March 14, 2002
Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal man, forever unlimited by the mortal senses.
Members agreed right away that everyone has lots of judgments and our strategy should be to manage and understand but not suppress them. Judgments are a rich source of information about anyone holding them — ourselves certainly included. While the ultimate standpoint in Science must be righteous judgment — which is to say spiritual discernment — there is still much leeway for feeling our way productively through the morass thrown up by even the most judgmental thinking. A member brought to our attention the interaction of Jesus and Mary Magdalene as commented upon by Mary Baker Eddy in the opening pages of the chapter on "Christian Science Practice" in Science and Health. Is Mrs. Eddy perhaps alluding to her own recovery from sensualism — and potentially ours?
In the usual flow of events we're constantly picking and choosing based on judgments and there is little to be said except to be alert that we haven't reduced existence to just drifting along with a materially safe lifestyle. There are those moments however when we experience something which brings with it a really positive or negative judgment and we can know then that we've stumbled on a perhaps unconscious powerful divine idea demanding identity. Most people handle this kind of thing by, for instance, falling in love or buying something if it's positive or alternately lashing out or going to court if it's negative. The serious student of Christian Science would perhaps exercise restraint on actions until the underlying impulsion is clear.
Our readings include several passages from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus' advice about the mote in our brother's eye as against the beam in our own, sparked a conversation about what psychologists call projections. If we're not consciously aware of our own humanly good and evil aspects — thereby consigning them to the unconscious — we'll probably project the good or evil that is properly our own unto others — perhaps suffering greatly "at their hands". If we can see the projection, retire it to within our own consciousness and work on it there we have the potential for a great victory over evil and release of good into our lives.
Several members mentioned emergency incidents where such elegance of procedure was simply impossible. For instance, one told of a time when a lover was breaking down his door to kill him. He called a practitioner and started studying the Christian Science Bible Lesson Sermon fervently. By the time the door had fallen, the lover was calm and unaware of his earlier murderous state. They soon split up. Our member now has time, these many years later, for quiet reflection on what having had a lover like this says of his own internal state. And with Christian Science this can be a very positive unveiling of the wholly good divine idea emanating from and as his Mind.
On the other hand, another member discussed his struggle over the years with anger. As he started looking into it, everyone else seemed at fault, but with psychological sophistication he realized he was set up for angry reactions, to even mild infractions, by being raised in a very anger-prone household. It was a survival mode which he can now dismantle. More recently he has found spiritual means to convert the anger into energy to fuel his work and love life.
A member phoned in his share on judgment. He was interested in the parable of the publican and the Pharisee at prayer (see Luke 18: 9-14). He feels these two individuals (as well as the Jesus-Judas duality) represent personality extremes which are reconciled by Christ. They could be seen as Freud's id and superego, resolved in the ego. He said we have to be aware always of the drives that are handling us and is quite concerned by the scapegoating of Gay people by our society's — that includes our own — sexual hang-ups and generalized shame.
Another member was struck by how seriously Mrs. Eddy regarded our need to communicate "without harsh words" and to "do good unto your enemies when the opportunity occurs" (see Readings from the Manual of The Mother Church).
We had a demonstration of this at the meeting. One member, who by the way is not an enemy but a very dear friend, is interested in reincarnation and explained how it would work in terms of our subject: There can be no judgment when one has already set up his life before birth to get certain experiences. Of course reincarnation is not part of present Christian Science teaching, but others in the room were able to translate some of its concepts into mainstream scientific thought.
Paul talks of dying daily (see I Corinthians 15: 31) and Jesus left us the example of resurrection and ascension. Mrs. Eddy maintains we gain nothing from death but must still face what we have not spiritualized on this level of consciousness.
We then talked of two legal cases.
1) Child molestation by the clergy. We felt that the church's unrealistic and unscientific views of human sexuality are mostly responsible for this crime. The Vatican has started to blame Gay men in the priesthood for the assaults and may institute a purge. Most abuse is practiced by heterosexuals with a power, not a sexual, agenda. As with so much else that's going on today this is a huge wake up call to us all. Much good can flow from a proper handling of the energies unleashed. In this case perhaps we need to treat sexuality as a sacramental activity. One member said he was finding it useful to keep a watch on his own inner child molester, ready always to beat up his own and others' sense of sweetness and innocence.
2) Andrea Yates. Again orthodox Christianity is a problem. Her mental instability must have been accentuated by her church-inspired rigid role as child producer, housewife and home educator. Apparently psychology was seen a shameful; therefore the unsurprising and often encountered wish to do away with one's children was never faced in this case and depotentiated either by removal of the kids or simple empathic communication. It might be interesting to know — although we probably never will — whether beneath all this rigidity there breathed someone far more talented and alive than the shell of a person jumping through the hoops of conventionalism.
A member wondered how many of us are not living our fondest earthly hopes as expressed in the following sentence in Science and Health: "My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes." (p. 299:7-9) We were at the end of our time, so we took that — Fondest Earthly Hopes — as our topic for next week.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Science relates to Mind, not matter. It rests on fixed Principle and not upon the judgment of false sensation.
No final judgment awaits mortals, for the judgment-day of wisdom comes hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error. As for spiritual error there is none.
The earth's diurnal rotation is invisible to the physical eye, and the sun seems to move from east to west, instead of the earth from west to east. Until rebuked by clearer views of the everlasting facts, this false testimony of the eye deluded the judgment and induced false conclusions. Science shows appearances often to be erroneous, and corrects these errors by the simple rule that the greater controls the lesser. The sun is the central stillness, so far as our solar system is concerned, and the earth revolves about the sun once a year, besides turning daily on its own axis.
As thus indicated, astronomical order imitates the action of divine Principle; and the universe, the reflection of God, is thus brought nearer the spiritual fact, and is allied to divine Science as displayed in the everlasting government of the universe.
When understanding changes the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis, we shall gain the reality of Life, the control of Soul over sense, and we shall perceive Christianity, or Truth, in its divine Principle. This must be the climax before harmonious and immortal man is obtained and his capabilities revealed. It is highly important—in view of the immense work to be accomplished before this recognition of divine Science can come—to turn our thoughts towards divine Principle, that finite belief may be prepared to relinquish its error.
"The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice."
No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God, good, is supreme. Though clouds are round about Him, the divine justice and judgment are enthroned. Love is especially near in times of hate, and never so near as when one can be just amid lawlessness, and render good for evil.
Christian Science is taught through its divine Principle, which is invisible to corporeal sense. A material human likeness is the antipode of man in the image and likeness of God. Hence, a finite person is not the model for a metaphysician. I earnestly advise all Christian Scientists to remove from their observation or study the personal sense of any one, and not to dwell in thought upon their own or others' corporeality, either as good or evil.
According to Christian Science, material personality is an error in premise, and must result in erroneous conclusions. All will agree with me that material portraiture often fails to express even mortal man, and this declares its unfitness for fable or fact to build upon.
The face of Jesus has uniformly been so unnaturally delineated that it has turned many from the true contemplation of his character. He advances most in divine Science who meditates most on infinite spiritual substance and intelligence. Experience proves this true. Pondering on the finite personality of Jesus, the son of man, is not the channel through which we reach the Christ, or Son of God, the true idea of man's divine Principle.
I warn students against falling into the error of anti-Christ. The consciousness of corporeality, and whatever is connected therewith, must be outgrown. Corporeal falsities include all obstacles to health, holiness, and heaven. Man's individual life is infinitely above a bodily form of existence, and the human concept antagonizes the divine.
A Rule for Motives and Acts. SECTION 1. Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. The members of this Church should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing or being influenced erroneously.