February 17, 2000
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
Members were bursting with things to say on our subject and took time to share only two of the readings brought in, first from Science and Health, page 102, "There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit," and then our focus statement from Miscellany cited above. This combination of absolute and relative, stately and playful statements seemed to loosen us up enough to explore human attractions as neither good nor bad per se, but as the pull or draw (the meanings of the underlying Latin verb "trahere") towards immortal Good.
Could it be that whatever we're drawn to and whatever is drawn to us is at base divine? What a staggering, even shocking idea! One member brought up illness — what if we attracted the flu? Was that divine? Yes of course — as everyone in the room had so amply proved just this season. It's one of mortal mind's versions of Reality, or perfect, God -established health. A belief in health is dangerous, so if that is swept away in the process of achieving Christian Science understanding, wonderful! (See Science and Health, p. 126:2, and p. 574: 16-6, where Mrs. Eddy helps us see error as a misstatement of Truth.)
Similarly with whatever we're attracted to. We had many times in our meetings referred to the underlying divine impulsion in addictions — to alcohol, nicotine, drugs, excessive food, sex. These represent drives for oneness, peace, joy, comfort, love. All of which and more are available to everyone all the time everywhere. Christian Science has come to help us see this and experience it.
One member wanted to know why he had so much trouble with erotic attractions. Was he blocked by guilt or unrealistic expectations? He thought these and whatever else could certainly be cleared off with scientific treatment. Others agreed and noted how easily we talk of attractive sunsets or Beethoven symphonies — even people in the abstract.
We couldn't seem to make much progress on the problem, at least as stated. There were, however, contributions — such as the fact that the god Eros governs relationships, not just sex (the latter narrow appreciation perhaps Freud's indelible "contribution" to mankind). Thus we need to look at eroticism as an attempt at wholeness. One member had a scientific breakthrough to the effect that God is being attracted to Himself in Love's adventure to be All. Humans call the phenomenal representation of this action relationship.
All helpful, but we were straining at the edges of our understanding for better vision. And it came. A member read us some extracts from a Valentine's greeting he and others had received from an internet friend. These were wondrously expansive. He described the interconnectedness much talked of today as the human understanding of the oneness discovered in Christian Science. To support the world's growing appreciation of its relatedness, Christian Scientists need to go beyond personal sense — which deals in attractions and interconnections — to divine individuality, the one as all, and the all as one.
Here was the key to opening up our work on and experience of attractions. What appears on the human belief level is but a mode, even a goad, urging us to get out of ourselves as mortals and into ourselves as we truly are: divine idea including all right ideas. We're not partial reflections, not sparks of the great flame, but all — infinite reflection of the infinite God.
"If you're infinite, what about me?" asked one member. "We are both infinite reflection — you include me and I you. We interpenetrate." Mrs. Eddy is reported to have said that the mathematics of Christian Science is one. As she pointed to people she said, "Individuality once, individuality twice, individuality thrice and so on ad infinitum."
With our vision clear as to the facts in Christian Science, most of us said we were less afraid, less judgmental, about attraction — or repulsion for that matter — for such things are the give and take of human convention. We have some new keys for deciphering them and bringing out finer forms. We all seemed more willing to take up the cross of human living and relating.
These healings were reported:
1) Drawing on recent work and healings by members in the landlord-tenant area, a member was emboldened radically to rely on the divine presence to bring about the repair of an annoying leak form the apartment above. He had talked to the landlord several times. After he surrendered to the facts: the divinity of all concerned, the heaven that he was calling his apartment etc., repairmen arrived the next day and harmony was restored.
2) Another member dealt with two people during the week with severe health and relationship problems. He found himself able to care for them in their need after singing to himself a favorite hymn (number 107 in the Christian Science Hymnal). It starts, "Help us to help each other, Lord.." He was able to be patient with them and maintain a scientific attitude.
3) Another member was approached by a friend experiencing seemingly hopeless health problems. Medical help has been exhausted. To the question, "What would you do?" he responded that he would try Christian Science — he was not trying to proselytize, but explained briefly its main thrust. He'll drop off some literature.
We marveled at these last two experiences — are our friends getting into the practice? All Christian Scientists are in the practice in a sense, but these are such clear cut examples of the attraction patients feel for a practitioner. We discussed briefly why it's so difficult for us to share Christian Science with others and why so few people come to our meetings. With all this on our minds, we took on Outreach for next week's topic.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.