The fall television lineup in the United States reads like a metaphysical voyage into the unseen. For those of us who grew up on "Leave It to Beaver," anything with the word "spirit" in it belonged in church, with the exception of "I Dream of Jeannie" or "Bewitched."
Soon we'll be able to choose to be entertained by a teenager who meets a man who claims to be God, a rookie cop watching his family from heaven, a woman hearing voices from inanimate objects, which enable her to help others, and more.
But spirituality is more than entertaining. It is a deep lasting substance that's discoverable and satisfying.
The black-and-white of this world is no longer what it once seemed to be. A closer look reveals that there are hues of spiritual reality in what once appeared as simply material.
I'm on vacation looking out on a deep blue 55-mile-long lake in the Pacific Northwest. Boats and skiers zip all over the water. In the distance lies a deep gray-blue mountain range framing the eastern ridge. In the pure clear depths of the lake live rainbow trout, silver trout, and wonderful 30-pound lake trout. The water laps at the shore below my window. It never tires of singing me to sleep each night. This setting is more beautiful to me now than ever before.
My view of the lake has changed. I still see the same water and activity, but I'm beginning to see more of it than before.
Some time ago I was a single mother with little sense of direction. My thoughts were often turbulent and full of fear. My hopes and concept of life were based primarily on a merely physical sense of things. Spirituality was a vague concept that I considered irrelevant to everyday living.
At a particularly low point, I was given a copy of the book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper. The following passage on page 506 turned my thought in a new direction: "The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace." This message points to spiritual apprehension as a deeper view of being, not a different place.
A more spiritual view is natural and comfortable. It gradually dissolves the limits inherent in a merely physical sense of life. Spirituality reveals solutions to life's problems by awakening thought to the order of the invisible reality of all things.
As I read and studied Science and Health in conjunction with the Bible, a wonderful view of what I once considered flat and one-dimensional began to emerge. The invisible, spiritual substance of things shone through common experiences. Life seemed brighter and steadier. New opportunities opened, and lasting relationships developed. Everything good and worthy became more alive to me, and what was useless fell away naturally.
With this deepening view, I found a greater unchanging peace and a settled healing calm, like deep waters beneath the surface of a storm-blown lake, unmoved by the waves above.
It has been years since spirituality was only a "church thing" for me. Now I expectantly look for it all around me. I see my childhood lake as representing spirituality, coming from God who is Spirit, the source and sum of all spiritual qualities. In the deep waters are purity, abundance, joy, and power. The mountains speak of grandeur, uprightness, and solid and lasting good. The boats and skiers reveal buoyancy, freedom, and fearlessness. I see God's love all around me.
Whatever message television networks broadcast this fall, as the offspring of Spirit, we each have the capacity to see and to feel evidence of Spirit within us and around us, whenever we seek it.
Now we have received,
not the spirit of the world,
but the spirit which is of God;
that we might know the things
that are freely given to us of God.
I Corinthians 2:12