Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Higher Education?

Recently I was remembering my early education at religious schools and thinking about the value of my learning there. My experience at St. Vincent's Nursing school in Indianapolis, which was a sister school of Catholic University in Washington, D.C., was 3 years of rigorous work and study which was both exhausting and exhilerating. The nuns were committed to teaching us and gave us an environment which required total focus on learning. If we didn't learn, we were out. Our class halved in number from enrollment day to the following year.

Over the years I attended other universities for different reasons, and I have thought a great deal about learning and learning environments. As a child, I went to school in a one-room schoolhouse. Our lively young teacher assigned us different garden or farm items to bring from home for lunch, and she cooked up stews or soups while we studied. In the winter our wet coats and boots and more were set over the woodstove to dry. The smells of simmering vegetables added to our appetite.

As I think about my educational experiences, and my mind winds around to the reality that medical students are not taught nutrition and the "Hippocratic oath," the "Hippocratic way," I shudder. What has happened to our appreciation of knowledge as a basis of knowing ourselves as human beings?

I want to share a message sent to me from one of my students:

I have been a searcher seeking truth in knowing "thyself" my whole life. My search began in earnest after the death of my parents at the age of twelve. Were my parents in heaven? Could they see me? Why did God have to take both parents? What was the purpose of life? The questions came fast and furious but discovering the answers has been my journey from the eternal focus of God being in heaven to knowing I am a spiritual being learning how to be a human being in the flesh.

I just attended a seminar called "Landscapes of Flesh: Thoughts toward Alternative Metaphors for the Body and its Goods" presented by Joel James Shuman, Ph.D. This seminar is presented by Theology and Medicine at Duke University. Joel is a graduate of Duke Divinity School. I was fascinated how the focus of the seminar was geared towards the belief of only one physical life. Even though Joel described his experiences growing up on a farm in West Virginia with passion toward his family and nature, he never mentioned the importance of nature upon his landscape of flesh.

I appreciate the knowledge that I continue to learn through studying spiritual philosophy in understanding the landscape of my flesh and the "Goods of body" as my dual soul and spirit senses embedded within my physical flesh as matter and energy. I know medicine will not create my health; however, the elements provided through air, food, and water will maintain my health.

Higher education through universities such as Duke is not providing the truth of our human design in the flesh. As a human being, I am responsible for the domain of my physical flesh by providing the chemicals found in nature, earth, and the universe. I am separate as an individual person, but I am one with nature (food), earth (water), and the universe (air).

As a spirit consciousness living within physical flesh, I am dual as a male thinking mind, female loving emotions, and spirit senses energizing my physical flesh. Does Duke’s School of Divinity and Medicine, as a place of higher learning, teach their students spirit consciousness? In attending the seminar, I heard the belief in only one life, and only when one died and rose to heaven did one become spiritual.

The knowledge of understanding our human landscape through studying spiritual philosophy far surpasses the education gathered through higher education at some very prestigious universities in this country. I challenge every fellow human being to search for what it means to be a spiritual being learning to be a human being living in flesh on planet Earth.

I want to share two quotes that speak truth. Kathy Oddenino, R.N., in Sharing: Self Discovery in Relationships, writes: "The God energy within you is the spirit of you." Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., cell biologist, writes in his book, The Biology of Belief," Each of us is a spirit in material form."

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