Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Truth Seekers

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Religion and science experts claim to know truth. Their truths often conflict therefore honest truth-seekers set out to fight the religion and science expertise attitude, not to denounce, but to retain the enormous possibilities to access a non-conflictive sensible knowing. Yet, victory requires a crusade, and the momentum of that crusade brings new forces into the movement. Common, but mindful people are determined to make their life mean something and will not settle for a truth dooming them to suffer and die. But, there will also be a powerful interest in maintaining control over the truth, therefore new religious leaders and scientists will come into play, tapping into the prospect of the truth-seekers, to accomplish their own rise to leadership and a higher standing in the world.

The crusade to discover truth emulates emancipation without freedom unless the individual truth-seeker can maintain a posture of impartiality—not so much as being fair or objective to both religion and science but as being open-minded to divine Truth. Instead of aligning oneself with a religious or scientific truth, align oneself with the principle of knowing.

This means we can’t just accept everyone else’s truth. We can’t just believe everything we hear or think. There must be a semblance of individual knowing. This knowing is on an intuitive spiritual level and backed up by what we identify as the physical. In other words, this knowing is not grounded on a physical level, later to be backed up by the intuition or the spiritual.

For example, I can read religious and scientific books however what I read isn’t the truth. But, the words can open my mind to a greater picture of life, truth, and love, which in turn allows a knowing.

 

Look for Today’s New Success

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Sitting—thankfully on a cushioned chair—in the local rural Village Hall, my brain was lurching and lunging as I listened to the Village Trustees and Mayor hammer out the meeting agenda. The public meeting went on for almost 4 hours as dialogue and bantering droned. The only reason I was there was because I was called at the last minute with a request to write up a newspaper story about the meeting because the regular reporter had oral surgery that day. If it’d had been possible, I’d of chosen the oral surgery over the meeting. But it was another example of how we can expect new successes each day.

courtesy dannybrown.me

The room, like our world, was seething and swarming with opinions and emotions. A few hard comments were made but in general everyone kept their cool. I, on the other hand, was floundering to understand what they were talking about, issues they’ve been discussing for months. I had to make the effort not to let the subculture of human opinions and emotions assault the human spirit and rob me of my motivation to report on the real issues.

Decisions are being made every day and we want them to bring about success, otherwise they reflect the “my way or the highway” attitude. And, people will move out of a village or organization that is not being governed for the whole.

Leaders must offer a different definition of success in order to progress a society. We can recall Paul, offering new insight into success by first asking questions and then answering, “Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also since God is one.” (Romans 3:29‑30, ESV)

The old success is to love our fellow friends and religious peers however that success dies and is replaced by the success of loving everyone. The new success, sadly, often first gets tromped on by human egotists and the power hungry. Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, writes, “Anne Hutchinson was a religious woman, mother of thirteen children, and knowledgeable about healing with herbs. She defied the church fathers in the early years of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by insisting that she, and other ordinary people, could interpret the Bible for themselves.” Hutchinson was put on trial for heresy, treated despicably and eventually banished from the colony. However, looking back, it is Hutchinson’s stand that we honor today, while deploring the colonies position and decisions.

Success is new each day and we can discover it, even if at first it looks profane, offensive, or sacrilegious. Interestingly, at one point during the Village meeting, confusion blanketed a crucial decision about their drinking water. Finally, a far-out but simple suggestion from the public brought about first silence then a complete reversal in the decision. The confusion evaporated because the Trustees and Mayor could admit that the previous decision was only a repeat of a futile decision made months ago. We can have the courage to admit that yesterday’s success is not todays. God, Life is new each day and brings about new successes.

 

Love Corrects

posted by Cheryl Petersen

When our daughters did something wrong, I didn’t punish them by making their life hard or crummy. I tried to teach them something better to do. I gave them opportunities to do something productive or useful. This tactic was extremely helpful when we became licensed foster parents. The foster children thrived on positive activity.

We all make mistakes. And, they will be corrected one way or another. Clearly, the Bible presents an unkind callous punishing God however over time the concept of God evolved into a more practical view of God. We read in II Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

Looking at this through the lens of spirituality, this Scripture corresponds to what we read in 21st Century Science and Health, “Divine Love corrects and governs everyone.”

Granted, we do feel a punishment when we are doing something that opposes God, Love, Truth, Life. However, the old wives-tale that we are sick or weak or poor because of some past mistake must not stop us from realizing that God corrects a wrong by flooding us with right things to do. Impatience is corrected with new found patience. Hate is corrected by forgiveness. Adultery is corrected by faithfulness. Dishonesty is corrected with honesty. Selfishness is corrected by pro-action for society. Disease is corrected by a transformed and healthy new attitude or goal.

Getting a Handle on our Mind

posted by Cheryl Petersen

From the Chapter: Power of Suggestion: Crowd Thinking as read in 4th edition of, 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

The power of suggestion has a long and capricious history. Research of the human mind and its functions became rather primitively active in the 18th century with Franz Anton Mesmer.[1] He recognized that human beings can be manipulated, but didn’t understand the process. Mesmer theorized this manipulation occurred by means of a physical magnetic fluid. Mesmer even concluded that this magnetic fluid could be transmitted from one breathing creature to another as a therapeutic influential agent. He termed his theory animal magnetism. Today, it is realized that he had actually hit upon the power of suggestion or collective mentality. Concerning Mesmer’s theory, the Encyclopedia Americana states, “Although it was later deemed a pseudoscience, the theory helped pioneer the study of the unconscious mind, hypnosis, and the development of medical psychiatry.”[2] Mesmer and his therapeutic animal magnetic fluid were eventually discredited. The Encyclopedia Americana continues, “Two separate commissions composed mainly of leading French scientists concluded that no such physical substance as animal magnetism exists.”[3] Ironically however, Mesmer’s name is preserved in the term, “mesmerize”. When people are being influenced by mortal’s persuasion or peer pressure, or when they are getting caught up in groupthink, or obsessed by some event, they are “mesmerized.”

In the 19th century, the term “hypnotism” came into vogue, describing the process that characteristically induces the mental state of suggestibility. Today, hypnotism is studied, used as a form of entertainment, and sometimes utilized in the treatment of mental and physical disorders, but the scattered experimentation and observations are still not completely understood. Human beings can feel hypnotized for no apparent reason doing things they wouldn’t normally do, while on the other hand there are some persons who just can’t be hypnotized. Why?

Humankind is advancing toward an understanding of mental phenomena, of crowd thinking or hypnosis. In the 20th century, Carl Jung[4] distinguished three psychic levels: (1) consciousness, (2) the personal unconscious, and (3) the collective unconscious.

Observations of the workings of hypnosis, the collective unconscious, or crowd thinking, offer convincing evidence that they are not remedial agents. I am convinced that the effects of outside mortal mental influences on those who practice it, and on the people who do not resist it, lead to moral and physical death.

If hypnotism seems to heal disease—or mental collective noise seems to alleviate loneliness—this appearance is deceptive, since error cannot remove the effects of error. Discomfort under error is preferable to comfort. In every instance, the effect of suggestion is just the effect of illusion. Any seeming benefit derived from mental manipulation is proportional to one’s faith in magic.

Openness to outside influence is denial of inner influence

The process, either unconsciously or consciously, of thought manipulation has no scientific foundation, for God is uninfluenced and always conscious—always consciously governing all that is real, harmonious, and eternal. God expresses divine consciousness in us. God did not give us an animal or human consciousness to lose control of or control. In Science, a hypnotic state is a belief, a denial of the one spiritual influence. Crowd thinking, mass human consciousness, or mental noise, possesses no intelligence, power, or reality. Human physical senses can’t distinguish crowd thinking or mental noise because they are unreal concepts of the so-called human, mortal mind…

Gravitational pulls, the stars, and electromagnetic forces do not have power over us, just as they have no power over our Maker. God governs the universe. We reflect God’s power have the dominion not to be influenced by the planets, by earth and its mortal people.

The mild forms of suggestion are disappearing and its aggressive features are coming to the front. The mechanism of crime, hidden in the dark recesses of mortal thought, is every hour producing more complicated and subtle confusion. So inconceivable are the present methods of the human mind’s influences that they trick people into indolence and produce the very apathy on the subjects which the criminal desires. The power of suggestion, with its many different disguises such as herd mentality and the adoption of unoriginal thinking, causes people to make errors throughout the thought process.

In a psychology textbook, readers are asked, “Hypnosis: Altered consciousness or Role Playing?”[5] Answering that question is not as important as realizing that we need to spiritually think for our self; otherwise, indifferent, self-destructive, and depressed behavior is believed to be our own thinking, and it will be exhibited. We also need to encourage in others the right and responsibility to think for themselves as God created them able to do.

 



[1] Mesmer, Franz Anton (1734–1815) German physician

[2] The Encyclopedia Americana International Edition, Volume 18. Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 2003.

[3] Ibid

[4] Carl Gustav Jung  (1875–1961) Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the school of analytical psychology.

[5] Weiten, Wayne. Psychology Themes and Variations, Briefer version 6th Edition. Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.

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