On dissenting opinions, Ellen, and Christian Science

This post is starting out as a bit of a random thought-spill that takes in several different thoughts, incidents, and things published that may not seem related at first glance, but they all have a common thread that weaves, or more like zig-zags randomly through them. So bear with me, dear reader. I do have a point (I think). Continue reading

My ‘zen’ place…

I’ve recently taken up motorcycling, after several years of contemplating the idea. I completed a motorcycle training course, passed my skills test, and now have what we call here where I live an ‘N’ permit–not a full motorcycle license, but I can do pretty much most of the riding I want to do–I just can’t take passengers or ride at night. I still need to complete my road test to get my full Class 6 (motorcycle license). I’m also the proud owner of a new (to me) 750 cc motorcycle that in the month I’ve owned it, I’ve already put over 1,000 kilometres on, just casually riding it on my days off. One of my instructors, who went through the very same course as a novice rider herself six years ago, calls riding her “zen time”. It’s the same for me. There’s something about being out there on the open road that just feels wonderful. I can’t really describe it, but I love it. I feel closer to the places I ride through, more in touch with the world around me, rather than separated as I do in the car. I smell the desert sage (good), and the roadkill (not so good), and everything in-between.  Continue reading

Will they ever let us leave?

A fellow group member in an ex-Christian Scientist Facebook group I’m in commented–well, more like ranted–about how a Christian Scientist referred to them not as a “non-Christian Scientist”, but rather as a “non-practising Christian Scientist”. The ensuing discussion was largely a collective acknowledging head-nod of “yeah, we get it, been there, done that,” but this all brings up a seemingly small, but for many of us who’ve left Christian Science, huge irritant: that feeling that on some level, we will never completely leave Christian Science, or it will never completely leave us. Trust me, I think I speak for most of us: we all wish it would leave us. Continue reading

It was always there…it was just suppressed…

“The compassion was always there. It was suppressed. Now it’s being released, and allowed to act naturally.”
(from a Facebook group for former Christian Scientists–quote shared with permission from the author)

So many of us who have left Christian Science are amazed by the simple acts of human compassion that we encounter day-to-day. We see it in so many places: co-workers, new religious/spiritual communities we join, friends, family, or among other former Christian Scientists. Sometimes, it’s something as simple as an acknowledgement of the grief or anger a person is feeling, and the offer to help in whatever way a person can; other times, it’s a knowing nod, or an “I totally ‘get’ how you feel.”; or it’s something as simple as acknowledging when someone isn’t feeling well, and offering comfort. Compassion comes in many different ways. I am among those who still marvels in this, even though it’s six years since I began to leave Christian Science myself. Continue reading

Does prayer really do anything?

I have a confession to make: I still pray occasionally. Yes, my regular readers may be surprised, given that I’m largely agnostic, that I do pray. However, for me, it’s something different. It’s more akin to meditation. It’s similar to the process of de-fragging a computer hard-drive. I appreciate the time when I can be alone and quiet with my own thoughts and just sort things through. I don’t pray for anything, I just endeavour to reach a state of calmness and balance where I can sort through the stuff in my head. For me, it’s not an easy state to reach. I attend weekly sweat-lodge ceremonies, and I do meditate a lot there. I also meditate on the yoga mat. Sometimes, it’s when I’m driving–I do some of my best thinking when I’m in the car. Other times, it’s when doing outdoor activities. On an individual basis, within my own thought, yes, this process of meditation (you can call it prayer if you want) does do something, in my opinion, for me. Continue reading

Reality is a dying art form

In some exchanges on a post I made on my Facebook timeline, we’ve been talking about the increasingly blurred lines between satire and reality. So often, I see news-articles posted on-line about political candidates, political leaders, and other news items, and will get several paragraphs in before I realize that what I’m reading is satire. Likewise, I’ll sometimes find myself reading an actual news story, saying to myself, “this has got to be satire, it’s too absurd not to be.” But, in those instances, it’s reality that has turned out to be the absurd one. One of my friends lamented that satire is a dying art form. She thought this because it is harder and harder to discern the difference between reality and satire. I disagree. I think satire is alive and well, and better than it’s ever been. It’s the absurd reality of our world today that is the problem. It’s reality that is dying. Continue reading

Downplaying…

The topic of this post is something on my sort of imaginary (because I’ve never written it down) list of silly things I think about because I’m a former Christian Scientist, and it is something I’ve written on before. I recently had an appointment with a new dentist I recently switched to. As with any such appointment with a new care provider, there are the usual questions about allergies, medications, and any family medical history to be aware of. Proudly, I listed the three medications I do take (all related to asthma and allergies). Now, most people wouldn’t think anything of this sort of thing, but for me, it’s still a bit of a big deal to be a ‘normal’ person who sometimes does take prescription medications, or who is at least open to the idea. Continue reading

Moral Ambiguities of Christian Scientists

what is truth

Image credit: evidence unseen (www.evidenceunseen.com).

My thoughts for this post have been rattling around in my brain for quite a while, and a discussion thread on Facebook with a couple of ex-Christian Scientist friends re-ignited my interest in this idea not too long ago.

I think Christian Science can, and sometimes does, make at least some people fundamentally dishonest. Now, before you run screaming, “my mom is the nicest, most honest person around, she’d never tell a lie!” hear me out. I’m talking about deeper honesty here, deeper than whether or not someone is telling you a lie or not. I’m talking about actions, and what one perceives to be right and true or not. Christian Science theology can have a way of blurring the lines between right and wrong for some people. Continue reading

Don’t wait…

I’m sure I’ve mentioned in other posts how former Christian Scientists, such as myself, will often wait longer than we should to seek treatment for injuries and ailments. The reasons for us largely boil down to having had it drilled into us since childhood that disease and accidents are unreal according to God, so therefore, there really is nothing wrong. So, we go into a state of denial, and ignore or downplay the problem…until it doesn’t go away, but rather, usually gets worse. Then, we do something about it. Continue reading

Unpacking

Image credit: Emerging Gently.

Image credit: Emerging Gently.

Throughout our lives, we unpack stuff. You go on a trip, you unpack some stuff at the destination so you can easily access things. You return home, you unpack your stuff, and settle back into your routine at home. You move, you pack all your stuff up, haul it to your new home, then unpack. It’s part of the cycle of life. It’s also part of what I’d call the practice of good mental health. A term I’ve learned over the past few years in relation to mental health is precisely this term: unpacking. Continue reading