Spinning Heads and Pea Soup

(Originally published in 2013. Excerpted from The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New.)

I’ve never seen The Exorcist, but I have seen that scene with the pea soup and the spinning head – and lately I’ve seemed to encounter a lot of what I would put in the “pea soup and spinning head” category. There have been times, recently, when personalities have seemed to spin themselves out of alignment with the individuals they really are, spewing out all kinds of hell – anger, frustration, jealousy, fear, revenge, hatred, finger-pointing. And I’m embarrassed to say that on at least a couple occasions at the beginning of the week I myself was the spewer – feeling really angry and hurt that someone who had scorned me and treated me unfairly had managed to get himself promoted to a position of even greater power.

It none of it felt good.

But something became really obvious to me a couple days ago when I came across yet another spewing spinner in a conversation on a discussion board.  I found myself just stepping back and kind of observing in interested fascination as the pea soup flew and the vitriol sprayed my direction.  The pea soup and vitriol were so over-the-top and spewed so high in the air that it simply erupted above the spewer’s head and ended up landing back on her.  It didn’t touch me at all. And, standing there on the outside of the mess, it became really clear to me that the spinning, spewing personality was not at all the real individuality of my fellow poster. It was obvious that what I had just witnessed was nothing but a spinning, spewing counterfeit of the real man and woman, made in God’s likeness – made in the likeness of Love.  And it also became clear to me that I had no desire or need to spend my time engaged in conversation with a counterfeit. I was able to step back and move on and find other interesting dialogues that better served me.  I didn’t give the counterfeit the power to push me OUT of a space where I belonged, and nor did I give the counterfeit the power to pull me INTO a space where I didn’t belong. I didn’t have to react or respond to the counterfeit at all.

This encounter with the counterfeit poster, helped me come to terms with my feelings of anger and wish for vengeance towards the personality who had treated me so poorly in the past and been promoted. I had to recognize that the real man is the child of God – that God loves him no less than he loves me – and that God is instructing him, and leading him down his own path in life, with its own lessons waiting for him. And none of that is any of my business.

My business is keeping watch on my own thoughts and actions. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Christian Science commands man to master the propensities, – to hold hatred in abeyance with kindness, to conquer lust with chastity, revenge with charity, and to overcome deceit with honesty. Choke these errors in their early stages, if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success.”

As Paul says, we all must work out our “own salvation.”  It’s rewarding work. It’s satisfying work. And it’s also enough work to fill my moments and my days for eternity. Who has time to worry about working out someone ELSE’s flaws and foibles, when I have enough of my own to worry about?

Spinning heads and pea soup, be gone!

“Evil is nothing, no thing, mind, nor power.  As manifested by mankind it stands for a lie, nothing claiming to be something, – for lust, dishonesty, selfishness, envy, hypocrisy, slander, hate, theft, adultery, murder, dementia, insanity, inanity, devil, hell, with all the etceteras that word includes.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Love has no sense of hatred.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Universal Love

 

 

I don’t hate Donald Trump…

No, honestly, I don’t hate Donald Trump. I hate what he says and does and tweets. I hate how he twists events so that he never has to take responsibility for them. I hate the cruelty and mockery he shows to the disabled, the disadvantaged, and those who are seeking refuge here. I hate the way in which he incites hatred in others. But I don’t hate HIM. I don’t wish harm to come to him or his family. I just don’t think he’s the right person to be leading my country.

 

“Hating on people is not going to improve your life…”

No, you are not going to be arrested for saying “God bless America” or for going to whatever church you go to, or for voting as your conscience dictates. And yes, you can hate whoever you want to hate – so long as you don’t actually cause harm to come to other people or take away their rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – but I would advise against hate. I’m pretty sure hating on people is not going to improve your life in any way. And it’s surely not going to make America a better place.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

paranoia: a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.”

“God bless the whole world. No exceptions.”

Hating

Something Bigger than Personalities

Whoah. I was just thinking about a conversation I’d had with a friend – we’d been talking about the marches we were both in last Saturday – mostly how epic and inspiring it was to be part of that – but we also got into a debate about the hate signs and hate speech that some people brought with them to the marches. My friend felt one way about that, and I felt another. And as I was thinking about that conversation this morning I had a kind of epiphany for myself – and I know this is something that a lot of you probably realized long ago – but, for me, it was, like, whoah. Here’s what came to me: I’m against hate – whichever direction it comes from, whether it’s from the left, right, or upside down; I’m against hate and mean-spiritedness.

And the corollary – I’m FOR loving kindness. No matter which direction it comes from – left, right, or in-between.

When I brought my “Love rules!” sign into the march it wasn’t to show support for everyone who voted against Donald Trump – in my mind, the marches were about something bigger than personalities. In my mind, this wasn’t an “us” versus “them” kind of thing. When I joined the march it was to stand in solidarity with folks who are working and praying for justice and equality for ALL people – not just people who voted against Donald Trump.

Not sure I explained this at all well. But when have I ever let that stop me from posting stuff? 🙂

“Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“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.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

good you do and embody

No Place Safer

In the last several days I’ve been sort of toying with the idea of moving my family and myself to New Zealand. Beautiful country. The Fellowship of the Ring was filmed there. Big mountains. Nice people. They speak English there – which would be convenient.

But then I realized that the issues that we’re dealing with here in the States are the same issues our entire world is dealing with right now – racism, sexism, bigotry, hate. This is global. We are all of us up against the wall and we each have to do our part to heal these problems from wherever we are. We can’t escape this confrontation between good and evil. There’s no place we can go that’s safer than where we already are.

And I found this realization strangely comforting.

Wherever we are – Love is there. Wherever we are – Truth is there.  Love fills all space and time. There is no place safer than where I am.

no-place-safer

I Wish You Nothing But Good

Revelation! 
I’m not angry, I don’t hate you – 
all that happened then –
the unfairness of it, the injustice –
was a part of the healing.  It was
all good – all of it – the people,
the place, the circumstances –
and it led to the healing – 
it brought me to the place
prepared for me – a place of purpose
and joy. And I see you now –
and my feelings are benign towards
you. I wish you nothing but good.
How could anger and hate ever
abide where there is healing?

panoply of Love