October 7, 2004
Man is God's reflection, needing no cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete.
"The most confusing thing to me in Christian Science is whether man is part of God or the whole."
"Each of us is the full reflection."
"All is infinite Mind and its infinite reflection."
"Well yes, but apparently in Science that doesn't mean we're absorbed or obliterated by Deity."
"Mrs. Eddy is very clear on that point. She sees each of us as eternally individual."
"I've studied and even tried to adhere to a number of Eastern religions and my fear was always annihilation of my individuality."
"That's why Carl Jung said Westerners can study and appreciate Buddhism and Hinduism but we'd give ourselves a hard time trying to practice them. Our egos are too hardened and established. But that was said a century ago and there's been some blending of Eastern philosophies into our culture now."
"I'm not sure I know the differences between Christian Science and say Buddhism. They're really close."
"I guess it's our acceptance of the individual nature of being. To us infinity and individuality are not at odds — they're the same thing! Mrs. Eddy once pointed to several students one by one and said, 'Individuality once, individuality twice, individuality thrice and so on.' Each one was the whole universe and also individual or undivided."
"Let's look at the definitions of Man and Mind in the 'Glossary' of Science and Health (see Readings). Each one of us is the full representation of God, infinite and eternal, including all others."
"I heard someone at an Emergence meeting say, 'God is the only man I am.'"
"Can we say I am God? If all is Mind and its infinite manifestation, we should be able to say that."
"Technically yes, I agree. But it could lead to ego inflation — I mean, bringing all our mortal baggage into the equation. Margaret Laird suggested we say, 'God is me and all.'"
"Human language can only hint at the Truth. We need to feel our divinity. Be it, not just talk about it."
"This week I was reading about Adoptionist Christology. There was once a group of Christian heretics who believed Jesus became Christ only as he emerged from his baptism and as God said, 'This is my beloved son' (Matthew 3:17). This led me to study Mrs. Eddy's exegesis of John 1:12 and 13 in Miscellaneous Writings (see Readings). What the Adoptionists were fretting over Mrs. Eddy discovered through Science: in Truth we are each God's being, but in belief we have to awaken to that fact. It's like the movie we talked about last week, What The Bleep Do We Know. As long as we see ourselves as a particle or Jesus we're a wasting entity, but we can always drop back into our eternal infinite wave state or Christ."
"And then what?"
"Do I look like someone who's done it? But seriously we all do it whenever we allow our divine Selfhood to reign and blow the sides out of dead concepts."
"I had quite an experience Tuesday with my cousin. Her name is Janell Cannon and she was here promoting her children's books Stellaluna and Pinduli. She writes about unappreciated animals like bats and hyenas. We share an immense love for animals, particularly unusual ones like the drill. I'll visit her in San Diego over Thanksgiving and we'll go to the zoo. They have drills there."
"Is she a Christian Scientist?"
"No. She'd never heard of it when we first got to know each other three years ago. But we find our spiritual approaches compatible. It keeps me on my toes trying to express Science in common terms and also discern the divinity of animal life."
"I got a chance this week to apply Christian Science along the lines I learned in class last year. I've been living with my aunt since I moved to New York but recently started looking for a place of my own. A few weeks ago my daughter's roommate said she'd be moving, so my daughter and I discussed it and decided I should move in with her. The roommate wanted me to pay her a large sum for the improvements she'd installed. I was willing to pay a reasonable amount but her figure seemed way over the top. My natural tendency would be to argue or pout, but I caught it in time and decided to work it out in Science. So I gave the situation a formal treatment. I even wrote it out — you know, 'Man is honest, fully satisfied. Fairness, balance and harmony prevail.' I went through all the synonyms for God, one by one, and applied them to the case. Then I rested in a glorious feeling of well-being and bliss. A few days later my daughter told me her roommate had lowered the requested payment and we were able to arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement. Neither one of us had been taken advantage of and an atmosphere of friendliness and fairness ruled."
"Did anyone want to talk about the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates?"
"I felt Bush was operating out of maternal animus, in other words his mother's masculinity. His father comes from the same place psychologically, so poor George II has to make do with whatever he's managed to glean filtering through Barbara's female ego. Thus his shrillness, brittleness and arrogance. Kerry on the other hand struck me as exuding true masculinity."
"I was really disappointed at the mainstream media's commentary. They've all gone right wing. Have they been bullied by Fox into sheer jingoism?"
"They certainly have — even PBS and NPR. Thank God for Pacifica, the bloggers and Air America. They all got the truth out the next day."
"Cheney's lies were uncovered and corrected the next morning. That business with Fact Check Dot Com was hilarious. It's a commercial educational site. They were having to pay for every hit inundating them, so their webmaster shifted the traffic to a George Soros site proclaiming the wickedness of the Bush Cheney team!"
"I went to Fat Chick Dot Com."
"I feel I'm getting no spiritual vision at all from the race — but I'm having a lot of fun. It's too bad there are so many serious problems being sloughed off — by me and everyone else."
"Well, America is an entertainment society."
"I heard someone the other day talking about what he's calling the radical superficiality of Islam. I think he's saying Islam has largely been taken over by political calculation. The spiritual content is smothered. Well, as far as I can see that's happened to Christians, Jews and others too — and politics. I guess it's silly to say politics has been taken over by politics, but I mean every move is calculated to pander to the winning bulk of voters — there's no leadership, no attempt to get at the truth and work for it. It's become professional team sports. The actual participants get something out of it all — I mean money. But the rest of us sit in the bleachers, mesmerized, dumb and nattering, while the problems build and glide serenely towards cataclysm. What will to take to wake us up?"
"Well I hate to leave it there, but our time is up. We need a topic for next time. Maybe something about what it'd take to wake us up?"
"Some of us are going to the Emergence conference in Providence next week. We need a two week topic. I think those who'll be at the meeting next week should choose the topic, but let me just add that you might want to consider the Emergence topic, 'Commitment To Love'."
"I'd like to suggest something that concerns me a lot. It's how you'd go about healing grief and trauma through Christian Science."
"Is that agreed — Healing Grief and Trauma?"
"I like it. Did you know grief and guru come from the same Indo-European root?"
"No, but that's helpful."
"Yes, let's do it."
And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. #And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
A mortal, corporeal, or finite conception of God cannot embrace the glories of limitless, incorporeal Life and Love. Hence the unsatisfied human craving for something better, higher, holier, than is afforded by a material belief in a physical God and man. The insufficiency of this belief to supply the true idea proves the falsity of material belief.
Man is more than a material form with a mind inside, which must escape from its environments in order to be immortal. Man reflects infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God.
God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis. Mind manifests all that exists in the infinitude of Truth. We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God.
Genesis ii. 1. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Thus the ideas of God in universal being are complete and forever expressed, for Science reveals infinity and the fatherhood and motherhood of Love. Human capacity is slow to discern and to grasp God's creation and the divine power and presence which go with it, demonstrating its spiritual origin. Mortals can never know the infinite, until they throw off the old man and reach the spiritual image and likeness. What can fathom infinity! How shall we declare Him, till, in the language of the apostle, "we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ"?
MAN. The compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind.
MIND. The only I, or Us; the only Spirit, Soul, divine Principle, substance, Life, Truth, Love; the one God; not that which is in man, but the divine Principle, or God, of whom man is the full and perfect expression; Deity, which outlines but is not outlined.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.—JOHN i. 12, 13.
When we understand man's true birthright, that he is "born, not . . . of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God," we shall understand that man is the offspring of Spirit, and not of the flesh; recognize him through spiritual, and not material laws; and regard him as spiritual, and not material. His sonship, referred to in the text, is his spiritual relation to Deity: it is not, then, a personal gift, but is the order of divine Science.