May 11, 2000
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
A member started us off with the comment that our present format wasn't working for him. He'd recently had a number of challenges ( which incidentally had been met through Science) and just didn't have time to work on our topics. Others tried to show him that the human concepts appearing as our topics should always be seen as language for divine ideas right at hand. Having accessed the spiritual reality, there is no limit to its power, in all directions. In any case we are always free to discuss anything at the meetings, whether it fits the topic or not.
This week, for instance, we had another newcomer and certainly could not barrel ahead without taking time for some basics in Christian Science. He attends meetings of A Course in Miracles at the Gay Center on Wednesday nights, so the principles behind Science were familiar to him. Some of our regulars gave brief testimonies of healings effected through Science to demonstrate its simplicity and practicality.
Our chairperson for the evening remarked that it's OK to take the theory of gravity on faith, but we only grow to understand its workings in the hit and misses of our everyday lives. It's a fixed fact and we must accommodate it; the same applies to Science. (One member had fun with the word gravity. St. Paul's fall from his horse and Mrs. Eddy's fall on the ice both demonstrated physical gravity as well as profound demands from what might be termed scientific gravity to alter the course of their lives.)
This got us quite nicely into our topic. We went first to the divine fact that each and every one in the universe is an infinite eternal divine idea. Each includes all others and is included in all others. As reflection of the one and only — the unique — God, we are each unique. On the belief level such uniqueness shows up in an infinite number of ways, like DNA, fingerprints, and a kaleidoscopic array of talents, shapes, colors, feelings and preferences that distinguish each one from others. The fact that our divine uniqueness is purposed throughout eternity under-girds its human equivalent and protects it.
One member phoned in his share which centered on a Buddhist view of oneness and diversity. While the multitude of people, places and things are different from each other they are all equal. All coexist and flourish together. To establish and live this vision as one's universe is the whole point of the practice. This was a wonderful confirmation and amplification to what we'd just seen in Christian Science.
We discussed various manifestations of the oneness and all-ness of God as man and the universe. Globalization is coming up not only through trade negotiatons and granting China permanent MFN status but through the demonstrations of various groups against liberalization. Perhaps there are sinister motives and considerable naïveté in belief, but the Scientist will guide us to safe harbor by scientific seeing — e. g., oneness coming up for identification, and assuring each one of full employment and blissful atmosphere. The so called "I love you" virus demonstrates our interdependence and the power of the individual, which in belief can be as destructive as it can be helpful. For the student of Science, it's Mind, Good alone in charge of us all. The mapping of the human genome promises wonders. Of course, we all want eternal life and that's what seems to be at stake. For us it was an uncomfortable notion, appearing to come from matter investigation, but what's back of it — the fact of eternal Life, God already existent — is just waiting for Scientists to establish it here on earth, as it is in Heaven.
A member said he felt Christian Science is monism, not mere monotheism. The former he defined as uniting and demonstrating one Ego as I-thou. The latter he felt is dualistic and involves one in negotiations and posturing vis-à-vis both God and men to get any I-thou satisfaction; and even then it's illusory.
This line of discussion caused quite a flare up of emotion — could it have been chemicalization? We used to hate these bumps in the road, but everyone seemed to love this one. Indeed, several members were gleefully riding their chairs like broncos.
Now with lots of energy we turned to personality, which derives from the Latin persona or mask. Everyone needs one to present to the world. The problem is that some of us become addicted to our presentation and lose contact with our inner selves.
One member had listened to the interview on Charlie Rose of Joyce Carol Oates about her new book " Blonde" which takes up the disastrous effect on Marilyn Monroe of her icon status. Initially she was in touch with her real desires and feelings and made attempts to inhabit the developing image with real relationships and truer art. However, as she saw her public and the studio heads who followed the trends demand only the icon, she sadly submitted to it. We all know the rest. We speculated that the attraction of Gay men to Marilyn was not only the glitz but this very tragedy of having to keep a false personality firmly in place. This would apply not only to those in the closet, for even those who are "out" many times feel they have to do a kind of step and fetch it routine that is every bit as destructive as the closet.
To recover from identification with the false personality, lots of inner investigation into feelings and fantasies may be necessary. But in all such endeavors it seemed to us essential that the Science be kept in close proximity. In fact one member saw false personality as a representation on the belief level of true personality, which in turn can be seen as a tool of our divine selfhood. As our readings from Science and Health put it: "The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus" (p. 25:31). The divinity and the humanity of Christ Jesus needed a persona through which to operate in the world. So it too would be drawn into the mix.
Finally we discussed partnering—romantic, financial, whatever—as an aid to individuation and growth in Science. Attempts to deal with another person in a close emotional relationship can so destabilize one as to drive him into the arms of divine Love where he can, in his great desperation, open up to learn the Science of relationship. What?? Look at this quote from "The Eden Project " by James Hollis: "The...false idea that drives humankind is the fantasy of the Magical Other, the notion that there is one person out there who is right for us, will make our lives work, a soul-mate who will repair the ravages of our personal history; one who will be there for us, who will read our minds, know what we want and meet those deepest needs; a good parent who will protect us from suffering and, if we are lucky, spare us the perilous journey of individuation."
Confronting such a fantasy would involve much suffering. No wonder so many tears are shed, so many law suits launched in relationships. No wonder so many just say "No thanks" to the whole thing. But this venomous toad does have a wondrous jewel stuck on its head. Re-reading the passage, substituting the thought of God as being the Magical Other, which is no Other at all but the I that is All, we got an inkling of what Science can bring to this struggle. But it would take persistence — perhaps seventy times seven would be the number of occasions we'd need to place the pull to a mortal on a diviner base and thereby go up higher, carrying a refined concept of our others up with us Would this action eliminate the need for human relationships? Hardly We thought it analogous to physical healing, where the body does not disappear but functions harmoniously after the healing.
We'll look at Revelation and Religion for next week.
The prominent laws which forward birth in the divine order of Science, are these: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me;" "Love thy neighbor as thyself." These commands of infinite wisdom, translated into the new tongue, their spiritual meaning, signify: Thou shalt love Spirit only, not its opposite, in every God-quality, even in substance; thou shalt recognize thyself as God's spiritual child only, and the true man and true woman, the all-harmonious "male and female," as of spiritual origin, God's reflection, — thus as children of one common Parent, — wherein and whereby Father, Mother, and child are the divine Principle and divine idea, even the divine "Us" — one in good, and good in One.
All consciousness is Mind, and Mind is God. Hence there is but one Mind; and that one is the infinite good, supplying all Mind by the reflection, not the subdivision, of God. Whatever else claims to be mind, or consciousness, is untrue. The sun sends forth light, but not suns; so God reflects Himself, or Mind, but does not subdivide Mind, or good, into minds, good and evil.
All consciousness is Mind; and Mind is God, — an infinite, and not a finite consciousness. This consciousness is reflected in individual consciousness, or man, whose source is infinite Mind. There is no really finite mind, no finite consciousness.
If God is one and God is Person, then Person is infinite; and there is no personal worship, for God is divine Principle, Love.