A few days ago our son Vincent was invited to be "a book". A book at "a Human Library" in Berlin. This Danish organization is very special and is doing fantastic work for our time on a global scale. Here is what they do: "The Human Library is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers." (Here is the website for more information). Vincent was invited as "a book" on the topic "A male feminist". Several people borrowed him and entered into a meaningful conversation about equality and political empowerment today.
There is already a tremendously well stocked human library around for more than hundred years. A library with "human books" on the topic "Spiritual healing". These books are people who have experienced something meaningful, often revealing, and have been grateful enough to share something about their lives with the world. Their reports can be read in the Christian Science Journal, the Christian Science Sentinel and the Christian Science Herald. Hundreds of thousands of reports since 1883. These testimonies are chapters from individual books, being individual lives. When I look around in our family, in our circle of friends, when I ponder and remember the many patients and their healings from the Christian Science practice, when I realize how many, many reports of healing I have read over time, I can see that this is indeed something like a "library of Love", filled with an infinite number of books: Lives redeemed, restored, free. Perhaps Paul had something in mind like this when he wrote:
"You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone." (2. Corinthians)
It makes a difference when you acknowledge the resource another human being is to you. It is a fresh way of approaching the wonderful rule of loving our neighbor as ourselves. It gives patience and an exciting sense of vitality to your day when you know that you can expect something divine from your fellow man. It is really so much better talking with than about people. And understand better where they are coming from and what their approach to life in general and problem solving in particular is. Mary Baker Eddy had so much trust in Christian Scientists to live for humanity that she entrusted her periodicals to normal people, not to theologians or people specializing in Christian Science theology. A human library - the real thing. A library of Love to humanity, where anybody can borrow what he or she needs.
It could be an idea to host an event in your local reading room inviting the public to "borrow" individuals who are grateful enough to share something of the healing power of spiritual Life. You might also "borrow a human book" by listening to the audio of someone's experience on the Christian Science Website JSH-Online. This stands for Journal-Sentinel-Herald, the three Christian Science periodicals. The website provides access to the entire archive of articles, healing testimonies, reports, and poems, the latest ones being available also as audio. Something like the one I shared myself, for a start, a healing of a heart condition. I love to think about my own life as a book, and acknowledge every day its real author, its development, its storyline as being written by Spirit. Therefore I truly love reading "human books", honoring the depth and dignity of Spirit in each single individual I encounter.
Someone who lives with the law of good every day is a Christian Scientist, in Mary Baker Eddy's definition. She defines this individual more in terms of practice than profession, and there is a quote where she links a description with the world of writing and the world of books and the spiritual world of goodness, the world of divine Love. She writes:
"A real Christian Scientist is a marvel, a miracle in the
universe of mortal mind. With selfless love, he inscribes
on the heart of humanity and transcribes on the page
of reality the living, palpable presence — the might and
majesty! — of goodness. He lives for all mankind, and
honors his creator." (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 294)
I often think and acknowledge, that every idea in God's world as a universe in itself, complete, creative, beautiful, interesting. I now also like to think and acknowledge, that every idea in God's world is a book. A human library through which we can get in touch with a different, wonderful world. The library of Love. Are you on loan today?
There are these moments when you realize: This is meant to stay. It was the moment when I listened to the first time ever to compositions written by Geri Allen. Our wonderful friend Dave Nartonis, who is one of the most knowledgeable Jazz experts in our life, introduced us to her art. We had the priceless privilege of spending about 18 summers with Candy and Dave in Boston, and each time, Dave picked a theme for our listening and continuing Jazz education. It was the summer of women Jazz pianists, and Geri Allen stood out to me.
I started over the years to explore her world, get to her Geri Allen's masterful exploration of the world of sound. The Gathering and Flying towards the sound, and Life of a Song are part of our soundscape in our home. (If you like to know more: www.geriallen.com).
While living in the US as Visiting Faculty at Principia College, I called Geri Allen one day, and to my great amazement, she answered the phone and we talked for about ten minutes. I invited her to my university, told her what I loved about her music, we talked jazz, academics - and life.
When giving my first lecture in Reykjavik, Iceland, I concluded the lecture with a presentation of "Unconditional Love" - and I can still hear her composition and feel the oceanic goodness of Love as the audience and I bonded on the basis of listening.
Humanity has been better because of Geri Allen - and if someone knew how to navigate the kingdom, how to explore its continents, wonders, and secret surprises, it would be her. Geri Allen's music is a lasting legacy, and anybody who is willing to listen and learn, will become better because of it. Unconditional Love, Perfection, The Gathering - all titles of her compositions, here to stay.
Mary Baker Eddy writes: "Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color." (Science and Health, p. 247). Expression - yes.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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