Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FASCINATING conversation with a physicist.....

Spiritual resource to share: brilliant friends!

Two friends (one who is a physicist) and I were talking about the decades old rash of studies dealing with the effect of thought and prayer on healing. The physicist started out the conversation with a couple of things I would like to share here:

He asked what the difference is between
Brain over body
Mind over matter
Spiritual healing?

It seemed easy to answer on the basis of MBEddy’s outline on the scientific translation of mortal mind. Each of these three approaches to the different medical studies could be defined in the context of that definition! (Note: MBEddy’s translation of mortal mind is in bold and my comments are in italics.)

Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind

First Degree: Depravity. (Marginal heading: Unreality)

PHYSICAL. Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.

Brain over body deals with a wholly material basis, proposing that thought is a result of reactions of the brain and works to manipulate matter to produce healthy effects
Brain over body studies deal with the physical: passions, appetite, and the analysis from a material basis of sin, disease and death.

Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing. (Marginal heading: Transitional qualities)

MORAL. Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance.

Mind over matter deals with thought as well as body; seeing that thought has an impact on health and works that idea toward healthy conditions
Mind over matter studies deal with the moral qualities of honesty, affection, compassion and humanity; these are transitional qualities

Third Degree: Understanding. (Marginal heading: Reality)

SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.

Spiritual healing deals with absolute spiritual principle coming from an infinite and omnipotent Mind, God; the application of these principles bring about harmony resulting in health
Spiritual healing studies deal with understanding: This is the basis for reality.

So what’s the point here and why is this important for us to understand?

Whereas these studies and theories point to an increased discussion (and elevated discussion) about the role of thought and prayer on health, it is only the ones that deal with the moral element that bring the discussion to that “transitional level” and may open the way for more inquiry to and practice of spiritual healing. Other studies are looking for a way to reduce God to a neurological impulse – keep God at a material basis.

Here are some examples that could be categorized into the three degrees of Mortal Mind as defined by MBEddy:

Brain over Body: God as a Physical phenomenon

Emotional Intelligence By Daniel Goleman
“…we are wired for compassion and concern” There is a new field of science called neurotheology, which applies the methodology of neuroscience to study the “God experience,” or GE. A National Institutes of Health study showed that one third of Americans had an experience in which they felt “a divine and wonderful spiritual power.” Scientists are now interested in studying and measuring what is going on in the brain during these experiences. They want to know, “Is spirituality genetic?"

Mind over Matter: God as the source of Moral Qualities

What Happy People Know By Dan Baker and Cameron Stauth
What one reviewer wrote: "Dr. Baker engages and entertains by writing in a conversational style sharing inspirational experiences and insights. The book takes a "positive psychology" approach teaching the reader what actions one should take to be happy and suggests that simply talking at length about a person's problems in a private office can't get you as far as going out and taking action. He says love is the answer - we should practice altruism, appreciation, and forgiveness. This great book is easy reading but unbelievably interesting and thought-provoking."

Spiritual healing: God as universal principle

"Intelligence is everywhere. And the deeper you go beneath the surface, the more intelligence, the more dynamism, the more awareness, until at the foundation of the universe there is a field of pure abstract universal existence-universal Consciousness…the unified field.”
From: “Consciousness in the Unified Field” John Hageli, Light of Consciousness(Spring/Summer 2006)

So, would love to hear comments on this! Especially with those of you who have backgrounds in the sciences. (PS - Thanks to my Association mates who researched the above books and quotes!)

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, October 26, 2007

how to change a culture

Spiritual resource to share: vision and achievement

"If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it!" Jesse Jackson

"The devotion of thought to an honest achievement, makes that achievement possible." Mary Baker Eddy

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

This is an ongoing blog about the dynamic of our community meetings. Just to sum up for those new to this blog, we are a group of people representing various voices in our community. We have been meeting to address the need to forge together a community that focuses on healthy kids, families and communities and in so doing, create a community wide prevention plan that alleviates or reduces racism, violence, and alcohol and drug abuse. These problems have been around a long time and lately have escalated.

We have come to an exciting junction in the road in these meetings. It started with people getting frustrated. At our last meeting (the eighth one) people had time to voice their concerns and opinions. It was feeling like we had little traction with what we had accomplished so far.

Several times "plans" had been presented as a way of organizing thought. Some of it has gelled, some have not. I love watching the dynamic of organization ebb and flow. And the meeting started out not flowing. I kept praying, establishing in my thought the oneness of Mind, intelligence, and recognized that it was being expressed with clarity.

This is what happened.

People stayed to the end of the meeting.
People's grievances were heard.
THEN came the boom. "We are trying to do too much. This is over-whelming." said one therapist who shared some of his reasons for saying this. "If we can't perceive what it is we are trying to do, we will never achieve it."

Yep. We had taken on trying to reverse a cultural footpath that has been so thoroughly documented and trod on, that it would appear to be an intractable rut. We were really asking now, how can we change a culture? How can we lift a culture of low expectations and abuse to a culture of tolerance, progress, and a celebration of diversity?

Then came the reversal of the boom: "HOWEVER", said a counselor who worked in a drug prevention program, "look at what happened with cigarettes! How did they do that? I don't know, but they did it. Now, everyone is aware of its health hazards. We can do this, too."

From there, various people commented on what worked in other programs, another recognized that success builds success, another saw how large of an umbrella we could be to give more focus to all those willing to buy in to the idea of building healthy communities.

A tribal elder commented, "In all the years we have been trying to tackle these problems, there has never been this many people willing to work for a solution. I've never seen this happen before now." He added, "By coming together like this, each of us from different walks of life, we form a formidable power. We are already having an impact. We are already moving forward."

Several agreed and a number of them mentioned certain steps that were taken in the high school that were progressive and responsive to the community - and were directly in line with what this group is hoping to achieve.

We are now on a success and possibilities track. This is good.

How do you change a culture? Culture is defined as the context of our human experience. To change the culture is to change the context. And changing the context from a limited, material basis of things (which breeds limitation, abuse and division) to a spiritual basis (which nurtures peace, unity, progress and innovation) is the way to change a culture. And it can be done.

Success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing. -Mary Baker Eddy

A deep sincerity is sure of success, for God takes care of it. -Mary Baker Eddy

With God, all things are possible. - Christ Jesus

....and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.... -The Book of Hebrews

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

la lengua del corazón

Recurso para compartir: sinceridad

Me gusta mucho todo que es inclusivo cuando aprendía una segunda lengua (mi segunda lengua es español). Ha sido siempre expansiva para mí en saber que hay mundos de maneras de percibir las cosas que van más allá de nuestra lengua materna.

¿Por ejemplo, usted sabía eso en japonés, hay una palabra para la esencia de una roca? Y en alemán, el "zwischenraum" es una palabra que explica el espacio entre las cosas..

Necesita humildad para aprender otra lengua. ¡He visitado muchos países hispanohablantes para utilizar mis habilidades de lengua y para haber encontrado que también necesita una buena voluntad de hacerse un poco vulnerable tan bien! he tenido que ajustar mi español académico al español hablado diario de ese país.

Pero la compensación es que usted está entrando en otro mundo, otra manera de considerar cosas. Y si hay amor en su corazón para ese país y el respecto por su gente, las puertas se abrirán para usted. Vale el esfuerzo.

En Las Escrituras Misceláneas, Mary Baker Eddy escriba:

Cuando el corazón habla, no obstante es simple las palabras, su lengua son siempre aceptables a las que tengan corazones.

Pensé en esto siempre que encontrarme a mí mismo en una situación donde no estoy familiar con la "lengua" sea una visita a otro país en donde el inglés no se habla, una fiesta de la gente yo no conozco todavía o siendo parte de una discusión sobre un tema desconocedor. Si traigo un corazón - sincero entender, conectar y contribuir - hay siempre un nivel de la aceptación.

For the English version, click here and scroll down to "The language of the heart"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

bright skies

Spiritual resource to share: brightness in times of change
I have sung this hymn so many times when my life was going through some change. I think the first time I ever struck out on my own, this hymn was right with me, comforting me and assuring me of God's progress and Her tender care.

I have two boys, teenagers now, and this hymn comes into thought again as one is planning for a year abroad and the other is pursuing the fall and winter sports: football/wrestling/hunting - sports I never would have been involved in - except for now and only because of my son. So they continue their steps and leaps forward toward their own lives. It is exciting to see them take on challenges, future plans and their own laundry.

I see more clearly that these guys have come to us, complete with a mission and purpose - their Father -Mother God has their treasure. Nothing changes about my relationship to them because nothing changes about our relationship to God. And God keeps walking with us all.
Enjoy the poem!

In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.

The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.

His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Where darkest clouds have been.

My hope I cannot measure,
My path in life is free;
My Father has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A thought about St. Francis of Assisi as reformer

Spiritual resource to share: spiritual activism

St. Francis

Oh, it is that hospital prayer team again. Their monthly program of inspiration has hit again, giving me yet another thought-provoking look at another topic to blog about. This time it was about St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment.

There is much to say about him, but there was one thing in particular about St. Francis' work and mission resonated with me: he sought to reform the church from within the church, always working within its discipline. He was bold, uncompromising and true to God - consistently - without fear of failure or fear of being outcast. He spoke his truth and was not afraid to stay within the discipline of his chosen church. AND neither did his chosen church limit his truth.

The danger of organization is that it can get you to stop thinking and to go along with whatever is convenient. The power of organization is that it can unify thought toward a higher more spiritual purpose.

St. Francis' involvement must have been of that higher sort. He stirred thought - radically - and influenced an entire movement.

It's given me much to think about.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Community Table

Spiritual resource to share: nourishing home-cooked prize-winning food !

Church: whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle

In my newfound expansive expression of church, I am so happy to share an activity that my family and other area churches are involved in. It is called The Community Table. The idea behind it is a community meal to all, with a focus to invite those who need to stretch their dollars at the end of the month.

The watchword is dignity to all, and no one should know who comes from the food pantry or is homeless and who isn't. The instigator of this project is a Franciscan Catholic and I so admire her vision - a divine Principle - to bring the sense of equality and dignity to the community.

In order to do this, she has set down some ground rules:

  • We use china and real cups and silverware
  • Breads and desserts go directly on the tables
  • It's a buffet style feast that includes 3-4 host churches' best foods: Gramma's famous potato salad, Fred's silky chiffon cake, Al's mouthwatering squash casserole and on and on.
  • Host churches are assigned for set up and clean up, but everyone serves everyone.

I love this activity for its simplicity. It is so......pleasant! There are no agendas, no sermons, just the community taking care of the community. There are a number of ideas that are relevant to this activity that I am reading in a Bible Lesson this week, including these two:

  • Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
  • The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.
There is something wholesome and real about serving others, and joining with others to do good works. The Community Table is one vehicle that makes me feel good about the higher concept of church which is to elevate the race and rouse the dormant thought to a more spiritualized understanding of who we are to God and who we are to each other.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Muy pronto - ¡artículos en español cada semana!

Recurso espiritual a compartir: Español (una lengua del corazón)

    Pronto (estoy esperando por la semana próxima) fijaré los artículos en español por lo menos una vez por semana. ¿Déjeme saber qué temas usted quisiera leer?
    Hablo español en un nivel intermedio, ¡pero con más practica, mejoraré!

    También, usted puede utilizar este sitio para traducir las páginas. AltaVista da una idea general de un artículo, no una traducción exacta. Vea la información de AltaVista a la derecha o abajo.

    Para compartir sus pensamientos, por favor contactome, agregar sus propios comentarios abajo, manda este artículo a un amigo.
      To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, or email this article to a friend.

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    does thought evolve or revolve and why should we care?

    Spiritual resource to share: hope and progress

    Once while I was in grad school, two of my favorite professors were in my tiny office and got embroiled in a debate about whether or not mankind is revolving or evolving. One was a retired Senator who was practical and tactical. The other professor taught global issues/future studies and was insightful and delightful.

    One argued that mankind is destined to repeat history and one can project trends into the future based on the past. (This was the ex-Senator.) The other argued that mankind constantly grows into higher levels of consiousness and pointed out the impossibility of ever going back to the past to determine the future. After all, can we go back now and say that the world IS flat? (I mean this literally, not figuratively, Mr. Friedman.)

    The debate ended when it was time to eat, and it was resolved that mankind is evolving in an upward spirally type way, making some of the same mistakes amidst an ever evolving and improving background. Think of a metal spring wire on end.

    So why should we care?

    We care because care makes us hope. Hope gives us the juice to rise above our present situations and to grow. Growing means living. MBEddy writes
    The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope. It imparts a healthy stimulus to the body, and regulates the system.

    I think that this applies to all systems - not only bodily systems, but organizational systems, education systems, and other methodologies. To understand - not just believe - that Truth is our basis for reality, principle, wholeness and order is a happy thought. And restored hope in the possibility of progress is powerful!

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Points to ponder: Take no prisoners

    Spiritual resource to share: authority of the Christ

    Be still (Mark 3:49)
    Get thee behind me (Luke 4:8)
    Get thee hence ( Matt 4:10)
    Come out of him (Mark 9:25)

    I have been giving the idea of authority a working over lately. When you are studying and learning more about the omnipresence of God and good, it doesn't leave any room for discord, dis-ease or despair.

    Jesus' sharp and concise directives to evil (see above) given with such finality could only be fueled by an unquestioned sense of the authority of omnipotent Truth. I thought - this is the mind of Christ - the authority and dominion given to us by God to overcome anything unlike good.

    I have to include this whole quote from Science and Health. It is such a perfect explanation of the ability of the Christ to thoroughly destroy error or evil. The paragraph heading is "divine severity":

    Jesus uncovered and rebuked sin before he cast it out. Of a sick woman he said that Satan had bound her, and to Peter he said, "Thou art an offence unto me." He came teaching and showing men how to destroy sin, sickness, and death. He said of the fruitless tree, "[It] is hewn down."

    It is believed by many that a certain magistrate, who lived in the time of Jesus, left this record: "His rebuke is fearful." The strong language of our Master confirms this description.

    The only civil sentence which he had for error was,"Get thee behind me, Satan." Still stronger evidence that Jesus' reproof was pointed and pungent is found in his own words, — showing the necessity for such forcible utterance, when he cast out devils and healed the sick and sinning.

    And this is the example we have been given to follow and "do likewise." Whoa.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    an enlightened look at hell

    Spiritual resource to share: dominion

    Perhaps you have heard this modern day parable: A little girl is running away from a big hairy monster. It follows her down streets, across bridges, through the trees. Finally, she is cornered in an alley. Frightened almost to death - she turns to the monster and asked "Wh-wh-what are you going to do?" The monster stops, furrows its brows, thinks for a moment and then says, "I don't know. This is your dream."

    I thought about this story after reading an exerpt from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Page 588 carries the definition of hell:

    HELL. Mortal belief; error; lust; remorse; hatred; revenge; sin; sickness; death; suffering and self-destruction; self-imposed agony; effects of sin; that which "worketh abomination or maketh a lie."
    The "self-imposed agony" was what got me thinking. Science and Health also uses "self-imposed" in this way:

    The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage.
    (Written about a person healed in Christian Science) He learned that suffering and disease were the self-imposed beliefs of mortals, and not the facts of being;

    Reasoning on this, I asked myself, where does the thought of disease come from? It can only be entertained in thought if I agree to give it access to my thought. The thought of disease doesn't have its own agenda. In that way, I am imposing on myself the thoughts of disease because I allow myself to let those thoughts in and I dwell on them! So this puts me in the driver's seat of my own thinking. I can determine what goes in and out of my thoughts. I can ...

    Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.
    Once, when mulling over and over again a disagreement I had with an individual, I realized that I had uncomfortably created for myself a little corner of hell by entertaining less than lovely thoughts about this individual. I realized that these were totally self-imposed! Nothing in my little mental argument had anything to do with the individual as a child of God. I was making up the whole unpleasant disagreement. With that old slap of spiritual reasoning hitting me in the face, it freed me from these "mortal beliefs" and I felt at peace.

    Lesson learned: the antidote to hell is a disciplined thought that stops discord, dismay, disease in their tracks! We are the ones who determine whether or not we stay in the dream of material thinking.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Monday, October 08, 2007

    where is God in a tragedy?

    Spiritual resource to share: comfort

    No doubt there is a wave of compassion and comfort being poured over the small town of Crandon, a town about an hour south of where we live. News reports have just come out about a shooting of six teenagers - allegedly victims of a rampage from a jealous boyfriend.

    It is "a nightmare" said one of the family members, totally unbelievable. Questions come up like: where was God in this? How could God allow this to happen?

    When tragedies like this occur it is amazing to see the humanitarian response rush in. This affirms for me that the baseline for mankind is love - it is not an aberration, a nightmare. The fundamental substance of all of us is goodness, tenderness, love.

    I got a whole new perspective when I read this in the Bible

    And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

    I could see that God is not the creator of death and destrution, but of life and all that sustains creation - order, nourishment, peace and plenty. God is not in the tragedy, but helps us overcome tragic situations. God is the source of compassion and creative solutions.

    God is that still, small voice that assures us that life is eternal, that each of His children are eternally loved and cared for. And God is the source of the intelligence that fuels the justice and preventive measures that will no doubt come as a result of this event.

    Where is God in a tragedy? God has never left us. Because we are made in His image and likeness, nightmares will never have the final say of who we are. God's love and always present comfort gives us what we need to be strengthened, guided and assured. God's love still defines us.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    What intrigues me most about Christian Science - revisited

    Spiritual resource to share: revisiting a new/old inspiration

    Now that I have literally hundreds of these blogs, I find myself browsing through them, looking at past lessons learned, my gradual improvement at writing, continuing spiritual growth. When I came across this one blog, I was surprised how much I still feel the same way I did when I first wrote it. But then, Christian Science is like that for me. It is always fresh.

    Here is the old blog:

    Recently I was talking to a number of other Christian Science practitioners and we were all asked this question: What intrigues you most about Christian Science. Their answers were clear and varied. One practitioner loves the sound reasoning of Christian Science. Another practitioner loves how effective Christian Science is at problem solving. Another practitioner commented how Christian Science taught her to move through the world with dominion.

    As for me, not only do I love the fact that Christian Science is so many things to so many people, but I am most thrilled to know that Christian Science spells out the universal law of Love and shows how to apply it to every situation imaginable.

    Let me break this down as I understand it.

    Christian Science is the science or the "how to" of Christianity.
    Science is all about a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws or the application of certain principles that bring about a consistent result.

    Christianity is based on the teachings of Christ.
    Christ is all about the expression of an omnipotent and omnipresent God (Love) in our human experience.

    So, Christian Science explains "how to" do universal love, how to be loving, and be loved, and how to heal and harmonize with divine Principles of Love.

    OK, so the thrilling part of this again is that these principles of Love find receptive hearts everywhere: with your immediate family members with whom you live and in situations a half a world away. Regardless of any human category you put yourself into or any situation you find yourself in, there is a principle, a law of Love, which when applied, brings the human picture into harmony.

    To practice Christian Science means a never-ending discovery into the depths of understanding infinite Love and feeling the effects of Love's harmonizing influence. It has an impact on our individual lives. Christian Science has an impact on communities and nations. It seems to me that Christian Science explains the science of genius, of all that is brilliant and good and enduring. Through the science of Christ's teaching, we can all experience the promise that "with God, all things are possible."

    Another friend commented that when she first read Science and Health ( the textbook of Christian Science) she was left breathless. It still does that to me, even after years of reading and practicing the ideas in it.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    already employed

    Spiritual resource to share: value

    Once I was very much in need of a job and feeling a bit desparate. The resolution to this dilemma was so complete and I had such a good outcome that I thought I would share it.

    I was on my way to an interview when I saw a poster in the window of a Christian Science Reading Room that read "You are already employed." I quickly turned the corner, stepped on the brakes and ran in. "What does this mean?" I asked the person on staff. The staff person looked at me and smiled and we had a wonderful discussion.

    The conversation left me understanding more about God and
    • my completeness - my life has everything that is needed; and this is supplied by God who "always has met and always will meet every human need." This includes being employed right now, utilizing all the spiritual qualities that God has given me.
    • my mission - God maintains and sustains my identity and my purpose.
    • my future - God exists in the eternal now; I can see and be grateful that I can count on Her guidance and His protection always, just as I had in the past and was doing at that time.
    • my value - God created everything in His image and likeness; all things created by God have value, purpose, dimension; and all ideas are harmonious - God's ideas don't compete with each other, judge each other or withhold something of value from one another.

    I went on to the interview with such confidence. It was clear to me that not only was I going to be interviewed, but I was interviewing my prospective employer. We both wanted to determine what was a good fit.

    With the confidence of knowing I was already employed, already valued and that we all ( in that interview scenario) were united in the same purpose, I went in to the interview, aced it, and started work the next week!

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.