October 30, 2008
God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.
"Well, how was it?"
"One of the best. I had a great time with old friends I've loved for years and meeting some new people."
"The topic was certainly on target!"
"Yes indeed! Can we expect immediate economic recovery?"
"Sure, why not? One thing several of the speakers emphasized was to be grateful even before the physical evidence appears. And why? Because God, infinite good, is constantly pouring forth more than we can possibly accept — more than we think we should have. Gratitude breaks the mesmerism."
"Describe some of the workshops."
"Oh, I lost my notebook coming back to New York, so I've got only what stuck in memory."
"You have the outline of the conference."
"Right — I've jotted some points down. Okay, the first presentation was called 'Abundance, Now.' The speaker emphasized the constant outflow of God's abundant good. Our need is to remove the blocks to getting in the flow. Blocks are just false beliefs — like ' I'm not worthy', ' I'm too old'. 'I'm not educated enough.' and so on. He recommended a constant attitude of gratitude on our part, especially, as I said, before any healing is physically evident. He showed us how to translate our so-called 'wants' into divine ideas, totally present."
"Can you remember an example?"
"Well, I want more money or I want a boyfriend. Desire is prayer, but we need to elevate that desire — which is dualistic — to divine having. We're already at-one with God — what better source of supply is there than that? Bring the fact back through the belief, and appearances will shift."
"Healing — right?"
"I think part of the work is to see everyone in the world satisfied — all desires elevated and met."
"I agree. Part of my work in the current economic crisis is to take my judgmental thought off everyone — governments, bankers, householders — even myself for being a Scientist asleep at the switch."
"Very good point. I was part of the problem as I floated with the good times, not realizing I was just looking to beliefs about abundance rather than to God as the source of all-good. Thankfully I and others can return like the Prodigal Son to sanity and salvation: '...thou art ever with me and all that I have is thine' [ Luke 15: 32]."
"Speech 2 was ' An Absolute Faith' which is a phrase from the opening line of the first chapter of Science and Health ' 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.' The speaker related the three key elements of prayer, as set forth in this sentence, to three sections of the Lord's Prayer. So, 'absolute faith' applies to the first four verses of the prayer, ' spiritual understanding' to the next three and 'unselfed love' to the last. Finally, the speaker facilitated a group treatment for the world economy."
"We did some work on that last time and I've expanded my treatment. The troubled areas seem to be financial stability, housing and jobs. The divine idea we are is stable. It's maintained perfectly and it's God's activity."
"What you're saying — what you're seeing — is that man and the universe are God in action."
"Yes — God's activity!"
"The third speaker explored the unique importance of demonstration in Christian Science. Since God is everpresent and knowable, Mrs. Eddy was able to give us a demonstrable way of healing, which actually equates in Science to what more orthodox people would call salvation..."
"Yes — bit by bit. Christian Science is about demonstration and not opinions and dogma. These mortal proclivities must be cast out prayerfully by Truth."
"I think the promise of healing is what draws people to Science. It's what attracted me, but it took years to see the difference between mortal mind and divine Mind. I now distinguish between them as limited and unlimited seeing. What I see in the latter I must then bring back into the former."
"It's Jesus on the mountain top communing with God, then going down to the valley to heal."
"And where's the demonstration? Popularly it's in the valley, but more deeply perhaps it's on the mountain, getting clearer views of reality."
"I'd say it's both. Clearer views, yes. Very important. But then healing, showing that what's true in heaven is true on earth."
"Our next presentation was titled ' The Bible and Homosexuality: A Reappraisal'. The speaker accessed modern and ancient scholarship to roundly trounce the six offending scriptural quotes which some commentators feel apply to homosexuality. Isn't that something—six quotes for us versus thousands applicable to heterosexuals. As the speaker said, apparently they require more supervision. He quoted Mrs. Eddy: ' The decisions by vote of Church Councils as to what should and should not be considered Holy Writ; the manifest mistakes in the ancient versions; the thirty thousand different readings in the Old Testament, and the three hundred thousand in the New, — these facts show how a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record, with its own hue darkening to some extent the inspired pages’(S&H 139: 15-22). Isn't she saying be careful here to get the Science and not a jumble of confusing literal directives? Aren't we seekers after Love rather than addicts of an Oedipal projection gone woefully awry?
"Our speaker took us through Biblical references to the Sodom story. Granting it includes the prospect of a gang rape, the real point is the inhospitality of the people of Sodom. This is the sin invariably referred to in the Bible when this incident is mentioned. In the harsh climate of the region, inhospitality was viewed as a very serious matter, perhaps even a death-dealing sin. The speaker ended by asking 'Given the cruel treatment dished out by many churches to Gay people, who are the sodomites of today?' ."
"I saw a documentary last night on PBS called ' The Bible Tells Me So'...."
"Our speaker recommended it — together with lots of other material."
"What's it about?"
"It's five different religious families and their reaction to the news that one of their children is Gay. It includes Bishop Gene Robinson and his evangelical parents. They seem to have come, rather unenthusiastically, to terms with his orientation. But there are several tragedies. One woman, spouting Focus On The Family excoriations, managed to drive her Lesbian daughter away, finally into suicide. Today she's a total Gay rights activist! There are many scenes of religious people, including prelates, who become rabid when they talk about Gay people. Religion has become a major problem for us."
"There must be some deeper underlying illness being acted out here. All that fury can't arise from religion per se. This could use some work in Science."
"There's definitely fear involved. You mentioned Oedipus before — it's got to be something in that area. Maybe castration insecurities."
"Ah — very good! And God is the only power and security for us all. As us all!"
"The fifth speaker moved us towards a healing vision of the pure light proclaimed in the Apocalypse chapter of Science and Health. We were invited to live our true infinite being — the one Ego or male-female of God's creating. He described the resulting wedding feast and told us to get our wedding gowns on. I got so high I don't remember many of his words but I think he read this from Science and Health: ' The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares. Then thought gently whispers: "Come hither! Arise from your false consciousness into the true sense of Love, and behold the Lamb's wife, — Love wedded to its own spiritual idea."Then cometh the marriage feast, for this revelation will destroy forever the physical plagues imposed by material sense' (S&H 574: 27-6)."
"Our time is getting short and you haven't told us about the keynote speech."
"It was such a powerful presentation I hate to skimp on it. Why don't we take its topic as our own for the next two weeks. Our presenter is putting chunks of it up on her blog and we'll have some ideas of our own."
"Fine, but could you give us a couple of points to get started with?"
"Okay. after losing a well-paid job she really buckled down and got to know God. She followed up on inspirational directives and found herself in places she'd never dreamed of. With the help of a life coach she discerned what she really wanted to do. Oh, and she now reads Science and Health as though Mrs. Eddy wrote just for her! She's particularly turned on by the chapter on Creation. Anyway, keep checking in with her blog — you'll get the whole speech."
"Give us the title of her speech."
"It was 'How Being Yourself Guarantees Infinite Supply.'."
"Let's shorten it to fit on our homepage: ' Being You and Infinite Supply'."