Wednesday, November 30, 2005
So if we are to understand ourselves and our friends and families spiritually, as God sees us, how can we understand God better?
Let's take the synonyms for God: Mind, Spirit, Soul, Life, Truth, Love and Principle (See Science and Health, page 465). Then, get out your dictionary, thesaurus, turn on your computer, or call up your crossword puzzle-loving uncle and come up with more synonyms for these synonyms, and then fill in your own matrix listing a row of synonyms on the top and a row of synonyms in a column on the left. And then ask: What is the Principle of Love? What is the Soul of Mind? What is the Spirit of Truth? You can come up with even more qualities that help explain the full spectrum of God’s qualities, and discover for example, just how creative God’s goodness is, how intelligent His beauty is and how powerful Her tenderness is – all these qualities are about God.
Knowing more about God, we know more about ourselves. As a child of our Father-Mother God, we reflect all His qualities, all of Her attributes. When we see ourselves as God sees us, and understand ourselves as spiritual, it is easier to see others spiritually as well. Then, we can see our own creative goodness, our friend's intelligent beauty and a family member’s powerful tenderness.
There is no end to this infinite exercise that helps us to understand the infinite qualities of God, qualities that each of us express in unique and individual ways.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Some of my favorite books would be about:
- My dad – who loves the northwoods and the harshness of winter and the stamina of the human spirit
- My cousin - artist of clay, lint, glass, etc., who has an uncommon elegance and can transform any material object into that elegance
- My friend from work - intelligent and searching, she brings her microscopic inquisitiveness to the issues of every day
- The gentle and steady nature of a new friend - although struggling through a difficult time, maintains a hope and a grace.
When I was a kid, whenever we needed to pick someone up at the airport, my cousins and I would dress up and go early, so we could watch people. We would sit quietly and just wonder at them, wonder where they were going, who they were going to see, what they were going to do. The arrivals area was always hopping. (See the opening part of the movie "Love, Actually.")
It was in this attentive watchfulness that I learned there is no difference between the young, old, rich, poor, badly dressed and exquisitely dressed. To me, people were always swirling around love, connectedness and beauty.
But there seemed to be a universal need to understand more of who we are and where we come from. We need to know this, because we are wired to know this -- it comes from the primitive nature of who we are – spiritual beings born of Love and Truth. Indeed, Love and Truth are our guiding forces, our guiding light, leading us home to where we always thought we should be. [Did you get that? I am having a hard time explaining this. Let me try again: It is a progressively ascending circuitous path. (1)We feel we should be loved, connected and beautiful, so (2)we seek out those things, only to find that (3)they have been a part of us all along, but only in a much higher way. ... Is that better?]
I'll leave you with three inspiring messages that confirm our beauty and connectedness, and our worthiness for a book to be written about each of us.
- "Wings of Desire" , a film by German director Wim Wenders whose images of angels with us reminds me that we are never alone.
- Mother Theresa, who sees the Christ in every one she helps. "I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper's wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?" -- 1974 interview
- And a confirmation from the Bible that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalms 139:14)
From the Book of Kim,
please feel free to add your own book or comments or visit my website, wwwkimckorinek.com.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
- In these last two years I have made major changes along with my family. These transitions have gone very smoothly.
- I have launched on a career that I had been hoping to do for almost 30 years!
- My family is closer than ever.
- I am learning more about God and Her infinite goodness in surprising ways.
- I am less afraid of things that I was afraid of.
- I am more committed to be a contributing global citizen.
Gratitude kind of feeds on itself, and I find the more grateful I am, the more I have to be grateful for! In Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she sums this up nicely:
Are we grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.
On Thanksgiving Day in the US, there will be a surge of gratitude expressed. But I welcome you all to join on ongoing gratitude fest by lighting a candle of gratitude along with others from 242 other countries. "Light a candle" is hosted by gratefulness.org - a bridge and forum for grateful hearts everywhere. The vision for their site is "to create a worldwide community dedicated to gratefulness as the core inspiration for personal change, international cooperation, and sustainable activism in areas of universal concern."
Please feel free to add your own comments or visit my website at www.kimckorinek.com.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Hard stuff at any age. This was big news and I had the opportunity to talk to my kids and Sunday School students about the major questions this always brings up: What is death? What is life? Why does this happen?
Death ends things. Life continues and creates. It is for this simple definition that Life wins. Always. If you were to take any person, strip them of all of their labels: son, wife, niece, godparent, employer, student, provider, etc. what you would have left is the emobidiment of their spiritual qualities. Spiritual qualities are from Spirit, who is God. This is what gives our lives meaning, purpose and gives us our legacy. A spiritual quality cannot be stopped, cannot die. It would be impossible to make this happen - as impossible, say, if one were to take the number eight and try to cause it to melt. A spiritual quality cannot take on a physical quality.
Why do things like this happen? I don't know. But I do feel strongly that it is NOT God's will that there be suffering and dying. It makes no sense to me that God ( synonymous with Life) would end life; or that God (synonymous with Love) would test His beloved children to see if they really, really believed in Him. It is my belief that this boy's life (who died in the accident) is embodying the same spiritual qualities he did when we saw him everyday, and that the embodiment of his special qualities are still moving forward, alive and active.
In explaining this to my Sunday School class, it made sense to liken life to a computer. There are different things that come on the screen, like our different experiences, but we are always plugged in. We are plugged in when there are many things on the computer and plugged in when there is nothing on the computer.
We, who are left behind, grieve when we feel that death has had the final answer. Grief is healed when we catch that glimpse that Life and the lives of those we love are continuing, always plugged in and moving forward. Love takes over and we are welcomed to feel the power and embrace of pure Love, the intimate and unbroken understanding of our relationship to Him and restored hope in everpresent Life.
For those who are grieving, it has always helped me to know that the Christ is right where you are, going deeper than pity and sorrow and able to lift you, love you and restore your hope. You are not alone, and those whom you love are not alone and can feel your love.
Feel free to share your thoughts below.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
“Oh Lord, my God, mine holy One.”
Another one: John, one of the disciples, often started his letters with a humble, loving greeting to those he had come to meet:
“My little children….”
And yet another desire of pitiful patience and encouragement:
“O man, greatly beloved, peace be unto thee. Be strong, yea be strong.”
And another one about people earnestly waiting for Jesus to come into town:
"And the people gladly received him, for they were all waiting for him.”
These snippets color the Bible with a familiarity of God that has lasted over thousands of years.
One morning, I had a Bible snippet come to thought. It was prior to a response Jesus gave to a man who had asked him a question:
“And Jesus, beholding him, loved him.”
I like the word behold. It is one of those full round embracing words. I could just imagine the compassionate look on his face, answering this rather cocky, but earnest man.
Well, one morning, my younger son woke up for school and said in a very thick voice, “I kennud talk. Muh voiy ih gun and muh thro huhrts.” (I cannot talk. My voice is gone and my throat hurts.) And then the phrase,
“and Jesus, beholding him, loved him”popped into my thought. I love my son. So I beheld him. It then occurred to me that he might have to stay home, then I would have to get his homework for the day and then he would spend the next two days catching up. This was not helpful.
So instead, I prayed. It was a simple thought: A germ does not determine what Gabe does, God determines Gabe’s day. This day belongs to God. Period. Together Gabe and I talked about his identity as a spiritual idea and prayed with the "Scientific Statement of Being" from Science and Health (p 468). We finished. He finished breakfast. Got dressed. Said in a clear voice, “I’m off!” and took off for school, completely free of the sore throat.
Another snippet came to thought:
“Heal me and I shall be healed… for thou art my praise.”
(Bible quotes in order: Habakkuk 1:12; 1 John 3:18; Daniel 10:11; Luke 8:40; Jeremiah 17:14)
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Thursday, November 10, 2005
Once you dive deeper into the spiritual reality of all things, you find common ground EVERYWHERE.
I recently moved from a city/suburban life to a rural life. In the city, I needed to see large open spaces – just space enough beneath skyscrapers to see the sky would suffice on weekdays, but weekends I needed to see a sweep of prairie or a vista of ocean to feel at peace.
So, I love it here: the woods, winter, wind and sky. The cold is cold to the bone. The big empty sky is expansive, the wind brings inspiration and here you see life constantly renewing itself. Here it is easy to be inspired and let my ideas and my writing flow.
However, I wasn’t prepared for the culture of fishing and hunting. This is BIG here (this is only news to those who live beyond a 500 mile radius from here). The economy, the music, the kids’ school attendance – all are effected by hunting and fishing. For some it is their sport, for others, it is how they have enough to eat. For me, I just didn’t get it.
I am fortunate to be living close to relatives who love hunting and fishing. Already my younger son is jumping at the gun (so to speak) to learn how to shoot rifles and to have my brother-in-law take him out this hunting season.
My sister-in-law explains to me that she wants to teach me the serenity of ice-fishing. Here, she explains, you are out in this wide-open space filled with stillness. Everything is white, cold and silent. Even through the hole in the ice, the slow rare sites of the movements of fish keep pace with a forzen rhythm. The peace and the time alone are nourishing. The earth, though still asleep, continues to yield bountifully.
My husband’s uncle is a big deer hunter. He, along with his lifelong wife, are good hearted and practical people. He says he will never hunt bear, however, because bear mate for life. Although this leads me to speculate about the morality of deer, it is surprising that he would take a bear's monogamy as a criteria for hunting. It speaks of our connection to all living things, of our ability to help create a balance in the life and death of wildlife, and of our personal connection and identification with wild animals.
In the Bible in Genesis 1, verse 26, indicates that God has given man dominion over the earth. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes,
This is not about domination over the earth, but God’s dominion – a loving, life preserving responsibility to care for the earth.
"Man, made in His (God’s) likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth."
It is this loving caretaking, the appreciation of nature and the careful knowledge of the wilderness that I can embrace. I don’t know if I will ever hunt or fish, but I can feel at home with those who do.
Please feel free to add your own comments or click on the envelope to email to a friend.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal man, forever unlimited by the mortal senses.What a sentence! I find myself inspired again and again by this simple Truth. We are, right now, in the midst of glorious possibilities and there is no force on earth that can take that away.
A good deal of our time here may be spent struggling or trying to overcome adverse situations. And yet, what is on the other side of those situations is a wider unlimited view of life that shows our dominion over challenges, our strength and unlimited joy.
Let me illustrate.
Sarah and I were equally matched whitewater kayaking buddies. One trip was particularly memorable. We were the rookies of a group of paddlers that were going to do a beautiful whitewater stretch on the Montreal River (Midwest USA). In the first big rapid we were going to do, there was calm water (an eddy) above and below a large drop, with some manuevering that needed to be done between several rock outcroppings. Our friends set up safety ropes and the more experienced ones went down first. Sarah was going to go before me, I would watch her from the shore and cheer her on, then I would go, she would cheer me on, etc.
Well, she left and got into the eddy above the drop. And there she stayed. And stayed. I knew something was wrong. Nervously, I got into my boat and joined her. She was scared. I was scared. This was the biggest rapid we had ever done. After a while I said, "OK Sarah, I just have to share some God stuff with you, OK? It's this. Perfect Love casts out all fear. We don't have to be afraid. We can absolutely LOVE what we are doing and we will be fine." Simple. That was it. We both took turns going down the rapids, nailing the currents just right, got the right angle in the drop and turned into the eddy below. Our friends all cheered. We were ecstatic!
Not only was it thrilling to conquer our fear, but to be immersed in the powerful currents, carving out our boats alongside the rapids was another dimension of focus, joy and harmonizing with the power of nature. We felt that unlimited nature of God.
When we are in our own eddy, so to speak, in that calm spot before a challenge, we can take that time to know that God is Love and we are immersed in God's love. This perfect Love - helps to melt away personal agendas, doubts, envy, or self -deprecation. We are free to see the glorious possibilities God has for us.
In healing, the role of prayer can help inspire us to the point that we are willing to accept our perfection, our light, our genius. God certainly does, and we are made in His image and likeness. So what is holding us back? Challenges in whatever form, do fall away, as they have no sound basis, whereas peace, health, joy, etc. have divine authority for their eternal and constantly creative expression.
We can't be denied the fullness of life. It is there. And fear cannot separate us from the glorious possibilities that God has planned for us.
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Saturday, November 05, 2005
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Friday, November 04, 2005
To prove just how curious Kelly is, I have juxtaposed definitions of curious (taken from a great dictionary site www.onelook.com) with a sampling of Kelly’s questions from a recent conversation we had:
CURIOUS - adjective: having curiosity aroused; eagerly interested in learning more (Example: "A trap door that made me curious")
· How do I get IM? A website? On skype? An email?
· I want to learn Chinese.
· The World is Flat – what kind of a book is that?
· Let’s find out where Rabka, Poland is.
· Can I be on your blog?
CURIOUS - adjective: eager to investigate and learn or learn more (sometimes about others' concerns) (Example: "A curious child is a teacher's delight")
· You heal through prayer? How would you heal my teeth?
· What a cool website. I know, you could start an advice column, and I would send you questions and sign it with goofy names like, “Lost in Texas”
· You mean you were divorced once? What happened?
· I don’t get stuff about electricity and technology. Do you?
CURIOUS - adjective: beyond or deviating from the usual or expected (Example: "A curious hybrid accent")
I was impressed with Kelly’s attentiveness when discussing the load bearing walls of our house and how we needed to understand how trusses worked and what we could do as a result of that knowledge. Kelly listened very closely and understandably. So much so that I thought, this kid is going to be an architect. When I told her that, she said she didn’t understand a thing I said, but if her attentive listening made me think she was capable of great things like architecture, perhaps she could use that look a bit more.
The virtues of curiosity and what others say:
“The ability to make big leaps of thought is a common denominator among the originators of breakthrough ideas.”
--Daniel Pink, author of best-selling book A Whole New Mind: Moving from the information age to the conceptual age
“I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”
--Eleanor Roosevelt, UN Diplomat, humanitarian, First Lady
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."
--Albert Einstein, German born Physicist
"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind."
--Samuel Johnson, English poet 1709-1784
“While age is halting between two opinions or battling with false beliefs, youth makes easy and rapid strides towards Truth.”
--Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science
“The greatest virtue of man is perhaps curiosity."
--Anatole France, French Writer, Nobel Prize for Literature 1921
“No, really. What is it? I really want to know.”
--Kelly, curiosity sponge, middle school student, wonderful daughter, tolerant sister, loyal friend and a very loved niece
Yours in holy curiosity,