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Recognize your dwelling place with God — independent of and unrestricted by a material body!

Kathy Fitzer, Lake St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, May 18th, 2015

Recognize your dwelling place with God independent of and unrestricted by a material body!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Soul and Body

May 24, 2015

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer of Lake St. Louis, MO
314-323-4083 kathyfitzer@gmail.com

Golden Text:Ye are the temple of the living God. This theme, running throughout the Lesson, becomes clearer as we look at the entire verse. Consider it from the New Living Bible: “And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: ‘I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.’” What a hugely powerful statement! Oneness with God — with no union with idols. To me, that means oneness with Soul, with no union with matter — or a material body. Paul was quoting from Leviticus 26:12 and Ezekiel 37:27 at the end of the verse. The Bible is full of this report that God dwells with His people! Infinite God (Spirit) couldn’t possibly be limited by material form. So, if we are the temple (or dwelling place) of God, we must express our oneness with Him without the hindrance of a limited material body. Soul is expressed by (dwells with) man — independent of matter.

Responsive Reading: Take up permanent residence in Gods dwelling place.
What does it mean for us to “dwell” with God and what is required of us if we are to experience this temple dwelling? To dwell is “to live or stay as a permanent resident.” Whoa! That’s way different than just trying to find God (or visiting Him) when we think we need Him. A permanent resident is entitled to rights and privileges above that of a visitor. In this case, a permanent resident of God’s house is hidden in God’s pavilion (covert shelter) and placed up on a high rock — hidden from all that could harm, and safe above the overwhelming floods of error (anything unlike good.) To realize these privileges, we have to realize that we belong in God’s house and we have to “inquire in his temple.” To inquire is to seek. There are times that we will feel God’s presence with us — apparently effortlessly. But, to really dwell in that secure kingdom of blessings, we need to stay engaged. We need to “inquire in his temple” —to seek God. The game, Hide and Seek, isn’t a passive game — you’ve got to move and use all of your senses to find and catch those who are hiding. The Hebrew word translated inquire means to plough or break forth. So, let’s stir up mortal thinking as we look for God’s presence in our lives. Then, we’re free to realize our status as God’s cared-for child — safety planted (unmovable) as a permanent residence in God’s kingdom of Spirit.

Section 1: Identity independent of a material body
We know that a material body does not last forever (permanently or for always.) So, how could the glory (or light) of God that will “endure for ever” be housed in a material body? (B-1) Paul taught that “[our] body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in [us]” and that we are to “glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit, which are God’s.” (B-3) These statements are often interpreted to mean that the soul of man abides in a material body, which needs to be cared for. I was interested in Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase in The Message: “The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works.” To me, this hinted at this statement from Science and Health (p. 427): “Immortal Mind, governing all, must be acknowledged as supreme in the physical realm, so-called, as well as in the spiritual.” Is there a separate physical realm? No… the “physical realm” is simply a distorted view. The enduring and eternal selfhood (our immortal identity) does not temporarily abide in a mortal body. It helps to ponder Mrs. Eddy’s definition of “temple.” The temple of God that constitutes our identity is not material and temporal, but it is an individual expression of being. As the superstructure of Truth (rising from the foundation of Truth) and the shrine (or structure) of Love, our temple, or body, is the pure expression of Spirit and of Life. The false human concept called material body does not define man — nor can it determine our state of well-being. (S-2) When answering the question, “What are body and soul?” Mrs. Eddy immediately says that “identity is the reflection of Spirit.” From then on, she talks about Soul, and man as the expression of Soul! Our only identity reflects infinite Spirit — expressing all the beauty and infinitely individual nature of Soul. This expression can certainly never be confined to a personality or dwell in a material body. It is the temple of the living God, where God’s kingdom is found forever intact and incorruptible.

Section 2: Check with Principle rather than your body to find your strength
Where are we looking to determine our health and our strength — to the body or to God? Which is really the center of our being? Ptolemy and Copernicus were each respected astronomers in their day. Ptolemy’s model of the universe, based on the evidence of the senses, seemed very reasonable at the time. It does look like the earth is at the center and all other things revolve around it. We have now come to understand that Copernicus’ model (realized nearly 1400 years later) which placed the sun at the center of our solar system (regardless of appearances) was nearer the truth. New views continue to unfold, making today’s model even more consistent with reality. As understanding advances, more of reality is seen. Similarly, Christian Science has revealed an entirely different model than has been accepted throughout the ages regarding the relationship of God and man — Soul and body. (S-8) Although it has been generally accepted that muscles give strength (and nerves give pain or pleasure) Christian Science reveals that the body only expresses what mortal mind (or the human concept) believes about the body. (S-9) Strength is from God. (B-4 & B-6; S-6) It is expressed in man as God is seen to be the source of all good, and Spirit is acknowledged as supreme. Caleb never wavered from his trust in God — “[He] wholly followed the Lord [his] God.” He and Joshua were confident that they could enter the Promised Land safely, when others were too impressed with the “giants” occupying the land to go forward. Because of his steadfastness, Caleb was as strong at 85 as he had been at 40. (B-7) And why not? That which manifests the strength of Spirit doesn’t lose that strength; any more than the value of a 3, completely embodying the Principle of mathematics, diminishes in value through use. It is vital that we align our thinking with the correct model — God as the center of our being, and the source of all good… and recognize that body must correspond to that good. Instead of checking-in with the body to find out how you’re doing (or how a loved-one is doing) — if you’re sick or well, happy or sad — “look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality.” As we hold thought steadfastly to the enduring the good, and the truewe will see evidence of all that is good and true in our lives! (S-10)

Section 3: Purity of heart is required to realize that we are the temple of the living God
Mrs. Eddy discerned that as thought is guided spiritually, both mind and body are benefitted. (S-15) But, taken in by the illusion that we live “in body instead of in Soul, in matter instead of in Spirit,” we find ourselves crippled by limited capacity. (S-13) As we give up these false beliefs, we’re purified — washed clean — and we see the fullness of God. Our unlimited nature as God’s expression is revealed! (B-12 & S-11) How do we reach this liberating view? Mrs. Eddy speaks of striving to “reach the Horeb height where God is revealed.” (S-14) This is a state of elevated thought —not getting tricked by the physical appearance and refusing to accept that we are the inhabitants of material bodies. Instead, we accept that we are the holy “temple of God,” animated by Spirit! (B-10) The Psalmist asks and answers the question, “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.” (B-8, NRSV) The Temple on Mount Zion was a symbol of God’s dwelling place. So, the basic question is how do we get our thought and life aligned with God? The New Interpreters Bible commentary explains that what is required is “complete loyalty to God and love of neighbor — having our lives shaped by the sovereignty of God”. Christian Science teaches that that means acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit in all things, and rejecting the suggestion that matter has any power to shape our experience. We live in Soul — and are the FULL expression of God!

Section 4: The indestructible senses of Soul
Jesus healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf. His healing work magnified the power of God — making it known that Jesus was the promised Savior, but the healing authority came from God. (B-15 & B-16 [with C. Crisler comments in future online Downloads]) Christian Science (the illumination of God’s law) teaches us how to demonstrate this same healing power. As Jesus spoke with authority, so must we. Where does that authority come from? It certainly is not exerting one’s own human will. Rather, it comes as we acknowledge Soul to be the governing principle of our identity. It is Soul’s nature to overcome the false testimony of the physical senses. (S-17) It appears to the limited view of the human mind that the material eye is the source of sight and the material ear the source of hearing. But, we know how the human mind can easily be fooled by appearances! Healing comes as thehuman mind… yields to the divine Mind.” (S-18) The human mind has to yield to understanding all the time — like when it looks like the train tracks are coming together or there is water in the middle of the road. Why wouldnt we embrace, and fight to demonstrate, the fact that sight and sound are communicated through the indestructible senses of Soul? The fable that we see and hear with a vulnerable ear and eye is such an imposition — just part of the bigger imposition that man (the expression of Soul, Spirit) lives in a material body. We don’t have two identities (or two kinds of senses) — material and spiritual. Matter (and the material senses) are only a misconception of the human mind! Let’s defend our divine right to see and hear clearly by knowing that nothing can hide from the spiritual senses the “harmony of all things and the permanence of Truth.” (S-21) Jesus demonstrated this, and so can we!

Section 5: Embrace the concept of a sensationless and mobile body heal the sick!
We’ve been talking about identity being the expression of Soul — and thus having nothing to do with matter. But, how does that relate to this material body that seems so convincing? Jesus didn’t ignore the body … nor did he teach his disciples (including us) to do that. David acknowledged in his psalms that God forgives sin and heals disease. (B-17) Peter and John healed the lame man “in the name of Jesus Christ” — through an understanding of the [nature and] power of the Christ (or the Word of God coming to the flesh.) (B-18) The textbook of Christian Science explains how healing takes place. I find it helpful to think about matter (and material form) as a limited or false concept of reality. Whatever is seen as material not only is limited, but also is subject to disease, decay, and destruction. But, it’s like the old story of the eagle that was raised as a chicken and so acted like a chicken — until it learned it could soar like the eagle it was. We put up with acting like mortals because that’s what the world around us believes. But, Christian Science “shows the scientific relation of man to God, disentangles the interlaced ambiguities of being, and sets free the imprisoned thought.” (S-22) Christian Science shakes things up! As we apply its teachings (that “man is the offspring of God, not of man; that man is spiritual, not material; that Soul is Spirit, outside of matter, never in it, never giving the body life and sensation”) we find that we don’t have to put up with the limitations posed by mortal mind! Sickness doesn’t come from either matter or Mind! (S-24) Sickness is the creation of the human mind, based on false beliefs entertained that we are subject to the effects of so-called material laws. “A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind.” So, all that needs to be changed is what mortal mind (or the human consciousness) is entertaining about the body! We’re told to “embrace your body in your thought… and delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness.” (S-25) To embrace something can mean “to comprise; to enclose; to contain.” (Webster 1828) So, as we recognize body as an expression of thought we can expect it to correspond to the thoughts of health delineated (or sketched) on it. The artist’s painting corresponds to his thoughts, illustrated on the canvas. Think of your body as your canvas and make sure you are sketching only thoughts of health — that come from God — on it! Sickness isn’t anyone’s or anything’s fault! And, it does not have to be endured — must not be endured. Rather, it must be overcome and healed! Love yourself and your neighbor sufficiently to recognize the right of all to be free of disease and injury! Refuse to entertain anything else because God’s law perpetuates health!

Section 6: Man cannot die because Life is the law of Soul!
Paul’s mission was to spread the good news of Jesus’ teaching to anyone who would listen — Jews and Gentiles alike. But, because he was shaking up the status quo, not everyone wanted to hear what he had to say. There was a lot of push-back! At one point he was stoned so severely by those who felt threatened by him that it looked as if he had been killed. (B-23) Remember, the Jews had earlier tried to stop Jesusmessage by killing him. But God’s message just can’t be stopped, nor can the messenger be killed. As Paul later wrote to the Colossians, “life is hid with Christ in God.” (B-24) Christian Science continues to shake-up the status quo. Although it is common for people to believe that a soul within the body goes on living even after the body appears to die, Christian Science teaches that the body is embraced in the consciousness of Life — and cannot either live or die. Man reflects Soul. That reflection can’t stop existing any more than God, Soul, can stop existing. (S-27) We don’t escape from a body because we’ve never been confined by a body. We live period! The Science (law) of Life is undisturbed by the testimony of the material senses. No matter what seems to be going on, Science “is unfolding to mortals the immutable (unchanging), harmonious, divine Principle, — is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal.” (S-28) So, death should be neither welcomed as a friend nor feared as an enemy. Death has nothing to do with Life. Our job is to keep our eye on the fact that “Life is the law of Soul.” (S-27) So, Life is the law of man’s being. This fact can be demonstrated — as Paul demonstrated it. Let’s give our consent to accepting that fact! Let’s keep our eye on the goal of accepting our nature (our identity) as inseparable from Soul, Life. Our body is the embodiment of our identity. It is not material, but manifests this oneness with God — in undying harmony. And this reasoning can be applied to the harmony of a physical body, the body of government, a church body, or any other kind of body — even a car body! “Man” — and every right idea — “is harmonious when governed by Soul.” Soul IS governing. Let’s not lose sight of that! Acknowledging the temple of God as our dwelling place — as the embodiment of our being, we can see God’s harmony in every aspect of life — unconfined by a material concept of body.


[Bracketed italics added by CedarS Director, Warren Huff, who’s forever grateful for all the good already received and LETTING 3 SPECIAL NEEDS BE KNOWN –
Significant funding is still needed for these special opportunities:
1. It is apparent that getting many to camp will depend on "Love's Provision" of campership assistance. Could you be one of the angels who gives towards camperships and the life-altaring and life-altering experiences they provide at CedarS?]

2. Over 100 needed items are featured on CedarS Giving Tree that could fit the budget of every grateful Met-recipient and camper. You can choose for yourself $1-and-up ways to give to support CedarS needs. Click here to see 2 young alumni tell their reasons to give.

3. Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! (~$15.5k needed to reach $50k goal)]


[The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/ for more about how you can provide even monthly support online. Or you can always call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 get information or discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets to help support and perpetuate CedarS work.]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162
or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps, Inc.
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!


[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

[For additional "Director's Notes" on the history, development & 4 translations of CedarS weekly Bible Lesson "Mets" go to Notes in our online online version of it.]

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