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Everyday Spirituality

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.

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.

Math was always one of my favorite classes.  I’m not saying math is always easy, but to learn basic math rules and come up with correct answers after following those rules, is pretty cool.

English on the other hand was not one of my favorite classes. The rules for sentence structure eluded me however I can tell the difference between math and English rules. It reminds me of the difference between rules of divine Science and church rules.

As I follow the rules of Christian Science, I discover well-being, inclusiveness, and spiritual power. It’s cool.

As I follow church rules, I undoubtedly find a position in church—status so to speak—and that is okay. However, church can also keep one very busy and the busyness can be a temptation to replace the rules of divine Science with church rules. So, when seeking healing or progress through divine Science, I have to shake the stupid belief that following church rules—going to church, following the Church Manual,  reading Bible Lessons, taking Christian Science Class Instruction, or subscribing to literature published by the Christian Science Society—is following the rules of divine Science.

The rules of divine Science are taught in the book, Science and Health, written in the 19th century by Mary Baker Eddy.  The book also provides examples of how to apply the rules. While following the rule of committing thought to an honest achievement, I revised Eddy’s book and published 21st Century Science and Health. The revision maintains the rules of divine Science however with updated examples.

Following these metaphysical rules results in a tangible sense of progress that glorifies God, good. Trick is, you can’t pick and choose what rules to follow. When the Pharisees asked Jesus why Moses commanded to give a writing of divorcement, he replied, “Because of the hardness of your hearts.” The rules to pay attention weren’t so much getting a divorce, or not. The rule to pay attention to was softening the heart.

Society’s rules hopefully are aimed to reflect divine rules however it sure helps immensely in life not to get the rules confused. Reading through 21st Century Science and Health you will come across rules you can abide by and feel a grand result:

The rule that the greater (love, mind, life, attitude, goal) controls the lesser.

The rule that appearances are often mistaken, leading to false conclusions.

The rule that we can be controlled by divine intelligence, rather than human planning.

The rule that we can remove fear from thought and sickness from the body.

The rule to live the right, not just talk it.

The rule of perpetual harmony.

The rule to become one with Christ consciousness.

Watching the film, The Invisible War was a bit disconcerting yet encouraging. The film won the audience award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and I have to say, Director, Kirby Dick and Producer, Amy Ziering, did an outstanding job of shining a light bulb on the dark military secret of uncontested rape within that culture. About a dozen women, and a man, were interviewed on the prevalent problem of rape and assault within the military. When justice was asked for, these people were retaliated against.

I don’t like war and I have no idea when human beings will outgrow it. Life experience has taught me however that real growth starts within, so to see courageous women, and men, come forward and demand justice against violent crimes within the United States Services, is promising.

The film was watched by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who a few days later directed commanders to hand over all sexual assault investigations to a higher-ranked colonel.

When watching The Invisible War it helps to keep in mind the bigger picture. Women are also fighting to be treated as equals in the service even fighting in combat.  For a balanced perspective on fighting for equality and justice, rather than fighting against one another, I recommend reading The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, Issue 32, 7/2/2012, article titled, Up in Arms. Former Black Hawk pilot, Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs in combat while piloting, believes women should have full rights to serve in the military in any position.

Bear in mind, to be assaulted by an enemy is polar opposite to being assaulted by a friend and ally. Christ Jesus told us to love our enemies (Matt. 3:44). How can we love our enemies when we don’t even love, respect, and care for our friends?

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