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Rise to the realm of reality!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, March 22nd, 2010

"Rise to the realm of reality!"
Metaphysical Application Ideas on the Christian Science Bible Lesson for "Reality" for study during the week of March 22 -- 28, 2010
Prepared by Rick Stewart, C.S.  of  Dresden, Germany and Ocala, Florida [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. Soon a free German translation will be available again from Helga. SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
Rise to the realm of reality
A Father's welcomed invitation, "Do you want to go up on my shoulders"
Lots of my inspirational perspective at the moment seems to be shaped from the perspective of little one's eyes.  (Could be because of who I spend most of my  time with).  Anyway can you remember the times when you wanted to see the  parade passing by and all you could see were knees and bottoms?  Then comes a welcome invitation, "Would you like to go up on Papa's shoulders?"  Wow, in one instant the world offers you a whole new vision.  You can see the parade going by and not just bottoms.  A vast improvement.
 
This week's Bible Lesson offers us a similar improvement of our view of reality.  It comes not just from a higher viewing location to observe materiality, but a metaphysical view, that rises above matter.  We are invited to change our perspective, to gain a higher view based on the change from physical sense testimony, to spiritual sense-to see the world from the perspective of Christly vision-to see the realm of the real, the kingdom of heaven, a "dwelling place," with a grand view of reality.  And this invitation to "Come up hither" is available to everyone. It is never dependent on a particular geographical location or even on a particular social standing.  It is simply dependent on a pure heart and the development of spiritual sense, through the help of the Christ. 
 
Presently I live in a corner of the world that is renowned among mountain climbers.  Dresden is not in a mountainous region, but the nearby "Sachsiche Schweiz Elbsandsteingebirge" (Saxon Switzerland) may have produced more world-class climbers than perhaps any other region of the world.  I have been told that this is not because we have lots of high mountains, but rather because of the many challenging sandstone rock formations.  These formations make great training grounds for climbers.  Many local people begin climbing at a very young age.  It is a common weekend activity.  So the reason that so many world class climbers come from this region is very simple, "practice."  They can train, practice, and develop their climbing skills. Then later they can put these skills into practice around the world on famous mountain peaks.
 
This can be a great lesson to you and me as prospective "climbers" into the realm of reality, the high peaks of spiritual being.  We can begin honing our "spiritual climbing" skills even if we are currently in the lowlands, or valleys of mortal existence.  Begin to practice right where you are.  Seek to reach those higher views of being through daily practice right where you are.  Through the Love of God and His Christ, you will be lifted on high. Sitting atop the "shoulders" of Love, you will begin to see a brand-new world, the world of Spirit revealed through spiritual sense. [Putting spiritual sense into practice is encouraged hourly at CedarS where our stated purpose for the last 48 summers has been "to give each camper an appreciation of spiritual sense and an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity."]
 
Golden Text:   Revelation 11:12 ."Come up hither"
 This week's Golden Text comes from Chapter 11, of the Book of Revelation. In researching this verse you will discover significantly varying views of its meaning. The symbolism of the Book of Revelation has led to many interpretations of John's meaning.  For some this verse is a specific reference to a gathering of Christians at the time of Jesus "second coming," referred to as "the Rapture". 
 
I like to think of this call to "Come up hither," as one of the most beautiful phrases and commandments in the Bible.   An invitation to rise to the understanding of God as encouraged in II Timothy: 2, Proverbs: 2, and II Peter: 1.
 
This comes through metaphysics, rising above the physical sense to the spiritual sense of reality.
 
From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
meta·phys·i·cal
Function: adjective
Date: 15th century
1 : of or relating to metaphysics
2 a : of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses
 
And as the founder of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, Mary Baker Eddy puts it in her Message to the Mother Church for 1901...."I found it necessary to
follow Jesus' teachings, and none other, in order to
demonstrate the divine Science of Christianity - the metaphysics
of Christ - healing all manner of diseases"   And later in this address she refers to Christ Jesus as "The great Metaphysician."

Responsive Reading:
Our Responsive Reading introduces us to the key elements in our climb upward.  "Dwelling in the secret place of the Most High" or claiming our identity as God's spiritual idea.  And remembering that" I am the Lord, there is none else."  So the Way up in consciousness is a wonderful climb worth making, a climb to reality.[--and to your undeniable "home and heaven" You'll love the inspiring insights of your innocence here as seen by Desiree Goyette's in Hymn 444:3 that's based on these verses of Isa 45 in the Hymnal Supplement]  

Section 1:  Where to begin our climb? Rising to the Horeb height.
B-1:  Can we find God by searching?  We might call that a "tall task."
B-2 and B-3:  Moses is called "up" to the top of the mountain.  The mountain that scholars believe Moses climbed, where he saw the burning bush and where he received the 10 Commandments, is sometimes called Mt. Horeb, and sometimes Mt. Sinai.  Here is a link that describes that:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Sinai
 
Interesting that Mt. Horeb may not be the tallest mountain in the range.  Surrounded by other peaks that were higher.  So it was not necessarily a physical height that got Moses close to God, right?.  But perhaps a mental climb?  Rising to a mental height where he discerned the reality of God's presence.  And remember it was not an instant rise.  Moses spent 40 years in Egypt.  Then he fled Egypt, into the desert. Then he spent another 40 years of his life shepherding in the desert. Some describe this as an "obscure period."  Well, if the culmination of this obscure period was Moses' glimpse of the bush that burned and was not consumed [--eternal sustainability--] and his encounter with God revealed as the "I am," then he must have been doing some pretty major spiritual development.  His mountain climbing practice readied his thought to have a very special talk with God!
 
(If you are feeling a little impatient about your climb Spiritward, your climb to reality, it might be good to remember our friend, Moses, right?)
 
B-4, and B-5:  Couldn't we see Moses' rising to an understanding that "there is only one God and none else," as Isaiah states it? [and as Desiree sings it in Hymn 444]
 
S1 - S6:  Moses life illustrates these passages from Science and Health.  "Spirit...real and eternal,"  "Spirit, All-in-all, no other Mind." "Divine Love infinite" Letting go "efforts to find life and truth in matter" (Burning bush, sustenance in the desert.)
 
S - 6: "We should strive to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed..?"  Moses' climb up the mount is ours.  But be patient and steadfast, right?  How long did Moses grow in his understanding and readiness to find the reality of one God?  40 years?  80 years?  120 years?  How about his meeting [~1,200 years later] with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration?  Matthew 17:1-9 Seems like Moses' continued in his "climb."  How about you and me?
 
Section 2:  Who gets to make this journey "up?"
Well, climbing is tough work, probably just for the youngsters.  My boys would probably disagree.  We have all enjoyed watching a movie [animated comedy adventure] entitled "Up."  (Several times in fact.)  The heroes in this movie are an elderly widower and a little boy.  It is worth watching.  It is inspiring and encouraging.  Here is the official web site for this Disney/Pixar film: disney.go.com/disneypictures/UP/
 
The Bible verses in this section invite us to see how we can find our way "up."
B-6 to B-10:  Give  us some good instructions on the qualities of thought we need to begin our climb.  
B-6:  "a pure heart" 
B-7 - B-9: Humility and acknowledging God.   
B-10:  Faith in the enabling power of Christ to give us the strength we need.
 
S-7 to S-10:  Here Science and Health confirms the encouragement of the Bible citations.  There is only one way "up" to "heaven, harmony and Christ...shows us this way."  To have   "no other consciousness of life - than good , God and His reflection (that's you and me)"  And she says we must "rise" above the "so-called pain and pleasure of the senses."  This "rise" brings us to a "veritable (real), indestructible man, whose being is spiritual." (S-8)
S-9: An outline of how we reach this "higher and more permanent peace."
S-10:   A childlikeness that Jesus encouraged as the way to enter the kingdom of heaven, is also the way for our joyful, upward climb. 
 
Section 3: Elisha plays "I spy !"
Have you ever played the game, I spy?    Do you remember how it works?  You look around to see what is nearby and offer a simple description, a color, a shape.  Then the other players have to guess what you see based on your description.
 
Well, Elisha was really the kind of prophet Mary Baker Eddy defines in Science and Health  S&H 593:4
"PROPHET.A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth."
 
B-12:  Without "intelligence assets on the ground"--that is without an informer or spy--Elisha is able to save the King of Israel from ambush.  Repeatedly he warns the King of an attack and the King is protected.  It makes the King of Syria so angry that he sends a strong military force to surround Elisha.  Elisha's servant awakes in the morning and sees an enemy army surrounding them.  He is terrified and wakes his master, Elisha.  Imagine his reaction when Elisha tells him not to worry that "there are more on our side than on their side."  Right!  But then Elisha prays that the servant's eyes be opened and the young man sees that Elisha spoke the truth.  The whole mountainside is full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha. 
 
I remember a phrase that an old friend used to repeat to me.  She quoted her Christian Science teacher as often saying, "Beware of the belittler."  We have to be constantly alert to the reports of material sense that would tell us we have to be afraid because we are "surrounded," beset, or threatened by matter's claim to supremacy. 
 
S -11 to S-14: These citations from S&H outline a material way of looking at things, (material sense) that is limited by its very nature.  Only as we open our eyes to the spiritual truth of being do we "see" all that God is giving us.
 
If we would "see" God's protecting, cherishing angels "surrounding us" then we have to be willing to let our eyes be opened.  We have to be willing to see what God has done, is doing and will do.  And we only rise to that wonderful sight as we allow ourselves to see with spiritual sense. [Click 100---Angels (in red) on CedarS homepage to hear Desiree Goyette's song about her CedarS experience.]
 
Section 4:   Rise to a true sense of sight as entirely spiritual
B-16: Jesus came into the town of Bethsaida.  "They" brought a blind man to him.  Jesus did not immediately heal the man.  Instead he led him out of town. (That may have been because of the ongoing resistance and lack of belief in Bethsaida.)  Jesus spit on the man's eyes.  He what?  Yes, he spit on the man's eyes.  Why?  In the Old Testament spitting on someone was the ultimate form of disdain-how you showed your contempt.  Was Jesus spitting on the man a way of showing his contempt for the man?  That seems unlikely since Jesus seldom condemned individuals seeking healing.  And Jesus cared enough for the man to lead him by the hand out of town.   So could it be, that the contempt Jesus was showing, the complete lack of respect was for the blindness?  Jesus never accepted disease as something to respect.  He did not see disease as something from God, something natural or permanent.  Instead Jesus often spoke of those diseased as individuals whom "Satan hath bound."  And Jesus seldom labeled those he healed as "sinners".
 
 Look at John 9 and the healing of a man born blind.  He specifically showed that the disease was not the result of sin or inherited sin.  "Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."   Jesus identified healing as an opportunity to show the works of God.
 
 In a recent Bible lesson we read,Acts 10:38
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
 
So don't we find a basis for correctly identifying disease of all types as illegitimate and not of God, but of the devil?   John 8:34   "When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
 
So Jesus' disdain was for the evil of disease and not for the man. [Following his method--and science of Christianity, we always need to separate the error from the person. Mrs. Eddy picked up the Scriptural cues of the Christ-cure method: "we may assume that the author of this remarkable epistle (Hebrews 1:9) regarded Christ as the Son of God, the royal reflection of the infinite; and the cause given for the exaltation of Jesus, Mary's son, was that he "loved righteousness and hated iniquity." S&H 313:15, Hebrews 1:9, Ps. 45:7]
[Note the valuable marginal heading of "Organic construction valueless" for] citation S-18 | 489:24-29
 "The corporeal senses are the only source of evil or error. Christian Science shows them to be false, because matter has no sensation, and no organic construction can give it hearing and sight nor make it the medium of Mind. Outside the material sense of things, all is harmony."
 
Section 5: Rise up to follow the Master's example
B -18, B-19:  Jesus teaches us we are the "light of the world" and must let our light shine.  This light is the Christ and enables us to follow Jesus example and heal.
 
B -20:   Here is a clear contrasting of the messages that come from the "spirit of the world" and from the "spirit which is of God."  How do we know the things that God gives us?--"we have the mind of Christ."
 
The citations from Science and Health clearly call on us to follow Jesus' commands.  Reading S-22 to S-26 can leave no doubt of the necessity and ability to "rise" to the occasion, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also."
 
So going "up" is not just a mountain climbing expedition, no matter how inspiring or exhilarating that might be.  After all, Moses trip was not just up the slopes of Mt Horeb.  He rose to the levels of spiritual discernment.
 
I remember a time when I learned a few of Moses' lessons.  Back in 1974 I climbed the Nevado del Ruiz volcano located near Manizales, Colombia.  With an elevation of 17,454 feet or 5,320 meters even though it is just a few degrees latitude from the equator it was completely snow covered.  It was a thrilling adventure.  The air, thin as it was, was crystal clear and the sun brightly reflected off the snow fields.  I was with teammates from my college soccer team who were natives of Manizales.  And although we had the adventure of our lives, none of us saw any "bushes that burned and were not consumed." (There was no vegetation at that elevation.)  And none of us thought about taking our shoes off, too much snow.  But the beautiful vistas did give one the feeling that God surely was there with us. 
 
We were exhausted and hungry when we got back home in Manizales.  After a delicious dinner we all went to bed.  As I said the sun had been brilliant.  All the other members of the climbing party had worn sun glasses, but not being an experienced climber and not used to snow (not much of that in Florida) I had made climbed without sunglasses.  At some point during the night I awoke in great pain. With an extreme case of what might be called snow blindness.  My eyes seemed to be on fire, and I was completely blind.  I was far from home, in a foreign land, and with no means to call for prayerful help as I would have usually done.
 
In order not to disturb my roommates I found my way into the bathroom to pray.  I was unable to see, so reading was out of the question.  Plus I did not want to turn the light on and disturb my friends.  So I prayed and prayed in the dark.  I remembered what Mrs. Eddy says about eyes in Science and Health S&H 586:3
"EYES. Spiritual discernment,--not material but mental."
 
Through my prayer I was able to feel that I was actually in the presence of God, not far from home or all alone.  The fear began to subside and with that the pain also began to lessen.  Although I still was not able to see, I made my way back to bed and decided to go to sleep.  I felt an assurance that I was not alone, but that my Father-Mother God was right there with me and that my "sight" was a spiritual fact and not dependent on matter or organ.   When I woke in the morning I could see normally.  I enjoyed the climb, but I have learned far more from the spiritual ascent that I was forced to make in my prayers.
 
 I often ask myself, was it Moses' trip up the holy mountain or his life-long trip rising up in spiritual consciousness that led to his glimpses of divine reality?  After my healing I have to believe it was Moses' spiritual ascent!
 
Section 6: You are invited, "Come on up."
What a wonderful preparation in the sections of the lesson leading up to this uplifting conclusion.
 
B-21:   We are invited to the greatest of mountain resorts, "the mountain of holiness."   
 
B-22:   Who gets to stay there?  "They that love his name shall dwell therein."
 
B-23:   Where is it located?  "The holy city, New Jerusalem."  Who is with us?  God will dwell with us.  Now that is a double-occupancy offer you can't refuse.  It can't get any better than to have God as a roommate!  And how about completely new furnishings, "Behold,  I make all things new."  Here is your confirmation number, "It is done." 
 
B -24: "Come up hither."  The Owner of the resort has invited you personally and He will be staying with you.  So you are guaranteed the best service.
 
S-27 to S-30:  The most wonderful thing about this offer that is described by the Revelator from "the mount of vision," is that there is no waiting; it is described in a paragraph with the marginal heading, "Nearness of Deity."
 
And if it seems as a journey that is "uphill all the way," look up, not down.  We are assured that the very circumstances that seem so challenging right now will lift us "up" to behold the "great city."  What seems daunting and insurmountable "Love can make an angel entertained unawares.
 
And if it does seem that right now you are in a "valley of depression," deep down in the valley of sense, remember that you are never, ever alone.   God, Love, Life, Good, Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Truth are with you every step of the "Way."  Your Father- Mother loves to be with you.  Love lifts you.
 
A last note:  On the way to Sunday School just yesterday, Noah, my ten year old, handed me a cassette to put in the car radio.  I was a little worried what might come blaring out of the radio; would it be appropriate for preparing thought for Sunday School?  My worries were groundless.  It was a performance of Handel's Messiah.  And it was right at the point in Charles Jennen's libretto where a glorious tenor voice triumphantly sang:

"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight and the rough places plain."  Isaiah 40
 
And a little child shall lead them, right?
 
What a promise!   The valley we are struggling through, though it may seem like "the valley of the shadow of death" shall be exalted, raised up.  And the mountains and hills that seem so difficult to traverse shall be "made low."  Even the "crooked" shall be made "straight" and the "rough places plain."
 
And our Father said, "Daughter, Son, come let me lift you up where you can see, it is better than a parade.  It is "The whole creation.... on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons (and daughters) of God coming into their own."(Romans 8 J.B. Phillips translation.)     http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/CP06Romans.htm
 
 [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 ongoing 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; ($800/week) and,
     2) to provide care for our large herd of horses and feed them until grass starts to grow again in our pastures.  "Adopt the Herd" donations will be matched!
 
To make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization:
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, 10-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 "Possible Sunday School Topics" come in a subsequent email.) These weekly offerings are 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 (and angels) 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, Executive Director   director@cedarscamps.org    (636) 394-6162

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