November 11, 1999
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Last week we looked at Gender from a Christian Science standpoint and it seemed natural to look at Androgyny this week, as a symbol of wholeness and completeness.
As we found with usage of the terms male-female versus masculine-feminine last week, there is a difference between bisexuality and androgyny: the former refers mainly to sexual practice and the latter to a mental or spiritual state.
Certainly, androgyny is not synonymous with homosexuality but is a deep archetype underlying all sexuality — hetero, homo and transgendered — as well as much else, including work and artistic talents. It represents the centrality of Being, drawing all seeming opposites into One.
One member pointed out that Christ Jesus is mystically referred to as an androgyne, apparently based on seeing him as the Second Adam. The original Adam bore within him the feminine principle, also known as Eve once she was objectified. This matter based pair refers back to the spiritual creation of I Genesis (see verse 1: 27, where God creates man male and female. Furthermore, Christian Science, elucidating the Christ Jesus message and constituting the Good News to this Age, partakes of the androgyne symbol, spiritually evaluated). The God of Christian Science says to human consciousness: "I am All. A knowledge of aught beside Myself is impossible" (Unity of Good, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 18:25).
This insight is a most useful tool in the dispersal of bigotry.
We talked of the recent attack by Southern Baptists on Hindus, characterizing them as as worshippers of Satan. This follows similar attacks by Baptists on the legitimacy of the Jewish and Moslem faiths. To our knowledge no pamphlets have yet been released by the Baptists condemning Christian Science but anyone who has tried to have a sane conversation with one of them about our understanding of the Scriptures has probably come in for a lot of abuse.
In these circumstances the student of Christian Science may not want to waste time on the glaring differences apparent on the practice level of the various religions but instead seek and find the Oneness underlying them all. From this position all concepts are harmonized and curiosity as to this or that form can proceed unhampered.
We recalled an incident with a very unhappy Jehovah's Witness who attended our meeting several years ago. His homosexuality had come to light, and his very tight religious community had publicly denounced and shunned him. Understandably he was looking for a new Christian religious home. As we spoke to him of Christian Science he became increasingly uncomfortable. Pretty soon we realized he would not easily adjust to the very unusual concepts about God, Jesus, salvation etc. embodied in our religion. We retreated to the underlying Shekinah (see Science and Health, p. 40:29-7) and were able to treat the situation for a harmonious resolution. Some helpful suggestions as to where he might look for a compatible group were given. He did not return the following week and we were able to see his visit as a simple matter of aid requested and given, end of story. Several months later he came back to our meeting, this time beaming with joy. He had found another Christian group which filled his needs while accepting his orientation. He stayed for the whole hour and we all enjoyed sharing on our topic from our different perspectives, which this time did not clash.
We spent some time on the outburst of homophobia in our guestbook. After the initial shock, most of us were able to see it as a good development — a "moral chemicalization" to use Mrs. Eddy's term — and the coming forth of a new perspective. Our group is a healing group, not a condemning one; therefore we strove to find not the fault but the Fact revealed by this display. Our recent topics, Gender and Androgyny, have been a bit rough for mortal mind to deal with. Furthermore, this week's Christian Science Bible Lesson has been a support for Gay people in pointedly skipping over Romans 1:24 in Section I and including the healing of the centurion's servant, thought by some authorities to have been his lover (see Section V). The muddy river bed of sin in ourselves and others is being stirred and the stream of consciousness purified (see Science and Health, p. 540: 5-16) which was read and studied at the meeting.
Three healings were reported.
1) A member called in a healing of a long-standing problem with nausea and diarrhea. He had tried a number of approaches but this week was suddenly emboldened to turn on the problem and face the facts of his true being. He saw his body as his current understanding of God, the all good. He really "got it" at a deep level, and the problem disappeared.
2) Another member entered the week with little money and no prospects. He was tempted to become depressed, but rallied and began work in Science. He soon became aware of God's infinite abundance for himself and for all. Within minutes he was invited to sing in a cabaret, a gig which has led to appointments for several additional shows in the future. Also a former associate called unexpectedly to ask him back to work in a field he left years ago. He came to our meeting from his first day on the job in a state of near elation over the kindness of his fellow employees and the generous spending of his customers.
3) Another member had seen one of his stock investments savaged by accounting irregularity rumors and short sales apparently undertaken by one of the firms whence the rumors emanated. After the rumors were suddenly cleared up the stock climbed sharply and our member shouted, "Burn those bears!" Thank God for Christian Science, for he was able to get to a more spiritual perspective quickly and view all as prospering equally in God's expanding universe.
We'll take a look at Persecution next week.
Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source. Mortal sense inverts this appearing and calls ideas material. Thus misinterpreted, the divine idea seems to fall to the level of a human or material belief, called mortal man. But the seed is in itself, only as the divine Mind is All and reproduces all—as Mind is the multiplier, and Mind's infinite idea, man and the universe, is the product.
God determines the gender of His own ideas. Gender is mental, not material. The seed within itself is the pure thought emanating from divine Mind. The feminine gender is not yet expressed in the text. Gender means simply kind or sort, and does not necessarily refer either to masculinity or femininity. The word is not confined to sexuality, and grammars always recognize a neuter gender, neither male nor female. The Mind or intelligence of production names the female gender last in the ascending order of creation. The intelligent individual idea, be it male or female, rising from the lesser to the greater, unfolds the infinitude of Love.
To mortal mind, the universe is liquid, solid, and aeriform. Spiritually interpreted, rocks and mountains stand for solid and grand ideas. Animals and mortals metaphorically present the gradation of mortal thought, rising in the scale of intelligence, taking form in masculine, feminine, or neuter gender. The fowls, which fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven, correspond to aspirations soaring beyond and above corporeality to the understanding of the incorporeal and divine Principle, Love.
This human sense of Deity yields to the divine sense, even as the material sense of personality yields to the incorporeal sense of God and man as the infinite Principle and infinite idea,—as one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love. The Lamb's wife presents the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals, but as two individual natures in one; and this compounded spiritual individuality reflects God as Father-Mother, not as a corporeal being. In this divinely united spiritual consciousness, there is no impediment to eternal bliss,—to the perfectibility of God's creation.
^Must mankind wait for the ultimate of the millennium—until every man and woman comes into the knowledge of Christ and all are taught of God and see their apparent identity as one man and one woman—for God to be represented by His idea or image and likeness?^
God is one, and His idea, image, or likeness, man, is one. But God is infinite and so includes all in one. Man is the generic term for men and women. Man, as the idea or image and likeness of the infinite God, is a compound, complex idea or likeness of the infinite one, or one infinite, whose image is the reflection of all that is real and eternal in infinite identity. Gender means a kind. Hence mankind—in other words, a kind of man who is identified by sex—is the material, so-called man born of the flesh, and is not the spiritual man, created by God, Spirit, who made all that was made. The millennium is a state and stage of mental advancement, going on since ever time was. Its impetus, accelerated by the advent of Christian Science, is marked, and will increase till all men shall know Him (divine Love) from the least to the greatest, and one God and the brotherhood of man shall be known and acknowledged throughout the earth.