Truth and Love
January 29, 2009
Our watchwords are Truth and Love; and if we abide in these, they will abound in us, and we shall be one in heart,--one in motive, purpose, pursuit.
"I see a distinction in Christian Science between relative and absolute truth. For instance, did Timothy Geithner intentionally not pay his taxes? What's the truth? Will we ever know for sure? In fact, will he? I mean, it may have been one of those unconscious actions based on a childhood scene he doesn't even recall. On the other hand, we can know the absolute Truth about man as honest and true. That's where healing happens."
"How do we get to the absolute Truth?"
"Some people jump right to it but others may need to pray. The Lesson on Truth has some pointers. In Section III, Mrs. Eddy is quoted: 'In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God's allness' (S&H 15: 14-18)."
"It's about quieting the mind and listening for Truth to utter its healing ideas."
"The Hindus call our dualistic mental agitation 'monkey mind'. It's always nervous and chattering."
"Theosophy teaches that spirit moves the body. We need a body."
"Sure. Humans need bodies and Christian Science heals them. Absolute Truth gives us a better sense of body."
"How do you make prayer effective?"
"There's no formula but it does seem to need striving. Here's another quote from the Lesson: 'It is easier to desire Truth than to rid one's self of error. Mortals may seek the understanding of Christian Science, but they will not be able to glean from Christian Science the facts of being without striving for them. This strife consists in the endeavor to forsake error of every kind and to possess no other consciousness but good' (S&H 322: 31-5)."
"Desire is prayer but really our whole life — everything we think and do — is our living communion with and as God."
"For me, Truth shows up in prayer when there's understanding and conviction. It's absolute knowing."
"When there's healing I get a shift of consciousness — a sudden realization of wellbeing."
"What's all this about taking up the cross? Like here: 'We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We must 'pray without ceasing.' Such prayer is answered, in so far as we put our desires into practice' (S&H 15: 18-22) ."
"Well, orthodox Christians see some value in suffering now to secure a spot in heaven, but for Scientists it's simply a matter of confronting error rather than evading it."
"Take it up — don't shirk it!"
"I sometimes have to draw a line in the sand. Sure, it's an exercise of human will, but it's in a good cause and it's definitely based on demonstrable Truth."
"I came from a small town where things are pretty peaceful — so New York can be stressful. This morning I was running late and the subway was unusully crowded and slow. Somehow I just decided to really get deeper into the book I was reading and forget the stressful situation. Without me realizing it, the situation righted itself and I actually got to work early."
"What book were you reading?"
"Van Gogh's letters to and from his family."
"You went into your closet of prayer with some pretty evolved people — seers really."
"That's interesting because the current Sentinel (January 19 & 26, 2009) is about God-inspired artists."
"Art's a form of worship. Do you make art?"
"Yes, I'm a painter. I try to give it two or three hours a day, but the inspiration's not always there and I'll sit in front of the canvass doing nothing."
"You probably need those empty spaces to let fresh ideas appear. Look at Section IV of the Lesson. Jesus says ' And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!' Then the quotes from Science and Health are about providing space for Truth to reveal itself. For instance: 'We ought to weary of the fleeting and false and to cherish nothing which hinders our highest selfhood' (S&H 68: 6-8)."
"I remember when I was fired from my job I made a conscious choice not to cave in to a lot of negative thoughts of blame and fear. I was then able to use the period of unemployment to forge a new relationship with God and find a job which brought into play several of the talents I'd accumulated over the years."
"What did you all think about the Inauguration?"
"It was beautiful. I actually cried when Aretha Franklin was singing 'My Country 'Tis Of Thee'. I was watching on CNBC and they panned the trading floors in New York and Chicago. Everyone was still—reverent and the voice of Truth sang out across the land."
"Obama's approach isn't based on fear, which was the main driver in the Bush administration. He doesn't seem naive or arrogant either. Maybe we've finally hired a thoughtful adult to head up the government."
"Let's be careful not to be lulled by appearances — positive in this case. We still need to keep a prayerful attitude towards government.""The Lesson on Love mainly teaches forgiveness — at all levels. It's forgiveness based on the allness of God — God with us or Christ."
"There's the woman taken in adultery and the Pharisees, then the Magdalen, then a man with the palsy and finally Saul on the road to Damascus. The Christ forgives or heals their sins and they're renewed."
"Mrs. Eddy uses the word 'sin' a lot and it's been high-lighted since the church swung to the right."
"Yeah, but 'sin' just means ' missing the mark'. It's got a lot of baggage but it's a simple concept."
"I translate it as ' dualism' or ' leaning on matter'."
"I think the Rule for Motives and Acts in the Manual says it all. Animosity is totally out, but personal attachments are OK as long as they're not ' mere' — in other words as long as there's a spiritual basis. Love governs man and teaches us what's in accordance with it and what's not."
"I've been getting close to a woman at church and I really value her friendship. But she's getting into touching and kissing me. I've got to tell her I'm Gay but I feel like that'll disrupt the friendship."
"It might be painful for her and she might run away, but ultimately — particularly with scientific prayer — there'll be healing."
"My history is replete with one-sided obsessions, but finally one of the guys called me on it, saying how painful is was for him. I was mortified and very depressed for a few days, but as you said, with prayer I got through it and more importantly took a stand never to get involved again in such madness.
"Well, from that standpoint and feeling out for what God wants for me to do with that energy, I'm now having a wonderful time just dating and flirting on the internet and in the flesh."
"I've seen what's happened to you and I'm amazed."
"You've been a great help to me in the shift. One thing I have to watch out for now is not becoming addicted to the process I'm in. I mean, I do eventually want to settle down with one person."
"The right person!"
"Exactly — and that'll depend on prayer and taking up the cross daily—in other wards, dating."
"The area I still have trouble with is how to handle the relationship with my ex. We've remained close but he's just started seeing a guy I also saw briefly. So the situation's dicey. They're spending most of their free time together. When they eventually come up for air I just wonder how comfortable we'll be if we get together. They're also doing things and going places that were special between my ex and me. It's rough — even if I think it shouldn't be!"
"Here's an idea. When I was talking to a practitioner about all the dating I'm doing and slipped back into complaining about the time I'd wasted on obsessions, she caught me and said ' Take it to the highest level.' I think she was saying ' Be Love and practice from there' rather than wasting valuable time now kvetching about people."
"My major concern is the whole area of sexual and romantic attraction. It undermines everything. Look at this from the Lesson 'If man is not victorious over the passions, they crush out happiness, health, and manhood. Here Christian Science is the sovereign panacea, giving strength to the weakness of mortal mind, — strength from the immortal and omnipotent Mind, — and lifting humanity above itself into purer desires, even into spiritual power and good-will to man' (S&H 407: 10-16). For the first time in my life I feel like my passions are coming to life and I'm very uncomfortable. I'm getting jerked around. I wish I could return to my previous simple, pure life."
"I remember when I was 15 and very much driven by sexual desire, I'd think back to when I was 10 or 12 and the sheer comfort of life before sex reared its head."
"Now folks, sex is a big part of the modern world and it's definitely a dualistic concept that needs to be carefully handled....."
"...even if it can't be because it's Dionysian. It handles us — disrupting our most solemn plans. We only hope and pray for some insight and probity."
"At root it's about infinity — eternity. We're Christian Scientists! We should be able to put sex and romance under divine guidance."
"I find it a useless drain. I can use the energy elsewhere."
"Our dear Marcelo Nigri presented his new dance recently at Cunningham and a few of us went to see it. I'll include it in the notes because it deals with getting your energy back through relating to your contrasexual element."
"It's sex at a very high level — between the ego and the anima."
"It shows the tears and triumphs of relationship — but it's an inner struggle."
"The Lesson also includes this relating to the Saul-Paul story: 'One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, "Love thy neighbor as thyself;"annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed' (S&H 340: 23-29).
"Isn't that an invitation to see the total corrective power of Love—I mean, being able to wipe out not only the things that haunt us individually but even long-standing international problems like Isreal-Palestine or India-Pakistan? One Mind is all there is operating here and everywhere."
"Last week a member brought up the book 'Eat Pray Love' about integrating the senses and Spirit."
"I read it and enjoyed it, but it's the opposite of Christian Science."
"I wonder. I haven't read it but understand the protagonist spent time in Italy to sharpen the senses, then time in India to pray and meditate and finally in Indonesia where she integrated these practices and found love."
"It's not Christian Science but hints, dualistically, at what we're basically about: seeing God-man-universe as the non-dualistic unfolding reality."
"We're getting short on time. I'd love to continue with this same topic but does anyone have another suggestion?"
"How about sex? We haven't looked at that for a while."
"Well, if we're going to do that let's do it with Love."
"Fine. Sex for two weeks."