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[Stick to the Way of Holiness to Defeat Old and New Suggestive Negativity!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced ”

May 23-29, 2016

By Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, Colorado / 720.331.9356

I doubt anyone enjoys being tricked or fooled. This week’s lesson reminds us how to live the Way of Holiness without being tricked or fooled by negativity of any kind. The title of the lesson may seem full of big words, so, for today, I’m thinking of it as “old and new trickery, a.k.a. suggestive negativity, defeated.”

Let’s imagine that we are heading out on a fun adventure—the Way of Holiness. We want to stay true to our path along “the Way,” and not wander into difficulties. We need to stay alert so that we don’t get deceived into straying from our path. That’s exactly what this week’s lesson is about. It teaches us how to stick to a fun and rewarding adventure, full of joy and healing, without getting tripped up on troublesome turbulence. And since the lesson teaches us how to be alert as we walk in “the Way,” it fits well with CedarS CampS theme for 2016: “The Way of Holiness.” [from the divine guidance of a Bible opening by Ruth Huff asking about God’s purpose for CedarS Camps.]

The Golden Text this week comes from a section of Psalms 119 that promises us protection as we follow the path, the Way, of God’s instructions:

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet

and a light for my path…

quicken [revive] me according to your word

The wicked have laid a snare for me: Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts [instructions]..….

I hate [the double-minded]: but I love Your law.

(Psalms 119: 105, 107, 110, 113; the underlined parts are the GT; NKJV)

The Golden Text comes from a section of Psalms 119 that promises us protection as we follow the path—the Way—of God’s instructions:

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path…
quicken [revive] me according to your word…
The wicked have laid a snare for me: Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts [instructions]…
I hate [the double-minded]: but I love Your law.
(Psalms 119: 105, 107, 110, 113; the underlined parts are the GT; NKJV)

The Responsive Reading explains that as we listen for the right way to go, we can know if instructions are from God because they are “peaceful, gentle and merciful.” These are “green light” directions, which mean, “GO.” In contrast, ideas tainted by “envy, strife or confusion” are not from God. They are “red light” suggestions, which means we should “STOP” and not listen to them. In other words, as you listen for green-light ideas [Draw nigh to God], you are protected [he will draw nigh to you.] [James 3:8]

Let’s look at the remainder of the lesson to see how it guides us on the Way of Holiness.

Section 1: Our Spiritual Compass Points True North

When people go on adventures, they often carry a compass. We can carry a compass on our spiritual adventure as well. With an actual compass, one end of the compass needle points toward the earth’s magnetic North Pole, so no matter where we are it points North. If we want an accurate compass, we need to make sure that disruptive magnetism doesn’t interfere with our compass. The first section of the lesson reminds us to stay alert to suggestive negativity that tries to disrupt our spiritual compass.
All of these things can try to pull our compass from pointing toward true North—to a true sense of Love’s protection.

The magnetic pull that may try to disrupt our compass includes “idols” and “diviners” (false prophets and fortune tellers) who “predict only lies,” and “pronounce falsehoods that give no comfort.” [B1] Today’s news and weather reports sometimes seem similar to the ancient fortune tellers, who promised worldly fame and scared people with doomsday reports. All of these negative suggestions try to pull our compass away from true North, away from a true sense of Love’s protection.

But we don’t need to be afraid of false magnetism! As we keep our focus on God, good, our compass naturally stays at true North no matter where we are. In Isaiah, God reminds us to depend on Him for our sense of direction so we aren't deceived: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else.” [B3]

When God asked Moses to lead the children of Israel out of slavery, he gave him instructions. He told Moses to stay focused on the one true God, so that he wouldn’t lose the Way. [B4, B5]

In Science and Health, we’re instructed how to make Moses’ journey relevant to our own lives. Mary Baker Eddy poses the same biblical question to us that Moses asked the children of Israel: “Dost thou ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind?’” [S1] In other words, is your spiritual compass pointed true North?

Asking ourselves this question, and constantly striving to answer “yes,” is our protection against the “awful deception” that would seem to cause a false magnetic pull on our compass. False magnetic pulls seem to come from “evil, occultism, necromancy, mesmerism, animal magnetism, hypnotism.” (S4) Yet we will not lose the Way as we keep our compass pointed true North, by loving the Lord God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength.

Section 2: How to Stay True to the Way of Holiness

Now that we have our compass trained in the right direction, the second section reminds us to be alert to things that try to steer us off course, or distract us from the Way of Holiness. It begins by re-emphasizing the ideas in the Golden Text/ Psalms 119 (the traveler’s guide):

“I am afflicted very much: quicken [revive] me, O Lord, according unto thy word.
The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” [B6]

We are warned not to become servants to false gods. When we serve false gods, we become servants to death and destruction, but when we are obedient to God, we find righteousness. [B7] To determine whether something is from God or a false god, we can look at whether or not it produces “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” [B9] Integrity and honesty are our guides to follow. [B10] We can follow these attributes of God to know we are moving in the right direction. These positive attributes are a “light for our path.”

“Evil” is the opposite of these attributes. And “we must learn that evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence.” [S7] Suggestions of evil come in the form of dishonesty and craftiness, and attempt to disrupt our compass, lead us in the wrong direction, and ruin our adventure. [S8] How are we supposed to know if an idea is true or false, good or evil? True and good ideas are “spiritual, harmonious, and eternal” they “sustain [us].” [S10, S11]

Section 3: The Way [is] Home

Being on an adventure is fun; however, we may feel a simultaneous need to be at home. Fortunately, as we establish a true sense of home, we can feel at home wherever we are. We can actively follow the Way of Holiness AND be perfectly at home and at peace. Following the Way is being at home. Home is not a house where our stuff is. Home is “the consciousness of good.” [Hymn 443]

In the third section, we read about Nehemiah, who was working for a king in a foreign land. He was saddened because his home city, Jerusalem, was being destroyed. With spiritual courage, Nehemiah spoke to the king about his troubles. The king respected Nehemiah and allowed him to return home to Jerusalem to rebuild his city’s wall.

The story becomes more inspiring with the definitions of “Jerusalem” and “Heaven” offered in Science and Health. Mary Baker Eddy defines Jerusalem as “home, heaven.” [S12] And she defines heaven as “Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality.” [S13]

When Nehemiah left to protect and rebuild his sense of “home, heaven,” naysayers tried to tempt him to abandon his ideals. But he wouldn’t listen. It was as if he saw these voices as the “personification of evil" [S8], which do not fit in the harmony of home.

Nehemiah could not be discouraged. He was “watchful, sober, and vigilant” in his understanding of home. [S15] He would not yield his “mentality to any mental despotism of malpractice,” and saw the evil efforts as “erroneous and powerless.” [S16] As Nehemiah said to the naysayers, “you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in [home, heaven].” [B13]

Nehemiah’s example shows us how to stay on the right path even when naysayers attempt to discourage us. As we stay the course, we are empowered because there is “no power opposed to God,” and false suggestions are a mere “mockery of strength.” Our right actions and our strong spiritual compass, give us strength. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.” [S18] [For a play to be acted-out at CedarS Memorial Weekend Sunday School, and possibly at yours, check back online here later in the week for a script to download.]

Section 4: Following God’s Instructions Protects Us in the Way of Holiness [See W's P.S.2 for CC insights on B14, Ps. 33:11.]

Nehemiah’s story continues in the fourth section as his enemies try to sabotage his efforts to rebuild the city wall. They try to trick and deceive him. But Nehemiah is alert, and stays focused on God’s instructions. Nehemiah succeeds at rebuilding the wall with perfect timing, and his enemies fail. [B15]

The citations in Science and Health bring out even more inspiration from this story. We’re reminded, “There is no power apart from God.” [S19] And that “Every attempt of evil to destroy good is a failure, and only aids in peremptorily punishing the evil-doer.” [S20] The Bible says Nehemiah’s enemies are “cast down” after their mean attempt to undermine Nehemiah fail. [B15]

Nehemiah is alert and stays true to God’s instructions. He follows the path God sets before him. And so he proves that, “Evil thoughts and aims [like the ones Nehemiah’s enemies had] reach no farther and do no more harm than one’s belief permits. Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence.” [S21]

It is not human will than enables Nehemiah’s to rebuild the wall. He succeeds because he follows God’s instructions in the Way of Holiness and is alert to reject every “subtle degree of evil, deceived and deceiving.” [S22] Nehemiah’s story demonstrates, “The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.” [S18] [For more on how to make Nehemiah’s achievement a model for our own, listen to today’s “Daily Lift” by Cheryl Ranson entitled “A spiritual wall-building model.” ]

Section 5: Christ Jesus is the Wayshower on the Way of Holiness

Christ Jesus could not be tricked into seeing others as less than perfect. He could not be deceived into being unloving. He could not be made to stray from the Way of Holiness.

One day, when he is walking with his disciples, a deranged man jumps out at his group from some tombs. The Bible describes this man as insane, crying and cutting himself with stones. But Jesus does not accept insanity as true for this man. He saw sees that the “unclean spirit” is not actually part of this man; it is separate from him. And Jesus demonstrates the insanity’s separateness by throwing it out of the man, in essence saying, “This is not a part of you!” Of course, as Jesus sees the man correctly and makes the separation, the insanity leaves the man, and he was in returns to his right mind. (B17) [See CC comments as W's P.S.3 on Mark 5:1-15 ]

We can follow Jesus’ example. We too can remain undisturbed as false pictures of inharmony try to creep into our experience. Just as Jesus did not allow the deranged man to disturb his sense of perfection, we can stay alert to see the true spiritual picture everywhere we go. Today, as in Jesus’ time, Christ—our awareness of God—is the inspiration that heals ever need. “Hence the fact that, to-day, as yesterday, Christ casts out evils and heals the sick.” [S25]

In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy gives an example of a man finding healing from a life-threatening illness as he came to understand the Way of Holiness, which he described as the “glorious Principle” that she taught. The man explained, “The ailment was not bodily, but mental, and I was cured when I learned my way in Christian Science.” [S26]

Like this man, we can all be alert and “stand porter” to guard our thought as we strive to follow in the Way of Holiness demonstrated by Christ Jesus. [S28]

Section 6: Love Never Deceives us in the Way of Holiness

God, Love, never deceives us or tries to trick us. Love never makes us confused. God guides us and lights our path. God, our true North, would never mislead us. His thoughts and directions are clear and understandable. As we read in the book of Jeremiah, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end [a future and a hope]” [B20]

As we listen with all our heart to divine will, not human will, we feel the protection and power of infinite Love. We experience the reign of infinite good. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “The divine understanding reigns, is all, and there is no other consciousness.” [S31]

Whether we are setting out on a day’s hike or making major life decisions, the ideas in this week’s lesson promise to keep us on the path of peaceful progress. We can all strive to love the Lord, God, with all our heart, mind, and soul and thus keep our compass pointed true North as we follow the Way of Holiness!

[Warren's P.S.1: Sid Bingham's Spiritual Application Action cards!

CedarS alumni counselor, Sid Bingham is returning as our watercolor and sketching instructor for this upcoming Memorial Weekend program that kicks-off CedarS 2016 season. For each of such weekend programs for the past decade, Sid has come up with graphic designs that make memorable cards of some of spiritual ideas discussed in Sunday School. Students of Christian Science of all ages from all over are welcome to DOWNLOAD these cards here (upper right) to put into action in their lives. He has shared one download idea for each section on citations: S3 (103:16); S9 (462: 23; S15 (324:13; S10 (234:32; S20 (142:31; S30 (450:19)]

[W's P.S.2 on citation B14:
from Cobbey Crisler talk, “Leaves of the Tree: Descriptions from Psalms”

For a full transcript email Cobbey’s wife, Janet, at]

Psalms 33:9

Chapter 33, Verse 9, we’ve already alluded to. The swiftness of God’s treatment. It’s not a process, according to the Bible. It’s not recuperation. It’s not convalescence, or gradual recovery. “He spake, and it was [done],” In case we have had room in our thinking for a possibility of relapse, it is stated, “He commanded, and it stood fast.” No side effects, no after effects.

Psalms 33:11

In Verse 11, “The advice or counsel of the LORD stands” for how long? “For ever.” What good I that, if we aren’t there forever to receive such advice? “The thoughts of his heart to all generations.” What good are God’s thoughts unless those are the potions we are supposed to be taking, imbibing, ingesting. God’s thoughts, His potions. Take them, eat them up, drink them in. That makes the Bible a pharmacopoeia which is a word the dictionary says describes “preparations issued by official authority and recognized as a standard.” [Voice from audience] Pharmacopoeia, which is a word that in its ordinary meaning without uplifting it to what the Bible would require of the term anew would just simply be an authority to which one would turn to know where the remedies all are.

[W's P.S.3 on citation B17
from a Cobbey Crisler talk, “What Mark Recorded”

For a full transcript email Cobbey’s wife, Janet, at]

“In Mark Chapter 5, Verse 1, we have the very strange incident in the country of the Gadarenes. The ancient texts vary all over the lot here: Gadarenes Gadara, Garisenes, Garis, Gurgesenes, or Gergesa? Gadara was a town. Gerasa was also a town. Neither of them were anywhere near the shore of the lake. But Gergesa is. Right on the shore and located, at least according to recent findings, at the only spot on the Sea of Galilee where the event could ever have happened anyway. The only spot where the sea-place approaches the shore. So, it’s probably Gergesa. Matthew has Gergesenes.

“Verse 2. “Coming out of the ship.” He’s over in Gentile territory, by the way. This is not Jewish territory. It’s on the Eastern side. It’s where the Decapolis cities are, the confederacy of Greek cities. Today the Golan Heights is part of the region.

“Verse 3. “He runs into a man who is living in the tombs.” Interestingly enough, there are rock formations right smack at the point where the Heights approach the sea, where you would say they have the appearance of tombs. “This man had not the strong man bound.” We see the strong man is really mentality, not anatomy.

Verse 3. You and I may have seen some of the pumping-iron movies, and we begin to think anatomy is the strong man. Hardly. Here we have a man of above-average muscular development, but mentally so out of sorts with what is normal. This man has exceeded certain human limitations and “he is able to break iron fetters, chains.”

Verse 4. “Nobody could control him.”

Verse 5. This shows mentality unleashed, undisciplined, and filled with a dualism. He would even attempt to oppose God, or in some cases imitate or ape God. This man’s dwelling is at both extremes. Night and day are extremes. Mountains and tombs are extremes.

Of course, you and I don’t recognize this mental effect, do we? Or do we commute between our mountains and our tombs? Are we in the pits? We know of manic depression, sure. But what about the mountains? Do we have our moments of altitudinous thinking, as well? Really inspired thinking? There we are, buying round trips daily on the mountain-to-tomb local. We get off on occasion somewhere in between. This man had taken it too.

You can see what happens when the carnal mind can no longer take the extremes. The dual personality splits. The kingdom becomes divided against itself. That is being illustrated here.

And the drug effect. Look at the drug effect, the mountains and tombs where these highs and lows flourish. Uppers and downers where one gets captured by the whole necessity for this. It becomes something so addictive, that in order to feel high or low, we need chemical inducement. So, this is not an outdated, outmoded, human problem. This kind of insanity is everywhere attempting to rule human thinking, including within ourselves. Jesus knew this. He was in a Gentile territory. It’s even out of the Jewish context. Therefore, it has a universality about it.

Verse 7. The man with the unclean spirit knows the presence of the cure. Notice the great resistance to the cure that we see illustrated here. “What have I to do with thee, Jesus?” How often is that statement repeated in varying degrees by every single person on this globe? Everyone who has ever heard of the Christ message? Even those claiming to be followers. “What have I to do with thee?”

When we compromise ourselves, or when we lower our standards under pressure, is it not the equivalent of saying, “What do I have to do with thee, Jesus?” Do we resent the role model he represents to thought? “Don’t torment me.”

Verse 8. We’ve got three different treatments here. One, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit.”The word for man is anthropu, which is the root of anthropological. It is not so much a specific man as man in general. It’s a generic term for man. “Come out of manhood, unclean spirit.” He’s talking about impurity. Impurity doesn’t belong within God’s definition of manhood. There’s momentum, again, being applied. Is there a healing? No.

Verse 9. So, the second, “He asked him, ‘What is thy name?’” Jesus is trying to pinpoint or identify the problem. And we find out, it’s very difficult to pinpoint because it’s “Legion.” Remember, when the remedy id oneness or monism, you already know what the problem is. The problem is always the opposite of the remedy. So, you have this multiplicity of problems and psychological reasons for why we’re in the fix we are. “Fix,” as sometimes applied to drugs.

“My name is Legion.” That’s a definition of impurity, by the way, “legion.” Purity is an unmixed state. So, we know what we’re dealing with. Remember one of the Beatitudes mentioned Matthew 5:8, it’s “the pure in heart that see God.”

So, purity is what we need as our “anchor of the soul” as Hebrews 6:19 says. Remember, that later Jesus calls upon “legions of angels,” (Matthew 26:53). Also, “Michael and his angels,” Revelation 12:7, are fighting “the dragon and his angels.”

So, we actually have this conflict here of thoughts. This is a confused mentality. Obviously, it’s chaotic thinking. It has no discipline at all. It’s no “first the blade, then the ear, and then the full grain,” Mark 4:28. That orderly sense of discipline in thought. It has lost all connection or link to possible discipline.

The third treatment given by Jesus in this individual case is one that actually has aroused a great deal of compassion for the swine among its readers. It would not seem to be part of Jesus’ normal procedure to wipe out a herd like this to make a spiritual point. But there is indeed a spiritual point here. One that has to do with the definition of manhood. Remember, Legion is the problem and oneness is the remedy.

Does man’s thinking, as you and I define it, contain a swinish element or nature? What is capable of being agitated by erroneous mental influence? Can manhood be ever defined as calm and free in his thought, when he has elements within his thought, that still victimize him rather than see him as the victor? Perhaps, we are being told here, through this illustration and event, that one of the “no’s” we are to be saying mentally is to the swinish nature that has attached itself to our identity and called itself “Legion.” Perhaps we are subjected to many influences, a legion of influences, instead of God alone the One on the throne.

We know that human nature does commute between the mountains and the tombs. The swine are said, in Luke’s 8:32 version of this, to be nibbling on the mountains. Symbolically does the swinish nature nibble at our altitudinous and highest moments? There is a violence to this self-destruction that occurs at the only spot on the Sea of Galilee where it is possible. If nothing else, we certainly can conclude that swinish nature had no built-in defense to such mental invasions.

Verse 15. Yet manhood can be freed from such influence. For this man, now “clothed and in this right mind” no longer is under subjection to legion. If his right mind is in this sense of oneness, the other mental state obviously was wrong. What expressed that mental state is self-destroyed.

Before this incident, we might have concluded that man had no defense against such mental incursions. Therefore our mental hospitals are destined to be filled. But rather, we discover that man can separate himself out of swinish influences and still stand as a man. Yes, and stand humanly with a humanhood that has been purified. One that is no longer influenceable by the legion of attackers that would claim our mentality as its own in its attempt to possess our thinking without any rights of ownership.

When this incident begins to come to a close, we find that we can even see the sequence of things. Remember Mark 4:28, “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn.” There’s more behind this blade. (That’s even the definition of animal later.)

Right now, as with everything else, we have the worldview upside down. You and I have been told that we are descendants of the animal kingdom. If that’s the wrong point of view, then the remedy is the opposite. Notice, animals and their natures belong to mankind, and can be found in the definition of man, rather than man finding himself in the definition of the animal.

That’s something we haven’t seriously considered in our twentieth century. Back in the first century, the notion that mankind may have descended from animals was considered absurd. But over time, the evolutionary theory suggested an entirely different kind of origin. This was the result of darkened and dualistic thinking. The mind that defines itself as coming from the animal realm, rather than the realm of the divine, becomes animal in concept. But divine revelation can clean us up. God defines man in a concept of holiness rather than unholiness. We need just to breathe in the Holy Spirit and take into thought what is holy.

I once heard a talk by Geith Plimmer. He recalled a biblical incident where, with such a compassion behind his expressed words, he discussed a dear man who was possessed. And he rejoiced with that idea of possession being used, because it showed that it didn’t really belong to him. He was possessed. The remedy he suggested was to dispossess. To dispossess is the remedy to possession.

Verse 19. How he loved those most glorious words humanly expressing love, “Go home to thy friends.” Here’s a man that had lived in the mountains and the tombs. How long has he had anyone whom he could call a friend? Where is his home? You see what Jesus is now defining as home and friends.

“Tell them.” Notice, he doesn’t tell him not to say anything. This is in a Gentile territory where he encourages the Word to go to other Gentiles. “Go home to thy friends.” Mr. Plimmer pointed out that here, when we first met him, he was a man that could be defined as completely irresponsible. Jesus not only heals him, but he restores the dignity of manhood, as he did in every healing. It was part of the healing. He also gave him responsibility. “Go home to thy friends and tell them.” He was one of the first Gentile disciples, if you could use that word, that took Christianity into that territory. What a prime responsibility for someone who couldn’t account for his actions not very long before! Even before Paul, this man went to the Gentiles.

Is there any record of what he did? There is none past this. But it’s interesting that when the Temple in Jerusalem fell to the Romans in A.D. 70, the Christians, having an advance awareness that this was happening, moved in Pella, part of the Decapolis area. A lot of preparation had been done.]

[S.O.S., Please Save Our Summer with a sweet $7k more! ($9k given or pledged in recent weeks to our unforeseen $16k need) Please help CedarS continue to be a camp founded on results that proves the theory that every right need is always met! In opening CedarS kitchen for this season to serve over 4,000 meals, we discovered three significant needs.
1) Our fire suppression system (hood, tank, nozzles… ) needed to be totally replaced at a cost of ~$7,000; 2) our kitchen air-conditioner needs to be replaced at a cost of ~$7,000; 3) a large, gas, tilt-skillet needed to be bought at a cost of ~$2,000, with trade-ins). To help us cover these unexpected needs with an online donation click here. To mail in or call in such a needed donation, please follow the instructions below for campership donors and ask us to “Feed the Children!”


[You can also CALL 636-394-6162 to reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime. Either one of the Huffs or their daughter Holly Huff Bruland is likely to answer.

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011


[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support.

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at ]

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