March 24, 2005
When spiritual being is understood in all its perfection, continuity, and might, then shall man be found in God's image.
"We got some criticism last week ([#topic=20050317#]) for being too negative."
"I read the notes and didn't think we were. But maybe we did kind of trounce happy face Christian Science."
"You mean like belief in good?"
"Exactly, instead of real understanding."
"Don't you think some people misunderstand what we're doing here? No one is an expert or an authority. We just raise topics in a prayerful way and see what comes up for us in thought and demonstration. It might be way off but those reading our notes can carry out whatever additional work is needed."
"Or come see us or send an email to question what's been said."
"Well this week's topic definitely inspired me towards the positive. Who came up with it?"
"I did, to help me deal with the dregs of the pneumonia I had last month."
"How are you? You look terrific!"
"You know this week I've been feeling a lot better. I'm beginning to sing again but I wouldn't want to do it on stage yet. Even my falsetto is back. Dancing is still a challenge.'
"Remember, you tap-danced in the hospital and pulled all the wires and tubes loose?"
"What a scene — the nurses came running to see what happened. I think their monitors showed me jumping out the window."
"So what came up for you this week?"
"In addition to the physical recovery, my business is picking up. I got calls from the producers of my Sunday and Monday night gigs asking me to at least put in an appearance, since people are asking how I'm doing."
"That must make you feel happy."
"You bet it does. Also today I had a make-up customer who remembered me from 15 years ago and dropped by for a full make-up and advice on cosmetic purchases. Women really want this help in getting product at the discount stores that would cost twenty times as much in the department stores."
"Hey, not just women. I could use a cheap face cream too."
"See me after the meeting. And I had a male customer today who plunked down in my chair and asked me to trim his eyebrows. He's a big strapping guy, so some of his cohorts had to drop by and make fun of him."
"Well, you know, this week's teaser is next week's customer."
"It's really been an exhilarating week as I'm feeling better and now seeing these business and entertainment breakthroughs. I just stay focused on spiritual being and good things happen. An eager heart listening for the pulse of divinity is the way."
"This week I was thinking about Christian Science in relation to The Mother Church, which is going through some changes with the new Board. The ideas discovered by Mary Baker Eddy can't change or be forgotten but where they're presented and the language they're discussed in can and will change. So I'm not worried. Even if we lose the formal church we can still study and demonstrate on our own and band together, if we want to, in small practice groups like this one."
"Here's a quote from a tape by Margaret Laird, who put Christian Science in modern, sometimes shocking terminology: 'There's nothing outside my own divinity. Take no thought. Have no opinions or theories. Be what you are — infinite Love, eternal Life.'"
"I had some good job interviews this week. I've completed my vocational training and there are several employers bidding for me. Easter's a busy time in food and drink, so I'll probably be working this weekend."
"Is there anything still standing in the way?"
"A year ago I would have said I was afraid of my mood swings and lack of self-confidence. But now I'm overflowing with confidence. I scare myself sometimes! It's so different now after 18 years seeing my life drain away."
"You've had a major life shifting demonstration of Christian Science."
"The recovery was hard and getting back into the work world was hard. But looking back now I can see how Spirit was with me every step.Now with mental stability and new job skills, I'm full of enthusiasm and positive anticipation."
"I had a couple of healings this week. Saturday was the 18th anniversary of the death of someone I was wildly in love with. The first few years I'd always have a crying jag on March 19th. As time went on the pain subsided and some years the date slipped by without commemoration. Suddenly last Saturday there it all was again! I mean, what the...? As I cried forlornly, other losses came and went in my thought and then the whole foundation of this relationship and its many dysfunctions came into sharp focus. I saw I was actually now mourning the evaporation of a beautiful but poisonous dream. I asked God for wisdom and it came to me if I'm to have a close romantic relationship it must be with a real partner."
"And how would you define that?"
"I wouldn't..., yet. I'll just live with the desire and let God reveal its fulfilling counterfacts bit by bit."
"I sometimes wonder if what we call evil isn't really just the friction created by our clinging to some outmoded concept. If we'll let go and let Truth speak, we'll move to new high ground, closer to the heart of God."
"Did you want to talk about your other healing?"
"I'll talk about it later if we have time. I'd rather hear what others think about the Schiavo case."
"Okay. But can we please concentrate on spiritual understanding and leave medicine with Tom De Lay and politics with Jerry Falwell?"
"Agreed. I've found a lot of comment in the Christian Science chat rooms about Terri Schiavo's spiritual life in God. Do we limit God's ability to heal her?"
"God is living her and all. But don't we have to know that to the exclusion of all theories and causes outside the one Cause and effect? That knowing won't affect her on the spiritual level but it might clear away the blocks to continued participation here."
"I was tormented Monday by her plight and my massage therapist helped me by pointing out we're all on a feeding tube, only it's actually our spiritual existence constantly supplying everyone all the time. We can't escape spiritual existence."
"You know Terri's name, Schiavo, means slave in Italian. She's a slave of Christ — just like all of us. She's God's self experience."
"That's excellent. I studied a quote from Science and Health to calm my thought about Terri Schiavo. The marginal heading reads, 'Heavenly supplies.' Here it is: 'His followers, sorrowful and silent, anticipating the hour of their Master's betrayal, partook of the heavenly manna, which of old had fed in the wilderness the persecuted followers of Truth. Their bread indeed came down from heaven. It was the great truth of spiritual being, healing the sick and casting out error.' (pg. 33:3)"
"I attended a lecture on Tuesday which explored Jung's method of getting the ego and the unconscious to dialogue through what he called the Transcendent Function. This was then compared to the Buddhist Middle Way. It got me thinking that with Christian Science I should be able to experience the very life I now live in the flesh as God, Life eternal."
"If I'm living spiritual being, what else is there?"
"Try this on. There was once a man in our group who celebrated discos as church — with all the music, worshipping and oblations. For him a night at the disco involved a search for and achievement of at-one-ment."
"I went to the Black Party Saturday and can see that. I could reframe the experience as church."
"What's the Back Party?"
"It's a roiling dance extravaganza basically for Gay men. It started in the 70's at a dance hall named Flamingo. Now it's held at Roseland."
"Roseland? Isn't that where older ladies entertain their dance instructors?"
"That's what they call them! Well, we had a few of those, but mainly the crowd was hulks and hunks swathed, or not, in leather. Much holiness was sought and supplied."
"We have some time left if you want to tell us about your other healing."
"Sure. I'm the treasurer of a psychology club and we have insurance contracts I oversee. The billing for the annual fee on one of them was running late. My phone calls to the broker were not returned and we were rebuffed when we tried to pay directly to the insurance company. I felt desperate when the due date came and went. Would the company honor any claims that might arise if we hadn't paid the premium?"
"What did you do?"
"Well, thank God I had the sense to contact a practitioner. She calmed me down and we reasoned together that everyone and everything is safe and assured in this kingdom of Heaven we now live in. I got a real good vision of universal harmony and was prepared to leave it there, but the practitioner said, just as we were hanging up, 'And you do need to accept the conclusion of the matter.' Whew! I relaxed. Next day at church a lady spoke of how we sometimes get the major points of Science but forget the moment by moment living of it. She referred to the statement on page 272 of Science and Health about the spiritualization of thought and the Christianization of daily life. When I stopped by the club's office to try once again to resolve the problem I practiced in this way. Our accountant got through to our broker on the phone and next day the contract and billing arrived."
"Well, to quote Tennessee Williams, 'God comes so quickly.'"
"And we need to quickly end this meeting. Do we have a suggestion for next week's topic?"
"I'd like to look at Intuition. The readings brought out we have everything we need to solve a problem. It's the quote about being before the blackboard on page 3 of the Textbook. That might imply we have it consciously right now. In truth we do, of course, but if we merely believe we do then we may be on very shaky ground."
"In other words you want us to look more deeply into Science and not jump to snap decisions based on crass mortal mind drives."
"Well put. Any takers?"
"It's fine with me."
"Okay, guys. Next week is Intuition. Please, women, — come help us!"
in my flesh shall I see God:
Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.
Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem? The rule is already established, and it is our task to work out the solution.
When the human element in him struggled with the divine, our great Teacher said: "Not my will, but Thine, be done!"—that is, Let not the flesh, but the Spirit, be represented in me.
When being is understood, Life will be recognized as neither material nor finite, but as infinite,—as God, universal good; and the belief that life, or mind, was ever in a finite form, or good in evil, will be destroyed. Then it will be understood that Spirit never entered matter and was therefore never raised from matter. When advanced to spiritual being and the understanding of God, man can no longer commune with matter; neither can he return to it, any more than a tree can return to its seed. Neither will man seem to be corporeal, but he will be an individual consciousness, characterized by the divine Spirit as idea, not matter.
There is but one way—namely, God and His idea—which leads to spiritual being.
When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man's spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God's creation, — all the glories of earth and heaven and man.
The improved theory and practice of religion and of medicine are mainly due to the people's improved views of the Supreme Being. As the finite sense of Deity, based on material conceptions of spiritual being, yields its grosser elements, we shall learn what God is, and what God does. The Hebrew term that gives another letter to the word God and makes it good, unites Science and Christianity, whereby we learn that God, good, is universal, and the divine Principle,—Life, Truth, Love; and this Principle is learned through goodness, and of Mind instead of matter, of Soul instead of the senses, and by revelation supporting reason. It is the false conceptions of Spirit, based on the evidences gained from the material senses, that make a Christian only in theory, shockingly material in practice, and form its Deity out of the worst human qualities, else of wood or stone.
Our present understanding is but "the seed within itself," for it is divine Science, "bearing fruit after its kind."
Sooner or later the whole human race will learn that, in proportion as the spotless selfhood of God is understood, human nature will be renovated, and man will receive a higher selfhood, derived from God, and the redemption of mortals from sin, sickness, and death be established on everlasting foundations.
The mutations of mortal sense are the evening and the morning of human thought,—the twilight and dawn of earthly vision, which precedeth the nightless radiance of divine Life. Human perception, advancing toward the apprehension of its nothingness, halts, retreats, and again goes forward; but the divine Principle and Spirit and spiritual man are unchangeable,—neither advancing, retreating, nor halting.
Our highest sense of infinite good in this mortal sphere is but the sign and symbol, not the substance of good. Only faith and a feeble understanding make the earthly acme of human sense. "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God." (Galatians ii. 20.)