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Make the mental journey from sense to Soul!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, August 6th, 2012

[Make the mental journey from sense to Soul!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Soul" for August 6-12, 2012
Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO
 
[Bracketed Notes from Warren Huff, CedarS Camps Director and Editor of its Weekly Newsletters: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) and Possible Younger Class Lesson (PYCL) ideas 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 Joseph and 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]
 
A favorite hymn (#64) speaks of the pathway that leads from sense to Soul. This lesson, tying together the connection of King David and Christ Jesus, illustrates how we can make -- and must make -- that mental journey from material sense (a false sense of soul with its ups and downs) to the harmony and dominion of Soul (the reign of God, Spirit,) and reflected as the true man -- our only identity.
 
Golden Text: "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul" wrote the psalmist.   As we literally take our soul (our sense of identity) to a higher, more spiritual, level -- and praise God in all we do -- we're able to see the excellence of God's creation that material sense would hide.  It commands us to give our life up to God and reap the rewards!
 
Responsive Reading: What does the story of David as king have to do with us today? Well, in this psalm the anointing of David is alluded to, the greatness of David described, and a promise made of God's help against enemies. But God's strength, faithfulness and mercy will be not only with David, but also with "his seed." That's us! God's promise of faithfulness extends to all who recognize and respond to Him as "My Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation."  The last verse is from Isaiah. The prophet didn't know anything about a personal Jesus. But, the fact that Jesus was a descendent of David later became an important part in his being recognized as the Messiah. Looking at the relation of the Responsive Reading to the lesson -- and to our lives -- let's think more broadly about the nature of the immortal Christ and how that Christ was seen in both David and Jesus, and what that has to do with the transition from soul (personality) to Soul (Spirit and its perfect reflection.)
 
Section 1: Changing human thought allows us to see God as Soul
People have always searched for a better sense of God. As the Psalmist sings praises to God for all He does -- forgiving things we do wrong, healing disease, saving our lives from falling apart, rewarding us with love and mercy -- we must sing, too. (B-2)  But, more than praise is required.  The New Interpreter's Bible puts Ps. 19: 7 this way, "The instruction of the Lord is all-encompassing, restoring life." There's the requirement to be obedient to God's instruction (or law). Job discovered that it is truly God that does whatever is required of us to do. (B-3)  But, we have to acknowledge that it's all about God!  As Mary Baker Eddy continued her search for a better sense of God, she recognized God as Soul (the identity of all) and made a distinction between Soul (Spirit) and soul (material sensation.) (S-3) Where do we fit in with this? We "coexist with and reflect" Soul, God, as God's image. (S-2) The extent to which we accept, understand, and demonstrate that fact is a key element in controlling our experience harmoniously. The difference in view is illustrated in the two perspectives of Davids descriptions of man ... the first (based on a material view of things) seems so fatalistic: the second (more spiritual view) acknowledges a light and a fountain of life that pours forth a continual sense of hope that we can recognize ourselves as unlimited, whole, and free. (S-5) Human thought simply has to change to see Soul rather than soul. It takes dedicated thought. It's not easy. Material sense calls the unreal the real. To correct that requires intuition, hope, faith, and understanding. The result is the fruition of a change of evidence, and reality seen. (S-4) To be governed by Soul rather than material sense is the goal. A change of human thought is what is required to achieve that goal. (S-6) It's worth doing.
 
Section 2: Anointing the reflection of Soul
Look at the qualities described in the first two citations of this section (holiness, joy, walking in the light) and then the instructions God gives Samuel as he is charged with anointing a new king to lead Israel. God helps Samuel understand that He doesn't see as man sees. God looks on the heart... on the character of a man! (B-7) There is a tendency for man to look on the "outward appearance." What does someone's face, hair, or body look like ... what kind of job, house, car, clothes, or friends do they have? Outward things may be good or bad. They are soul-things (matter or material sense based.) They change and can be corrupted (like King Saul was.) David was anointed king because of his Soul qualities (meekness, faithfulness, courage, work ethic, etc.) These qualities are individualized expressions of the reflection of Spirit. That's what constitutes true identity. (S-7) Reflection is a concept that we talk about it, but we have to really understand what it means if we're going to demonstrate the freedom that accompanies it. Think about a reflection in the mirror. Think about thought reflecting on something. In both cases, the original is expressed without being encumbered by hunks of matter. A reflection is pure, unadulterated. David exemplified the simplicity of that pure reflection of good. Mortal sense makes it seem so real that we are material containers for a personality that we really have to work to perceive our true identity. Don't be afraid of losing your sense of selfhood by consecrating your "thought, energy, and desire" to seeing the qualities of God expressed in, and reflected by, you and others. These include health, strength, beauty, intelligence, grace, poise, etc. But, they are totally unlimited and irreversible. How do we start? Look at the heart, rather than the outward appearance and simply deny material selfhood (rather than getting absorbed in it.) (S-10) As God anointed David to reign, He anoints us, too and gives us all we need to see our lasting identity as the reflection of the Perfect. (S-9)
 
Section 3: Soul imparts individuality, harmony, and immortality
When Saul became despondent, it was the music of Soul which lifted his spirits. Music is a natural medium through which the qualities of Soul are expressed ... a sense of the new song ever available to counteract the false testimony of the senses. David let the music do the healing and Saul responded. From then on, whenever there was a need, Saul called on David to lift his spirits. (B-9) Most of us have experienced the power of hymns to lift us up when we're down or feeling ill. Why do they have such an effect? Because they are God's communication to us that all is well ... that God is in control. They have the effect of reminding us of the unchanging nature of Soul. As Mrs. Eddy writes, "God, the Soul of man and of all existence, being perpetual in His own individuality, harmony, and immortality, imparts and perpetuates these qualities in man, -- through Mind, not matter." (S-13) Our false beliefs may cover up eternal harmony and cause ills to appear instead. (S-15) But, Soul hasn't disappeared, and leaving sense to tune in to Soul (through music or other means of inspiration) we discover our individuality, harmony, and immortality (our identity or soul) to be intact ... the perpetual reflection of infinite Soul! So, rather than sink into discouragement, rise up in the new song of Soul!
 
Section 4: Discover the bliss of spiritual sense
David fell to the temptations of sensuality. The consequences of his actions may not have even occurred to him at the time. He simply saw something that he wanted, knew he could take it, and did! (B-12)  How often do we fall into the trap of only thinking about what we want ... and what we can get ... without really thinking about how someone else is being affected? Whether it's beating someone down in a business deal, or flirting with someone else's boyfriend or girlfriend, wife or husband? The prophet, Nathan, helped David recognize what he had done wrong through telling him a story. (B-13) As David turned to God for forgiveness and guidance (B-14), we know that the rest of his career was blessed. The mistake (or sin) didn't have power to hang on to him. We've all made mistakes ... conscious at the time, or not that what we were doing was wrong. We have a choice. We can get upset and identify ourselves with the mistake ... let it weigh us down ... or we can exchange our sinful sense of things for the reality of sinless Soul and claim our identity as the reflection of this Soul!  Let a clear sense of good destroy the sense of evil. (S-17) The key is understanding (or helping another understand) the difference between what is right and what is wrong ... and realizing that doing right brings pleasure without pain, which is a whole lot better than immediate pleasure [or instant gratification] that is followed by some sort of pain (including a guilty conscience.) (S-18) Mrs. Eddy talks about the need to "unwind one's snarls, and learning from experience how to divide between sense and Soul." (S-19) Learn from experience! Sort it out. It can be a real hassle to straighten out a yarn ball that is all tangled, but with patience and persistence, keeping an eye on the goal, and sometimes cutting out pieces, it gets done. Soul involves pure good. Sense includes a mixture of good and bad. Our shepherd restores our soul (sense) to be aligned with Soul. (B-15) We just have to be willing to stop identifying with the old song and discover the bliss of singing the new one!
 
Section 5: The Christ Light
David recognized that he had been guided by God, and that to be a good ruler included being just and reflecting the light of Soul. (B-16) It was this selflessness that made him successful; and it was from this heritage that it was prophesied that the Messiah would come. (B-17) David was the measuring stick by which all other human kings were compared. There was none other like him. But, it was the Christ in him that made him who he was. And Christ Jesus was the ultimate light that would open the eyes of the world to the true relation of God and man -- and the blessings that come through an understanding of that relationship. The blind man, in calling Jesus the "son of David," was acknowledging him as the promised Messiah. He wasn't just calling on the man Jesus to heal him, but on the power of Christ! (B-18, Luke 18:35-43) And, Jesus responded with the authority of Christ -- knowing that Soul governs man, rather than sense. Sight can't have its source in matter, any more than strength or health of any kind is in matter. Matter (sense) always involves a sense of error. Soul (Spirit) is ever complete, harmonious, and permanent. (S-23) In order to experience the harmony of Soul, we have to speak to the opposing sense testimony with authority, leave the theories of physics, and through metaphysics resolve "things into thoughts," and exchange "the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul." (S-21) Think about it as if you've bought a part or a piece of equipment of some sort. It seems to work okay -- but not perfectly.  It occasionally breaks down; it has its faults. But, generally, you learn to live with the faults and work around the defects. You receive a recall notice. You can exchange the faulty part for one that works perfectly ... made of different components. Whether or not to make that exchange is up to you, but it is available. The ideas of Soul (strength, purity, inspiration, spiritual discernment, etc) offer a perfectly working, permanent element of being.  And they are always available!  Trade in the imperfect things of muscles, organs, lungs, eyes, etc. for these perfect ideas and the man of God's creating comes into view. Healing takes place. We can follow the Christ-example and demand that Soul governs. Then harmony reigns.
 
Section 6: The way to heaven, harmony
The foundation of David's rule is established in the Revelation of St. John when Jesus - or more accurately, Christ -- is identified as both the root and the offspring of David. The Christ is eternal -- the full expression of Soul. Out of Christ came the strength of David's rule, as well as the covenant that was established with his offspring (those of us who follow Christ.) (B-20) Although God seems distant at times, John's revelation assures us that, though God seems far removed, He is ever-present and active. Through the open door of heaven, God is not only seen, but also recognized as worthy of "honour and power." (B-23) So, to see God, we have to be willing to enter this open door of heaven -- the open door of harmony, the reign of Spirit, the atmosphere of Soul. (S-25) David demonstrated the qualities of Soul, Jesus exercised the authority of Soul, and Christian Science (the law of God) is the open gate that allows all to enter the "heaven of Soul." (S-26) It's a one-way gate ... no optional [or involuntary] entrances. This is what is required to take advantage of the harmony of Soul: "have no other consciousness of life -- than good, God and His reflection ... rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses."  (S-27) It's our choice. We can try to be satisfied with the imperfect solutions of material sense. They may even work most of the time. But, they WILL fail and we WILL have to re-trace steps and untangle snarls. OR, we can deny the sense testimony and argue on the side of harmony ... no matter what the evidence is saying (be it a cause for pleasure or pain). I just watched a mini-lecture by Jon Benson in which he speaks of dropping stories for reality. I highly recommend it. Here's the link: http://christianscience.com/prayer-and-health/inspiration/lectures/step-out-of-your-story-and-into-healing-23-mins-eng That is a concise description of what is needed in order to open this open door to heaven... changing "the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis," and exchanging "the pleasures and pains of sense for the joys of Soul." (S-28 & S-29) It takes practice and determination. But, the Christ shows us the way; and yielding to God, Truth, as David and Jesus, did allows us to see God as "our Father." We are then compelled to make the transition and see the new view of Soul!
 

[The College Summit taking place at The CedarS Camps this Labor Day weekend is an event not to be missed by any student or young adult near college age!  To make sure that no rising high school junior thru recent college grad misses this life-changing event because of finances, this College Summit is being heavily subsidized by The CedarS Camps, The Mother Church, the Asher Student Foundation, the Albert Baker Foundation, the Principle Foundation, and the Texas Sunnyside Foundation, as well as by many local churches and Sunday Schools attended by eligible students. To unite with us in sponsoring the attendance at this event of all interested Christian Science youth, PLEASE, PLEASE help us not only by encouraging all the eligible youth you know to come, but also by picking and clicking on one or on all of the above organizations and backing us with love gifts of however much divine Love impels you to give. Your gift in any amount will be very well spent to encourage and "respect each individual young person as a future active worker in the Christian Science Movement." (The 2nd of the Founders 5 Fundamental Concepts of The CedarS Camps written by my mom, Ruth Huff.) Lecturers at the College Summit include Chet Manchester (the new Mother Church president), Ginny Luedeman, Christine Driessen, Tom McElroy and Shirley Paulson.  There will be a Weekly Musicians Concert with Alex Cook, Jay & Tessa Frost, and Grant Taylor. Check out the Summit webpage:   http://time4thinkers.com/summit-events/collegesummit12/ ]
 
 

[If you don't qualify to come to CedarS for the College Summit over Labor Day weekend, but are a student of the Bible, do come to CedarS and its rising Conference Center on the following "weekend" (Sep. 6-9) to experience CedarS Bible Lands Park and attend the Midwest Bible Conference sponsored by Bible Studies Seminars. Be inspired by talks and workshops given by Christian Science class-taught, Bible scholars.  You can stay in a single (for $340 per person), shared, or triple/quad room with a private bathroom or choose a cabin with a bathroom for $200 per person. All housing prices include meals, snacks, meeting rooms, and activities.  Linens are included for any housing chosen for the Conference.Enjoy camp activities during free time and great meals catered by Vicki Wolfe and friends.  The theme for the 2012 Midwest Bible Conference is:  "Healing and the Kingdom of God."  Tentative Conference Schedule for Thursday, September 6 through Sunday, September 9 includes: a Thursday evening, Multi-Media Theme Presentation - "Healing and the Kingdom of God"; Bonfire, S'mores, Hot Chocolate, and Singalong; Four Friday TED Talks - (focused presentations that do not exceed twenty minutes in length) followed by brief question and answer sessions; concurrent breakout sessions after Friday lunch that will be interactive and allow individuals to choose the sessions that most speak to their own interests; a Friday evening Screening and Discussion of Fambul Tok:  a film about the power of forgiveness in the wake of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war; a Saturday morning Bible talk by Madelon Maupin on "Taking a Deep Dive into the Book of Ephesians:  How to Study and Unpack Its Lessons, with a Focus on the Difficult Passages"; Saturday's extended World Cafe Lunch and Discussions with three-course world cafe discussion of the ideas presented and our response to them in a mix of people at each table that changes with each courses and set of new questions to discuss; Saturday afternoon free time for Fellowship, Recreational Offerings, or Personal Time; Saturday evening Panel Discussions followed by Groups Sharing; Sunday Christian Science Service ; Sunday early departure or lingering until 4:00 pm to enjoy the facilities, Bible Lands Park and its educational Time Traveler ziplines and trails, lake and waterfront activities... If you have any questions about the program please contact Dick@BibleStudySeminars.com or 636.207.7392. Enroll today online for the Bible Conference at www.biblestudyseminars.com ;  for housing at http://www.cedarscamps.org/information/programs.htm?id=40 ]
 
 [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.]

[PSST: Rejoice in the humility of a shepherd boy]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson --
August 12, 2012
By: Heather K. Libbe, CS (heather.libbe@gmail.com)
Subject -- SOUL
 
PSST: Golden Text (Ps. 25:1)
What does it mean to "lift up (your) soul" to God?
 
PSST: Responsive Reading (Ps. 66: 16, 20; 89: 18-21, 24 My, 26, 28, 29 and Isa. 21:1)
Because this week's Lesson is largely centered on David, the Responsive Reading is a great primmer to the next six sections. Have the Sunday school students share what they already know about David. Ask the students, how is David described in the Responsive Reading? (You will notice words like "exalted" and "servant" are used, which could lead to a discussion about the balance between confidence and humility)  What are some of the ways that God is going to help David?  (example: God's faithfulness and mercy will accompany David & His arm is going to give David strength)  
 
This could also be a really great opportunity to talk about Psalms.  For example, the Responsive Reading could be coupled with both Psalm 23 and Psalm 91 (see below for full version) in mentioning David being anointed by oil and the Lord being our shield. 
 
PSST: Section 1
"O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things." (B1)  If you were to create a song for God, what might it sound like?  What would the lyrics be?  Also, you can ask the students of which ideas from God they are "sure" (B3) and what does it mean to be in "one mind." (B4)  It may be helpful to visit an article called "The March Primary Class" in Miscellaneous Writings.  Mrs. Eddy writes to the 1889 class, "We, to-day, in this class-room, are enough to convert the world if we are of one Mind; for then the whole world will feel the influence of this Mind; as when the earth was without form, and Mind spake and form appeared" (pg 279).  
 
In thinking about the idea of spiritual vs. material sense in relation to this week's Lesson, two questions come to mind: What do we see through our spiritual senses?  Hear?  Feel?  Taste?  Touch?  How do we move past the seeming reality of the material senses?  Mrs. Eddy says in an article in Miscellaneous Writings called "Loyal Christian Scientists," "No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God, good, is supreme" (pg 277).
 
With each Lesson based on the seven synonyms, it's fun to pick out the attributes that are found in each section.  So, what does Section 1 tell us about Soul? (example: "Soul, or Spirit, is God, unchangeable and eternal"(S2))
 
PSST: Section 2
What a wonderful opportunity to talk with your students about David!  Why do they think Samuel asked Jesse to bring his youngest son forward when Jesse had already shown him seven of his sons?  What is significant about David - a humble shepherd - being the one who was anointed to be king?  What qualities did he express?  Ask the students if they could think of any modern-day Davids or individuals who are extremely humble and have been asked to do great things.  Perhaps a discussion could follow about leadership and the humility and grace required to be a good leader.
 
Mrs. Eddy focused on spiritual identity, man made in the image and likeness of God.  For example, she says, "The lost image is no image." (S9)  What does she mean by this?  How does this statement tie into the idea of identity and reflection?  Because identity and reflection are both qualities of Soul, it might be worthwhile to spend some time breaking apart both of these ideas... especially with teenagers.  How are we often identified by society?  How do we identify each other?  What types of labels are taken off through an understanding of our spiritual identity?  How might we work to abide by the Golden Rule in how we're seeing others? 
 
PSST: Section 3
Have the students think about what it means to have your soul "cast down" or "disquieted within (you)" - what does the passage from Psalms say is the solution to these challenges?  How might we hope in and praise God? (B8)  Did David hope in and praise God?  What else do we learn about David's character and identity through this story?  Why do you think that David was the one who was selected to help get rid of the evil spirits that seemed to be plaguing Saul?  What does Mrs. Eddy say about evil spirits? (S14)
 
In thinking about song as an expression of Soul, you could give some examples from Psalms, especially those Psalms in this week's Lesson from Section 1, 2, 4 and 5.  Also, how does Mrs. Eddy say that harmony is realized in our experience?  Because the section also mentions discord, a neat exercise could be to play some examples of both harmony and discord for the Sunday School students.  This could lead to a discussion about how we are able to identify which song is which or possibly how we work together to demonstrate harmony. 
 
PSST: Section 4
How does David err in his actions after expressing such great judgment and justice to his people? (B12)  What does Nathan do to help him realize the magnitude of his sin? (B13)  This is a really great opportunity to talk about parables and how they were used in both the Old and New Testament.  It might also be fun to unpack Nathan's parable a bit and talk about sin.  What do we do when we have sinned?  Are there examples from this section of repentance? (B14)  Perhaps Psalm 23 could be revisited, as it relates to guidance, repentance and Soul. (B15)  How does the parable that Nathan shares relate to our experience today?
 
What are some ideas that Mrs. Eddy shares about sin?  What does she say is the way to stop the suffering associated with sin? (S18)  How does this relate to David's cry of repentance? (B14)  How might someone "unwind (their) snarls"? (S19)  You could also speak again about the lost image.  What is it that is lost?  Mrs. Eddy says that the only thing that can be lost is a "sense material" and that is it the "sense of sin" which is lost. (S17)  How does Mrs. Eddy suggest that we separate sense and Soul?  What does it mean to go from sense to Soul?  Hymn #64 can be a great springboard into fruitful discussion on this topic. 
 
PSST: Section 5
What were David's final words? (B16)  What is significant about Jesus being the son of David, which is mentioned twice in this section?  What an awesome opportunity to dive into the genealogy given in Matthew 1 to study where David is in relation to Jesus, picking out some familiar names and showing how this chapter in the Bible is relevant.
 
In looking at the story of the blind man, what was required of this man to be healed?  What did he do after he was healed?  Where else may we find examples of people who gave gratitude after they were healed?  (example: the story of the ten lepers that were healed, but only one gave thanks (Luke 17: 11-19) and the feeding of the 5,000 where Jesus gives thanks before distributing the food (Luke 9: 10-17))  The Sermon on the Mount can also be mentioned where Jesus says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).  Why is gratitude important to healing?  Why is important to praise and glorify God?
 
It might be helpful to take some time to talk about the idea of "translating things into thoughts" and what it means to "exchange the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul." (S21)  How do we make sure we are seeing with our spiritual senses?  What does Mrs. Eddy say are our true senses? (S23)  Give some examples of how you might do this, especially as it relates to things you might be able to see around you like a chair or a table or church.  How do we speak to disease as "one having authority over it," especially when one of our senses might not seem to be working properly? (S24)
 
PSST: Section 6
Visit the citations from Revelation, with which the students may not be as familiar.  Notice that it is mentioned again that Jesus is "the offspring of David." (B20)  What does Mrs. Eddy say is the open door? (S26)  How is heaven defined in the Glossary (S25)?  What does Mrs. Eddy give as the way to heaven (S27)?  Again, the idea of going from sense to Soul could be brought up.  Notice that the word "exchange" is used again.  What exactly are we asked to exchange in the final citation of this week's Lesson?  ["the pleasures and pains of sense for the joys of Soul" ... trade anyone?]
 
Finally, it might be nice to have the students brainstorm other stories that revolve around the subject of Soul and share experiences and testimonies they've had relating to Soul.  How have they seen Soul expressed this past week?  How do they express Soul?
 
Based on recent events, such as the shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, it might be nice to share Kari Mashos' "Daily Lift" [of Friday 8/3/12] entitled "Unraveling evil." This could also tie into a number of ideas from this week's Lesson.
 
 
Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
 
-------
Psalm 91
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

[PYCL:  We "owe to the world a struggle" to demonstrate freedom, harmony...]
CedarS PYCLs--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"SOUL"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for August 12, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed titles by Warren Huff]
 
 [PYCL:  Perceive your true identity as Soul's reflection.]
Of course we all know that Soul is another name for God. But we often talk about soul with a small "s" as symbolic of sense (S3). When the Bible talks about lifting up the soul (B5) and in many other references to preserving, or blessing the Lord with the soul, I think it's safe to say that we are talking about a spiritual sense that perceives good or a material sense perhaps that is being lifted higher to understand God's nature as Soul and man's identity as Soul's reflection. These are just some thoughts I have on the subject that may not be accurate, but I think it is worth thinking this through and talking with the kids about Soul and soul and designing some activities around these words.
 
[PYCL:  Talk about heavenly (and other) choices made by David, and by us daily.]
Starting with the last section, talk about heaven.  What does this have to do with Soul?  Why Soul in particular?  Do you know what or where heaven is?  Did you know (they may not if they have been raised in Science) that traditional views of heaven and hell are not even supported by the writings of the Bible; they are extracted from Dante and the works of painters like Michelangelo.  Obviously these references aren't necessary, but it's good to know that some of the general ideas about heaven as a place (and likewise hell), are inventions that got adopted over the years.  Jesus obviously emphasized that "the kingdom of God is within..."  Heaven is about choosing which sense to rely on.  "It is to know no other reality-to have no other consciousness of life-than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses." (S27)  Look through the lesson together and see if there are examples of heaven being felt and perceived and examples of material sense perhaps blinding someone to the presence of heaven.  Obviously the whole story of David gives us examples here of heaven and hell.  Samuel perceived that David was the anointed one with his well-developed spiritual sense, his Soul-sense.  This was his way of dwelling here and now in heaven, where reality is evident and clear and does not necessarily synch up with material sense.  Likewise, in section 4, David is clearly listening to material sense when he steals the wife of another, even while he has many beautiful wives of his own, and Uriah had only one.  (You may need to explain the way marriage worked in those days...)  Talk about how we can experience heaven in our daily lives.  Can they think of examples?  Can you share some regular ways in which you experience heaven?  The important thing is that we help them to see that heaven really is within, accessible, not a rare "occurrence".
 
[PYCL:  Acknowledge the true self that God sees, upholds and embraces, even when...]
Certainly you may choose just to isolate the story of David in the context of the subject Soul.  There are several episodes of his story included.  You may wish to speak further about him as the Psalmist.  These were prayers.  Look at the prayer he wrote when Nathan pointed out his error with Bathsheba (Psalm 51).  I love that one translation of this Psalm says in part: "Behold, you [God] delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart."  This cry seems to point to his acknowledgment of the true self that God sees, upholds and embraces, even when we feel we've done badly.  This is how we can progress beyond the limitations of a mortal view of our identity.  Try visiting the subject of anointing from the second section.  What might that have to do with Soul?  What does that have to do with you and me?  You can talk about the sadness that Saul experienced.  Why did David's music help him?
 
[PYCL:  Happiness Building Blocks of Qualities, an Exchange Game...]
If you have a set of building blocks at home you could bring some in with true qualities on which happiness is founded.  You can just write the qualities on paper and tape them to the blocks.  See citation S16 for a reference to how physical sense builds "happiness" on a false basis.  Talk about different kinds of happiness.  If our joy doesn't last, is it founded on Soul, or our understanding of Soul?  If it is, and we feel like we are "losing" it, then maybe all we need is more of that oil of gratitude.  You could bring in solid squares and rectangles with the Soul qualities and have them build with those, then use the triangle shaped ones with the more material ideas of what brings joy on them and try to build a sturdy "building" with just those. (The littler ones may need some assistance either way).  You could also use this same block idea to illustrate citation S21, turning "...things into thoughts..." "...objects of sense for ideas of Soul..."  This citation can also be made as a game.  See if they can come up with an exchange when you give them an "object of sense".  Can they turn, say, a new bike, into the idea of speed, freedom, transportation, athleticism?  Can we be deprived of any of these qualities if we don't have the object we think we want?
 
[PYCL:  A vision thing... "Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good."]
Much of this lesson helps us transcend mortal vision (S8).  Why is vision/understanding/discernment, often connected to Soul?  Look at the story of Jesus healing the blind man in section 5. Are there other examples of "blindness" in this lesson?  Wasn't David experiencing a kind of blindness when he stole Uriah's wife.  He was blind to the abundance that he had, ingratitude is a kind of blindness.  [Warren's Sunday School teacher Mary Kessler often said: "Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good."] How about when Samuel went to choose the next king?  He had to go through seven handsome, strong, intelligent sons that he thought for sure would be the next king before Jesse finally brought his youngest, boyish son, David before him and God said "that's the one"!  Maybe you could check out John's vision in the last section where he saw all sorts of heavenly things.  How can we develop a better vision of reality?  What sort of practice does this take?
 
Hopefully this gives you some good ideas to take off with! Have a great Sunday!

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