Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Attenuation of Truth

Sunday, we went to a New Thought church service in a town near our new home, mainly out of curiosity since it was historical. The congregation was very small like its building and very old, like its building. We were easy to spot as “new” folks. They were very cordial. During the message from the minister my mind wandered to a question: How is it that the American Amish hit on 18th century Pennsylvania and their peculiar way of living as the true Way (orthodoxy)? Standing still in time, resistant to all social change surrounding them, their religious tradition's ideas, language and habits have given their community members an impervious and permanent sense of inner stability, of timeless personality. Preserving their religious beliefs they hand down their way of life from generation to generation and so from a scientific view fulfill the first law of nature --- self-preservation. Their way of life seems peaceful, happy and productive, especially in contrast to the paroxysms of social upheaval surrounding them. In fact, according to Wikipedia the Amish church membership is growing because mothers are having more children! The word tradition, incidentally, means in its original meaning: “handing down.” From the point of view of the majority of American society the Amish tradition has succeeded only in making the Amish themselves an “anachronism.”
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.
The questions coming at my daughter arise from her environment which is highly production oriented. Her inner instinct urging her too see perfection within her is Truth, her divinity (Spirit) laying its claim on her, demanding a permanent perspective from which to view her now world, to discover "she is the world she walks through." Truth is no longer a "still small voice" as it was in the times of her great-grandmothers whispering to them when they went into their closets. When she goes into her closet it is to find the fortification needed to stand as a woman in her world. I wondered, is the public language the attenuation of Truth? Attenuation, not a word she would recognize, means the gradual weakening and disappearance of the catalytic agent in a homeopathic medicine. Is Truth, the catalyst, buried in today's indifference as the philosophers of today's language are claiming? If so, is meaninglessness inevitable?
But suppose the reverse is true and it is Truth attenuating the public language? Then what if "anachronism" means one who stands squarely in the now of today, but with vision coming out of the wide-open future and the Gospel of Truth today is science fiction instead of sentimental journey? What if the relics and artifacts of Truth are born into our environment as our children's children bringing with them the question of "Who Am I NOW?" "Who will live Me NOW?" "Who will hear Me NOW?" demanding that we answer them. Will my daughter hear her daughter's daughter giving her grandmother the eternal words of Truth out of the pure heartedness of her Spirit to speak to her daughter the Science of Oneness, the Circle of All before she is "born" so that her granddaughter's friends will exclaim, "Wow! Your grandmother was way ahead of her times."
Today, the word "sin" in the popular language means little more than eating something chocolate when one is on a diet. The religious organizations which perpetuate "sin" are crumbling away. Truth's attentuating power has reduced the concept of sin to near absurdity, an old trivial mistake, a primitive attempt to state a profound spiritual fact. Soon the meanings "sickness" and "death" will also be as silly because my daughter listening within herself, hearing her heart only, will hear her granddaughter laughing within at beliefs like sickness and death.