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Love is Self-Existent.
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
for November 29 to December 5, 2021

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S. Boulder, Colorado
ccern@mac.com • christiecs.com


As a closing statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy substitutes the words “Divine Love” for “Lord” and the word “Love” for “His” in the 23rd Psalm. (SH 578: 5)  She writes, “[DIVINE LOVE] is my shepherd; I shall not want. [LOVE] maketh me to lie down in green pastures: [LOVE] leadeth me beside the still waters.” (SH  578:5–7)  She makes these word substitutions to help us overcome the corporeal (body-based) sense of Deity and grasp the incorporeal or spiritual sense of Deity. In other words, she was showing us a way in which we can stop thinking of God as an anthropomorphic person . (For more on this see Mis. 16: 19-23; Rud. 1: 10)

I found it helpful to follow her example and think of God as divine Love (or one of the other synonyms for God) when reading this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on “God the Only Cause and Creator,” so that I could break free of thinking of the Creator as an anthropomorphic being.  If we let ourselves drift toward thinking of God as a man-like being who created something at a particular location and at a particular moment in time, then we miss the whole point of the lesson.  There is no starting point to creation in either location or time.  To free myself from thinking of God as corporeal (a body fixed in location and time) and better comprehend creation as an unfoldment of infinite completeness, I read all the Bible verses using the seven synonyms Mary Baker Eddy lists for God—Love, Truth, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, and Principle.

Applying this idea, we could read the Golden Text this way: “[Divine Love] hath made all things for [Love].” (Proverbs 16:4), or “[Divine Mind] hath made all things for [Mind],” and so forth with the remainder of the synonyms.

The Responsive Reading from Isaiah and Psalms took on a whole new meaning for me when I substituted in the synonyms.  Doing this takes some grammatical creativity, but here are some examples…

“[Love has] made the earth and created [Love’s expression] upon it: [Love], even [Love’s] hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host [has Love] commanded.” (Isaiah 45:12)

“Look unto [Truth], and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for [Truth is Truth], and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45: 22)

“O give thanks unto [Life]; call upon [Life’s] name: make known [Life’s] deeds among the people.  Sing unto [Life], sing psalms unto [Life]: talk ye of all [Life’s] wondrous works.  Glory ye in [Love’s] holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek [Love]. Seek [Love], and [Love’s] strength: seek [Love’s] face evermore.” (Psalm 105: 1-5)


SECTION 1: “SELF-EXISTENT” MEANS NO STARTING POINT OR ORIGINATING LOCATION
It may sound obvious but nothing caused or created God. That which is divine is self-existent. The word “self-existent” is worth pondering. God is that which is self-existent good.  As I see it, understanding God and creation as self-existent necessitates overcoming the man-like view of God.  Each of the synonyms is self-existent.  Love never had a beginning.  It is self-existent.  Truth never had a starting point.  It is self-existent.  Nothing caused divine Life to begin.  Life is self-existent.

Omniscient Mind knows all and always has known all, so there has never been a single moment in which omniscient Mind has not already known all.  Divine Mind is “self-existent” and “self-complete” meaning that divine Mind exists without being created and is already and has always been complete.

What we seem to experience as time or a start-point for existence is a non-issue for omni-present Mind.  All is known to divine Mind simultaneously and eternally, without start and without end.  We are witnessing the unfoldment of that which all-knowing Mind already knows, now and always.  Because divine Mind is infinite—as in immeasurable and without limit—this unfoldment is eternal.  As we understand this with more and more clarity, we experience this unfoldment with more and more harmony. There is no other mind than divine Mind, which is the only Cause and Creator of being.  There is no other Cause or Creator than self-existent and divine Mind.

The first commandment as revealed by Moses summarizes the point of divine Mind’s all-ness from divine Mind’s point of view: “Thou shalt have no other [minds] before [divine Mind].” (citation B1, Exodus 20:3) We can find great inspiration from this commandment as we see it as a promise to us directly from divine Mind.

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “The Scriptures imply that [divine Mind] is All-in-all. From this it follows that nothing possesses reality nor existence except the divine Mind and [Mind’s] ideas… [Divine Mind] is individual, incorporeal. [Divine Mind] is divine Principle, Love, the universal cause, the only creator, and there is no other self-existence. [Divine Mind] is all-inclusive, and is reflected by all that is real and eternal and by nothing else.”  (cit. S2, 331: 11-13. 18-22)   Furthermore, “[Divine Mind] creates all forms of reality. [Divine Mind’s] thoughts are spiritual realities. So-called mortal mind — being non-existent and consequently not within the range of immortal existence — could not by simulating deific power invert the divine creation, and afterwards recreate persons or things upon its own plane, since nothing exists beyond the range of all-inclusive infinity, in which and of which [divine Mind] is the sole creator.” (cit. S3, 513:26-6)

It seems very difficult, if not impossible, for us to fully comprehend the infinity and eternity of creation.  Lately, I’ve been using the following metaphor as a way to open my thought to the unfoldment of infinite creation:  there are billions of stars in the universe….stars go on forever and ever, and yet each star is individual.  If we began an effort to see all the stars in the universe, we would never ever be able to see them all even if we had billions of years and billions of people looking.  Note that there is no central location in the universe…no center and no boundary.  Nor is there a temporal start or end point.  While astronomers speculate about a beginning to the universe, none can say what happened before the so-called start, and thus there are only theories of theories about the time before time, and space before space.  Pondering the infinity and eternality of stars, which are immeasurable in material terms, hints at infinity and eternality of divine Mind. And yet, this example is still just a limited view of all that encompasses the all-ness of divinity.

Something more to consider with this metaphor is that if we were striving to find more and more stars, and we came upon a new constellation that we hadn’t seen before, we would be grateful for this new view and would not be hard on ourselves for not knowing about it previously.  In a similar way, as we learn more and more about divine Mind and Mind’s unfolding creation, we can be grateful for the new insight without being hard on ourselves for not knowing it before.  There will always be more and more and more to learn about divine creation because of the divinely Scientific fact that Mind’s creation is infinite.  The infinity of Mind is awesome, and we should always feel gratitude for each new idea discovered.


SECTION 2: THE LIMITED SENSES CANNOT GRASP INFINITE CREATION
As I see it, section two explains how the limited senses are not capable of perceiving or understanding infinite creation.  The limited senses—like false idols—fail at every turn.  The limited senses cannot conceive of divine self-existence.  The limited senses cannot grasp the concept of infinity and eternity.  The limited senses trick us into thinking of creation as having a starting point, and thinking of ourselves as originators, or creators.   But we are never the source of creation.  We are the outpouring of divine creation.

When I need to understand a metaphysical concept better, I often turn to the three degrees Mary Baker Eddy outlines on pages 115-116 in Science and Health.  If we apply the degrees to the concept of “creation,” it might look something like this…

1st Degree (physical): a limited sense of creation that is fallible, incomplete, and blurry.  Pride, conceit, false responsibility.  This limited view includes the false belief that man is the originator of things; and consists of objects/thoughts that lack substance; incomplete, imperfect; idols of sense; the belief that parents are originators of offspring

2nd degree (moral, transitional qualities): appreciation for God/Mind’s creation, gratitude for beauty and grandeur and order; recognition that the divine Parent is the only creator

3rd Degree (understanding): creation is infinite and eternal and complete; the continual unfoldment of creation results in newness and originality and creativity; we are the outpouring and evidence of divine Mind’s perfect creation; “the mortal disappears, and spiritual perfection appears.”  (cit. S27, 595: 17)

While the third degree is, in fact, the only reality, our view is often blocked by the seeming barriers of the opaque (first degree) and slightly more transparent (second degree).   Prayer can remove these false barriers so that we catch glimpses of reality with no blockage.  To the degree that we understand creation as the unfoldment of infinite Mind’s ideas, we are grasping reality.  Believing in a corporeal creator limits our experience and it’s as if we’re looking through a blurry and distorted lens.

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, it is our ignorance of our divine source that makes us think that God is some kind of “corporeal creator” (fixed in time and space); hence we recognize ourselves as merely physical—like the blurry first degree view—and we’re ignorant of ourselves as Love’s outpouring.  With this limited degree of thought we don’t grasp our eternal and incorporeal (unbounded) existence.  (cit. S12, 13:25-29)  Looking at creation through this limited lens, it’s as if we have eyes but can’t see and ears but can’t hear.  (cit. B6, Psalms 115: 1-9)

Healing happens as we acknowledge to the full degree the truth and reality of creation.  From a limited first-degree perspective, creation is fallible and incomplete.  To the degree that we understand that all creation is already complete and perfectly harmonious, we witness its unfoldment effortlessly and joyously.

Divine Mind, not a limited source, is the causation of all creation…the unfoldment of good.  As Mary Baker Eddy states succinctly, “Mind, not matter, is causation.” (cit. 7 208: 25 (only))

Our source is Love.  We are Love’s outpouring, Mind’s ideas, and Spirit’s exuberance.  We are not the source or the cause.  We are the effect and emanation.  As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Our genuine selfhood is recognizable only in what is good and true.  We are neither self-made nor made by others.  [Divine Mind] created man.”  (cit. S13, 294: 25)  In truth, divine Mind and Mind’s creation—us—are co-existent and co-eternal since there never has been a moment in which divine Mind has not known us.


SECTION 3: OUR ROLE IS TO WITNESS DIVINE CREATION
Divine Mind’s creation is amazing!  There will never be enough words to describe how amazing and astounding Mind’s creation is.  And it is our job to witness and acknowledge this amazingness.  We must notice and appreciate and praise divine Mind’s creation to experience the full value of it.  The third section is full of praise for Mind as the Cause and Creator.

“O [Mind], how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all”… The glory of [divine Mind] shall endure for ever: [Mind] shall rejoice in [Mind’s] works. (cit. B10, Psalms 104: 24, 31)

While sometimes we may seem to forget our job as witnesses of divine creation, we can strive step-by-step to do better with prayers like the Psalmist gave us: “Hear my prayer, O [Mind], give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.  Cause me to hear your lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto you.

Teach me to do [divine Mind’s] will; for thou art my [Mind]: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” (cit. B11, Psalms 143: 1, 8, 10)


SECTION 4: THE INFINITE TASKS OF TRUTH
The fourth section contains the story of Christ Jesus healing both Jairus’ daughter and the woman, who had an issue of blood and had spent all her money on physicians.  It is not a coincidence that these two healings are entwined in the book of Mark.  The order of the story is important…Jairus asked Jesus to heal his daughter, Jesus was on his way to do so when he was stopped by a woman in a crowd, Jesus heals her, and then continues on to heal Jairus’ daughter.

Note that Jairus’s daughter was right at the beginning of the childbearing years in which she would be viewed as most useful as a so-called creator of new life.  And she was the daughter of a wealthy man of stature, making her even more socially valuable.  In contrast, the other woman was most likely beyond child-bearing years, an outcast because of her condition, and she had no money.  By social measures of the day, this woman was not a contributor.  (cit. 13, Mark 5: 21-42)

The expectation of the times was probably to dismiss the woman and focus on Jairus’ daughter.  But Jesus was always surprising.  He consistently overturned traditions inconsistent with divine Truth.  “The divine origin of Jesus gave him more than human power to expound the facts of creation, and demonstrate the one Mind which makes and governs man and the universe.”  (cit. S18, 539: 270)

And Jesus’ role was to show us the way of Christ healing, to open our eyes to the truth of creation, to “expound the facts of creation, and demonstrate the one Mind which makes and governs man and the universe.”  (cit. S18, 539: 27)

In Truth, both women were worthy of healing, worthy of feeling divine Love’s tender touch.  These women were not more or less valuable because of their ability to bear children.  Divine Love is the Cause and Creator.   These women were both valuable as the loving expression of divine Love, the clear ideas of divine Mind, the inspirations of divine Spirit.  They were both worthy and Christ Jesus saw their worthiness.

To me, this citation summarizes these two stories…”Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause, — wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory.”  Or, if we add in elements of the story, we could say, “Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, [Christ Jesus paused,—waited] on God as the woman with the issue of blood discovered her worthiness and was healed] Then [he pushed] onward, until boundless thought [represented by Jairus’s daughter] walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory.”   (cit. S26, 323: 9)

Both the girl and the woman were worthy of healing.  And this is true for all of us.  Infinite Love does not have a limit of love to dole out.  We can each feel a constant source of Love restoring us, comforting us.  Christ is not limited.  Christ is what makes us feel loved by Love.  And the Christ-truth is present for us today, tending to our immediate needs, just as it met the needs of these women centuries ago.


SECTION 5: CREATION IS NEVER-ENDING
The fifth and final section of the lesson highlights the divine fact of eternality.  Just as there is no start-point to creation, there is also no end point.  We are reminded that “[Divine Truth] shall reign for ever and ever.” (cit. B15, Exodus 15: 18)

The fifth section also contains sections of the book of Revelation.  Revelation can sometimes be tough to understand because it is written in a coded language about an indescribable vision of the triumph of eternal good.  As I understand them, the citations from Revelation in this section are highlighting the fact that the eternality of Truth exists beyond time—a start and stop measurement—and time no longer makes sense once we understand the reality of divine creation.  “There should be time no longer…”  (cit. B18, Revelation 10: 6)

Mary Baker Eddy defines time as “Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error; that which begins before, and continues after, what is termed death, until the mortal disappears and spiritual perfection appears.”  (cit. S27, 595: 17)

This process of time (mortal measurements; limits) disappearing and spiritual perfection appearing, is what happens as we move through the three degrees, like mentioned in section 2 of this met.  In the first degree, mortal measurements and limits frame what counts as reality, but it is temporal and falls apart and doesn’t make sense.  As we gain a deeper understanding about the eternality of creation—without starting point or end point in time or space—then we witness (as the Revelator did) spiritual perfection appearing.  The third degree does not include the limitation of time.

As I understand it, the process of “spiritual perfection appearing” defines what happens in healing.   In other words, healing is “spiritual perfection appearing.”  And this is not a one-time event.  But rather, we experience this over and over and over again as the constant unfoldment of infinite good.

As I’m understanding it right now, we can read the book of Revelation as the grand narrative of the triumph of eternal good, and we can also understand the lessons in Revelation as a daily occurrence….each time we experience a moment of healing, we are catching a glimpse of what the author of Revelation saw.  Each moment we experience “spiritual perfection appearing” we are letting go of the limitation of time and mortality, and gaining a deeper understanding of eternality.  These moments can be daily, hourly…not just a singular event.

Divine Truth is self-existent.  Nothing creates divine Truth.  It just is.  Divine Life is self-existent.  Nothing causes divine Life.  It just is.

Gaining a deeper understanding of the self-existence of divine Life helps us to break free of corporeal—time and location—limitations.   As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Spirit and all things spiritual are the real and eternal. Because Life is God, Life must be eternal, self-existent.”  (cit. S30, 289: 29, 32-1)

Gaining a clear understanding of divine Love as the only Cause and Creator is crucial to our progress as healers. It opens our eyes to see the whole and complete glory of all good.   As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man’s spiritual being, we shall behold and understand [divine Love’s] creation, — all the glories of earth and heaven and man.”  (Thanksgiving Lesson, citation S23, 264:24:1)


CLICK HERE for more application ideas & Bible-based GEMs from Cobbey Crisler & others! [This is partially complete but may have additions before it is emailed.]


Click on insightful Ken Cooper poems to hear them read by Ken & his wife Sue:

    • The YouTube poem/video, “Jairus’ Daughter” a ruler of the synagogue was desperate for Jesus to help his dying daughter, for there was something deadly he could not control, a virus perhaps?
    • In the YouTube poem/video, In “Reach Out” (read by Sue), we have a woman bound by a difficult problem for twelve years successfully reaching out to Jesus…

PDF copies are available under Downloads in the online version of  this Met.


Happy Giving Tuesday! We’re reaching out to our full community for support on raising $75,000 to refurbish the CedarS waterslide. It’s been a favorite activity since 1988, and with your help we can extend the joy for decades to come!
We think you’ll enjoy this 2-minute video from current campers, Mazie and Lexi, explaining why they’re planning to support CedarS this Giving Tuesday.
MAKE A SPLASH! #GivingTuesday 2021
Donor Recognition: Names of all waterslide donors will be displayed onsite this summer (if you choose to be named), and those who give $500 or more will be featured on a permanent sign at the slide.
More Ways to Give: Support is also needed to meet our $125,000 matching grant challenge by year-end. Any gifts to the Unrestricted Fund (to meet the greatest needs), Maintenance Musts, and Adopt the Herd horseback riding fund will be doubled.
Feel free to get a head start today! Both the waterslide project and the year-end match represent much-needed support to open our gates to campers for summer 2022. Check out the CedarS website for progress updates.
(As of Sunday evening we’re grateful to have received over $7,500 in donations — 10% of our goal.)
Thank you for helping us share a love of Christian Science and its practical application with generations to come,
Holly, Warren, and the CedarS Family
P.S. Thank you to the many donors who have already given! We are so grateful!

THANKING ALL WATERSPORTS SUPPORTERS TOO!
We’ve been praying about the need to update CedarS 2008 Malibu ski boat and about boat shortages and the resultant high prices.  A practitioner on the case was inspired to make a timely, inquiry call to a past CedarS Ski Camp coach and found out that his ski club was about to advertise  their one-owner, prime condition 2020 Malibu with relatively low hours at a very reasonable price.  We need commitments of “only” $5,900 more WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK to make this demonstration complete! It will bless hundreds of campers & staff for years to come!  To help us seal the deal, please give online whatever you can and then text or call me at 314-378-2574 — or email warren@cedarscamps.org — that  the intent of your tax-deductible gift is to help us secure the ongoing excellence of CedarS watersports fleet.


YOUR HELP IN OTHER AREAS IS ALSO NEEDED & WILL BE MATCHED!

 GIFTS for Operations Support of up to $125,000 will be matched by year-end: Especially during this year, tuition will cover less than half the cost of running camp. Donations are needed for facilities maintenance, horse care and preparation for summer 2022.
We’re also VERY grateful for an Endowment Matching Grant!
Support current and future generations of Christian Science youth by helping CedarS to meet our $1,000,000 Endowment matching grant. We’re about halfway to our match!

With heartfelt gratitude for and to all you, greatly NEEDED and precious supporters, who continue to help CedarS give LIFELONG, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS to hundreds of families and thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and the world. To discuss how to play a vital, ongoing role in our work, feel free to call or text me (Warren Huff) at 314-378-2574 with your pledge or intent to give a planned gift, required IRA distribution or an endowment gift (that will be MATCHED!). Your ongoing support is needed to help us “love into view” continued, lasting blessings and legacies of love each year.


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