Tuesday, November 24, 2009
---Ralph Waldo Emerson
Monday, November 23, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
-Christian Science Re-Explored (1965), pg. 20 - Margaret Laird
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
abufares said...the world according to a tartoussi
"A man walking alone on a deserted beach, brandishing a lantern in his outstretched hand might be a fool. But, for a ship that went astray on a stormy night, the same man is a savior."
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Live and Let Live
In response to the latest bigoted outcry on the Syrian Blogsphere against Homosexuality.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
When I read a book, only a few ideas really stick with me. Here is one from White’s book:
“The struggle of each generation is the interpretation of the whispered allotment of wisdom into the current vernacular. You are at a turning point of a great tide. Who is there to offer guidance in the age-proven technique of living, and yet point ahead to the regions we are appointed to explore? We arraign your generation for its failure to establish faith in the proven laws of living.” - The Invisibles
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
As the "scientific Christian" minister went on with her talk, I wondered if I was witnessing the same phenomenon going on here. The congregation was “primarily for old women and their mothers” as my preaching professor had tagged a Presbyterian congregation near our seminar once. I wondered what my daughter, a bright, sensitive and caring career woman would find helpful in the old “scientific Christian” organizations. Are the ideas in these teachings helpful for her and of value to hand down to her daughters and is the goal of making them impervious to time, change and social upheaval what the pioneers of New Thought called the immunity of Spirit? Is that Divine Science? It seemed that the minister was answering questions that no one is asking.
Friday, February 27, 2009
This all made me wonder, "What is the gold standard of Scientific Spirituality?" For me, the word "scientific" means that I cannot entirely discount the role of intellect or reason in the unfolding of my understanding. I read books. Reading is not just about awareness. My awareness alone doesn't read the book, reason is involved and acting. My trained intellect interprets the books I read as I read them, but I am aware that my reason is always overshadowed and foreshadowed by my intuition which is listening and watching and waiting to insert itself at unexpected and surprising moments. What is the genuine interpolation (insertion) of intuition and what is spurious? How is the spiritual fact discerned unless its meaning bestowing power enlightens reason which unfolds from "faith" (doubt) to "understanding." When an understanding unfolds, a doubt is put permanently behind me.
"Mind must have conscious identity to be Mind. This is the Reason for man and is the Principle by which he lives, moves, breathes. Originality, wit, humor, versatility, spontaneity, joy are characteristics of Mind. They are Mind Itself and not mere qualities. The substance of Mind is Spirit, and Spirit is Love and Love is Infinity—omnipresent perfection. “Being is infinity, freedom, harmony and boundless bliss. This is the Science and the Reason we say, “Be and by being heal the sick." --Bicknell Young
"You are radically relying on Truth when you believe only what you find within yourself as understanding. The night of dualism is far spent. We are learning to know ourselves and to demonstrate the human and divine coincidence as the individual perception of Truth. This is the reason for the writing, as well as the reading, of this book. When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears. All doctrine and dogma for the identity of Truth are constantly being outmoded by Truth unfolding form the withinness of consciousness. The evolution of consciousness does make the dogma wrong for the identity of Truth in the age in which it appeared, but makes it obsolete for the succeeding age. Consciousness or conscious (37) being is Mind—a ceaseless disclosing of Reality. This is the Reason that I am. In an earlier age Meister Eckhart said it this way: “Everything that is has the fact of its being through being and from being.” Being is ceaseless awakening to Reality. It is the discovery that nothing exits external to our being, either to gain or lose.
Mrs. Eddy was not the first to identify Mind as the ordering Principle of the Universe, original and individual. Plato regarded Mind as including the forms, the universal ideas which are the Reality (structure) of all things. He, however, considered Mind transcendental, and its ideas as ideals separate from sense phenomena. What made Mrs. Eddy’s vision unique was her recognition of the indivisibility of consciousness and her identification of Mind as the all-pervading substance or energy which constitutes existence. “One infinite God (Mind, Good) unifies men and nations constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars;" --Margaret Laird
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
thereof, and where the consideration of the infinite must enter in. The first perplexes almost all the human race; the other exercises philosophers only." --Gottfried Liebniz, Theodicy
"Here and elsewhere we shall not obtain the best insight into things until we actually see them growing from the beginning." ---Aristotle, Politics
In the unfolding understanding that we are, we find ourselves confronted by a series of paradoxes. Paradoxes are riddles seducing us into attempting to solve them. The oldest recorded paradox is presented by the Greek Philosopher Anaximander and is the riddle of origin. Most popular version: "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?"
Intellectually, the problem can be solved by taking one side or the other. Chickenism or Eggism, let's start a new movement, maybe an institute. While this may seem to be a solution to the problem and ends the impasse and we proceed, it is no solution, our understanding-level recycles itself behind intellect's back and reappears "in fairer form". Now we are confronted by The old Paradox in a new form. Paradoxes can be "dissolved."
Of course, Margaret Laird's presentation is: "The human is human because it is divine and not human." We are the Paradox living our own divinity unself-consciously as another as understanding unfolds to us that we are our own divinity self-consciously living our Self.
"Understanding is the Lord that takes care of everything. Let understanding—the Truth of being—your own divinity or God-self, deal with the problem and it becomes no problem. This understanding is the Lord building your world in complete command of every situation. The all-knowing Mind is the intelligence, the Love, that disposes of the need for a problem or catalyst. The name which conditioned thinking or ignorance gives to Reality, the Good, is the Reality in finite form. The attempt through human effort to make conditions better and mankind happier, proves abortive and frustrating since the human is human because it already is divine. Treat sickness with 'the right apprehension of the truth of being' and you treat it with Love, which evaluates it as a Health experience."
"We cannot imagine what life will be like as the idea comes into clearer focus that everything seen, heard, felt is functioning Intelligence—one’s own Self-fulfillment or actualization. In all destruction, construction is the destruction, in matter, Mind is the matter; in body, Soul is the body. These paradoxes state the Absolute or Science. Since the human is human because it is divine, my divinity makes all decisions for my humanity. The CSt, therefore, is unafraid even when what he calls himself and his world is threatened with destruction. He realizes that such appearance is simply not seeing clearly and that in reality a new world of peace and plenty is forever in the making. CS lived as Science, as discernment, translates matter into Mind and error into the language of Truth. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote “Matter and Spirit are two distinct aspects of one single cosmic stuff.” The truly religious man is the man whose daily living is his religion. Everything he does, he does by being conscious identity, and therefore everything he does, he enjoys and appreciates. He does not consider that going to church, praying, or reading a holy book are any more religious in nature than going to his office, doing housework, playing tennis or enjoying the theatre." - Margaret Laird, Christian Science Re-explored.
I would revise de Chardin's statement to read: "Matter and Spirit are and are not simultaneously two distinct aspects of one single cosmic stuff." When we think "we have it" we don't and it has us.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
The question of theodicy was most clearly formulated by the philosopher Leibniz who introduced the term in his 1710 work "Theodicic Essays on the Benevolence of God, the Free Will of man, and the Origin of Evil". The problem of evil had been tossed around since Epicurus, who is generally credited with first expounding the problem of evil, and it is sometimes called "the Epicurean paradox" or "the riddle of Epicurus."
"Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?" — Epicurus, as quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief .
What Darwin did for the intellectual community of his day was to demote theology's man-idea from its standing in its own eyes as just slightly below God and accountable for becoming perfect through sacramental religion, to a new man-idea just slightly above the higher primates. This demotion from angel to animal brought outrage then and can do so now. We are nothing more than a fancy animal with a slightly modified brain evolved under natural selection pressures determined by the local environment. The brain of a human is not much different than other animal brains, has more similarities with them than differences and may conceivably be replaceable one day with an artificial brain instead. Darwin's discovery of the mechanism (law) of natural selection did wonders for natural science, gave a new respect for animals, even microscopic ones, in the scientific community and opened the way for science to free itself from religion and to evolve into today's neurological and DNA investigations. The new view into the mechanics of the brain and body also gave rise to such science fiction predictions as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Orwell's, Animal Farm, and today's quest for higher forms of artificial intelligence (robots) which challenge our use of the word "human." What exactly does it signify? Where is the line between animal and human? Human and machine?
What Darwin didn't do was to see himself standing facing his greatest discovery presented in the devastation of his daughter's death. For this he had no vision and he turned away from it. Although he helped to liberate science from old theology, he was himself no giant of metaphysics, or of self-understanding, no profound listener to the Voice within us all. Quammen tells us that Darwin called his wife, "mommie" and would run and hide in her breasts when he was disturbed When confronted by the problem of evil so personally his brilliance did not speak to him but was silent.
What do you hear when the question of evil is put to you? As an academic exercise it is trivial and you may hear nothing. I travelled through seminary and 20 years of professional ministry and never really thought about the Epicurian Riddle, until the question was put to me so profoundly personally in several experiences in close sequence that brought me to the point where I imagine Darwin stood that day his little daughter died and drove me into the search for truth called metaphysics.
Scientific Metaphysics was emerging into its own mainstream discussion about the time of Darwin, taking as its premise and platform the opposite view of life, that life is Spirit and not matter. Metaphysical scientist Mary Baker Eddy in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to Scriptures wrote:
"Christian Science goes to the bottom of mental action, and reveals the theodicy which indicates the rightness of all divine action, as the emanation of divine Mind, and the consequent wrongness of the opposite so-called action,--evil...." S&H 104:13
Fifty years later metaphysician Margaret Laird wrote: "In the effort to overcome evil, as if there could be a false substance, the mind is kept in constant confusion and turmoil. Our problems and their solutions rest in ourselves. Certain it is that evil will remain with us just as long as we entertain the belief that there is evil."