May 15, 2003

Immortal and divine Mind presents the idea of spiritual and immortal forms of beauty and goodness.

Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy

Body is a topic we haven't tackled before (although there are references to it in meeting notes in our Journal Archives). Perhaps it's because body is a touchy subject in Christian Science and has been known to cause a snit over whether we do or don't have one.

Our two meetings on the topic took as a given that we do have a body and our need therefore was to discern its true nature or Science.

A bit of etymology revealed that the word body has no known antecedents in ancient or modern languages. It's linguistically isolated but one member said he felt "on an impressionistic level" that its Indo-European root is "bheudh" meaning "to be aware" and giving rise to "Buddha" as well as the Sanskrit word "bodhih" or "perfect knowledge".

Body as the apparent center of awareness through the mental functions (sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling) could be seen as the launching pad for higher wisdom or Mind-knowledge. It's certainly where we humans work out our divinity. The Christ Jesus story of bodily crucifixion-resurrection-ascension is the model for the emergence of our divine selfhood as all.

"Is God aware of our bodies?" asked a member. Replies were basically, "Yes, and no." No, in the sense of God's knowing about a dualistic substance, commonly called matter. But yes in terms of what really constitutes our bodies.

"What, He's not aware of matter?" Hmm. That question consumed a lot of energy. Here's what came up: God sees us as perfect, His very own ideas. In fact, He more than sees us — He constitutes us. What we as mortals call material bodies, He as Spirit actually lives as spiritual substance. Heaven is here and now and this fact is always at work inviting us to let go of the mortal belief of ourselves and accept what's true. "Divine Being is our present body," said one member. "We need to know this and practice out from it."

Mary Baker Eddy and members of her household often spoke of living in the Resurrection. Would it be ridiculous, wondered a member, for us a hundred years later to practice living in the Ascension? "Or stay conscious in the dream," asked another.

The implied infinitude of the body or consciousness in such living is referred to over and over in Mrs. Eddy's writings as well as in breakthroughs in quantum physics. Bicknell Young, an early Christian Science teacher, upon seeing a beautiful sunset proclaimed, "Behold my beautiful body." The body of each of us is in reality the universe.

Reproduction of the body was touched on as two members brought to our attention that scientists have recently been able to convert sperm into an egg. This breakthrough may permit same sex couples to have children partaking of the genetic material of both parents and is reflective of Mrs. Eddy's prophecies as to developing means of reproduction. See Science and Health, pp. 528:28-12 and 553: 17-28.

We then turned to a discussion of healing the body. We've all had faith healings, but wanted to focus on healings based on metaphysical understanding. One member quoted his Christian Science teacher: "If you haven't worked it out metaphysically, you haven't worked it out." Some major healings and their metaphysical underpinnings were recalled. Briefly:

1) One member has recovered from the scars of childhood abuse and abandonment first by identifying with Bible characters like Joseph (" thought evil against me; but God meant it for good..." Genesis 50: 20) and Jesus (withdrawing from and rebuking the parental neediness of his father and mother). Then she worked with God as her Father-Mother. Now she's going even beyond that symbolism to the more scientific realization of God's actual ever-being of her.

2) Another recounted a healing of hemorrhoids by seeing that the statement "everything is in its right place" needed advancing from material visualization to the divine fact of man's right place as reflection of Deity.

3) Two members outlined what they each were seeing in Science as one of them underwent diagnostic probing based on medical predictions of dire results. The one lying on the table was knowing that only good was revealing itself. The other, in the waiting room, converted the word "diagnosis" to "monagnosis" or God knowing Himself as all, whether patient, doctors and nurses. Soon the patient was released with predictions removed and medical people agog.

A newcomer to our meetings told us how he got into Christian Science. He's the son of a Lutheran minister and as a teenager often visited a nursing home to read to the elderly. One old lady would ask him to read parts of Science and Health to her. They would also talk and she encouraged him to talk about what was going on in his life. There was lots of emotional turmoil as a Gay teenager, of course. Invariably the week after he'd talked of a particular problem he found the readings requested by the lady provided him with some metaphysical insights. Eventually she let it be known that she was a Christian Science practitioner and helped him start studying Science and Health on his own. They maintained a close friendship until she passed on several years later at 103. "And here I thought she was in her 80's."

Here are a few reports of recent healing work.

1) One member flew last weekend into tornado country. Flights going and coming back were forecast to be rough. The flight attendant on the return flight even warned passengers to use the bathroom while the plane was still on the ground because there could be no moving about the cabin once they were up. Our member worked with Mrs. Eddy's statement about "not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or the weather." (Science and Health, p. 171: 9-10) and Jesus's rebuking of the wind. Both flights were smooth and without incident.

2) Another member reported that she used to feel it necessary to take a cab to our meetings because of her fear of the night and what might happen criminally to her in the subway. Recently, after prayerful work in Science, she is quite unafraid and takes the subway everywhere, no matter the hour. If something amiss seems to be developing she reflects on "perfect God, perfect man" and it clears up.

3) Another member has been having an excellent period of interactions with clients and people in general based on staying in the flow of spiritual reality moment by moment. Yes, he's gone overboard or fallen flat here and there but is usually able to rectify things on the basis of Principle's all-power. "If you're not making mistakes, you're not pushing to the limits of your spiritual understanding".

We'll now take on another two week topic Overwhelming Good. Notes from our two meetings on this subject will be posted on or about May 30th.

The Bible

God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. And they all forsook him, and fled. And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy

TEMPLE. Body; the idea of Life, substance, and intelligence; the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of Love; a material superstructure, where mortals congregate for worship.

God, Spirit, dwelling in infinite light and harmony from which emanates the true idea, is never reflected by aught but the good.

All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the creator.

Because Life is God, Life must be eternal, self-existent. Life is the everlasting I AM, the Being who was and is and shall be, whom nothing can erase.

Being possesses its qualities before they are perceived humanly. Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color.

Sight, hearing, all the spiritual senses of man, are eternal. They cannot be lost. Their reality and immortality are in Spirit and understanding, not in matter,—hence their permanence.

Miscellaneous Writings, by Mary Baker Eddy

God is individual Mind. This one Mind and His individuality comprise the elements of all forms and individualities, and prophesy the nature and stature of Christ, the ideal man.

Unlike mortal mind, which must be ever in bondage, the eternal Mind is free, unlimited, and knows not the temporal.

The individuality is embraced in Mind, therefore is forever with the Father. Hence the Scripture, "I am a God at hand, saith the Lord."

God is All-in-all. Hence He is in Himself only, in His own nature and character, and is perfect being, or consciousness. He is all the Life and Mind there is or can be. Within Himself is every embodiment of Life and Mind.

We possess our own body, and make it harmonious or discordant according to the images that thought reflects upon it. The emancipation of our bodies from sickness will follow the mind's freedom from sin; and, as St. Paul admonishes, we should be "waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." The rights of man were vindicated but in a single instance when African slavery was abolished on this continent, yet that hour was a prophecy of the full liberty of the sons of God as found in Christian Science. The defenders of the rights of the colored man were scarcely done with their battles before a new abolitionist struck the keynote of higher claims, in which it was found that the feeblest mind, enlightened and spiritualized, can free its body from disease as well as sin; and this victory is achieved, not with bayonet and blood, not by inhuman warfare, but in divine peace.

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