February 5, 2004
Welcome home! To your home in my heart!
Home, like Jerusalem (see Readings), is not always heaven. It can be the setting for all gradations of depravity and unhappiness. Our members have certainly experienced home's downside — if not as children, then as adults — but have tended to keep working prayerfully to uncover its true spiritual essence and thereby evoke healing.
New York and the country are going through a period of unemployment and homelessness. We kept this in mind as we worked to find home's spiritual underpinnings. One member mentioned three cases of threatened homelessness (among friends and acquaintances) coming to his attention during the week.
The meeting was small in attendance but expansive in thought. We dug deep into the metaphysical reality of home.
Ideally, perhaps idealistically, home is a place of comfort and safety, where we can relax and be ourselves. Usually it's thought of as a physical place, but our readings brought out its underlying mental concept, for good or for ill, transportable everywhere.
Our work in Christian Science is to find our home in heaven, divine reality, and let this manifest throughout our lives.
One member talked of his coming home to a realization of his spirituality through Christian Science. He was raised in a rigid, abusive household and was badly treated by school mates as his homosexuality came to light. When he was 19 years old he happened to meet a Christian Scientist woman who took him under her wing and spent time with him reading Science and Health, talking and just hanging out. This relationship revolutionized his life.He was able to leave his childhood home and atmosphere behind, get a successful sales career going and have a new, big life as his understanding and practice of Science expanded and deepened.
Something was missing, however. He couldn't figure out what until he picked up and started reading a book by Melody Beaddie called Finding Your Way Home. He was immediately drawn to the idea of listening to what our soul wants, even demands, from us. In the process of listening he took up meditation.
"When I'd become aware I was spinning my wheels, I'd stop, get quiet and listen. The mortal 'I' disappeared, along with any sense of body. Sometimes I'd get all the way to bliss."
His life began to shift. He got interested in working with singers, to help them freely express their feelings through song. As they sang, he'd relax, go within and again experience the bliss he'd found in meditation. Soon the singers and others were asking him for prayerful help.
Following his heart, he was able to let go of the sales career and devote all energies to his work with singers and the healing practice. He now truly feels at home, even if there is some financial impediment. "I wish I knew what's holding me back — what stands in the way."
Another member asked, "Which 'I' is struggling and asking that question?"
Of course it's the little "I" or mortal ego, which as he himself had already said disappears when one is in a state of bliss.
Another member asked him — and all of us, really — "Do we sometimes make the mistake of seeing bliss or spiritual harmony as some kind of mental high which we do not allow to do its work on the belief level?"
Hmm! Some shook their heads "Yes" — some just looked confused.
"Remember, Christian Science is not merely a philosophy or feel-good mental exercise, but the Truth of being throughout all levels of possible human appearances."
We looked at what Jesus said in the Lord's Prayer: "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven", and Mary Baker Eddy's spiritual translation: "Enable us to know, — as in heaven, so on earth, — God is omnipotent, supreme." (Science and Health, pg. 17:1-3)
A member then read us a remarkable passage from Miscellaneous Writings, also by Mrs. Eddy, page 100 (see the Readings), where the divine-human coincidence is again emphasized.
"Isn't she anticipating quantum physics, where any concept — home, body, job, anything — can be evaluated as a wasting material asset at a point in space-time or alternatively as an infinite, eternal idea?"
"Good question. The thrill of Christian Science is to see the concept through the lens of the infinite idea, allowing it to unfold in line with divine realities."
One of the problems social workers face in New York is that many homeless people return to the streets even after they have secured a home and appropriate funding. Apparently they seek the non-confinement the streets offer. Our members felt a realization of home's underlying infinite energies could ameliorate this problem.
A member recalled a remark by a woman who attended one of our meetings years ago. We were being harangued by a street minister as to our lack of compassion for the homeless. What would we agree to do? How many beds could we offer? How many daily feedings? We said we would pray. The minister became quite angry.
The woman, who was not a student of Christian Science said, "Well, you know, being homeless means you're at home everywhere." As the minister stormed from the room, the rest of us fell back in chairs as though Jesus had just entered the room.
This simple statement of fact gave us the needed germ of an effective healing vision of man's ever-present divine home.
All these years later our member still finds this casual remark by a newcomer a strong impetus to understanding himself and others as infinite divine idea. "'Come into my home' means I acknowledge that we all interpenetrate infinitely and eternally. We're in each others' lives without recourse. There's no escape, so we might just as well bring forth heavenly harmonies — or rather let them assert themselves as I, Us."
A member who arrived late in the meeting asked for some help at the dinner table to address problems at home, including non-communicative roommates and unemployment. Others shared about their own recoveries from childhood abuse, adult poverty and the effects of racism and homophobia. We also gave him a summary of points covered at the meeting.
Our note taker will be away for a week, so we decided to take up a two week topic, Sexualities. One member introduced us to his idea that each person has a unique sexuality. We'll explore this for the next two weeks in the light of Science.
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
JERUSALEM. Mortal belief and knowledge obtained from the five corporeal senses; the pride of power and the power of pride; sensuality; envy; oppression; tyranny.
If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown. Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God.
The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind.
Universal Love is the divine way in Christian Science.
Can the infinite dwell in the finite or know aught unlike the infinite?
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [Love] for ever.
The Scriptures declare Life to be the infinite I AM,—not a dweller in matter. For man to know Life as it is, namely God, the eternal good, gives him not merely a sense of existence, but an accompanying consciousness of spiritual power that subordinates matter and destroys sin, disease, and death. This, Jesus demonstrated; insomuch that St. Matthew wrote, "The people were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." This spiritual power, healing sin and sickness, was not confined to the first century; it extends to all time, inhabits eternity, and demonstrates Life without beginning or end.
Atomic action is Mind, not matter. It is neither the energy of matter, the result of organization, nor the outcome of life infused into matter: it is infinite Spirit, Truth,