A larger view…. Sharing an article from the CS Journal

There just has to be more!

By Mark Swinney from the August 2019 issue of The Christian Science Journal (all rights reserved).


Imagine a windowless, bare room. Every corner and every square inch of the walls and floor are utterly without illumination. And there is a person living in this room—someone who, in fact, has never lived anywhere else.The only exception to the room’s blandness is right in the center, where sits a small table bordered by two chairs. Overlaying the tabletop is a chessboard. On the squares of the board rests a beautiful chess set, nicely bathed in a little pool of light. Those chess pieces and the board are the only things in the light, and the only things the room’s occupant ever looks upon.

Now imagine that, every week or so, another person slips in through a hidden door to sit at the table. Our room’s resident has been playing chess with this other individual since he was quite young. You can imagine, over the years, how important the game of chess has become for our resident! Since it is all he ever sees and knows, the entirety of his world balances on what occurs on that little board. What happens to a knight, a queen, a pawn, undoubtedly means absolutely everything to him.

Suppose one day, between moves, the man’s opponent whispers from across the table, “My friend, I must tell you something. There is much more to existence than this chess game. There is a bright, diverse, huge, intricate world outside of this room.”

“Hmmm … yes, sometimes I’ve had suspicions,” our resident muses, “that there might somehow, someway be more. But when I look around with my own two eyes, it’s obvious that only what is happening on this chessboard has meaning. In no way is there anything more important, more vital and pivotal for us both, than the strategy of what happens on this board of black and white squares.”

Of course, the moment our resident is led out of his gloomy abode into the light of day, everything becomes to him almost magically different and wonderful. And, after only a few hours out exploring the immensity of the world, whatever happened over the years on that chessboard has become less significant in comparison.

Have you ever had little intuitions about how there might be more to existence than simply what you see every day, where you go, what you do? Beyond what just your eyes are showing you, do you suspect that there might be much more?

I’ve often had those feelings and little intuitions. A wider and clearer view of existence includes for me deep and now-tangible spiritual facets of our being.

Somewhat like our chess-game-focused resident hearing the whisper of his friend telling of a bigger, brighter world, we hear the whisper of God, of divine Truth, in our hearts and thoughts, and this has a wonderfully enlightening effect. It introduces us to the real world—the one and only wonderful, infinite world of Spirit, Love, and goodness, of bright spirituality and incredible divine intelligence.

The kingdom of heaven is not something for later. It is here and now.

Sure, like that chess set in the small pool of light, the physical universe certainly may momentarily feel to us like everything and the only thing, making it hard even to fathom something beyond it. Yet, gratefully, there is more—so much more, and it is present! As Jesus put it, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10:7). Jesus’ theology in that statement was a departure then, and is a departure now, from commonplace philosophical and religious views.

The kingdom of heaven is not something for later. Not far in the distance. Here and now, God’s kingdom is knowable, perceivable, provable, livable. Rather than death being the ticket to a world of heavenly bliss, Jesus stated plainly to all of his followers this good news: “Thy kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10)—or, as Mary Baker Eddy spiritually interprets this line: “Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 16). Not “coming.” “Come”! Instead of leaving heaven for mortality—and perpetually living with vulnerabilities and frustrations—we actually now reside spiritually, perfectly, in the infinitude of God, in the infinitude of divine Love.

When you stop to think about it, with God being everywhere, there truly is nowhere else to go. So, thought by thought, step by step, prayer by prayer, healing by healing, we can recognize and prove the limitless, present spiritual nature of real existence. We can see tangible results in our lives as we embrace spiritual facts in consciousness and express them in our prayers and lives. This is the loyal work of the followers of Jesus, the students of the Christ Science he taught.

In our prayers, we always have the opportunity to, with childlike willingness, look up from some entrancing “chess set world” defined only by constricting limits. And soon, to our surprise, we find that we have actually been given so much more—infinitely more, in fact! From the confines and context of simple mortality, words can barely describe it all.

The simple black letters on this page spelling out the word thunderstorm cannot even come near to the smell of rain, beautiful crashes of thunder, and dime-size drops of water splashing down on the dusty earth, any more than the printed words “All is God, and God is Love” can match the absolute immensity and wonder of the infinite Love that is Deity. Yet, through consistent prayer, you actually can discover and tangibly experience the very nature and presence of divine Love.

“This kingdom of God ‘is within you,’—is within reach of man’s consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it,” Science and Health explains (p. 576).

What happens when human consciousness catches Love’s whisper, revealing the spiritual idea, the kingdom of God, as present and intact? Resolution, reformation, transformations of thought, and enduring healing.

What happens when human consciousness catches Love’s whisper?

For instance, when Jesus’ disciples questioned him about a man who had never been able to see, it became clear that those disciples were still perceiving existence only from a limited perspective of material living. From such a narrow-sighted viewpoint, they naturally believed that someone had made a wrong move, a move that caused the man to suffer, leading them to ask, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” But Jesus answered, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:2, 3).

From Jesus’ answer, we can see that he was unimpressed by evidence of material vulnerabilities and limitations. His consciousness was filled with the wonder of the brighter, bigger picture—the enormousness of the present, delightful works of God. Jesus clearly beheld this infinite kingdom of God, and through the spiritual truth, the man was healed and began seeing for the first time. As Mrs. Eddy put it: “The visible universe and material man are the poor counterfeits of the invisible universe and spiritual man. Eternal things (verities) are God’s thoughts as they exist in the spiritual realm of the real” (Science and Health, p. 337).

As a result of thinking through my existence this way, I have found my perspective—my whole outlook on my world—expanding. Yes, right here, in the vast, spiritual realm of the real, there is an infinitude of eternal realities, reflections of God’s beautiful and wonderful thoughts.

It’s so encouraging to know that we can each stand up and walk away from the narrow perspective of a limited material existence and walk into the expansive, beautiful, blessed light of spiritual truth and divine reality.

Heaven Pokes Through Bit by Bit –

The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

This famous express of Christ Jesus has new meaning for me today…. let me share a bit with you, ok?

First, there is the immediacy of this statement.  There is nothing closer than ‘at hand’, right?  One could even go so far as to say, ‘Heaven is handy’… This is now, here, practical truth, this present moment.  Not some far off land over the rainbow.  This is R-E-A-L-I-T-Y.

Second, just look at that word ‘kingdom’.  It’s not used that often, is it?  A kingdom speaks of domain, authority, presence, power, protection, peace. And of course, the leadership of a king.  We are never in this circumstance or condition alone.  We have a king.  How cool is that?  Under such protection, all is well…

Lastly, heaven breaks through our daily experience, here and now.  Just as the man lame for 30 years, from birth, instantaneously finds his feet, or the leper Jesus EMBRACED and transformed finds his health, there are moments we can see where our own perfection shines through, or when the coin appears in the fish’s mouth?  The Bible is filled with the testimony of such moments of heaven.  That’s why I love it so much!

AND, here is the new, fresh Truth…. Heaven ‘pokes’ through our daily life.  AND, keeps building and the moments of pure inspiration, health, goodness get longer…stronger.  That’s how we come to the Kingdom of Heaven, moment by moment…Until, we come to that ‘perfect man’, the man of God’s creating.  And, there we are — “Already raised up in Christ” as it says in Ephesians 2:6.

I was talking with a girlfriend recently about the joys and struggles of family relationships….we all work within the circle of others.  Sometimes it is in relationship with others that we face the greatest difficulties.  It can be the boss, the sister, the kid… but each one (even if WE can’t see it yet) also lives within range of heaven.  We have to drop the labels  the basket of diagnosis, the history of hurt to see transformation.  The best healers to this ALL THE TIME.

In Him we live, move and have our being.

We find as we turn spiritward, that we are really here as witnesses to the good God is unfolding before us, each day – ever new.  So we CAN be surprised by the harmony that breaks in on us, the healing that speedily restores health, the joy that a moment of pure heaven inspires in us.  It can be as simple as the license plate I saw this morning that read: “LK-UPWD”  Look upward!

Heaven is the conscious awareness of the power of Love in our lives, in our world, and in the lives of those around us.  It’s not our power, it’s ours to reflect, shine within, manifest, and pass along…

Here’s a healing experience about relationships from my early career in architecture:  I had a disagreement with a co-worker one time.  She’d been a good friend, a lunch-mate.  Then when she became my direct supervisor on the job I was doing, something shifted.  Egos entered in.  Control issues arose, and we became VERY uncomfortable with each other, both personally and professionally.

As I walked one lunch hour the streets of Detroit, MI to think this through. …to pray about it.  It suddenly occurred to me in a flash, as a visual image —  that of a mask that she was holding up (Certainly I was doing the same thing too).  As soon as I saw that, though, and could visualize it,…that the mask that was hiding her real, genuinely warm friendship from me,…in a moment – whoosh, it dissolved.  In Christian Science we call that mask ‘ mortal mind’.  Paul called it the ‘carnal mind’.  It’s good to have a name for it, nothing more than a hypnotic suggestion that God, Love,  is not in control.

As I returned to my drafting table, and she came over to check my work, it was all ease and friendliness.  I was no longer reacting defensively and she was no longer imposing.  It had healed.  Just LIKE that! Snap. And we went back to our friendship.  Small healing, big principle!

In fact one time working with a group of small kids, I had them draw masks on paper plates held up by popsicle sticks….like the scary mad monster faces.  As we played at being ‘mean’, holding up our masks, we could see the giggles and friendly faces hiding behind them…we could see that if our friend, our siblings, mom or dad were acting angry, or hurt, or sad, or whatever — it was only a mask.  We didn’t have to ‘react’ to the mask.  Their real self, their real godlikeness was perfect and untouched right there all-a-long.  And, we could find them by ‘dropping the mask’.

I hope that you will find yourself watching, WATCHING, for heaven in this present moment. Drop the mask.  Whether it be the belief you are sick, hurt, angry, unemployed, struggling…ask God to help shine over it and light up perfection for you.  It IS right there.

The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.”  Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. (P. 574)

Report the effects of such good to others, be a witness to the world. See Heaven breaking through your day!  THAT is your job today!

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Copyright held by Alexis Wittman