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!

Rejoice that "God-Good is the Only Author of Man!"

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, December 2nd, 2019

[Rejoice that “God is the Only Author Of Man"]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
For December 8, 2019

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

INTRODUCTION

The last citation of this week’s bible lesson summarizes why “God the Only Cause and Creator” is an important topic: "Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress.” (S29)

This idea, that spiritual causation is the "one question to be considered," resonates with me because when I seem to hit a low point in my faith and am feeling discouraged, I rouse myself by asking…how did I even get here? This is an ontological question. Ontology is the study of being—what we are—and it examines the very nature of things, their being, cause, and identity. So, when I’m feeling disheartened, I ask, “how did the universe even begin?,” or “how did life start?,” or “where did consciousness originate?” Physical science has no definitive answers to these questions. While scientific theories may trace the origins of our universe back to the “big bang,” there is no explanation as to how the big bang started. What happened before the big bang? Basically, when we try to trace back to a starting point for the universe, for life, for consciousness, or for our being…it simply has no logical starting point. There was no beginning. We are beginningless and exist in a beginningless universe.

But theological explanations aren’t sufficient either. It is not enough just to say, “God created the universe” because to most people this phrase still allows for a beginning point, as if there were some moment in which nothing existed, and then a god (made out of what?) somehow made something out of nothing. How could an infinite-unlimited-spiritual deity create a limited-fixed-material universe? There is no starting moment in which there was a void and then—poof—creation started. God did not snap His fingers to make the earth. In contrast to this old-theology theory, the Science of the Christ teaches that our being is eternal and beginningless, without a start. Interestingly, the false concept that God somehow started the universe, and before this there was a void, is just as much a material theory as the Big Bang Theory because both start from a premise that there was a starting point, a beginning, to existence—that existence is not eternal.

Instead of these two material theories that have a fixed starting point, divine metaphysics goes beyond the physical, and teaches that there is no beginning to existence. There never has been a moment in which Life did not exist. There never was a time in which Mind did not exist. And there never was a moment in which we—the ideas of Mind—were unknown. Mind knows all and always has known all, so there never was a moment in which we were not known. Creation has always been complete and yet is unfolding to us each and every moment, constantly new and yet already complete.

The subject of the lesson—“God the Only Cause and Creator”—corrects the idea that there ever was a start, or moment of creation. Instead, creation has always been complete. That this is difficult for us to understand (except through prayer) is one example of how limited-mortal thought tries to trap us into a false sense of a reality that has a start and a stop. No. There is no start and no stop. Good is eternal.

God—the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting Creator—is the only source of substance, the only Knower, the only Cause in the universe. And, by definition, God is eternal, without beginning. So beginningless Mind has always known all of its ideas. “And [we are] very good."

Golden Text (GT) & Responsive Reading (RR)

To me, the Golden Text is a celebration of the strength and majesty of God, the only Cause and Creator. “Have you never heard?….the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth! No one can measure the depths of his understanding.” (GT) I love this last bit…no one can measure the depth of his understanding. It is immeasurable because it is infinite. Our thought seems to struggle with the concept of not being able to measure something…its as if we need fixed limits. But God is, by definition, unmeasurable. Here in Isaiah we have a clear vision of the infinite Creator who “never grows weak or weary.” God, infinite Mind, is unsearchable and does “marvelous things without number.” (RR)


SECTION 1: GOD IS THE INEXHAUSTIBLE SOURCE OF ALL GOOD

Like the GT & RR, the first section of the lesson praises God, the Creator. Again, we read of the wonderful works that are “more than can be numbered.” (B2) A friend shared a phrase in mathematics called countable infinity, or the uncountable set. Basically, this is a mathematical set that is so large that it cannot be counted even if we kept counting forever. We could identify separate grains of sand, for example, but we could not count the total number of grains of sand even if we counted forever. For one thing, even as we counted, more sand would be made. And yet the grains of sand exist, and infinite Mind knows each grain of sand. This thought exercise helps me to conceive of the vastness of infinity…that something could be so vast that it is uncountable. The good of God is identifiable, and yet uncountable because it is infinite. Can you imagine trying to count the grains of sand even in a single handful of sand?

With this vastness of infinity in mind, it becomes impossible to conceive of God as being fixed in a finite form. Mind is inexhaustible…cannot run out. (S3)

In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy explains the concept of beginninglessness introduced in Genesis. I find it a peculiar word-play that a book about our genesis (beginning and origin) is actually about the fact that we don’t actually have a beginning or starting point. Instead, the first chapter of Genesis explains that we have always been…we exist in the “only”—that which always has always been known. As Mary Baker Eddy discovered,

"Genesis i. 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The infinite has no beginning. This word beginning is employed to signify the only, — that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe.” (S4)

So, in other words, in the only existence there ever has been God already has always known the heaven and earth. MBE explains that Mind’s ideas "range from the infinitesimal to infinity, and the highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God.” Sometimes summer campers—especially those who really, really love the horses—have a hard time accepting that we are the “highest ideas” of God. They wonder, “why should humans be above animals in a hierarchy?" The way that I understand MBE’s point here is that it does NOT mean that humans are better per se. But humans do tend to be more aware of our existence and connection to God, and moreable to reason Scientifically. So “highest ideas” doesn’t mean that we’re better, but rather that we are most consciously aware of our connection to God.


SECTION 2: START FROM THE RIGHT PREMISE TO GET RIGHT RESULTS

The second section reminds us of the importance of starting out rightly. Earlier I mentioned that material theories of creation, whether physical or theological, have a starting-point moment. Those theories represent a material (start-and-stop) view of the universe. Reasoning from a start-and-stop premise of creation, we are limited.

To illustrate the importance of starting from a correct premise, this section includes the account of Elijah challenging the worshipers of Baal. Baal was sometimes known as the god of fertility and conception, or, in other words, the god of creation. So, this story could be seeing as pitting two different premises about creation against one another, a god vs. the one and only God.

Elijah was not willing to let people “halt between two options” (B5). In a dramatic way, he demonstrated the omnipotence of eternal and infinite God over a limited view of creation.

Mary Baker Eddy explains that to overcome the pull away from good, we must earnestly consider whether it is “the human mind or the divine Mind” which is influencing us. (S5) There is no Cause or Creator other than good. "A belief in other gods, other creators, and other creations must go down before Christian Science.” (S6)

We cannot start from both an eternal-infinite premise and a material theory of the creation. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "The point for each one to decide is, whether it is mortal [limited] mind or immortal [eternal-infinite] Mind that is causative.” (B8)

Truth is true. We don’t have to make it true. So even if we don’t at first grasp that our existence is beginningless, we will inevitably discover the truth of this fact. And the role of Christianity is to turn us in the right direction. As MBE states, "Christianity causes men to turn naturally from matter to Spirit, as the flower turns from darkness to light.” (B10, my underlining) Like a flower turns toward the sun, so must we turn toward the truth of our beginningless reality.(B10)

An article that aptly explains the importance of starting from the right premise, or getting off on the right foot in our prayer, is "The Importance of “Right Foot” Treatment” by Myrtle C. Ayres (https://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/182980x5mqg?s=e)


SECTION 3: INDIVIDUAL LIFE ISN’T EXPLAINED BY ANATOMY OR FALSE-THEOLOGY

The third section introduces individual life as an expression of eternal-divine Life. God, the only Cause and Creator applies not just to the universe, but also to man…the expression and entity of Life, Truth, Love. God is Life, so man is life-ing (living). God is Truth, so man is truth-ing (honest). God is Love, so man is love-ing. We are the “ing” of God. We are the being of God. We are the being of Life.

The bible story of the Shunamite woman conceiving a child illustrates the idea that conception is not based on physiology and anatomy, but is the unfolding, or revealing, of eternal Life. There is no starting point to individual life. All life already exists. Right now, all life that ever is already exists. Again, all life that ever is already exists. There is no spontaneous—poof—magic moment in which life starts. Instead, life already exists and is simply being revealed to us. The analogy here could be that at night we know the sun exists even though we cannot see it. As the earth turns, we see the dawn light (birth), and then know that the whole of the sun (symbol of Life) is present. In the same way, Elisha witnessed the revealing of the birth of a “new-old” idea as he expected the evidence of Life to be revealed for the Shunemite woman. (B6)


This evidence of Life is true “unto all generations,” past, present and future. (B7) Just as we know that the sun is present even when it is night and we expect the dawn to come, we can also know that at sunset the sun is not going anywhere. It is still in constant relation to earth (symbolized by individual man) even if we cannot see it. In the same way, Life is always present even when it seems to pass out of our view. As we take a more exalted view, we see the whole vision of the sun and the earth and have a constant and unwavering view of the sun shining constantly, illustrating the concept of eternal Life shining constantly. Of course, this is just an analogy and all analogies based on limited-material symbols will eventually break down, but we can still take inspiration from them.

Just as Section 2 reminded us to start from the right premise about the creation of the universe, section three clearly explains that we cannot start from either anatomy or theology if we want to understand the truth of life, the truth of our being. As MBE writes, "Neither anatomy nor theology has ever described man as created by Spirit, — as God's man. … Both anatomy and theology define man as both physical and mental, and place mind at the mercy of matter for every function, formation, and manifestation.” Both physical science and theology start from a premise of a starting point to life, and don’t have satisfactory explanations. MBE says, "Anatomy takes up man at all points materially. It loses Spirit, drops the true tone, and accepts the discord.” (S12) The next sentence is not included in the lesson citations, but the final words in the paragraph explain the shortcomings of theology…."Then theology tries to explain how to make this man a Christian, — how from this basis of division and discord to produce the concord and unity of Spirit and His likeness. (SH 148:21)

I’m not sure why the last sentence of the paragraph wasn’t included…perhaps because, if misunderstood, it could sound critical of being “a Christian.” But, really the sentence is questioning old-theological Christianity that identifies man as a mortal sinner, with a birth and death, existing separate from God. Mary Baker Eddy discovered that man is NOT separate from God, as “Genesis 2” theology suggest, and that we are not constantly struggling to become at one with God, but rather through Christ—our awareness of our connection to God—we can discover our eternal connection to eternal Life. We can find that we are, indeed, coexistent and eternal with God, the only Cause and Creator.


"God is the only author of man,” and this Author has always known our story, and it is “very good.” (S14)


SECTION 4: CHRIST JESUS SHOWS THE WAY (Ken C. YouTube of Peter's monologue.)

In the fourth section, we find the account of Christ Jesus calming the sea. Earlier I suggested that Genesis (the story of the beginning) is actually about the fact that creation always has been complete, and there was no beginning—the title “Genesis” is kind of a misnomer. In the same way, the story of Christ Jesus calming the storm is actually about the fact that the sea was already calm. Christ Jesus always experienced the sea as calm….he was sleeping peacefully. And when his disciples were alarmed by a stormy sea, it was Jesus’s conscious awareness of calmness and the harmony of being that awakened their thought to see the calm. He stilled their thought, not the sea. Jesus didn’t change reality. He didn’t cause something physical to change. He brought others into his clear view of what God had already done—“For the Father loveth the Son, and sheath him all things that himself doeth”. (B11)

At a surface reading, one could surmise that a physical change occurred—the sea was calmed—from either 1) a meteorological change in atmosphere, or 2) God (Spirit) changed the physical. Both of those explanations involve a physical-limited-material substance. MBE’s discover is that there is only one substance of the universe and it is “very good.” She studied the words and works of Christ Jesus to discover that to the degree that we understand the true nature of being as eternal and beginningless, we find our experience calm, peaceful, healthy, and full of comfort. Christ Jesus wasn’t causing the physical to change. Rather, "Physical causation was put aside from first to last by this original man, Jesus. He knew that the divine Principle, Love, creates and governs all that is real.” (S16)

Physical-matter is not a cause, and God does not cause physical matter to do anything. MBE states this clearly, "When we endow matter with vague spiritual power, — that is, when we do so in our theories, for of course we cannot really endow matter with what it does not and cannot possess, — we disown the Almighty, for such theories lead to one of two things. They either presuppose the self-evolution and self-government of matter, or else they assume that matter is the product of Spirit. To seize the first horn of this dilemma and consider matter as a power in and of itself, is to leave the creator out of His own universe; while to grasp the other horn of the dilemma and regard God as the creator of matter, is not only to make Him responsible for all disasters, physical and moral, but to announce Him as their source, thereby making Him guilty of maintaining perpetual misrule in the form and under the name of natural law.” (S17)

Healing is not the changing of physical stuffs. It is the realization that we can look beyond the physical stuffs to sense the eternal substance—"The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind, controlling every effect and recognizing all causation as vested in divine Mind.” (S18)

Healing is the realization that calm harmony already exists and is reigning supreme. We can drop the limited sense of things and have the Christlike consciousness that all is well, all is calm, and not buy into any limited-discordant theory.

We can do this as we realize that the Creator and the Creator’s creation are not separate. Mind and Mind’s idea are not separate. God and God’s expression (man) are not separate. "The admission to one's self that man is God's own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea.” (S20)


SECTION 5: WHAT DOES GOD NOT CAUSE?

Section 5 seems to ask, what does God NOT cause? In an exchange with the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus basically asks, “Do you still not get it? You don’t prevent bad things from happening by doing rituals. The only source for evil is mistaken thought…evil is a mistaken view, not the natural way of things.” (B12)

As we strive to see more and more from God’s view—the true and harmonious view—we catch a better perspective and we can see the whole of being. To the degree that we’re able to do this, we experience more and more of the God’s creation, which is “very good.” In Isaiah, we read God’s words, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (B13) When we seem to see evil, it is our reminder to tune in even more to ask God, “What do you see?” And to listen.

God does NOT cause evil, and expect us to find our way out of it. (S21) Limited thought cannot actually cause anything to happen, but it does seem to blind us to the full view. Going back to the sun analogy we used earlier… We may not see the sun when the earth is turned and we are blind to it, but the sun is still there. If we closed our eyes, we may not see the sun, but it is still there. And if we thought the sun was gone, and based our whole existence around the fact that that the sun had disappeared, this still would not make the sun disappear. There is nothing that we can think or do to make the sun go away. And similarly, there is nothing that we can do or say that make perfect Truth any less true. As we gain a higher view of the sun and earth, it is clear that the sun never goes away. Similarly, as we gain a higher view of God and man, it becomes clear that man is not separated from God even for a single moment.

We have instructions from Mary Baker Eddy to let "no claim of [separation] or of [discord] to grow upon the thought. Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of [discord] than He is of [separation]. You have no law of His to support the necessity either of [separation] or [discord], but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the [false view of man].” (S24)

Until this week, I had never realized that author, as in "God is the author of man” is a part of the word “authority.” Its obvious now, but God is the author, which gives his Word authority over all. With God as the author, no error can be written. The Word of God is possible because God is Author. God, the Author, wrote the Word with authority.

Mary Baker Eddy offers an example of how the Word of God has authority and establishes the true story: "A case of convulsions, produced by indigestion, came under my observation. In her belief the woman had chronic liver-complaint, and was then suffering from a complication of symptoms connected with this belief. I cured her in a few minutes. One instant she spoke despairingly of herself [using words with no real authority because they weren’t from the divine Author]. The next minute [as the Word and authority/authorship of God was revealed] she said, "My food is all digested, and I should like something more to eat.” (S25)

26 | 391:29–2

As we yield to the Word of God as the authority and authorship of our being, we find healing. God, the Author, wouldn’t write it, then it isn’t true. Only the Word of God is true. If anything seems to contradict God’s Word, then overturn it. As MBE states, "Mentally contradict every complaint from the body, and rise to the true consciousness of Life as Love, — as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit. Fear [forgetting eternal authorship reigns] is the fountain of sickness, and you master fear and sin through divine Mind; hence it is through divine Mind that you overcome disease [and hear the true story from God as the author of man].” (S27)


SECTION 6: CREATION IS ALREADY COMPLETE

If I were asked to put John’s statement—"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”—into my own words, it would be something like, "In the only existence there ever has been was the Word—the truth of being—and the Word was already present at all moments, and there never has been a moment in which the Word was not present.” The crucial word for me is “already”—all that is true already was true and is true and always will be true. Truth is eternal—past, present and future. Now and forever. God is always the Author of the Word, and the Word has always been written. The Word and all that is written by God is forever true.

Mary Baker Eddy’s words correlate with this concept well: "In the vast forever, in the Science and truth of being, the only facts are Spirit and its innumerable creations.” (S28). The “innumerable creations” are the ideas from the divine Author.

And now, we’re ready to conclude, just as we began, by affirming the importance of understanding the full meaning of the phrase,” God the only Cause and Creator.” The Lesson concludes, “Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress.” (S29) Spiritual causation is the constant revelation of the harmony and calm of what is already true. Healing is the acknowledgement of infinite perfection, already created and complete and inexhaustibly unfolding.


PLEASE BE ON THE LOOKOUT THIS MORNING for an email with details and a fun video about a $20,000 “Giving Tuesday” BONUS GIFT to CedarS, IF we receive gifts from at least 750 donors during the week between December 1-7! Gay and I will be with our team at our office at CedarS to answer donation calls all day Monday and Tuesday to 417-532-6699 and to my cell phone 314-378-2574.

Of course, you can make safely-encrypted “Giving Tuesday” gifts online 24 hours a day at https://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/ . Gifts given any day this week will count toward our 750 donors goal (and maybe earn you points)—not only with Visa and Mastercard, but also with American Express and Discover card.


Check-out online from this Christian Science Bible Lesson a GROWING collection of "Priceless Gems from C.A.M.P.! — (Christ’s Animating Mindset Practiced)


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 St. Louis area office address:
The CedarS Camps, Inc.
419 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011

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


As a weekly “CedarS Met” subscriber, YOU are forever a cherished member of CedarS family! You will be the first to know (soon) of the many wonderful blessings from God that are about to be bestowed on all the dear ones getting ready to enroll for or to support CedarS “best season yet” in 2020!

New CedarS programs and facility upgrades as well as full campership and travel funding opportunities (as needed) will be unveiled in early December on our new, streamlined enrollment system and website!

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