Showing posts from March, 2009

Synchronistic & paranormal

Dr. Thomas yelled, “Stand back!” as the patient’s chest jumped from a charge to jolt the heart muscle to its regular pace. This is a scene in Beyond Knowing by Janis Amatuzio, a forensic pathologist who challenges the assumption that modern science proves the non-existence of spiritual reality. As part of the staff anxiously watching the patient’s body filled with tubes and monitors, Amatuzio had no medical explanation for her next observation. Something happened that I still cannot explain. I saw, or more accurately felt, a shimmer of light in the corner of the room above the foot of the angiography table. I quickly looked to see if the pump team was using a lighting device that perhaps reflected off the wall, but they were not. I looked again, somewhat puzzled, and suddenly had the profound sense of a deep, overwhelming, calm presence, in stark contrast to the frantic activity in the room. It was unmistakable! I was amazed. Staring intensely at the ceiling, she wondered why no one e

"Moral clarity"

When fundamentalists claimed they voted for George W. Bush because he offered “moral clarity,” the rest of us were thrown into amazed thoughtfulness. A situation in Brazil shows what that kind of “moral clarity” gets us. A 9-year-old girl weighing about 66 pounds, who had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather since she was 6 years old, was pregnant with twins. In Brazil abortion is illegal except in cases of rape or danger to the life of the mother. For protecting the life of the girl by choosing abortion, the mother and her doctors were publicly excommunicated by the Catholic archbishop, who declared abortion is "a crime in the eyes of the church" and that human laws cannot override the laws of God. This conflating and confusing of God with Church rules was common in Christendom during the Middle Ages, and it lingers in ultra conservative circles, even among educated and intelligent Catholics in the U.S. The situation in Brazil illustrates in an extreme way how a spiritu

Rich in Spirit

The yawning gap between the highest and lowest incomes in our country signaled a serious problem well before the credit freeze and stock market gyrations. No unjust society can long endure. On Minnesota Public Radio I heard a speaker lament that his life will not be better than those of his parents, it will be worse. A speaker with an Asian accent after him spoke wisdom in the face of that fear. He said essentially, “So what if I drive a smaller car, live in a smaller house, and consume less stuff? It’s not so bad.” I think it’s better. This financial crisis may save the planet from destruction by our culture of consumerism, which is quickly spreading to the rest of the globe. Now that people are holding off on purchases, maybe they can take a breath and identify the important values in life. I feel for those who live frugally and still lack the basics, but many Americans have been living beyond their means. Columnist George Will cited “a blizzard of credit cards” for separating “the p

Paul a liar?

How Jesus became God. A man from Nazareth 2,000 years ago had a magnetic effect on people as he tried to raise awareness of their inner spring of divinity—the Reign of God. This man Jesus, an extraordinary, provocative mystic, embarrassed his family (Mark 3:21-35), but after his death at least one member of his family apparently changed heart. After his death, groups of Jewish Palestinians revered Jesus and gathered together for sacred meals in memory of and devotion to their fellow Palestinian. They formed the nucleus of what would become the great religion of the Western world. Their leader was James, the brother of Jesus. This pre-Christian Palestinian movement did not worship Jesus as God. My faith in Jesus of Nazareth is closer to the faith of these earliest Jesus followers than is that of most Christians today. “Christ” means “Anointed One” in Greek. The name “Christian” was given to Gentile followers whom Paul converted to Jesus, but Jesus’ closest followers, the Palestinians, w