It is foundational for all of us to see the whole picture - the grander view. We are made for a reason and we are made whole, safe, and free. Life, pure good, is so very noble and generous and takes care of an infinite universe with full commitment and dedication. The result is the noble nature of man and the universe, so beautiful and kind. Spiritual sense sees this whole picture, the grander view --- as always knowledge is the solution to any challenge we have to meet. Knowledge enables us to rise. True knowledge is spiritual, it is fact-based, solid, realistic and testable. Because we base our lives - unknowingly or with intent - on what we know, truly know. And we can only work with what we truly know, and with that we can work.
In an interview with Maya Angelou she transforms the question "What do you trust?" to "What do I know?" Here is the excerpt.
"David Holmstrom: After so many different experiences in your life - early poverty, living in Europe and Africa, awards for writing, international recognition - what do you trust?
Maya Angelou: (after a long pause) I have to translate that into the question ``What do I know?'' I can only trust what I know, and the only thing I trust is the love of God. That is all, and even though my knowledge and understanding of that sometimes wavers, that is the rock in my life.
I believe I can do three things: I can cook. I can write. And I can drive. Given an assignment in any of those three areas, I believe I will carry out the assignment with grace and maybe even some flashes of brilliance. I trust myself in the kitchen, in a car, and with the yellow pad. But the big trust is that I am a child of God. That is the most amazing thing to me and [it] still brings me tears of joy." (Interview with David Holmstrom. The Voice of a Writer in Process. The Christian Science Monitor. October 1993)
Now is the time to check what we know, really know. And as there is no complete knowledge without taking into account the spirituality of God and man, we should ask ourselves, what we spiritually know, really know. It is a truism that whatever we inhale we exhale. In proportion as we welcome Love and its spiritualizing power into our consciousness and experience it is felt in the mental atmosphere we exhale. An atmosphere of generosity and magnamity. Like Maya Angelou and other individuals you may encounter. Like the one you are being yourself.
My husband shared often within his work a list of observations, which I am now sharing with you. They are from the article "The need of spiritual consciousness" by George Channing in the Christian Science Journal, and it can be found on JSH-Online easily.
He who spiritually knows he is triumphant
sees only the evidence of triumph.
He who spiritually knows he is whole (healthful)
sees only the evidence of health.
He who spiritually knows he is righteous
sees only the evidence of righteousness.
He who spiritually knows he is wise
sees only the evidence of wisdom.
He who spiritually knows he is loving and beloved
sees only the evidence of love.
He who spiritually knows he is harmonious
sees only the evidence of harmony.
He who spiritually knows he is free
sees only the evidence of freedom.
He who spiritually knows he is alive
sees only the evidence of life.
He who spiritually knows he is useful
sees only the evidence of usefulness.
He who spiritually knows he knows
sees only the evidence of knowledge.
Obedience is so underestimated. As if it would come ever out of style. Take away the aspect of "personal domination" and relink the word with "wisdom" and "time-tested methods". The word "obedience" sounds old-fashioned and out-dated, I know. Yet obedience is everything. This applies to learning any skill and to mastering any art - learning to play the trumpet, to fly a plane, to speak Mandarin, to become a lawyer, electrician, potter, author, cook. You follow the rules as closely as you can and you observe and copy what you see from your teacher, professor, gaffer, or foreman. In order to come up with once own perspective of an art, wisdom teaches that one must first grow into mastering it yourself to a certain degree - and there is no way to come up with good reasons for breaking a rule before you have learned to keep them first, especially when you are under pressure. That is the test.
Tomorrow I will bake a "Tarte aux Pommes" for our family. It is a French recipe and it involves following the rules and using my tools. I do not expect ever to be such a good baker nor do I feel the need to improve the recipe for tarte aux pommes - it is wonderful to recreate in one's own kitchen what others have already established and tested over time, and again and again in their own kitchens. I follow the rules and expect a glorious result.
There is truly not much difference when it comes to the rules of Life. Following the rules and using your tools keeps you on the progressive path and safely on the route to inner peace and meaningful living. I continue to look for rules in spiritual texts, I take note and they empower me to simplify my prayer life and daily experience.
Most often, one of the rules answers one of those questions: What must be done? What is the next step? Is forgiveness always important?
The rules I collect come from the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy's writings, accompanying the Bible. You may start your own collection, and in order to do so, you will spend more time with study and prayer. A helpful tool is "Concord Express" on the JSH-Online Website, and if you want to see the whole picture, get the full concordance to the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy's Writings called "Concord", here.
Rules from the Science of Life
Consult thy every-day life.
To impersonalize scientifically the material sense of existence
– rather than cling to personality – is the lesson of today.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.
Encourage those who are timid.
Take tender care of those who are weak.
Be patient with everyone.
Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances.
Test everything and hold on to what is good.
Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to
the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God's image.
Leave the distinctions of individual character (...) to the Father.
...let us add one more privilege – namely silence, whenever it can
Change the evidence.
Be no afraid.
At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good.
(Christ Jesus’ rule in Matthew 6:33. KJV; Paul’s rules in I Thess. 5: 14-21. NLT; Mary Baker Eddy’s rules in 1902, p. 25, Mis., p. 310; Science and Health, p. 392, 571, 297, 411; No&Yes p. 8)
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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