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Re-open Paradise to find yourself unfallen, upright, pure, and free!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, October 31st, 2011

[Re-open Paradise to find yourself "unfallen, upright, pure, and free"!]
CedarS Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:
"Adam and Fallen Man" October 31-November 6, 2011
By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. of Glen Ellyn, Illinois chaplain.craig@gmail.co 630-830-8683
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director and Met, PSST & PYCL Newsletters Editor]

[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) that will 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 and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

 
When I consider the title of this week's Lesson, "Adam and Fallen Man," I occasionally get a mental image of a once-perfect spiritual idea plunging in a free-fall from his heavenly estate and crashing into the sinful earth like a banished angel.  Indeed, much of old theology promotes this sort of view-a once perfect man, falling from grace into mortality and moral decrepitude.  The Greek word translated as "falling" in the Golden Text, actually means "not stumbling" as a horse being sure-footed.  CedarS' campers and anyone who's ever ridden a horse or mule can relate to this image.  These animals are very sure-footed, and can navigate easily through much rougher terrain than we can.  I remember expressing concern over the mules going into the Grand Canyon.  "What if they tripped?" I asked. The wranglers said there was much less chance of a mule going over the edge than a person.
 
Understanding how a rider relies on a sure-footed mount, we can grasp how much more important it is to trust that God is able to keep us from falling into sin or any error that may work against our own well-being.  Just as our equine friends have the innate ability to tread carefully, so our God gives us the wisdom, agility, balance, and power to avoid stumbling into sin.
 
The Responsive Reading continues the imagery.  God enables us to stand firm, always safe in His protection.  These verses seem to be providing all the help that-if heeded and utilized-would have prevented Adam and Eve's disobedience.  These verses acknowledge God as the only helper and protector.  They declare man's uprightness, and willingness to have his eyes open to righteousness instead of evil. Whereas Adam and Eve eventually get shut out of paradise, the entrance of God's words give light.  The word "entrance" means an opening or gate-contrary to the gates being closed on Adam.  Rather than [abandoning man to] act on his own, the Word of God orders every step, and iniquity has no dominion.  Rather than being ejected in disgrace, God's face shines on man in beauty of righteous judgment.  Throughout this Lesson, look for the verses in each section that provide the spiritual view of things as opposed to the dismal view of old theology.  As a higher view is shown in each section, we can remember that each day, or rather, every hour, we similarly have the choice to either believe the lie of the serpent, or remain in obedience to God. [Our October theme for one last day, Halloween 2011: "Trick? Or Treatment?! "Take Off the Mask of Evil", Jose Mata's "Daily Lift" expands this theme.]
 
Section 1: The Perfect Man
It's important to remember that the man God made has not, nor could he ever, be anything less than perfect.  The so-called fallen man is not the perfect man in a fallen state, but a false belief about that perfect man.  The first section this week, tells us about this perfect man.  Theologian Adam Clarke provides a lovely description of the creation of God's man as found in Genesis 1 (B1): "...as the Divine Being is infinite, he is neither limited by parts, nor definable by passions; therefore he can have no corporeal image after which he made the body of man.  The image and likeness must necessarily be intellectual; his mind, his soul, must have been formed after the nature and perfections of his God...  God was now producing a spirit, and a spirit, too, formed after the perfections of his own nature.  God is the fountain whence this spirit issued, hence the stream must resemble the spring which produced it.  God is holy, just, wise, good, and perfect; so must the soul be that sprang from him:  there could be in it nothing impure, unjust, ignorant, evil, low, base, mean, or vile.  It was created after the image of God; and that image, St. Paul tells us, consisted in righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge.  Hence man was wise in his mind, holy in his heart, and righteous in his actions.  Were even the word of God silent on this subject, we could not infer less from the lights held out to us by reason and common sense. ... he was the masterpiece of God's creation...." For an old-time theologian, this is a pretty spiritually-minded description.  This perfect man, as noted in Psalms (B2), has a peaceful end.  He can expect quietness and assurance forever. [The New International Version translates citation B2: "Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace." (Ps. 37:37) The Middle East future was preparing for peace in the Euphrates Summit last week. Deep thinking leaders and moderate peace-makers from all sides of the Middle East Conflict gathered on the Principia College campus to seek peace and the bright future it will bring to the region and the world. Click the Euphrates Institutes mission to find out more about its work of "improving relations with the Middle East by engaging the moderate middle and marginalizing the extremists, in an era when our security, energy, and religions depend upon it." Click here to support this vitally-important, world-blessing group effort that was started and is directed by Christian Scientists.]
              
Mary Baker Eddy emphasizes that this perfect man is spiritual not physical (S1).  This man also has no separate mind from God, nor can he think or act contrary to God's behest.  As we've already mentioned, this spiritual view does not refer to the "sinful and sickly mortal man" but to "the ideal man" (S2).  But what about the picture of man we see all around us?  The rest of the Lesson explains.  Read on.
 
Section 2: The Material Body
Even though man is made in God's likeness, it appears that man is anything but that.  Another theologian from the Eighteenth Century, Matthew Henry, paraphrases Ecclesiastes (B3): "It is lamentable that man, whom God made upright, has found out so many ways to render himself wicked and miserable."  Who is this misguided creature?  Where did he come from?  Genesis 2 tells us that this creature was formed of the dust and out of the mist of confusion (B4).  Bible commentators often use these verses to support the false conclusion that man is a material form infused with spirit.  They also surmise that the garden was appropriate for man because of its simplicity and purity.  It was a sweet place to be, but man was still charged with tending to it.  In short, it was an idyllic, delightful existence.  But Matthew Henry points out, that while nature is content with little and grace with less, "lust craves everything, and is content with nothing."
 
While commentators find, in the command to "dress and keep" the garden, a divine directive for productive activity as opposed to idleness, Mrs. Eddy sees the garden of Eden in a different light.  She writes "In this text, Eden stands for the mortal, material body" (S5).  She goes on to say that there is no way God could put Mind into matter, and that this body is nothing but a false human concept (S6).  She doesn't say that man has no body, but that, instead of a material form, man has a "sensationless body" (S7).  With this in mind, we realize that the garden isn't a material environment provided for a man of dust, but that the belief of the garden is actually representative of the belief that we live in body at all.  It represents the pleasurable aspects supposed to coincide with life in a material body -all of which are erroneous.
 
Section 3: Materiality Claims Intelligence
As Adam's story proceeds, traditional commentators, find Adam's naming of the animals (B5), to be evidence of God's intention that man be a social being, and that his ability to name all things indicates the grasp of language, and proves intellectual dominion over the beasts.  They also see the acquaintance with and naming of the creatures to be part of Adam's realization that he needs an equal to companion with.  In the first account of creation man is complete to begin with, but the man of dust needs continual adjustments.  Adam Clarke's interpretation of citation B6 (Psalm 140:13), gives a spiritual view of communication-[Man] "shall be admitted to the most intimate intercourse with God."  That's all the communication we ever really need.
 
The thrust of traditional interpretations of Genesis is to find justification and cause for man's intellect and abilities, but this ascribes to mortal man powers he does not have.  While to old theology, Adam represents the man God made, to Mrs. Eddy, Adam is equivalent to error and represents the false theory that matter is intelligent (S9).  Adam, or error, had nothing to do with knowing or naming any part of creation.  God alone blesses, and defines all creation (S11).  This real creation is spiritual and harmonious (S12).  Mortal belief is arrogant, and thinks it can identify and define creation, but it can't.  Therefore, God's creatures are not the mutated, wild, ferocious forms observed by mortal thought, but harmless, useful ideas named and known by God.
 
Section 4: The Sleeper
Once again, the Psalmist aims for a higher view of man.  A light shines in the darkness on the upright man (B7).  But the erroneous mortal, called Adam, is sunken into a deep sleep, never to wake up.  Out of this darkness emerges another mortal called Eve.  Consistent with their theories, commentators again, find encouragement and support for the human condition in Eve's appearance.  For example, the Jamison, Fausset, and Brown Commentary uses this oft quoted phrase when interpreting Eve's appearance: "She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him."  Such interpretations are sweet and somewhat sentimental, but they do not present a spiritual view.
 
Jonah (B8) was another sleeper in this Adam dream.  You'll recall his story of disobedience to God.  Even though influenced by the old theological view of Adam and Eve, Matthew Henry makes a significant observation about Jonah's slumber that sheds light on our Adam dreamer: "Jonah was fast asleep.  Sin is stupifying, and we are to take heed lest at any time our hearts are hardened by the deceitfulness of it.  What do men mean by sleeping on in sin, when the word of God and the convictions of their own consciences, warn them to arise and call on the Lord, if they would escape everlasting misery?  Should not we warn each other to awake, to arise, to call upon our God, if so be he will deliver us?"  As "fire-and-brimstone" as this sentiment may sound, it is none-the-less a fair question for us to consider.  On page 542 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes, "The belief of life in matter sins at every step."  We can all take the lesson to heart.
 
[More] consistent in her views, [than] the learned theologians of Genesis in theirs, Mrs. Eddy sees in the creation of Eve, evidence that material creation is false.  Eve is born out of darkness.  She is only a simulation of real creation-a mockery of Love's creative power (S13).  Mrs. Eddy points out the inconsistency of human theories, and refutes all possibility of man being anything less than the offspring of Spirit (S14, S15).
 
Section 5: Enter, the Serpent
The serpent has but one objective-to get Eve to eat the fruit (B10).  Whether or not, this story is thought of as an actual event or as an allegory, commentators try to imagine and justify why the woman would disobey God's direction.  But yet another Eighteenth Century figure, John Wesley*, finds within the story a blueprint for the very methods that are used by the serpent today.  First, the serpent questions whether the proposed act is a sin or not; second, he denies any danger in it; and third, he suggests that doing the act will bring advantage to the transgressor.  The whole approach is to entice the victim into believing that something desirable is being withheld from him unjustly, and that the victim has a right to take it.  In this case, the serpent suggests that if they ate the fruit, their eyes would be opened to things hitherto unseen and known only to the gods-a false promise as they soon find out.  Once the bait is taken, they sink even deeper into the dark dream-believing good and evil coincide and coexist.  The psalmist once again, provides the truer sense of where enlightenment is found: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law" (B11). As Wesley* puts it: "Enlighten my mind by the light of the Holy Spirit, and dispel all ignorance and error."
[*According to Wikipedia, John Wesley's teachings "provided the seeds for both the modern Methodist movement, the Holiness movement, Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement, and Neo-charismatic churches, which encompass numerous denominations across the world."]
 
Science and Health confirms that the serpent's false promise to open man's eyes actually closes them (S16).  The agreement Eve made displaced reality with human misconceptions (S17).  The material senses hide the truth from man.  There is no way to discover anything about God when trying to do so through the senses.  Today, we are still regularly tempted to bite that fruit, but the result is always the same.  Our Leader tells us that true understanding of our being comes only through the impressions of the divine Mind to man (S19).  There is no other way to know the truth.
 
Section 6: The Result of Sin Is Shame
The immediate results of their sin, were shame and fear (B12).  Matthew Henry states the situation quite well: "See here what dishonour and trouble sin is; it makes mischief wherever it gets in, and destroys all comfort.  Sooner or later it will bring shame... See here what is commonly the folly of those that have sinned.  They have more care to save their credit before men, than to obtain their pardon from God.  The excuses men make to cover and lessen their sins, are vain and frivolous; like the aprons of fig-leaves, they make the matter never the better..."  That pretty much sums it up doesn't it?  Once more, the psalmist reveals a higher standpoint: "Let me not be ashamed... let integrity and uprightness preserve me..." (B13).  Rather than hiding from God in fear, the psalmist looks to God for deliverance and protection.
 
Our textbook tells us that the dream of matter begins and ends in fear (S20).  The author poses a question that touches on an earlier point: Is it possible that a spiritual man could lose his spiritual nature and fall from God's grace?  Of course not!  "The real man cannot depart from holiness... A mortal sinner is not God's man" (S21).  It is important that we recognize this.  The sinning mortal is not the man God made.  The mortal man was never spiritual.  He is but a false belief that man can be separated from God.  Most importantly, the mortal man has no relation to reality whatsoever.
 
Section 7: Woman Confesses
The Bible commentators once again, looking to the Scriptures for justification of the human scene, use the curse on the serpent and on woman (B14) as the cause of painful childbirth [and menstruation], and also use the curse as an excuse for man to rule over woman to keep her in line.  Commentators point out that the serpent does not merit an examination because it is a liar from the beginning and will forever consume the dust of nothingness.  Its natural condition is reduced from one of elegance and grace to a type of that which is disgusting, odious, and low.  But our dear psalmist sees God not as a severe judge passing sentence, but as the sole defender of man's uprightness (B15).
 
Characteristically, Mrs. Eddy sees a totally different lesson in this narrative.  She points out the humility, dignity, and courage displayed by the woman in confessing her fault (S22).  These qualities enable woman to bear Jesus, to be the first to see him after his resurrection, and to discover Christian Science.  This discovery causes the mists of confused mortal mind to evaporate, showing the entire belief of material life and reproduction to be an illusion (S23).
 
Section 8: The Curse
The Biblical narrative continues with Adam and his environment being cursed.  Not only did Adam succumb to Eve's suggestions (B16), but he refused to take responsibility for it by trying to blame the woman.  The once-pleasant garden now produces noxious weeds which choke the good seed.  Labor is no longer a joy, but a drudgery.  Man is now subject to all the harshness of his environment and will ultimately return to the nothingness from whence he came.  Adam Clarke concludes, sadly, that if man would never have transgressed, he could have indeed been immortal.  Adam is doomed to a life of toil.  By contrast, the psalmist depicts man as upright with an eternal inheritance (B17).  Citation B18 in Proverbs repeals the curse on man: "the curse causeless shall not come."  The cause of evil is for nought, and it shall never reach its goal.
 
Science and Health simply reiterates that God blesses rather than curses (S24).  Man is not condemned to toil in vain all his days.  ["You shalt not take the name (nature) of ... your God in vain" is our Master Architect's Specification-Commandment #3, Exodus 20:7] Man [in God's "image and likeness"] possesses dominion over all the earth, as stated in the original creation [Gen. 1:27, 28]
 
Section 9: Ejection from the Garden
The serpent's promise that man would be as the gods was false, as was the assumption that God said man would die if he ate the fruit.  However, there is still a price to pay.  Adam and his mate are banished from the garden lest they should eat of the tree of life and live forever (B19).  Strangely, commentators view this as an act of kindness.  They say man could have been banished from the earth or sent to hell, yet he was simply banished from the garden and sentenced to a life of toil- "to hold the plough, not drag the chain."  Had man become as one of the gods? [as promised by the serpent in B10] To think so would be to admit that God did actually know evil.  Only a mortal would believe such a lie therefore, man became the image of a mortal god knowing good and evil and suffering in consequence.  In this section Paul gives us the higher view.  He questions, Has God really cast off his people? (B20).  No way!  God's man is never sent out of the land divinely prepared for him.  He lives, moves, and has his being forever in God.  He remains there forever-upright and perfect (B22).
 
Mrs. Eddy points out that not the spiritual man, but the material man is shut out from the presence of God (S25).  Those who look to the senses for life and happiness are forever dreaming.  Old theology intimates that man can be excluded from goodness.  But only the sinful evils of false belief are denied entrance into the kingdom.  Falsity doesn't have the power to do anything to the real man.  Man's true home is heaven (S26).  ["Pilgrim on earth, home and heaven are within thee, Heir of the ages and child of the day. Cared for, watched over, beloved and protected, Walk thou with courage each step of the way." Hymn 278:1] The psalmist gets a reinforcing voice in this section after all.  He promises that man shall dwell in the consciousness of Love for ever (S27).
 
Section 10: Jesus -The Model of the Real Man
Those enmeshed in Adam's dream are forever in darkness.  Jesus exemplified the real man living in the light of life.  The serpent falsely promised wisdom and freedom, but Jesus' promise of freedom is genuine (B22).  He has the truth that will really open our eyes and will truly lead to everlasting life.  This enlightenment blesses everyone it touches and brings healing.  Jude urges us to be steadfastly obedient to God's law (B24).  Doing so, we will be faultless, worthy to dwell forever in the kingdom, not falling or stumbling into sin, but forever joyful.
 
In our textbook we circle back to the start-man as the true image of God (S28).  Jesus was the man who showed us what we really are, and lifted us out of the belief that we have fallen away from perfection.  This Christ, Truth, enables us to re-open those gates of Paradise (S29).**  With Christ, we never have to look anywhere but to God for our status.  The Science of being furnishes incontrovertible truth that the real man is perfect (S30).  So let's erase the illusion that the perfect man has fallen or stumbled.  As mentioned earlier, we continually have a choice as to which view we want to live by.  [Halloween and] Every day, every decision is a new opportunity to choose rightly. [Trick? Or Treat-ment?] Which approach do we want to take?  All we ever need is the spiritual view, [a Christian Science treatment].  As our Leader says, the real man is forever "upright and Godlike." [S30, S&H 200:19]
 
[**P.S. Whenever Paradise appears in the lesson (S29), I love to remind myself, staff, campers and SS pupils that: 1) "There's no chance in Paradise"; and 2) it is divine Science that enable us to re-open the gates of Paradise to find ourselves "unfallen, upright, pure, and free."(S29) Consider making for yourself and for those you love a "CedarS pair of dice" as a visual reminder (to place on your desk or dash) to illustrate "the control which Love ... (holds) over all". (S&H 514:26) Take a pair of regular, six-sided dice and with a permanent marking pen add enough dots so that 7 dots are on every side -- so that a 7 comes up every time, no matter how the dice are tossed. "There is no chance in a "CedarS pair of dice" where each is doubly-complete( 7+7), just like the spiritual, unfallen you - who lands on your feet every time, doubly-complete and blessed with a divinely-orchestrated life, even when bad "luck" seems to have happened-even to good people.  Remember that God can turn any stumbling block into a stepping stone-even if: you face hatred (like Joseph did with his brothers and Jesus did with the Sanhedrin), or; you experience false accusations and injustice (like Joseph did when he was jailed and like Jesus when he was crucified), or; you run into opposition (like Philip experienced in Jerusalem that sent him into a higher ministry in Samaria-Acts 8:4-6); or, you are living "day-to-day, on the brink of elimination" like Paul was for many years while he was boldly spreading Christianity across the known world.  As in Paradise, so on earth--"in every thing give thanks: for this (a championship over worldly ways and means) is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you"! (1 Thess.5:18)  "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37) These encouragements by Paul to those he met on his missionary journeys will resonate in our little piece of Paradise called CedarS Bible Lands Park as we continue to build a seaside trail to illustrate the spiritual lessons of primitive Christianity on the north shore of our new Mediterranean Sea. Your gifts and partnership help in the coming months and years will continue to be greatly needed and appreciated!]

[NEW MATCHING FUND OPPORTUNITY FOR MAINTENANCE MUSTS!  A precious donor has recently re-pledged a matching grant of $25,000 if we can raise that amount by year-end for "Maintenance Musts" work on buildings and vehicles before next summer.  So, if you have been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs and PYCLs for Sunday School teachers), NOW would be a wonderful time to share your appreciation. Your 50th Anniversary gift--as generous as divine Love directs-will play a needed part in CedarS important, year-round work for Christian Science Sunday School students.]
[Sharing the applicable principles of Christianity in CedarS Bible Lands Park: Our new Fall-season outreach
(that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) is giving tours of our new Bible Lands Park that clearly demonstrate to Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations how Christian Scientists love and "take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (S&H 497:3)  As shown in video clips We are currently working in our Bible Lands Park to expand our ability to share applicable New Testament insights by building a trail with activity, learning stations that follow Paul's teachings and trips from Antioch to Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome ... We welcome all gifts to enable such inspiring "Home Improvements" to be made NOW before it gets too cold and snowy to work outside.]
 
[CedarS recurring needs are listed at http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/unrestricted-gifts.htm Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly donations to CedarS (or to give one-time gifts) in support of spiritual growth.  International supporters can give to CedarS via PayPal using built-in currency exchange rates by filling in an amount under International Donors and clicking on the "Donate Online" button.  
 
[Lastly you can help by telling "un-camped" children and families about CedarS being a wise and happy place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  We'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info on CedarS financial aid forms; programs for all ages; session dates & rates; online enrollment; transportation... to help get them or anyone in your extended church family to camp!]
 
 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in subsequent emails.) 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 "and Sunday School ideas 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!    And, please contact us for more info about any and all things about CedarS! 

[PSST Never fall for bothness when you've got it all in oneness!]
Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux, St. Louis, MO
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Adam and Fallen Man" 11/6/2011
 
P.S.S.T. - Golden Text - For the lesson this week, read Chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis. Note how Chapter 1 focuses on oneness, one God, man made only in God's image and likeness, knowing only good. Note the focus of Chapter 2 as "bothness", knowing good and evil, man created in another way - of the dust of the ground, someone else, Adam, naming the creatures, other name for Almighty God - Lord God.
 
P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading -
Make a listing of the results of oneness. One God, Good, and man in God's image and likeness. What does oneness afford to man?
          My help comes from the one God
          He never sleeps
          He keeps me steady, rock-solid
          He shows me wonders, I am an inspired creature
          He shades me
          He gives me light
          He gives me understanding
          He teaches me
          He keeps me upright, never fallen
 
Why in the world would I ever choose to leave that relationship of oneness as found in Genesis 1?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1 -  Identify the qualities that make up me and all ideas, in the S & H portion of this section.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 2 -  According to Genesis 2, when man went away from God, where did he go? (B4, B19)  What does Eden mean? (S5)  Is man unable to find pleasure or delight in God? Does man have to leave God's view, or hide himself from God's view to find pleasure or delight? What is the purpose of this allegory in Genesis 2? (S8) Has God cast away his creation? (B20)
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3 -  Did God need Adam to name everything God made? In fact had God not already named every idea, everything God made? What name did God select for every idea? (Gen. 1: 31)
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4 -  Explore further the word sleep. What was the purpose of sleep in the Genesis allegory? What does sleep "afford" to man today? Rest? Dreams? Consciousness - awareness, unconsciousness? Darkness? Opportunity to ignore or avoid the call to action? Can one be both awake and asleep? Hint: oneness or bothness?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5 - Does the serpent exist as an idea of God? If so, what must be the qualities or nature of the serpent? Do not buy the lie that some creature escaped when God was handing out goodness. An allegory or story is just that, a story, not the telling of the truth. Doesn't it depend on how one looks at it - through material senses or spiritual sense? (S18) Now are there really any material senses? Where does that leave you? Yeah, look at citation S19.
 
P.S.S.T. - Sections 6, 7, 8 - Read the conversation going on in these three sections in the Bible. Who gets the blame? It is important to annul the curse on mankind, especially woman. See S & H 340:33 as the best aid for woman and for man. See also S & H 392: 24.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 9 - What is shut out from God? S25 (material man and the five corporeal senses). Do you want to listen to material man or the five corporeal senses? Can they tell you anything about who you are? Who are you? See Genesis 1: 31.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 10 - Here, our way-shower, Christ Jesus tells us where to keep ourselves, in citation B24, and what the result is of staying one with God (B24). If you think you are locked out of the gates of paradise or locked out of pleasures and delights perhaps you are re-living Genesis 2. Shift your focus to Genesis 1. This is "the great Truth in the Science of Being" in citation S30 that leaves you where you have always been, upright and Godlike. Hallelujah indeed!
[PYCL: Stay in Love's presence-illustrate refusing to be tripped up or exiled!]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Adam and Fallen Man"--The Christian Science Bible Lesson for Oct. 31- Nov. 6, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[bracketed intros by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & Editor of Mets, PSSTs & PYCLs]
 
[PYCL -Discuss the Subject: Flag and discuss the most interesting ideas and passages.]
As always we should discuss with all but the littlest, what the subject of the lesson means and how it applies to our lives today.  What do they mean by "fallen"?  While we don't think that much about original sin in Christian Science, this allegory from Genesis 2 is very helpful in our efforts to combat the temptations that arise from the belief that man lives in matter.  Rather than going through the lesson section by section, get an overview of the whole lesson and how the Adam story fits into it.  Pick out the ideas that you think would be most interesting and flag the citations that best illustrate your thoughts.  Sometimes this brings citations from one section into another section, so don't assume that if you are going to talk about animals for example, that only section three holds applicable citations.
 
[PYCL - Help students see animals as spiritual: "harmless, useful, indestructible"!]
Speaking of animals...this is a subject that is often near and dear to the hearts of young people.  We used to have lively, if repetitive, discussions about how important animals were when I was in Sunday School.  But I think I missed the point that the reason that animals are such a wonderful, intelligent, varied part of creation is because they are spiritual ideas!  Just as we see things among men that display the worst elements of mortal character, so too, animals can appear to be vicious, harmful, or destructive, even deadly.  But that is not the creation of Spirit any more than a murderer is!  Mrs. Eddy's phrase in the lesson (S12) "All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible." is a Scientific fact that keeps us from fear and harm.  It is more than a lovely way to view animals; it is a wholly spiritual way that is based on divine law and gives us exemption from anything untoward as we elevate our thought to a spiritually-based view of creation.  Let's start early to help children understand that what we see as material creation, while often beautiful, is a representation of something grander, more harmonious and divinely-governed - this is why we can truly enjoy the freedom and grace in a horse's gallop, the affection of a beloved pet or the effortless beauty of a soaring bird of prey.  So, talk about Mrs. Eddy's passage.  Do the kids agree that animals are "harmless, useful, indestructible."?  If so, why?  If not, why?  Look at the previous paragraph in this lesson.  Mrs. Eddy talks about this creation not being "carnivorous".  What does that mean?  Where does this perhaps lead?
 
[PYCL - Discuss Bible name meanings, and with new names, the revealing of true nature!]
Names in the Bible are often significant.  They represent the character or nature of a being.  In this allegory Adam is given the job of naming the animals.  I think this is an interesting detail.  To me it symbolizes the way that a material view of creation falsely defines our natures (man and animal).  It seems like having this material identity gives rise to all the material view of a "tangled wilderness" of identities.  While in the first account of creation God creates creatures that are whole and identified, or defined instantly.  And don't forget that he blesses this creation!  A lie cannot determine our nature or identity, nor can laws of matter when you think about such suggestions as heredity.  You could have a discussion about man's nature, and about animal's nature.  How can we see the true nature?  Does anyone have examples of a time when they were presented with a "false" nature that called on them to use their spiritual senses to correct their view?  Do you have such an example that you can share?  I have several in my background involving different pets and work animals whose natures were utterly transformed through prayer, I'm sure you have some ideas too!  (I guess, more accurately, their natures were revealed!)  You can talk about famous Bible characters whose natures were changed...Saul to Paul comes to mind.  These examples illumine the first account of creation, and illustrate the allegorical nature of the second account!
 
[PYCL - Apply our ancestry citation S5 as a memorized (and personalized) treatment!]
A wonderful passage in this week's lesson bears memorization and a slight alteration.  Citation S15 can become a treatment of sorts when put into the first person: "In Science [I] am the offspring of Spirit.  The beautiful, good, and pure constitute [my] ancestry.  Spirit is [my] primitive...etc.  What does primitive mean here? What does it mean that "Life is the law of [my] being."?  What does "offspring" mean?
 
[PYCL -Hush nothingness with spiritual sense and individualized treatments!]
Citation S18 encapsulates the second account of creation, putting it in different words.  Here it is material sense that "originate[s] and support[s] all that is material...Have them look at this passage and see if they can see how it is a summation of the allegorical account.  It tells us here that we have to take action to claim our omnipotence, given to us in the first account. What is it we are directed us to do? And how do we do it? [Little ones may have fun practicing the silencing of the lie that we must do, by saying hush repeatedly--first silently; then aloud. Emphasizing the extended ssssh! sound at the end of Hush! can be said to stand for the s.s. or spiritual sense that does the silencing with all that which is spiritual, true, unselfish and pure-the very opposite of "all that is material, untrue, selfish and debased." Another good and memorable silencing of material sense with spiritual sense may be found in singing individualized verses (for the number of pupils in the class) of
The Treatment Song:
"God made Jesus (Kerry ...) a perfect child.
God made Mary (Grace ...) undefiled. 
Peter (John ...) is an avenue
for everything good and pure and true!"
Help with a tune available with research from me. Or just make up a simple tune of your own]
 
[PYCL - Elevate prayers above those for better or perfect matter!]
In the sixth section I see an affirmation that there never was a perfect state of matter!  How often are we praying for such a state of more comfortable matter?  Even these young ones can understand that we are not looking for better matter.  Maybe discuss what things we have prayed about.  Are they for things of Spirit?  If not, how can we elevate these prayers?
 
[PYCL - Stay in Love's presence-refuse to be tripped up or exiled! Illustrate this sidewalks, doors & balloons!]
For the youngest classes I think the Golden Text would be a really fun and fruitful place to begin.  It is so childlike in its very statement.  This lesson is all about staying in the presence of God, not being exiled.  The fact that it is God Himself/Herself that keeps us there as pure and joyful children, ever with Her in every way is a key to healing.  We are not created separate beings, unattached to our Maker.  She literally and figuratively keeps us from falling.  Can you talk with the little guys about what another meaning of "falling" is. I  don't necessarily mean discussing sin in a heavy way, that would be lost on little kids.  But you can talk about what happens when you fall.  Falling is when your walking or playing or running freely and gracefully and happily, is interrupted by something that gets in the way of our free movement, a misstep, a toe caught on a tree root or someone's foot... It is a time when we feel like we are out of gracefully controlled movement.  Can we have that happen in our actions that are not "moving" actions?  What if we go from being happy to being angry, is that a kind of "fall"?  What kinds of things "trip" us in this case?  Talk about what it means to "trip" someone and then what it means to "trip" up in our actions.  Give some quick and concrete examples.  Then talk about how we can see the things that might trip us.  Just as we might notice an uneven sidewalk and take a little more care so we don't trip, couldn't we notice what makes us mad and "see" it and step up higher, stay present with God in our thought?  You could take a little walk as you talk about these ideas if you have a wiggly class, and you could demonstrate some of this.  Let's say we have just made a play-dough animal and our friend breaks a piece off of it when they go to pick it up.  Is this an opportunity to stay in the presence of Love and see that we can be calm and happy even if we are tempted to be disappointed?  Can we repair our animal?  Can we help our friend feel better about making a mistake?  Can we ask someone older to help us fix the problem?  If we stay with Love, our thought keeps the door open for angel thoughts and we can see with our pure hearts all the good options that are available.  If we give in to sadness or anger, we immediately shut the door on these thoughts from Love and we have to work a lot harder to get those doors open again.  You can symbolize this by making doors with your hands and talking about opening them to Love and Love's suggestions, and closing them firmly to anger, sadness, and disobedience and so on.  Pure and joyful thoughts are like the helium in balloons, they can just lift us up over those sidewalk cracks or unhappy incidents that tempt us to think that we can fall away from Love.  Maybe they can come up with some examples where they stayed with God and maintained their joy.  Certainly you can share some experiences.  And finally you can come up with some Bible stories where people stayed in God's presence and were lifted out of trouble.  I think Daniel is a pure and lovely example, and the three Hebrew boys and the furnace is another.  You could write uplifting ideas on a helium balloon and give each child one to illustrate your point and take home.
 
Have a great week!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Metaphysical

GEMS to wash away blame-game feelings and their bodily results with floodtides of Love! - GEMS...
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