Tag Archives: Bible

Living in Time versus Living in Light

In the 13th century, Benedictine monks invented the mechanical clock. The intent was to arrange their activities of working, reading, and praying, into precise dedication to God to prepare for future eternal deliverance. Every movement was organized into formal activity, taking place at fixed times. The consequence?

  • Time driven schedules
  • Separation of time from the rhythms of the natural world
  • Efficiency, conformity, and regimentation

Dividing our days into quantitative time is only spiritually productive when Love and Truth are given precedent over time-controlled thinking. Can we alter our schedules to help an enemy? Can we adjust our rituals and minister to human needs?

Mary Baker Eddy defines day as the unfolding of good, “the illumination of Life.” (Science and Health)

Biblical references were written in a context before the mechanical clock was invented. We read in Genesis, “God called the light Day.” (NKJV)

 

 

Mary Baker Eddy’s “Science and Health” is No Longer Weird or Aloof

One hundred years ago, Mary Baker Eddy died, leaving an astonishing legacy to the world. A few people cherish the religious organization and church buildings Eddy left behind; however, one of Eddy’s books is regarded as the most valuable heirloom given to humanity, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Weather and exposure tarnish gold, silver, and marble. Similarly, human language, time, and misinterpretation tarnish the written word. Therefore, the 19th century church buildings are restored and Science and Health is revised.
The revision I produced, 21st Century Science and Health, required years of preparation, prayer, and research. Thankfully, Eddy revised Science and Health over 300 times during her lifetime so there was a definite pattern to follow. And, I can honestly say, this work was motivated by immense appreciation for Eddy’s explanation of divine Science. I did not revise Eddy’s book out of desperation; I did not do it to prove a point; and I did not do it because I thought I could do a better job than someone else. The work was done vigilantly, delicately, meticulously, conscientiously, prudently, firmly—through sweat and tears.
Eddy’s Science and Health was carefully excavated. I gently removed decaying language, clichés of institutionalized religion, misconceptions found in society, and the outdated social references. Readers of 21st Century Science and Health can also relate to examples and illustrations apropos to today’s globalization and technological discoveries. Science and Health is no longer aloof or weird.
The requisite revisions were made in order to present Eddy’s ideas intact and correct to this present time. A case in point is the paragraph discussing “Novel Diseases.” Eddy listed new diseases of the 19th century while I listed new diseases of today. I also updated terminology such as: animal magnetism, phrenology, humors, brainology, and consumption. Science and Health is now gender-inclusive. Also, Biblical quotes come from the diverse English Bible versions available to people at the many bookstores around the world.
I continue to update Science and Health, keenly noting the thoughts and suggestions of the global thought, proving that Christian Science can’t be trapped in history or culture.
Eddy’s Science and Health gleams again with the facts that: divine Science is timeless; other cultures and people have also discovered and articulated divine principles; the ability to heal spiritually is accessible to people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and faiths; a divine perspective of truth can’t be hidden; there is no mystery to understanding and practicing scientific mental healing; and, the elements of human ideologies never harmed Mind-science.
Immense work is yet needed to advance divine Science and its interpretation of health, harmony, and holiness.

An Eclectic Party

Our daughter, Leah, and her boyfriend, Anthony, were visiting us last weekend, so we decided to have a party. I walked to our neighbors houses and invited them. I emailed a few friends who live in the nearby village, and I invited whoever happen to call me on the phone before our early Sunday dinner party.

Leah made scrumptious black-bean burgers. I made tasty black-pepper/ginger greenbeans and beef, cheesecake, and tiramisu. Friends brought fresh green salad, couscous, chili, and applesauce.  Simple, yet delightful.

The atmosphere was alive with diversity and interest. Our cat, Richard, was skulking around the house trying desperately to find a quiet hiding place. The young children had to resort to playing with Richard’s toys, because our house is toyless since our chidlren are grown and gone.

Fortunately, Liz carries drawing pens and paper with her to use as an outlet for her ever-flowing love and creativity. Liz shared her coloring pens and paper with three year old Maica. Leon came as a newbie to us all, via Liz. It was comforting to meet him, an astute thinker and calming influence.

After eating, the attentive, lovely mothers took their children outside to romp. The rooms loudness factor dropped significantly, as if 13 people left, instead of 3 children and 2 mothers. We all inside immediately began misisng them.

Not that we didn’t have good conversation during the quiet lull. Annie spoke with her eloquent and attractive vocabulary that makes me appreciate the beauty in language. Paul and Eliane, shared travel adventures they had experienced over the last seventy years. Leah and Anthony chimed in with enterprising enthusiasm while discussing their new domain Stunt Bums Venus, Leah and Anthony’s doggie, sat on Anthony’s lap the entire time!

Eventually, the dispersion began. I cleaned up and within an hour there was no evidence of such a fortunate inclusive event.

I hope no one was offended that it isn’t my habit to say grace before eating. However, if I did say anything it would be, Thank you all for coming. I know most of you and find you stunningly interesting, therefore it stands to reason that when you get to know one another you will love each other as much as I love you all.

Hebrews 13:2-4
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“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (NIV)

Venus and Richard

My Religion Column in The Daily Star

June 12, 2010
Questions backed with good intent are barrier breaking

What is that?
Oatmeal.
What are you doing with the oatmeal?
Making cookies.
Can I help?
Yes.
That was fun. Hey, Where are you going now?
To the bathroom.
Why? Can I come? I want to come. When are you coming out? What are you doing in there?

What am I doing? I am wondering, if Albert Einstein spent time with a 3-year-old before he was quoted as saying, “The most important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Actually, questions are useful. The key, is asking useful questions that lead to practical answers. And, this involves asking a question with a useful intent. In other words, before we ask a question, we want to ask ourselves, “Why am I asking this question?”

If the intent to question is to explore and discover, we will find helpful answers. However, we can’t just accept the first answer that comes along, even if answers come from the revered religions and sciences.

If the intent to question is to generate productive discussion, thought expands and understanding prevails.

If the intent to question is to trick someone, well, the questioning might work, but generally only the questioner is tricked.

Classic examples of trick questions are found in the Bible. We can read in the Gospels, where certain people, with the intent to ruin Christ Jesus’ reputation, would ask Jesus questions in the hopes that Jesus would say something against God’s law (e.g. Stoning an adulterous woman, John 8:3). Jesus, savvy to the twisted intent, answered their questions with counter-questions, and proved a very important point. Trick questions are self-incriminating. The trick questioners only embarrassed themselves, showing their poor intentions of sloth or indifference to humankind.

On other occasions though, Christ Jesus was questioned by people who sincerely wanted an answer. Some people did not like the answers Jesus gave, but they knew the principles were valid, and walked away until they were ready to accept the answer for themselves.

Jesus’ disciples were constantly asking him questions. The disciples better accepted”oacted on”oJesus’ answers, and felt the rewards of self-understanding, self-control, and of knowing a loving spiritual God.

Questions, with a pure intent, are barrier breaking. They make us feel better about ourselves. This is different from questions bent on arguing for a passing belief or rut thinking.

Every day human beings can ask themselves questions. Why am I eating this? Is it better to forgive than to hold a grudge? Can I walk instead of drive? Do I really need to buy this? Can I read a good book out-loud to the children, instead of watch TV?

The question-and-answer methodology requires honesty and effort, but most of all, it requires reaching deep into the soul and responding with a spiritual conviction, a conviction that originates in a greater power, a spiritual ego. In other words, it requires, not letting the human-ego hijack the question and answer methodology to suit the fact that the human ego/mind/brain/body has evolved to epitomize birth and death. Spiritual ego keeps us questioning because the idea behind a good question is undying.

For instance, the idea of equality, full of opportunity, presents itself to the universe. Reaching deep into the soul, spiritual mindedness will question and consider equality until it is better understood and acted on. These responses improve our world; humanity becomes more just, bigotry fades, or fears are overcome. However, if the spiritual conviction gets neglected, the human-ego kicks in, complicates equality, pollutes it with dogma, or abuses it to serve the flesh. But, the idea, equality, never dies. Only the mortal mind and body dies. And, spiritual mindedness, somewhere, sometime, will question equality and discover answers that again expand our sense of it.

Questions, backed with good intent, are powerfully advantageous. There is no limit to learning, knowing, feeling, and seeing. When I doubt this fact, or more ludicrous, when I think I already know most of the answers and repeat the “same old, same old,” I remind myself to go hang out with 3-year-olds.

Cheryl Petersen is a freelance religion writer. She lives in Delhi and can be reached at from.cherylp@gmail.com.

Genetic Code is Changeable

Has anyone read the article, “Why Genes Aren’t Destiny,” in Jan. 18, 2010 TIME Magazine?

Life is our destiny!

The article very interestingly makes a case for the fact that DNA isn’t written in stone, confirming our ability to change for the better. Instead of mutating for the worse, we can mutate for improvement!

“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (II Cor. 3:3, NIV)

P.S. It is still snowing…

Snow, up to our back door handle

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