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Wake Up from the Dream to Reality!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, September 21st, 2020

Wake Up from the Dream!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on:


“Reality”
for September 21-27, 2020

By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Bartlett)
craig.ghislincs@icloud.com / (630) 830-8683 / (630) 234-3987 cell/text

Click here to hear Craig read “Wake Up from the Dream!
(his metaphysical application ideas on this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Substance.”) Or paste into your browser https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/audio/play/audio-met-on-reality-by-craig-ghislin-cs-mp3/

Are you a prophet? A spiritual seer? A prophet is someone who sees things most don’t. Through spiritual sense, the prophet pulls back the curtain of the ever-fluctuating dream of material sense, to see the spiritual facts of being that always have been, and always will be.

The apostle John was such a prophet. As a close student of Christ Jesus, he had learned a lot about looking past the material picture. In the Golden Text he envisions a new heaven and a new earth. This vision includes only that which is good, healthy, holy, safe, comforting, pure, joyful, and eternal. Anything dangerous, harmful, evil, sinful, threatening, painful, sorrowful—anything unlike God—has no place in this new heaven and earth.

Every spiritual seeker throughout history, has striven to get a glimpse of this spiritual reality. These spiritual views don’t need to be earth shaking. Even the simplest good thought can give us a glimpse of reality. In the Responsive Reading the psalmist is taking a mental inventory of his nearness to God. The chosen citations serve as an “on ramp,” so to speak, to get us up to speed with the spiritual view.

It reminds me of adjustments made to maneuver a spacecraft into synchronous orbit with a planet. In order to get ourselves into “sync” with God, we review our experience to see what has brought us closer to God, and what hasn’t. The psalmist starts with a blessing of gratitude, and an acknowledgment of God’s omnipotent goodness. He recalls that God’s word is a lamp and light on his path. At CedarS Camps this year we used that analogy quite often. We called it, “the oil lamp approach.”

In accordance with governmental guidelines, the skeleton staff we had on site faced changes each day. We didn’t know how, when, or if we would have campers, nor did we know what the camping might look like. We could see only where we were, and one step beyond. Theologian John Gill (1697-1771) notes that this “oil lamp approach” only works for those whose eyes are open. An oil lamp is of no use to a blind man. Our eyes at camp were definitely open, and while we ended up having our campers online, the staff that was onsite experienced many unexpected spiritual blessings.

The psalmist had been through a host of challenges, and he had full trust that God’s tender mercies would continue seeing him through. He binds himself to the law, and reminds himself that God has always “inclined His ear” to his needs. He has no doubt that he will call on God throughout his life. When compassed by the sorrows of death and the pains of hell, he found only trouble and sorrow. But God delivered him. His final pledge is to consciously walk before God “in the land of the living.”

John Trapp (1601-1669) notes that this walk isn’t an occasional stroll, but a constant closeness with our Maker. He writes, “Hypocrites do not walk with God, but halt with him, they follow him as a dog doth his master, till he comes by a carrion;” This reminds me of a “shiny objects” person—constantly being distracted and drawn away from his purpose. The psalmist is intent on sticking with God throughout all temptations and challenges. He chooses to live in reality.

Section 1: Reality Is Unchangeable

In Ecclesiastes, we find a remarkable statement: “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it…” (B1, Eccl. 3:14, 15). Generally speaking, people define reality as the latest physical evidence collected up to that moment. Hence, human concepts of reality are constantly changing. But true reality is that which never changes. Everything God knows is reality. It needs no corrections, updates, or changes.

It’s safe to say, there are realities of which man is not yet cognizant. The human perception of reality is limited because by definition, finite beings exist in a linear timeline. They think they have a past, are reasonably certain of what appears to be a present, but they don’t have a clue as to what’s coming next. God exists outside of time, in eternity. “That which hath been is now, and that which is to be has already been.” In fact, all reality exists in the eternal now.

In the midst of severe struggles, the psalmist, does his best to maintain a spiritual, prophetic outlook (B2, Ps. 85:11, 12). Knowing that human opinions change, the prophet looks for something permanent—something that he can count on despite what his senses are telling him. The answer always lies in God (B3, Isa. 43:21). From the divine perspective everything is good, safe, and permanent. The prophet foresees that the fullness of God reaches everywhere, leaving no place for evil. As paraphrased by theologian Albert Barnes (1798-1870), “The vast waters of the ocean cover all its depths, find their way into all the caverns, flow into all the recesses on the shore - and thus shall the knowledge of Yahweh spread like deep, flowing waters, until the earth shall be pervaded and covered with it.” Harmony reigns in God’s holy mountain (B4, Isa. 11:9). God’s law is the only law that there is, and God’s law is supreme. The concept of the earth being His footstool indicates that everything is under His feet (B5, Isa. 66:1).

Reminding us of the prophetic nature of John’s vision, our textbook asks us a deep question: “Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?” (S1, 91). Have you ever taken the time to see as a prophet sees—to truly ponder what the kingdom of heaven might be like? It takes spiritual sense. Mary Baker Eddy refers to Life, Truth, and Love as the “realities of divine Science” (S2, 298). Therefore, the only realities are God and His expression, and the only way to comprehend this is through spiritual sense.

This doesn’t mean spiritual truth turns the material picture into something better, but that it actually replaces the material picture with the spiritual reality that is already there (S3, 122). Being a contradiction of reality, the “unspiritual” is never real (S4, 335:27). If we want to see the real, we have to keep focused on what God is doing (S5, 414:26).

Section 2: Take a Firm Stand for Reality

The Scriptures represent the Lord as an impregnable tower—no man can break into it, or take it by force (B6, Prov. 18:10). Only the righteous are permitted to enter. That doesn’t necessarily mean the unrighteous are permanently banned, but that the higher degree of righteous thinking one has, the more he is able to avail himself of that divine protection. If we’re attuned, or in sync, with spiritual reality, we’ll feel and see that God protects us no matter what befalls us. We will neither be overwhelmed nor consumed by the flood or flames (B7, Isa. 43:2, 3). Luke puts it plainly: “Nothing shall by any means hurt you” (B8, Luke 10:19). Do you believe that? The boys in the furnace did (B9, Dan. 3:14-27). Although we can certainly consider this story as an example of God’s protection, I have always thought of it in allegorical terms.

To my sense, the boys represent the individual. Nebuchadnezzar represents the mortal or carnal mind. The golden statue represents material methods and medicine. The instruments playing represent the symptoms or the material picture calling for attention. When the symptoms or material picture demand our attention, mortal mind expects us to bow down to material methods of coping and healing. The threat is: that if we refuse to bow down to material methods, we will be tied up, tossed into the furnace of pain and suffering, and we won’t survive.

Mortal mind taunts: “If God doesn’t save you, what will you do?” The key for the boys is that they’re unfazed by this threat. They reply, “Whether we’re saved or not, we won’t bow down.” This isn’t willful, stubborn, defiance. It’s unwavering expectancy in God’s healing power. It’s accepting the biblical promises.

Notice that the boys aren’t spared being cast into the fire, but they’re not alone. There is another with them. This is the light of the Christ that shines when all other lights go out. This was true for me in many of my hours of need. Among other challenges throughout the years, I have been in extreme physical distress not only from what appeared to be torn muscles, broken bones, and a kidney stone, but one time also from an extreme respiratory illness in which my lung collapsed and I lost forty pounds in one week. Struggling to breathe, hardly able to think—much less pray—I trusted completely in God’s care for me. One night as I was on my knees in the dark reaching out to God, the angel came to me from God, “It’s not what you know, it’s what I know. You live because I am your Life.” That particular healing took several months, but that angel message saw me through. Like the Hebrew boys, I emerged without the smell of fire on me.

Our textbook reminds us that, “The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power” (S6, 131). Mary Baker Eddy confirms that the attitude of the boys nullified the action of the flames (S7, 161). When I was facing that respiratory challenge, the physical picture looked alarming and very real. But I knew that I could only have “the substance of good” (S8, 301). That state of mind nullified the action of the disease. I had no doubt that despite what the senses were saying, I was an idea in Mind—and I could never be apart from God (S9, 91:5).
I truly followed the directions to, “rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good…” I was firm in my understanding, and I had no fear that matter could do anything of its own accord (S10, 393).

I knew with all my heart that there was no other way to heaven than to “have no other consciousness of life, than good, God and His reflection…” (S11, 242). It was tough, but I never gave up—knowing that not only did I uphold the truth, but that Truth upheld me! Was I wrong to take such a strong stand? If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here today to bear witness to the healing power of reality.

Section 3: Wake Up from Fear!

In my healing above, I was never afraid for myself, but in the months prior to my challenge, my young son was struggling with a persistent cough that bothered me a lot. We had prayed for over a year with various practitioners and he wasn’t improving. I wasn’t afraid for myself, but I was afraid for him. In the book of Job, we read, “the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me” (B10, Job 3:25). I remember several times as I prayed for our son that I’d wished I was suffering instead of him. Our son was healed quickly at a point when he seemed to be frail and listless. The practitioner I called opened my eyes to the healing power of gratitude for the tiniest bit of progress. Within a week of our son’s healing, that’s when I was struck down. My fears for him landed me in a worse situation.

Job found himself in a severe situation too. In an attempt to console him, Eliphaz recounts how fear overtook him when in a deep sleep (B11, Job 4:13-15). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible describes this sleep as a trance. John Trapp puts this dark state of thought in more creative language: “… the word properly signifieth branches, or boughs of trees, which are many, thick, intertwined, and crossing one another...” Many people find that challenges seem to loom larger in the night. During the physical challenge I mentioned earlier, there was one time where during the night, I woke up feeling very strange, and I wondered if I might be passing on. I woke my wife, and told her, “Tell me the truth!” She immediately spoke truths to me to help break the mesmerism. In her own words she called me to “Awake…and rise from the dead…” (B12, Eph. 5:14). I knew the Christ wouldn’t fail me, and after a half hour or so, I began to feel myself again. Just like the Hebrew boys in the furnace, Christians are called to place full trust in God despite the darkest threats that face us.

In Science and Health, we’re told that our spiritual healing practice begins with, “Be not afraid” (S12, 410). I can truly say, that as I prayed through my challenge, I worked to overcome fear for my son rather than for myself. I saw it as an attack on Truth itself. I knew that I could wake up from those symptoms just as I could from a dream (S13, 346:19). I also fully understood that the physical troubles I was facing were no more true or real than if I were facing a dream (S14, 250). It was clear that the suffering was not in a body, and for that matter, not even in my thought. It was mortal mind having the dream, not me (S15, 188:15).

Throughout the ordeal, all family members encouraged me to wake up, and not let the body dictate my wellness. They didn’t slow down for me or coddle me. Some people might think their demands on me were extreme, but they were doing what they had to wake me from the nightmare of disability, and I was grateful for that support (S16, 128:22). One day after a couple of months, my daughter entered the front door after school. She tossed her backpack down and announced boldly, “I’m tired of living in a sick house!” I agreed, and responded accordingly.

As I worked and prayed with the practitioner and my family, not only did my fears dissolve, but my character transformed as well. We persisted in our prayer until the illusion of disease and disability was shattered “with the unbroken reality of scientific being” (S17, 494). I, and many others, have proven that the teachings in this section as well as many statements found throughout the textbook have healing power. I’m convinced that as we stick to the truth of being, we will wake up completely, and “the mortal dream will forever cease” (S18, 218).

Section 4: Rest Your Case In Reality!

One thing I didn’t do during my ordeal was to feel sorry for myself. But there were occasions when I was tempted, as many others have been, to feel somewhat forlorn, not sure how long the condition would continue. When we’re in the middle of a challenge our perspective gets skewed, and we cry, “Woe is me…!” (B13, Jer. 10:19). But on the heels of temptation, the angel is at hand—bringing us comfort in our affliction (B14, Isa. 40:1). Jesus masterfully cut through the mesmeric beliefs of distress to bring immediate healing because he never believed what the senses were saying. His perspective was always in complete alignment [or sync] with spiritual reality (B15, Matt. 8:14-15).

Science and Health, our Christian Science textbook, informs us that, while it’s helpful to be calm, and better to be hopeful amid physical challenges, the most effective remedy is to realize that sickness is unreal altogether (S19, 393:32). Mary Baker Eddy explains that if sickness were real, there’s nothing anyone could do to eliminate it. If sickness is an illusion, as Christian Science declares, seeing through the illusion is like wakening from a dream and the illusion disappears (S20, 230). Both the prevention and cure of disease is possible as Truth breaks the dream of the material senses.

To accomplish this awakening, we’re told to “mentally insist that harmony is the fact, and that sickness is a temporal dream” (S21, 412). We tend to think of “insisting” as being very forceful and aggressive. But the literal meaning of the word “insist” is “to take a stand or rest on.” That gives us a whole different picture. Rather than demanding willfully with clenching fists and stomping our feet, we only need to firmly stand by our conclusion as when a lawyer rests his case. That’s having dominion, and trust in your argument. That’s what the boys in the furnace did. They weren’t belligerent about it; they were just steadfast in their position.

To claim, “Woe is me!” is to rest on the wrong side of the question. Yet, that’s what many of us do even though, we’re promised that changing our mental state will change the picture of illness (S22375:7). We also have to be careful not to argue on both sides of the question. Sometimes, we declare the truth for a while, but then go right back to looking at the material evidence. Our textbook, Science and Health, tells us our results are proportional to where our thought rests. Instead of ping-ponging back and forth, we need to fix our gaze on the reality (S23, 261:27). This rule is straightforward, and it heals.

Section 5: Pretense Won’t Cut it.

The concept of unwavering faith continues with the simple phrase “Good and upright is the Lord:” (B16, Ps. 25:8). The psalmist stresses the need for consistency in our adherence to, and practice of God’s laws. James emphasizes the fact that even if one appears to exhibit all the good qualities such as purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, and so on, these could be feigned, and therefore hypocritical. The word “hypocrite” is most often used for those who fail to conform their lives to the moral or religious standards they profess. The original Greek means—a dissembler, or one who feigns. Also, the Bible Lens Research from the Sentinel points out that the Greek also means “a stage player” acting an assumed part. The point being, our aim is to behave genuinely, and sincerely unite with goodness, without duplicity, or dissimulation (B17, James 3:17 & B18, Luke 13:14-17).

The Pharisees weren’t outright pretenders, but Jesus clearly felt they weren’t living what they preached. Perhaps even, they knowingly manipulated the law of God to accommodate their own agenda (B18, Luke 13:14-17). Jesus knew the true meaning of the Sabbath. It was to stop, and set aside earthly pursuits and devote time to delighting in the Lord. Healing certainly is a part of this holy, God-centered activity.

As Jesus fulfilled his mission, it was inevitable that he would have to point out errors too (S24, 30:19). He unflinchingly denounced religious hypocrisy because he was totally secure in his own adherence to spiritual and moral law (S25, 85:26). Some might say Jesus’ bold approach was a key reason the religious authorities turned against him. But if he’d allowed the Pharisees to continue their behavior, he wouldn’t be doing them any favors. Though Jesus faced stern opposition, he remained steadfast, knowing that ultimately, even his corrections would result in blessings.

We can all use some fine-tuning in bringing our actions into line with our theories. The important point here is consistency. We see the need to pray to overcome and be delivered from sickness, but we aren’t so firm when it comes to sin. In fact, we sometimes go to great lengths to justify our sins. But Mary Baker Eddy states point blank, “The pains of sinful sense are less harmful than its pleasures” (S26, 405). God will strip off their disguise one way or another. We’ve seen that suffering seems very real to those in distress, but we’ve affirmed that spiritually speaking, suffering isn’t real. We have to remember that the pleasures of sin aren’t real either. But we must learn that if we indulge in them, they actually do us harm.

Mary Baker Eddy tells us, God will “strip off” evil’s disguise. “The Science of Mind disposes of all evil;” and she states point blank, “Christ came to destroy the belief of sin” (S27, 472). I know we don’t like hearing about sin as much as we like hearing about freedom from sickness. But the fact is neither sickness nor sin is real because the reality is that we are spiritual, and forsaking evil doesn’t deprive us of anything. On the contrary, it assures us of lasting health, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Section 6: You Can’t Have It Both Ways

When Jesus preached the kingdom of heaven, he included the condition of repenting in order to see it (B19, Mark 1:14, 15). As Adam Clarke (17xx-17xx) puts it: “… the kingdom and reign of sin are to be destroyed, and the kingdom of grace and heaven established in their place.” There is no equivocating here—no dissimulation. Like the boys in the furnace, it’s full commitment to the reality and divine authority. The blessings of this approach don’t stop with us. Once we accept it, we’re able to help others as well (B20, Mark 16:17, 18).

To do this, we must change our perspective, “from a material to a spiritual basis” (S28, 322). We must “gain the reality of Life,” prove the “control of Soul over sense,” and “turn our thoughts towards divine Principle” to let go of the dream of material existence (S28, 322). Once again, Mary Baker Eddy says that we can’t be on the fence about what is real (S29, 186:22). We can’t give equal attention to discord, as to harmony. If we believe that pain is as real as the absence of pain, we will be subject to continual fluctuations.

Mary Baker Eddy demonstrated this in her own experience. I’ve heard that the “person who attempted to use the Graham system to cure dyspepsia” (S30, 221:1) was actually herself. She knew first hand that a decision had to be made one way or the other. She had to let go of the belief that food had any power over her in order to realize the ever-presence of health (S31, 222:11-14, 31-2). Whatever challenge you’re facing, you too, can break free from the mesmeric pull of the senses, and choose to fully trust God.

Section 7: You Can See It Too!

In Revelation, John’s spiritual vision enabled him to see the reality of God’s Allness. As we catch that vision of reality, all evil dissolves into nothingness (B21, Rev. 21:3, 4).

John didn’t imagine, or invent his vision. He was consciously seeing the spiritual reality of things. Mary Baker Eddy affirms that it is possible for this vision to come to each one of us too (S32, 573:29). It may not seem like it in the midst of troubles, but I know that I am here today because the healing power of God is true. I know that nothing can ever change my mind about it. If it’s true for one of us, it’s true for all of us. Many of you reading this have felt the power of reality bring healing to you too. And everyone looking for healing can also feel it. So, wake up from the dream, and see that reality here and now.


CLICK LINKS below for more CedarS team APPLICATION IDEAS for this Bible lesson:

  • Ken Cooper’s YouTube offerings shine new light on both “The Three Hebrews” and A Parent's Revelation.”
  • View ONLINE GEMs being sent soon with insights and application ideas from Cobbey Crisler and others that give us glimpses of "a new heaven" Reality and of amazing "new earth" blessings too. (Revelation 21:1, Science & Health 91:1 and 573:29)

CLICK MORE LINKS (below) to CedarS-related
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT on THIS SATURDAY!

1. An upcoming Bible talk on Saturday, September 26, 2020, 9am - 4pm Pacific --“Genesis I: Where it all Began.” (This day long webinar that Madelon Maupin last delivered in a weeklong, deep-dive study at CedarS covers Genesis chapters 1 – 25. This September 26th webinar will prepare listeners for another deep-dive study of Genesis Part 2 at CedarS from October 21-25, 2021. For info on it click on https://www.cedarscamps.org/information/programs/adult-bible-study/

Maddie writes: “Remember that if you cannot attend the live September 26, 2020 event or be with us all of the day, you will have a replay for 30 days following. Also, the replay has a search feature where you can research key ideas you found helpful.

Registration is open now that the sponsoring church has sent out their invitation.

Simply click on this link https://seeker.bibleroads.com/GEN120CC for more information and to reserve your place.

See you in the Scriptures,”
Madelon Maupin
Founder, BibleRoads


2. CedarS weekly Online Hymn Sings: WE'VE EXPANDED OUR ZOOM CAPACITY SO ALL CAN ENJOY AN UPLIFTING, EVERY SUNDAY TRADITION TO START EACH WEEK! (Sorry that last night (9/20) many couldn't initially get in due to an artifical Zoom cut-off.) These global, all-generation gatherings are powerful, 30-minute “Prayer Sings,” since hymns are really healing prayers set to music. We’ve loved singing with friends from all 50 of the United States as well as from 16 more countries! They include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, and Switzerland.

3. Our ongoing Fall “Take CedarS Home” Zoom sessions for grade grouping of campers continue each week till December to prove the healing power of childlike thought receptive to remote prayer. These Zoom session gifts to children and their families could be thought of as prayers to put love into action through practicing CedarS Five Fundamental concepts. [Great fruitage from summer Zoom sessions is available. For FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR TUITION: US and Canada, please apply to The Campership Fund. They have funds available to support up to full tuition, as needed. International applicants, please apply directly to CedarS Camperships. CLICK FOR FULL DETAILS, A VIDEO AND ENROLLMENT OPTIONS


4. A past CedarS camper, Jacob Ellis, and CedarS practitioner John Biggs, CS, wrote two of the articles in a recent issue of TeenConnect! This publication of the Christian Science Publishing Society and JSH-Online tackles the tough issues with articles and testimonies written by and for teens. Please check it out and share it with all you know!


  • Click here to electronically GIVE your tax-deductible support that is especially needed during this reduced income year
  • or MAIL gifts to our camp address: The CedarS Camps Office.
    410 Sovereign Court #8, Ballwin, MO 63011
  • or call CedarS support team at 636-394-6162 (Gay & office team) to share your support
  • CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with a Federal ID # 44-0663883.

With never-changed gratitude and full-strength love to each of you,

Warren, Holly, Gay, Kim, Jennifer, and CedarS Team


APOLOGIES if our team of CEDARS VOLUNTEER EDITORS, CONTRIBUTORS AND TRANSLATORS FOR THIS FREE SERVICE missed any needed edits. Thanks for your forgiveness and your needed, ongoing support!

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