January 10, 2002
In Christian Science there is never a retrograde step, never a return to positions outgrown.
Members worked on individual issues during the week and shared spiritual breakthroughs and results at the meeting. After the readings initial comments were along the following lines.
In Christian Science difficulties (and successes) involve spiritual issues. We have authority from God to confront material beliefs, which are no more than material counterfeits of the Truth. One member quoted Margaret Laird here, "The value of any belief is in the Reality of which the belief is the ' look'." Christian Science is a systematic approach to demonstrating God's availability and authority in every aspect of our lives.
After this discussion we went right on to healing testimonies. Here's a summary of what was shared.
1) A member's pet cat had been experiencing urinary problems for some time. Treatments by veterinarians, including one styled "holistic", were bizarre and frightening, with desultory results. Our member took a stand in Science and called a practitioner who immediately said, "Where God is, evil cannot be." She was given a Christian Science Journal article to read — in the October 2000 issue, page 33 — on the healing of cancer in a dog. She also studied this from Science and Health: "It is the general belief that the lower animals are less sickly than those possessing higher organizations, especially those of the human form. This would indicate that there is less disease in proportion as the force of mortal mind is less pungent or sensitive, and that health attends the absence of mortal mind. A fair conclusion from this might be, that it is the human belief, and not the divine arbitrament, which brings the physical organism under the yoke of disease." (p. 554:29) She was then impelled to go buy some regular food for the cat, who had been on special rations for quite a spell, trying to address the urinary situation. The cat immediately took to the regular food and awakened our member the next morning begging for more. The cat was filled with energy and "the plumbing was back to normal."
2) Another member described a demonstration in his love life, which for years has been unsatisfactory. A few weeks ago a close friend from his youth passed away and he was engulfed in grief. The two had been spiritual and emotional lovers as kids; the other man became straight, married and had children. As our member worked in Science to handle the grief, he realized he had been carrying a torch for this man all these years. Now, he had to let go — and, "God took this monkey off my back." He was suddenly free, perhaps as never before — but for what? He felt now at last he might be free to love. Within days he met someone new and a loving romantic relationship is developing.
3) A member who was raised in Christian Science and is now returning to it worked with this statement from Science and Health during the week: "Now, as then, signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin,—to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world." (p. 150:12-17) Before getting involved with the 12-Steps to handle an addiction, God's presence seemed completely inaccessible. Having now surrendered to a Higher Power, she intimated she may be ready to work in Science on areas like allergies and single-woman issues.
4) Another member developed what looked like conjunctivitis during the week and contacted a practitioner to work with him. They worked with these statements: "Neither God nor the perfect man can be discerned by the material senses" (Science and Health, p. 330:14), and "...an acknowledgment of the perfection of the infinite Unseen confers a power nothing else can." (Unity of Good, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 7:20) He found a need to unsee a number of pictures he had absorbed in recent months, including the collapse of the WTC, a family illness and an abiding loneliness. He briefly toyed with going to a doctor after well-meaning friends and acquaintances assaulted him left and right with medical fantasies. He was able to see these as part of the work — as projections of his own fears, and handled them accordingly. The turning point in the problem came when he saw it no longer as a problem but as an opportunity to let go of the detritus he'd been carrying around. He worked for spiritual vision and saw Christian Science as a kind of "pony" translating mortal beliefs into divine ideas. At church on Sunday, he saw that every event of his life could be evaluated as a "sermon, undivorced from Truth, uncontaminated and divinely authorized." (Christian Science Quarterly, by Mary Baker Eddy) Evidence of the eye problem quickly faded out.
5) Another member took as his issue loneliness. He noted that when he's in prayerful, feeling communication with God he is not lonely, but quickly becomes so when he returns to his normal activities. One of the others said he used to suffer from the same kind of disjunction between prayerful moments and the rest of his life. He has however been getting help from studying the daily Christian Science Lesson Sermon in the morning. This establishes a connection which carries over into the whole day.
6) A newcomer to Christian Science told us of the abuse he has received not only in his Pentecostal religion but also from the Gay bar scene where he has tried to forge intimate relationships. Members worked with him in Science, gave him a copy of Science and Health and suggested some religious and Gay venues which might be more supportive of his aims.
We'll take on a two week topic "The Closet" which has resonance in Christian Science — see Science and Health, p. 14: 31-24 — and the Gay community. The member who requested the topic handed out copies of an extract from a Clarence Steves Association Address on the "Scientific Statement of Being", pp. 25-30 for study. Notes covering our two meetings will go up on or about January 26th.
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Truth destroys mortality, and brings to light immortality. Mortal belief (the material sense of life) and immortal Truth (the spiritual sense) are the tares and the wheat, which are not united by progress, but separated.
Divine Science does not put new wine into old bottles, Soul into matter, nor the infinite into the finite. Our false views of matter perish as we grasp the facts of Spirit.
When outgrowing the old, you should not fear to put on the new.
Mortal existence is a dream; mortal existence has no real entity, but saith "It is I." Spirit is the Ego which never dreams, but understands all things; which never errs, and is ever conscious; which never believes, but knows; which is never born and never dies. Spiritual man is the likeness of this Ego.
In Christian Science, progress is demonstration, not doctrine. This Science is ameliorative and regenerative, delivering mankind from all error through the light and love of Truth. It gives to the race loftier desires and new possibilities. It lays the axe at the root of the tree of knowledge, to cut down all that bringeth not forth good fruit; "and blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." It touches mind to more spiritual issues, systematizes action, gives a keener sense of Truth and a stronger desire for it.