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See Reality and Eternal Light as the Rock of Truth

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, March 25th, 2019

Behold Reality and Eternal Light as the Rock of Truth
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Reality
March 25–31, 2019

Prepared by: Christie C. Hanzlik, CS Boulder, CO
ccern@mac.com • 720.331.9356
www.christiecs.com


[Warren's note: Click here for special insights from Cobbey Crisler & Ken Cooper this week.]


When the light and understanding of what is real is revealed, we find the joy of Life. Jesus taught us to see and know the light of Love, and his love showed what light does and showed us reality. All darkness disappears when infinite light is seen. We may weep when we are in darkness but will surely shout for joy when we are in light. One is false, a temporary dream, the other is reality! On two occasions, Jesus addressed those grieving with the death of their child with these words “Weep not”, - followed later with “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise” and “Maid, arise.” When we lift our thoughts in to the light, we lose any reason to weep, but rather to rejoice, - we find God and live in His ever-present righteousness.

Please find attached this week's poem, written from the perspective of the widow of Nain, and read by my wife Sue. I have also re-attached "I Give Myself Unto Prayer" - very much about the importance of Light.The


Introduction

One of the easiest ways we can find a theme in the Bible Lessons is to notice recurring words. In this week’s Lesson, we see “light” repeated 21 times, “eternal” 14 times, “truth” 12 times, and “rock” 10 times. We can also find over 44 words with some form of “real.” Really!

These frequently appearing words suggest a theme, and now we can ask, what do “light,” “eternal,” “truth,” and “rock” have to do with “Reality”? Each of us will find our own insights on the connection. But for me, the Bible Lesson committee is showing us how a greater understanding of “light” in its full spiritual importance gives us a “rock,” a foundation, for distinguishing what is true and what is real.

Light is one of my favorite spiritual themes. Light has no beginning—there never was a starting point for light. There never was a moment in which everything was dark, and then...poof!...a light appeared. That never happened. There never has been a moment in which light did not exist. That may sound like a very basic concept, and yet truly understanding the concept of “no beginning” is a foundation, a rock, for understanding eternity, truth and reality. The sentence, “And God said, let there be light and there was light,” (B6) isn’t suggesting a starting point, but rather it is revealing that there never was a moment of light being created. Light already has been and always will be. Try focusing on the idea that light has no beginning for at least a minute straight. Focusing on eternality in this way is a great form of prayer. Pondering the eternality of light is praying because it is aligning our thought with reality and eternal Truth. The idea of no beginning is a foundational rock for our prayer.

True spirituality is founded upon the rock of knowing that there never was a starting point of existence, that light is eternal, good is eternal, and Truth is eternal. Light offers many wonderful metaphors for understanding our eternality and our relationship to God—the source of all light. We can look through the lesson for the various ways in which the ideas of eternal, light, and rock are highlighted (pun intended) to help us have a firmer grasp of “Reality.”

Golden Text & Responsive Reading

The Golden Text offers ways to understand light: “. . . I will look unto the Lord; . . . he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” In other words, it is God (divine Truth) that brings us to the light so that we can see the wonders of reality. It is comforting to know that Truth is bringing us to the light—the understanding of Reality—and we don’t have to search for it frantically. Be calm and know that the Lord will bring the light to you.

Responsive Reading | Psalms 43:3; 71:1 (to :), 3, 16; 18:2, 28, 31, 46, 49

In the Responsive Reading, we see even more themes of light and Truth and rock. Here are seven examples…

• O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me

• In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust:

• thou art my rock and my fortress.

• The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

• For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

• who is a rock save our God?

• The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

Clearly, the RR is telling us that God is the source of our light, will lead us to light, will be our rock, and will light our candle. God is doing all the work here. We are simply asked to trust. What a blessing! As we see these gifts, we can’t help but to be grateful for the light in our lives. The RR concludes with praise and song…”Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.”

Section 1: Foundation

To know what is real or not real, we need to have a foundation, a starting point for what is true. The first section of the lesson gives us this starting point. God, Truth, is the only cause and creator (B1) and all that has ever been has always been. (B2) We can “glory forever” (B5) in this clear sense of eternality: “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: I know that,

Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it.” (B4)

Having the foundation of eternality, we can see that we can distinguish what is real from what is not real by whether or not it is eternal. In fact, we could define reality as that which is eternal. In Science and Health, we find many statements about reality such as “nothing possesses truth nor existence except the divine Mind and His ideas” and “He is all-inclusive, and is reflected by all that is real and eternal and by nothing else.” (S1)

Reality is that which is eternal. These side-by-side sentences clarify the difference between eternal (real) things and temporal (limited/unreal) things:

• “Eternal things (verities) are God's thoughts as they exist in the spiritual realm of the real.”

• “Temporal [not eternal] things are the thoughts of mortals and are the unreal, being the opposite of the real or the spiritual and eternal.” (S3)

In the 4th citation, we read that Mind reflects reality and divinity in individual spiritual man and things. (S4). When I think of “reflection” in relation to Mind, I don’t tend think about a reflection like we see in a mirror. Instead I think of reflection as the mental act of knowing and cherishing an idea. For example, I like to reflect upon the wonderful experiences I’ve had this year. Reflecting means that I hold them in thought and cherish them. We are divine Mind’s reflection—we are the substance of what Mind is reflecting upon. When divine Mind reflects, it is only pure and good. Thinking of reflection in this way helps me to better understand statements like this one, “Mind reflects reality and divinity in individual spiritual man and things.” (S4) The reflection of Mind is reality.

Mind’s active reflecting is not an intellectual endeavor. Instead, ”Spiritual understanding unfolds Mind, — Life, Truth, and Love, — and demonstrates the divine sense, giving the spiritual proof of the universe in Christian Science…This understanding is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought to light. (S5)

Section 2: Distinguishing reality from unreality

Section two explains how to distinguish reality from unreality, using the metaphor of light and dark. Darkness is “the absence of light” which disappears as soon as light comes. (S6) In this sense, darkness has no power, no essence, no force, no life, and no strength. Darkness has no source. It doesn’t come from somewhere. Darkness has no force to attack light. Light always wins.

The section opens, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” (B6) Again, this isn’t about light having a beginning—light has always existed, eternally. Light is and always has been. Light be. Since “God divided the light from the darkness,” we can know that Truth makes it clear to us what is light (real) and what is not light (unreal). There is no in between. There is no hazy spiritualism that blends the real and unreal, or the eternal and the temporal. Nothing can be both limited and unlimited, light and dark, eternal and temporal. There is clear demarcation and no blurry, hazy, confused blending of good and evil, light and dark.

What a great image we get from Psalms, showing that God “covers himself with light as with a garment.” (B7) From this we can reason that anywhere God is—everywhere—there is light. Light is ever present. God is not both light and dark, good and evil. God is only clothed in light, only good: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (B8)

There is never a single instant in which a shadow can touch light. Light—the effect of Truth—instantaneously eliminates shadow. Mary Baker Eddy discovered the Law, “Whatever is governed by God, is never for an instant deprived of the light and might of intelligence and Life." (S6)

While there may seem to be moments in which darkness overshadows our experience, perhaps in the form of discouragement, depression, and suffering, we can see through this limited (darkened) view to catch a full vision of reality. It is as if we are looking through a dark, narrow, and distorted lens. But we can cast this lousy lens away. As we are more and more open to receiving light, we find a clear and unhampered view and darkness loses the “appearance of reality.” At this point, dark struggles “flee as phantoms of error” in the light of truth and love. (B6)

The “great spiritual facts of being”—the truth of our nature—are “like rays of light” that “shine in the darkness, though the darkness, comprehending them not, may deny their reality.” (S8) We don’t have a choice but to shine. (S8) It is what we are—we are the “light of the world,” and our very being, as the reflections of the source of all light, dispels darkness. This is powerful. This means that our very being serves to eliminate shadow. Our purpose is to shine, to illumine, to love.

Section 3: Blessed be my rock

In the third section, we find Jesus’ explanation that we cannot serve two masters, “for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” (B12) When we put this in terms of our word-themes, we can see that we cannot choose both light and dark. They cannot blend and are contradictory. When we understand this, and place our trust in the eternal foundation of light, we are establishing ourselves, our house, “on a rock.” Even when a storm of struggles beats vehemently upon that house, it cannot be shaken. (B13) As the Psalmist writes, “In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; (B14)

Mary Baker Eddy understood the value of building a house upon a rock. The New England coastline sees some fairly rough storms, which must have brought these Bible verses alive for the discoverer of Christian Science. Perhaps this is part of the inspiration for her poem that begins, “O’er waiting harpstrings of the mind...” In that poem, she writes, “Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock upon life’s shore; ‘gainst which the winds and waves can shock, ah nevermore.” (Hymn 253)

When we want to know that we are safe from shocking winds and waves, “We cannot build safely on false foundations.” (S10) Instead, we build upon a rock. In the Glossary of Science and Health, we find this definition: “ROCK. Spiritual foundation; Truth.” (S11) This is where we need to build. Mary Baker Eddy’s describes establishing her thought on the rock of Truth, “The testimony of the material senses is neither absolute nor divine. I therefore plant myself unreservedly on the teachings of Jesus, of his apostles, of the prophets, and on the testimony of the Science of Mind. Other foundations there are none. All other systems — systems based wholly or partly on knowledge gained through the material senses — are reeds shaken by the wind, not houses built on the rock. (S13) There is no halfway position, no blurry spiritualism here.

Section 4: Truth separates the unreal from the real

The fourth section offers another way of seeing how to separate reality from unreality, and thus build upon the rock of Truth. For me, this parable helps me to realize that it is not up to me to sort through each and every thought floating around, but that tuning in to divine Mind, the chaff—the unreal and untrue—will be exposed and can then be burnt away. In other words, it may seem impossible to catch every stray thought trying to bombard thought, but by allowing Truth to reveal error, like the chaff was revealed in Jesus parable, we can then bind the falsities and burn them. (B15) As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Mortal belief (the material sense of life) and immortal Truth (the spiritual sense) are the tares and the wheat, which are not united by progress, but separated.” (S16) But the tares and the wheat, much like light and dark, never “actually mingle” though they might seem to at first. Truth “removes properly” the offensive chaff, by binding and burning it away. “Erroneous belief is destroyed by truth.” As Jesus taught, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” (B17)

Prayer is not a fitful state of self-analysis and struggling with mingled tares and wheat. We don’t have to toil and toil to comb through every bit of information coming at us, almost in a frantic state of self-analysis—this is not the way prayer works. Instead, we can plant ourselves upon the rock, trust in divine Truth to reveal what is real, and know that error must be exposed—just like the tares were exposed! We’re not doing the grunt work; Truth is. Mary Baker Eddy explains how Science (not us) does the work: “Science must go over the whole ground, and dig up every seed of error's sowing. Christian Science removes these beliefs and hypotheses through the higher understanding of God, for Christian Science, resting on divine Principle, not on material personalities, in its revelation of immortality, introduces the harmony of being.” (S19)

Many of us think we can improve ourselves by analyzing the tares and wheat of thought. But instead we can “let Truth uncover error,” just like the tares are uncovered at harvest time. (SH p542).

The last citation of this section has the marginal heading of “self improvement,” and explains this point well, “Erroneous belief is destroyed by truth. Change the evidence, and that disappears which before seemed real to this false belief, and the human consciousness rises higher. Thus the reality of being is attained and man found to be immortal.” (S20). So, again, truth is doing the work. An article that I study often and which covers this idea is, ”’Let Truth uncover error,’” by Paul Stark Seeley. (From the January 22, 1944 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

https://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/1944/1/46-4/let-truth-uncover-error)

Section 5: Seeing the full view of reality is spiritually inevitable

The Bible story in section five is about the blind man who asked Jesus to heal him. Jesus led the man out of town and spit on his eyes and asked if he saw. The man did see, but could only see shapes—he saw men but they looked like walking trees. Then Jesus puts his hands on the man’s eyes again, and the man could see clearly. (B20)

Was it either the spit or touching the man’s eyes that healed him? No.

Jesus knew that “Sight, hearing, all the spiritual senses of man, are eternal. They cannot be lost. Their reality and immortality are in Spirit and understanding, not in matter, — hence their permanence.” True senses see and hear reality. This cannot be taken away. Jesus knew this with such clarity, that it awakened the man from a trust in the “fading forms of matter.” (S22) The spit and the hands weren’t what healed the man. What healed him was the startling of his thought so that mortal thought (the house built upon sand, the chaff) was destroyed, and spiritual thought (the house built upon a rock, the wheat) was seen. This wasn’t a miracle. It was divinely natural. It was necessary and inevitable. The man discovered the divine Law that “Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things.” (S22) The mortal theory of the day, that spit could heal the eyes, was not an effective cure. But awakening to the truth that the senses are eternal healed the man.

Section 6: eternal Truth

The sixth section emphasizes the eternality of Truth. Truth, symbolized by light, has no beginning, as we read earlier in the lesson. This section shows that Truth has no end. In this section we find the account of Jesus raising the widow’s son, who had died. Jesus was so consciously aware of the eternality of life, and the fact that Truth-light has no beginning and no end, that he brought others into conscious awareness of this fact. He saw through the shadow of death that seemed to have fallen onto this boy and his mother and the whole crowd. It didn’t matter how thick and dark that shadow seemed to be. The light of Jesus’ clear thought pierced the gloom, and the natural and normal result was for everyone to witness the boy revive. (B23)

Truth is eternal, and nothing can make this untrue. Truth is a rock that we can stand on. Truth-light had no beginning. And Truth-light will never stop. There will never be a moment in which there is no more light. There is not an end to life any more than there is an end to light.

Jesus applied this understanding of eternality to the mother and her son. And we can do this too. Applying the concept of eternality to our immediate experience, we can see that death is not an end. Death is the lie of life being temporal. Death is the lie that a shadow could somehow creep into light. But life has no beginning. Life has no end. Life is eternal. Life is real.

Section 7: Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good.”

We can be so grateful for every glimpse of eternality we have. And we can strive for longer and longer glimpses until we experience a sustained vision of eternal Truth. Each time we’re able to hold the idea of “no beginning” and “no end” in thought, we can rejoice, for this is prayer of salvation and freedom. “God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good.” (B25)

This lesson has used the ideas of light, eternal, truth, and rock to reveal more and more about reality and how to apply these concepts to heal. The real is eternal. The unreal is temporal. When we ask, what is reality? We find Mary Baker Eddy’s pithy reply, “Reality is spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, divine, eternal.” (S32)


[Reminder: Click here for special Cobbey Crisler and Ken Cooper insights this week.]


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