Tag Archives: Christian Science

The History of Spirituality II

Voute Hall, the dorm I stayed in

Voute Hall, the dorm I stayed in

Continuing my Boston College experience, our class went on to study Julian of Norwich. A 12th century figure, Julian gave images of hidden things and expressed the inexpressible through language. In the book, Julian of Norwich, we read what can be classified as “revelatory texts” rather than “illuminating text.” Often referred to as a mystic, Julian tells about her 16 visions and because truth can’t be pinned down, her prose meanders. Personally, I had to laugh because it reminded me of Mary Baker Eddy’s writing which can also meander.

Within two class period however, we broke down and analyzed Julian’s thoughts and came up with insightful facts. Julian glimpsed the nothingness of sin. She was optimistic and encouraged readers not to be obsessed with sin. Don’t live your life in a sense of failure. Contrary to the desert fathers who seemed depressed all the time.

By time the 12th century rolled around, the Catholic Church had grown some fairly straggly and bushy church creeds. A couple of Popes were fighting for the throne. Julian ran counterculture to the church, but yet didn’t condemn the church. She knew her visions came from God, not hierarchy in a church.

Her imagery of God highlighted the characteristics of: Father, mother, powerful, loving, courteous, willing, forgiving, devoted, and all-aware. She brings out a dynamic, rather than structural concept of God and church.

Next is my weekend venture.

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Spirituality in Science: The Importance of Objectivity and Values

This post is written by Jessica Reynolds, a writer who strives to offer information and resources, including data about scientific posters to students and those interested in the sciences.

Scientific research is a field full of discovery, innovation, and scrutiny. By definition it has to be all of those things, or no advancements would be made. And because scientists are supposed to scrutinize data with an objective eye, they are subject to the same treatment by the outside world. When spirituality comes into play, it is even more important than usual for scientists to remain objective, for they will be under the harsh eyes of the watching world.

There is a lot to be said about the importance of ethics and values when it comes to scientific research. No matter what field is being discussed, it is always important to consider the privacy of subjects and people involved with experiments. If personal information is used, an informed consent form must be signed. Information must be shared according to the facts. Scientists do not have the luxury of letting their personal beliefs shape the results of their work.

This is not to say that spirituality has no place in science. Contrarily, spirituality can often shape how people approach their work. Though the data and findings need to be objective and based on facts, the motivation for research is often based on interests, curiosity, and spiritual beliefs and questions. The way we approach things is also often affected by our spiritual beliefs.

This last point is the very reason that when spirituality is involved, objectivity becomes even more important. If research is related to a spiritual topic, it will come under a heavy amount of scrutiny. Therefore it is important that any personal investment is put aside, and the researcher works that much harder to objectively find the truth. They must explore every explanation and argument and present possibilities and possibilities and facts as facts. If there are inconsistencies, a controversial topic is more likely to be disregarded than explored for its potential.

Some people view science and spirituality as enemies, while others see them as different approaches to the same end; answering the mysteries of the universe. Spirituality can be seen in many ways, but most often deals with a belief in something larger than oneself. Science seeks to explain both the large and small intricacies of the world, by relying on undeniable facts. Science is constantly evolving as we dig deeper and learn more. Many once held theories are now dismissed as ridiculous. Some spiritual beliefs have undergone the same changes in how they are viewed.

Some argue that it is impossible for humanity to be completely objective. After all, the scientific community is slow to accept new theories, often because of a paradigm related bias. When new explanations and theories disprove what we have accepted to be true, we are slow to accept that. This criticism is not bad; rather it ensures that new innovations are explored thoroughly.

The fact that both science and spirituality are under intense scrutiny encourages objectivity and values in scientific research. There will always be dishonesty in any field, but scientists are keenly aware that there will be a sharp eye on their discoveries. By continuing to reward innovative and ethical research, perhaps science, including the spiritual aspect of the human mind, can continue to expand our knowledge.

 

Springtime Cleaning

Many of you have already entered the spring season. Here in upstate New York, the snow finally melted last week. Needless to say, we all are pretty antsy about the slowly emerging flowers and leaves.

To be able to put a shovel in unfrozen ground, and to open the windows, and to clean the house is always a favorite springtime activity. It also becomes a time to wash the heavy blankets and put away the winter clothes.

While packing or unpacking seasonal clothing, I separate out the clothes that received little attention. The clothes are then donated to a local cause, or taken to a consignment shop.

When in that thought frame, I go through the house and select kitchenware, toys, and knick-knacks that I’ve outgrown and add them to the donation box. Some people have a garage sale.

It makes for lighter work when I contemplate a Bible verse such as, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness form the God of his salvation.” (Ps. 24, ESV)

I honestly ask myself when going through my stuff, do I really need this? Or, will it be better used by someone else?

New Assignment

Action advice from Peter Drucker, original business thinker: Do not continue to do in your new assignment what made you successful in the old one. When you enter a new assignment, as “What new things should I be doing in my new assignment to be effective?” The Daily Drucker

Researching what we read

21st Century Science and Health is now in its fourth edition.

Sickness

Not many of us like to be sick. Humanity is plagued with sickness of some sort or fashion due to the connection between human beings and mortality. So, in our efforts to heal, do we try to get rid of sickness or do we get rid of human mind?

Christ Jesus healed sickness and he constantly directed human beings to God. What can we learn from this? We read in I Corinthians, “We have the mind of Christ.” What is this Mind?

Along with some other belief systems, Christian Science reiterates God as the only Mind. In our efforts to understand divine Mind we need to be honest and reasonable. Sometime we are not as spiritual as we claim therefore we make either too much of sickness, or too little.

When it comes to sickness, we must be wise. We can’t ignore it and it is best not to expect sickness. Here is a list of points that make it easier to heal sickness spiritually:

  • It is a mistake to believe God created sickness. God only created health and holiness.
  • Sickness is a condition of the human mind. The appearance of a biological sickness is morphing as we speak. Divine Mind removes the image of sickness from human mind.
  • The goal of healing is not to extend mortality or prove yourself superior. Healing is a humble divine task that glorifies God, Love, Life.
  • Metaphysical healing is possible to anyone. Even an atheist can be healed through prayer if their morals are generally sound. God loves everyone.
  • Healing the sick is only a prelude to the greater mission of wiping out sin, or in other words, is the prelude to ever-manifestation of light, beauty, God.

We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite. We bury the perception of infinitude, when we admit that, although God is infinite, [sickness] has a place in this infinity, for evil can have no place where all presence is God.”

 

What I learned from 2012 Les Miserables

I haven’t found a reviewer yet who echoes my impression of the 2012 musical rendition of Les Misérables.  I don’t lean toward the passionate exclamation, “Nothing short of breathtaking, triumphant and beautiful!” I also don’t lean toward the review quipped by Alistair Harkness who commented, and I’m abridging here, “Bombastic, overblown, overlong, needlessly convoluted…” His remark seems backward. The French to English language version of the book, Les Misérables, contains 530,982 words. The 2012 film, scripted by William Nicholson, Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil, and Claude-Michel Schönberg, managed to effectively garner at least 250 pages into a 3 minute song. Bravo.

There are many ways to communicate, when all communication comes from Truth, Life, Love, God.

The 2012 Les Misérables impressed me with the fact that time/space and the human language are surmounted with the use of lyrics, music, acting, and visuals. All these layers together produced a grand effect that are provoking the human mind to grow out of its own codes, expectations, assumptions, and flawed views.

We need revisions, renditions, and new versions of books. I’m currently working on an abridged version of Science and Health, first written in the 19th century by Mary Baker Eddy. I keep in mind words written by Eddy, “We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms.” (Miscellaneous Writings) The modern words of the abridged Science and Health provide an edge and speak to today’s thinkers.

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