catholic, Christian Science, Uncategorized

Mental Labeling

One of the quickest way to lose growth on any Spiritual path is to begin labeling people with words pertaining to material identities. Words such as  addict, psycho, weird, carry all kinds of negative meanings but so do Jew, Christian, Gay, Catholic in the eyes of some people. These days “tested positive” or negative, Asymptomatic and symptomatic are also unhelpful in the time of Corona Virus.

We sometimes need labels to describe certain human behaviours and people often define themselves with certain labels which we may or may not use or try to overcome.

In spiritual life, we are required to love everyone “our neighbour as ourself” to be scriptural about it and that can be hard when a label has been pinned to the person –  raising again the old duality that there is a definitive “Good” and definitive “Evil” somewhere which we need to physically avoid. Thus we become the judge, jury and executor in moral living – having the last word about people we meet. Using our own standards rather than Godly standards to judge.

I recently watched some you tube clips about Humanism  the first was from the Jewish perspective. The clip came from the Secular Humanistic Judaism movement.  In Judaism, people are defined by their Cultural and Genealogical roots  – a material identity they cannot escape from. Although we think of the religion when we hear the word Jewish – that is only because we relate to it from a Christian standpoint, but the Jewish identity is not a religious one.  There are Jewish Humanists, Jewish Catholics, Jewish Atheists, each with their own religious identity, which do not infringe upon their material identity which they are born into which is defined as simply DNA “Jewish”. As a result the Humanist movement in Judaism is not about rejecting people or faith it is simply another way of expressing it´s ideas about God within a community.  Even the speaker in this clip is a Rabbi within the Humanist movement.

In Christianity, we have no such material  identity, we are born effectively into a nameless culture, with or  without religion, we are free to choose faith or neglect it based upon cultural or parental influences. As a result our Humanist movements tend to be a rejection of all things related to religion – we have shows like this one where Humanists fight and argue with Christians because there is no other identity to unite them or to keep them together. Its the all or nothing approach where the best speaker wins. Then in the fringe movements we have “gay catholics”  and Christians who call themselves “Messianic Jews” who want to be linked with Judaism.  Then come the labels which define politicians to help you decide who to vote for in the American Elections. American people actively seek out a label they can relate to, in deciding who shares their values.

With the Jewish approach mentioned above, it was not always like that – until the 19th Century, Jews had to choose to be American or Jewish, British or Jewish etc, something which caused a lot of pain and for others to turn their back on their roots and their label.  Also the embracing of religious terms is a relatively new thing for people – they want some kind of tribal label but not actually the belief that goes with it.  Spanish people are often heard commenting  “I am Catholic but I  don´t practice” because the Catholic Church no longer allows people to “resign” or “leave” officially from the Church – At best you have to simply walk away even if you can´t physically get yourself removed from the register. There is also a certain power in being associated with something however loosely as it brings you closer to a tribal identity.

Humanism in my mind was all about atheism and rejecting Christianity, but in watching the clips above, I discovered that Humanism in both religions is all about celebrating Love. In fact they love to see Love in all its forms, in society and good acts. So what are they rejecting? They are rejecting the personal God , the authority which says “you are a bad person headed for hell if you do not do as I say” and it´s negative language.  So  then, if Humanism recognizes the force of Love – then so do I as a Christian, Christian Scientist, muslim or Jew (whatever label I want to use today).

Lets try to drop whatever label presents itself today – and see the person, defined as Love or a reflection of Love or an affirmation of Love´s presence. If you can´t do that – do an act of Love somehow – to remind yourself that it is there and can be demonstrated by you right now, That is God and God is Love – and in Love we find God. If anyone asks your religion – drop the “ism or “ity” because it is simply Love.

“Love is the window through which we see God – St Augustine”

I recently tried an experiment by sharing the picture below on Social media of me wearing a Jewish Kippah on my head whilst visiting a Synagogue on Doors Open Day last year. I was really interested how the perceived label which people had of me changed and how they reacted. it seems that we do not deal well with perceived change. It was also sad for me that there is still, even today a lot of anti semitism out there.

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Christian Science, Uncategorized

Strength and Sweetness

Judges 13 King James Version (KJV)
and

Strength and Sweetness
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Precepts, Vol. 3, by Gilbert Carpenter, page 205 (letter dated Feb. 12, 1895)

 

Judges 13 King James Version (KJV) 13 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
3 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
8 Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.
10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.
11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.
12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
13 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.
14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.
15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.
16 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the Lord.
17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
18 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.
20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.
21 But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.
22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
23 But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.
24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.
25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Strength and Sweetness
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Precepts, Vol. 3, by Gilbert Carpenter, page 205 (letter dated Feb. 12, 1895)
It is the masculine thought that feels free to run things with justice, and to forget mercy. It fancies that love is a temptation against which it fancies it must harden itself, that it must rule love out of the heart before it can judge righteous judgement.

It is interesting to consider Samson’s riddle as found in Judges 14: 14, where he said, “Out of the strong came forth sweetness.” Christian Science proves that strength and sweetness must go hand in hand. History proves that every so-called great man that has flourished for a time, and finally been dethroned, either lacked sweetness, or else he had it but lost it. When you find a man in authority losing his sweetness, it is inevitable that he will go down. Mrs. Eddy was the Leader because she had both wisdom and love, strength and sweetness, and she never permitted one to be overshadowed by the other. She taught her followers to distrust any individual, or committee, who found it necessary to bury their sweetness before executing justice.

When students learn the Science of reflecting the power, wisdom and justice of God, they must never forget that it is equally important to reflect divine Love. The Master combined these two qualities. He manifested a wisdom that enabled him to overthrow his enemies. What he asserted to them proved that he was motivated by a wisdom that they did not possess; yet he never forgot to manifest divine Love at the same time. The very name given to his doctrine, namely, Christianity, has come to mean a type of spiritual love, to which Mrs. Eddy added the wisdom of Science, so that no one can truly call himself her follower who does not act up to his highest understanding of justice and mercy.

Christian Science, Uncategorized

The Secret.

What is the secret of life, without strife, Corona Virus, human relationship issues or war?

The answer has been revealed time and time again: the attainment of a higher consciousness, call it what you want: Christ Consciousness, or 4th dimension, Enlightenment etc. It is not something new, we have always had it,  it may be illumined   free us from a material sense of life.  But it needs a bit of practice.

This freedom from the material sense is indeed the only Life. If we believe that Life is dependent on a vaccine, a heart, money, muscles or indeed any mental thought, then we remain ignorant. it is only ignorance which can believe that our lives are dependent on the external realm – when in fact, our internal Life is that which governs our external Life. That is the big “I” Mind not little minds.

So how do we find this self complete being “I”? We find it in our oneness of our source. Until we are aware of the “I” in the big sense, the more we will be dominated not only by our own thoughts but by those of others in the believed collective rather than the big “Mind”.

The books are only steps leading us up to those moments when the veil is dropped from the face. In that other consciousness we no longer believe materially, we simply see through the facts which are presented to us.  Where the human mind sees basic fact, the higher calling says “I see through this to beyond”.

Demanding that you are “in” that consciousness by denying disease does not help.  Anything beginning with the smaller mind pointing outwards is no better than asking Mickey Mouse to intercede – the starting point is completely wrong which is where the Prayer has been very misunderstood over the centuries. To be Biblical about it “ye ask amiss” so your prayer remains unanswered.

Sitting for a few moments every day simply taking a Bible verse like “I and my Father are one” and with eyes closed gently waiting for God to be realized is more than enough to change your universe – but don´t wait for a calamity like Corona to come of the scene before you start doing this – do it now as as you begin to enjoy the wonders of the presence of God – everything else falls into place.  One of my favorites are the Hebrew words:

“Mi Kamocha” (who is like You?)

and

Ein Kamocha (There is none like You )

You don´t need to repeat these as a mantra, just contemplate them and do not demand that they heal you – just allow communion to take place – no more words are necessary. In fact these words are just preparation.

Try it.

 

 

Christian Science, Uncategorized

Redemption Songs Hymnal

From my early days in Evangelical Christianity, I always loved religious music and back then one of my favorite hymnals (and still is today) is Redemption Songs. It incorporated the Victorian feeling of joy at the idea of “Jesus” defined as a spirit or Spirit man, entering the human heart and convicting you of your sins, leaving you in a state of mixed emotions, fear, superiority, joy and at times controlled ecstasy. I often wonder how much they knew of Science – clearly nothing by the amount of arguments and politics in these little churches but the songs gave a very clear message that somebody knew something about life changing experiences. Or perhaps just a thing hoped for after death. Continue reading “Redemption Songs Hymnal”

catholic, Christian Science, islam, Uncategorized

This is a Holy Time

As we approach some kind of ending of the last few months, these last days Ive really been realising and hearing the words ‘this is a Holy time”. Where we no longer have a physical  work to keep us distracted from the things important  in Life. We dont need to wait until Christmas to hear or say these words.

Close your eyes today and say “this is a Holy time”.

Reframing those close to you and in your home in this way makes a huge difference.

Christian Science, Uncategorized

The Supernatural or Natural God?

Last night I was watching to a speech which was called “Kaplan and Reconstructionist Judaism” by Emmanuel Goldsmith

It was a very nice presentation about how the founder of  Reconstructionist Judaism wanted to end the separatism of the past and embrace new things from non Jewish cultures as well as export the good things and ideas to others. In other words to promote unity and adjustment to the modern world. He goes on to say that Zionism today should motivate others to perpetuate the same wherever they are – as one people. Not to see Zionism as a land battle but as a sense of corporate unity and destiny.

The speaker points out another Jewish opinion which he defines as ultra orthodoxy which seeks to destroy democracy and then defines democracy as a purpose of kindness and goodness, to raise harmony, to free the human mind to use the most Divine Power which he or she can grasp or possess. Further defining God as a “good” force demonstrated by good acts – not a supernatural man on a throne who lives the bonds and shackles of organized religion.  To reach his potential man must align himself with that of the cosmos and realize that Good is a synonym for God thus we should demonstrate that by realizing and working with Good in our lives and not seeking to please a human style God in obedience only from fear or ritual.  He further asks us to consider the word God as a verb or functional noun rather than as a noun proper. To rid ourselves of this “supernatural” idea of God – the man on the throne concept in favor of “naturalism” that God is naturally a force – of the cosmos without a godhead.

In Christian Science Zion is the name given to the city foursquare a “consciousness” of the full understanding of God rather than a land or country called Israel. Mrs. Eddy wrote in 1896: “God hath indeed smiled on my church,—this daughter of Zion: she sitteth in high places; and to deride her is to incur the penalty of which the Hebrew bard spake after this manner: ‘He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision'” (Miscellaneous Writings, p.126). 

In the CS Sentinel dated March 20th 1956 we read the following : “A vehicle to carry these benefactions to mankind was necessary, one which would guard, perpetuate, and faithfully express the revelation. The Mother Church is that vehicle. A careful study of its rules of membership, coupled with continued observation of the effect of these rules upon many individual members, forces home the conviction that in obedience to these rules lies the antidote for the ungodly qualities of the so-called human mind; that what the human mind most needs for its evangelization is the discipline afforded in more clearly understanding and more fully obeying the rules governing membership in The Mother Church. These By-laws were written by Mrs. Eddy, the one who in this age most accurately knew the elements of the so-called carnal mind and their cure, the divine Mind. (Laura Dunbar Hagarty)

From the above, it is clear that there was a time when God, Church and organised religion were more or less synonymous. Mary Baker Eddy wrestled with this concept many times and at least once completely dissolved her Church in favor of having a group instead. Jesus did not begin a Church despite the Catholic interpretation that Peter was the first Pope. It was a mindset within Judaism which eventually had to move out to survive as it organised and changed itself over the first few centuries. Joel Goldsmith, the ex CS Practitioner who founded the “Infinite Way” movement refused to organize his movement to keep it pure and Ernest Holmes often battled with the idea of whether he should set up a Church or simply centers knowing the perils of God and Human Institutions being mistaken for each other using human sentiment and caste.

As a child I was taught that organised Churches had “free reign” over God and it seemed to me that some of these Churches felt that God only belonged either in the tabernacle (the box at the front) or to the hierarchy – imparting blessings, allowing the kissing of Bishop rings and leading services with nice long robes (or suits). Indeed a view which seemingly has continued. So my question then is  why in the time of the virus were these men the first to “run” close their doors and hide? After all – they felt they had exclusive access to  God  – they didn´t even engage in dialogue with the Governments. The Vatican in Rome is closed The Mother Church and Branch Churches were the same – many  immediately disbanding long before there was any requirement to do so –  where was God then and now? Locked until the men are available again? So Government law can displace God now? Now that these men have been removed with their god – do many of us care – would it matter in the grand scheme of daily life if they    didn´t reopen?

We need to work hard to overcome this idea of the punishing God who waits for the right moment or the devil with the fork who prods our hips with a fork chasing us like some kind of Benny Hill cartoon in favor of a scientific entity who can be seen in pure unselfed Love and accessed by everyone everywhere and at every time. To mistake this for a church is fatal unless we redefine the word Church itself as Mary Baker Eddy did.

To simply ask people to close their eyes for a few moments daily with a verse like “I and my Father are one” to gently bring them to a child like trust in a greater power and to foster a trust in it is all that is needed to begin to  see healing and to reshape our world.

 

 

catholic, Christian Science, photos/images/video, Uncategorized

Free Online Andrea Bocelli Concert: Easter Sunday

Please click the link for more details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huTUOek4LgU&feature=youtu.be

Beloved opera singer Andrea Bocelli is set to stream his ‘Music for Hope’ concert from the empty Duomo Cathedral in Milan.

The 61-year-old was invited to perform for the City, the Cathedral, Archpriest and the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo.

Andrea will only be accompanied by the cathedral’s organist, Emanuele Vianelli, for the concert.