Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Is Mind the producer, or is it produced?

Friday, June 19th, 2015

This week’s Bible lesson addresses this very question.
Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?

Researchers are learning more and more about the brain everyday; but they still admit to knowing very little about Mind.   Listen to this interesting TED talk where Donald Hoffman a Cognitive scientist presents his research  on this subject.

Do we see reality as it is?

Hoffman, in his presentation debunks our current theories about consciousness stating that “we are wrong and misinterpreting our perceptions” and that there is a different source than the brain for consciousness.  Yet he still is reluctant to draw a correlation to a deific source.

In Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy, author of  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, established early on that Mind is a synonym for God. She writes in the glossary of the Science and Health on page 591

Mind. The only I, or Us; the only Spirit, Soul, divine
Principle, substance, Life, Truth, Love; the one God;
not that which is in man, but the divine Principle, or God,
of whom man is the full and perfect expression; Deity,
which outlines but is not outlined.

You are welcome to come to our service at 4:00 this Sunday,  June 21, and join us to hear this lesson sermon on Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?

Or you can listen to it here online.

 

See what Love has prepared

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

So I’m driving my old 1968 VW camper bus with my friend Scot up to visit his grandpa on his homestead along the Wind River in Wyoming. My VW has a habit of occasionally eating its fan belt, so I always carry a couple spares. I am between jobs so I figured it’s cheaper replacing the fan belts than repairing the problem.

Scot and I’ve been driving non-stop for hours now across the vast lonely open spaces of eastern Oregon when suddenly the VW’s warning lights come on. It ate a fan belt. We pull over, open the engine hatch, I pop on another, and we’re on our way.

A half hour later the warning lights come on again! What?! Another fan belt’s gone. I know I have one more, so I fix it. But now I’m nervous. We haven’t passed a town or a gas station for a long time and the idea of being stuck without help and maybe missing out on visiting Grandpa is disconcerting to say the least.

I start thinking, “Well, if it’s right to see Grandpa, it’ll work out.” It’s Wednesday night and Scot suggests that we have our own little testimony meeting (as is common in Christian Science churches) and so we do. I’m reluctant at first, but Scot starts off and soon we’re sharing things we’re grateful to God for and my anxiety lessens dramatically.

Until the dashboard lights up again.

We’ve burned through 3 fan belts in the space of 60 miles. Plus now there are mysterious metal shavings coming off the engine pulley. Ugh. I rummage around anxiously and – find one last spare fan belt. It feels like a minor miracle.

We put it on, get back in the VW, and this time, both of us start to pray.

Praying trusts our deepest desires to God. It turns us away from the fatalistic resignation of “if it’s right, it’ll work out” kind of thinking. Knowing that God is Love and that Love is power helps us let go of fear, let’s us become still, lets us see the solution – the salvation – Divine Love has always already prepared for us.

And that’s exactly what happens to Scot and me.

Praying lets me glimpse that if God really is Love, and if God really is power, and if God is really actively present in our lives, then I can be a witness to that. I cling to this idea. You could say I “stand still” with it, because it is a solid Biblical truth. Not an “if it’s right it’ll work out” kind of thing. No. Solid. It helps me actively look and see what Love has prepared for us, right here and right now.

That’s all I need to do: just see what Divine Love has prepared for us.

What a wonderful feeling that is, to know that my job right now is just to be a witness of what Love has already prepared for us. It’s actually fun to think about – because you know it has to be good. Mrs. Eddy – whose life was full of such witnessing, wrote: “Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.” (Science and Health p. 66:14)

And that is about to be proven.

So we drive on. And on. And in the growing twilight we see some buildings up ahead. We’re on the outskirts of Boise already! And there, just off the road is… a VW dealership!

It’s almost 9pm now and we figure we can just pull in there, sleep in our bus for the night, and wait until morning to get help. But then we notice that the back door of the building is open. But instead of being happy, I start to worry “what if no one’s there” or “what if someone is there, but they don’t want to help us.”

Then I remember, no! Let’s just see what Love has prepared for us.

So we park and walk through the open door. There are five mechanics busily putting things away and cleaning up and obviously getting ready to leave. I start to worry again about burdening them with our problems but then remember again “just to see what Love has prepared” and I hear myself asking “Can you help us?”

One of the mechanics comes over, wiping his hands off on a red shop rag, he asks us what’s the problem.

We tell him the story, how we’re on our way to visit Scot’s grandpa, how the VW ate three fan belts and now there are these metal shavings and we weren’t sure why.

He comes out to our VW bus and looks at the engine. Then quietly goes back inside and starts looking through a junk box. My mind is filling again with “what if he can’t find what we need” and then immediately I go back to that solid thought of just trusting that God is present, blessing all of us, that we actually can see what Love has prepared.

He pulls out a pulley wheel and rummages around some more and – in the midst of this big box of all kinds of junk – finds a tiny shim, the missing little piece of metal that wedges the pulley wheel correctly in place. Then he looks around under a shop bench, finds a box of fan belts and pulls out one that had come off an old Chevy. “This’ll fit” he says, then goes back out to our VW and installs everything, sliding in the missing shim, adjusting the torque on the pulley bolt correctly, and putting on the belt just right.

Then the worrying thoughts start to come back again: We hardly have any money. How much is this going to cost? How am I going to pay for this?

But I stop. And then I sincerely go back in my heart, remembering to just stop being afraid and see what Love has prepared. He looks up at us and says “That oughta do it” and I ask him how much we owe him, and he says “Nothing. Just go have a good visit with your grandpa.”

Maybe all of twenty minutes have passed and, after shaking his hand and thanking him profusely, we are back on the road to Wyoming – rejoicing to be witnesses to the wonderful kindness that Love had prepared for us.

I’ve leaned on this lesson many times since that trip. And it has made me realize how important it is not to resign my thinking to fatalism, to the “if it’s right, it’ll work out” kind of wishful thinking that has nothing to do with the way Jesus taught us to pray and rely on God. Jesus taught us to silence that kind of wishywashy fearful approach. He taught us instead actively pray, to be expectant that God’s goodness for us is present, right where we are, to leave fear behind, to stand still with Love, and then go to that place inside where we can see the salvation of the Lord – where we can feel ourselves being an active witness to what Love – not fear, or fate, or history, or circumstances – has prepared for us.

Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Immortal Mind is God, immortal good; in whom the Scripture saith ‘we live, and move, and have our being.’ This Mind, then, is not subject to growth, change, or diminution, but is the divine intelligence, or Principle, of all real being; holding man forever in the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss, as a living witness to and perpetual idea of inexhaustible good.” Misc. 82:28

So why give in to thinking “If it’s right it’ll work out” when God is already holding you in His arms? When you are already His “living witness to… inexhaustible good”?

Divine Love has great things in store for you. Don’t be afraid. Listen to the intuition that guides you to trust in God and His goodness. Silence the fear and still your thoughts, and stand focused on witnessing God, divine Love, in action.

This is seeing the salvation of the Lord. This is receiving your daily bread – your daily experience of the grace of God. This makes your life a great adventure of giving as well as receiving Love’s blessings.

Oh, and by the way, Scot and I had a great time at Grandpa’s ranch, a safe drive home, and my VW bus never ate a fan belt again.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Give us grace for today; feed the famished affections.

Finding Truth

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

By Stephanie Wright and Summer Wright

Many thousands of authenticated healings are hidden away in the special calm of a Christian Science Reading Room. This precious place is open for all to find how they can be healed, well supplied, and securely loved. This is a place for seekers to find answers. People who have visited the Reading Room have been healed of age-related problems. We have seen people healed of urinary tract issues, incontinence, and problems with the sciatica nerve. One person had his well-aged parent completely healed, while another found much needed employment–and the list goes on. Since the late 1800s, our periodicals, The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, and The Christian Science Journal, a monthly publication, have documented thousands of healings through understanding God. Articles on every kind of healing imaginable are categorized through titles, authors, and subjects available on computer programs. These articles show how to understand and accept the ideas that actually heal people. You may wonder, “How can healing happen without material methods?”

Many people love God but don’t understand God. Perhaps they love and read the Bible, attend inspiring church services, yet they still feel separate from God and often really do not understand what God is seeing and doing. We are all ignorant of God to some degree. Mary Baker Eddy had read the Bible since she was a child and knew it well, but still suffered from many ailments. She sought healing through almost every means available but never found permanent relief. At the age of 45, she had a serious fall on ice and the doctor attending her told her family that he did not expect her to live until morning. She asked for her Bible, read one of Jesus’ healings, gained new insight into how healing took place, and found that she was suddenly well. For the next three years, she searched the Bible and was awakened to the higher meaning of its message. She soon became able to heal as Jesus did. She realized how Jesus understood God’s creation. Through this study she began to write down her inspiration and teach others. These writings were the beginning of her main work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It in no way replaces the Bible; it simply brings out the spiritual importance of its teachings. What Mrs. Eddy discovered and proved is that God is present everywhere–yes right where you are–and that God is perfect goodness. She saw that God has made us spiritual and perfect, and that this understanding heals. She discovered far more than a theory–she discovered Truth.

Now you may be thinking, “How can this be? How do we attain this unity with perfection?” Through finding and understanding the real nature of God, we begin to understand perfection in this imperfect world. This is the ultimate practice. It’s complete in every way. Accepting what God is usually requires a leap of faith, but our steps are upheld by the arms of our Maker who loves us. It is very sweet indeed. Once a student makes this shift in thinking and sees the favorable results, the light dawns in consciousness and Truth is received and accepted. It can be experienced again and again. This takes place right in our own thinking, our consciousness. All healing is pretty simple; it’s accepting that it sometimes takes effort. This is the purpose of the support systems offered in the Reading Room.

Because this knowledge is totally exemplified by Jesus Christ, Mrs. Eddy named her discovery Christian. Because the Mind of Christ is consistently effective when correctly understood, she also named it Science (a systemized body of knowledge).

Along with Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Christian Science textbook, the Reading Room and Bookstore contains many resources to help us learn this Science. There are audio talks, lectures, pod casts for your computer – iPhones and mp3 players. We have music and healing articles on CD. We also have biographies of Mary Baker Eddy by Christian Scientists and non-Christian scientists alike. We welcome you and will do all we can to speed you on your way to permanent health and happiness.

For more information, testimonials and short videos, visit www.christianscience.com. The Encinitas Reading Room is located at 514 Second Street in San Diego’s North County. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Every Tues at 11 a.m. is a worldwide chat from www.spirituality.com, hosted by a Christian Science Healer and/or Teacher. Group meetings are at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. “God is Love” Sunday school is held at 10 a.m. on Sunday as well. Please visit us or contact 760.753.4545 or cssencinitas.ca@gmail.com to learn more. Stephanie Wright and Summer Wright are members of the Christian Science Society of Encinitas, CA.

http://www.visionmagazine.com/archives/0909/Regional.html

What is Unity?

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I am constantly learning in Science that unity is actually the collaboration of the ideas of God, which all being is truly in and of Him, divine Mind, seeing and expressing Itself.

Every Sunday, and hopefully every day, we pray in the Lord’s Prayer “Our Father which art in heaven”…. OUR Father… In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy gives us the spiritual meaning of this passage in the words “Our Father-Mother God – all harmonious”. The divine parent of everybody. Could it be that the idea presented in this phrase is the key to staying constantly connected with God and with each other throughout life?

As we love each other more, expressing the qualities that make up our true being, we see our oneness with God come to the surface and have a demonstrable effect in our lives. But we can’t stop there. If we are to do good simply to have it in return then it will be said of us that indeed we loved little. Christ Jesus said that we must love the way that he loved and gave this as the “new commandment”.

Before he gave us this commandment a lawyer asked him, “Master, what can I do to inherit eternal life?” He answered the man by going over the commandments of Moses. The man said that he had done this and still felt he lacked something. So, again he petitions Jesus, “these I have done,” he says, “what lack I yet?” Jesus, always letting the Mind of Christ work in him, says to the man, “Sell all you have and follow me.” Now, selling all of his possessions may have been a step in the right direction but it seems to me that true humility comes through selfless love, not selling material possessions. Even though this would be a great sacrafice, it doesn’t bring us to the point of loving spiritually.

In the light of Christian Science we can look beyond the mortal sense of things and see that, though he may have been asked to give up much materially, Jesus was really asking him to follow him in thought and in deed, telling him to learn to love the way he did. Loving without thought of his possessions, his family, his beliefs, and his life. Paul speaks of this love in his letter to the Corinthians when he says that if he has the faith to move mountains, if he sells all he has and gives it to the poor, or if he understands all the mysteries of God, or even is burned at the stake, and has no love, he is nothing. To me, this love he is talking about is a loving the way that God loves.

There are many words used for this kind of Christian love, my favorite one is grace. Grace is defined by some as divine influence in the heart, reflected in the life, or letting God work through us, through our hearts and minds for the benefit of others.

Our Master loved selflessly, without thought of what he would get in return. He showed the world the true meaning of divinity embracing humanity, that spiritual link that connects all of us to each other, and shows us our unity with God, with good, constantly, infinitely, and eternally.

I see this as a crucial point in His ministry. Such sayings as “I and my Father are one”, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”, and in praying to the Father about his followers said “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:21

This shows us that as we see our oneness with God, we will also see it with each other. Can you imagine a world where people measure the good in their lives, their treasure, by how they treat other people, by how they love? Can you see the peace that the grace of God brings? I hope so, cause it is here, right now. Close your eyes for a moment and try to see this truth right here, right now… hope you got a better view.

Another thing Jesus said was “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” AT HAND! Here! NOW!! With us! To prove through right thinking, acting, and living. As we each get our personnal sense of self out of the way and let divine Mind shine through, we shall see that we are not all trying to make our individual mind’s think like God’s Mind, or to get different minds to think like us, or to have others convert to something that they are not, or even to change ourselves into something we are not, but what we will see, through Mind, is that we are all expressing the thinking of the one Mind. Divine Mind. The Mind of Christ. It is here, now. It is not far off or waiting to reveal itself. All that needs to be done is for us to accept it, and live it.

There is a quote in the “We new Mary Baker Eddy” series by Sue Harper Mims that speaks to me of the way to live in this Mind. This student speaks of a time, while in class instruction, that Mrs. Eddy asks the students just what is the best way to do instantaneous healing? Some answer, “Realize the ever-presence of good”, others say, “Deny the claims of evil”, and so on. After they quite down she answers them with the statement, which, to me, brings out the essential unity of God and man…. She says to love. She says, “I will tell you how to do it. It is to love! Just live love – be it – love, love, love. Do not know anything but Love. Be all love. There is nothing else. That will do the work. It will heal everything, it will raise the dead. BE nothing but love.”

This speaks to me of the unity that Jesus referred to when he said, “I give you a new commandment; Love each other the way that I have loved you.”

This command of our Lord brings to light the only way that we can truly follow him. Are we willing to love in this way? Are we willing to forsake all that we know for a higher understanding of the Christ and Christian Science? Are we willing to be comforted? Individually? Globally? Universally?” I know I am. I hope you are too. Science demands on us nothing that we cannot do. I see it as more of a question of will we do.

Are we really ready to “sell of we have and follow Him, in our thinking, in our talking, in our acting? At home, at work, at school, and at church? Are we willing to humble ourselves so much that it really is God speaking, acting, and working through us. Or are we to caught up in the fact that we need to do the work ourselves?

It is a constant battle for me to see through divine revelation to what is really going on in my experience, but when I do, it enables me to love the way our Master and Leader clearly point out. And it heals… “The way is strait and narrow and there are few that go in thereat.” Lets be those few. Lets live that love, here, now, together. This will unite our church, it will unite our community, it will unite our country, and it will unite our world. And I think that is a great start!

The Economics of Love

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

It was a hot May afternoon and I was sitting in my last class of my senior year at UC Davis. Our professor had walked us through all the permutations of urban economics. I’d finished the examinations, written my last blue book, and was, like my fellow students, expecting a fairly low-key final lecture. And indeed it started off that way.

Then our professor surprised us.

He said, “I’ve talked with you all quarter about the impact of economics on people, about how it can form and move them, about how Adam Smith’s concept of the “invisible hand” of self-interest can work. But now, in this last lecture, I want to talk with you about something more radical. It isn’t the economics of self-interest. It is the economics of love.”

And he then proceeded to unveil a vision of an economy based on selfless interest, based on giving and sharing, based on mutual love and concern for one’s fellow beings. This was not your typical textbook lecture. It also was not the “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” Marxism. It was something different. Something spiritually centered. Something based on the Golden Rule.

Some students snickered. Many of us squirmed a little in our seats. But he persisted. And he made us think about economics in completely a new way. For me, it was the best lecture of the year. And I don’t know if that professor ever realized how much I’ve pondered what he said that hot afternoon, now so long ago.

For me now, it brings to mind two different Bible stories that I think illustrate the point he was making.

First is the story from 1st Chronicles that tells how all the people gave joyfully and willingly to fund the building of the first Temple in Jerusalem. King David then said, “…who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” (1 Chron 29: 14)

This is a fundamental recognition that all the good we have has its source in God. When we give of that goodness, we are really sharing what God has given us. And He gives us of His goodness without measure. As Psalm 23 says, “my cup runneth over.” All the good we ever see, experience, or embody is His to begin with. He gives it to us, expresses it through us, so that we, as His children, can share it with each other.

This is basic to understanding the economics of Love. And it is illustrated beautifully in the next story.

A religious expert approached Jesus, and quizzed him on what it meant to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) So Jesus told him a story about a traveler who falls victim to violence. Jesus tells of two “righteous” people who could have helped, but instead chose not to. Then, a Samaritan – someone considered an outcast, “unrighteous,” at the time – comes along. And he actually “got his hands dirty,” and went down to where the traveler was, patched him up and helped him to a safe place where he paid for the traveler’s care. The Samaritan helped him well beyond just what was necessary. You could say he went the extra mile.

Jesus then asked the legal expert which of the passersby seemed to him to be the true neighbor to the traveler. “The man who gave him practical sympathy,’ he replied. ‘Then you go and give the same,’ returned Jesus.” (JB Phillips, Luke 10)

Jesus was making a vital point about the economics of Love: God gives us all the love we have ever known, felt, or expressed. Just as King David acknowledged all the rich goodness he and his people were happily giving belonged to God, we can rejoice that when we give love by sharing it with others, we are reflecting the Love that is God. It’s not personally ours.

As the Bible says, “We love God because He first loved us.” And as Jesus said: “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27) These are the two greatest commandments and they encompass everything we say or do.

Mrs. Eddy follows up on this thought by saying this “Giving doesn’t impoverish us in the service of our maker neither does withholding enrich us.” Science and Health pg. 31

I knew this all was true theoretically, but, as it so often is, I had to learn the reality of it hard way.

I had spent 3 years living and working in a care facility for the developmentally disabled. While it was rewarding in lots of ways, it was also both physically and psychologically very demanding. So much so that I finally had had enough and I resigned.

This effectively left me both jobless and homeless.

Fortunately a friend let me share his place while I got sorted out. And as a construction foreman, he also helped me get odd jobs here and there. That was a real gift.

And so while I did the odd construction clean-up job, I also applied for job after job and sent out my resume everywhere I could find something even remotely relevant in the want ads. I didn’t get one single response. Not one. It wasn’t all that long before I burned through my hard-won savings.

I actually got to the point where I was living off the vegetables in the garden I’d planted (thankfully!).

But it just kept getting worse. I still had a roof over my head thanks to my friend, but I could tell I was wearing out my welcome there – especially since he was shortly to get married. I’d have to go somewhere else. But where?

One particular day I was really feeling desperate. The construction work had fallen off so I didn’t have any quick prospects of generating income. So there I was, a college-educated guy, sitting there at the kitchen table with a 3rd notice to pay my phone bill, my rent was due, and all I had was $6. A five and 4 quarters.

I felt like such a loser.

In tears, I reached out to God. I really reached out. I didn’t know what else to do. I just prayed: Father please show me, please please just show me what to do.

And then the oddest thought came to me:

  • Give gratitude.

Huh?

But yes, no matter what else was going on, I could always give God gratitude. I was always free to be grateful. I could always count my blessings, count the way God loves me, and give God gratitude for all that I already did have.

And so right there at that kitchen table, I started by giving gratitude for the phone company. What a blessing their service is! How much I appreciate the service they provide and how wonderful it is to be able to call anyone anywhere in the world because of all the hard work all the phone company people do to make it happen. How easy they make it to just dial a phone and I can call next door or across the country or even to other countries! And all because of their silent unseen hard work that’s blessing me and everyone else who has a phone!

And then it flashed on me that their bill was not something evil or harsh – it was a symbol of all that care and hard work and, yes, even love that they poured into their jobs every day. In fact, their “bill” was actually an opportunity for me to thank them! And to thank them in a very tangible way – by sending them their well-earned payment.

  • I was bound and determined right then and there to pay them. Monetarily as well as with heart-felt gratitude!

In fact I realized I could be grateful for every single bill that ever showed up because those bills would give me a chance to be grateful and express that gratitude tangibly by paying them for all that they do! It’s an opportunity to share love tangibly for all those services I was enjoying. It’s an opportunity to participate in the economy of Love.

And then there was a knock at the door.

It was our landlord.

And he wondered if he could hire me to paint his house.

Well, yes of course I said, I’d be glad to paint his house!

And that was the beginning of the turn-around for me. I still had challenges and it took me almost another 9 months before I landed a full-time job again. But I have never again suffered from poverty.

But this experience taught me that God will always answer our prayers no matter what our difficult circumstances.

The Bible says: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (I John 4:16). And Mrs. Eddy writes: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” SH 494:10-11

There is an “economy of Love.” Divine Love meets your human needs not by doing something to you but by awakening you to share it and live it and give it as naturally as God does.

We can always turn to God, Divine Love, to discover the Love that is the source of our very being. God is Love. And we are made in His image and likeness. We are made to reflect His Love, to naturally “give it back” as well as to pay it forward. Every day He opens ways for us to live His Love out loud.

And that kind of sharing has nothing to do with a bank account. But it does have everything to do with living the love in your heart and with sincere heart-felt gratitude.

Even for the phone company.

And in my case, especially for the phone company!