Imagine what aliens might hear if they listened to the earthlings from their space station on Alpha Centauri with their version of a giant radio telescope? Well, billions and billions of different sounds evaporating into time and space - inexplicable sounds, technical noise, explosions, machine guns, dogs barking, birds singing, flouting tea kettles, hundreds of washing machines spinning. Also billions and billions of cries, laughters, lots of technical noise - and an ever present human choir of murmur. Sung by murmurers. Thousands of years ago this choir enter the stage of the human condition, when the Israelites resisted their outlined path from slavery to freedom with complaining, questioning and murmurings - a Hebrew word meaning complaining and a "malicious whispering of slander", as a Dictionary has it. Murmuring is a kind of egoistic resistance to something good, it doesn't improve anything and keeps one pinned on the carousel of challenges. Talk about patience when remembering Moses (and read Exodus 16).
Humanity is a complaining species, one might think when one considers the resistance against the very good proposals for a different way of living as set forth by Jesus. What? Sharing? Humility and meekness? What? Walking a second mile? Giving your coat? Forgiving? The noise of complaint, an inner renitency against everything from accepting governments to doing the laundry to living peacefully with our neighbor to family members, who are different from us. Opposition, opposition, opposition.
Mary Baker Eddy is quoted in the diary of her secretary that whenever she felt tempted to murmur over her trials or burdens she would open her Bible to where the children of Israel murmured and found fault with God. I remembered this recently and have made it a point in leaving the choir of murmurers once and for all. And be willing to accept the abundant life, the freedom, lightheartedness, and joy that flows from the spirituality of being. Little complaints stem from the tale of desperation that material living brings - they make us stumble over small things or slow us down by fastening us with barbed hooks to material circumstances. It is said in the New Testament about Moses that he was chosen for the task to lead the children of Israel out of enslavement for one special quality: meekness. Meekness is the superb quality of being an empty slate before God, letting the supreme intelligence of the universe be expressed effortlessly and without any sense of questioning in our experience. That is the opposite of being a doormat - it means true unselfishness, true individuality.
What a relief to say "yes" to any demand. A life without sighing (not even when the doorbell rings and you have just sat down for a cup of tea and your favorite show), daily life as service. All the time needed to explain why this or that cannot be done: saved, by simply doing it. To refrain from murmurings puts humility into your heart and a joy into your day that supersedes everything else.
If you feel you cannot possibly do this, if you feel you have all the right in the world to feel the way you think you feel, give it a try for one week. Resist every attempt to resist good, eliminate feelings of competition and egotism, say yes to little requests from your surrounding, be generous. Just one week. And while you are up to the task, take a little break once in a while with a dance. This will help you to remember that you also have got that "sunshine in your pocket".
I feel that something of this is captured in the wonderfully gifted composer, performer, and musician Justin Timberlake's "Can't stop the feeling" - and I especially love the fact that it is about some sense of lightheartedness within the workforce. Working people! John, Paloma, Philip - is it a stretch to say, that the sunshine in your pocket is felt where labor is transformed into service and hardships accepted as a necessity to grow? The stand on the farmer's market where I get my groceries has this sense of joy and love day in, day out, spring, summer, fall, winter. Humbling.
My wonderful Christian Science teacher would say: Lets take the lemons and lets make lemonade from it. And how do lemons grow in the first place? With lots of sunshine.
We all can always do something - the very least and the most important is as always to take responsibility for the way we think. And to think better, act better, experience deep and lasting peace - and make a difference in the world. The best way I know to accomplish this is to surrender to God's way of thinking. As much as we may improve our human egos, they never reach the wisdom, foresight, insight, and unconditional harmony of divine Mind. St. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans:
"Don't copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
Today, peace talks on Syria begin. The Christian Science Publishing Society chose to air a daily lift of mine on the topic, and I am sharing it with you, you can find it here. The connected article as published in the Christian Science Monitor: Overcoming compassion fatigue.
This post has a timely message - in many ways. It shares ideas on how to overcome fear, it honors women by giving them a voice, it acknowledges that there is a Love, that is law - a law as fundamental and unavoidable as the law of gravity. I wrote this post few months ago and I am reposting it for its message. Thank you for being on the other side of fear, where everything is we really want.
Close-Up View of Fear
"Fear", my mother shared with me from an article she'd read a few days ago, "lives in the part of the brain which didn't go to College." We both exploded with laughter. I am sure you join in. Yes, we all know how true this is. And in order to make this laughter a permanent companion, we can take the laughter to the close-up view of fear and learn even more about its nothingness:
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less," observed Marie Curie, and this is so true for fear itself! A close-up reveals the baseless, clueless nature of fear.
I often pray about and mention in my practice how alert we have to be in order to never cooperate with fear. We never cooperate with the enemy. Fear is not a specific knowledge or an insight into reality. Fear is a feeling, which pretends to be substantial, but is hollow inside, an emotional opponent, an enemy that needs to be defeated. A resister that needs to be - resisted. The ultimate, unsurpassed, most mighty, universal antidote is love - not just love, but Love, God. The universal good that enables all of us to see the whole picture, to take a close-up look at fear and see it dwindling into the nothingness it came from. Love has a view which doesn't allow for fear to even come close to the heart. It helps to see some of its strategies to be perceived as reality. Here is a close-up view of fear from Seth Godin:
"Fear will push you to avert your eyes. Fear will make you think you have nothing to say. It will create a buzz that makes it impossible to meditate...or it will create a fog that makes it so you can do nothing but meditate.
Fear seduces us into losing our temper and fear belittles us into accepting unfairness. (...) It causes us to carelessly make typos, or obsessively look for them.
Fear pushes us to fit in, so we won't be noticed, but it also pushes us to rebel and to not be trustworthy, so we won't be on the hook to produce. It is subtle enough to trick us into thinking it isn't pulling the strings, that it doesn't exist, that it's not the cause of, 'I don't feel like it.' When in doubt, look for the fear."
And remove the fear. For that we open Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and on hundred eighty-two different pages fear is dealt with authoritatively and compassionately. A central part of the book is an allegory about an innocent man being arrested and sentenced to death by lies of false witnesses and a bribed jury. Can you imagine the part "fear" would play in this scenario? Fear is the sheriff handcuffing the innocent man and dragging him to this joke of a court void of integrity (see Science and Health, p. 437).
Anna-Zoë, our daughter, taught us early on, that moving forward with freedom has nothing to do with the absence of fear, but rather with a cultivated spiritual sense. It senses right through the mists of fear the openness and freedom of Love. God and fear are opposites, they are never in the same room. And moving beyond fear has to do with the insight that there is something more important than fear. Praying and listening and learning has boosted our trust in good and has helped us to detect fear behind many masks - fear often hiding in seemingly innocent states of mind or actions, like the ones described masterfully by Seth Godin and revealed with authority to Mary Baker Eddy, masks such as "ignorance", "desire", or "caution". Interesting, isn't it? (Science and Health (p. 586)
Three years ago I read an article about a healing of cancer which spoke eloquently about gratitude, but I cherish it because it conveys a particularly clear perspective on how to deal with fear, excruciating fear. I have never forgotten this article, went back to it several times and cherish its message very much. Pamela Herzer is a colleague, a Christian Science practitioner from Buena Vista, Colorado, with a big heart (you can see it on her website). Her article is entitled Gratitude and the Healing of Cancer and I highly recommend it for your consideration. It might change your life as much as it inspired mine.
So when fear wells up - stand still and be clever! Take the standpoint of someone who analyses, taking a magnifier. The close-up look energizes our chutzpah to talk right back to fear! Because under the magnifier of spiritual sense we see false evidence disappearing. And the warmth and confidence of good grounding us in true intelligence which is Spirit, God. In this sense every spiritual idea went to College. And graduated with honors.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and as a writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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