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Find yourself in Soul!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Now is the time to give up a false sense of self to find yourself in Soul!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Soul"
for study during the week of February 8-14, 2010
by Dan Carnesciali, CS, of St. Louis, MO [with bracketed italics from 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. Soon a free German translation will be available again from Helga. SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

This week we are going to break through the dream of self - selfishness, self-love, self-hatred, self-focus. There is only one true Self or Soul.
 
Golden Text:
God is pleased with His/Her whole creation, so God is pleased with you.
 
Responsive Reading:
Perhaps you don't feel like blessing God. Maybe blessing God is old fashioned, something they did only in biblical times. What happens when you praise God (good)? You see good. You see good in places you never noticed before. What happens when you don't praise God? God seems absent.
 
In Soul, there is infinite oneness.
 
Section 1 - Keep Listening
In reality, your whole nature is Soul-like.  Soul is the Source of your being, of all being. Because your true being is Soul, your true being is at peace, it is healthy, vibrant and positive.
 
Soul does not abhor you. Abhor means to despise or reject. If God disliked you, God would dislike Himself/Herself. If you disliked yourself, that would be a sin against God. (B-1) You see, you are the reflection of the one Self. The real you is spiritual and perfect. The real you, which is like Soul, has no hatred and no self-hatred.
The God that formed you says "Fear not, for I have rescued you." (B-2) God has rescued you from the false sense of self. The false self separates itself from God, feels that separation and then blames God for the suffering that results. Anything that separates itself from God-good is the false self. Mary Baker Eddy wrote that evil says, "I am man, but I am not the image and likeness of God." (Science and Health, 287:19) To truly understand Soul, we must migrate to the fact that there is only I AM and not an "I am." As you give up the false sense of self, fear has nowhere to live, pain has nowhere to live, impatience and forgetfulness have nowhere to live.
Everyone who has listened for God's voice has felt at one time or another that they didn't hear anything. Don't let that stop you. Keep listening! God's voice is there. God's promise is there.  God is faithful. Keep listening and God's Word will reach you. (B-3)
 
 [This citation about God's word not returning to Him void can also be seen as a fulfillment of the 3rd Commandment to not take God's name or nature "in vain"--or without the intended result.]
 
Human life, human body, human mind are inventions of the limited self, also known as mortal mind or the carnal mind. That dream goes on and on. It has lots of believers. But that doesn't make it true, does it?
 
Soul is not something you believe in. Soul is; it just is. It is the infinite Being. As the individualized expression of Soul, your existence is infinite and therefore this existence is not in matter. (S-3) One way to understand this is to be present in the now, acknowledging that past and future are really dream states. All there really is, is now. So, that is where you find God. [To find divine Love during the week leading up to Valentine's Day, it's helpful to live in "the spontaneity of Love" as Chet Manchester states in today's "Daily Lift."  "Why search the future and the past? ... The ‘one far-off divine event' is now, and that event is Love." Christian Science Hymnal 391]
 
Section 2 - From Sense to Soul
Perhaps you have read the story of the Children of Israel in the wilderness as, "If only they were not so ignorant or willful, they wouldn't have wandered for so long!" However, you can also see this story of how divine Love patiently guided them even when they were disobedient. God was always leading them. In their wilderness experience, God's guidance appeared to the Children of Israel as a cloud that looked like a column during the day and a column on fire at night. (B-5) God's guidance was obvious and continuous. Why shouldn't God's guidance be obvious and continuous for you too?
 
I met a Jewish woman this summer who is studying Christian Science. She told me about how she nervously attended a Wednesday evening meeting for the first time, very unsure of whether she was in her right place. That anxiety faded away when the First Reader opened the meeting with "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." To her, it was a wonderful moment. The First Reader had selected what is known in Judaism as the Shema. The Shema is central to worship in the synagogue. It affirms the oneness of God and the unconditional love of God. To understand more, refer to this link:  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/shema.html. The Shema affirms the non-dual nature of God and reality. Non-dualism conflicts with traditional Christianity, because traditional Christianity considers God and the devil to be two distinct and opposing entities. However, Christian Science doesn't regard evil as real, but as illusion, as nothingness. Mary Baker Eddy writes, "There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence." (Science and Health, 588:11)  She also says, "Principle and its idea is one,..." (Ibid, 465:17) She didn't choose to use poor grammar; she meant "is one." Think about why she said, "Is one." We are not mortal minds uniting with Soul, or puny minds declaring the one Mind. Soul and its ideas is One. Mind is declaring Itself. Because Mind's Mind is our Mind, we understand those facts. We can't miss them. We already understand them.
 
Section 3 - We are One, We are Blessed
Love is already perfect. What about infinite Love could possibly need to change? It's the same with Soul and its idea. What about God's idea needs to change? It's already perfect.  That is why God is pleased and satisfied. His creation is what it needs to be. (B-9)   What we call mortal mind is not really a thing, but a verb, or focus on the tiny self. Mortal mind is always focused on itself, so it is always dissatisfied.  You are not a mortal mind. Sick thoughts, sad thoughts, depressed thoughts, poor thoughts, hateful thoughts are not your thoughts! They just aren't. Mind's Mind is your Mind. Soul is your being. That's who you are. You are blessed. Soul's Soul is your Soul. That is why your being, your name, your nature, is blessed. (B-11) 
 
What good would the beauty of Soul be if it weren't expressed? It must be expressed! "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us." (B-12) The genuine you does not need to change. It is the counterfeit you that needs to change. It needs to disappear. (S-14)
 
Section 4 - Heal [and listen] with Authority
In Isaiah 42 God says, "Look at my idea. Look how blessed he/she is. I, Soul, am so delighted with him/her." (B-14, paraphrased)  Soul is pleased with you, God is satisfied with you.  The prophet asks, "Are you listening?" (B-14)  Since this section is about healing, perhaps we need to learn how to be better listeners. We aren't truly praying until God is the only one talking.
 
Reality reveals itself in the laws of spiritual existence. Law, like other spiritual ideas, is already perfect and harmonious. (S-15) God sees and brings to light the true and perfect nature of creation.   This Christlike understanding is the basis of demonstration and true thought. (S-17)   Healing is natural. Our purpose is to bless and respond to God. To bless is to care for and send affection to another.  As we bless, an awakening takes place. The awakening that we are not struggling, suffering mortals is healing. Healing occurs at many levels. Many things besides the human body need to be restored, made whole, or restored to proper function.
 
"Like the great Exemplar, the healer should speak to disease as one having authority over it." (S-19) You should speak as the One (Soul). You should speak to disease as the One having authority. God's Word dispels disease. Dispel means to drive off, make vanish.
 
Section 5 - Fear Is Never Yours
Speaking of healing, do you remember what Mary Baker Eddy said that the three leading causes of sickness are? Fear, ignorance and sin. This section addresses exercising dominion over them. As you can see from the citations, God's healing dominion and assurance is quick. "[God] sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly." (B-17 NIV) It makes sense that the effect of God's word is quick.  He is both infinite and everpresent.
 
There must be infinite ways to understand more of your dominion, so be creative.  For example, "If the presence and power of Love is infinite, truly infinite, how can there be any me that is not connected with You, Love, or an unloving or an unloved me. That's impossible." "Sin shall not have dominion over you:" (B-19) "Sin shall not be your master" (B-19 NIV)
 
Being fascinated with a problem is a form of temptation or mesmerism. [Fascination with a problem can even break the 2nd Commandment if it becomes an obsession or "graven image."]  This obstructs healing. When you remove that fascination, healing happens.  To illustrate, sometimes you hear a mental dialogue that goes something like this. "Hmm, my knee is hurting again. Is it hurting more or less? I've been praying about this. It should be hurting less. I've been praying about this for a while." That fascination is mortal mind drawing attention away from God. The recurring pull of attention away from God is not your thought either. Yes, fear and ignorance are not your thoughts.  Fear and ignorance are belief.  (Sin is too, but it must be admitted to be healed.) What is belief? It isn't reality. It isn't an evil reality you have to get rid of. It is superstition, hoax, myth, dream, ["aggressive mental suggestion" Church Manual 42:6], etc. Realizing that belief is not reality will aid healing.
 
Why make a reality out of something that isn't real and then attempt to heal it? "The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the suppositious opposite of infinite Mind - called devil or evil - is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality." (S&H 469:13-17)   Don't fear error. Don't dialogue with it. Dispel it. Remember, "The divine Mind is the Soul of man, and gives man dominion over all things." (S-20)
 
Section 6 - Healing
In the passage from Galatians 1, Paul talks about his "calling." You will have to forgive Paul. He was not always the most humble when talking about his calling. He felt he was defending himself against those who did not believe he was a real apostle because Jesus hadn't appointed him. Paul as you know had a great revelation where the Spirit of God rushed in and changed his life. From that experience, he was "called" or commissioned to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Conviction is one of the many qualities of a healer. What if we had a fraction of Paul's conviction?
 
Years ago I gave a copy of Science and Health to a Catholic friend. After he had been reading it for a few weeks, he asked, "Do Christian Scientists worship healing?" What an insightful question. I paused and turned to God how to respond. I responded that Christian Scientists worship God as the supreme Being and intelligence of the universe. Christian Scientists worship God and the result and expectation is healing.
 
"Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action." (S-25) Let us broaden our definition of healing. Mrs. Eddy said this in reference to Christian Science healers. "A Christian Scientist is a humanitarian; he is benevolent, forgiving, long-suffering, and seeks to overcome evil with good." (Manual of The Mother Church, 46:26) Over a ten-year period Mary Baker Eddy donated thousands of pairs of shoes to needy children in Concord, New Hampshire. In 1908, Mrs. Eddy donated today's equivalent of $10,000 to help eliminate a deficit at the Newton Hospital (in Massachusetts) accrued from providing free care to the poor. For more information about other causes she donated to, use this link: http://christianscience.com/giving/mary-baker-eddys-philanthropy
 
For physical healing to take place, a shift has to take place in thought first. There is no reason for a misconception of your identity to hold up healing any longer. Healing is an awakening. It is the dawning of the Christ idea, the true idea of God. It is a realization of who you really are -- Soul's idea.

 [This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed last summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website.  But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships for such inspirational opportunities.  Your support is always tax-deductible and welcomed--but during the economic downturn, your help has been and continues to be especially needed and appreciated!  Two ongoing needs are to raise significant dollars:
1)  to underwrite camperships for the hundreds of campers now applying for aid; and, 2) to support caring for our large herd of horses now being fed on top of 6" of snow.  "Adopt the Herd" donations will be matched!
To make a tax-deductible donation:
1) Write a check payable to CedarS Camps and mail it to the office: 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011; or
2) Call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162
to charge your gift using a Visa or Mastercard or to discuss short-term or long-term gift of securities or property that you are considering; or
3)
CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK with an online gift using PayPal.com, which can be funded using a Visa or Mastercard account.]
 
[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

PSST-You live to give, not to get!-to give pleasure-"to impart truth, health, and happiness" My. 165:19
Possible Sunday School Topics for "Soul" the Christian Science Bible Lesson for Sunday, February 14, 2010
by Amy Robbins, St. Louis, MO
[with GT bracketed italics by Warren Huff]
PSST for the Golden Text
What is the meaning of "whatsoever the Lord pleased"?   What do you think gives God pleasure? [God was audibly "well pleased" with Jesus, His "beloved Son", at his baptism (Matt. 3:17) and at his transfiguration (Matt. 17:5).  God is always well pleased with us, His beloved children, and we are well pleased with our identity--when we, like Christ Jesus, also fulfill "our reason for existing ... to impart truth, health, and happiness." (My. 165:19)  It's great to help students realize-on Valentine's day especially that we live to give, NOT to get! To develop questions and answers on giving and a Soul-satisfied sense of identity, see Amy's PSSTs below along with Dan Carnesciali's CedarS Met this week: "Now is the time to give up a false sense of self to find yourself in Soul!"]
PSST for the Responsive Reading
What are some ways that you "bless the Lord"?  Give examples of how you praise God in your everyday activities.  How are you regularly talking about the glory and power of God?  What are some of the descriptive words in the Responsive Reading?  How have you witnessed greatness, goodness, and God's tender mercies in your experience?
PSST for Section 1
What does it mean to be redeemed by God?  Citation B-2 includes the statement, "bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth".  This is a familiar phrase, used often in the lesson.  What does it mean to you?  What type of event would be worthy of such a gathering?  Think about what it would mean for everyone from faraway (to the ends of the earth) to come to one place, especially at a time when the only form of transit was walking?  What does God think about His people?  What do we know about our relationship with God based upon this Bible verse?  What does it mean for man to be the expression of Soul (S-3)?  Give some examples of how you express Soul.
PSST for Section 2
Look at what Paul wrote about the Israelites (B-5).  What do you think he is emphasizing?  What does this have to do with the lesson on Soul?  How are you loving God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might?  Think of some ways that you are able to honor God and show your gratitude for His compassion and guidance.  What does citation S-7 mean to you?  Are you consistently turning from sense to Soul and keeping your focus on God?  The definition of Children of Israel (S-10) says that they, "having wrestled with error, sin, and sense, are governed by divine Science."  Notice that the children of Israel wrestle with challenges, but are governed by God.  How are you wrestling with difficult situations, and continuing to feel governed by God's loving presence?  It is one thing to be apathetic about problems, and another to actively "wrestle" and overcome them.  Look for opportunities to overcome the challenges you encounter.
PSST for Section 3
What does family have to do with Soul?  What does citation S-13 mean to you, as it describes the "education of children"?  How are you forming "habits of obedience to the moral and spiritual law"?  What kind of freedom do you find in this obedience?  Think about the 10 Commandments and the blessings that come from following God's law.  The book of Psalms is full of praises about the works of God.  These psalms of praise aren't requests for God's help, but affirmations of His presence.  What does that tell you about family?  What does it tell you about God's family (us)?
PSST for Section 4
What heals?  Why are we interested in the evidence of healing?  John sends his followers to Jesus to ask if he is the Messiah, but instead of saying yes or no, Jesus points to what he has demonstrated.  Why is this interaction so important?  How is it relevant?  Think about school; does it matter if you say you understand a concept, or if you can explain it or demonstrate it on a test?  Why are citations B-15 and B-16 included in the section?  What do they have to do with Soul?  Look at citations S-18 and S-19 for some ideas.  Give an example of the "Christlike understanding of scientific being" (S-17).  What are some ways that you see "perfect God and perfect man" in your daily life?
PSST for Section 5
How has Truth "furnished the key to kingdom" (S-21)?  What is this key and what is the value of it?  Try looking at S-23 to understand what the key is and how to use it.  The citation gives a clear direction as to how to "get rid of sin through Science".  Give an example of how you have or could do this in your own experience.  What does it mean to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"? (B-20)  What does that mean about someone else's salvation?  Should there be any comparison?  Judgment?  Are we supposed to be afraid and trembling, or does that statement mean something else (respect, honor, etc)?
PSST for Section 6
The lesson on Love focused heavily on Paul and his transformation.  What does Soul have to do with his story?  What do we learn about Soul from what Paul taught and preached?
For teachers: does your class know who Paul was, what he did, and where we can read his letters?
What was Paul's role in the spread of Christianity in the early Christian church?  How can we be more like Paul?  Are you willing to travel all around, preaching and sharing about God, Jesus, and Christian Science, without any concern for what other people might say or think about you?  What is the "El Dorado of Christianity" (S-26)?  Do you know what the El Dorado was?  Why does this metaphor make sense: Spanish conquistadors finding a golden city, compared to our understanding of Christian Science?  Are you seeking after the "Science of Life" as actively and diligently as if you were searching for the greatest treasure in the world?

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