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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Holisitc Approach to Spirituality

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Spirituality is explained critically from a holistic standpoint in this century. Historically, spirituality was knit tightly to religion—only because religion was the main source of knowledge up until a few centuries ago—and involved a lot of ritualism and superstition. The advent of science has shaken those religious positions to the core, even loosening the bond between spirituality and religion. Regrettably, science hasn’t offered a better explanation of the unseen Spirit therefore seekers take an inclusive approach to spirituality.

In the 19th century, Mary Baker Eddy had no problem with a holistic standpoint. Spirit was seen as scientifically provable. Moreover, Eddy reversed the conventional beliefs that religion and science influence spirituality, and taught rather a spirituality that influenced both religion and science.

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The practice of spirituality has always been a complex and eccentric part of human life. It is valued and regarded mostly for its beneficial attributes of adding empathy and insight to the religious and scientific consciousness. Some cultures honor spirituality for its therapeutic properties.

A holistic approach to spirituality is welcoming and lasting. It precludes the assumption that spirit can be trapped in a language, a ritual, a medical treatment, or a physical law. A scientific spirituality includes the ability to detect and record mounting evidence of an unseen Spirit and divine laws greater than can be humanly imagined.

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Let’s take a look at passages from a series of books that show the broadness and magnitude of an inclusive spirituality that overcomes the baneful curses and fears and chaos humanity is vulnerable to.

From the book, Night, by Elie Wiesel:

“One day when Idek was venting his fury, I happened to cross his path. He threw himself on me like a wild beast, beating me in the chest, on my head, throwing me to the ground and picking me up again, crushing me with ever more violent blows, until I was covered in blood. As I bit my lips in order not to howl with pain, he must have mistaken my silence for defiance and so he continued to hit me harder and harder.

Abruptly, he calmed down and sent me back to work as if nothing had happened. As if we had taken part in a game in which both roles were of equal importance.

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I dragged myself to my corner I was aching all over. I felt a cool hand wiping the blood from my forehead. It was the French girl. She was smiling her mournful smile as she slipped me a crust of bread. She looked straight into my eyes. I knew she wanted to talk to me but that she was paralyzed with fear. She remained like that for some time, and then her face lit up and she said, in almost perfect German: ‘Bite your lips, little brother…Don’t cry. Keep your anger, your hate, for another day, for later. The day will come but not now…Wait. Clench your teeth and wait…’”

Years later, Elie Wiesel, after surviving Hitler’s concentration camps, met that woman and they acknowledged the tie of spirituality that did not betray them.

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From the book, Doing Nothing, by Steven Harrison:

“As science finally recognizes mysticism as its own, the shift of view, the shift of consciousness will change our medical reality.

In that shift, we may see the application of consciousness to the challenges of health and disease. Only recently has mainstream medicine recognized the intuitively obvious: that relaxation affects heart health, that visualization affects immune function, that the repetition of sound or mantras affects blood pressure and other body systems, that prayer heals.”

From A Course in Miracles:

“Appearances deceive, but can be changed. Reality is changeless. It does not deceive at all, and if you fail to see beyond appearance you are deceived. For everything y see will change, and yet you thought it real before, and now you think it real again. Reality is thus reduced to form, and capable of change. Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real, and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.”

 

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Christian Science for Religion Writers

posted by Cheryl Petersen
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New York and Their Soda

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Living in upstate New York, surrounded by weekenders who come up from New York City, I hear about Mayor Bloomberg’s strategies against obesity. Last year, Bloomberg banned the sale of sugary beverages over sixteen ounces. However, March 11, 2013, Justice Milton Tingling of state Supreme Court in Manhattan overturned the ban, saying it was “arbitrary and capricious.” The Big Gulps are back.

For whatever reason, I never developed a taste for soda. I rarely drink it. The only drink I carried around in bulk was water. When we worked on the farm, we’d fill a gallon jug with water the night before and put it in the freezer. In the morning, we took the jug of ice to the farm with us and drank the water as it melted. Because we lived in a region where it got to be over one hundred degrees during the summer days, we’d stuffed the jug in a 5 gallon bucket and surround it with old newspaper for insulation. I must sound like a red-neck. But, I knew sugary drinks would not satisfy my thirst. Those jugs of water were prized tools, invaluable on the farm.

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This blog, however, isn’t a push for water, or soda. We can look past the drink, past the size of cups, and past the court rulings. This whole soda drama doesn’t have to be a contentious issue. Soda is a luxury. It’s a treat, not a necessity. We want to treat it as such, and moreover remember there is always a consequence to over-indulgence of any kind.

Obesity is a problem in America. How the problem is resolved is more complex than banning soda. We shouldn’t be excessive when it comes to drinking soda, not because of the soda but because the consequence of excessive behavior is always a short-lived diversion, leaving a feeling of dissatisfaction.

The size of our drink or the kind of drink isn’t the issue. I ask, What’s the attitude when drinking? Is it to prove you can drink enough liquid to fill an aquarium or a radiator? Or, it is to satisfy an honest thirst? Is the drinking a habit, similar to blinking? Or, is it a form of self-control?

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As the “purpose” of our drinking is answered, the solution can be improved upon. Satisfaction and self-control aren’t found in a court ruling, but within each of us.

From 21st Century Science and Health,The act of allowing our thoughts to excessively contemplate physical wants or conditions induces those very conditions…Learn respect, self-control, patience, and a reliable happiness that comes from spiritual growth.”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”[1]


[1] Gal. 5:19–23

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New Pope

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The world has a new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who took the name Francis. I am not a follower of Catholicism, however, I still know the value of including all religions and religious leaders in a prayer.

We’ve all seen good people turn bad, and bad people turn good, therefore, the personality isn’t necessarily prayed for. My prayer encompasses all people to be influenced by love and truth.

To live my prayer and thus make it valid, I will strive to be more loving, yet truthful, today and tomorrow. I can already see the need for me to replace, negative thoughts I’d barbed yesterday, with spiritual thoughts today. Prayer has a position.

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