August 2, 2001
I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
Was this really happening — the Christian Science Committee on Publication for New York at our meeting? Come to think of it, we forgot to ask for her badge, but whoever she was, she certainly talked like a Christian Scientist, got right in there with us on our topic and even came out to dinner with us afterwards. So, she didn't fit the image of Committees we've known and imagined; but that just meant we had a ready-made set of memories and fantasies to work through.
After the readings, a division of opinion arose as to whether living in the so called "now"precludes memories. Of course, it's a complicated question because many of those dispensing advice about living for "now"— along with the rest of us — are actually driven by unconscious, unacknowledged and therefore unhealed memories. Most members seemed to feel it was better practice to let the memories flow and confront them with the facts of being.
A couple of members then inquired into the problem of losing one's memory. The chairperson read from Science and Health, p. 407: 21-28 (see readings). This paragraph gave us a jolt, for it addresses not only memory but also the technique for recovering from memories.
On the memory level, one member told how he helped an elderly parent retain memory by pointing out that in Science there isn't any; divine Mind and its contents, reflected by man, are always instantly accessible.
Another member often consults this paragraph when painful memories come up. She does not try to impede them but lets the light of spiritualized thought find the nugget hidden within. We noted that the marginal note here is "Immortal memory".
Two members then spoke vehemently against any attempts to repress or suppress bad (or good) memories. One said it is not only through current activity that he improves performance and overcomes fears, but also by honoring past successes and failures embodied in memories.
The other member had used the week to uncover a motif of rejection hovering over a number of memories from his childhood, adolescence and adult life. He had never before become so aware of how undercut all his efforts at relating to others were by these, until now, only somewhat conscious memories. He turned to Science and Health and studied page 322: 26-30, which he read to us (see readings). Living Life in divine Science means to him getting off the mortal basis of belief. How? By gratitude for all the problems which drove him out of Eden — turning him form Jehovah to God — and by translating beliefs into their divine counter-facts. This process is still underway.
Other members quickly added illumination to the foregoing experience by referring us to powerful statements of Science in Retrospection and Introspection as well as Miscellaneous Writings (see readings).
Here are two aspects of memory briefly touched on.
1) Memories often arrive in disguise, if not grossly distorted form. They show up as fantasies, dreams, depression, addictions, etc. A trained eye can look at one's life generally and get a fair picture of what sorts of memories are haunting a person. The trick in Science is to move this along to the divine idea constituting the person.
2) Memories themselves if entertained simply as material facts are addictive. Unless their mythic or spiritual seed is brought to light and lived, they will demand ever greater numbers of facts, yielding no satisfaction. Look at the Warren Report about Kennedy's death — 20 volumes; or all the reams of verbiage about who's vision of the Christian Science movement shall prevail. Cheesecake anyone? or crack?
These healings were reported.
1) The member who worked at last week's meeting to dispel the pain associated with a flasher incident (see notes for [#topic=20010726#]) continued this week to find the underlying childhood neglect, abandonment, and general mistreatment resonating in this event. She realized the only possible solution was to "be Love — to be at-one with Love"and to actively practice love in all her relationships with pets, friends and clients. She quoted Joseph, "...ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good"(Genesis 50: 20).
2) Another member described his recovery from grief over the sudden death of his best friend. When he learned of the passing he was overcome by violent grief and could see no way to get any comfort other than perhaps with some antidepressants. But it was a Friday, and he could not see the doctor until Monday. He prayed deeply for relief and then fell asleep. When he awoke, he had been healed of the grief. He also told us of his recent healing of irritable bowel syndrome by working with a member of the group acting as practitioner. He got a lot of good ideas from reading the Christian Science Sentinel, and will soon have a copy of Science and Health.
3) These healings reminded another member of a healing he had this week of an extreme anxiety attack, perhaps brought on by reactions to medications. He prayed to God, whom he terms "Holy Spirit", along these lines: "I am unable to do anything about this myself. Please give me a new perception."By the next morning he was back to normal.
4) Members who had over the years been active in confronting homophobia in the Christian Science movement were understandably thrilled by the attendance of such an upbeat, supportive church official as our Committee. One sat almost speechless. Another took furious notes, wondering whether any of it could be shared with our internet friends. Then there was the one who had a touch of bitterness in his voice as he launched into a description of some of the old battles. A member who came to Christian Science long after the really wounding thunderbolts landed, cajoled the others with talk show shtick, "Now, I'm still not hearing the love."It was so annoying that we all burst into laughter and the mesmerism was broken. Recovery is solidly underway.
As the meeting drew to a close we talked to the Committee about her duties, how she discovered us and what our interaction can be.
She read us some of the duties of the Committee on Publication from the Church Manual. Included is this: "It shall be the duty of the Committee on Publication to correct in a Christian manner impositions on the public in regard to Christian Science,"(The Manual of The Mother Church, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 97:15-18)
She tracked us down after the article about our group appeared in New York Press, causing a stir in Boston and New York. Both she and officials at headquarters felt the article gave a fair impression of Christian Science.
She was appalled at the treatment of Gay people in our movement, as depicted in the article but also based on some of the telephone messages she received about it from around the state, and has done some really good work in directing this release of bilge to its proper place. She emphasized that we too are members of the Christian Science community and may call upon her at any time.
Our topic for next week is Absolute Faith; it's taken from the opening line of Science and Health: "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God,—a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love."(p. 1:1)
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously, whereas a thousand years of human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures emit no such effulgence.
The rule of inversion infers from error its opposite, Truth; but Truth is the light which dispels error.
If delusion says, "I have lost my memory," contradict it. No faculty of Mind is lost. In Science, all being is eternal, spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action. Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thought lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind, Life not death, into your consciousness.
The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science.
All we correctly know of Spirit comes from God, divine Principle, and is learned through Christ and Christian Science. If this Science has been thoroughly learned and properly digested, we can know the truth more accurately than the astronomer can read the stars or calculate an eclipse. This Mind-reading is the opposite of clairvoyance. It is the illumination of the spiritual understanding which demonstrates the capacity of Soul, not of material sense. This Soul-sense comes to the human mind when the latter yields to the divine Mind.
MIND. The only I, or Us; the only Spirit, Soul, divine Principle, substance, Life, Truth, Love; the one God; not that which is in man, but the divine Principle, or God, of whom man is the full and perfect expression; Deity, which outlines but is not outlined.
It is well to know, dear reader, that our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man's real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being. It is "as a tale that is told," and "as the shadow when it declineth." The heavenly intent of earth's shadows is to chasten the affections, to rebuke human consciousness and turn it gladly from a material, false sense of life and happiness, to spiritual joy and true estimate of being.
The awakening from a false sense of life, substance, and mind in matter, is as yet imperfect; but for those lucid and enduring lessons of Love which tend to this result, I bless God.
Mere historic incidents and personal events are frivolous and of no moment, unless they illustrate the ethics of Truth. To this end, but only to this end, such narrations may be admissible and advisable; but if spiritual conclusions are separated from their premises, the nexus is lost, and the argument, with its rightful conclusions, becomes correspondingly obscure. The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged.
The Gospel narratives bear brief testimony even to the life of our great Master. His spiritual noumenon and phenomenon silenced portraiture.
Every material belief hints the existence of spiritual reality; and if mortals are instructed in spiritual things, it will be seen that material belief, in all its manifestations, reversed, will be found the type and representative of verities priceless, eternal, and just at hand.