Originally Posted in Our Community of Humanity at Inner Child Magazine
The cold, solitary and hibernation energies of winter can be warmed by community, acceptance and change as once more we move toward spring and new life. What NEW life will you drink into your core? What energies will you convert in the joy within the balance of your life?
Are you a convert? Do you seek converts to your cause? Conversion is defined in many ways. One way is the act or process of changing from one form to another or from one state to another or from one religion to another.
Make Something Useful
Food is converted into energy and the building blocks for a healthy body. The state of the food is changed in the conversion process. The food is broken down into molecules that can then be used in different ways. We call this conversion process—digestion. The food is digested or broken down into its essence. Your body builds these component parts into something new.
Religions and political parties talk about conversion and converts. They often actively look for converts. We look for people who agree with our view of the world. Sometimes we try to convince them that our view is the only correct or true way to feel about life.
But there are very few absolute truths and there are many ways of seeing reality. Then again perhaps you don't agree with me on this issue. Perhaps this statement is not true in your world. I can live with that.
Dion Fortune, a witch, defined magic as the art of changing consciousness at will. Perhaps a convert, who changes their way of seeing the world with consciousness, is magic. Or maybe the magic is in celebrating and respecting each person as they see the world in their own unique way.
Is there room in this world for the intellectual and heart-based exploration that leads to finding what is it that truly resonates with one's mind, body, and spirit? What are your views? Is your community made up of like-minded people? Do you embrace diversity and respect what others believe about the world? Do you have a clear sense of what you believe is true while still holding truth loosely enough that others can believe differently?
Mormonism Flowing Into Judaism
I grew up Mormon. I spent summers in Utah on my cousin's farm, while I lived with my international businessman father and artist mother in various countries. In every new place, I had a built-in community of like minded people, until I changed. I came out and created a life incompatible with Mormonism. I set off to find a new community full of accepting people. I was not looking to convert but after 14 years of living a Jewish life, I made it official this summer. Over the years after leaving the Mormon church and becoming Jewish, my view of the world and life has changed significantly. A lot of the changes came because of community and how I felt in one community compared to another. For me it is also about who I am. I stopped liking who I was as a Mormon and felt better about who I am as a Jew. It is ultimately a very personal choice and I have no stake in what other people chose as long as I get a choice in my life.
Conversion can also be defined as the adaptation of a building for a new purpose—for example, the conversion of a house into apartments. It is the act of changing something that may not be useful any more into something that is useful or more function or more of what is needed today. What is the purpose of your life? Has it changed over the years?
Composting is also a kind of conversion. Sticky waste products, moldy foods, freshly cut green grass, and dead brown leaves are piled up together and bacteria, bugs and worms convert it into dirt from which new plants and food can grow. Something that was not useful or functional is repurposed. Picnic tables can be made from juice boxes. Something that we might throw away can be converted into a place in the shade where we can eat or play cards or laugh with old friends.
The Order of Life
From the field of logic comes this definition of conversion: the transposition of the subject and predicate of a proposition according to certain rules to form a new proposition by inference. It is about changing the order of words or the relationship of the words that brings something new.
Even American football gets into conversion defining with "the act of scoring an extra point or points after having scored a touchdown." Conversion is a chance to win or to score extra points, a bonus if you will. What are you converting into a positive attitude in your life?
There is a famous math problem. There are three doors. You are asked to choose one door. Once your choice is made you are shown what is behind one of the two doors you didn't choose. It is counterintuitive if you can you should change your choice. You should change because that increases your chance of winning. With A, B and C as choices you have a one in three chance of getting the car or whatever prize is behind one of the doors. Say you chose A and then are shown that there is nothing behind B and offered a chance to choose again? You should choose C because now you have a one in two chance of winning whereas before when you choose A you only had a one in three chance of winning. Changing your choices or converting to a new or different way of thinking can sometimes be a good thing. New information and experience can inform new choices or new ways of living. New ideas can change how you feel and the kind of world view you resonate with.
Another synonym for conversion is metamorphosis. Imagine that your current beliefs about the world are a black and orange caterpillar. What kind of change would you see with the wings of a monarch? What new information or experiences would it take for you to morph into the king of your castle or the master of your life? What would it take to be okay with everyone in this community of humanity having the same opportunity to live life believing what we want to believe about the world around us?
Kimberly Burnham, PhD (Integrative Medicine)
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