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Put on the lens of Christian Science to See Reality!

David Price, CS, Denver CO
Posted Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Put on the lens of Christian Science to See Reality!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Reality”
for September 23, 2019

by David L. Price, CS, Denver, Colorado
dlawrenceprice@gmail.com • 720-308-9500

Introduction

Have you ever started the lesson by reading the subject and before reading the lesson ask yourself: What do I know to be true about this subject? What answers am I looking for with this in mind? How is this topic helping me to feel closer to God? This week’s lesson on Reality is ripe for that. It’s really easy to say “yeah, everything is made by Spirit, and we are each God’s spiritual children, and that’s the Reality of things.” But, do we put on the lens of Christian Science to see the Reality in things? What if we have to move away from what’s comfortable? What if the water in our well is poisoned? What if someone you know is suffering or sick? What if you’re robbed and left for dead? Does the CS lens actually heal?

Also, as you go through the lesson you might consider thinking about how each section relates to the qualities of a harmonious and spiritual sense of your own citizenship in the city in God’s Kingdom, a common theme throughout.

And remember spiritual sense shows us God’s presence, power and love. Mary Baker Eddy writes “Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God.”(SH 209:31–32)

Golden Text - The angel thought that came to me when I read this passage from Psalms was - “we are all citizens together in God’s glorious spiritual kingdom.”

Responsive Reading -

Mary Baker Eddy writes of John the Revelator that he “...was on our plane of existence, while yet beholding what the eye cannot see, — that which is invisible to the uninspired thought.” (SH 573:3–5) He was able to see and witness what was and is spiritually true about man and the universe. The Revelator wasn’t seeing another Jerusalem beautiful, but with problems, for God didn’t and doesn’t create anything less than good.

Mary Baker Eddy defines it this way: “New Jerusalem. Divine Science; the spiritual facts and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony.” (S25, 592:18) Often Mary Baker Eddy presents her “Glossary” definitions both in a material way as well as a spiritual. Here there is only one view, the spiritual. This is what the Revelator caught a glimpse of. And his view gives us hope that we can hone our skills, put on the lens of Christian Science, and see things spiritually or in a Godlike way. In this way we catch our own glimpses of New Jerusalem.

One way to begin practicing this is by putting on our own spiritual reality goggles. Spiritual reality goggles you ask? Well, these aren’t real goggles, but it is a willingness to view the spiritual qualities that make up something. Here’s an example. We have a breakfast room chair, we call the boobytrap chair, because it collapses when someone sits in it. In reality, until this chair is fixed it is not really a chair. A chair is really an expression of a place to rest, stable, comfortable, providing ease, and respite. Does my family’s view of that wooden thing in the corner change the real facts about chair? Of course not. Those facts are fixed and true, and you can use those facts to determine whether anything that looks like a chair really is a chair.

The same thing goes for the spiritual view of man and the universe. Each of us has the opportunity, to go forward and to put on this spiritual view of things. For more on spiritual reality goggles [from a past CedarS counselor], here’s a link to a video from The Mother Church (TMC) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09IRV4ZBHr0.

Section 1 - Trust God so much that you would be willing to even leave the material comfort of home and move.

It is heartening to remember God is talking with you right now, leading you with purpose and in righteousness to a spiritual view of creation including home. Are you listening to that leading and following? Are you willing to humbly ask God, “What’s next?” even when everything appears to be peaceful and comfortable. That can be a little daunting.

You can imagine what Abram must have been thinking when God said to him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from the kindred, and from thy father’s house”. [B3, Gen. 12:1] In essence God was requiring him to leave everything peaceful and comfortable behind, cutting the threefold ties of land, people and home.

But that’s exactly what he did. Why? Well, he felt God’s presence, protection, guidance and care so closely that he couldn’t help but follow God. He knew that this move was not to put him out in the cold, homeless and without protection, but to put him in a better place to grow in his faith and understanding of God. (Remember God renamed him Abraham “a father of many nations” something he couldn’t have become if he hadn’t been ready to follow God. (B3)

Well, this is true for you as well. And although most of us won’t be renamed “a father of nations” you have a God given good and holy purpose. And as you see God’s love for you clearly you can feel bold in following. You won’t lose anything real and permanent, and it will have the effect of “enlarging your borders”. (S4, 430:6) “Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its base by resting upon Spirit instead of matter.”

Section 2 – Turning to Spirit will “un-defile” our “waters”, thoughts, bodies… for there is only one cause and one effect – God, omnipotent and omnipresent.

I love Mary Baker Eddy’s test of prayer where she writes, “The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer?” (SH 9:5–11) The request to simply to heal poisoned water in the story from II Kings has the hint of a request meant only for a few, maybe a little selfish. But Elisha shows the power and magnitude of this healing, which ends up blessing the city and the surrounding areas as well. “I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.” (B8)

But, the healing doesn’t stop there, the waters are healed “unto this day”, a lasting healing benefiting all future generations. This is a good reminder in our healing practice to see and demand a last effect from the healing, and to see how healing work brings blessings not just to you, but also to the world around you. This blessing has effects that you might not even have expected, including God’s forgiveness. “Behold, God is my salvation; Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” (B9, Isaiah 12:2, 3)

As I was praying about the recent devastation caused by the Hurricane Dorian with Section 2 of the lesson in mind, I put on my spiritual reality goggles in order to view things in a clearer, more spiritual way. I found this citation to be particularly powerful “Truth cannot be contaminated by error.” (S8, 287:32)

Section 3 – Let us take up the Christly work and deal with those that scorn and doubt God’s healing care by “put(ting) them all out”. [Click for Cobbey’s CAP#4a & Ken’s #4b INSIGHTS.]

The healing presence of Christ, Truth is effective and is present here and now. It’s good to remember, parents, that our children deserve special attention in our prayerful healing work, especially in light of non-Christian Science thought that doubts the effectiveness of healing as well as our ability through God to keep our children safe.

Adults you are children too, God’s children, and so are worthy of God’s present healing care as well as protection.

The story of the healing Jairus’ daughter always moves me, especially the certainty found in Christ Jesus healing approach. It’s great instruction in how Jesus, faced with a scorning crowd disbelieving healing was possible, he “put them all out.” Once the room was quiet he took the child by the hand and healed her. We too should be aware of the doubting voices of world belief during our own prayerful work, and put those voices out clearly and forcefully so we can commune with God in the quietude of spiritual harmony.

The citations from Science and Health are a “Greatest Hits” album on the topic of your own healing work:

  • How do you approach healing? (S13)
  • Awaken yourself and your patient from the dream of life in matter in order to see spiritual reality. (S14)
  • Rely on Truth to do this work. Argue for the reality of health not sickness. (S15)
  • Finally, citation S17 goes straight to the quality of thought each practitioner should bring to his case.

For citation S16, I want to pause here for a moment and point out this passage: “If the case is that of a young child or an infant, it needs to be met mainly through the parent’s thought, silently or audibly on the aforesaid basis of Christian Science.” Too many times I have heard this passage misinterpreted to mean that the parent is at fault for the sickness of their child, which they are not! My humble interpretation is that practitioners should spend time with the thought of the parents, who are deeply connected to their youngest children. Just like if you go into childcare and just pick-up a baby you are more apt to startle it and cause crying than anything else. Let the parents usher your prayerful thought to their child, to avoid startling them or causing fear.

Here’s a recent healing of a cold as well as contagion and my approach to prayer as a parent.

I had the joy of taking my two young children to Michigan for a week-long family vacation, while my wife traveled for work. We had to wake up early to catch our flight and as I picked up my youngest, she felt hot. The minor dripping nose from the night before seemed to have transformed into something more serious. I decided I would pray with her specifically, not just in my own thought, partly so she could see and witness that something was being done, and partly so she could feel her part in the prayerful work. I sat her down on the couch with me on the floor, and we talked about God for a brief moment. Then, we both closed our eyes and prayed together, to pour in “Truth through flood tides of Love.”

Under normal circumstances I would have put the brakes on our vacation plans, but we were locked in. So, I put my prayerful mental garment on, with a box of Kleenex, and we set out for our trip. While the travel with the kids went as smoothly as traveling with a three and four-year old can go, there were a lot of opportunities to continue to pray throughout the day. And, while my daughter complained very little, except when I wasn’t holding her, she still had some physical symptoms that needed to be addressed.

Once we arrived, I stuck closely with what was clearly true about her spiritual nature as God’s child, and I continued to feel God’s abiding presence, pouring it into her thought.

Overnight I came to her aid during a few whimpers, and handled them with a treatment, and was quickly back in bed. Both times she prayed along with me, eyes closed tightly and hands clasped like in Sunday School during the Lord’s Prayer. The next morning, she was up and running, both the fever and runny nose were gone.

But as I got up I felt that all too familiar knot in my throat—what mortal history might say was the result of contagion. So, with my children downstairs at breakfast with their grandparents I sat down for a prayerful treatment. I was close to finishing the chapter on “Christian Science Practice” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and I had just come to the court case. In fact, over the last few days I had actually been debating whether or not to skip it, it hasn’t always been my favorite read. But at that moment I was compelled to continue. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “I here present to my readers an allegory illustrative of the law of divine Mind and of the supposed laws of matter and hygiene, an allegory in which the plea of Christian Science heals the sick.” Page 430

Well, I was ready myself to make that plea. Side note — as a lawyer in a past career I drafted many a pleading for civil lawsuits, and to put it in simple terms, a plea or pleading sets forth the story including the relevant evidence for each side of the case: the prosecuting attorney sets forth her evidence and the defense attorney sets forth his. So, in terms of a plea it’s not just a call for mercy, it’s actually the arguing of the case. In this allegory if you remember, a patient feels ill, ruminates, and the trial commences. The prosecuting and defense attorneys take up their sides of the story.

If you remember also, the “patient” in this case needed a defense, because he had fallen ill after sitting by the bedside of someone sick. So, as I took up the reading of this case, in a sense I put myself in the position both of the patient and the practitioner (defense counsel). I read each of the witness accounts as an opportunity to prayerfully address world belief regarding contagion.

Mary Baker Eddy writes at the end of this allegory where the prisoner is released, “Mortal man, no longer sick and in prison, walked forth, his feet ‘beautiful upon the mountains,’ as of one ‘that bringeth good tidings.’” She then writes speaking for mankind, “When Christ changes a belief of sickness, and sin, disease, and death disappear.”

At some point during those twelve pages, I felt any belief was destroyed that mortal experience had a separate power that I was subject to and would make me sick. But my work was not done. I wanted to make sure that this healing, this feeling of God’s harmony, all-power and present care, could be felt and demonstrated for everyone at this family gathering. So, as I prayed, the last line of this chapter came clearly, “Christian Scientists, be a law unto yourselves that mental malpractice cannot harm you either when asleep or when awake.”

Holding to the law of Spirit, unchangeable and complete, I prayed until I didn’t need to pray any longer and I walked downstairs to join everyone for breakfast.

During that week, not one of the 22 people in attendance complained of or showed signs of any ailment.

Section 4 – Violence, evil, crime and hate are not part of this righteous city. What’s your responsibility in order to find rest in this peaceful habitation?

Often one can look at this “Good Samaritan” parable through the eyes of the man who has been robbed, and see the kindness of the Samaritan. But what about looking through the eyes of the Samaritan. He made the decision to help someone who more than likely viewed him as an enemy. Yet he bound the man’s wounds and paid an innkeeper, and probably without getting anything in return. From an outside view, we see kindness and generosity. But do we also see the bravery and sacrifice necessary in tending to this man robbed and beaten?

In Luke 10:37, which was not in this week’s lesson, Jesus tells the lawyer who asked about who a neighbor was – to “go and do likewise.” Isn’t it funny whether we are at school or work or church we come across people that end up rubbing us the wrong way? Are we searching to “do likewise”? Because if one is not making the effort in small circumstances it may be harder to handle the circumstances that are more difficult. Putting on a fearless willingness to be a neighbor like the Samaritan, that’s a good start.

Here are some trivia facts:

1. The question “who is my neighbor?” was generally answered at the time as anyone residing in Israel, including foreigners, as long as they were Jews.

2. The trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was about 17 miles, and the road beginning at Jerusalem was 2,500 feet above sea level, and dropped 1,700 feet in elevation where Jericho was only 800 feet above sea level. This road provided lots of opportunity for thieves to lay in wait, and so the road was known to have robbers preying upon unprotected travelers.

3. The role of the Levite was to assist in the service of the tabernacle and later the temple. Touching a dead body would have caused a Levite to become unclean and thereby unable to fulfill his duties in the tabernacle.

4. Priests might have used the same excuse, but possibly a Jewish audience member listening to the conversation would not be so understanding of Jewish priests.

5. Jesus’ audience may have expected a Pharisee to be the one that ultimately helped, so the introduction of a Samaritan as the neighbor would have come as a big surprise.

Finally, as I was praying about how to approach what Mary Baker Eddy described as “This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces.” (S19) I was reminded of a short article Mary Baker Eddy wrote. Here’s some of the backstory. In the year 1910 Mary Baker Eddy’s house might have been described in terms of great upheaval, with infighting and jealousy commonly seen between household workers. I found it instructive how she chose to write about it in her Christian Science Journal found below, the second sentence of the definition of Jerusalem is a good way to describe her approach – “Home, heaven.” (S18)

“A Pæan of Praise”

“Behind a frowning providence He hides a shining face. The Christian Scientists at Mrs. Eddy's home are the happiest group on earth. Their faces shine with the reflection of light and love; their footsteps are not weary; their thoughts are upward; their way is onward, and their light shines. The world is better for this happy group of Christian Scientists; Mrs. Eddy is happier because of them; God is glorified in His reflection of peace, love, joy.

When will mankind awake to know their present ownership of all good, and praise and love the spot where God dwells most conspicuously in His reflection of love and leadership? When will the world waken to the privilege of knowing God, the liberty and glory of His presence, — where ‘He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm’.” Mary Baker Eddy Chestnut Hill, Mass., April 20, 1910 (My. 355)

It’s easy to think Mrs. Eddy was just taking an idealized view of things, but wasn’t she really prayerfully treating the dear workers in her home?

“We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives.” (S22) This citation is a great reminder of what Mary Baker Eddy was looking for. Her article above shows that she didn’t just talk a good game; she practiced what she preached.

Finally, a little off topic, I have often used the following qualities as a checklist for the start of my own day. “Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love – the kingdom of heaven – reign within us, and sin, disease and death will diminish until they finally disappear.” (S22, 428:26)

Section 5 – The Kingdom of God is within, our spiritual dwelling [and a collective demonstration of the reign of harmony and church. Click for Cobbey’s CAP#5 & #6.]

After reading the first four sections of the lesson, reading the account of John the Revelator again in this section, was more meaningful. Partly because the exercise of seeing not the outward and broken view of things presented by the five physical senses, but to view things more Godlike opens up new and better vistas in one’s experience. And partly because this is the real and natural state of viewing the world.

Working with the lesson, putting on the lens of Christian Science we see:

  1. That it’s not the broken chair that’s the reality, but the idea of chair, which remains true.
  2. It’s not the loss of home, but a truth that you can’t be without home.
  3. A broken or tainted well is by a correct view bringing lasting blessing for everyone.
  4. Sickness is healed through Christ, especially when we put the doubting voices out of our consciousness.
  5. Violence is healed by putting aside differences and fearlessly loving, the Samaritan way.

The definition of New Jerusalem (as discussed in (RR) is a statement of the Reality of all things. This New Jerusalem view of the world, our spiritual reality goggles, well this is the thought we bring to our families, our church, our communities and the world.

As you go forward, remember this, God has already provided you with the ability to understand and see things spiritually, to discern and understand the Reality of all things (SH28).


Watch for Warren's CAPs—Citation Application Possibilities):
Six Application ideas from Cobbey Crisler and others on select citations are
available online now and will be emailed SOON.


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