Been Busy

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 12:11 PM [General]

    I am in rehearsal for a play that opens this week and have been away from Beiefnet for about a month.  Just wanted to let my friends know that is why I haven't been keeping up with you.

    Once the play opens and I get some sleep I'll likely be back and be more active. 

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    Fishing With Mystery

    Friday, September 5, 2008, 12:39 PM [General]

    I just listened to last week's Speaking Of Faith interview with James Prosek, Fishing With Mystery.  I try my best to listen to Speaking Of Faith each week. There's a feed on Beliefnet that makes it easy.  I wasn't going to listen to this week's program because it seemed too much of a stretch to connect fishing and faith.  I couldn't have been more wrong and in retrospect I'm not sure why the connection was so hard to initially recognize.  My first passion in life was the study of biology.  I was lucky to have teacher's who taught me not only the science, but were also eager to share their love of nature and its mystery.  My path diverged from those early directions, as path's often do, but I am delighted to have discovered another young man who was touched by the mystery of the living and recognizing the divine presence that can be found there.  I empathize with James' yearing to share, but not be too didactic, because ultimately it is one's own experience that has lasting meaning.

    Readers of this journal, if there are any, listen to Speaking Of Faith and especially to this interview with James Prosek.

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    The Poet's Punishment

    Monday, September 1, 2008, 12:17 PM [General]

    Yesterday I saw the new Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona which I thoroughly enjoyed on several levels, but one moment especially touched me.  Without putting it into the full context of the plot let me just share that there is an older man in the film who is a poet.  He refuses to publish his poetry in order to punish the world.  He feels the world deserves to be punished because the world has not learned to love.

    Now if the point of punishment is to change behavior then I suppose I support his decision.  But I wonder if such a decision doesn't ultimately punish him as well.  To withhold beauty from full expression, to make the gift of love conditional indicates that he too has some learning to do.  Nevertheless to recognize the importance of love and to yearn for it so much and to be so wounded by it's absence that one is willing to make a such a profound personal sacrifice is extraordinary.  Now one could argue that the sacrifice is trivial.  After all in the grand scheme of ordinary existence who knows or cares that this old Spanish gentleman is refusing to share his poetry?  But for an artist to decide not to share his vision with the world is perhaps the ultimate sacrifice an artist can make.

    One of my daughters has a tatoo that reads Love Is An Action.  Act.  What if we all felt so hurt and wounded by the world's failure to love that we were willing to act? 

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    Religious Science RIP

    Sunday, August 3, 2008, 11:22 PM [General]

    This week Religious Science International decided to follow the lead of the United Churches Of Religious Science and abandon the name Religious Science.  This is the first step in a series of anticipated changes to make the teaching of the the Science of Mind more politically correct.  While there still may be cheers echoing from the conference grounds where Ernest Holmes gave his last formal address to Religious Scientists, I for one am mourning this decision.  Was this decision made for sound theological or philosophical reasons?  No, it was pitched by marketing consultants as a necessary response to an online marketing survey.  Does it matter what you call your churches?  Maybe not.  But here's my argument, if this was done to attract disaffected Christians to the "new" Centers of Spiritual Living, then changing the name on the box without changing what is being taught is not likely to accomplish much.  One wonders how long it will be before future students of The Science Of Mind will have to ask what Dr. Holmes meant when he referred to Religious Science.  I'm saddened by this decision and what I perceive as the probable first step in the gradual demise of a teaching that has much to offer the world.  Rest In Peace Religious Science.
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    Everyday Enlightenment

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 1:36 PM [General]

    Recently in responding to a Belief-net member's question about why there is suffering in the world, I was reminded of a talk I gave at two New Thought churches earlier in the year.  The topic was Everyday Enlightenment.  The gist of the talk was that enlightenment may not be a one time once-and-for-all event in consciousness, or at least until that transformation occurs we would do well to notice the infinite opportunities of enlightenment that surround us.

    The talk also gave me the perfect opportunity to quote three of my favorite thinkers and writers, Ernest Holmes, Mary Oliver and Bishop John Shelby Spong.  I invite you to ciick on the following link and read the text of the talk:

    Everyday Enlightenment. 

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    Worship

    Monday, July 14, 2008, 11:52 AM [General]

    Worship is a spiritual practice that you don't hear much about in some New Thought circles.  For some people it emphasizes a belief in duality they don't subscribe to.  For others it implies extreme supplication which runs counter to their understanding of the relationship with the divine.  In the Science Of Mind textbook Dr. Holmes doesn't say much about worship, but what he does is revealing.  My favorite quote is "An advanced soul is always a worshipper of God."  I've posted a talk I recently gave on worship on my blog justonedering.  I invite you to click on the embedded link and give it a read.
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    Ideas

    Saturday, July 12, 2008, 1:01 PM [General]

    As I have said before, Mary Oliver speaks to me so consistently  I recently re-discovered this poem.  I am a person who thinks that thought is behind all things.  Some call me an idealist.  I don't dispute that.  Ideas are what we need to take the weight off of our lives.  Here's how Mary Oliver sees it.

    One or Two Things

        1
    Don’t bother me.
    I’ve just been born.

        2
    The butterfly’s loping flight
    Carries it through the country of the leaves
    delicately, and well enough to get it
    where it wants to go, wherever that is, stopping
    here and there to fuzzle the damp throats
    of flowers and the black mud; up
    and down it swings, frenzied and aimless; and sometimes

    for long delicious moments it is perfectly lazy, riding motionless in the breeze on the soft stalk
    of some ordinary flower.

        3
    The god of dirt
    came up to me many times and said
    so many wise and delectable things, I lay
    on the grass listening
    to his dog voice,
    crow voice,
    frog voice; now, he said, and now.

    And never once mentioned forever.

        4
    which has nevertheless always been,
    like a sharp iron hoof,
    at the center of mind.

        5
    One or two things are all you need
    to travel over the blue pond, over the deep
    roughage of the trees and through the stiff
    flowers of lightning –some deep
    memory of pleasure, some cutting
    knowledge of pain.

        6
    But to lift the hoof!
    For that you need
    an idea

    For years and years I struggled
    just to love my life.  And then

    the butterfly
    rose, weightless, in the wind.
    “Don’t love your life
    too much, “ it said,

    and vanished
    into the world.

    Mary Oliver  New And Selected Poems
     

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    Some July 4th Thoughts

    Thursday, July 3, 2008, 10:09 PM [General]

    I have posted an essay entitled We Hold These Truths about some parallels between the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence and basic New Thought teaching on freedom, independence, and responsibility on my blog, justonedering.  I invite you to click on the link and give it a read.  Comments are welcome.  Here's a sample.  I close with this preamble for a spiritual declaration of independence.

    We hold these Truths to be self-evident that every personality is an individualized expression of God, given life by this Creator in a material world with a free will and freedom of choice, knowing we are always connected in consciousness to our inner spiritual Source – the Divine Presence of the Most High – and confident that as we learn to live this life in accordance with our Divine nature we will be free of bondage, free of suffering, and free to be the full and complete expression of life divine for which we were created. 

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    Treatment for Transition

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 4:19 PM [General]

    A friend and Religious Science minister asked a group of us recently to share a treatment (affirmative prayer) for the passing of a love one (transition).  Here is what I wrote.

    I bring my attention to the full realization of Spirit as Life and only Life - Life eternal Life never ending. 
     

    371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99cThe Spirit of Life can know nothing in opposition to it for it is source and substance of all that is.  Therefore Life can know no death.  As each of us are individualized expressions of Life bringing into form all the qualities of Spirit Absolute, then our very nature includes the realization of eternal life. This state is nothing we earn, but something we all are.   I accept that the forms of life come and go, and the loss of this form is a difficult experience for those of us remaining behind.  Therefore I accept the consolation of conscious communion with the Divine, ineffable Spirit, the eternal Presence in whose embrace our beloved one has more intimately drawn.  I come as a child of light into that Light which knows no darkness.  With peace and confidence, I lay the memories of this beloved one who has passed before us on the alter of my high faith, grateful and thankful for a life well lived and well loved.  I treasure up memories of this one who has been so near and dear to us, knowing that today he walks in the garden of the Most High.  The light of eternal love, peace, joy and life fills this one now just as it did in the bodily form we knew and loved.  The Love of the Great God comforts me, assures me and allows my grief to be a healing balm which moves over me leading me to the full realization that nothing final has happened with this transition of life from one form to another.  I am filled with gratitude that even in the presence of this loss I can remember the Truth of Life and can in Love bless this one as he progresses on his journey of awakening.  And I step forward in my life resolved that my memory of this one will strengthen me each and every day knowing that he loves me as much today as he did when last I embraced him in bodily form.  I lovingly release him to his greater good, I release all fear and doubt and allow the fullness of Life to lead us both into our next experiences.

    And so it is.

    The italicized section of this treatment is derived from You Will Live Forever by Ernest Holmes.
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