Mitch Horowitz provoked an interesting alert in his article, When Spirituality Kills, published July 8, 2011 in The Wall Street Journal. Horowitz alerts the public, “but not at the expense of the free exercise of spiritual experiment that has long characterized our religions cultures,” to extreme spiritual practices such as James Ray’s “Spiritual Warrior” Retreat held in 2009, outside Sedona, Arizona, at which 3 people died while in a sweat lodge, leading to self-help guru James Ray’s conviction last month of negligent homicide.
The query is again posed, Should spiritual practices be regulated by legislation? Astutely, writer Mitch Horowitz points out, “State regulation could be valuable but should not be seen as a panacea.” Certainly, the plethora of regulations aimed at the medical field cannot tout a record of public protection against complications, malpractice, misprescribed drugs, and death.
Horowitz did however allude to the fact that individuals have their own right and responsibility to understand spirituality while staying clear of extreme practices. The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, counsels readers to pursue spirituality as a scientist, through investigation and experimentation, while admitting honestly, “This task God demands us to accept gracefully today, to abandon so fast as practical the temporal, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual.”
I appreciate my freedom to practice spirituality which reveals a fuller life. I advocate sites such as Beliefnet because they offer a broad array of thoughts and insights which naturally keep us safe from the extremists, or at least give me the strength to remove myself gracefully from a situation that lacks common sense, or becomes darkened by peer pressure, greed, or rancid opinions. Misunderstandings and misperceptions are always floating around in the air, therefore, as a revisionist of Science and Health, I’ve just finished the 4th edition of the chapter Some Misconceptions Debunked which deals with our ability to keep our practice of spirituality in line with the law of Life, Spirit.
Upstate New York artist, Richard Kathmann allowed me to video his thoughts on spiritual abundance.
Kathmann trained as a painter in college, however he took a job at a Museum to receive a pay check which always paid for everything he needed. But, after 20 years, Richard was starving spiritually. Therefore, he quit his job and took up painting the woods. As time went on, Kathmann discovered the death of the spiritual starvation and the life of living with peace and gratitude.
From 21st Century Science and Health, “You can rejoice in secret beauty and abundance, hidden from worldliness, but known to Spirit.”
My comment: I was inordinately struck when Richard pointed out that trees “record” the fact that even though “we sometimes are outclassed by neighbors, we can adapt and find the light.”
Scientist’s appreciate the spirit of discovery, and as a metaphysical scientist, I’ve learned to appreciate the spirit of discovery that characterizes divine Science and its contributions to the research of spiritual Mind, God.
In divine Science, a clear distinction is made between human mind research and spiritual Mind research. Human mind research analyzes passing thoughts, while divine Mind research gets to know spiritual thoughts that are reliable and effective in the manifestation of wellbeing.
Excellence in teaching and excellence in research are compatible and mutually reinforcing. People are not “told” what truth is, but are scientists in their own right to discover truth. Students of Mind-science can continually experiment and discover spiritual truths that manifest balance and healing.
I’ve found 19th century metaphysician Mary Baker Eddy, through her book, Science and Health, to be a primary teacher in the study of divine Mind and its healing effect on mind and body. However, it is best not to accept Eddy’s concepts as a canon of works or collection of facts handed down to believers through a church system.
While reading literature on spirituality and Mind, we want to challenge ourselves to think more clearly and begin to formulate sophisticated ideas for ourselves. We are not empty barrels to be filled with nice words or concepts. We are thinkers and doers. We are fully capable of understanding the universe of “God with us,” and demonstrating its rules.
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