The first page of the Message to the Mother Church in 1901 is a great way to open our day:
It answers why we are here today: “To-day you meet to commemorate in unity the life of our Lord, and to rise higher and still higher in the individual consciousness most essential to your growth and usefulness; to add to your treasures of thought the great realities of being, which constitute mental and physical perfection.”
It answers what brought you here today: “The baptism of the Spirit, and the refreshment and invigoration of the human in communion with the Divine, have brought you hither.”
And characterizes every person who is here today: “... Truth comes from a deep sincerity that must always characterize heroic hearts; it is the better side of man's nature developing itself.” (Message to The Mother Church for 1901, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 1:10, 19)
It’s interesting to know how this address comes together. It is with me all year. Some of it turns into articles and some of it comes from other’s articles. This address also looks back at Primary Class and some of our Association addresses and pulls out ideas that underscore the various topics explored today. Some of you will notice the assignment of reading the Sermon weekly was also the assignment a couple of years ago. Your questions, healings, and insights are woven into it as well. The address this year is a combination of all of that and then written in a sea of ideas and inspiration from listening to God, and being inspired by our Pastor, Mrs Eddy’s writings and Mrs. Eddy's life.
And so dear students, guests, fellow healers, and heroic hearts, let’s dig in!
S L I D E 3 . Paper One THE LIGHT IS ALWAYS ON
I put this paper all together last winter - right before we had the most marvelous display of the aurora borealis. I've included excerpts of a published piece (A startling reminder of our beauty, stillness, and joy Feb 1, 2023 Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective) that starts with a story of these LIGHTS along with some other comments! My first viewing of the aurora borealis was visiting the Northwoods where my dad spent his summers on my grandparents’ ranch at the northern reach of Minnesota. Our family was camping near the ranch that my dad had given years ago to Voyageurs National Park. One quiet night, the sky exploded into swirling colors. Greens swept back and forth amidst pops of oranges, purples, and reds. I didn’t know what to do with this magnificence. I gasped with my eyes now transfixed on the sky and felt the colors go right through me. I ran to hug a tree, to hug my dad, wanting to feel grounded. How could everything be so quiet, so still, with these majestic hues and textures spiraling and shimmering over me like a celestial blanket of joy?
This display of light let me experience a glimpse of wonder, a moment to consider what is infinite, what is pure and omnipresent. And then to be able to experience this gave me a sense of pure awe in knowing that I have a timeless place in this.
Bible pause: from the Living Bible (Psalms 139:1, 5–8 (to :) “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.
“This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.”
AND OUR THEME TODAY: “Divine Science, the Word of God, saith to the darkness upon the face of error, “God is All-in-all,” and the light of ever-present Love illumines the universe. Hence the eternal wonder, — that infinite space is peopled with God's ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 503:12)
God’s love is magnificent and it covers us like a tent. The spark from these statements can awaken thought to hope - to see that infinite God creates infinite ideas, thus generating infinite possibilities, people, ideas, and forms - this is being awake to the eternal wonder! “The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light. In the order of Science, in which the Principle is above what it reflects, all is one grand concord” (Science and Health, p. 240:2–11).
One moment of divine consciousness - that’s what I felt the first time I saw the northern lights. And I found I could find these moments anywhere, anytime. These moments brought me into a new birth, over and over again –a consciousness of deathless life invulnerable to dullness, isolation, apathy, overload, or the sin, disease, and limitation these lead to. Moments of divine consciousness open thought to the ongoing newness and infinite possibilities of good in our lives. Mary Baker Eddy further delves into this new birth.”The new birth is not the work of a moment. It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good; moments of self-abnegation, self-consecration, heaven-born hope, and spiritual love”(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 15:13).
We are all included under the glorious, expansive, and inclusive arc of divine Love. We are already grounded in the kingdom of heaven, already spiritual, whole, brilliant, and peaceful. God has made us so.
The LIGHT and its immortality, eternality, and infinitude A hymn sings out: “... / There Life is light, and wisdom might, / And God is All”(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 160).
Let’s explore the nature of Light as God – eternal, infinite, and immortal INTERACTIVE - what are some synonyms for
Eternal - continual, always
Immortal - essential
Infinite - abundant
How do we access this light and so inherit this eternity? How do we understand our immortality? Experience the infinite? We don’t need more time (more mortal measurements) but simply a clear moment. One moment of divine consciousness - a light of revelation –“One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity” (Science and Health, p. 598:23–24).
This spiritual light - eternal, immortal, and infinite – is always on. We'll be looking at three things and learn how to:
Inherit and access this eternity
Experience the infinite
Understand our immortality
How to inherit and access this eternity (the always of God)
This is similar to the questions posed to Jesus on two separate occasions “How do I inherit eternal life?”
Story one answers the question by acknowledging God’s supremacy and loving God:
FROM LUKE “ And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (your joys and sorrows), and with all thy soul (that’s about the warmest affection) and with all thy strength (that’s about the most vigorous efforts of the will), and with all thy mind (that’s the most profound understanding); and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:25–28).
From the Bible Reference Matthew Henry: Note the emphasis is on the word “DO” here. It is not enough to speak of the things of God and to enquire about them, but we must do it with a suitable concern - and do them as in being ALL IN! All actions, prayers, and affections are done with a pure heart fervently.
Story two answers the question by addressing personal sense and loving others beyond the self:
Also from LUKE: “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” (Luke 18:18–24). A note from the Bible Lens | Luke 18:18 “A certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus responds to the ruler’s question by asking him about his obedience to five of the Commandments—each about relating to other people (see Exodus 20:12–16)..... And while the rich man considers eternal life something to be earned, the Master teaches that it is a gift to those who believe in him (see John 3:16). In short, the first one deals with the spiritual sense of NOW and the second one deals with the personal sense of things. The first deals with loving God and the second with loving your neighbor beyond yourself.
What is the lesson here? What do these two great commandments have to do with inheriting eternity?
We learn that we have the kingdom of heaven within. The light is already on. Eternity is already won. Obeying the commandments of loving God and your neighbor as yourself opens your eyes to see eternity - the kingdom - always at hand continually. It is not a personal achievement but a gift that we accept.
How to experience the infinite (abundance)
These are excerpts from another article, “ At home with infinity” (Sept, 2021 Journal): Christian Science brings out the law behind Christ Jesus’ healing work, a law that reveals God as infinite, limitless—a healing power and presence that overcomes all chaos, doubt, and fear. This law also reveals that we have a direct relation to infinity—to all that God is. In fact, we are God’s image and likeness, so we can expect our inseparable relation to God—our oneness with Love—to be made manifest in endless practical and healing ways. Mary Baker Eddy explains: “Man reflects infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God. God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (Science and Health, p. 258). It can be tempting to believe that good outcomes are impossible or to accept that we could never achieve the good we hope for—but that type of thinking closes the door on the infinite possibilities of Spirit. It is actually dangerous to limit God. After all, what cannot God do? ( See Science and Health 135: 17). Once we rid ourselves of these finite, binding, and blinding beliefs, we open the door to a new adventure of spiritual growth. And when we look to the spiritual, we see that God, Spirit, is omnipotent good and that we reflect this powerful goodness. We can expect to see spiritual good prevail more in our lives as a result. That expectation is giving our consent to God’s infinite, eternal, and immortal goodness now. Christ Jesus shared the immensity of God’s infinite love. His oneness with God is our cue to recognize our oneness with God. His mission was to open our eyes to the fullness, magnitude, and presence of God as infinite Mind, Soul and to proclaim that the kingdom of God (harmonious, abundant, and supreme) is within each of us. He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus understood the ever-availability of God’s eternal and ongoing goodness. Science and Health explains: “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul” (p. 60). ….God is abundant Life, and we reflect that bounty and can expect our lives to be satisfying, full, and generous. “The eternal Truth destroys what mortals seem to have learned from error, and man's real existence as a child of God comes to light” (Science and Health, pp. 288:27–28, 31–1).
To feel at home with infinity is to feel the kingdom of God within and its possibilities, its grounding, and its tender inclusiveness. There’s an increasing confidence that builds from understanding that good is always possible and right at hand. We are all the infinite manifestation of infinite good, forever at one with God’s goodness. We can rest securely and be comforted and satisfied because God is constantly supplying Her children with infinite ideas. As Mrs. Eddy writes: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love!” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 307). Remember we are never stuck, never out of options. God is omnipresent, and because of that we are always at home with God and His infinite blessings. The light is always on.
Understanding our immortality (all that is essential) “Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal man, forever unlimited by the mortal senses. …” (Science and Health, pp. 288:27–28).
I've found nothing dearer to help understand our immortality than to hear the Christmas hymn describing Jesus as “thou gentle beam of living Love.”
The verse reads: “Thou God-idea, Life-encrowned, / The Bethlehem babe— / Beloved, replete (well supplied), by flesh embound— / Was but thy shade! Thou gentle beam of living Love, / And deathless Life! / Truth infinite,—so far above / All mortal strife, Or cruel creed, or earth-born taint: …” (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 23:3–5 (to :).
Immortal means (from our 1828 Webster’s Dictionary): 1. Having no principle of alteration or corruption; exempt from death; having life or being that shall never end; 2. Never ending; everlasting; continual.
So we are immortal, exempt from death, perpetual, having unlimited existence. Mary Baker Eddy makes the profound statement - “there is no death.” The context? “... God is All-in-all. From this it follows that ... all is Life, and there is no death. (Science and Health, p. 331)
And I’ve thought deeply about this statement she published after her dear student Edward Kimball passed. SLIDE 4 . “My beloved Edward A. Kimball, …. is here now as veritably as when he visited me a year ago. If we would awaken to this recognition, we should see him here and realize that he never died; thus demonstrating the fundamental truth of Christian Science” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 297:18–25).
Let’s take each line and underneath each line, a way to consider it:
“If we would awaken to this recognition…”
Be awake to his immortality
“…we should see him here …”
recognize that she is not talking about spiritualism
or bringing back someone from the dead or
from positions outgrown or
a retrograde step
So what is it we are seeing?
To see him as God sees him; prompts us
to see ourselves as God sees us
Seeing each other spiritually, we can never lose each other
To see others as God sees
Wholly whole, intact, spiritual, full of substance, joy,
Their individualized consciousness is the same as ever
“...and realize that he never died…”
To realize that Life is about life
Love doesn’t stop with the last breath
Love liberates and frees
We cannot hold others back from their own spiritual growth by mourning their materiality as our loss
We cannot be denied the intercommunication that continues on between God and man
thus demonstrating the fundamental truth of Christian Science. -
Man ( all of us) is forever one with Life, God.
From “You will always exist” by Deb Hensley (2.3.19 Sentinel): "It’s humbling and astonishing to stop believing in death, even for a few seconds. Imagine doing this definitively, the way Jesus did—seeing your timeless place in the universe of spiritual ideas and endless Life, and beholding this for others as well. And even though we are all working out plenty of things on this human plane of existence, we can feel confident that every action that reflects divine Love—every effort to inspire, heal, and bless—is timeless, ageless, and eternal. Nothing can stop this or take away Life. Nothing can prevent Life. Nothing can contain it. That’s one courage-inducing state of being.
"(Just think if an angel message was to come to you right now, speaking to you as a friend, it) might’ve said something like this: “Honey, you are more than your human life. Everyone is. You are so much more than your happy or unhappy human history. You will always be, so you might as well get going and live the foreverness of good. It will unloose the limits that have bound you and others. It will banish loss and grief. It will energize your everyday activities and bring fresh purpose to your life.” That angel message might have just sung out this verse from a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal:
Trust the Eternal, and repent in meekness Of that heart’s pride which frowns and will not yield, Then to thy child-heart shall come strength in weakness, And thine immortal life shall be revealed. (William P. McKenzie, No. 359)"
Let’s talk about overcoming the fear of death.
What does it mean to never be afraid? (Comments from students)
The Bible addresses fear 100-120 times, depending on the translation. For example:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10.
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Jesus sayings from Luke 12:32).
What does it mean never to die? To “live the foreverness of good?”(Comments from students)
Mrs. Eddy writes, “The relinquishment of all faith in death and also of the fear of its sting would
raise the standard of health and morals far beyond its present elevation
enable us to hold the banner of Christianity aloft with unflinching faith in God, in Life eternal.” (Science and Health, p. 426:23–28)
Be comforted and recognize we are immortal, never dying. Those who have gone on before us continue to be intertwined in our lives. We are all broadening, rising higher and higher from a boundless basis. To never fear and never die is to know there is no darkness, no death — in other words, the light is always on.
The Nature of DIVINE LIGHT
S L I D E 5 . The Bible regularly refers to light-- that continually nurtures, purifies and invigorates, and restores our spiritual sense
This concept of spiritual light plays a large part in the Bible. —beginning at the beginning: "And God saw the light, that it was good" (Gen. 1:4).
In Psalms: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (27:1).
“... but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory” (Isaiah 60:19).
From James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
It continues through the Gospel of John: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (8:12).
Then it goes into First John: " God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1:5).
Light is revelation and progress is demonstration – both are necessary for the other.
Light is the revealing of Truth, resulting in its proof.
Because light is perpetual, progress is perpetual. Light is inevitable, progress is inevitable. Darkness cannot stop light and neither can mortal mind stop progress.
That is why our vision – pure, clear, and focused – can never be stopped by mortal mind's arguments of di-vision.
From “Catching the Light” - by Skip Phinney (Sentinel FEBRUARY 18, 2008)
Light has the capacity to free….from the very tangible sorts of darkness human beings encounter, such as anger, fear, sin, hatred, suspicion and conflict, grief, sickness.
Fear, contagion, disease are “... dark images of mortal thought, which flee before the light of Truth” (Science and Health 418:31 dark).
Not only does Truth enlighten the thought of an individual, but it has a leavening effect in the community and even in the media. We can let the Christ light shine, one spiritual thought at a time; and we can actively expect healing…...and a lifting and shifting of thought toward a more expansive love and a higher , more permanent peace.
We can start anywhere. We can begin to see this right where we are. We can expect this light to grow. Starting from a higher standpoint, one rises spontaneously, even as light emits light without effort; … (Science and Health, p. 262:24–25 (to ;)
THE PHYSICS AND METAPHYSICS OF LIGHT
I’m so very grateful to three profound thinkers of our day and their articles in the Sentinel and Journal. I’ve curated a conversation with them all so you can listen in.
Mark Sappenfield “Children of Light”Feb 2013 Journal
Editor of The Christian Science Monitor
Amy Lang October 2022 Journal “Mary Baker Eddy and science”
PhD , Professor of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, and a recognized and published researcher
“More understanding less matter” by Laurance Doyle July 11, 2005 Sentinel
PhD and astrophysicist
(Everything italicized are my own notes.)
DISCOVERY OF LIGHT
From Mark Sappenfield “Children of Light” Feb 2013 Journal This is the story of light. Albert Einstein was fascinated by light. As a boy, he wondered what the universe would look like if he could saddle a beam of starlight and ride it across the expanse of space. As a man, he was convinced that light marked the limits of physics—moving with a speed that nothing else could surpass. Today, this premise remains foundational to science. Yet, to the scientist who looks at the universe through a spiritual instead of a material lens, light is something even more meaningful. For example, to the inspired author of the first chapter of Genesis in the Bible, light is the universe’s primal spiritual substance—the spontaneous effulgence of radiant being (see Genesis 1:3). And to the disciple John, light points to the glory that forever is God and His Christ (see John 1:1–9). The Nature of DISCOVERY From Amy Lang October 2022 Journal “Mary Baker Eddy and science” In 1962 Thomas Kuhn published his landmark book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, where he coined the now well-known phrase “paradigm shift,” describing a fundamental change in basic assumptions and practices within the development of science. Key discoveries by individuals engaging in extraordinary scientific inquiry are the initiators of almost every scientific revolution. As scientific inquiry progresses, …. a subsequent “battle over its acceptance,” Kuhn writes (p. 84), will occur. Mary Baker Eddy noted this phenomenon of scientific discovery almost a century earlier. She writes: “Agassiz, the celebrated naturalist and author, has wisely said: “Every great scientific truth goes through three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible. Next, they say it has been discovered before. Lastly, they say they have always believed it.” (Science and Health, p. 104:8) AMY - For many years, Mrs. Eddy was engaged in a sincere search for a spiritual source of health, “trying to trace all physical effects,” she said, “to a mental cause” (Retrospection and Introspection,p. 24). This pursuit culminated in…. immediate recovery from the severe injury she had sustained, a recovery she likened to the falling apple Newton witnessed. Her healing was accompanied by a profound breakthrough in understanding how Spirit healed. She later wrote, “That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896,p. 24). Mrs. Eddy writes how that discovery came to her: “The divine hand led me into a new world of light and Life, a fresh universe—old to God, but new to His ‘little one.’ It became evident that the divine Mind alone must answer, and be found as the Life, or Principle, of all being; and that one must acquaint himself with God, if he would be at peace. He must be ours practically, guiding our every thought and action; . . .” (pp. 27–28).
We will talk about this statement later when we discuss the creation story in Genesis.
Mary Baker Eddy’s contribution to humanity’s scientific understanding of reality may seem unacknowledged, but it is real.
AMY - Physics is one of the most, if not the most, primary and all-encompassing of the sciences. It profoundly affects society’s view of the nature of reality and the universe and is fundamental to all scientific development in engineering, industry, and medicine. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, progress within physics began to uncover the uncertainty and emptiness of matter, culminating in 1913 with the Rutherford-Bohr model of the atom. In this model, almost all the mass was now known to be contained in a nucleus that can be compared to the size of a grain of sand in a football field. In a striking coincidence, Eddy’s radical discovery of matter’s essential nature as nothingness (in 1866)—in that it is not the eternal substance of reality—preceded this progress in physics. This suggests that the advent and proof of her ideas were a spiritual leaven impacting this scientific development. One widely voiced implication, after more than a century of research– results that have continued to perplex the physics community– is that the world we perceive is not revealed by material observation, or consciousness, but created by it. Mrs. Eddy writes: “Sometime it will be learned that mortal mind constructs the mortal body with this mind's own mortal materials. ... The material body manifests only what mortal mind believes, whether it be a broken bone, disease, or sin” (Science and Health, p. 402:13–15, 18). Let’s look at the physics and metaphysics of the characteristics and qualities of light SLIDE 6 .
QUALITIES OF LIGHT - Free of matter (From Mark) Light, after all, is essentially the purest form that matter can attain. It is the product of immense pressure deep within stars, which transforms matter into pure energy—into light. For the scientific world, this was a revelation. For the Christian Scientist, it may recall fundamental spiritual truths from the Bible: (1) that light, when spoken of metaphorically as a spiritual idea, is understood as wholly spiritual, as divine energy forever free of matter; and (2) that this spiritual understanding of light points to our true nature as the children of God. That is no matter at all. QUALITIES OF LIGHT - INSTANTAIETY
From Laurance Doyle ( July 11, 2005 Sentinel) There's no quality of finiteness in the infinite Mind. Not one idea of God is finite. The speed of light is known as a universal constant in physics—the fastest speed possible in the universe. Yet, there's another concept of light within Christian metaphysics, of light as instantaneity—as the immediacy and ever-presence and action of Truth. Thus light is the immediate action of the illimitable Spirit. As Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Light is a symbol of Mind, of Life, Truth, and Love, and not a vitalizing property of matter" (Science and Health, p. 510).
Has this leavened and loosened the thought of material physicists?
Physicists today are finding some interesting properties of the light they study, perhaps indicative of such discoveries. For example, at one level, all light particles seem to be in touch with all others; the quantum physics term for this phenomenon is called entanglement. Physicists can set up an experiment to measure this phenomenon, can show that light photons—what seem to be particles of light—in one locale are immediately in touch with all other "entangled" light particles, instantaneously, and the distance can be arbitrarily far away. Essentially, according to the equations, instantaneously means they are really already in touch with one another. ….. If all "entangled" light "knows" that, and fills the universe, then it is possible for all light to be in touch with all other light instantaneously.
Christian Science illustrates this metaphysically in which all is infinite Light and its manifestation. Light is instant. This explains the nature of instantaneous healing and long-distance healing.
QUALITIES OF LIGHT - RISES SPONTANEOUSLY MARK S - In the first chapter of Genesis, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. This light didn’t “slow down” or “congeal into matter.” Similarly, in the first chapter of John’s Gospel, the darkness comprehended not the light; they are described as wholly apart (see John 1:5). …….Eddy writes in Science and Health, “Starting from a higher standpoint, one rises spontaneously, even as light emits light without effort; …” (p. 262). On the first page of this book, she explains how one “rises spontaneously” into light: with unselfed love, with an understanding that all things are possible to God, with self-immolation—in short, with the “splitting apart” (or destruction) of the entire sense of a personal, material self separated from God. Something impossible in Science. QUALITIES OF LIGHT - PROGRESS AMY- The discovery and establishment of Christian Science came at the same time as tremendous advances in technology…... Metaphysically interpreted, these indicate humanity outgrowing the limiting bonds of materiality into a greater freedom of movement and communication. Not only were mortals emerging out of mental darkness into spiritual light, but this progress of thought found symbolic expression in the invention by Thomas Edison in 1879 of the first commercially viable incandescent lightbulb. Around this time Eddy wrote: “This age is reaching out towards the perfect Principle of things; is pushing towards perfection in art, invention, and manufacture. Why, then, should religion be stereotyped, and we not obtain a more perfect and practical Christianity?” (Miscellaneous Writings,p. 232). She clearly recognized that the motivation to excel, coupled with an untiring inquiry, integrity, and intelligence often expressed in the sciences, contributed not only to practical progress but also to the spiritualization of thought. When asked about “the pursuit of modern material inventions” in a 1901 interview with the New York Herald, she said, “They all tend to newer, finer, more etherealized ways of living. They seek the finer essences. They light the way to the Church of Christ” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,p. 345). QUALITIES OF LIGHT - fading darkness MARK - At light speed, time stops; all distances become zero—or infinity, or both. Time and the concepts of “here,” “there,” “now,” and “then” cease to have any meaning. Eddy echoed this idea spiritually: “Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle,—is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal” (Science and Health, p. 306). In the end, what does the “jarring testimony of the material senses” tell us about our true selves? Precisely nothing. The Apostle Paul saw that we are, at this very moment, the “children of light,” and he exhorted us to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). As we do—as we radically claim only our heritage as the perfect emanation of divine light—the encumbering darkness of this world will fade until we see only the radiance of real being. LIGHT ILLUMINES THE UNIVERSE AMY - Humanity is poised for a scientific revolution from belief in matter as substance to a universal acceptance of reality—including man’s true identity—in Spirit. Einstein (who toward the end of his life took some interest in Mary Baker Eddy’s teaching) had hopes of a unified theory for modern physics. But this new, yet old, Science is already here, and it is not just a unification of science, but a unification of science, theology, and medicine into one complete and satisfying scientific and divine explanation. Not only for the nature of reality, but for the complete healing and redemption of humankind. We can think of many great individuals who have contributed to this quest—from Archimedes to Einstein—but to those who practice Christian Science it appears inevitable that history will ultimately recognize and honor the pivotal importance of Mary Baker Eddy’s contribution to humanity’s scientific understanding of reality. The revolution of thought she set in motion with her discovery of Christian Science, initiated and impelled by perfect Mind, has a pure purpose: the revealing of REALITY - the one and only divine Science, for all mankind to understand and practice. This is brought about by unwavering Love, the one perfect Principle, ushering in the inevitable millennium. SUMMARY: The discovery of the metaphysics of light is this:
There is but one primal cause. (Science and Health, p. 207:20–23)
… God is All-in-all — therefore, that in reality there is but one cause and effect. (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 154:30)
Science reveals only one Mind, and this one shining by its own light and governing the universe, including man, in perfect harmony. (Science and Health, pp. 510:28–1)
Ye are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14 and connected to all Light. The light is always on.
++++++++++++ SLIDE 7 . GENESIS, LIGHT and the numerals of infinity Our thesis on this section is: Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough!
The anti-thesis: Human language can repeat only an infinitesimal part of what exists. The absolute ideal, man, is no more seen nor comprehended by mortals, than is his infinite Principle, Love.
The synthesis: Principle and its idea, man, are coexistent and eternal. The numerals of infinity, called seven days, can never be reckoned according to the calendar of time. These days will appear as mortality disappears, and they will reveal eternity, newness of Life, in which all sense of error forever disappears and thought accepts the divine infinite calculus. (Science and Health, p. 520:3) calculus=a system or arrangement of intricate or interrelated parts: (1913) anyprocessofreasoningbytheuseofsymbols;
FROM JSH’s “Newness of Life” by Correll Journal, Jan 1, 1967): “We experience the nature of eternal Life in proportion to our understanding of God. This process is an endless opening up of new ideas, a continual revelation of divine purpose. It involves new frontiers of thought and new adventure into the realm of Spirit. There is no end to creation because God is always expressing Himself as cause and man is always manifesting the new unfoldment of this cause. Mrs. Eddy speaks of the seven days of creation recorded in Genesis not in terms of time but in terms of unfoldment.”
Open your books to follow along, starting on Science and Health p. 502 and the Bible with Genesis 1.
Reading the first four verses (Genesis 1: 1-4) and its explanation in Science and Health p. 502, gave me the first big AHA! The biggest thought shift was in seeing creation as already perfect – not growing from imperfection into perfection but ever unfolding. Words used in this section can throw you off if you read them from a mortal perspective. Phrases like “the highest ideas” “rising in intelligence” and “advancing steps” if understood humanly are understood in a linear context that “ the highest ideas” means that there are lower ideas, “advancing steps” mean that there are lower steps; “rising in intelligence” may indicate that you are rising from unintelligence. But no! Understood from a spiritual basis we see that all these phrases are all-inclusive. We grasp the idea of the continual creation of God. We are dealing with periods of spiritual unfolding, stages of clearer views, and ascending steps of progress. You’ll recognize the theme of Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of man as “braodening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.”
I had fun trying to teach this and visualize this. Take a look here SLIDE 8 .
Infinity Loop Slide
Let’s walk through this. It’s fascinating seeing this through a totally spiritual lens with no darkness at all.
Before the seven days Gen 1: 1-4 There is the “isness” of being Thought moves, illumines God is reflected in 1-Light 2 - reflection There is peopling - The highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God 3 - There is LIGHT being reflected in immortal forms of beauty and goodness God said “let there be light” and there was light. FOREVER. The first three verses explained in Science and Health, contain all of creation showing that there is not an evolving creation growing from matter to Spirit but a spiritual creation ever-unfolding.
OUR THEME: Divine Science, the Word of God, saith to the darkness upon the face of error, “God is All-in-all,” and the light of ever-present Love illumines the universe. Hence the eternal wonder, — that infinite space is peopled with God's ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms. (Science and Health, p. 503:12)
(Note: the formatting of this may be a little hard to read. Suffice it to say that each day includes the verbs and actions relting to that day. Overall, reading the actions of each day, gives you a sense of what it means that creation is ever appearing and gives one the nature of what it means when we say creation "unfolds'.)
1st day Gen 1:5 Preceding the sun; successive appearing; clearer views understanding imparted; firmament established; firmament divides the waters These views are not tainted by darkness or dawn but have an eternal noon
2nd day Gen 1: 8
And it was good Stage of progress; unfolding of thoughts; names and blesses; Ever-appearing; the seed within itself
3rd day Gen 1: 13
And it was good Rising to the light and to a certain sense of eternal life rarefying as it ascends; spiritual ideas apprehended Jesus rose the third day of his ascending thought; letting in the light of spiritual understanding
4th day Gen 1: 19
And it was good Soaring, rising in intelligence; multiplying; changing glow and full effulgence; waters bring forth abundantly Immortal forms appearing as grand and solid ideas; Water as elemental
5th day Gen 1: 23
And it was good Advancing steps leading to spiritual spheres and exalted beings; diversifies, classifies, and individualizes all thoughts; all remain in God; ideas run and disport themselves; climb the heights of holiness; roams free and fearless; Undisturbed Male and female created - reflecting God’s image
God creates all forms of reality; Moral qualities are introduced - free, fearless, undisturbed; Dominion being given to God’s highest ideas - the sons and daughters of God; dominion that equips man to be discerning, connected with all living things, and unselfed love
6th day Gen 1: 31
AND IT WAS VERY GOOD. Reveals infinity; satisfied; Spirit comprehends and expresses all; is finished Nothing is new or novel to Mind; the ideas are complete and forever expressed! What can fathom infinity?
7 th day Gen 2: 2 Rests. Love and man forever one. Unfathomable Mind is expressed
There is an infinite spiritual order that underlies reality - that underlies all spiritual being.
Science’s periods of spiritual unfoldment are revealed in the first chapter of Genesis and run throughout the Scriptures, illustrating "Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God" (See Science and Health, p. 271). “Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source” (Science and Health, p. 507:28–29). Close the infinity model slide
The numerals of infinity present an established pattern for individual progress. You can see this pattern in Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery. You have likely felt this pattern in your own life, as the dawn of new ideas continues to bathe us, renew us, and bring us light! There is no chaos as darkness of any kind is forever obliterated in the ongoing light of God. The divine order - immortal forms - appear and the activity of divine intelligence rises, unfolds, rarefies, soars, diversifies, individualizes, and multiplies all things.
Excerpts from JSH “Progress” by Jenkins ( Sentinel 6..19.45) “Mind decrees, "Let there be light." Then spiritual illumination reveals Mind forever sending forth its ideas.
“In "Miscellaneous Writings," referring to creation, Mrs. Eddy explains (p. 57): "In its genesis, the Science of creation is stated in mathematical order, beginning with the lowest form and ascending the scale of being up to man. But all that really is, always was and forever is; for it existed in and of the Mind that is God, wherein man is foremost."
“God's work is done and the glorious day of beholding is at hand. Creation is complete. Love sees all that it has made, and its creation is perfect, glorious, boundless. It is a blessed privilege to rest in the presence of this great Love, to receive its care and provision as we go forward to prove the truth in human experience.” ================
EXPERIENCING THE LIGHT – The SYNTHESIS Again, “Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. ……in which all sense of error forever disappears and thought accepts the divine infinite calculus” ( Calculus= the relation of all things to another) (Science and Health, p. 520).
Now – Let’s take all this majesty - the infinitude, the eternal, the immortal, and buckle this into our human experience using the above full quote.
SLIDE 9 .
Thesis Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough!
Synthesis Human language can repeat only an infinitesimal part of what exists.
Antithesis The absolute ideal, man, is no more seen nor comprehended by mortals, than is his infinite Principle, Love.
Principle and its idea, man, are coexistent and eternal
The numerals of infinity, called seven days, can never be reckoned according to the calendar of time. These days will appear as mortality disappears,
and they will reveal eternity, newness of Life,
in which all sense of error forever disappears
and thought accepts the divine infinite calculus
Human consciousness dismisses the mortal as it yields to the divine and is transformed by the divine. There is only one Cause - one light! And there is therefore only one man - a compound idea, yes - but one perfect God, one perfect man. ( More on this later.) Yet, how is this light experienced? ( the synthesis) Through discovery. Again, this is about how Mary Baker Eddy experienced discovery:
“The divine hand led me into a new world of light and Life, a fresh universe—old to God, but new to His ‘little one.’ It became evident that the divine Mind alone must answer, and be found as the Life, or Principle, of all being; and that one must acquaint himself with God, if he would be at peace. He must be ours practically, guiding our every thought and action; . . .” (pp. 27–28).
This is how a student of Mrs. Eddy’s experienced her own discovery of Light: (From Christian Healer, Amp. p. 356 recounting the 4th of July, 1897, Pleasant View, Concord, NH; one of her many talks she gave) Backstory: A mother of two young children - one of whom had a large boil on her head- came to hear Mary Baker Eddy speak. “When the speaking was over, Mrs. Eddy sat upon the porch as the people passed through the carriage-way, greeting her as they passed. When my two children, a boy of nine and this little girl of seven, got in front of her, they stopped the whole procession, and stood looking up into her face with a most joyous smile. She looked at them and then looked at me; then she looked back at them again and threw a kiss to each one of them, and somebody told them to pass along. … I wish I could make the world know what I saw when Mrs. Eddy looked at those children. It was a revelation to me. I saw for the first time the real mother Love, and I knew that I did not have it. … As I turned in the procession and walked toward the line of trees in the front of the yard, there was a bird sitting on the limb of a tree, and I saw the same love poured out on that bird that I had seen flow from Mrs. Eddy to my children…. It is difficult for me to put into words what I saw. This Love was everywhere, like the light, but it was divine, not mere human affection. I looked at the people milling around on the lawn, and I saw it poured out on them. I thought of the various discords in this field, and I saw, for the first time, the absolute unreality of everything but this infinite Love. It was not only everywhere present, like the light, but it was an intelligent presence that spoke to me, and I found myself weeping as I walked back and forth under the trees, . . . saying out loud, “Why did I never know you before? Why have I not known you always?” I don’t know how long it was until my boy came to me and said, “Come, Mother, they are going home.” I got into the carriage and drove back to the hotel, but that same conscious intelligence and Love was everywhere. It rested upon everything my thought rested on. When we got back to the hotel, there was no boil on my child’s head. ### This is how an individual struggling with mental health issues describes his experience with divine Light: (from “The seeker of Truth will find it” Korinek, Journal, December, 2018) “One situation that moved me profoundly was when I was introduced to a man who had been eagerly asking to learn more about Christian Science. He was in state custody under serious charges and was full of remorse, distraught, and under a suicide watch. We talked together for a number of years, and as he grew to understand and accept God’s grace and love, he made steady progress his own spiritual journey going from darkness to light! “What started as a flicker of hope had grown to confirm all that he longed for: to be known and loved of God. You could truly say he found truth—that God and man are forever one—and it changed him. He shared this thought: “When you have known only darkness and mental illness, the step to trust God opens up a whole new world.”
BEING AWAKE TO THE LIGHT
I’d like to share this prose-type poem in the works - inspired by Mrs. Eddy’s statement: “There is to-day danger of repeating the offence of the Jews by limiting the Holy One of Israel and asking: “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?” What cannot God do? (Science and Health, p. 135:17)
There is danger in limiting the unlimited, infinite and eternal God, in finding solace in the murmurings of mediocrity and companionship in the agreement that suffering is inevitable and grief continual, and all is overwhelming There is danger in accepting approval to stop trying, striving, saying, in sweetened temptation, it’s okay to let things slide.
It’s like falling asleep in the self-entwined comfort of a darkened room, oblivious to the northern lights dancing above us And in muffled deafness, turning away from the choir of triumphant voices.
How it tries to dull the original, spiritual, primal desire to be alive To find our already-there communion with the beauty and grandeur of illimitable Life, magnificent Love and powerful Truth In the sacred and silent satisfaction of Soul True comfort comes in The assurance of eternal Love Being at home knowing infinite possibilities of goodness are ever at hand
We are never stuck Brilliance is our nature and our normal. We rest in action. We are at home with the all-inclusive Infinite. We are nourished by beauty, intelligence, grandeur, order. We are one with God and with one another.
Love demands expression and Soul is never without Its answer.
We are one with the ever-fresh and strong currents of true spirituality. We move from the core of the divine energies of Spirit - a never-ending fount of pure waters. Let that run through consciousness dislodging the apathetic, the conforming, the bland, wavering, and unforgiving Replacing it with the revealing of enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace. (Science and Health 265)
Let Love ignite that holy curiosity that pushes mortal mind out of its own limitations and pushes toward perfection in art, innovation, invention, manufacture, technology, agriculture and the social fabric of family and community and nations. (See Misc 232)
Let that light shine, shine, shine, in all its brilliance and radiance, “a burning and a shining light!” (Science and Health, p. 566:24 A).
“Let there be light,” is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love, changing chaos into order and discord into the music of the spheres” (Science and Health, p. 255:3–6).
“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (I Thessalonians 5:5, 6).