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Wake Up! Stop falling for the Adam Dream!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Wake Up!  Stop falling for the Adam Dream!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Adam and Fallen Man" for the week of November 3 - 9, 2008
Prepared by Dan Carnesciali, CS of Ballwin, MO

Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and Possible Sunday School Topics that follow are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday or Tuesday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. (We no longer have a translator available for German.) JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

Don't fall for Adam and Fallen Man.  Wake up.  You are God's creation. You have divine intelligence and desire to fulfill your God-given purpose.

Golden Text:
Train yourself to choose thoughts carefully.  If you do not fall for the myth that you are separated from God, you will not be subject to the dream of matter.  Spiritual ideas cannot suffer; they never go through hard times.

Responsive Reading:
First, a mist (fog) covered the earth.  (You can't see well in fog can you?)  Then, the Lord God made man out of the dust.  (A wind can blow away something made of dust can't it?)  Adam falls into a deep sleep.  (You can't do your best thinking when you are in a deep sleep can you?)  Traditionally, the word Adam is thought to come from the Hebrew Adamah, which means earth.  Therefore, Adam is the earth creature.  None of this is a good start to creation is it?  It is sounding more and more like a dream and we have not even gotten to the talking snake yet.  It is time to wake up from this dream of life in matter!  That is what this lesson is about - waking to an understanding that we are the children of God.

Section 1 - True Origin
I Corinthians 2:9 is a rephrasing of Isaiah 64:4, which read, "For since the beginning of the world [men] have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, [what] he hath prepared for him that [wait] for him."  It can be easy to get taken in by appearances.   But, God-Spirit has revealed the truth of man's origin and man's destiny. (B1)  Genesis 1 presents a very, very different creation story from Genesis 2.  In this account, man (male and female, of course) is blessed and not subject to lies or temptations. Spiritual man has a divine purpose -- to express dominion.  Everything he needs has already been provided. (B2)  Not having spiritual sense, the mortal mind (dead-end mind) presents a sad picture of earth as depleted, worn out, and inhospitable.  Spiritual sense shows that God-Spirit is continuously renewing Earth with freshness.  Earth is a compound idea of good that has no beginning or end.  God is rejoicing over all His works.  That includes you. (B3)  The chapter "Genesis" is a masterpiece in the Key to the Scriptures portion of Science and Health.  Mrs. Eddy's analysis of Genesis 2 is that it is an allegory, which is a dramatic story that helps one understand important concepts.  "The mythological theory of material life at no point resembles the scientifically Christian record of man as created by Mind in the image and likeness of God and having dominion over all the earth." (S2)  This does not mean that we should discard the lessons of the allegory's "material view of God and the universe." (S4)  Quite the opposite.  Because through it the inconsistency of matter is exposed.  Genesis 1 is a record of perfect God and perfect creation, totally independent of and unaffected by matter.  Man, in God's image, is not inverted (upside down, headed in the wrong way), subverted (destroyed, defeated).  He is upright (honorable, honest). (S5)

Section 2 - Slicktalking Serpentine Salesman
There is no such thing as a talking serpent.  So, why would we talk about one?  In the Bible, serpents (snakes) are symbolic of temptation and subtle deception.  The word serpent comes from the Hebrew verb nahash, which means to hiss/whisper, in a deceptive way like a fortune teller does. (S5, Genesius' Lexicon)  When dealing with the smooth talking serpent, stay alert and keep a hand on your wallet.  "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." (S5, NIV)  The snake was sly.  He did not say, "You want evil."  He whispered, "God is keeping something from you.  And, it will open your eyes."  You know how human nature sometimes works.  If someone says you cannot have something, you want it.  It is also human nature to want to "try it" to see what it's like.  What could the harm be?  The problem with the serpent's whispers was that they were lies.  God did not/does not have good and evil.  He is not/was not keeping anything from us.  He is All and he reflects all.  There is nothing more than all, nothing more than good.  This allegory challenges our belief in the existence of evil.  Some people say that evil exists so we know what good is.  Do you need a desert to tell you what the ocean is? (S6)  Think about the record of creation recorded in Genesis 1.  It was orderly, full of light, full of dominion, blessed and entirely good.  Do you think evil is necessary?  Would the universe be incomplete without evil?  It is an ironic question because it says that incompleteness is required to make completeness complete.  Yes, this is rubbish.  Mrs. Eddy put it this way. "If error were true, its truth would be error, and we should have a self-evident absurdity - namely, erroneous truth." (470: 20-21 to truth.)  Clearly, God-good would not create His opposite evil.  Clearly, omnipotent good would not allow it either.  "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (B7)  You are complete, specifically because you do not include evil.  "A knowledge of evil was never the essence of divinity or manhood." (S9)  As a child of God, what does evil have to do with you?

Section 3 - Who Me?
In the allegory of Adam and Eve, error calls to man, "Do you know who you are?  You are a mortal.  You are naked.  (You feel separated from God.)"  How do you perceive yourself?  Are you seeing and feeling through matter?  Are you a spiritual idea having a physical experience?  Is God Spirit, but expressing Himself through matter, through a mortal man?  That is a model that cannot work.  Yet, it is the model that often is thought as the only rational one.  (That's because it is usually the mind in matter (mortal mind) asking and answering the questions.)  Mary Baker Eddy asks, "Is Mind in matter?  Is Mind dependent on matter for expression?"  "Is Mind capable of error as well as truth, of evil as well as good, when God is All and he is Mind and there is but one God, hence one Mind?" (S11)  If God expressed Herself through matter, She would be limited by matter,  She would be corrupted by matter.  If you were matter, physique, you would be limited by matter, subject to its decay.  "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (B9, NIV)  An ideal is a conception of something in its perfection or a standard of perfection or excellence. (American Heritage Dictionary)  Principle has never changed from its standard of perfection.  Therefore, man, His exact mirrored image is perfect, unfallen. "In Thine own image we may see man pure and upright, whole and free."
(Hymn 12, Christian Science Hymnal)

Section 4 - Sneaky Snake Talk
In the allegory, Adam and Eve let down their guard, they come under the spell of the serpent's sneaky snake talk and fall asleep.  How often we accept error's smooth words without questioning them at all.  Are lies true?  No, otherwise they would be truth!  Are you alert to the sneaky snake talk?  Are you ready to take a stand?  Isaiah's appeal is urgent.  "Awake, awake ... shake off the dust (rise from the dust of Adam perception) ... Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion." (B11, NIV)  Our natural state is not the Adam dream - it is spiritual sense, liberated from matter!  "Like our Master, we must depart from material sense into the spiritual sense of being." (S17)  "Knowing the falsity of so-called material sense, you can assert your prerogative [right, privilege, power] to overcome the belief in sin, disease, or death." (S18)

Section 5 - Dominion, Demonstration
Jesus, the Master Christian demonstrated inseparability from God.  He mastered the infinite idea.  I've talked to some people who believe that Jesus healed because he was God.  Or he healed through magic.  How did he say healing came?  He said through prayer and fasting, when sin was forgiven, through the power of God.  When you read that the disabled man's sins were forgiven and he was healed, how do you think that healing occurred?  Did Jesus focus on the man's physical structure?  You can see that he focused on the mental aspects of the case.  Jesus told the "paralytic, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.'" (B5, NIV)  He was aware of the resistance to spiritual healing and he dealt with it head on.  He affirmed the right of humanity to be healed, to understand God and feel oneness with Him.  "Christ, Truth, was demonstrated through Jesus to prove the power of Spirit over the flesh, - to show that Truth is made manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body, healing sickness and destroying sin." (S&H 316:7)  Jesus healed without a struggle and he wanted us to do so as well.  Notice that Truth healed through Jesus.  Why cannot God heal through you?  Is God's reflection unworthy, not ready?  There is only one man, God's man.  Mortal man is a hoax from sneaky snake talk, from the philosophy of the serpent.  "From first to last the supposed coexistence of Mind and matter and the mingling of good and evil have resulted from the philosophy of the serpent ... Human philosophy has made God manlike.  Christian Science makes man Godlike.  The first is error; the latter is truth." (S20)  Citation 17 from the Bible may sound familiar.  It starts with the same passage that is the Golden Text.  It continues, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." (S17, NIV)  Let us give up theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect (incomplete, defective, weak, faulty) models and illusive (unreal, deceptive, misleading) ideals. (Citation 24 from Science and Health refers to the models and ideals of Section 3.)

The language in Science and Health 249:1-10 is based on the verb "let", which means to allow, permit, and give consent.  This shows that what is needed is already in place.  What is needed then?  What is needed is a genuine, heartfelt recognition of true creation.  Each one of the sentences in this passage is like a gentle commandment where "let" replaces "thou shalt."  As you read them, think about how you need to change your thought or perspective to let these things happen.  1. As in the First Commandment, let us have one God, one perfect Mind.  2. Let us accept His models of excellence.  3. Let the male and female of God's creating appear.  4. Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bring us into newness of life.  5. Let us recognize no material power as able to destroy.  6. Let us rejoice that the law we are subject to is the divine "powers that be." (Mrs. Eddy is probably quoting Romans 13:1 - "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.")  Let us rejoice that a fall from grace is not our destiny.  How could it be?  We are God's own reflection.  "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (NIV)
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Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, seven-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner's ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the "Possible Sunday School Topics" come on a following page or subsequent email.) This weekly email (and website posting) is intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and new angles on daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e. B1 and S28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

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Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.s) for the Christian Science Bible Lesson "Adam and Fallen Man" for the week of Nov. 3-9, 2008
by anonymous CedarS Camps and Branch Church Sunday School teacher
[s]

Several of the following questions and ideas for Sunday School are offered for the lesson as a whole, rather than by section.

SS ideas:
Do your students clearly know who Adam is? We may be making a big assumption in thinking they are clear on this subject. Do they know there is a difference between Adam and the real man (who we really are)? Look through the lesson to find definitions of Adam and the real man. Do you see how different they are?
Activity Idea:
Have a piece of paper with a line down the middle and put the attributes of the Adam-man on one side and the attributes of real man on the other side. [Those of you teaching older SS classes may wish to expand your lists to also include Eve's attributes and the attributes of real womanhood. For more on this from Ryder Stevens' lecture, "Genuine Manhood and Womanhood, Your Sacred Identity," email Ryder at pilgrim06@mac.com ]

Mrs. Eddy and Jesus were both very assertive in their commands to man. Look for all of the powerful words and commands made throughout the lesson. What are Mrs. Eddy and Jesus asking us to do?
Activity Idea: Make it a treasure hunt:
have each student look through the lesson for the most powerful word they can find - then look at the citations they come up with to see what is being asked of us.

Mrs. Eddy asks a number of questions - at least two in this lesson alone.
Activity Idea:
Find the questions and see if your students can find the responses.

Right in the Golden Text (GT) we are given a golden opportunity to talk about practicing Christian Science. The GT calls us all to "train" ourselves to be godly. Your students have all experienced first-hand what it means to train for something, whether it be in athletics, performance, or studies.
Discussion topic - talk about training.
Is training always fun? Why do we train even on the bad days? What does it look like to "train" in Christian Science? What might be available to us if we learned to train daily in Christian Science? How does "training" open the floodgates of creativity and spontaneity (think jazz musicians here)?

[In Section 1 is God's command to "have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (B2, Gen. 1:27)
Discussion topic - the environment.
From an environmental standpoint, how is having dominion different from exerting domination?]

[From Dan Carnesciali's Section 2 Bible notes: "The snake was sly. He did not say, "You want evil." He whispered, "God is keeping something from you. And, it will open your eyes." You know how human nature sometimes works. If someone says you cannot have something, you want it. It is also human nature to want to "try it" to see what it's like. What could the harm be? The problem with the serpent's whispers was that they were lies."
Discussion topic - missing out by being good?
What are the top two temptations that whisper lies to you that you are missing out by abstaining from activities that "everyone" is doing? How can you be alert to reverse the lies and so actually feel like the most complete and happy person at the party?]

[In Section 3 is the command to "have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (B9, Eph. 5:11)
Discussion topic - the lie: "just a little bit won't hurt."
Couldn't adding just a little bit of dirt in the brownie recipe pollute the whole thing? How about just that a few scenes in an adult-rated movie? Just a social drink? Your additions, ...]

Another big idea this lesson approaches is that of taking responsibility. Mrs. Eddy in Section 4 talks of how the woman's willingness to "first confess her fault" gives her increased abilities later on. Explore the idea of confession in both the Bible and Science and Health beyond what is in this lesson.
Discussion topic - What does it mean to take responsibility for our actions?
How does taking responsibility for a mistake free us to be more successful in other areas of our lives?

Look at generosity as a theme in this lesson. It has particular presence in Section 5. Look further into Mrs. Eddy's writings to see what she identifies as the true motives in our work as Christian Scientists. (see S&H 454:17).
Discussion topic - What does it mean to be generous to our students?
What encourages them to be generous towards others? What does it look like to be generous? Is it fair to say that we are more likely to be successful if all of our actions are for the betterment of others?

 

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