Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Bridge Across

In our book, Whispers From the Soul, the Divine Dance of Consciousness, Don and I wrote about the spiritual experiences of a man we called "David," and I share it here with you:

We met a most absorbing man a few years ago, who here we will identify only as David. He served in Korea as a combat medic then entered the seminary following the war, became an alcoholic, and later was a leader in the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve-Step Program. He is an unusual man in many ways but we were particularly moved by his wartime experiences in Korea, which especially meet the theme of our book. As a young medic in Korea, David had shielded many wounded soldiers with his own body while attending their injuries and carrying them across mine-fields and other combat hazards to sanctuary, often to the point of total exhaustion. During one of those mine-field rescues, in the middle of a snow storm, confused even as to his exact position and the direction of safety as he crawled along with a wounded soldier slung onto his back, he became convinced that his mother's voice was guiding him toward safety. He followed that advice and completed his mission without harm. Even today, all these years later, his face becomes wet with tears as he recounts this story. This young medic's mother had died when he was but nine years old. This was not his only encounter with a guiding hand on the battlefield. Another time, totally emotionally drained and probably on the verge of combat shock, he had staggered to the ground and was just sitting there, unable to continue, when a uniformed stranger paused beside him for a moment to reassure him with a smile and a nod, and said, 'It'll be okay.' The stranger went on his way and somehow that brief encounter with a kindly face amidst all the terror reinvigorated David and gave him the strength to return to his unit and safety. It was not until later that he realized that this 'helping hand' was not dressed like the other soldiers in the area and displayed no recognizable insignia on his uniform. To this day, David believes that he had been given the strength to go on, by an angel

Copyright, 2000, 2003 by Linda Pendleton.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Divine Hologram?

In his sensitively insightful book, Earth In The Balance, Vice President Al Gore wrote, “It is my own belief that the image of God can be seen in every corner of creation, even in us, but only faintly. By gathering in the mind's eye all of creation, one can perceive the image of the Creator vividly. Indeed, my understanding of how God is manifest in the world can be best conveyed through the metaphor of the hologram.”

His book is essentially centered around environmental concerns but these issues are crucial to the entire human race. It is particularly striking that he used the hologram as a metaphor which best illustrates his own sense of connection to the eternal.

He went on to state, "If we are made in the image of God, perhaps it is the myriad slight strands from earth's web of life–woven so distinctly into our essence...that reflects the image of God, faintly. By experiencing nature in its fullest–our own and that of all creation–with our senses and with our spiritual imagination, we can glimpse, 'bright shining as the sun,' an infinite image of God."

Long before the advent of supercomputers and holograms, another splendid thinker arrived at similar but much more dramatic conclusions. Dr. Gustaf Strömberg's The Soul of The Universe, was published in 1940 and again in 1948 with additional appendices. His book was endorsed by none other than Einstein himself but it received less than glowing praise from the scientific community per se, perhaps because the book smacked uncomfortably of mysticism done up in scientific garb. Strömberg, an American of Swedish birth, was an astronomer and astrophysicist associated with the Carnegie Institution's Mount Wilson Observatory. His stunning thesis is a prime example of genius unacknowledged in the context of its time.

Perhaps it took an Albert Einstein to recognize it. Einstein's cover blurb for the jacket of the book reads, "Very few men could of their own knowledge present the material as clearly and concisely as he has succeeded in doing." In his native Sweden, Strömberg was highly respected and the flags throughout Sweden were flown at half-mast in observance of his death in 1962.

Here is a brief sample of Strömberg's vision: “Matter and life and consciousness have their "roots" in a world beyond space and time. They emerge into the physical world at certain well defined points or sources from which they expand in the form of guiding fields with space and time properties. Some of the sources can be identified with material particles, and others with the living elements responsible for organization and purposeful activity. Some of them exist in our brain as neurones, and some of them have a very intimate and special association with their ultimate origin. They are the roots of our consciousness and the sources of all our knowledge."

Earlier in his writings, Strömberg had observed: "All our mental characteristics and faculties have their origin in the non-physical world. There lies the origin of our sensations of light and colors, and of sound and music. There is the origin of our feelings and emotions, and of our will and our thoughts. There is the source of our feelings of satisfaction and bliss, and of guilt and remorse. Our nerve cells seem to be the links which connect our physical brain with the world in which our consciousness is rooted. At death our "brain field," which during our life determined the structure and functions of our brain and nervous system, is not destroyed. Like other living fields it contracts and disappears at death, apparently falling back to the level of its origin. All our memories are indelibly "engraved" in this field, and after our death, when our mind is no longer blocked by inert matter, we can probably recall them all, even those of which we were never consciously aware during our organic life."

It is interesting to see how both the scientific and philosophical points of view today seem to be moving toward complimentary conclusions about the universe and man's place in it with much more coherence than ever noted before. Many brilliant thinkers, poets, philosophers, medical doctors, physicists and scholars are all bringing forward a sharper focus on the nature of reality. Side by side with science, we have had this quieter explosion of spiritual investigation and discovery.

From Whispers From the Soul: the Divine Dance of Consciousness by Don and Linda Pendleton. Copyright © 2000, 2003 by Linda Pendleton, All Rights Reserved.