Christian Science is not just another ‘complementary health care practice’.

Many friends ‘pile on’ their regime of health care practices.  Try this, try that…supplements, nutrition, acupressure,  acupuncture, reike.  Thinking that maybe I have something up my sleeve as a Christian Scientist, they want to give it a try at times.  And, THAT’S great.  I understand that step by step we find it.  But I want to explain something, why there is such a turn-around in a new and different direction when you start studying Christian Science.

(One studies Christian Science by reading Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Rev. Mary Baker Eddy which was originally published in 1875 alongside the Bible.)

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It’s hard not to grasp at straws when one is suffering, isn’t it?  But I DO know that having a Christly consciousness will bring relief and healing to any situation.  It’s the same spirit that prayers are offered to those in the hospital, or someone who just crosses your path. It’s really your duty to meet any need with that same Christly consciousness.

While I study, pray, and work, as consistently as I can, to maintain a clear, direct understanding of my own spirituality, it is not always the same when you just ‘dabble’, or pile on.  One foot in this or that school of thought, another in trying Christian Science.  (And, I am someone who is always open to seeing  Christian Science ideas finding their way out into the world, in other denominations and practices.)

I am talking about something more – the nitty gritty of getting in and doing the work.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote that it is the ‘radical reliance on Truth‘ that heals.  What does that mean?  More than just turning from other systems of healing, she is talking about Truth, another synonym for God.  Eddy gave us seven synonyms for God, and I find them helpful when talking with people who are even hesitant to say the word ‘God’ outloud:  Life, Truth, Love, Spirit, Soul, Principle and Mind.  All facets of the same diamond, you might say.

There is such a fundamental difference in Christian Science to other approaches, that it isn’t really fair to mix them.  The medical model relies on your whole fledged buy-in to the materiality approach, even if we are talking nutrition or homeopathy, or energy work.  While seemingly a step away from the medical model, these approaches are still working from a different basis.  One is like applying a patch vs. ‘the whole cloth’ if you know what I mean?  You Christians may get that reference to the whole cloth – like the robe Christ Jesus wore.

Christian Science is based on spiritual-truth-telling, by transformative thought.  Not by studying disease, but by studying health.  And not in a material sense either.  They contradict one another, don’t they?

In fact, they can sometimes seem to work against each other.  And it’s important to understand why –

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Students in a cafe in Boston

Eddy discovered years ago that the ‘atmosphere of thought’ surrounding the patient/client was crucial.  Even medical researchers today study the placebo effect to understand expectations, the power of thought.

Just as Christ Jesus did in healing the young dead girl;  Jairus’ daughter [Mark 5]  He had to ‘put out’ those who were not present to faith, to healing; those who laughed when He said, ‘She but sleepeth”.  He wanted to keep the atmosphere around her pure, and focused.  Focused on healing.  Focused on life, not death.  And suddenly in that healing atmosphere, with Christ Jesus, she was alive, not dead.

There is such a fundamental difference in the frame of thought associated with spiritual healing than with medical, nutritional, oriental, energy models.  They don’t mix.  Not really.

I attended a Christian Science lecture last night in Glen Arbor, MI by Robert Gilbert, CSB [Christian Science Practitioner and Teacher].  He explained in a way I’ve never quite heard it, Eddy’s understanding of matter and thought.  Matter and thought = the same stuff!  Just as ice is a form of water as is steam, matter is thought taking form.  Wow.  That’s pretty clear isn’t it?  (It even has some parallels in the way quantum physics looks at particle and wave.)

And, why is SO important to guard your thoughts!  To keep them pure and centered on good.  “As a man thinketh, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7.  Eddy wrote:  “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 391)

But,what I want you to get, … even more important than what our individual (or collective for that matter) thoughts are, consider God’s thoughts.  Consider how God regards you.  From the beginning we are taught:  ‘Man was made in the image and likeness of God.  Very good.  Perfect. Jeremiah 29:11 says…

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

– King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

God is ever active.  S/He didn’t create the world one day and leave it — No way.  God is active, thinking, loving us all the time; always.  That activity of God is another way to think of the Christ:  The action of God in the world.

That Christ, is what heals.  The Christ is what reveals.   That thinking, that knowing, that activity, that God, that perfection, is the Life of the world.  When we realize, become conscious, of God’s thoughts — they become our own.  Our world experience becomes one of joy, peace and health.  Wholeness.  “…There is no room for imperfection in perfection.” (S&H, page 205).  Like when you turn on the light in a dark room, there is no room for darkness anymore.  There is no room for disease, in the consciousness of God.  So it’s not human thought that heals – it is God thought.

Then you can say with me, ‘God is living me’.

That’s how Christ Jesus could say, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand“.  It really is.  God’s thought is accessible and practical.  And in II Timothy 2: 15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

So “Dig in”….

The First Church of Christ, Scientist Boston, Massachusetts

The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Boston, Massachusetts

 

Copyright held by Alexis Wittman

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Magic? Or, Majesty….

It’s easy to fall into the trap (and it really is a trap) of what I call ‘magical thinking‘.  It’s anytime you think, ‘if I do, say, think, make, follow that__________, then this (fill in the blank)____________ will happen’.

For example, hypothetically, IF I drive a hot new sports car, red maybe?. Then, I will attract my wife to me.  If I loose weight, then everything will be perfect.  If I …. If I, If that…. really, it’s speculation isn’t it?

It can happen if one health area or another…. if I drink wine, then my blood pressure will be lower (if that’s even what they say), if I drink coffee, then I’ll live longer, or if I run everyday, then I will avoid heart disease.  I see that if/then thinking is all over the place.

My current big one has been, ‘If I go to grad school for my master’s in engineering in technology management, then I will find a big paying job to last me the next 15 years…’  It may, or it may not.  Really. Some of the most what we call ‘common thinking’, or rule of thought, is really magical thinking in disguise.  ‘Act your age’, ‘Time will tell’, ‘Knock on wood’.

Such thinking can get really far out and magical, ‘If I wear a certain gemstone, then I’ll take on the qualities of that stone’, or ‘If I buy a lottery ticket every week, then one day I’ll be rich, or ‘If I wear my team’s jersey on game day, then they will win the playoff’,  ‘If I read my horoscope every day, then I will know how to live my day’…  These are all pretty much the same.

If you take a moment to think about it, our day might seem to be ruled by if/then magical thinking.  Discipline yourself to spot it.  You’ll be catching it in your thought all the time…  If I wash my car, then it will rain.  That’s a funny one.  If I eat dark chocolate, I will be happy, then I won’t be depressed.’  Such ideas are magical, and magnetizing.

Some on the spiritual path, practice this thinking — ‘If I outline what I want, specifically and with all the emotion I want to invest in something, live with that idea,  then it will happen.’  If I make a vision board with all my dreams on it, then I will see them come to life in my life.  I admit, I’ve done that too – fantasize and  outline exactly what I wanted to happen in my life.  I am preaching to my choir, believe me.

~  ~  ~

Here’s a question.  Please give it a moment’s thought:  WHAT does that kind of thinking leave out of the picture?…  Really give it a deep moment’s reflection.  I want you to.

Pix by Alexis Wittman

Think on this a minute…

 

 

 

 

 

Who creates?  What governs?  What is cause?

 

 

 

God.

We leave God out of the picture when we are doing magical thinking.  So much so that we are warned directly ‘that such is an abomination unto the Lord’.  It doesn’t get more direct than that.

Whereas, …

“The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, — that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle.

To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is. Spirit, Life, Truth, Love, combine as one, — and are the Scriptural names for God. All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God. These are His attributes, the eternal manifestations of the infinite divine Principle, Love. No wisdom is wise but His wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows. (M.B. Eddy Science and Health, page 275.)

There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit.

The pointing of the needle to the pole symbolizes this all-embracing power or the attraction of God, divine Mind.

The planets have no more power over man than over his Maker, since God governs the universe; but man, reflecting God’s power, has dominion over all the earth and its hosts.”  (Ibid page 102.)

Life and being are of God, (Ibid page 103.)

Like our nation, Christian Science has its Declaration of Independence. God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love.  (Ibid page 106.)

Quoting from Galatians:   “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

That’s the majesty.  So instead of magical thinking today, instead try opening the door to God.  Pray to understand Divine Love better.  Express order and Principle in your day.  Let God unfold your day for you.  Begin as Spirit.  Gently.  Perfectly.

That’s my point.

Unfoldment of God’s plan for each of us, rather than outlining its outcome.  That’s what I was taught in Sunday School.  It’s just now I am really looking at that in my daily life.  Again.

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Each day, a complete idea. Perfect unto itself.

 

Read a bit more, but you don’t have to…

I’ve been enjoying a copy of the Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text, George M. Lamsa’s 1933 translation from the Aramaic language.  Aramaic, the native speech of Christ Jesus and the early disciples, along with Hebrew and Greek, it is still spoken in parts of Syria and scattered communities in the Middle East.

I find the translation has a subtle grace to it.

Opening today to Deuteronomy 8, it felt fresh, like I’d never seen it before….

Basically, it says:

“All the commandments which I command you this day you shall observe to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and posses the land which the Lord swore to your fathers.

And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, and prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would keep the commandments or not.  And he humbled you and suffered you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you to understand that man does not live by bread along; but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord does man live.

Your clothes did not wear out upon you, neither did you feed go bare during these forty years.

You must know in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

Therefore you must keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in his ways and fear [adore, understand] him.

For the Lord your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and mountains.

A land of wheat and barley, and of vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees, and of oil and honey;

A land wherein you shall eat bread without scarcity, you shall not lack anything in it;  a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains you may dig brass.

You shall eat and be full, and then you shall bless the Lord you God for the good land which he has given you…..” (Deuteronomy 8: 1-10)  and so it goes.

Put God in the equation.

“For in Him we live and move and have our being.”  We are like the fish in the ocean, looking for the water.

~ ~ ~

Many, many years ago I had the inspiration that the commandments are more than just a set of working instructions to life…. they are, in fact,  a statement of being.  A statement of spiritual being. A statement of God’s man, or woman or child.  God’s man does not kill, nor steal, nor covet.   I’ll write about that one another time.

Love, and a hug –

Lexis

 

Copyright held by Alexis Wittman