March 18, 2004

We have nothing to fear when Love is at the helm of thought, but everything to enjoy on earth and in heaven.

Miscellaneous Writings, by Mary Baker Eddy

The member who promoted the topic Love couldn't get to the meeting and since we wanted her input we decided to extend the topic for another week. This took the pressure off any attempt to cram everything into one evening, but we still had lots to share.

Everyone seemed aware that a personal sense of love — scrumptious as it is — does not heal; in fact it can harm. It is impersonal or unselfed Love that blesses and heals. Love is often referred to as the highest synonym for God, but "who can explain it really?"

"One of my friends, a Christian Scientist, won't use the term. He feels it's irretrievably corrupted by personal sense."

"The Greeks had several words for love, but they boil down to friendly/caring love versus erotic love."

"And you can't have both at the same time with the same person?"

"Ideally we should be able to, but I think the implication is 'no'. Has anyone here had both?"

"Maybe, but fleetingly."

"I've had sexual attraction morph into friendly love — many times."

"I get into obsessions over people who are not romantically drawn to me. We superficially end up friends, but I burn under the surface."

"Yeah, I've done that too, but my specialty is allowing myself to get rooked financially."

"Isn't there usually some kind of inequality in a relationship? I mean financially, or in looks, age, charisma?"

"Yeah, but those are the opposites that attract."

"And also the areas where venom flows if a relationship is not solid."

"Problem areas are places that cry out for healing in both lovers. At base they're wounds still festering from the past — probably childhood."

"As a student of Christian Science, I see troubled love meaning spiritual need."

"I agree. Mrs. Eddy is positive on such problems. They're 'sharp experiences of belief in matter' that drive us to the 'arms of divine Love' (see Readings, Science and Health, page 322).

"There's nothing better than a bad love affair to speed us along that path. But what of those who just go on suffering, perhaps seeking relief in yet another bad situation?"

"Two points. First, the goal of every mortal is salvation. Whether we get there on the wings of a perfect love relationship or in a heap in a gutter, the goal is the same — freedom from matter or dualism. Second, I've really had lots of experience with aborted love — I'd like a little work in a functioning relationship. Whole new vistas of problems would open up that I haven't a clue about now."

"Let's broaden it out. Love isn't just about romance. It's involved in friendships, professional and church relationships. If I have a problem selling a product or service, isn't there some lack of love there?"

"I'm glad we have one word for love in English. It reminds me that when I say I love a friend or God, there's an implied intensity and engagement that needs to be there, just as when I get all swept up in some hot affair."

"That's a great way to see it. but don't forget the potential for pain. Or as Mrs.Eddy would say 'angels entertained unawares.' If I feel the lack of divine or human love, I suffer but I can also move that right up to Deity, let go of the torture brought on by dualism and understand all as the reflection of the infinite God, good."

"Mrs. Eddy often links the two synonyms, Principle and Love. To me Principle seems cold, but I feel it's the most important synonym. Equating it with Love makes it more approachable."

"I'm still unclear what Love is in Science".

"I often substitute the word 'Oneness' — it's our Oneness in action. It's the Oneness of being pervading and directing all activity. Look at the readings: John 14: 19, 20."

Here they are for handy reference:

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

"We can't really see each other if we're being in each other — that is, if we're co-extensive."

"Why, that's that quantum physics business we were talking about last week ([#topicd=20040311#])."

Some healings were reported.

1) One member got into a scheduling crunch over appointments with his massage clients. He fretted for several days, trying to juggle things and got into "victim mode."He realized he'd better pray and immediately."It came to me that I'm in the line of work I love and have worked for — and Love is what it's all about."The frenzy and confusion fell away and he was able to go forward with joy.

2) Three members had dealings with city agencies during the week. The cases involved a building permit, rent rebates and medical treatments. Love had to be kept at the helm of thought as they descended into the "bowels of bureaucracy". One situation was handled on the spot — the other two are pending.

3) A member lost a valuable pen he'd had for many years. It had not only financial but sentimental value. "I'd written many important letters and signed many papers with that pen."He decided to give a Christian Science treatment to the situation, being led to statements in Science and Health as well as a current Christian Science Sentinel. When he grew tired he said, "OK Father, you take it from here. I'm going to bed."When he awoke in the morning he went right to a drawer and found the pen, stuck in the back behind some papers.

4) Another member "bit off too much work"at a charitable institution and found himself paralyzed over how to proceed. "To compound things, people were not being helpful — and no one was calling back to agree on meeting times. I was ready to chuck the whole project!"Something rolled over in his mind and he realized how ugly his thoughts were about everyone. "Somehow — just like that! — I took the problem to God and got the divine view of everyone and the organization."Instantly his whole attitude changed from paranoia, fear, hatred, blame to "can-do", like "this'll be fun,"these are divine ideas,"let's have a party!"You guessed it — the log jam quickly dissolved and things are moving forward.

We'll continue with Love for next week. We'll probably have some Rumi, some Henry Drummond and some research on an intriguing discovery that the Hebrew word "Laquach", meaning marriage, is used many times with same sex couples in the Bible — including David and Jonathan, David and Mephibosheth, and Ruth and Naomi.

The Bible

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

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

The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God,—a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love. Regardless of what another may say or think on this subject, I speak from experience. Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God's gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind.

Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power.

Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.

Identity is the reflection of Spirit, the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love.

The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science.

The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.

Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough! Human language can repeat only an infinitesimal part of what exists. The absolute ideal, man, is no more seen nor comprehended by mortals, than is his infinite Principle, Love. Principle and its idea, man, are coexistent and eternal.

Manual of The Mother Church, by Mary Baker Eddy

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.

Miscellaneous Writings, by Mary Baker Eddy


What a word! I am in awe before it. Over what worlds on worlds it hath range and is sovereign! the underived, the incomparable, the infinite All of good, the alone God, is Love.

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