There will be magic today. You deserve whatever you can find.
Yesterday I awoke in the middle of the night from a dream filled with terrible guilt over some vague-ish transgression I’d committed in France. I reminded myself I’ve never been to France, and went back to sleep.
I realized there was some metaphysical profundity in that dream, though, and later – when I was up and about – pondered the dream some more.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy has a lot to say about dreams. “Mortal existence is a dream…” she writes, and “Whatever indicates the fall of man or the opposite of God or God’s absence, is the Adam-dream, which is neither Mind nor man, for it is not begotten of the Father.”
The belief that we’re born in guilt, living in guilt, that our moments and hours and days – even our dreams – should be filled with guilt, is a boatload of balderdash, a heap of rubbish, a 20 foot-long baloney sandwich. It is, I believe, the cause of a lot of grief and wasted time for humanity.
I really like what Edward A. Kimball has to say about self-condemnation in his book, Lectures and Articles on Christian Science. He writes, “It won’t do you a particle of good to enter upon a career of self-condemnation. Remorse never got anybody into heaven. A sense of regret and all that sort of thing is not the process. The process is reform; it is change; it is correction…”
And the late great Ethel Waters said, “I am somebody cause God don’t make no junk.” We are all, I believe, the sons and daughters of Love – worthy of everything good and joyful the universe has to offer. Love don’t make no guilt-ridden junk.
(Ahem. The following needs to be read in a revival meeting kind of voice to get the full effect): Rise up, my brothers and sisters! Wake up and rise, I say! For you are free-born and worthy and guilt-free! Allelujah and amen and pass the joy.
Several weeks ago a fellow member at church asked me if I might combine quotes from Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures with some of my photos for a display at our local Reading Room. I spent the afternoon working on this project – and it was a total blast!
Here are the photos and quotes I put together for the display (all quotes are from Science and Health, and all the photos – except for NASA’s photo of the stars – are by yours truly):
I combined a NASA photo of my current favorite star, Sirius, with a quote by Mary Baker Eddy to create the image below. Sirius is only eight light years away from us. The light we’re seeing from it now came from Sirius about 2008 – I’m kind of awestruck by the idea of that – when I think of where I was eight years ago and all that’s happened in my life since the light left this star. I find the thought that this star has been shining its light on me this whole time very cool, and kind of comforting.
“The divine Spirit, which identified Jesus thus centuries ago, has spoken through the inspired Word and will speak through it in every age and clime. It is revealed to the receptive heart, and is again seen casting out evil and healing the sick.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
“This healing power of Truth must have been far anterior to the period in which Jesus lived. It is as ancient as ‘the Ancient of days.’ It lives through all Life, and extends throughout all space.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
I love looking out at the stars on a clear night, knowing that the starlight that’s reaching me now may have started out from some of those stars thousands of years ago. My new favorite star is Sirius – the light from Sirius takes eight years to reach Earth. That means the light I’m seeing from Sirius started eight years ago – when I was in the midst of a personal crisis I thought might never end. I find comfort somehow in knowing that, even then, Sirius was shining its light on me. When I look up at the stars I feel myself connected to something – a presence and power – far bigger than the little speck of the universe known as Earth. I feel myself connected to Life that’s infinite and fills all space.
Okay, at the risk of being placed in the “tinfoil hat” category, I’m going to go ahead and say it: I do not believe Life is confined to this planet, or the three and half to four billion years that scientists believe life has been on Earth. I believe Life to be eternal and infinite – without beginning or end, or boundaries. “God forms and peoples the universe,” Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures – and my thoughts about the universe coincide with her thoughts there.
There are some who believe, I guess, that the healings – what they would call “miracles” – that happened in Jesus’ time were only for that time and place in the universe, and can’t be repeated. But Eddy writes: “Jesus’ promise is perpetual…The purpose of his great life-work extends through time and includes universal humanity. Its Principle is infinite, reaching beyond the pale of a single period or of a limited following.” She writes: “The time for the reappearing of the divine healing is throughout all time…”
I like the idea that we’re not separated from the rest of the universe – that we’re not separated by time or space from the healing power of God – Love and Truth and Life. I like the idea that this healing power of Love is perpetual, on-going, ever-present, without limits or bounds, and ever available to us. And I REALLY like the idea that there are other expressions of life peopling the universe. When I look up at the stars, I send out my love to the other expressions of life that might be out there, with the hope that my love will carry through time and space.
It is my belief that the healing power of Love and Truth will, as mankind progresses onward, eventually be seen as the only real power.
“The periods of spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind’s creation, in which beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness – yea, the divine nature – appear in man and the universe never to disappear.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
NASA image of Sirius:
“Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
“Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless…”
– Mary Baker Eddy
After watching this videoclip from the Young Turks on Facebook – a clip from a Donald Trump political rally – I’ve been feeling really discouraged about mankind. As Cenk Uygur, the commentator, says: “If you think this isn’t dangerous, then you’re not paying attention.” In the clip we see the mob inside the rally hall applauding as people are bullied and threatened, hated on, and thrown out – the mob getting more and more excited and frenzied as the rally goes on. The blood lust and excitement we see in the crowd towards the victims of this hatred is incredibly disturbing. When did it become acceptable, in America, to treat each other with such brazen, unapologetic mean-ness? When did people in our society lose their civility and courtesy to one another? When did it become popular and “cool” to be hateful?
I’m grappling with how I, personally, should respond to what I see in this videoclip. I’m thinking it through as I type this… so… yeah… this may not be the most articulate post you’ve ever read…
It seems to me that to ignore the behavior we see in that video – to just close our eyes and stop up our ears and pretend it’s not happening – is not going to make it go away. It needs to be unmasked, exposed, and seen for what it is – senseless and hateful and dishonorable. The hatred needs to be condemned. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Evil which obtains in the bodily senses, but which the heart condemns, has no foundation; but if evil is uncondemned, it is undenied and nurtured. Under such circumstances, to say that there is no evil, is an evil in itself. When needed tell the truth concerning the lie. Evasion of Truth cripples integrity, and casts thee down from the pinnacle.”
But I don’t want to be a part of perpetuating the cycle of hatred, either. I don’t want to personify evil or demonize men. Eddy writes, “”Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.” Okay. Let me think about that for a moment. Evil is an illusion. Hunh. It sure SEEMS real, doesn’t it? But… “Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one’s belief permits. Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence.” A Facebook friend said, upon watching the aforementioned videoclip, that these “folks are mesmerized.” And I think she’s spot on with that observation. In that sense, it IS an illusion – an illusion of power and belonging – a hypnotic suggestion that to follow the path towards bigotry and hatred is somehow a good thing. Illusion. There is no real power for folks who hate on others – hating on people doesn’t make you healthier or happier or stronger – it has no power to make the world a better place. And that’s the only power that really matters, right?
And now I’m thinking about all the really wonderful and noble people in my community of friends – good people – generous and caring and thoughtful and honest – decent, fearless individuals. THOSE are the people with the real power, right?
Okay. It’s time to get ready for work. I think first I’ll listen to Joan Baez sing one of my favorite songs, though…
“We are not afraid, we are not afraid today… deep in my heart I do believe we shall overcome someday.” (Charles Albert Tindley)
Definition of You.
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