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See what IS and lose sight of what is not!

Kathy Fitzer
Posted Monday, March 18th, 2019

See what IS and lose sight of what is not!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Matter
for March 18-24, 2019

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer
kathyfitzer@gmail.com


[Warren's Pre-Script: Both of Ken Cooper’s contributions this week reinforce the Golden Text and amplify the way that Christ Jesus “revised… and… expunged” (“Daily Lift” for 3-18-19 from Retro. 22) the crystallized limitations that come with the lie of life in matter. Ken himself narrates his new monologue written from the perspective of the lad with the five loaves and two fishes (B15) at https://youtu.be/ouPOUh1nLO8 Ken reads another of his narratives, written from the lens of the best friend of the man healed of the withered hand (B12), at https://youtu.be/6CStngXPuWc You can Download both monologues in PDF text format from online versions of this week’s CedarS Met and this week’s online Post Scripts.]


Golden Text: [See W's PS#1)
The Voice translates this verse as, “As soon as you become fixed on riches they vanish.” Looking at many translations, the context of this verse seems to focus specifically on the impermanence of material riches, and the caution to not focus too much on those riches. However, in considering the larger message of the Lesson, it seems to me we can expand that meaning to include not becoming dependent on — or believing — any report of matter as the basis of our wellbeing — or the condition of the world. The word eyes in this verse comes from the Hebrew, ayin, and can be translated knowledge. So … will be base our knowledge on that which lacks the substance of Spirit — that which has no life, truth, intelligence, or substance? Absolutely not! It takes alertness of thought to focus on the true in the face of a lie. But, it must be done!

Responsive Reading:
Paul is making the point here that human wisdom and human accomplishments have nothing to do with being prepared to receive Christ — to know the truth of God. In fact, pride of ability or of human knowledge can get in the way of the humility necessary to acknowledge God as the source of all good and all knowledge. Knowledge based on material evidence or material education must yield to what the one God reveals through His Christ. Humility is essential. The New Living Translation says it clearly, “Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.” (v. 2)

We are tempted all the time to worship “many gods” as we choose where we place our reliance or what we believe to be true. It’s amazing how many “little things” would try to distract us from fully focusing (and relying) on the reality of God, Spirit. But, how wonderful to know that, “if anyone loves God [with awe-filled reverence, obedience and gratitude], he is known by Him [as His very own and is greatly loved].” (Amp.v. 3) We can do that … we can humbly love God — trust in what God is revealing to us more than what we think we know or what everything around us is telling us. And, as we do, we can trust that God’s love for us is sufficient to lead us down the right path.

Section 1: See through the lie and emptiness of matter to the fullness of Spirit

Looking at translations of the opening verses from Ecclesiastes we find words such as meaningless, futile, useless, and pointless where the KJV uses vanity. (B1) The original Hebrew word is hebel and includes the ideas of emptiness, something transitory and unsatisfactory, and also vapor or breath. One translation has the teacher saying, “Nothing makes sense! Everything is nonsense. I have seen it all—nothing makes sense!” (B1 - CEV) Isn’t that how our world — our experience — seems at times? Why bother — nothing makes sense and everything is all messed up? But, that is the view as seen through the lens of matter!

I found it interesting to see the Hebrew translated as “breath” because it showed to me so clearly how the material view tries to counterfeit the true view as seen through the lens of Spirit — the wind or breath of inspiration and truth that is GOD! After the opening citation, the rest of the Bible citations point to the need to silence the testimony of the flesh — or material representation of creation. (B2) And we are assured that “we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (B3) The word spirit used here is from the Greek word, pneuma, and includes the idea of “vital principle.” God has given us the ability to discern between the emptiness of a material view and the fullness of the vital principle that is complete and full of blessing.

In the Psalmist’s prayer, the word vanity comes from a Hebrew word, shav. (B4) It includes the sense of emptiness and uselessness, but also expands the concept to include desolating, evil (as destructive), idolatry (as false, subjective), worthlessness, lying. (Touch Bible app) No wonder the Psalmist is asking God to turn his thought away from that! As we entertain a similar prayer, we can expect God to deliver us from seeing through the lies and distorted views presented not only by the destructive suggestions but also by the attractive suggestions of the mortal, limited view of matter.

The citations from Science and Health make it so clear that Spirit and matter are complete opposites and cannot mingle. The glossary definition of matter is so complete — expanding on what the Bible has said about the emptiness and uselessness of matter. (S4) Succinctly said, “There is no material truth.” (S7) Why would we ever be attracted by, fearful of, or influenced by a myth? And that’s all matter and its false report is! It often seems a struggle to not get caught up in the lie, and that’s why it is so wonderful to know that God is always guiding us (and everyone) to the clear view and truth of Spirit.

When we are looking through a fog or a mist — or after we’ve awakened from a night dream — we recognize that the false, distorted view was never true. And as the fog lifts, we see things clearly. And, so, “we can catch clear glimpses of God” (the reality of Spirit that is always there) “as the mists disperse…” (S6) Desiring to stay in the sunlight of Truth, Love will awaken us to see through the lie of matter to the infinite truth of the infinite harmony of Spirit!

Section 2: We do not dwell in the flesh … we dwell in Spirit

Thought provoking question … “What do ye imagine against the Lord?” (B5) Imagine comes from the Hebrew, chashab, and means to fabricate; to plot or contrive; consider, devise, plan, and more. Would we consciously plot against God? No … but do we sometimes find ourselves fearing, being impressed by, or attracted by the “things of the world” more than what we know deep down God has made and designed for us? We’re told not to “love” the world. Once we accept the material model (including the pleasures and seeming ease of matter), like it or not we’re also buying in on the possibility of the “pains” and destructive elements of matter. Either way, absorbed by the matter’s false images, it’s a lot harder to feel the “love of the Father.” (B6) It’s like getting so caught up in a movie (be it good or bad) that you become unaware of the good going on in the “real world” around you.

We’re told plainly, “to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (B7) Carnally comes from the Greek word, sarx, and can be thought of as flesh, the body (as opposed to spirit; the symbol of what is external, or human nature (with its frailties physically or morally). [W: Note that the Greek word for carnally (sarx) is also the root of sarcophagus (coffin, tomb).] It includes the sensuous, craving nature of man that is also subject to suffering. The result of being spiritually minded seems much more rewarding! And yet … the pull of worldly (or material) thinking) seems very strong. The last line of the Bible here is so very reassuring. We are NOT in the flesh. We are not governed by a human nature! We are in Spirit — that Spirit of God dwells in us. (B7) We cannot be separated from that Spirit (and love) that is God. And to experience that love we just need to turn from the movie (or open our eyes) and see all the good that is ever-present.

As Science and Health tells us plainly … “Man is not matter”. (S8) Regardless of how much the myth tries to deceive us, matter is not a thing or a person. It is the supposition that Spirit has an opposite — and we call it matter. (S9) We must follow the logic presented in this section — and trust Science (the facts) so we aren’t deceived. Who doesn’t want to drop “the fetters (the restraints) of man’s finite (limited) capacity”? Refusing to accept the “illusion that [we] live in body instead of in Soul, in matter instead of in Spirit” is where we need to start and stay. (S11) The more we practice being alert to what we are accepting as fact, the more we’ll see through the illusion and find freedom!

Section 3: Does the accumulation of matter determine our substance? See W's PS#2)

It is tempting these days to judge one’s value by how much — or how little — material wealth one has accumulated. It apparently is not a new temptation since Jesus addressed it. He warned, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.” (B9, Amp.) Jesus told his disciples, “This is why I keep telling you not to worry about anything in life—about what you’ll eat, about how you’ll clothe your body. Life is more than food, and the body is more than fancy clothes.” (B9, Voice) Why should we not focus on how much material stuff we have? Because, “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless.” (B10, NRSV) Focusing on the lasting qualities that define life — rather than the temporary provisions of the material world — will enable us to see how God is meeting all our needs.

Science and Health brings out the fact that either matter is substantial (and lasting) or Spirit is substantial (and lasting.) The two are opposites and so only one is truly dependable. (S16) If one is “striving to enter in” to the realm of spiritual consciousness where all good exists and can be experienced, Mary Baker Eddy says he “constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit.” It’s something that takes practice — something we need to desire to do thought by thought. But, as we do, we are assured that we will “finish our course with joy.” (S18)

Will we sometimes get distracted and be mesmerized into judging the good in our lives according to the outward expression of things? By doing so might we become either over-confident or discouraged? Probably! But, as we stay alert and establish in thought the fact that God provides all good to all of His children always, we’ll remember that we don’t have to worry about how much we have, or how much another has. As long as we understand that Spirit is the source of all good and that we can’t be separated from that good of Spirit, we will have what we need — and so will others!

Section 4: Supposed laws of matter annulled See W's PS#1, #3 and #4)

It’s fun, when we have a familiar story in the lesson (like the man whose withered hand was healed) to try to look at it from a slightly different perspective or get some new insight from it. Each one has the opportunity to let the Christ message bring fresh inspiration to their thought. One thing that came to me this time is the danger of getting caught up in the general beliefs surrounding us that would hold us hostage to a false belief. It must have taken great courage for the man with the withered hand to set himself apart from the crowd when Jesus called him. I wonder if he was even expecting to be healed. It seems it was more important to Jesus to make the point to the rulers that it is God’s will that man be set free — regardless of the day or of other material beliefs swirling around. And, to the man’s credit, he responded to the voice of Christ more than to the nay-sayers. (B12) Do we have the courage to respond to the call of Christ, Truth, when faced with a physical problem— regardless of what the media or others say about the likelihood of healing — or one’s right to be healed?

Jesus “never fear[ed] nor obey[ed] error in any form.” (S19) He so understood the reality of God’s law and the unreality of any other so-called law that he was never impressed by physical evidence. Oh, to be at that place! But, we can get better and better at not falling for the lie — not being impressed by the “imperfect model” that the “world is holding” out there for us to be impressed by and to fear. The remedy, we’re told, is to “turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way.” (S22)

Over and over, people have demonstrated that “Christian Science acts as an alterative.” (S24) Christian Science can be thought of as the knowledge of Truth that counters the lies of mortal sense (or matter.) Since all disease is a lie or an illusion, Truth would naturally correct these lies. Since the light of Christ counters the darkness of fear and false belief, the knowledge of this light naturally destroys the darkness and thus heals the disease. An alterative can be thought of simply as that which has the power to alter (Webster 1828). Truth clearly has the power to alter falsity. Health is true and deformity (of any sort) is not real …. but an illusion. (S19) As Christ, Truth, through Christian Science, reveals the unreality of error of the testimony of matter, healing happens. Nothing is beyond the reach of the outstretched hand of the Lord — demonstrating the infinite power of Spirit to destroy the limited views of matter. (B13) As we cling to the view of Spirit, we see as God sees — a perfect, whole creation.

Section 5: Supposed laws of matter yield to the law of Mind (S25) (See W's PS#1 & #5)

There’s a lot we can learn from how Philip, Andrew, and Jesus approached the problem of needing to feed well over 5,000 people. It struck me that Jesus started out by asking Philip where they could possibly buy enough food to feed the people that had come to listen to Jesus. Jesus knew that wasn’t the answer, but may have wanted to help Philip think things through. Most of us would probably start by looking for an outside solution — what material means can we turn to in order to meet the physical need. Philip seems to immediately throw his hands up in despair. There was no solution in his view.

Now, Andrew acknowledged the supply they had (the five loaves and two fish). To me, that seems like a step in the right direction — acknowledging present good. But, his limited view quickly took over — sure we have this, but what good could that possibly do? Jesus, on the other hand didn’t judge according to the material evidence at all. He recognized that God’s law of supply and demand are always in balance and that we never need to judge according to material evidence. Jesus did use the good that was at hand — perhaps as an expression of gratitude for what God had made evident. And then he fearlessly began distributing that good! Seeing substance as entirely spiritual, he would have left behind all limited sense of finite substance. Seeing good as an idea, he knew the infinite nature of this idea to be boundless. (B15)

We can have that same view — and demonstrate the same unlimited sense of supply because there is an unbreakable “scientific relation of God to man”. (S27) That relationship means that supply always has its source in the universal law of God’s goodness. Supply never comes from matter and it applies to all. Love surely could not know “haves” and “have-nots;” those who are worthy to have their needs met and those who are not. (S27) ALL are blessed — and in ways that meet immediate human needs. Eventually we’ll be fed and clothed entirely spiritually. But, for now, our needs are met in ways that we can understand in the human realm. That’s how Love works! (S28-S29)

Section 6: Looking through the lens of Spirit, reality appears and mater disappears (S32) See W's PS#6)

This last section circles back to the message of the Golden Text — Don’t focus on (or give thought to) what is not. What is not is “false trusts and material evidences.” (S30) We have to lose sight (turn away from) the lies of material testimony, so that “the spiritual facts of being may appear.” (S30) Think about how hard it is to hold two models of something in thought at the same time … maybe imagining everything going wrong in an upcoming event while working hard to plan for everything to go right; or focusing on one negative aspect of a person or thing and letting that hide all of the good that is present.

As we stop focusing on the negative aspects of things all that is left in thought (and thus experience) is the good. That doesn’t mean we ignore that which needs correcting. But, it means replacing the fable of error with the facts of Truth. Jesus said, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This, of course, follows his instruction, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” (B19) Jesus healed by seeing through the lies (myths) of matter to the truth of Spirit. As we follow his example (continue in his word) we, too, will see and know the truth of Spirit and be free of the limitations of matter.

To me, this is the message of the Bible citations. The first tells us, “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. Keep far from a false charge,” (B16, NRSV) Sounds a lot like the ninth commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” In other words, living and acting according to the truth of Spirit, we won’t let ourselves either see or talk about others (or ourselves) as being wicked, sick, egotistical, selfish, or any of the myriad variations that are expressions of mindless, ignorant matter — that which is not.

Proverbs 9: 6 tells us, “Give up your gullible ways, your naive thoughts, for true life. Set your course for understanding.” (B17, Voice) To be gullible is to be “easily persuaded to believe something;” Images of disease, limitation, greed, destruction and evil of all kinds bombard us constantly. But all of these things are distortions of reality. We have the choice of falling for them and getting caught up in the fear or anger associated with them, or we can (and must) lean on our understanding of God’s eternal goodness and the reality of Spirit and shift our view until that view becomes the reality we experience. We must do this one thought at a time — emerging gently, but emerging! (S31)

And then with gentle emerging we will find this to be true: “As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible. When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness. (S32) We can stop looking at what isn’t and see what is!!!


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