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October 27, 2012

The beauty of decay is often overlooked

Cheryl Petersen
Religion column

---- — While raking leaves on a sprawling lawn in the hamlet of Treadwell last week, I had plenty of time to ponder decay. 

Not particularly a bright and breezy topic, decay does have its benefits. 

A walk through the woods would be dreadfully impossible if all the ever-falling leaves didn’t decay. Moreover, science says that decaying leaves produce acids that dissolve rock, so just think, a gazillion years from now there may be fewer rocks in upstate New York ground. But what I really admitted that day while raking was that in my short lifespan, I’ve actually had certain thoughts and thought processes decay. New thought processes have sprouted, making life better.

A thought process is defined as the process of using our mind to consider something carefully. A thought process can be used to solve a problem, or decide what to make for dinner, or understand spirituality. Oddly, there are as many thought processes as there are people — or leaves.

Have you ever been confused when someone else is talking? Has the thinking in your head driven you bananas? Have you ever had a peaceful moment? These results come from different thought processes.

Thought processes have a premise and a conclusion. Many of us can reach the same conclusion via different premises. Great leaders and thinkers, although coming from diverse backgrounds and faiths, have concluded that love is the ultimate substance and humanity has the ability to deal with one another with empathy. They’ve proven it, too.

Also noteworthy is, many of us reach different conclusions even when we have the same premise. This is because, during the thought process, ulterior motives, fear, or unoriginal ideas interject. Divine Science, the study of spirit and life experiences, can help keep the thought process clear — help reduce mistakes. 

One premise I’ve found very beneficial and healing is that God is spirit and expresses spiritual beings: us. We express divine spirit, love. Or rather, we are not constantly impressed by objects outside of us, or, we don’t have to try and impress others. 

The belief that God created impressionable and impressive human beings is decaying. A thought process, not tied to mortal DNA, gender or brain studies, moves smoothly from God to spiritual being, and brings with it an ability to express wisdom, health, strength, forgiveness, joy and other qualities naturally associated with a purposeful life worth living.   

If my thought premise is imperfection, the conclusion will encounter imperfection. But, if my thought process starts with an all-knowing spirit, it can conclude with a knowing that makes life experiences better, richer and even laughable.

I eat a lot of oatmeal and had to think about the label that reads “Oatmeal can help reduce cholesterol.” Really? Then I better not eat oatmeal because our bodies need cholesterol. How about: Oatmeal doesn’t increase cholesterol like bacon and fried corn fritters do.

 My jabbering can go on, but the point is to let some thoughts decay to have a more beneficial thought process. Oatmeal is not the source of my health. I tend to think divine spirit is the source. We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “Eternal Truth is changing the universe, and physical forces are trying to keep up.” Don’t be impressed by materialist views, but instead, experience spiritual thought expanding into expression.

Cheryl Petersen is author of “21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” She writes on Christian Science from Delhi.