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Do not mess with matter! It is just a false, human concept -- an error of statement!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, September 14th, 2009

Don't mess with matter! It's just a false, human concept -- an error of statement!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for Sept. 14-20, 2009 on the Subject: "Matter"
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and the 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 each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

Golden Text: Why waste your time looking to matter for a reliable report? The material senses are constantly revising their story. Whatever our physical senses report -- be it good or bad -- "will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." (II Cor. 4: 18 New Living Translation) God's report of harmony exists eternally in divine Mind - unseen by the five material senses, but completely perceptible to spiritual sense. "Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God." (S&H 209: 31-32) You've got it! Use it! Let's move past the temporary and get to the good that lasts!

Responsive Reading (R.R.): Ever wonder about your purpose in life? That's easy! It is - as it was for the children of Israel - to witness to God and to serve God. A witness not only is one who sees something, but also is a confirmation or EVIDENCE of something. Our purpose is to confirm and provide evidence of God's being! Wow! There is no higher position! Rather than look back (at good or bad historical events), keep your eye on all the good that God is doing NOW! The "former things" here refer to the deliverance of the people out of Egypt. What is to come is even better! Our good isn't dependent on someone else's wisdom - on someone who is somehow closer to God than we are. We need to stop looking at things from an inverted material perspective -- which is as absurd as thinking that a creation (like a clay pot) has the power to dispute its creator. God's promise for all is: fruitful endeavor and restoration of good, really seeing and hearing the Word of God, and feeling God's goodness and rejoicing in it! EVERYONE will know the blessings of God -- "those who got off-track will get back on-track, and complainers and whiners learn gratitude." (The Message, Isa. 29: 24)
[We at ("the CedarS of) Lebanon" not only see this R.R. passage from Isa. 29 as applicable to all mankind, but also view it as meant especially for our work and our next event: "Is it not yet a very little while and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field ...." We expect the specific fruitfulness promised in the prophesy to be fulfilled and they are: - the deaf hear the words of "the book"; - the blind see; - the meek "increase their joy in the Lord"; - the needy rejoice; - the wayward in spirit gain understanding; - the complainers "accept instruction." (NIV)]

Section 1: Leave matter out of the equation
According to the first chapter of Genesis, God commanded light! Light is good, light reveals what is, and light has nothing to do with darkness. Order and chaos cannot mingle! Where there is light, darkness can have no place! (B-1)
[Neither can the "sunlight of Truth" co-exist with exhaustion, impurity, abnormal growths, decay, inflexibility, (S-24)]

No matter how skilled or dedicated one is in their effort to construct a god (that which creates and rules life) the best of matter can't begin to compare with the splendor and dependability of Spirit! (B-5) And, as much as religious doctrine (theology) and the study of matter, energy, force, and motion (physics) try to work with both matter and Spirit, it just doesn't work. Matter and Spirit are opposites -- like chaos and order, or light and darkness. They cannot mingle! (S-1 & S-3)

What is matter? I like Mrs. Eddy's definition that it is "an error of statement" -- an opinion, comment, or message that is false. It is a human CONCEPT -- a belief. It is temporary. It may appear good, or it may appear bad, but it has no reliable future. (S-2) It isn't some THING. It is just a wrong starting point - like starting with a false statement in math (like 2-2=4). And when you start with a wrong statement, you can't possibly expect the result to be reliable. An incorrect math equation is no more part of math than an incorrect statement regarding Life or Truth is part of life. An incorrect statement is never true. The only place matter exists is in material sense (mortal consciousness). But, the very premise of this consciousness is that mind is in matter. And that is as convoluted as 2 + (-2) = 4! Spirit and matter being opposites, we lose sight (stop being conscious) of undependable matter as we APPROACH Spirit, Truth. Read the second citation of S&H (p. 277-278) very carefully to understand the logic of why matter is simply an unreal concept -- not to be feared or honored in any way! Leave matter out of the equation and all you have is Spirit -- lasting, pure, reliable and ALWAYS good!

Section 2: Identify yourself as God's image -- Your substance is eternal Spirit!
To discover who you are and what you're made of, check in with the first chapter of Genesis. We are made in God's image -- the semblance (the outward appearance or apparent form of) or likeness of (the fact or quality of being alike) God. And it's ALL good! (B-6) But, in spite of God having identified Himself as All, mankind has forever (in their ignorance) created, and turned to, other gods. It's easy to recognize the idols made of silver and gold and wood, but any time we turn to matter to identify ourselves or others -- or think it can bring us better health and happiness -- we are in essence worshipping another god. (B-7) We are entirely spiritual, because our origin (God) is Spirit. The mistake so often made is to think we are a combination of Spirit and matter -- a combination of eternal (without beginning or end) and temporal (defined by time.) (S-5) Gathering information from the so-called material senses that report things from an inverted perspective, this mistake is inevitable. Viewing yourself in a distorted mirror, you see a distorted (even though sometimes a seemingly "more desirable") image. Mirrors in fitting rooms of one store where I shop make me look thinner than I am. I may like that look, but it is never-the-less distorted. So, even though matter seems to be substance to the material senses -- don't believe it! Matter is ALWAYS just a human concept and leads to wrong conclusions. (S-7) Judging things from a material perspective is like trying to see clearly while looking through a veil. You never get a full or accurate picture. But, we have the promise in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, "we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image form one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is Spirit." (B-9, English Standard Version) God, Spirit, reveals our true nature to us. As we acknowledge the supreme authority of Spirit, we destroy the false claims of matter. Then we can "lay off" mortality -- lift off the veil -- and find the spiritual link that can't be broken, establishing us as God's likeness. (S-9) Just like a movie shows forth what is imprinted on a digital disk, we show forth what God (Mind) is and knows! Even better, our perfect relationship with God can't be corrupted! It is permanent! Identify yourself rightly -- you ARE the manifestation of God!

[If you ever need a healing reminder of your priceless, spiritual identity consider starting your day with at least a viewing of a bar of fragrant dial soap-and the reminder that d.i.a.l. stands for "divine image and likeness" (B-6, S-7) Sunday School students always appreciate a bar of fragrant dial soap as a gift to remind them to "clean up" their identification work.]

Section 3: Mindless matter called brain is a fraud! Intelligence comes from God.
It really is absurd to think that a piece of matter, called a brain, could be responsible for our ability (or inability) to think. (S-10) It is as misguided to believe that our brain makes us smart or our muscles make us strong as it is to think we aren't smart or we are weak because of our brain or because of a lack of muscle. Mind is never at the mercy of material organs (or the organization of matter). (S-13) The Bible tells us that wisdom and understanding are the gift of God. (B-10, B-11& B-12) So, accept the gift, take it out of the box, and put it to use! We waste so much time trying to figure things out for ourselves. OR we know what we should do -- we know the smart thing to do -- but something else sounds like more fun. Then we wonder why things aren't working out -- or why we have to take such a round-about path to reach our goals. Proverbs tells us exactly how to proceed in order to walk safely and not stumble (literally and figuratively): 1) Trust Mind completely -- not your own ability (brain); 2) Acknowledge God (Mind) who created heaven and earth. The original Hebrew of the word "acknowledge" means "to know; to ascertain by seeing," so this next step makes sense: 3) keep wisdom and discretion (the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation) always at the front of your thought (in sight). In other words -- look at a situation and recognize (see) that MIND is in charge! (B-12) We can see the unseen through spiritual sense. Admitting that Mind is in charge, we discover that matter is NOT in charge. Accepting God's gift of wisdom and understanding, we won't fall for the suggestion that we lack intelligence, or that a material body (nerves, brain, stomach, lungs, etc) have intelligence to tell us how they feel or to make conditions for us. (S-11) Accept the fact that matter (simply an error of statement) has no life or intelligence. Destroying this false belief, we are free to grow and blossom -- planted in pure and perfect (unadulterated and invariable) Mind! (S-14)

Section 4 - God preserves our lives -- brings suppositional matter (including so- called fatal disease) into subjection!
The Psalmist turned to God, praying not to be saved from his enemy, but from fear of his enemy. (B-14) We break the apparent strangle-hold of disease as we overcome -- and help others overcome -- the FEAR of disease. Defuse the effect of media coverage by realizing that "the blood, heart, lungs, brain, etc. have nothing to do with Life, God" and accept that "every function of the real man is governed by the divine Mind." Then we are free (and free our fellow-man) to BE that real man here and now. (S-16) According to The Interpreter's Bible, the author of Ps. 30 is giving thanks for his recovery from an illness that he feared would prove fatal. Although the circumstances seemed very serious, the psalmist ultimately responded by calling out to God to save him, recognizing that there is no advantage to God in a man dying ("What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit?"). Abiding in the presence of God's almighty power, the psalmist was healed, and responded by rejoicing. (B-15)

A woman who had hemorrhaged for 12 years (a condition that was debilitating, embarrassing, impoverishing and discouraging -- because the doctors hadn't been able to help her) also ultimately reached out to God -- through Jesus -- for help, and was healed. (B-16) I'm reminded of Mrs. Eddy's statement in Science and Health, "The Christian Scientist finds only effects, where the ordinary physician looks for causes." (379: 4-5) Jesus didn't focus on the disease -- and neither should we. The solution to disease (especially those diseases that we mistakenly allow ourselves to fear as fatal or incurable) is to correct the misconception of matter with Truth. "Blood never gave life and can never take it away, -- . . . Life is Spirit . . ." (S-17) There is no reason to "freak-out" when it comes to the human concept, or error of statement, called matter -- blood. So-called physical laws of health or supposed laws of matter were never authorized by God!  Let's all embrace in our hearts the circulation of Truth which heals sickness and destroys sin as Love flows in and out of our being. Then annul, as Jesus did, every "supposed law of matter, opposed to the harmonies of Spirit." (S-19)  Then, we will see the effects of Truth on the human mind and body. (S-21) The law of Spirit overthrows the supposed laws of matter in very practical ways -- healing sickness and sin right now in the human experience!

Section 5: Leap! You are structurally sound!
Once again we are reminded that the material structure (brain, heart, blood, bones, etc.) is not man. (S-22)   Peter and John had glimpsed this truth as they watched their Master heal. So, in the name of Christ (with the nature of Truth) they revealed the soundness the "lame man" at the gate of the temple. (B-18)

[See the PSST to follow for a present day language script as an option for a Sunday School class or two to reenact this healing. The script continues with "the rest of the story" and the boldness of Peter and John even when they were threatened with being jailed again. Possible discussion points and application ideas about bullying are included.]
The man had been "lame from his mother's womb." It was that belief of material origin that needed to be healed. Starting from a material foundation, there will always exist the possibility of a failing mortal structure. Starting from the basis of Spirit, the resulting structure is eternally sound! (S-23) "Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies." (S-24) This "sunlight" is the light shining in the darkness that reveals the fraudulent nature of that human concept, or error of statement, called matter. This SCIENCE (or knowledge of God's law) "stir(s) the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind." (S-24) That's all that healing is -- a change of base from a material to a spiritual foundation. Then, what previously appeared as a faulty, diseased, structure - is seen in its natural state of wholeness. Healing doesn't change matter. Life never sprang from matter. The light of Truth enables spiritual reality to be seen, and healing results. God is understood as omnipotent good that is ALL, the center and circumference -- both the inside and outside -- of all things. (S-25) Rather than looking at a faulty picture (called material elements), keep your eye glued on that which can't be seen by material sense -- God and HIS image and likeness! Leap and walk!

Section 6: Spirit is! Matter is NOT! Free yourself from this false human concept!
Just because the material senses can't see Spirit, doesn't mean Spirit is not substantial. In fact, Spirit is the only dependable report on life you'll ever get! Spirit is the "unseen" reality (referred to in the Golden Text) that can't die -- or even be disturbed! (B-20) Paul contrasts life based on the weak foundation of flesh (or life in matter) to the strong foundation of Spirit (or life in God). We are constantly bombarded with false testimony that says we were born into matter and will die out of matter. But, in order to experience the fullness of Life, we must put to death (mortify) the constant "yapping " of matter trying to make us believe that we have a life separate from God -- a life that depends on a material body. The body tries to get us to pay attention to how it feels, what it needs to be satisfied, how it looks -- and makes constant demands of what we have to do if we expect to keep it healthy. Instead of listening to these demands, we simply need to be "led by the Spirit of God." Then we realize the full benefits of sonship -- we inherit Life that is limitless, abundant, capable, and full of vitality! (B-19) God is the only source of life. Just as an animator breathes life into his creation, Spirit breathes life into us! (B-21) The word mortal means, "subject to death." Clearly, we want nothing to do with mortality! So, the alternative -- the way to life -- is to realize that matter (a false, human concept; an error of statement) couldn't possibly support life, and certainly can't destroy God -- the life-giving Principle of existence! (S-26) We limit ourselves -- put chains on ourselves -- when we fall for the suggestion that we live in a material body (and continually check in with that body to see how we're doing.) We can run, jump, work, play, and create much more freely without the shackles of false belief holding us back! (S-27) Because God is ALL power, ALL presence, ALL Science (or knowledge), matter can't be! (S-29) Reject the testimony of the physical senses. The report is ALWAYS flawed because it is built on the cracked foundation of matter -- which is not a thing, but just a turned-upside-down misconception. Look through the lens of Spirit -- through the lens of the unlimited law of God. As you magnify Spirit, matter will simply disappear to view and you're left with life-giving, unlimited, radiant good! (S-30)

[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or find it weekly on our website. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships and otherwise-unavailable, inspirational opportunities. Your support is always tax-deductible and appreciated -- but your help this year is especially precious to us! This is the ideal time before winter to do "Maintenance Must" projects such as replacing some pool equipment and plumbing fixtures, yet our 5-year grant for this has expired. So we look to God--and to friends like you--for help. You can always call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to charge your gift or to discuss any short-term or long-term gift that you are considering. CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK!
Or, while your gratitude is fresh, you can send a tax-deductible check payable to
The CedarS Camps to the camp at 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536.

We still have nice accommodations for either single or married adults at our "Celebrate Marriage" weekend, September 25-27! Click here to find out more and please encourage all the C.S. friends you know to be in touch about the possibilities of attending this spiritually-enriching weekend!

Benevolence is available for the International Conference for Christian Science Nurses being held at CedarS Sept. 16-20.

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Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 9-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 in a subsequent email.) This weekly offering 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 and background as well as new angles on the daily applicability of 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. B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S-1 thru S-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 the 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

P.S.S.T. Find out how to: see as God sees; bring "in the beginning" to the now; let God direct your every path; "dial up" a perfect day; resist peer pressure like MBE did.
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Matter" for Sept. 14-20, 2009 by Merrill Boudreaux
[bracketed italics by Warren]

P.S.S.T. - Golden Text -- Bring to class several small paper bags with objects inside. Have students select bags without touching or investigating. Perhaps they would even trade bags without touching or investigating. Good opportunity to ask why they are making those choices? The bags can be used as an object lesson: i.e. why cannot they see what's in the bags; the bags are not solid but woven paper or combined woven paper and fabric; what prevents us from seeing to the inside of the bags? What's around the corner, or what is in the next city or state and why can't we see that? Drive home the point that seeing things temporally is limiting. How can we see what God sees, then?

P.S.S.T. -- Responsive Reading --
Identify the individuals toward the end of the Responsive Reading (Isa. 29: 18, 19, 24) and what they shall discern or receive: the deaf...the meek...poor.... How is that possible?
[How about healing those who are blind to present good with the gratitude that outlaws it?] Things that appear to be so, materially, can never be trusted as the truth. Have students memorize the definition of spiritual sense (S&H 209:31-32).]

P.S.S.T - Section 1 -- Here is a good opportunity for a conversation about the phrase in B-1, "In the beginning God". When was the beginning, who was there? Substitute other synonyms for God such as, in the beginning Good, in the beginning Peace, in the beginning Spirit. Then ask the question, If in the beginning, what about in the middle, what about in the now? Can that which was in the beginning ever cease to be? What then must one conclude?

P.S.S.T. - Section 2 -- What was the outcome of that which God created? (B-6, Gen. 1:31) If it was good in the beginning, what was it in the middle, what is it in the now? What is the "indissoluble spiritual link" in S-9? What is the result of finding this link? Was this ever the "missing link"?
[Since Sunday School students always seem to appreciate little gifts with metaphysical meanings, you may want to give your students each a bar of fragrant Dial soap to remind them to "clean up" their identification work. Tell them that D.i.a.l. stands for "Divine image and likeness" as used in this section in citations B-6 and S-7. It will be a useful reminder to refer bak to since it is likely to re-appear in almost every Bible Lesson. It will hopefully serve as a daily healing reminder of your students' priceless, spiritual identity whether they actually use it in the shower or store it on their desk.]

P.S.S.T. - Section 3 -- What is the result of trusting the Lord and leaning not on thine own understanding? B-12 What paths does God direct? My running path, my doing my homework path, my college choosing path, my friendship path, my honoring my parents path, my relationships with my siblings path. [Even "every event of our career" paths (Unity of Good, 3:28)] Have students make a list of that which they would like to understand. This may become a starter list for future class discussions.

P.S.S.T. - Section 4 -- What hints are present in the biblical story in B-16 about elements of healing? Time is of no consequence; a problem has no history; reaching out or petition; touching the Christ -- that is believing or understanding that God is present now and knows me now and knows my needs now; humility -- falling down at his feet; faith.

P.S.S.T. - Section 5 -- You can do the same with the biblical story in B-18. The man was present; asked; gave heed -- listened; lifted up; gratitude. What role did Christian Science play in both of these healings? (S-24) How? See the 2nd half of S-24 and S-25. This would also be a good opportunity to look at the definition of man in S&H on page 475.
[If you and several students in your Sunday School want to join in reenacting this healing and the jailing and boldness that follow it ("the rest of the story"), please feel free to email me for a present-day language script that I put together last year using The Message Bible version of it. At the end of the script are possible discussion points and application ideas about how to stand up to bullies like Mrs. Eddy did when she was a young girl.]

P.S.S.T. - Section 6 -- What is an illusion? How do you know when you have seen one? Through experience, knowledge, or understanding. What is the shape of a rainbow? Why is it a full circle, as a reflection from the sunlight and interaction with earth's atmosphere? Why does it appear to be an arc? Because we have a limited view of it from our position on the earth. What if you were viewing the rainbow from an elevated position; a bridge over San Francisco Bay or from an airplane in flight; how would the rainbow appear? As a circle. What will help us understand God's creation? (S-30) In this same passage, what is shared as God's creation? Make a list of what might be considered glories of earth, and heaven, and man.

 

 

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