The Scientific Aesthetic

Lightning Storm Over the Grand Canyon Copyright by Rolph Maeder, Photography Sedona

Lightning Storm Over the Grand Canyon
Copyright by Rolph Maeder, Photography Sedona

#weekendcoffeeshare 9/17/16

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how I wanted to be a scientist since about the age of ten or eleven. Unlike most children who declare a vocation at such a young age, I never lost sight of the goal and did indeed become a scientist (now retired).

But the other day I was thinking about what it was that kept my dream alive from childhood to fruition as an adult. I mean how many young kids who say they want to be a fireman actually do it? What I realized was that I had an abiding wonder and fascination with all of the mysteries of nature. Science was a tool to reveal its secrets.

As a young boy, I wanted to explore many and varied aspects of the natural world and science. For a time I was an avid mineralogist. I made many expeditions into the creek bed behind the apartments where I lived. My holy grail was to find a geode; I never found one but found some petrified wood instead. I was disappointed at the time, but years later realized how cool and unusual that find was.

I had an inexpensive microscope and peered into the previously unseen details of all sorts of things from hair to bugs and leaves. When the Russians launched Sputnick in 1957, the first satellite, I became fascinated with rockets and space travel. Yes…of course, I fabricated my own rocket. It was a unique home design made from an aluminum pipe with balsa wood tail fins and a crude fuel made with chemicals in my chemistry set. Back then the sets included the components needed to make gun powder—oops.

I realized in retrospect that my design was badly flawed— more like a dangerous firework than a rocket— but it did manage a few flights of maybe 50 feet up before the aluminum could no longer withstand the blast. Thank God my brother and I had the good sense to run like hell when the fuse was lit!

As time went on, I began to develop a pantheistic view of the world. My vision moved beyond practical, objective aspects of my surroundings to a more aesthetic appreciation.

Into middle age, my relationship with science and nature became more inspirational and spiritual, and less investigative. Rather than study and analyze nature, I wanted to experience it. Rather than simply being a refuge from daily life, the natural world became a celebration of the diversity of life—something sacred to be revered, loved, and protected.

Thus, I have come full circle; once again I have that innocent sense of wonder and I am amazed and thrilled by the incredible beauty and complexity of the natural world around me, just as I was as a young boy growing up.

You might like to see the following related articles:

Just So…

The Golden Morning

Nature: A More Expansive Spirituality

The Battle Against Evil

Michael Defeating the Fallen Angels By Luca Giordano – 1660-1665, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1855147

Michael Defeating the Fallen Angels
By Luca Giordano – 1660-1665, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1855147

The world today seems to be in the firm grip of evil. The advent of terrorism is perhaps the most outstanding indicator of this but the widespread badness, selfishness, greed, and lack of compassion among society are other important bellwethers. Understandably, the majority of people feel powerless against many of the evil forces.

The Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel attributed to Pope Leo XIII circa 1885 is a call for help and protection that is very salient to current circumstances. Along with others, I urge that we all say this prayer (or our own version of it) as part of our daily devotions. If you do not believe in angels or the devil, then simply pray for a stop to the evil and badness we see all around us.

In its original form and language, I found the Prayer to Saint Michael to be a bit awkward to recite which disrupted my devotional intent. Consequently, I made some revisions to the original to make it more readable in contemporary language without changing is purpose and intent.

Perhaps the most significant modification in my version is to direct the prayer to God the Father, rather than directly to Saint Michael. I am not comfortable with asking saints or others for intercession on my behalf. My relationship is with God, my Creator. Therefore, I believe that all prayers should be directed to Him as only He has the power to fulfill our requests. The following is my revised version of the Prayer to Saint Michael.

Prayer for Saint Michael

Heavenly Father,

I wish to call upon St. Michael the Archangel to defend us in our battle against evil.
I ask that he be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.

Condemn Satin, I humbly pray.
Send Archangel Michael and others of the heavenly hosts,
by your power, to thrust Satan into hell along with all evil spirits
who wander through the world for the ruin and confusion of souls…

[I add the following extension to this prayer to reveal my hopes for the salvation of humanity.]

…and keep them there so as to remove their negative influences on the people of the world
And so that the darkness that they created will dissipate
Revealing your wonderful sacred light
That can then, once again, shine upon all of humanity
Drawing all of humanity closer to you.

Lord hear my prayers!

You like to also see the following related articles:

A Letter to God

Spiritual Lawlessness

A Path from Darkness

Path Out of Darkness

Path from Darkness

…and Spirit told me: Do not be consumed with fear and regret for past sins. Neither should your transgressions be dismissed nor forgotten. Repent, but recognize them as lessons to be learned and do not repeat them. Use them to move forward and fuel your resolve to rise to higher levels of spiritual understanding and virtue.

You might like to see the following related articles:

Spirit’s Answer to My Prayer

How is My Divine Self Revealed?

What is Spiritual Awareness?

An Echo in the Woods

I hear a distant voice calling.
Like an echo in the woods.

I pay no attention
But it keeps coming back
Like a poem’s refrain.

It’s telling me there is more.
That there is more than what I see all around me.
More to be done than simply satisfy my own selfish needs.

It’s telling me that I am so much more than this body of mine.
That I am so much more than my puny mind allows me to believe.

The voice is telling me that I have infinite potential
And great power as yet untapped.
It calls me to a more noble
And meaningful existence.

An echo in the woods…
Do you hear it?

Copyright 2016 by Blair Atherton

You might also like the following related articles:

I am Spirit

What is Spiritual Awareness?

Spirit’s Answer to My Prayer

From new-wallpaperz.blogspot.com

From new-hdwallpaperz.blogspot.com

Love and compassion are not mental processes; rather, they are an expression of the spirit. Follow your heart and let them flow freely without thought, fear, or any other product of the mind. Do what comes naturally and have faith that you are being guided. Be of the conviction that the actions to help others compelled by the expression of love and compassion (of the spirit) always will be healing and nurturing to the soul of the recipient.

*****************

The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles that expands upon the message above.

From Charity Doth Call My Spirit Forth

Charity that comes from the heart is an act of love and compassion where the spirit reveals itself in all of its divine glory. It raises us up ever so slightly so that our feet seem to lose touch with the ground, if only briefly. With each charitable act, a wave of happiness and fulfillment washes over us and for those few moments, we understand the meaning and purpose of life. We realize that our joy comes from giving of ourselves—our spirit-selves—to others.

But too often these moments are fleeting. When our feet touch the ground again, we find ourselves yearning to soar once more, free of the constraints, obligations, and selfish desires of the physical life. But it is not our time to fly away just yet. We must prove ourselves worthy of wings.

Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

You might also like the following related articles:

The Spiritual Mind

To What Doth My Heart Hearken? Part 1

 

An Expression of the Spirit

Many Facets, Many Views From httpthewordwhisperer2-blogspot-com

Many Facets, Many Views
From thewordwhisperer2-blogspot.com

My dear God,

I ask for your guidance,
and for the strength, determination, and courage
to serve you to the best of my ability,
at all times, without fail,
in any manner you ask of me,
without hesitation or fear.

My only desire is to serve and honor you
by expression of my spirit
through continual acts of love,
compassion, and healing.

This is my heart’s desire.
This is who I wish to be.
This is who I am.
This is who I have always been and always will be.
This is my purpose in this life and the next.

Lord hear my prayer!

You might also like to see the following related articles:

Prayer: Spiritual or Self-Serving
Shall the Meek Inherit the Earth?
Prayers for Harmony

Sentinels of Peace

Forest Sanctuary Source: discovertheforest.org

Forest Sanctuary
Source: discovertheforest.org

#weekendcoffeeshare 6/18/16

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you how much I have been feeling the need to get out among a forest of trees. Nature and wilderness have been calling to me for sometime now.

When I visited my daughter in Colorado last year, we went up to Lookout Mountain. What I really liked most about it was sitting under the trees while eating our lunch. It felt so welcoming and comforting. I could have sat there for hours and just listen to the breeze in the branches.

It was like a homecoming and having the love of family all around you. With all of the branches overhead and the tree trunks all around, I felt safe and protected. I had found sanctuary and tranquility. When it was time to go, my spirit protested, reluctant to leave a place of such beauty, serenity, and unconditional love.

Now the forest land beckons me once again. My heart yearns for reunion with my stalwart sentinels of peace.

You might like to see the following related article:

Nature: A More Expansive Spirituality