Cedar Camps

Metaphysical Ideas

Search Metaphysicals
 

Metaphysical Newsletters

The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided to campers, staff, alumni, friends and the CedarS family at no charge however contributions help defray the costs of running this service.

Click here for more about how you can provide support!
 

Delivered to You FREE!

Available in five languages, get it delivered to your inbox weekly!

Subscribe Now!

Accept Good Alone as Fact and Evil as Fable!

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, November 4th, 2019

[Accept Good Alone as Fact and Evil as Fable!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Adam an Fallen Man"
for November 10, 2019

Prepared by Christie C. Hanzlik, CS Boulder, CO
ccern@mac.comchristiecs.com

Each of us will find our own inspiration from this week’s Bible Lesson, and for me the Lesson is about knowing our life’s purpose, our reason for being. The Golden Text and Responsive Reading present two perspectives on our lives—a limited-mortal perspective and an unlimited-eternal perspective. And the remainder of the lesson explains that it is our purpose to see through the limited-distorted view and accept the truth of our unlimited-eternal being and glorify Life/Truth/Love/Mind.

We don’t actually have a choice about whether we’re mortal or eternal. We are eternal. This is a fact of our being. And yet most of us are still striving to see through a misty-dusty view of our being to see the full unlimited-eternal view. This week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson gives us tools to see through the misty-dusty view.

Right at the outset, the Golden Text (GT) juxtaposes two very different views of life. Option one, “we spend our years as a tale that is told,” suggests that our lives are just a meaningless story, a limited-mortal “tale." The NLT Bible & NIV Bible translate this same phrase as "ending our years with a groan.” Ugh. "Ending our years with a groan" doesn’t sound good at all. The second option is, "let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,” which the NLT/NIV Bibles translate, “May the Lord our God show us his approval.” Option two sounds much better!

Both options are NOT true. And we don’t have a choice which to accept. There is only one true view…"the beauty of the Lord our God IS upon us.” We have no choice. We have no free will about the absolute fact of our being. We are what we are…Mind’s perfect ideas. We cannot escape God’s beauty being upon us. It is true and nothing can make it not true. And yet, the misty-dusty view that life is a “tale that is told” seems to cloud the fact that God is showing us infinite approval. We can, through Christ (the communication from God to us), know our true being.

The Responsive Reading (RR) echoes the theme in the GT, listing ways that existence can seem to feel meaningless, and then turning toward God/Truth as that which brings meaning and purpose. As the RR says, we can build houses, plant vineyards, gather silver and gold, and live an epicurean life, but at the end of it all (for these things do end), what do we have? What is the point of it all? This is a heavy thought. And this heaviness leads me to ... the hamster story.

When I was nine years old, I had a hamster named Templeton. One day as I was watching Templeton, a disturbing thought came, “What is the point of this hamster’s life?” Sadly, I became distressed that the hamster didn’t have a purpose. It wasn’t even on the food chain. I couldn’t figure out what the meaning of its existence could be. Then, I reasoned, how am I any more significant than this hamster? What is the purpose of my existence? I could get straight As, become a famous actress, become a famous judge, and paint the most beautiful painting, but in 5000 years, would any of that matter? I didn’t feel like it would matter at all. Although I didn’t know about Ecclesiastes back then, these thoughts were similar to the writer's lament, "Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” (RR) Like the author of Ecclesiastes, these thoughts weighed heavily on me, and seemed to lead me into depression. I could not see a point to life. For days I was in a stupor…all felt dark...I did not yet have the words to explain my dark thoughts to anyone, so I never asked for help.

But, as the Psalmist writes, "I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.” (RR)

I don’t remember knowing how to pray to defeat depression, but I do remember that, finally, a thought came to me…a still, small voice…”the purpose of the hamster is to bring joy and be the full expression of its hamster-ness.” To my eight-year-old self, this Christ-idea held a lot of meaning. If this hamster had a purpose, I reasoned, then so did I. My purpose is to love, to give, to serve, and to be the full expression of Love. The simplicity of this message was enough to lift the depression…I discovered a reason for being, a purpose of existence that satisfied me. In 5000 years—and for eternity—my identity as a loving and giving expression of Love does matter. Our individualized expression of Love does not end, and is a reward that only grows. I realized that my unique expression of Love is necessary, significant, unique, and meaningful. And, of course, this love-based purpose is true for you also.

So, yes, Templeton has purpose. And our being has purpose too. The more we are aware of our purpose—really clear on it, and not just fuzzily going through our days "with a groan"—the more our purpose is realized...and magnified. God bless Templeton! (literally)

SECTION 1: OUR BEGINNINGLESS-NESS

The first section of the Lesson answers the question, “Where did we come from?” We get our answer from the book of John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (B1)

"In the beginning was the Word.”—the Word did not start, it ALREADY was. This is beginingless-ness. There was never a beginning to Truth, never a beginning to Love, never a beginning to Life, never a beginning to Mind. Life, Truth, Mind and Love ALWAYS have been. There never was a moment when there was no Life, no Truth, no Love, and then….poof!….they started. As a visual metaphor for this, there never was a moment when there was no light. There always has been light. There was never a moment in which everything was dark, a void, and then….poof!….there is light. No. Light always has existed. And in this eternal shining of Truth, Love, Mind and Life is the “light of men.” (B1) The “light of men” never started…it always has been.

There never was a moment in which Mind did not know each one of us. No one is forgotten. Mind is ALL knowing. It isn’t as if there was a moment in which we did not exist and then…poof…Mind thought of us. No. There never was a moment in which Mind was incomplete and we were unknown. We have always been known; we have never had a beginning. So, the question, “where do we come from?” is misleading because we have ALWAYS been. There wasn’t a beginning point. The question is more accurately stated, how did we become aware of our existence? We become more and more aware of our true existence as we become more and more aware of eternal Mind.

We may seem to have an “imperfect” view of our ontology—the nature of our being—but our imperfect view doesn’t make our true being any less true. We may seem to see a misty-dusty view of ourselves, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Our true being—the “light of men”—shines through. It is through spiritual (unlimited) sense that we see our true being/existence, and “turn our gaze to the spiritual record of creation.” (S4) Our purpose is to see beyond the imperfect and distorted view and begin to comprehend the full view of our being in relation to eternal (beginning-less) Truth, Life, and Love. Oneness. Wholeness.

Ultimately, the question—where do we come from?—is misleading because it suggests a beginning point. In truth and in reality, we are beginning-less, eternal, just like light.

SECTION 2: TOOLS TO DESTROY THE MISTY-DUSTY-FOG

The second section of the lesson dives into the myth of dualism, or the belief that there is a version of man that is separate from Mind, that is divided from God. “Dualism is the root of sin,” wrote L. Ivimy Gwalter. In other words, Dualism is the root of unworthiness, and the belief that we are separate from Love. As we correct the belief of dualism, therefore, we are rooting out sin (aka unworthiness).

There is no such thing as a second self or some kind of second reality, there is only one true being, which is eternal. A misty or distorted view of that reality leads some to think that there is both a spiritual and a limited version of our being, but in truth we only have the spiritual. Our goal is therefore to see through the misty view to see the true picture. And Truth’s light does shine through the mist.

The myth of dualism—the so-called beginning of the “mist”—is described in Genesis 2: "But there went up a mist from the earth...And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground…” (B6)

Many of us have felt moments of being the “dust man,” and seeing ourselves through a misty-dusty lens. In fact, the mist (distractions of the body, distractions from the suggestions of the world) may seem to obscure our perfection and make us feel separate from everything good. When this seems to happen, we may cry out like the Psalmist, "I lie in the dust; revive me by your word.” (B7, NLT) And, when we do cry out, we will hear God/Love’s answer, "Fear not; I will help thee.” (B8)

God gives us the tools to cut through the mist. In fact, the second writer of Isaiah says, we ARE the tool that cuts through the mist and all mortal obstructions: "Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (B8) Right here, God tells us our purpose…to be the instrument that sees through the mist.

We are the instrument that cuts through the mist. We are a “sharp threshing instrument.” We are a “fan.”

Mary Baker Eddy defines fan: "FAN. Separator of fable from fact; that which gives action to thought.” Our purpose is to be a fan, and a fan powered by Truth. (bonus points to anyone who wants to create a cartoon image of a fan that blows mist away [by harnessing the infinite energy of the Holy Ghost/Wind.])

There are not two versions of us. The misty-dusty-foggy view is not a second self. The mist “i.d.” a lie that needs to be blown away by the fan, the truth of our being. Our effortless being as the “light of the world” naturally cuts and shines through the mist.

Years ago, I tried to make a video of seeing through the mist. I used a fog machine, and tried to film it for a Daily Lift. Unfortunately, the video didn’t come out well, and it ended up looking like I was a witch with a bubbling cauldron (haha)—not the image I was trying to get across! But, the idea was a sound one. We can all be fans that blow away the foggy, misty, dusty view to see our reality. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "Befogged in error (the error of believing that matter can be intelligent for good or evil), we can catch clear glimpses of God only as the mists disperse, or as they melt into such thinness that we perceive the divine image in some word or deed which indicates the true idea, — the supremacy and reality of good, the nothingness and unreality of evil.” (S8)

SECTION 3: NO DUALISM

The third section contains the Genesis 2 myth of when man first gained the knowledge of evil. In school, we may come to think of knowledge as a positive thing. But “knowledge” obtained from misty-dusty-foggy evidence is NOT trustworthy. MBE defines knowledge of the type in Genesis 2: "Knowledge. Evidence obtained from the five corporeal senses; mortality; beliefs and opinions; human theories, doctrines, hypotheses; that which is not divine and is the origin of sin, sickness, and death; the opposite of spiritual Truth and understanding."

(SH 590:4)

The only true knowledge is knowledge directly from Mind. Divine Mind is our only true and real source of knowing.

Genesis introduces the idea of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” This is dualism…the belief that both good and evil have power. Dualism leads to the belief that we are separate from God/Mind/Truth/Love. According to the mist-myth, Adam and Eve tasted of the “tree of knowledge” and then were cursed. From this point forward, they would “live a life as a tale being told.” (GT) But, of course, Adam and Eve are not real or true. They are mythical. In truth, there is only one good tree (metaphorically), and this tree only brings forth good fruit. (B11) As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "The 'tree of knowledge' typifies unreality [whereas] the 'tree of life' is significant of eternal reality or being.” (S11)

There are NOT two trees. The “tree of knowledge” is mythical. The “tree of life” is true. We must be the “fan” and see past the misty-dusty-fog to see the “tree of life.” The Adam and Eve myth helps us to explain dualism, and with that explanation we can begin the good work of being a “sharp threshing instrument” and a “fan.”

In proportion as we see through the mist-myth, we eat freely from the “tree of life.” In Mary Baker Eddy’s words, "Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence, — our health, our longevity, and our Christianity.” (S14)

There are, in fact, not two trees, but we must be alert not to get lulled into a drowsy acceptance of false knowledge. It is in our nature to be a “fan” that cuts through the mist, and blows false knowledge away.

SECTION 4: THE SERPENT TRIES TO TRICK US TO WANT THE “TREE OF KNOWLEDGE”

The “tree of knowledge” is just a myth, like purple elephants are a myth. We can all imagine a purple elephant, and we can paint a grey elephant to be purple, but this will not make a purple elephant real or true. Likewise, we can talk about the phrase “tree of knowledge,” but talking about it doesn’t make it real or true. And yet it is helpful to have the phrase— “tree of knowledge”—so that we can gain mastery over dualism.

The fourth section introduces the concept of the deceitful serpent that suggests the reality of evil and tempts Adam and Eve to eat from the “tree of knowledge.” (B13, B14) There is no such thing as a talking serpent. The talking serpent is simply the metaphor for a false suggestion, an illusion, a lie. Having the phrase “talking serpent,” helps us to gain mastery over suggestions of evil. It gives us words to talk about it but it still has no basis in reality.

Evil and good do not both exist. "Good alone is real….There are not two creations. What appears as material is but an imperfect view of the one spiritual creation.” (See Milton Simon, "Good Alone is Real," Oct 1961 CSJ) Evil beliefs are but the misty-dusty-fog that seems to cloud and distort eternal Truth. As we— “the sharp threshing instrument”—cut through the misty-dusty-fog, we are not deceived and we catch clear glimpses of the good, the eternal, and the true. The “talking serpent” is anything that would seem to suggest that we cannot see through the mist. But, it is our very nature as “fans” to blow away the mist. The serpent cannot interrupt our being.

“Truth is a two-edged sword, guarding and guiding.” (S16) The sword of Truth destroys the false serpent and cuts through the mist. "Radiant with mercy and justice, the sword of Truth gleams afar and indicates the infinite distance between Truth and error, between the material and spiritual, — the unreal and the real.” (S16) (More bonus points to anyone who wants to create a cartoon image of a gleaming sword cutting through mist and destroying the deceitful words of the false serpent)

It may be tempting to think that we are more knowledge-able, more like God, if we eat from the “tree of knowledge.” But Mind is too pure to see evil. "A knowledge of evil was never the essence of divinity or manhood.” (S17)

Inevitably, the mist-myth evaporates and the serpent is revealed as a liar. Truth is always revealed. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "When the mist of mortal mind evaporates, the curse will be removed which says to woman, 'In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.' Divine Science rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and lifts the curtain on man as never born and as never dying, but as coexistent with his creator.” (S19)

SECTION 5: CHRIST-TRUTH PROTECTS US FROM THE SERPENT

Section 4 reminded us to be alert to false suggestions from the talking serpent. And, now, Section 5 assures us that Christ protects us from the serpent’s deceit. “Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.” (S20) Christ is Love’s reminder that we are safe and good alone is real. While it may seem as if the curse of evil is flying all around us, “the curse causeless shall not come.” (B15) the curse cannot touch us. While it may seem like the talking serpent is telling us tales of sorrow and meaninglessness, “where there is no talebearer (serpent), the strife ceaseth.” (B15) When we expose the serpent, it is silenced.

While the mist-myth of Adam deceives us into an existence framed by a birth-death timeline, Truth’s clear message (Christ) assures us of our beginningless-ness and deathless eternity. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (B17)

Christ-Truth exposes the serpent’s lies. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality [misty-dusty-fog], even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free, not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brainology to learn how much of a man he is.” (S21)

SECTION 6: CHRIST JESUS DEMONSTRATES HOW TO DEFEAT THE SERPENT

Section 2 explained that we are as a “sharp threshing instrument” and a “fan” ready to defeat the lies of dualism, to correct the false belief of a evil power that challenges omnipresent good. In the sixth section, we find that the "the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…” ready to overturn lies. (B18) Christ Jesus, who best expressed the “true idea voicing good” demonstrated how to use the Word of God to overturn the serpent’s lies. Christ Jesus explains, "I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (B20) Christ Jesus did not ignore nor acquiesce to the lies (or fables) of the serpent. His mission was to overturn them with the “sword.” (S22)

And he gave us our marching orders to join him in overturning the lies. Christ Jesus told his followers that he (with the Word of God) gave us "power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” This is our statement of purpose. Our purpose is to tread on (metaphorical) serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.” We are the “sharp threshing instrument” and the “fan,” so destroying the lies of the serpent is a function of our very being. And we are blessed while overturning the lies. LAW: You are never more safe than when you’re doing God’s work. As Paul assured the Philippians, so are we assured that "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (B22)

As we have a fuller and fuller sense of oneness, and reject the lie of dualism, we find that this truth overturns any belief of inharmony. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "This understanding casts out error and heals the sick, and with it you can speak 'as one having authority.’” (S26) We have the tools to defeat serpentine suggestions. It is important to note that the serpent can only suggest. The serpent cannot touch us.

SECTION 7: OUR INSTRUCTIONS

The seventh section reminds me of a big bass drum beating in the finale of a symphony. If the first six sections hadn’t yet woken us up, the seventh section shouts (assuringly) at us LOUD AND CLEAR. What is our reason for being? To “praise the Lord” and stand for Truth. And what happens as we do this? Our longing soul is satisfied, and our hungry soul is filled with goodness. (B23) As we are better and better able to refute the serpent and feel satisfied and worthy and full of purpose, we will be better and better healers. We will be satisfied. (B25)

Mary Baker Eddy gives us firm instructions of how to WAKE UP to the soporific effects of the serpent. To me, the last three emphatic citations resound like big BOOMS on the bass drum…they wake us up!

• "Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, — neither in nor of matter, — and the body will then utter no complaints.” (S28)

• "Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.” (S29)

• "Citizens of the world, accept the "glorious liberty of the children of God," and be free!” (S30)

The lies of the serpent don't stand a chance next to these swords of Truth.


Check-out online an early draft of CedarS offering of "C.A.M.P. Gems"—Christ's Animating Mindset Practiced as Gems! (Additions to follow as able to be added)

Your Current, Monthly and Planned gifts are proofs of infinite “LOVE made visible”!
They help provide CedarS essential services and programs & bring big blessings to the lives of today's Sunday School students (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered Cause)!

With ever-new, heartfelt gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

Call 417-532-6699 nearly any time to give or to talk to one of the above Founding family.

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our present camp office address:
The CedarS Camps
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with Federal ID # 44-0663883.


FOR MANY YEARS POSSIBLE IDEAS FOR TEACHING YOUNGER AND OLDER SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE EACH WEEK AS CEDARS WEBPAGES by clicking the Red PSST & PYCL links at the top of the online Met.
OR, JUST CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP TO HAVE THEM EMAILED
FREE (AS READY) TO YOUR INBOX EACH WEEK .

Metaphysical

Rejoice that "God-Good is the Only Author of Man!" - The subject of the lesson—“God the...
Latest Lesson Application Idea

Newsletters

Get free weekly uplifting newsletters (available in English, Spanish, French, German and now in Portuguese!)
Subscribe or Update Subscription

Facebook

Find CedarS on Facebook for the latest news, heart-warming fruitage, facility upgrades and more!
Go to the CedarS' Facebook Page