August 21, 2003

The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind, controlling every effect and recognizing all causation as vested in divine Mind.

Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy

Well, perhaps a few limos streaked from the city to homes lit and powered by private generators, but for the rest of us the Blackout of 2003 was a mighty leveler; and for us as students of Christian Science working on the topic "Inequality", quite a nice metaphor.

As one member said to another, just moments after the events started to unfold, "With artificial light and power removed, let's go within and find the real Light and Power."

We took up this topic two weeks ago in response to a conversation a member had with an African American friend whose dark skin color seemed to be holding him back from his full potential in life. Of course, inequality intrudes in many areas — gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion and so on.

One new member expressed the frustration she finds in trying to stay clear from judgmentalism and discrimination based on a lot of bad memories, faulty advice and associated fear. "When I'm in my ego, I can't think straight and can get lost for weeks!" She is finding some relief from prayer and trying to see each person's inner child.

Another member commented that value gradations, hierarchies and pecking orders are endemic to the patriarchal system now in place. We speculated that such peculiarities of relationship did not prevail under the preceding matriarchy, where mutuality and consensus would have ruled.

Our resident Jungian got a buzz here. "I bet psychology is mainly patriarchal — with its linear causality sourced in the hierarchy known as the parents." He was talking about both genes and environment — "gifts from our parents."

"Couldn't Christian Science help out here?" asked another member. "Yes, of course. It's the only reliable means I know to break the grip of family karma."

Then emerged a most interesting observation — unfolding along the following lines. Just as the individual goes from being cared for and dominated by the mother to being led forth and dominated by the father, so society/the world has moved from matriarchy to patriarchy. But just as the individual eventually becomes his or her own person, society will move beyond the constraints of patriarchy (and any residual hungering for matriarchy) to full fledged individuality. (One member said here that he wanted to make sure we weren't being gender insensitive, to which another answered, "Women today are doing patriarchy much better than men anyway — who's going to college and will increasingly be the bosses? And who's resting on their oars?")

What is it that's on the way? Are there some hints in the culture? Well, the fact that people today are addressing inequality is one. Also, perhaps the internet and the ever present danger of terrorism are others. We had to revert to Christian Science lingo to express what we were seeing — but it could undoubtedly be phrased in general religious, psychological or quantum physics terms by those conversant with those media. Here it is: moving beyond the constraints of matriarchy and patriarchy we each must live infinite divine individuality or God's own Self-experience. Anything less would leave us increasingly behind the curve and subject to being dispatched from this venue.

From the standpoint of our true individuality, we would see that of all others and be in a position to celebrate our glorious differences while supporting the emergence of each one's unique talents.

Two members discussed their reactions to deficient parenting which left them both hobbled in their dealings with the world. One became a supreme athlete and social animal to hide the pain while the other withdrew into fear of people and depression. Being Gay added to the problem in both cases. As they now have growing contact with their true Selfhood, the human parental deficits are fading before the realization of the divine Monad as the only source and condition.

We discussed an article in the New York Times Magazine of August 3, 2003, "Living and Dying on the Down Low". It's about super-masculine African American men who maintain a straight lifestyle comprised of wives, girlfriends, family, church and profession but also partake of the "down low" or cruising and having sex with other alpha males, some of whom are white. The word "Gay" is for them interchangeable with "white faggot". AIDS infections of wives and girlfriends are one result.

Of course this whole scene is a cauldron of overlapping inequalities needing disentanglement and healing. We might start with the fact that the article was written by a white man who managed the correct "thug clothing" to get his story. A letter to the editor two weeks later asked the Times to "...give the lowdown on middle- and upper-class bisexual white men who are married and frequently tryst with their boy toys."

One member tried to get beyond dueling biases to discern in the "down low" or "DL" some attempt at an abaissement du niveau mental (lowering of consciousness) to scoop up Dionysian energies overwhelmed by Apollonian structures. "I'd like to work in Science to remove the bias against natural, God-given libido."

Here are some reports of healing associated with the Blackout.

1) After the lights went out one member had to abandon a table full of valuable cosmetics and tools to join a group making its way down darkened steps and out of a building. He couldn't regain access for two days but worked in Science to know the honesty of man. When he did return everything was intact.

2) Another member and her cat were both suffering from the heat. She prayed to God: "Holy Spirit, please send us some breeze." She knew it would happen — and it did, instantly. She and the cat had plenty of wind coming in to keep them cool through the night. When the electricity came back on, her TV remote would not work. Again she prayed, expecting to receive and sure enough the super's 14-year-old son did something to the remote and it worked perfectly.

3) Another member found himself rather irritated when his section of the city appeared to be virtually the last to get power back. "I'm a Christian Scientist — I should have had it first." Fortunately he got over that and saw there was no Science in his approach to the situation. In the fading sunlight he found this gem in the Christian Science Bible Lesson on Soul: "It is the illumination of the spiritual understanding which demonstrates the capacity of Soul, not of material sense." (Science and Health, pg. 85:2) He became fascinated with the odd syntax which allows the appended phrase to be substituted for both the beginning and ending words of the main phrase. As he marveled at Mrs. Eddy's inspired writing, a neighborhood whoop went up and the lights were back on.

4) Another member was to travel across the country to his Christian Science Association meeting, but all flights out of La Guardia were canceled in the emergency. He talked to the airline and got the last seat on a flight leaving Philadelphia — unaffected by the outage. Now getting to Philadelphia depended on everything working in harmony. There was no public transportation, so he had to use his car. The car was parked in his apartment building garage in an area where an electric elevator was unnecessary to get it out. Then he found he had a full tank of gas — essential, since pumps at gas stations were not working. And he had enough cash — again important, since ATM's were out. Everything worked and he got to the meeting — their subject was "Christian Science Demonstration".

When time ran out, we were discussing what we see when we pray and find healing. We'll work on that for the week. The topic is Spiritual Perception.

The Bible

The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

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

Thou art right, immortal Shakespeare, great poet of humanity:

Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

Trials teach mortals not to lean on a material staff,—a broken reed, which pierces the heart. We do not half remember this in the sunshine of joy and prosperity. Sorrow is salutary. Through great tribulation we enter the kingdom. Trials are proofs of God's care. Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth. Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.

Mental chemicalization brings sin and sickness to the surface, forcing impurities to pass away, as is the case with a fermenting fluid.

To be immortal, we must forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and gather the facts of being from the divine Mind.

Mind must be found superior to all the beliefs of the five corporeal senses, and able to destroy all ills.

Genesis i. 12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

God determines the gender of His own ideas. Gender is mental, not material. The seed within itself is the pure thought emanating from divine Mind. The feminine gender is not yet expressed in the text. Gender means simply kind or sort, and does not necessarily refer either to masculinity or femininity. The word is not confined to sexuality, and grammars always recognize a neuter gender, neither male nor female. The Mind or intelligence of production names the female gender last in the ascending order of creation. The intelligent individual idea, be it male or female, rising from the lesser to the greater, unfolds the infinitude of Love.

The voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when the voice of the herald of this new crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a Son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death be stricken from the human mind and that its freedom be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Christ's divine Science.

God has built a higher platform of human rights, and He has built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made through code or creed, but in demonstration of "on earth peace, good-will toward men." Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man's birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself.

Message to The Mother Church for 1901, by Mary Baker Eddy

The Publican's wail won his humble desire, while the Pharisee's self-righteousness crucified Jesus.

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.

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