The Lesson

February 4, 2010

Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.

Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy

"The parable of the sower is the basis for the Lesson on Spirit."

"Right, and the Golden text says '..the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth' (Eph 5:9)."

"The Lesson as a topic can be taken to mean our whole human life as a kind of parable or myth about true existence. Listen to this: 'Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source. Mortal sense inverts this appearing and calls ideas material. Thus misinterpreted, the divine idea seems to fall to the level of a human or material belief, called mortal man. But the seed is in itself, only as the divine Mind is All and reproduces all — as Mind is the multiplier, and Mind's infinite idea, man and the universe, is the product' (S&H 507: 28-5). The seed in itself is the Life that is God."

"So would you say we should deconstruct the material evidence and not lean on it?"

"Sure. If I'm sick or sinful..."

"Would you know you're sinful?"

"Good point, but let's assume I've gotten to the point of wanting to let it go — you know, after I've suffered enough from it. Then the sickness or sin or even death are just lessons a human comes up with in its struggle to reach the divine. In reality it's the divine being the human.'


"Just turn it around. We see a human struggling — but does God? We need to see what He sees: a perfect divine idea. That'll heal!"

"I was talking to a practitioner about Section III which includes Galatians 5: 19-23. We agreed it was quite punitive and a lot of it — who knows what it means? Our feeling was it wouldn't help a young person at all — and might harm a Gay person trying to find comfort and direction through Science."

"What's ' variance' or 'emulations'?"

"It's all a crock — so I'm not going to worry about any of it."

"Don't everybody whip our your smart phones at once!"

"It's Apple vs Blackberry!"

"Here — I've got The Message:

'It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments,not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way' (Galatians 5:19-23 MSG)."

"Wow! What a difference."

"It certainly clears up a lot of mysteries — including meaningful, relational sex vs sex just to get your rocks off, not that there's anything wrong with that either as long as both parties can handle it."

"You don't believe in Bible-based marriage?"

"Twenty wives and a hundred camels? Oh and a few herdsmen for my special needs."

"The church periodicals should recognize the value Gay people could bring to the discourse about relationships."

"The quotes from Science and Health in Section III are in line with a more modern approach. Look:

'In the soil of an "honest and good heart"the seed must be sown; else it beareth not much fruit, for the swinish element in human nature uproots it' (S&H 272: 6-8)

'We all must learn that Life is God. Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good? Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love? If so, then the way will grow brighter "unto the perfect day."Your fruits will prove what the understanding of God brings to man' (S&H 496: 9-14)."

"Overall I think the Lesson's trying to show us what it takes to access divine Mind. It's the 'honest and good heart' you just quoted."

"Okay — but can we get that unaided by God?"

"I'd say we're always aided by God, no matter what. He's just at hand. One thing we can do is practice not being hooked on material appearances. We can let our Virgin Mary mind be present — oriented to God, turned completely to Him."

"Here are some quotes from Isaiah in the Lesson on Soul that back up what you're saying:

'Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David' (Isa 55: 3)

'Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?' (Isa 42: 23).

The point to me is listening or opening up to what God's saying."

"Even Mrs. Eddy had to constantly seek inspiration. This is in the Lesson: 'To-day, though rejoicing in some progress, she still finds herself a willing disciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of Christ' (S&H ix: 16-19)."

"And Jesus too — all that retreating alone to mountain tops to regenerate."

"I'm kind of new to Christian Science and still haven't figured out how Jesus fits in."

"We don't see him as God. He's more like an advanced student of Science pulling together its healing strands to such an extent that he could be identified with the Christ. But Christ is Immanuel or God with us and was available before and after the human Jesus existed.""What drew you to Christian Science?"

"I'm just coming to terms with being Gay and thought it'd be a lot gentler than Catholicism which I grew up with."

"There are Gay groups for Catholics."

"I know but they seem militant and political."

"Christian Science is definitely an individual's religion but as with all human endeavors our church has evolved a hierarchy that originally was meant to transact the business of running the church. Then, little by little, the hierarchy was believed to have special theological insight. Part of our growth in Science is to let go of that belief. Everyone is God's expression and needs to find that to be true for himself and others. "

"I had something interesting come up last weekend. I was with a group of non-Scientists at lunch and the conversation revolved around diseases and medical treatments. A harrowing case of Alzheimers was described in detail. I was able to defend myself from the deluge of beliefs but afterward saw I must not accept any of it as applying to my friends or anyone. So I worked to put it all into reverse and see the divinity of each one and all."

"Excellent! Here's a paragraph from the Lesson I think backs up what you did. It demonstrates what I call 'homobeing': 'This text in the book of Ecclesiastes conveys the Christian Science thought, especially when the word duty, which is not in the original, is omitted: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."In other words: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: love God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole of man in His image and likeness' (S&H 340: 4-12)."

"Great. Thanks. That also amplifies something in the Responsive Readings: '...he is of one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth' (Job 23: 13). So it's God doing it all — as all, everywhere.""I went to a talk at the Jung Foundation last Tuesday about the problem being the solution..."

"Run that by again."

"The problem is the solution! The speaker said if you'll mentally go into the offending situation with the understanding that any discomfort you're feeling is because you've crashed into one of your complexes, you should just move right through it, unleashing a lot of emotional energy. Then you'll find the clarity to discern a solution right there."

"Does that have any relevance to Science?"

"I think it could be a technique for getting to the Truth in a situation."

"What do you mean by a complex?"

"It's a Jungian term for some archetypally based mental energy center, probably associated with an image. It gathers to itself a lot of wounding memories, fears, gripes — and even glories. Say it's a father complex. Then when lovers, bosses, the IRS, money problems and so on arise, we're liable to fall right into the complex and suffer anguish far beyond what the actual problem merits. The speaker recommended backing away from the hornet's nest of problem/complex and seeking direction for the Self, the Jungian term for God. With our Christian Science understanding of God we could bring some really fine demonstrations to light."

"I heard a koan recently that's kind of similar. A guy falls in love with a woman and consults a shaman who says if he's just out to please himself he'll die and if he's just out to please her, he'll also die! What does he do?"

"Well, how about pleasing God?"

"Excellent! But how would we do that from a Christian Science standpoint and not some crazy orthodox way?"

"In Christian Science you'd be Love — not just seek it or pray to it or convince it you're deserving."

"I agree. Be — don't set up some vacuous non-entity and try to placate it. Be! "

"Does the guy get the girl?"

"Who knows. If he's being the Being — or letting the Being be him and all — he just might — but then maybe not. Whatever, he's not resting his demonstration on a mortal basis of belief — like building his house on sand."

"Does anyone have anything from the Lesson on Christ Jesus?"

"I think the Golden Text says it all. '...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.' We've got to live the Christ as I, Us. I mean the world economy, Haiti, the Middle East. Each of us is infinite presence and power."

"Greater works are all around us waiting to be seen. Listen to this: 'The ideal of God is no longer impersonated as a waif or wanderer; and Truth is not fragmentary, disconnected, unsystematic, but concentrated and immovably fixed in Principle. The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action' (93: 10-16)."

"Wonderful! Now we need a topic for March."

"I love what we've been doing with The Lesson. Why not just go right on?"

"I'm getting a lot out of it too, but here's a thought. Just to shake it up a bit, let's continue digging into the Lessons but take Reality — the last Lesson subject for March — and focus on that."

"Okay everyone? Okay. So Reality will be the topic."

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