Stand Defiant

stand defiant

Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.
– Mary Baker Eddy

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“Till Time and Space and Fear Are Naught”

“If Ban could restore himself to what he had been—withdrawing every atom of himself from any other time but the present— the crack in the cosmos would heal itself, like a force-bubble across a door or window. But it was impossible. He could not do it. There was only one thing he could do, which would have the same effect. He could repair the fabric of reality by not ever having been…

“Ban raged. It is not too bad a thing to die. All men face it sooner or later, and there is a secret knowledge which comes to every man at such moments. The knowledge is that it is not the end. But Ban was required to make a greater sacrifice than death. It was demanded of him that he surrender ever having been. He was required to embrace extinction…

“He remembered innumerable things, and now not one of them would ever have been real. Because he would never have been, and Urmuz would not teach him soldier-craft, nor his companions ever sing or drink with him, nor his father try to hide his pride in a swaggering son who would be Warden after him. These things would be worse than forgotten. They would never be thought of. They would go into that limbo of possible things from which so few ever emerge to become actual.”
– Murray Leinster, from Isaac Asimov’s 15 Short Stories

I just finished reading an anthology of short stories by Isaac Asimov. I was a huge Asimov fan in high school, but haven’t read him much since then –  it was really fun to connect with his writings again. The last story in the collection was written by Asimov and four other science fiction writers. The quote I copied above came from Murray Leinster’s contribution to the story.

His passage got me thinking.

I am at an age where I’m not as springy or light as I once was. Sometimes I think back nostalgically to the person I was in my physical prime – quick and strong and confident in my abilities to get up mountains and out of adventures gone awry. Sometimes I wish I had that body again.

But after I read Leinster’s passage in 15 Short Stories I had this moment of – whoaaah. If I could wish myself back in time to, say, the age of 24 or 25 – that would mean I would never meet my husband, and my sons would never be born. And if I wished myself back to, say, 40 and stayed there – my sons would never have the opportunity to grow up into the amazing young men they are.  If I had the power to stay at one age in one time forever – and never know my husband or sons or all the friends I’ve made afterwards – that would really stink.

And then it occurred to me (as I was still pretending I had the power to make time stand still) that by allowing ourselves to grow older we’re actually sacrificing our youth for our children – as they will sacrifice their youth for their children, and so on.

Of course, this is all from a strictly mortal, human perspective – and a science fiction one at that. We as humans don’t (yet) have control over time.

Here’s how the founder of Christian Science defines “time” in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

TIME. Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error; that which begins before, and continues after, what is termed death, until the mortal disappears and spiritual perfection appears.

Eddy writes: “One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Science of being is understood, would bridge over with life discerned spiritually the interval of death, and man would be in the full consciousness of his immortality and eternal harmony, where sin, sickness, and death are unknown. Time is a mortal thought, the divisor of which is the solar year. Eternity is God’s measurement of Soul-filled years.”

Whoah. I know. Cosmic, right?

Eternity in contrast to time. Now in contrast to past and future. One infinite moment filled with everything good in contrast to a ray with a starting point, moving one direction, divided into segments. There is a lot to think about there. 🙂 And I’m really hoping I have eternity to figure it out.

I climb, with joy, the heights of Mind,
To soar o’er time and space;
I yet shall know as I am known
And see Thee face to face.
Till time and space and fear are naught
My quest shall never cease,
Thy presence ever goes with me
And Thou dost give me peace.
– Violet Hay, Christian Science Hymnal

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(photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

 

 

Filled with Truth and Love

 

Lately I’ve found myself thinking a lot about mortality. My own. This is not something that I used to think about much. But as the hospice nurse who looks in on Dad said to me, “It’s in your face.”  The last six months seem to have been filled with death – it seems every week someone I care about passes on. Sometimes the deaths have come quickly and unexpectedly, and sometimes they’ve come slowly – after long illnesses.

I could go a couple different directions here. I could be all philosophical – offer detached (and really profound) thoughts about death and dying. Or maybe I could talk about my fear of getting sucked into a vortex where I might be expected to give up control of my own body to the “experts” – maybe seen as an interesting medical experiment, and clucked over with much head-shaking and criticism: “She ate how much cheese every day?!”

But… yeah… I’m thinking I’ll do something else here.

Here’s what I know about me – and about you, too, actually – we are the children of God, Love. We are perfect right now – made in the image and likeness of perfect Love, Truth, and Life. We are strong, fearless, and beautiful – without blemish or flaw. There isn’t even the teensiest, tiniest part of us that can be unlike our perfect Creator – for all we can be is Her reflection. “There is no spot where God is not.”

Death is an illusion – a shadow – and it has no might or right or power to stop Life, or alter perfection. Death has no power to separate us from Love – not now, not ever. Those loved ones who appear to have walked through its shadow are unchanged, perfect, beautiful, still unfolding and learning and progressing.

I ain’t going to be afraid of death, or sickness, or evil of any kind. I know that all things work together for good to those who love Love – nothing can prevent Love from reaching me, or you. I ain’t going to be afraid of fear, either. “Fear never stopped being or its action.” (Mary Baker Eddy)

In The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness.”

And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Eddy writes: “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter, and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears.”

So that’s what I’m going to do here. I’m going to rouse myself – wake myself up from this mortal dream – and be the child Love made me to be.

Take that, death!

love-is-with-you

 

Taking My Bike for a Walk

Karen’s Most Excellent Adventure:
Rode my bike into Edison with the idea of getting tea at Tweet’s and saying hi to my friend, Charles, and then maybe riding on to the slough for photos. Tweet’s was closed, but Charles happened to be walking past just as I arrived and we exchanged greetings and hugs and life-updates. It was so good to see him again.

Stopped by Marioposa’s for a tea and then, as I left, the tire on my bike popped.

This was an interesting turn of events.

I was four miles out now. No spare tire. An adventure in the works.

Looked like I was going to be taking my bike for a walk.  🙂

A nice couple who’d heard my tire pop – they said it sounded like a gun shot – came out to see if they could help me – wasn’t that nice of them? I thanked them, but told them I wasn’t far from home, and I was fine. It was a perfect day for a walk.

I saw things I wouldn’t have seen if I’d been cruising along on my bike – a red-winged blackbird flitting among the cattails, a robin sitting on a sign, flowers along the roadside. About a mile down the road, I stopped at the Samish Cheese Factory for cheese-tasting (bought some chile chive cheese and cheddar) and met some way cool tourists from France (originally from Surrey, UK) who recommended the extra sharp cheddar. Back on the road, and a woman stopped to ask me if I knew how to get to the Old Edison Inn – I was glad to help – and realized I wouldn’t have been able to help her if I’d been on my bike. A little further down the road and my friend, Armando, suddenly appeared around a curve, out for a jog. He jogged over to see if I needed help – I told him I was enjoying my adventure – and then we had a lovely conversation about life and love and kindness – there, on the side of a country road, in the middle of nowhere, really – it was wonderful and kind of surreal – and we both started laughing at the delightful, unexpected magic of it. (It has been my experience that if you’re in the right frame of mind, good things will find you wherever you are. 🙂 ) A little further along and I stopped to buy myself some blueberry ice cream at Bow Hill Blueberries.

At this point I was just so filled up with the Good of Life (also blueberry ice cream and chili cheese) – rejoicing in friendship and love and kindness – so grateful that Love had provided me with this adventure today. And then I looked down – and there was a yellow paperclip lying on the side of the road. Paper clips are a kind of an inside joke between Love and me. (I’ll attach a link to THAT story down below.) Now I was totally cracking up. Put the paper clip in my pocket (I NEVER walk by paper clips when they appear for me).

A mile more and I was back home.

What a lovely expedition.

Click here for the paperclip story.

To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

What are you waiting for?

This thought came to me this morning – and I think there actually might be something profound in it – but I ain’t sure. I guess I’ll post it and then think about it some more. If any of you has any thoughts you’d care to share about “waiting” – I’d be most appreciative.

stop-waiting

Go out there and work your magic!

My dear Humoristian hooligans-

If ever the world needed your kind-hearted sass and your good-natured love of humanity it is now. We are living in interesting times, for sure – but you were made for these times – and the world needs what you have to offer. May your love and courage touch and uplift all you meet today. May your sense of humor lighten the burden of those who are athirst for joy in a desert of responsibility and solemnity. May your smile be contagious, and your joy transforming.

Go out there and work your magic!
Karen