Science and Spirituality


I wanted to share another TED Talk with you — Jeff Lieberman, an MIT-trained artist, scientist and engineer, makes a scientific argument for mystical experience. He asks us to challenge our perception of what we are, our relationship to the universe, and our relationship to one another. Our minds are “thought-generating machines.” What we would happen if we could turn off the machine? If we could transcend our individual experience of the world?

Most of you know that I am a very spiritual person, but I believe in science as well, and I do not believe that the two are mutually exclusive.  Do you?

 

The Only Being


I am a child of the Universe

I am a child of the Universe

There are many religions and paths to journey in this lifetime. Everyone is certain that their way is the right way. I would like to put forth the theory that everyone is right. There is one Divine Being and it makes no difference what we call him/her/it. It doesn’t matter how we contact Divinity.

There is no God of any people who is not his God, no spiritual teacher of any creed who is not his teacher.There is no sacred scripture that he does not accept, since he is a worshipper of light and a follower of love. Yet he is free from all the world’s distinctions and differences.

The diversity of names in the universe to him is a veil of illusion which covers unity, the one life. Only One lives, and all manifestations are to him the phenomenon of that one life.

Sufi’s call their concept of God, the Beloved. They also call this Divinity Buddha, Mohammend and Jesus and Zoraster. Sufi’s are mystics and have contact with the One during meditation and certain practices. This Divine Being is all that is good and ideal in this universe. It is Beauty in its perfection.

Sufi’s believe that as high as is the ideal of a person, so high he rises in life. Then in the end he sees the Ideal was made by himself.

A Sufi does not withdraw from the world, but instead participates in life both by viewing it from above and from below. His holy book is nature and his community is the entire of mankind. So we are all united in love and adoration of the beauty of the Divinity of this Universe.

The Love of the Universe

The Love of the Universe

Raise the level of your life with thinking good thoughts.

Raise the level of your life with thinking good thoughts.

Kindness in Our World


Jews pray at the wailing wall for peace, kindness and for their families

Jews pray at the wailing wall for peace, kindness and for their families

The harder part is people.

So Lord, help me face them

without rancor or disappointment.

Help me see the pain behind their actions

rather than the malice;

the suffering rather than the rage.

And in myself, as I struggle

with the vice of my own desire—-

give me strength to quiet my heart,

to quicken my empathy, to act

in gratitude rather than need.

Remind me that the peace I find

in the slow track of seasons

or an uncurling fern frond,apples

is married to the despair I feel

in the face of nuclear war.

Remind me that each small bird shares atoms

with anthrax, with tetanus, with acid rain, that each time I close my heart

to another, I add to the darkness,

Help me always follow kindness.

Let this be my prayer.      ——Karen Holden

There is a Time


A time for everything on this earth.

A time for everything on this earth. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

” There is a time to work and play,
A time to eat and sleep;
A time to study and to pray,
A time to laugh and weep;
A time for fellowship that’s sweet,
A time for sacred song;
But never is there time to treat
A human being wrong.

There is a time to lift men up
And help them on life’s road;
A time to drain their bitter cup
And share their heavy load;
A time to bless them with our grace
And boost them all along;
But never is there time and place
To treat our fellows wrong.

There is a time to help men seek.
Our God who saves the soul;
A time to show them that the meek
Shall reach life’s highest goal;
A time to help them turn aside
And leave the wicked throng;
But never did our God provide
A time to treat men wrong.
——–Walter E. Isenhour

For each day there is that which is stable and that which brings change. May we each know when it is our time to stand strong and a time to embrace change. When we can be sure of these times, then we are in atunement with the Divinity of the Universe. We may not always understand but we can trust and follow our Divine intuition. This poem is from a book called “For This One Hour. My father gave it to me when I was sixteen years old. I have drawn comfort from it many times over the years. I hope you will also enjoy this selection.

Forest stream in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio

Forest stream in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

The Lord Be Praised


 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beloved hears the words of our hearts at all times.

” The lips of the one I love are my perpetual pleasure:
The Lord be praised, for my heart’s desire is attained

O Fate, cherish my darling close to your breast:
Present now the golden wine-cup, now the rubies of those lips.

They talk scandle about us, and say we are drunks—
The silly old men, the elders lost in their error.

But we have done penance on the pious man’s behalf,
And ask God’s pardon for what the religious do.

O my dear, how can I speak of being apart from you?
The eyes know a hundred tears, and the soul has a hundred sighs.

I’d not have even an infidel suffer the torment your beauty has caused
To the cypress which envies your body, and the moon that’s outshone by your face.

Desire for your lips has stolen from Hafiz’ thought
His evening lectionary, and reciting the Book at dawn.”
—–Hafiz, Translated from Persian by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs

” The goal of the journeyer is the Beloved.
The goal of the Beloved is the journey.”
—-Hazrat Inayat Khan

“From my lips to God’s ears, ” May the love, gratutude, and ability to cherish the Divine flow freely from every molecule within us and reach you with the fragrance of love.

The love in the world rises to refresh and fragrance the realms of the Divine

The love in the world rises to refresh and fragrance the realms of the Divine

The Magic of Love


Two important words

Two important words

Everyone seems to be talking about love these days. It is an important word for our existance on the planet. Love, the favorite word of Cupid and one that drops easily off of our lips. Just what does it mean? Well, there is the Hallmark sense and family sense. I am writing today about love in a much different and bigger sense. As sentient beings, we throw the word around easily. What the world needs now, is love sweet love.

Love means so much more than we think. It is the reason we care about the survivors of the Oklahoma tornadoes and Hurricane Sandy. It is the reason that we care about the millions of abused women and children in the world. Love is why when we hear of a young woman having to endure genital mutilation or an acid attack that we care.

Love is why we make beauty in this plane. We plant millions of flowers, raise vegetables and plant trees. Love for our environment is very important. I think that raising some of your own food, increases the love you give to yourself and to others.  Taking a bouquet of home grown flowers to a friend strengthens the love between both of you.

Love is inclusive. Real love will embrace everything in your world. Love doesn’t exclude anyone or anything that comes firmly from the Beloved. The Beloved dwells within all living creatures. To love does not mean that you agree with everything someone says or does. The tricky bit is that we are all children of the Universe. No matter what we say or do, we carry Divinity within us. Love encircles and brings goodness. It grows as it is spread around. It transforms as it is shared. It heals wrongs like an anti-biotic cream.

Fear has nothing to do with Love. It is exclusive of love and it can’t be healing like love is .Fear makes us judge others who are different in their looks, skin color, religion and in how they love. Fear contracts the sphere of our lives and it can even cut us off from people who love us. There is no way that love and fear can dwell together. A person who has brown or yellow skin is not different than you areThey are the same except for the color of their skin, that is all. Divinity dwells within that person also.

Fear within our hearts and souls leads away from God, and there is no right way to worship or love God/Goddess/ Adoni/ Allah. Fear destroys and love creates. If we could all conquer fear, we would have peace in our world. So I ask you to try it and see what happens. See if you don’t find yourself enveloped in love.

“It is time to put up a love-swing!

Tie the body and then tie the mind so that they

swing between the arms of the Secret One you love,

Bring the water that falls from the clouds to your eyes,

and cover yourself inside entirely with the shadow of the night.

Bring your face up close to his/her ear,

and then talk only about what you want deeply to happen.

Kabir says: Listen to me, brother, bring the shape, face, and odor of the Holy One inside you.”

—Kabir; this wonderful poet was an Indian and the son of a weaver. His poems were influenced by Sufi poets.

Loving hands create love

Loving hands create love

The Poetry of the Mystics


A wise goal for each of us.

A wise goal for each of us.

The Lord Be Praised

“The lips of the one I love are my perpetual pleasures:
The Lord be praised, for my heart’s desire is attained.

O Fate, cherish my darling close to your breast:
Present now the golden wine-cup, now the rubies of those lips.

They talk scandal about us, and say we are drunks–
The silly old men, the elders lost in their error.

But we have done penance on the pious man’s behalf,
And ask God’s pardon for what the religious do.

O my dear, how can I speak of being apart from you?
The eyes know a hundred tears, and the soul has a hundred sighs.

I’d not have even an infidel suffer the torment your beauty has caused
To the cypress which envies your body, and the moon that’s outshone by your face.

Desire for you lips has stolen from Hafiz’ thought
His evening lectionary, and reciting the Book at dawn.
——Hafiz, translated from Persian by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs

Spiritual energy

Spiritual energy

Gathering flowers

The Mirage

One day in the desert a bedouin
Looked up and saw a mirage shimmering
Ahead. Not water, but the splendor of
A dazzling girl.

In the thirsty, burning desert
among dry thorns, under a shadowless sun
He tried to reach her but instead
Of that marvelous love he found death.

In his immaterial, immortal sleep
He still saw the splendor of that girl
Shimmering ahead, an eternal mirage.
And in his endless dream he began to walk looking for her.”
—-Avedik Issahakian, translated from the Armenian by Diana Der Hovanessian

The journey is peace and we must meet every act of violence with peace and loving forgiveness

The journey is peace and we must meet every act of violence with peace and loving forgiveness

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The beauty of poetry is that the words and images are never out of style. They can be thousands of years old and still have meaning and messages for the present time.