew in the concentration camp, and suffered terribly, Carter portrayed Wonder Woman in a 1975-1979 television series.

They both raised children and talk of the power of love and talent and truth.

Eva Schloss

Davino Pardo on left, Eva Schloss, and Micheal at Museum of Jewish Heritage 2018

 

Refining our thoughts and words

Until human beings had words, nouns specifically, the ability “to think” was vastly limited.

The thoughts and words of our very far ancestors could have been: Get food. Eat. Ran away from scary thing. Find cave.

Time passed. Ideas came. Nouns were detected and identified and thoughts advanced, maybe to: Hey Rocky, you’re better at running and I’m better at aiming, so how about we work together to get food.

Today, human beings repeat this advancement process.

For example, if I see a child with too much screen time, my first reactions may be: Bad. Lazy. But, after a bit of contemplation and inspiration, new ideas and new words come to light. Maybe: Honey, there are better things to do, let’s go outside and pick up litter. You don’t want to lose your mind to what other people want you to think and do. We aren’t here for entertainment but for improvement.

In this process, no one is at fault really. Distant ancestors had what they had to work with and we have what we have. The key is advancement. Advancement out of thoughts and words that lead to discrimination and fear. Advancement toward thoughts and words that lead to scientific foresight and capabilities.

Therefore, my book 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A revision of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, will constantly be revised.

You’ll see below, a recent revision I’m working on. To keep it in context, two paragraphs are included:

Eddy’s version:

“We need a clean body and a clean mind,—a body rendered pure by Mind as well as washed by water. One says: ‘I take good care of my body.’ To do this, the pure and exalting influence of the divine Mind on the body is requisite, and the Christian Scientist takes the best care of his body when he leaves it most out of his thought, and like the Apostle Paul, is ‘willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.’

“A hint may be taken from the emigrant, whose filth does not affect his happiness, because mind and body rest on the same basis. To the mind equally gross, dirt gives no uneasiness. It is the native element of such a mind, which is symbolized, and not chafed, by its surroundings, but impurity and uncleanliness, which do not trouble the gross, could not be borne by the refined. This shows that the mind must be clean to keep the body in proper condition.”

From 21st Century Science and Health:

“We need a clean body and a clean mind—a body rendered pure by Mind as well as washed by water. One says: ‘I take good care of my body.’ Physical care requires the pure and spiritualizing influence of the divine Mind on the body. The body is best taken care of when it is most out of thought. The Apostle Paul said he “would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.’[1]

“Take the hint from a combination of archival and experimental studies that shows links between air pollution and unethical behavior and anxiety. Experimental findings published in Psychological Science[2] reveals that increased exposure to air pollution, either physical or mental, accompanies increased crime and cheating. Hint: Align with divine Mind and strive to purify the environment, and human mind and body.”

Back to me, Cheryl and I conclude:

If you find yourself in a situation where communication with someone else feels blocked, it’s okay to give up on the human will trying to hard to get a point across, and its better to rely on the divine will which enables better thoughts and words that show truth and love has the final say.

 

[1] II Cor. 5:8

[2] Jackson G. Lu, Julia J. Lee, Francesca Gino, Adam D. Galinsky. Polluted Morality: Air Pollution Predicts Criminal Activity and Unethical Behavior. Psychological Science, 2018; 095679761773580 DOI: 10.1177/0956797617735807 (Accessed 4/13/2018)

Advisers speak

Last night, Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York, hosted a discussion between Condolezza Rice and Susan Rice, with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell moderating. Even though I was headachey, I went.

The benefits far outweighed the hassle. The nearly two hour drive went fine. I sat next to a couple who told me about Hamilton College. And, the women forum was fantastic.

They spoke intelligently, eloquently, and on topic for an hour and half. The occasion substantiated the reality of people learning to get along and trust good, yet knowing it involves hard work and challenges.

I better understand world events in Syria, Iran, and Russia, with less fear of the unknown. Human beings can work things out.

Condolezza said, “I learned to respect correct timing.”

Susan said, “If I can’t change my opinion in light of new information, then I shouldn’t be in this business.”

The women showed me that they are like me and you: people willing to work twice as hard, who knows there are no victims, and won’t take on the prejudices of others. There is good work to do whether in government, in church, on the job, or at home. Diplomacy is crucial. Don’t enable dictators. Encourage the democratic nations and people.

hamilton stage susan mitchell condelezza

Movie and book

Okay, I admit, I liked watching the flick, Spiderman: Homecoming, 2017.

Casting was superb. Acting was fine. Script was catchy enough. A few times, I got bored and of course there were too many of what I call, chase scenes.

The writers managed, however, to bring out the importance of family and looking after one another.

Now, at the same time, I’m listening to, In the Footsteps of Paul, by Richard Rohr, and I really like it too.

The topic is superb. The spoken words are fine. Ideas shared are catchy enough. A few times I doubt his conclusions, and of course it sometimes seems like I’ve heard it all before.

Rohr manages, however, to bring out the importance of thinking for oneself, and only criticizing one’s own religion and not others. Speaking for oneself, not others.

Quoting from science & religion to God:

Divine Truth is known by its effects, not words. When you do experience spirituality, you may not be able to explain the experience in words that others will understand. Human thought doesn’t immediately capture an understanding of the divine equation and its solution. We feel stuck on this material plane, stuck in problems, stuck in words that have multiple meanings. We must educate our thought to the higher meaning where substance is understood to be Spirit.

How we interpret life affects not only our outlook and expectations, but also the consequences. Interpretation is either literal or spiritual.

Taken literally the words, “Clean your room,” produces decent results. But when dealing with less concrete concepts, open to wide interpretations, such as, “Be nice,” the results can vary. Spirituality comes to our rescue.

Divine interpretation gives us the deeper meaning our hearts yearn for. Spiritual interpretation maintains our life purpose and makes our experiences, words, expressions—even myths—useful.

Book recommendation

I just finished a book that portrays fairness and intelligence. It also allowed me to get to know Islam a bit better because the author grew up in a Muslim home. I want to rid myself of bias or prejudice against other religions and this book helps.

The book title is, The Blindfold Horse: Memories of a Persian Childhood, and it’s written by Shusha Guppy.

The first chapter is about a blindfolded horse and to be honest, it confused me some because I don’t really see how it tied into the rest of the book. But the chapters are short, so I was able to get to the second chapter quickly and read about Guppy’s life and memories, which were written very well.

I could identify with her life in that God, love, trust, friendship, and courage are important.

Guppy talks about the dangers of religious fundamentalism and how it sadly affected the Persian countries in 1979, when the Shaw was overthrown, and religious authorities took control.

The book reminds me of the importance of keeping state and religion separate and to put God before religious organization. It reminds me to follow divine rules before I follow church rules.

I recommend The Blindfold Horse.

History of women fades quicker

The attention given to women during March annoys me. It only takes half a minute to look back and see the future. A month of admiration given to women, then comes April Fool’s Day. Just joking, women are on the front line in the fight for equality and respect and our casualties outweigh the survivors.

A study on the 2017 state of women in corporate America reported that women, especially of color, remain underrepresented, hit low glass ceilings, get less support on the job, and then, 54% of them go home to do most or all the housework.

What are we up against? The human system. It’s rigged for inequalities by its very nature of diversity, yet we keep giving it power. And that power is abused.

Through research, social scientists find that when participants are assigned positions of power, they often willingly take candy from children or give near-lethal shocks to strangers for no reason other than being told to do so.

Professor of Psychology at University of California, Dacher Keltner reported last fall in Harvard Business Review, “These findings from laboratory studies tell us that abuses of power are predictable and recurring.”

I talk about recurring abuses of power in my memoir, I Am My Father-Mother’s Daughter. I also talk about stumbling upon better strategies to expand equality and respect.

First, I learned how to isolate the enemies.

The enemies aren’t men, they aren’t submissive women, and they aren’t nature or nurture. Whether believed or not, the enemies are inequality and disrespect.

It’s that simple and yet that complex. And to keep it simple, uncomplicates a better plan of action. An example from my memoir.

I grew up learning about Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) and about Christian Science as taught through her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Christian Science is a divine system sourced to help improve the human system.

Eddy developed Christian Science into a religion by founding a church in Boston. Her accomplishments struck powerful chords early 20th century. Individuals were transformed, the church flourished, and then branched out worldwide, as successes far outweighed failures.

Mary Baker Eddy was a household name. Respected more than not.

By the 1980s, however, when I was in my twenties, her storyline backfired.

The backfire can be traced to contemporary controversies about the practices of healthcare and prayer, especially regarding children. Arguably, these sharp challenges are necessary to expose spiritual failures on the part of Eddy’s self-professed followers, but the result is Eddy’s original reputation and her accomplishments plummeting to obscurity.

Another female casualty. It’s tiresome, even if she’s used as a tourist attraction.

But, I uncovered and confronted my own guilt of being pretty proud of myself for admiring and following a woman. Basically, my arrogance pushed the limits of respect into a reverence for Eddy’s personality and her words. I admired the wrong thing. It was disrespect disguised as respect.

I pulled back to figure out a better plan of action: Use the power of admiration correctly.

The power of admiring women can’t go unchecked. What are we admired for? Sex appeal? Stop it now.

Intelligence and skill? Okay, but don’t let your guard down, because the power to approve of feminine intelligence and skill is limited and quickly slips into disapproval with any prodding from envy.

Are women admired for patience and empathy? Fine, but arm yourself, everyone, women and men. Arm yourself with better teachings and better learning, untainted by annoyance.

I just learned something.

Yes, the fight to give power to equality and respect is teachable and learnable. It means not trying so hard to give power to gender or positions in life. It means fighting correctly during Women’s History Month, instead of complaining about what I don’t like.

Bio: Cheryl Petersen is a freelance writer and student of Christian Science living in upstate New York. Her books are: 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A revision of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, and, from science & religion to God.

 

 

 

 

 

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