Your Name: Eric Nelson
Where you live: Los Altos, CA
What you do as a vocation or avocation? I work as a Christian Science practitioner (available to the public, not just Church members, for prayer-based treatment) as well as the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California. When I’m not doing that, hopefully I’m outside hiking, or biking, or enjoying a walk with my wife and new puppy.
Your two favorite books: Definitely the Bible… and a “companion” book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. As the name implies, the latter helps me to understand the deeper meanings and significance of the Bible. I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a day in the last umpteen years when I haven’t studied and been inspired by both. It just never gets old!
Your two favorite songs: Number one would have to be Beethoven’s 9th. It’s uplifting, affirmative, powerful. And… the “Ode to Joy” section just happens to have been one of the featured pieces at my wedding. Number two on the list would be Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert (not really a “song” but a series of “songs”) – an entirely improvised composition that combines jazz, pop, and classical elements like no other.
Why you are interested in spirituality? You’re going to get a different answer from me every time you ask. Today what interests me most is the connection between increased spirituality (what I see as one’s understanding of God and their relationship to Him/Her) and the positive impact this has on one’s mental and physical health. Paying attention to the spiritual (and most essential!) aspects of my being has afforded me a lifetime of growth, inspiration, and healing.
Your favorite quote: Again, you’re likely to get a different answer each time you ask. Today I’d say that my favorite is from Phillips Brooks, former rector of Boston’s Trinity Church: “God has not given us vast learning to solve all the problems, or unfailing wisdom to direct all the wanderings of our brothers’ lives; but He has given to every one of us the power to be spiritual and by our spirituality to lift and enlarge and enlighten the lives we touch.”
Your favorite web sites: This is a tough one, but if you were to gauge this purely on the number of times I visit throughout the week, it would have to be www.padres.com, home of my all-time favorite baseball team (I grew up in San Diego). However, as they relate to my work as a spokesperson for Christian Science, here are a few of my other favorites:
Your hero? Actually, two come to mind: Indiana Jones and Jesus Christ. I’m not kidding! The first was smart enough to avoid snakes whenever possible and the second taught me how to destroy them whenever they happen to cross my path. (I should explain that I often use the word “snake” as a metaphor for any thought or situation that would challenge the existence of an all-loving, all-powerful, and ever present God.) Get rid of the “snake” and you begin to get rid of the problems (e.g. sickness, disease, sin, and so on) that result from believing it’s myriad claims.
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? No doubt God has plenty of lessons in store for me – and I’d like to think I’d be receptive to them all. But the one thing I aspire to more than anything else is to heal others as effortlessly and consistently and effectively as Jesus.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" Yosemite. Grand Canyon.
A bike ride in the Santa Cruz mountains. Walking along the beach. Alone with my thoughts.
If you want to find out more about my work, the best places to look are…