Why do you think this picture was chosen for this post?
God is all. There is no room for anything else but God. God is Love. There is no room for anything else but Love. This may seem counter-intuitive when looking at mankind today. We see conflict on the global and personal scale. So how does submitting to and yielding to an all-powerful God help us to heal disease and conflict and to feel satisfaction and peace?
Funny you should ask.
I'm reading a book a friend recommended. The book had clearly defined dominant and submissive characters in it which made for intriguing developments, conflict, and reasons to feel empathy. My emotions were being tugged in all directions. It made me ask about the pull of dominion and submission. What is it about that that seems so compelling?
Submission to God who is all, yields gentleness, strength, confidence. It yields to a release of human will and increased satisfaction in doing God's will. But when dealing with a material basis, dominion and submission are limited, harmful and empty. I needed to see how this type of thinking can be uplifted to a point of healing.
On a material basis, dominion becomes dominating and can only be successful when another is depleted. Submission becomes the ultimate in apathy and results in a loss of individuality. Matter can only offer limitation and fear as a belief in separation or lack. So-called power is limited and manipulated by a belief in many minds scrambling to take whatever limited good is available. After an appetite has been sated at this level, it only leaves with a deeper hunger.
Taking this higher to a humanitarian basis, dominion has a stage where honesty, goodness, compassion and affection come into play. Submission is a kind of humility and receptivity to good. Our better selves have expression in our choices to do good, to be honest, to be kind. Issues of personal control soften with loving hearts willing to share and to be receptive to new higher ideas.
But the ultimate understanding of dominion and submission from a spiritual standpoint is what brings healing to all conflict and discord. It is that spiritual basis where dominion and submission become one. Because God is All, there can be no other consciousness than Love.
When we yield to or submit to God as Love, we reflect Love thus, we reflect God's dominion. "Joy and dominion; Love reflecting Love" sings out a favorite hymn. Here are some familiar sayings of Jesus and others from the Bible that help illustrate this point:
"I can of mine own self do nothing." (John 5: 30)
"...the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (John 14: 10)
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (John 5: 19)
"...wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2: 49)
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt 5: 5)
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (Gen 1: 26)
Mary Baker Eddy's writings help to define dominion and submission and to articulate its highest impact:
When yielding to God, we are not giving up our individuality. "Man is not absorbed in Deity, and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance." (Science and Health p. 258)
When we submit ourselves to God, good, we are not losing out on anything good, but gaining a mastery over sin, disease and even death. "This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged
individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace." (Science and Health, p. 265)
But when thought is fixated on the material, it becomes an unsustainable repetitive hunger, whose mesmeric pull is broken by the attraction of pure, enduring Love (God). "Absorbed in material selfhood we discern and reflect but faintly the substance of Life or Mind. The denial of material selfhood aids the discernment of man's spiritual and eternal individuality, and destroys the erroneous knowledge gained from matter or through what are termed the material senses." (Science and Health p. 91)
God is Love, and there is no other power. Yielding to this Truth, we lean on it. We see ourselves as God sees us and the material pull has no power. "Matter disappears under the microscope of Spirit. Sin is unsustained by Truth, and sickness and death were overcome by Jesus, who proved them to be forms of
error." (Science and Health p. 264)
Submitting to God, we come home to a place that is familiar. We are satisfied. Our identity is clearer. Our purpose is revealed and sealed by God. Health is a natural consequence of this understanding. Wholeness replaces dependence, and our relationships, careers, homes adjust and align with God's law of harmony. "Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love." (Science and Health p. 264)
I remember two instances in which I experienced this unspeakable peace. One, while dancing in a performance when all elements of the dance came together and it seemed effortless. Another, while skiing on powder in the mountains, I felt at peace, and at one - with God and Her majesty. I knew that I was an irreplaceable part of God's creation. Submission to good and dominion became one and I understood better what it means to be at one with God.
Submission and dominion on a material level never satisfies. On a humanitarian level, we submit our thoughts to a higher basis, which transitions us to the understanding of Love. We can freely submit ourselves to God. We then reflect God's dominion over all things.
(For more study on this topic, look at the impact of dominion and submission in the context of the SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF MORTAL MIND on p. 115 of Science and Health)
Some of you may be familiar with the story of virtuoso Joshua Bell who played his Stradivarius violin incognito in a Washington subway. Few stopped to listen, with the notable exception being children who pulled at their parent's hands to stay and listen, but were pulled back and rushed off. Two days earlier, Joshua Bell played to a sold out audience who paid an average of $100 a seat in a theatre in Boston. (For full story, click here.)
It made me think of the every day beauty and genius we may pass by every day. The difference between the audience who paid $100 and the subway commuters makes all the difference, in life as in prayer. In short, the audience was prepared to receive the blessing, and the rushed commuters were not. And we can learn something from this about our approach to prayer, and learn what makes prayer the enriching experience it can be.
The audience who paid $100 gave value and expected value. They already knew somewhat of the virtuoso they had paid to see. They took the time. They made sure they were not distracted. They realized the value of immersing themselves in an experience that took them to a higher place.
A friend once gave me her ticket to hear the Minnesota Orchestra. "This is my favorite place to pray," she said. In an atmosphere of expectation of genius and free of distractions, my friend found the perfect environment for her prayer.
It made me ask, how can I prepare myself for prayer? In light of this lesson of the virtuoso going incognito, I see how I can come to prayer:
I greatly value this time by expecting to get startling new insight into God's operations.
I take time - put aside all else for this time of communion.
I allow myself the opportunity to feel saturated with Truth, overwhelmed by Love, and washed with the harmony and purity of Soul.
I expect to be taken to a higher place. I expect that I will see more genius in my every day experience.
Like a child, I will tap into that spiritual sense that recognizes what is brilliant in the every day, where others may just walk by.
Nothing is perfunctory. Each note of my prayer is original, live and relevant to each breath of my life.
Inspiration is the norm and miracles are divinely natural.
My prayer may be an affirmation of God's Love, a celebration of God's creation, an acknowledgement of the omnipotence of peace, a petition to know God better, or an agreement with the powerlessness of evil and the primal element of untarnished good. I am open to go where my prayer leads me.
And with this, I am ready to pray.
Here is a prayer for today:
Testimonies of healing are everywhere! And they are central to Christian Science. They are in The Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Herald magazines, at testimony meetings, in Sunday School lessons, in the last chapter of Science and Health, and online. The power of the testimony lies in the fact that Christian Scientists can prove what they’ve learned by healing. And no one can take away or discredit what we have proved for ourselves.
My family was introduced to Christian Science when my grandfather was healed of severe head injuries. His testimony and other healings my family had were the springboard for me to practice Christian Science. Although I broke away from it for about a year at one point, wanting to discover Truth for and by myself, I ultimately came back because I found Christian Science so compelling. I was seeing that the ideas of Christian Science, the law of Love, were everywhere.
To read the rest, go to http://bit.ly/ITJgiT.
A prayer stop on one of my favorite hiking trails.
The Northwoods is a spiritually rich area. The beauty of the natural surroundings may be what inspires so many people to visit and then make their homes up here. Nature and prayer go together like a hand in glove. So it is not surprising to know that there is an ongoing discussion about spirituality, prayer and healing up here in the Northwoods, and which has been explored, discussed and quietly practiced with healing results for years.
As a Christian Science practitioner (a person who regularly practices healing through prayer), I have met other healers in the area. This not only includes meeting dozens of people actively involved in their churches' healing ministries and professionals dedicated to healing, but also includes meeting a native American healer, a Reiki healer, a woman from Russia who is a healer, and others (religious and secular) who are interested in the topic. We have two vibrant Christian bookstores in the area: the Cornerstone Christian Bookstore which is managed by its well-read and inspiring owners, and the Christian Science Reading Room which is full of thousands of accounts of those who have been healed
Many years ago, Sister Marla Lang of the Marywood Spirituality Center was involved with a community of sisters in a prayer and health study being handled by a health care research firm in a large city. It was a study with over 100 multiple sclerosis patients in which some had a sister assigned to them for
daily prayer 15 minutes or more per day and some did not. (The patients did not know if someone was designated to pray for them or not.) It was a one year commitment. After a year, it was found that there was a significant statistical difference between those who had a prayer partner and those who did not. Those who had a prayer partner fared much better.
Hundreds of such studies have been conducted over the years. And it is true. According to the University of Minnesota's Spirituality and Healing Center “ The body of research on health and health outcomes related to religion and spirituality is growing in volume and in rigor.” And why? Researchers have
documented “... that the vast majority of cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies found better health outcomes over time for those who have a religious or spiritual practice. The clinical trials using spiritual interventions demonstrated superior health outcomes compared with controls.” (See http://www.csh.umn.edu/for more details.) The discussion on healing and prayer has grown nation-wide.
But, in this area I am most familiar with the local Christian Science church in Woodruff, tucked under the pines, and sharing the corner of two medical health care institutions: Marshfield Clinic and Howard Young Health Center. Every week the church hosts public Wednesday evening Testimony Meetings, where individuals share their inspiration and healings that have come about from their
practice and study of Christian Science.
Last year they hosted a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, Brian Talcott, of Berkeley, California, who came to Steven's Point to give a presentation about prayer and healing in Christian Science, exclusively to to the director and representatives of the hospital and home care/hospice ethics
committees of the 15 hospitals run by Ministry Health Care. An inspiring and thoughtful question and answer period followed that explained how spirituality and prayer can be practiced responsibly and effectively and with respect to all those who are involved in healing practices.
This May, Brian is coming back to give two lectures explaining how healing prayer works, as it is practiced in Christian Science. And this time it is open to the public. As a Biblical scholar, a former Protestant Chaplain in the Air Force, and one who has thirty years experience in healing domestic
issues of abuse, alcoholism, and other sicknesses and diseases, Brian's experience covers a lot of ground.
Christian Science has been my family's main health care for generations. The prayerful affirmation of God's goodness and of our inseparability to God has regularly helped us overcome a number of health problems and also financial and relationship problems. In one case, our young son was healed through prayer of an ear infection within hours. In another case, my husband was healed through
prayer within a few days of a debilitating back problem. Years ago, my husband and I overcame some financial difficulties when starting up two businesses, all through the power of prayer which helped us to see creative and sustainable solutions.
The more I learn, the more I meet others who are seeing practical results from healing prayer. Many already know what more and more health care studies are finding, that prayer can be a very present help and can be a reliable source for healing.
(This article will be running in our local paper to announce our upcoming lecture given by Brian Talcott, CSB, on May 8th at the Minocqua Public Library - 6:30pm and on May 10th at Merrill's AmericInn - 7pm.)
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016