November 25, 2010

Now is the time for so-called material pains and material pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal, because impossible in Science.

Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy

"Did you take some notes?"

"Yes — look at them! It was a pretty small group — maybe 20. But the exploration was deep and I came away more hopeful about the outlook for Christian Science and Emergence."

"Give us some details about the talks."

"They'll all eventually be on the EI site, but I can give you some highlights. The focus of the conference was on Time."

"So that's why our group topic is Time I suppose."

"Right. There was a keynote speech titled 'Let's wake up and live in the now'. The presenter said ' Unsolvable problems are great opportunities'. They knock us off our self-satisfied material pedestal and make us look to Spirit. She emphasized the need to detect and destroy the hypnotic state we usually go around in."

"Did she recommend any particular way of doing it?"

"Yes. She called it 'identity work' which consists of praying with the seven synonyms for God and making sure we're the reflection of what we discover. That makes sense if you have time, but — as I told her — I can also occasionally just drop the problem and leap right to the absolute Truth. I can even sometimes use the problem as a springboard!"

"How do you do that?"

"Oh. like ' What caused this sore toe?' — cause?, hmm, yes, well — the only Cause is God good — right, God good is causing me and the universe and so on until the problem lifts. In other words the false belief points to the solution!"

"A problem is a sheep in wolf's clothing."


"What about the other presentations?"

"There was a paper on family values from a PFLAG mom whose son has been in EI for several years. She pointed out how broad the concept of family is today. We can all have many families beyond our biological one. Also in Science Mrs. Eddy greatly expanded the concept, for instance 'With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science'(S&H 469: 30-5)."

"What about the Town Meeting?"

"First let me describe the paper titled 'Time, the world's great illusion'. The speaker quoted Einstein to the effect that there's no time and space in reality. That certainly jibes with Christian Science, which Einstein was interested in. The presenter pointed out that time is always an element in any problem. One effective way to heal is to leave a time sense and unite with eternity. Time should ideally be used as a human convenience and not be allowed to become a slave master."

"Now the Town Meeting!"

"Our facilitator broke us into small groups to address areas where homophobia has sickened our church. How can we help heal this? Emergence is our major vehicle — we need to update the website and keep it filled with testimonies and other healing materials. Also we talked about how to set up local groups and how to reach suffering youth. For instance the Trevor Project. We were heartened by the news that homosexuality can now be discussed at Principia and that a Gay Straight Alliance is under consideration."

"What's that?"

"It's an organization that brings Gay and non-Gay kids together to get to know and support each other."

"Wow — if only I'd had that growing up!"

"It's an idea that'll help us all as it sends its waves of healing out through society."

"Was there anything else from the conference?"

"Only that Emergence is financially stable and seems ready to do some really interesting things. Its influence for good will expand as the newsletter is reintroduced. The mailing list is huge and we get several inquiries each week from Gay and non-Gay people around the world. Oh, did I mention that four mothers of LGBT Christian Scientists were there — one of them will edit the newsletter. One member is trying to help a Christian Science teacher burdened by decades of homophobia to recuperate."

"Excellent! Now let's get down to what we've been working on here."

"Well, I've been very interested in our notes on Time from 1999 and 2005. They helped me appreciate the idea of man as both a wave and a particle — the basic Christ Jesus experience that's each one of us.""Is that the duality you're always talking about? I've never understood it."

"Well, of course it is a form of duality — the one Mrs. Eddy refers to — but not what I'm usually talking about. When I say ' duality' I mean ' matter' or 'mortal mind' to use traditional Christian Science terminology. For me ' duality' keeps my thinking clear that I'm dealing with concepts that can flip from positive to negative or vice versa. It helps get me off the mortal belief level."

"There's no mortal belief level."

"Right — and being aware of its non-existence is brought more quickly to consciousness as I detect duality trying to claim an existence. Sometimes even before things start backfiring 'out there'. I mean am I judging, fearing, hating, comparing, exulting and so on? It's often ' I'm good, you're bad — I'm a real Christian Scientist, you're not.' That kind of stuff."

"So how would you turn that around?"

"Go for man as infinite, eternal, unique idea. See it and be it as the only I or Us."

"I looked at some notes in the Archive on 'Infinite Infinity (I)' & 'Infinite Infinity (II)' I found my thought dragged back into the 60's and 70's when I had a string of bad romantic relationships. It was vivid: the exhilaration and expectation followed by sadness, shame and anger. Whew!"

"Time travel, huh?"

"Yes — emotional time travel. Anyway I retreated to the arms of divine Love. Give me the Science and Health. Here: 'The sharp experiences of belief in the suppositions life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science' (322: 26-30). Your point about man being both a wave and a particle — we could use Mrs. Eddy's phrase: we're beams of living Love. I'm getting some peace from understanding we all interpenetrate infinitely and eternally."

"Powerful! All is unfolding as total bliss."

"Have you all ever thought how silly age is? I mean, if someone asks my age, couldn't I say ' Well, I've been appearing in the present format for whatever number of solar circuits?"

"But who's the 'you' that's presenting? God's presenting Himself as you through time and eternity as perfect idea. You don't have to be a crazy 74 year old looking like you're 20 because of a failed love affair.""In the Lesson on Animal Magnetism there's a passage about the whole city being gathered at the door for healing, and Jesus healing them through realization of the Christ. I thought about the situation with Lot where there was no healing but catastrophe after he tries to handle the problem at his door from a limited material, dualistic, perspective. Result: city destroyed, many killed, wife turned to salt, family incest."

"Nice use of that Sodom myth!"

"Have you all kept up with the newest thinking about the start of the universe? A couple of professors in Europe say they have evidence it didn't begin 13.7 billion years ago but is actually eternal. We're talking physics, not metaphysics! They feel there have been many universal contractions followed by big bangs."

"I think the Hindus intuited that long ago. I can't remember the details but it's basically the same idea, with different terminology of course."

"Well, each age has its own so-called science or certainty about what's real. Later ages then call these musings mythology or religion. A thousand years from now does anyone doubt this latest breakthrough will be treated as a quaint fairy tale, perhaps pointing to reality?"

"There's still a bedrock reality pressing upon us to model individually what we are — the conscious infinitude of existence."

"That's in Science and Health — can you find it?"

"Here — I'll read the paragraph: 'The material body and mind are temporal, but the real man is spiritual and eternal. The identity of the real man is not lost, but found through this explanation; for the conscious infinitude of existence and of all identity is thereby discerned and remains unchanged. It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his. The notion that mind is in matter, and that the so-called pleasures and pains, the birth, sin, sickness, and death of matter, are real, is a mortal belief; and this belief is all that will ever be lost' (S&H 302: 3-13)."

"That's a good place to end but we do need a topic for December."

"Let's do The Mother Church topic for annual meeting ' Church Alive'."

"Okay with me — we could use a bit more life in the group."

"I like it. I'll be traveling some and that'll be just the right kind of universal topic for me to work with."

"Okay — 'Church Alive' for December.

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