So I’ll just finish the dialogue here… :)

Sometimes people experience a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore, and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief. – Franz Fanon

If you go to this URL – http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/washington-states-unconscionable-unconstitutional-child-protection-law/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=washington-states-unconscionable-unconstitutional-child-protection-law&utm_reader=feedly –  you’ll find a discussion on Christian Science taking place amongst people who, though well-meaning, don’t seem to really understand Christian Science as I know it, and I’m pretty sure are no longer interested in hearing what I have to say – I don’t think any further comments by me will be allowed into the party. So I figured I’d just finish the dialogue here. 🙂

Karen says:

Thanks, windriven and weing for taking the time to check out those sites and respond.

Thirteen years ago my CS mom was diagnosed with lymphoma and given two years to live. She had some choices to make. She’d relied almost her entire adult life on Christian Science – and had experienced many healings with it (if she hadn’t had success with CS, she wouldn’t have continued with it – she would have found something that worked for her – my mom is no martyr to religion). I told her that I would support her in whatever direction she chose to go – whether medical science or Christian Science. After a lot of thought, she chose to use medical science. She went through chemo treatments, and did what the doctors prescribed for her – although she never really became part of the “cancer culture” – if you know what I mean – she didn’t buy cancer-of-the-month calendars and magazines and stuff. She had some wonderful, caring doctors and developed a great patient-doctor relationship with them. The thought, then, was that they would prolong her life, but that the cancer would win in the end. After two years there was no trace of the cancer, and now, thirteen years later, she is still alive and kicking, and the doctors call her an enigma. At least one of them gives credit to her CS way of life for her healing.

I have experienced healings of:
– a doctor-diagnosed (and photographed) melanoma on my eyelid – by the time I got to the eye surgeon two weeks later, the melanoma had completely disappeared
– a puffed-up hand – blood tests that came back a few days after the hand deflated indicated markers for rheumatoid arthritis – the doctor wanted me to see a specialist, and after I told them that I’d called a CS practitioner and my hand was completely healed and fine, they were really surprised – that was 3 years ago and there’s been no return of the condition
– the natural delivery of my son after I’d been wheeled down to the OR for an emergency caesarean section (I’d asked my mom to call a CS practitioner for support) – just as the doctors were ready to slice me open, they all got surprised looks on their faces and started yelling “Push! Push!” – when my son was born one of the nurses started crying – she said she’d never been able to see a natural delivery and it was “so beautiful.”

Do I consider these healings miracles? Nope. They are completely natural – it’s natural to be healthy. And I’ve found that when I’m able to draw close to the power of Love, of Good – to fill my thoughts up with joy and life – I experience healing. Always.

Although I have much respect for medical doctors and their dedication to their patients – I have found CS to be the best and most efficient method of healing for me, personally.

Regarding the law exempting the children of CSists from medical treatment: Honestly, I can’t say that I know where, exactly, I stand on this issue. I know CS works. I’ve proven it for myself, and, I think if we’re honest we have to acknowledge that medical science is seriously flawed. But… I think that parents need to use common sense when it comes to the care and well-being of their children.

 weing says:

@Karen,
Let me see if I understand this correctly. Your mom was diagnosed with a lymphoma that had a poor prognosis. She received standard science-based therapy and is disease free 13 years later. Great. I have no idea what “cancer culture” is.

“a doctor-diagnosed (and photographed) melanoma on my eyelid”
Melanoma is diagnosed by biopsy not photographs. You had a skin finding suspicious for melanoma that resolved. You had a swollen hand and some abnormal lab tests and now your fine. You experienced the miracle of birth. You call all this healing. I call it living. That’s fine.
___

So that’s where the dialogue left off. I just tried to respond, but it looks like my post didn’t make it onto the board, so – seeing as how I have my own blog and stuff 🙂 – I guess I’ll just finish the dialogue here:

Karen says:

Yup. And if I were a medical doctor I wouldn’t be discounting these anecdotes, ignoring them and belittling them – if I really wanted to help my patients and bring them healing – without the adverse side effects that come from pharmaceuticals and the human error of medical science – I’d be asking myself what happened there – why was that woman with terminal cancer able to survive it? Why did her daughter’s puffed-up hand deflate after only two days, and the condition not reappear in the three years since then – after a marker in the blood test indicated rheumatoid arthritis? And why did the melanoma that her optometrist spotted on her eyelid completely disappear by the time she went to an eye surgeon two weeks later?

***

One of the posters will be meeting with a senator to discuss legislation in Washington State regarding Christian Science  treatment.  I’m glad to hear he’s meeting with his legislators to discuss things that are important to him. I myself have very much enjoyed the privileges of United States citizenship – I was elected as a delegate to the state Democratic convention a couple years ago and enjoyed meeting other like-minded people. Through the years I have written letters and donated in support of financial aid for undocumented immigrants, environmental issues, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Without Borders, the ACLU, Amnesty International, The Smile Train, and yes, universal health care – I don’t believe anyone should be denied the treatment they are told they need to survive just because they’re too poor to pay for it. I really hope the gentleman who visits with the senator today will address that, too – if he’s going to ask that people be forced to participate in the medical system, those people should also be provided with financial access to it, right? (I had a friend who was told the drugs she needed to take during her cancer remission would cost $30,000 to $40,000 a month! Holy shamoley! That’s crazy!)

***

Harriet Hall says:

@Karen
Christian Scientists believe that sickness is an illusion caused by mistaken beliefs and that the whole material world is an illusion, so why did you go to a doctor at all? Why does CS condone seeing a doctor for broken bones if they are illusory? I really can’t understand the logic and am hoping you can explain.

***

Karen says: Well, if you’re familiar with quantum physics you know that all of matter is pretty much nothing, right? And it’s been determined, in quantum physics, that our very thoughts effect our world. So really, even according to the science of quantum physics, our beliefs have power on what we experience here, don’t they?

Why do I go to a doctor at all? Well, honestly, I don’t much. I went to a doctor when I had the puffed-up hand because the people around me were really concerned by what they were seeing – there was talk of a serious infection, or an allergy – there was talk of death. And I was scared. So I went to the family physician – he normally jokes around with me when I come in – all my medical practitioners have a sense of humor, it is one of my requirements – but this time even HE wasn’t joking around. He said it looked like I either had a serious infection or rheumatoid arthritis, and he wanted to start me on drugs for both right away, and give me a blood test. I said I wasn’t interested in the drugs until I knew, for sure, what we were dealing with – but I’d have the blood test. Then I went home and called a CS practitioner – the confidence and assurance I heard in her voice was a huge help to me, mentally. The next day my hand was even more puffed-up, but by the second morning it had completely deflated. When I later called the doctor’s office for the results of the blood test, I was told there was a marker for rheumatoid arthritis and they wanted me to meet with a specialist. I told the receptionist I was completely fine now. She called a nurse to the phone. I told her my hand was completely deflated, and she was really surprised by this and told me that she guessed I didn’t need any further treatment right then, but to call if the condition returned. Which it hasn’t.

I am not conflicted about seeing a doctor when I feel the need – I don’t experience feelings of guilt  – I’m not worried about being excommunicated from any religion or anything – I am not, really, a very religious person. For me, Christian Science isn’t a religion or even an alternative health care system – it’s a way of looking at the world that’s brought a lot of good into my life. I don’t go to doctors much because I simply haven’t needed to go to doctors.

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Descended from Basque Reptile Aliens and Illegal Immigrants

The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same         Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.

– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
Tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

– Emma Lazarus

***

Have I ever mentioned that I am the descendant of illegal immigrants? Yup. When my grandfather and his brother immigrated here from The Netherlands they were supposed to each have $20 in their pockets to get into the country. They only had one $20 bill between them – so when they passed through the line at Ellis Island the first one held up the $20 bill and then under-passed it to the one behind him who, in turn, held up the same bill. Those two hooligans should never have been allowed in this country. And, I shouldn’t really be here, either, I guess. Or half of me shouldn’t. Half of me should probably be shipped back to Amsterdam, home of my hooligan grampa.

That might be kind of messy, though. And I’m not sure how, exactly, they’d decide which half of me to send back.

My other half is descended from people who immigrated from a German colony along the Volga River in Russia. And also Basque reptile aliens. I’m pretty sure. (My mom has rh negative blood which – according to highly scientific research I googled 🙂 – seems to indicate she has a Basque reptile alien somewhere in her background. Yeah. As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited about this.)

We are all immigrants in the United States, aren’t we?  I mean, human life did not start here – everyone immigrated from somewhere else.  It’s believed the first immigrants crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia to Alaska and then worked their way down through North and South America. Then came the Vikings, Columbus, the Mayflower, the Dutch, Spanish, and French, Swedes, Norwegians, Germans, slaves from Africa, the Irish and Chinese, the Japanese, immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, refugees from southeast Asia, immigrants from India and the Middle East… and all of these immigrants – with the exception of those who were forced here on slave ships from Africa – have one very important thing in common: They came here in search of a better life.

Are the newest immigrants to our country really so much different than the first immigrants? The newest immigrants, too, are looking for a better life for themselves and their families – looking for work, education, religious and political freedom.

Why would any of us – descendants of immigrants ourselves – want to deny others the same opportunities we and our ancestors had?

***

In my state – the state of Washington – there’s currently a bill working its way through our legislature that would allow the children of undocumented immigrants to receive financial aid to further their education. It is my belief that the children of undocumented immigrants are no less worthy of help than any other young person in this country. I can’t think of any better way to spend my tax dollars than to help people who want to improve their lives,and their communities, by furthering their education. Bills like this have already been passed in Texas, California, Illinois, and New Mexico. I’d love to see Washington State pass its version.

If you live in Washington, and want to support this bill, please contact Sen. Barbara Bailey at barbarbara.bailey@leg.wa.gov, and let her know how you feel about The Dream Act.

.https://www.weareoneamerica.org/sites/weareoneamerica.org/files/2013_ONEPAGER-WAdreamact.pdf

“In a new friend we start life anew…”

“In a new friend we start life anew, for we create a new edition of ourselves and so become, for the time being, a new creature. Barbara had never done this interesting thing before. She had lived all her life in Silverstream and her neighbors were people who had known her from childhood, and therefore had a preconceived idea of her, so engrained, that they never saw her at all, any more than they saw the sponge which accompanied them daily into their baths. In creating a new Barbara for Jerry Cobbe, Barbara created a new facet of herself and was enlarged by it.” – D.E. Stevenson, Miss Buncle Married

***

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately – the power and joy that can be found in friendship, as well as the challenges.  What, I’ve been asking myself, IS friendship? And how can I be a better friend?

You know the lyrics to that old song – “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold”? Yeah. I’ve always had a problem with those words. They’ve never felt quite right to me. The implication there is that the friends we’ve had the longest are the golden ones, and our new friends are just silver. i don’t like that. It doesn’t seem fair somehow.

Sometimes, I think, we stop “seeing” our old friends – they just sort of freeze in our thought of them – we don’t see the changes and evolution and unfoldment – we don’t see them becoming something new. We stop listening to them because we think we’ve heard everything they have to say. And that’s a shame. There’s this great line in the movie Waitress that I think captures really well that feeling we get when we discover a new friend: “I was addicted to saying things and having them matter to someone.”

A “golden” friendship, in my mind, is any friendship that brings out the best in us – makes us less selfish, braver, kinder, wiser – helps us discover more of who we are as expressions of Love and Truth. There are those friends who see the good in us, and help us see it, too, through their eyes. They trust us. As Henry Drummond writes in his sermon, The Greatest Thing in the World, “To be trusted is to be saved. And if we try to influence or elevate others, we shall soon see that success is in proportion to their belief of our belief in them. The respect of another is the first restoration of the self-respect a man has lost; our ideal of what he is becomes to him the hope and pattern of what he may become.” Drummond asks,“Why do we want to live to-morrow? Is it because there is some one who loves you, and whom you want to see tomorrow, and be with, and love back? There is no other reason why we should live on than that we love and are beloved.” To be valued, acknowledged, recognized – to have someone who believes in you – that is a powerful and wonderful thing. And to be able to return those things – to value, acknowledge, and recognize the good in your friends – that is “golden.”

There is another type of friendship – one that’s maybe not so “golden” and not so healthy for us.  Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, describes this unhealthy kind of friendship in her book Miscellaneous Writings: “Whom we call friends seem to sweeten life’s cup and to fill it with the nectar of the gods… Perchance, having tasted its tempting wine, we become intoxicated; become lethargic, dreamy objects of self-satisfaction….”  I think what Eddy is describing here is that kind of friendship that feeds our egos – the kind of friendship that leads to an addiction to praise. Instead of bringing out the best in us – making us less selfish – that kind of friendship makes us MORE selfish – more greedy for praise, more insecure when the praise isn’t constant and continual – in that kind of friendship we’re never satisfied and we’re never secure – we always want more. We want all our friend’s attention, time, and energy. That kind of friendship doesn’t bring us a whole lot of real joy.

I have an innate desire to want to fix things for my friends. I want to make all their problems go away. But I’m learning that I need to let my friends have their own life experiences – I’m learning that  the times that might seem the most challenging for my friends, are the times that are going to end up bringing them into the most amazing places in their lives. If I’m a true friend, would I want to deny someone that opportunity for growth and unfoldmen? I like what Octavia Butler has to say about this: “Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny.”

I think we all are drawn to people who don’t judge us, who accept us for who we are, and love us unconditionally – people who have the ability to understand our feelings and thoughts and share in them with us. As Lucius Annaeus Seneca says, “One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and be understood.” And as The Doors‘ Jim Morrison says, “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”

***

Here are some more quotes about friendship that I think are worth sharing –

“Love is the divine element in life, because ‘God is love.’ ‘He that loveth is born of God,’ therefore, as some one has said, let us ‘keep our friendships in repair.’ Let us cultivate the spirit of friendship, and let the love of Christ develop it into a great love, not only for our friends, but for all humanity. Wherever you go and whatever you do, your work will be a failure unless you have this element in your life.” – Henry Drummond

“In everyone’s life, at some time,  our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.” – Henry David Thoreau

“You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself, he doesn’t think you’ve done a permanent job.” – Laurence J. Peter

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” – Walter Winchell

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” – Alice Walker

The Wisdom of Miss Buncle

No, she was not like other people. Other people took grown-up things as a matter of course— things like late dinner, and wine, driving cars and going to the theater; things like marriage and housekeeping and ordering commodities from the shops; whereas she was just playing at it all the time, pretending to be grown up, when, really and truly all the time, she was just Barbara— a plain, gawky child… but not least, she still enjoyed the same things— ice cream, and sweet cakes, and crumpets with the butter oozing out of them— and she still loved being out at night when the stars were shining… Someday, she was convinced, somebody would find out that she was an imposter in the adult world. –  D.E. Stevenson, Miss Buncle Marries

***

I know, right?! I can so relate to this! There have been times when I’ve sort of stood back and looked at my life – at my children, my marriage, my home, my job, the responsibilities of being an adult – and had to chuckle that I’ve managed to pull it all off without anyone suspecting I’m actually just a tree-climbing ten year-old in a grown-up body.

A month or so ago I was introduced to the writings of D.E. Stevenson – the author quoted at the top of the page – and have very much enjoyed reading her books. Her stories, which take place in her native Britain, were written in the 1930’s and 1940’s and capture really well the cozy, quirky charm of life in a small English village. They have the same feeling to them as an Agatha Christie story – only without the murder. They are wise.  They are thought-provoking. And there were times – as in the passage below – where I found myself laughing out loud:

“I was wondering what we should write in the Bible,” said Dorcas, looking at Jerry inquiringly.

“I know what to write,” Simon declared. “I’ve seen it written in a book before. It’s the proper thing to write in a book. Daddy has a book with that written in it and he said it made the book more valuable— that’s what Daddy said.”

“What is it?” asked Jerry and Dorcas with one accord.

“With the author’s compliments,” said Simon proudly.

– from The Two Mrs. Abbots by D.E. Stevenson

***

The passage below captures the essence of a character named Helen really well – and haven’t we all known people like Helen? In fact, maybe we’ve ALL been Helen now and then… 🙂  –

She was a born meddler. In the garden, for instance, everything was directed by Helen. The raspberry canes, the sweet peas— even the ramblers were obliged to grow in the direction Helen thought best. She bent them to her will, tying them firmly to stake or trellis with pieces of green bass she carried in her pocket for the purpose.  – from The Two Mrs. Abbots by D.E. Stevenson

***

I even found mention of Christian Science in one of Stevenson’s books! And she didn’t write us off as completely loony! I really appreciated that. 🙂

“You are interested in Christian Science,” said Markie, handing her a duster… she had found a book upon Christian Science in Jane’s room when she went in to make the bed.

“Yes,” said Jane. “At least I don’t know much about it. I just thought it might help to— to clear up something in my mind.”

“Perhaps it may,” agreed Markie. “There was a mistress at Wheatfield House who practiced Christian Science and she had an extremely lucid mind…” Here Markie knelt down upon the hearth rug and began to lay the fire in the empty grate. “She was agreeable and cultured,” continued Markie. “I liked her very much and I was much interested in her conversation.”

“Did she convert you?” Jane asked.

“No, dear. If I have a pain I just take an aspirin in a little water. There is no need to bother God about it.” 

– D.E. Stevenson from The Two Mrs. Abbots

***

I love how Stevenson describes a child’s take on “grown-ups” and how they spend their time:

Trivvie listened with growing pity to the stumbling narrative— grown-ups were odd, she thought (not for the first time). Here was a perfectly strong and healthy grown-up with the whole day to do what she liked with, and nobody to say she mustn’t do this or that or the other, and look at what she did— it was really pitiable. “How dull!” she said at last, sadly shaking her untidy head. “Doesn’t it sound dull, Amby?”Miss Buncle Marries

***

I do not believe in ghosties or supernatural hokum pokum, but I have felt an “atmosphere” when I’ve walked into old buildings. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (the textbook for Christian Science):  “Though individuals have passed away, their mental environment remains to be discerned, described, and transmitted. Though bodies are leagues apart and their associations forgotten,  their associations float in the general atmosphere of human mind… Do not suppose that any mental concept is gone because you do not think of it. The true concept is never lost. The strong impressions produced on mortal mind by friendship or by any intense feeling are lasting…”

In Miss Buncle Marries, Stevenson addresses this feeling when she writes: “Slowly she became aware of Unseen Presences in the empty rooms— the aura of those who had lived in the house and loved it. And these Unseen Presences were friendly toward her, they welcomed her coming— she was sure of it— they would do her no harm. There was nothing ghostly about this aura, nothing supernatural, nothing frightening, it was more a sort of warm atmosphere, comfortable to the spirit as the warmth of a good fire is comfortable to the body.”

***

Yes, I am enjoying D.E. Stevenson very much. Every now and then I read a book and think – “Wow! This author would have been my friend if we’d ever met!” And that is precisely how I feel about the author of the Miss Buncle books.

***

It was a great relief to find that somebody wanted her, that she was not utterly and completely useless. – from the Two Mrs. Abbots by D.E. Stevenson

Trying to change the moment…

“Trying to change the moment into something more comfortable instead of just accepting it for what it is… is really a waste of energy, ain’t it?… Of course, if you’re sitting on a tack or something, you might want to remove it, but still…” – Karen Molenaar Terrell, Great 21st Century Philosopher 

Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause, – wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory. – Mary Baker Eddy

***

I had one of those days today. I got out of work a little late, and as I was driving home I started thinking about all the stuff that I still had to do before I could finally lay me down to sleep – there were things to feed and walk and tend – and I was really not looking forward to any of it.  In fact, the more I thought about what lay ahead, the more burdened and overwhelmed I felt by it all.  It was cold. It was dark. I just wanted a hot bath and bed and a good book.

When I walked into the house I found I’d walked into a sort of mini-crisis. I realized, then, that I was going to need to go back out on the road, drive back into the town I’d just come from, spend a lot of money, and use up a couple more hours of my night before I’d ever see that hot bath or my bed.

And this is when I had an epiphany: I wasn’t going to be able to change the circumstances, but I could change my response to them. Instead of focusing my energies on trying to find comfort for myself, I could just accept what was – not make any judgment on the moment as good or bad – not wish it away or wish it was something different –  and just live it.

Long ago I discovered that if I was biking or hiking or running uphill, and I was fighting the hill, it made it harder for me. But if I just let myself relax into it, everything came easier.  So that’s what I did with this “mental uphill” tonight.  I just sort of let myself lay back on the waters and let the currents take me where I needed to go.

I still needed to go back out on the road, still needed to drive into town, still needed to spend money – but I actually enjoyed myself, met some really helpful people, and even had the opportunity for some laughs I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed home.

        One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. – Mary Baker Eddy

Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts. – Mary Baker Eddy