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Follow a Complete Guide to Spiritual Seeing or How to be a Modern-Day Prophet!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, September 20th, 2010

Follow a Complete Guide to Spiritual Seeing or
       How to be a Modern-Day Prophet!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson "Reality"
For study during the week September 20-26, 2010
by Rick Stewart, C.S., of Dresden, Germany [with bracketed italics by Warren Huff], and additional insights from David Pickersgill, of Leeds, England

[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 thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

What a complete (seven sections) and insight-full Bible Lesson we have this week.  We can learn from the pros (prophets) how to see what God sees and what God would have us see.   Or as my friend, David Pickersgill, from Leeds, England put it, "Rick, this lesson for me is like a workbook on how to be a spiritual seer, a prophet."  (S-16 Science and Health page 593 :"PROPHET. A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth.")    David and I had a great conversation about the lesson and I asked him if I could share some of his insights. He agreed.  So if you see a notation attributed to David, you will know who I am talking about.

First let's think a little about how to see.  Seeing is not just a passive function or faculty.  It is certainly more than a function of a material organ.  It is an active operation of thought.  Acute and discerning sight can be cultivated and trained.  And through the unfoldments of the Comforter "seeing" can be identified as a faculty of Mind, God, which is reflected by man.  Just like the Prophets of old you and I can become trained spiritual seers. 
 
[One of my wonderful Sunday School teachers, Miss Mary Kessler, shared with us this brilliant one-liner on the subjective nature of true seeing: "Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good." Why not let gratitude outlaw your blindness to present good and give you a "sight for sore eyes" today!]

As I thought about the active faculty of seeing I thought of a couple examples from my life.  First, I was reminded of two of my hometown heroes.  One of these men, Newt Perry, trained me as a lifeguard, was my boss, and great friend.  Newt instilled the understanding in his lifeguards that eye contact was essential to good lifeguarding.  You remained alert, and attentive to preventing accidents, and you kept your eyes open.  One day as I was on duty a little guy jumped off the diving board and as soon as he hit the water I looked him right in the eye and saw that he wanted some help.  I simply jumped down, offered him a hand and he paddled to the side.  No tears, no trauma, no big deal.  And after a little talk about no reason to fear the deep water, and no reason to fear the jump, he was making that spring and swimming to the side without a problem.  Seeing that cry for help in his eyes, responding quickly, and simply encouraging him, turned him into a competent deep-end jumper.

So as we jump into this week's lesson we will be looking to our pros (Prophets) to help us become better seers of things around us: observant, attentive, intuitive.    And like the Prophets we can aspire to not just acute material seeing, but to the exercise of a spiritual faculty that goes beyond the limits of acute mortal sight.  Let's exercise the qualities of thought that allow us to see as God sees.

My mom once shared with me an experience she had with this deeper, spiritual seeing.  At some point in her practice she received an inquiring letter from the Christian Science Board of Directors.  It seemed that someone had written an accusing letter that said she had violated the standard of keeping confidential the communications from patients.  And this involved a fellow practitioner.  Well, that was pretty absurd - my mom was a pro when it came to keeping her mouth shut about things that did not need to be shared.  So she immediately began to pray. There appeared to be the need for a modern-day expression of the qualities of being a prophet, seeing beyond the physical senses.  My mom knew that she had only shared the information referred to on one occasion that was completely appropriate and supportive of everyone involved.  And my mom knew that the individual she had spoken with would never divulge the confidence.  Her motives had only been healing and support.  As she prayed, mom told me she had a clear mental picture of the moment when she spoke of the concerns.  And suddenly in her recollection she saw that there had been a supporting column near where she stood as she spoke of the incident.  And then mom clearly saw (mentally) someone standing behind the column, eavesdropping (listening in) to the private conversation. And mom saw exactly who it was.  Mom had "seen" where the leak came from.  She replied to the letter and soon received a supportive and appreciative letter from the Board of Directors for her years of service as a practitioner.  This exercise of prophetic seeing, going beyond the acuteness of physical seeing, had harmonized a human situation. And it also helped preserve a deep friendship that continued for years afterward.

We might think of our time with this Lesson as is expressed in Hymn 58, and Hymn 438 from our new Supplement.  The words are from a poem by Elizabeth C. Adams, "Seeing only Thy creation, We can share Thy happiness."   Like a prophet of old we are being invited to see what God has done and share our vision.

Oh, one last thing before we "jump" into the lesson with our eyes wide open.  I asked David what about the "seven sections" this week.  Maybe you even wondered or pondered the same thing.  Or is it possible you may have actually murmured, ruminated a little bit, "We have always had six sections in the past, why do we need seven now?"

Well, David and I both remembered that "seven" is often representative in the Bible as "completeness, spiritual perfection."  The Hebrew word for seven is "Sheva."  Ancient Hebrew scholars were particularly attentive to seven names for Deity:  Eloah, Elohim, Adonai, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, YHWH, El Shaddai, and Tzevant.  So for a Bible Lesson that begins with God seeing His creation as all good, that it was done, completed, and that also ends with the unfoldment of this completed glory to you and me, it seemed completely appropriate and correct to have seven sections.  I am sure there are other considerations involved, but for me this was a case of the actual composition of our Bible Lesson expressing an essential element to its message.   And did you know that according to the Readers Encyclopedia, in Medieval Judaism, God was often referred to as "The Seven."  So let's have some fun with our seven sections!!
 
The Golden Text:  Leviticus 9: 6    The Golden Text which of course sets the tone for the whole lesson is a gem.  "...the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you." In the Bible Lesson on Substance we learned of the Hebrew word, "Kabod," or "Kabowd."  We translated it into English as glory.  It refers to the "glory" of God revealing HImself in goodness, moral beauty, mercifulness, and abiding love.   The word "appear" here comes from the Hebrew word, "ra-ah," which means to see, to look at, to perceive, to consider, or to have vision." God shall make His glory be seen by you, you will be given a vision of His glory.
 
The Responsive Reading: We begin this Lesson's contact with the Prophets as Elisha warns his king of an ensuing ambush.  He was able to do this mentally and thereby kept his king safe.  This really upset the King of Syria and he even wondered who in his camp was working for the King of Israel. He was told that it was the prophet, Elisha.   So he sent an army to surround and capture Elisha.  Elisha's servant woke to find they were surrounded and he was terrified as he reported to Elisha that they were surrounded by an army.  Elisha's reply,  "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." And he prayed,  "Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see."  Well weren't his eyes already open?  (Perhaps not to spiritual seeing.) He got up, went outside, saw the surrounding army, and he did not like what he saw!!  But obviously Elisha was talking about a different "eye-opening" experience.  When God did open the young man's eyes to spiritual seeing, the young man saw that, "behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" protecting them.  This view only came through spiritual seeing.  What a great way to introduce us to the lesson on "Reality".
 
 [Monday's "Daily Lift" by Norm Bleichman also relates to this idea of being lifted beyond distractions to higher views and demonstrations of spiritual reality. http://christianscience.com/lectures/2010/09/20/a-lock-can-be-key/]

Section 1: See as God sees, good.
The Bible (B-1) relates Genesis chapter 1, God making man in His image and likeness, giving dominion, and - get this! - to "replenish" the earth.  Now replenish does not mean deplete, but to restore.  In today's world, is there not a great need to be accepting God's gift of nurturing dominion and to use our ability to see good as God did, in all of creation?  This year at CedarS we have been praying to see more of this kind of sustaining of creation with our theme, "Leaning with meaning."  Based on Mrs. Eddy's statement in Science and Health, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings."  (S&H page vii)  This kind of seeing as God sees, seeing good in all creation, can lead to the ultimate sustainability.  Seeing the "complete" goodness of God's creation is reflected in each of the Bible citations in this section.  And in a MyBibleLesson "in other words," you will find this translation of B-5--I Cor. 13:12 from the New Living Translation, "Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me (sees me) completely."

The citations in Science and Health S-1 to S-5 clearly show us how we begin to see this reality of God's complete creation.  And we are assured, (S-5) "Let us learn of the real and eternal, and prepare for the reign of Spirit, the kingdom of heaven, -- the reign and rule of universal harmony which cannot be lost, nor remain forever unseen."
 
Section 2: The "eternal spring" pouring forth only sweet water.
Can a spring be a source for sweet water and fresh water? Well, you have a spring expert here. Although my home is now in Dresden, Germany, I grew up in Ocala, Florida.  We have springs all over that part of Florida.  Some of the world's biggest.   And right next to Ocala is the largest artesian (flowing) spring in the world, Silver Springs.  When James asks, (B-6) "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" (salt and fresh water) -- I can answer with authority, no.  As a matter of fact, far out in the Gulf of Mexico, off of Florida's coast, we even have flowing springs.  These can be great places to fish and even though the waters pour into the salt water of the Gulf, the water coming out of the spring is sweet (freshwater).  Even though it might get mixed in with the salt waters of the Gulf eventually, at the source there is no mixing.

Here is one of first lessons in seeing like a prophet.  If you want to see the good, you have got to stick with the good, mixing does not help.  This could be seen as a kind of seeing that is discerning.  And talking about springs reminds me once again of my friend, Newt Perry, and a lesson he taught me about the talent of really seeing.

Newt was friends with another local Ocala hero, Ross Allen.  The two of them had been key in bringing Silver Springs to prominence as a world famous tourist attraction.  Ross operated his Ross Allen's Reptile Institute for forty or fifty years at Silver Springs.  He was a great outdoorsman and he and Newt often shared adventures in the woods and lakes around Ocala.  Here's one observation that Newt shared with me: It seems that whenever they were in the woods, Ross, was always seeing animals that no one else saw.  Newt said it was uncanny.  Ross was not distracted by the blur of underbrush and plants; he knew the animals and he saw their forms and outlines.

From this I began to understand that true observation and discernment in the wild or any situation, involves the active development of seeing.  The individual who sees things is observant, attentive, discerning, intuitive.  He knows what to look for and how to look for it.  He is not distracted; he remains focused on what he wants to see.   This has helped me in teaching my children how to see and observe more animals when we are in the woods and fields.  And nowadays sometimes the kids are the first to spot something.

As a spiritual seer we maintain our faith in God's goodness reflected in all creation, including ourselves and our fellow man.  S-6 to S-10 presents the logical steps that allow us as spiritual seers to discern the good we want to see and experience and look past the error.
 
Section 3: Are you seeing your identity as God's man? You better see to it.
Citation B-11 from Genesis relates the story of the patriarch, Jacob.  His wrestlings with a nature that was sometimes very un-Godlike, eventually led him to a new sense of identity, seeing himself in a better light.

My friend, David, had some very interesting insights about Jacob's wrestlings.  David observed that like many of the prophets, Jacob, had some pretty ugly character traits to let go of.  As David put it, "After all Jacob had "nicked" his brother Esau's birthright hadn't he?"  (That would be British slang for stolen.)  And yes, Jacob had deceived his father and his brother in "nicking" his father's blessing, which was Esau's blessing by birth.  But you know Jacob evidently continued to wrestle with elements of his character that needed change.  He wanted to see himself in a new light.  So, when he got hold of an angel, he was not going to let go until he was blessed.
 
[At the base of CedarS Crown Lake--that refuses to let spring water go until it blesses us with opportunities to fish, boat, zip-line,--is the "Road to Damascus" leaving CedarS Bible Lands Park (BLP). On this road Saul changed his name and nature as did Jacob in his wrestling by the Jabbok River. (B-11) Angel-wrestling and nature-changing is encouraged year-round--not just at CedarS BLP.]

(S-13) I have never come across a better explanation of Jacob's struggle and its significance than what Mary Baker Eddy offers on page 308 of Science and Health. If we want to reach our full potential as spiritual seers it might take a struggle or two, but it will surely be worth the effort.
 
Section 4: See who you are regardless of what others see.
(B-13) Genesis 41: The story of Joseph from childhood to right hand man to Pharaoh reads like a novel.  [And, Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" will be a fun, Bible-based production next summer for CedarS Musical Theater program!]  There are ups and downs, character conflicts, temptations, adversity, and triumph, but one thing you can say about Joseph is that he remains a seer.  As a child he had visions in dreams that sometimes irritated his family.  Later the development of this talent of seeing and interpreting dreams stood him in good stead.  And it got him out of prison and into the palace!!  I also find his story of interest when you remember that he had to stay true to what he was seeing about himself and not what or how others wanted to see him.  When Joseph was a slave in Potiphar's house, Potiphar's wife had inappropriate fantasies about Joseph.  Even though he ended up in temporary trouble from resisting her view of him, Joseph eventually was blessed and blessed Egypt, his family and the known world. 

Citations S-15 and S-16 show the possibilities even today of aligning thought with God-like thinking and blessing as a spiritual seer.  Staying true to how we see ourselves as God's children, can place us in situations to bless ourselves, our family, all mankind.

Citation S-14 shows the importance of cultivating our spiritual sense of seeing, and being willing to dispense with looking to matter.   "Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality."

Section 5: Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth of Galilee sees reality by making a separation

[My friend,] David noted how often the sections of Jesus' activities in the lesson are introduced in another way.  But here is a clear identification of Jesus as a prophet. (B-14)  And how right he is.  In John 1:45 we find that Philip when he encountered Nathanael  said, "We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

In citation B-15 Jesus shared the parable of the tares and the wheat.  We are once again reminded here how important it is to make the separation, or the discernment between what we are seeing.  Sometimes it all seems a mix, but with the discernment of prophetic vision, we can maintain the good and let go the evil.  But we often have to "let patience have her perfect work."  And Mrs. Eddy supports that in her thoughts about this parable.

Citations S-17 - S-21 give a discerning explanation of the tares and wheat parable.  And the last citation (S-21), is truly encouraging since we do not have to do it all at once, "The seed of Truth and the seed of error, of belief and of understanding, -- yea, the seed of Spirit and the seed of matter, -- are the wheat and tares which time will separate, the one to be burned, the other to be garnered into heavenly places."
 
Section 6:  Here is a prophet that heals! See as Jesus did to heal like he did!
Citation B-16 tells of Jesus healing Simon Peter's mother-in-law of a fever.  It struck me what a great example this is for this time of year here in Germany and perhaps in other areas also.  Jesus came into the house and observed someone expressing the symptoms of fever.  Right now locally there is lots of talk about colds, contagion, and runny noses.  Mothers are starting to add winter blankets to beds, and cautioning to wear hats, scarves, and jackets.  Why? Fear of catching cold.  How powerful to be reminded that our Master restored the health of this woman through rebuking the fever.  Basically letting it be known that this fever had no place or part of this woman.

Citations B-17 and B-18 show that those who are prophets [and are receptive to prophets], spiritual seers, shall get busy "knowing the Truth" and [receiving the reward of] setting free all who their thoughts rest on.

There is an interesting account from the early days of the Christian Science movement when Mrs. Eddy was still teaching classes.  After the third day of class, she gave a homework assignment.  Each student in the class was to take a patient and heal them.  Well, one student who was from out of town heaved a sigh of relief, "At least I won't have to worry about that assignment.  Since I am from out of town, I don't know anyone to heal."  This individual returned to their boarding house, walked in the door, and was greeted by the landlord's cry for help, "If you can do something do it."  So this novice in Christian Science obediently applied the lessons from those three days of class and the result, healing. 

Citations S-22 to S-25 can be our instructions as to how to respond like this early worker.  Using these citations we can become prophets with power in our homes, our school systems, our churches, our neighborhoods.  Wherever we walk we can equip ourselves to see what God sees and see through the error of sickness.

(S--23) What powerful instructions from our Leader about what we see and what Jesus saw: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.  In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick."
 
Section 7: See the glories of earth & heaven & man for God's glory to appear! 
With citation B-22 we end right where we started with our Golden Text--with a complete sense of God's creation, seeing that it is very good, and knowing that we can see it.

Our little girl, Alma, really likes to see things.  I often hear, Papa, I can't see.  And so I am required to lift her up where she can see things.  When the rest of us see a plane flying by, or an animal in the fields along the road, Alma is absolutely heartbroken if she does not get to see it also.  But isn't that understandable? We all like to see what others are seeing.  Especially the good things. 

It is the same thing with things of the Spirit.  Paul wrote to the Thessalonians and Philippians (B-21) that they needed to hold in thought what they wanted to see.  Hold on to the "good," the "true," the "honest," the "just," the "pure," the "lovely," those things of "good report."  As my Sunday School teacher quoted years ago, "what thou seest, that thou beest."  If we want to see as a prophet, we hold in thought the things of God's creation that is all good.  Then no one gets left out, or like my little Alma, no one misses seeing the good.
 
[Our "little girl" Holly when she was in Principia Upper School helped her basketball team advance to the district finals by applying citation B-19 to have a 4th quarter comeback from 12 points down to victory. Passes were anticipated and picked off and 3-point shots were made including a "buzzer-beater" as the girls believed and witnessed that "whatsoever God doeth... nothing can be put to it (therefore no "airballs"), nor anything taken from it" (therefore no "bricks").]

(S--26) "When the evidence of Spirit and matter, Truth and error, seems to commingle, it rests upon foundations which time is wearing away."  Doesn't that give us great patience with ourselves and others? The seeming mix, the commingling, is just temporary.
   
(S-30) "When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man's spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God's creation, - all the glories of earth and heaven and man." We have plenty of helpers to lift us up to see what we want to see, our Savior the Christ, our Comforter divine Science.  There is nothing quite like the view from our Father-Mother's shoulders!!!   We then become spiritual seers, prophets that are seeing the glory of creation, and we can share our vision.

Then we can rejoice that not only will the "glory of the Lord shall appear unto you," but also it will appear in you, and in your life, and in the world.
 

[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families, Sunday School teachers and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website or through CS Directory. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed: to cover the costs of running this "free" service; to provide camperships to make inspirational opportunities possible for our deserving youth; and to complete Stages 1 & 2 of Bible Lands Park (BLP).   (Click on --http://blog.cedarscamps.org/-- for other pictures and write-ups on CedarS Bible Lands Park.)

Special Announcements:

1) Registration has now opened for Cedars 50th anniversary jubilee over the August 19-22, 2011 weekend, and all Cedars alumni and supporters are warmly invited! To learn how you can participate in this special celebration, please visit www.cedarscamps.org/50th

2) You can now click on the pdf symbol (at the right) to download a pdf version of CedarS Lesson mets for easier printing and for better reading from mobile devices.
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! To support CedarS work you can make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization in many wonderful ways.
Thank you for considering writing a monthly check payable to CedarS Camps and mailing it to: CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536; or for calling Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to discuss gifts of securities or property you are considering giving to benefit CedarS.
 
 
[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]

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