All posts by Tykah Echols

About Tykah Echols

Tykah is the daughter of a New Church minister and has been learning about the church since infancy. She attended both the Bryn Athyn Elementary schools and the Academy of the New Church. She is now a student at Bryn Athyn college where she hopes to continue learning about the religion she was born into. She knows that there is much more for her to learn about the Lord, his teachings and herself.


Fear Of Missing Out is the most common meaning of the abbreviation: FOMO (pronounced: “foe-moe”). As much as I can identify with this meaning I think a more accurate version for me would be Fear Of Missed Opportunity.

I loved going to the Academy of the New Church and have so many fond memories of the wide variety of activities I took part in. As I get farther in time from my high school experience, I am able to recognize just how big of an impact it had on me and my personality.

I took a lot of things with me after leaving the Academy and most of them are pretty typical of all high school experiences. But the biggest thing I took away was not only unique to the Academy, but also totally subconscious. In high school we were encouraged to try everything, to participate in everything, and to always do our best. The faculty had high expectations for their students and the student body was small enough that they could hold each of us personally responsible for our success. You had to be a good student to stay on top and earn the approval of the teachers. That isn’t to say that they held everyone to the same standard or individually chastised us, but there was a definite attitude that you owed it to your teacher to get good grades. Continue reading FOMO

Who Am I?

In 1989, due to a decrease in viewers, the British television show Doctor Who was suspended. For those who are unfamiliar with the popular BBC production, the basic idea of the show is that “the Doctor” is a humanoid alien who has a spaceship that can travel through time and space and has a particular liking for earth and its people. He also has the ability to avoid death by “regenerating” into a new body if/when he sustains a deadly injury.

In an attempt to reboot the series, a movie was produced in 1996 featuring a new Doctor that would be the show’s eighth reincarnation. It was a British-American-Canadian production and is notorious for its low quality. It is considered by fans to be a bit of a blemish on the show’s reputation. At the very beginning we see the last doctor of the tv series regenerate into the eighth doctor. It is a very melodramatic and drawn out scene. Upon awakening into the world, the new doctor stumbles around an abandoned hospital in a sheet because… he has amnesia? Finally he dramatically falls to his knees crying out: “WHO AM I?”

I’m sure the directors were trying to depict an emotional moment to pull the old audience into this new imagining of the story, but sadly the only emotion that the scene evokes is laughter. This very long story was all to say that recently I have been thinking of this moment in the movie and been surprised at how much I feel like begging the universe to answer this same query: Who am I? Continue reading Who Am I?

Shredded Truth

Step one: identify the problem. Step two: come up with a solution. Step three: solve the problem. I understand this process of problem solving and yet somehow I find myself time and again getting stuck between steps two and three. It’s all well and good to come up with a solution; to understand how to solve my problems but putting that solution into action appears to be harder than it sounds. That disconnect between our thoughts and our actions is hard one. We can have all sorts of plans and ideals going around and around in our minds, and yet actually living our lives according to those ideals and plans can go very wrong.

There is a little known German fairy tale, first recorded by the Grimm brothers, titled, “The Shreds” that shows how important it is to not only think what is good but to do what is good as well.

It is a short little story about a beautiful girl who is so lazy that while she is spinning thread and comes upon a knot, she will pull off the knot and throw it on the ground. Her maidservant, on the other hand, is so industrious that she picks up these threads, cleans them, and weaves into a dress. A young man falls in love with the lazy maiden and they are betrothed, but on their wedding day, the maidservant wears the dress she wove from the shreds and dances in it. The beautiful maiden complains and tells her bridegroom that the dress is made from her shreds. The young man, then sees how lazy the beautiful maid is compared to her maidservant and he decides to marry the maidservant instead.
This is a clear cautionary tale against laziness, but using Swedenborg’s science of correspondences, a more spiritual meaning can be seen as well. Continue reading Shredded Truth

An Honest Opinion

It was lunch time on a Tuesday afternoon and I was starving. As I perused the menu options I considered which would serve the purposes of both filling my painfully empty stomach and be the most pleasing for my taste buds while doing so. When I saw tacos in the hot line my heart skipped a beat. I could barely control my excitement as I gingerly carry my two overstuffed pockets of cheesy, meaty goodness to my usual table. After witnessing my first rather ravenous bite, one of my teachers inquired as to the quality of my meal. I replied through a second bite that the tacos were delicious. Despite a slightly skeptical look, my teacher quitted the table presumably to retrieve his own plate of tacos. It was not long after his return, however, that he indignantly informed me that I lied to him and the tacos were no good at all.

This anecdote serves as a platform on which to introduce a few questions on the matters of opinion, honesty, and truth: How should an opinion be formed and what use does it serve? How valuable is an “honest” opinion? Do opposing opinions invalidate each other or should we accept the opinions of others? Is even the truth simply an opinion? The irony of these questions is that one can try to answer them but even those answers are little more than an individual’s perspective. So keep in mind that what follows is only one humble but honest opinion.

According to the Oxford dictionary, an opinion is defined as, “A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” This makes sense since anybody can have an opinion on any topic with little to no knowledge to back it up. Doctrine is similar to an opinion except that it is an interpretation based on our understanding of the word which has an internal meaning that is the Truth. A refined doctrine is based off a great deal of fact and knowledge of the Word. According to the teachings of the New Church doctrine must be formed by interpreting the Word and learning doctrine taught by others (Sacred Scripture 53). First you start with a foundational doctrine, which you need in order to understand the word because without doctrine the internal meaning of the word is impossible to comprehend (Sacred Scripture 51). Then you must go to the word on your own to discover more truths. You can then mold your personal doctrine based on your foundational doctrine and your new found truths from the Word. This process can be seen in the formation of opinion as well. Continue reading An Honest Opinion