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Happy October! TRICK? Or TREATment! A Lesson “Met” on “Unreality”
Relevant Application Ideas & a Sunday School assignment by Warren Huff

This lesson is a great prep for Halloween month, especially for teens and adults. Every hour unreal illusions come, in all kinds of convincing-looking disguises, knocking on the door of thought to TRICK us into believing in the presence and power of evil, as well as of good. On Halloween, you always know the game being played, and so are not fooled, no matter how outlandishly ugly (or beautiful) the costumes are. Throughout this month and year, be just as aware that evil is ALWAYS an unreal illusion. However it comes masked to TRICK you, give it a solid Christian Science TREATment! Remember that every good C.S. treatment includes BOTH of “the two cardinal points of . . . Christian Science . . . the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good.” (S&H 52:19)

So, when these & other disguised trick-or-treaters come to you, be totally un-fooled:
1. Deny that “TRICK knee” and the false belief that a favorite sport can bring you pain & injury. Affirm “the mighty actuality” and guarded, guided grace of your oneness with Spirit;
2. Deny that tickets and accidents can possibly occur when God is your co-pilot behind the wheel. Affirm “the mighty actuality” and protecting power of oneness with Principle;
3. Deny that personal pride can hamper your creativity or mar your artwork. Affirm “the mighty actuality” and reflected artistry of oneness with Soul;
4. Deny that genetic code can determine your IQ, college options, strengths & weaknesses. Affirm “the mighty actuality,” infinite abilities and perfect placement that go along with your oneness with divine Mind;
5. Deny that you are a physical being in a body that worships and lusts after other physical bodies. Affirm that as a spiritual being, you have everything you need in divine Love and that you know it!
6. Deny that bad things can happen to good people, and when they seem to, see that it’s only good unredeemed and as yet “invisible to the uninspired thought.” (S&H 573:4) Affirm that in the presence of divine Life, “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God,”
even when they don’t seem like it at the time. (Romans 8:28)

Golden Text Tip: “Forsake the foolish and live; and go in the WAY of understanding.” Proverbs 9:6 The Daily Study Bible points out: “Simply to need instruction is not sufficient qualification to eat at her (Lady Wisdom’s) table: there must be a willingness to accept reproof as well. Her guests must be prepared to hear some unsettling truths about themselves which rub against the grain of well-grooved habits of thought, word and deed, and be willing to change their habits.” What foolish, self-destructive, doubled-minded “habits of thought, word and deed” are you ready to forsake forever this week?

Responsive Reading Tip: Deny the Trick of Peer Pressure: “Just go along! It won’t make any difference. Everyone else is doing it!” Affirm a Treatment: “I love Thy way of freedom, Lord,” and so I choose “the road less traveled by.” It will make “all the difference” – an Infinite difference! (See CS Hymn #136 and Robert Frost’s poem, “Two Roads Diverged Within a Wood.”) “broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:13) Avoid getting stuck in traffic jams “On Broadway,” where time, energy are wasted and life itself destroyed by road rage. What other popular movements of thought would sweep you up in their destructive wake this week? Possibly blatant or subtle sex in advertising? Attractively portrayed lifestyle preferences on TV sit-coms? Even the frenzied pace of “Incessant busyness” that many wear as a badge of honor and use to measure self-worth? Dr. George Moffett in his 2003 Principia College Convocation address points out the pervasive and destructive dangers of “incessant busyness” and the “continuous partial attention” that it brings. His full address is especially helpful to Christian Scientists striving to daily nurture “sustained attention” to peaceful moments & can be found at
Deny the Trick of Look-alike fruit. Affirm the Treatment: “We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things.” (S&H 129:22) “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Matt. 7:16 and S&H 276:30 in 4th section) This week’s Researched Bible Guide (Daybreak Publications, 561-776-5711) quotes D.A. Carson’s Sermon on the Mount: “In Jesus’ day everyone knew the buckthorn had little black berries which could be mistaken for grapes, and that there was a thistle whose flower, from a distance could be mistaken for a fig. But no one would confuse the buckthorn and the grape once he started to use the fruit to make some wine. No one would be taken in by thistle flowers when it came to eating figs for supper.” What counterfeits looked like “the real deal” to the Prodigal Son, but left him famished and stuck with buckthorn, thistle and corn husks? What looks like it will satisfy you, but never can? In class a few weeks ago, we talked about mere money, which the Prodigal sought and lost, along with “riotous living.” Where did he find lasting supply and companionship?

Instead of quoting authorities, like I am from The Interpreter’s Bible below, Jesus adapted relevant illustrations like the grapes and thorns and the Prodigal son to teach “as one having authority.” (Matt. 7:29) “He had authority from God. The springs of truth in him came from a far deeper source that any human probing could find. ‘Not as the world giveth give I unto you’ (John 14:27). As people listened, they caught the accent of another world above and beyond and around our world.”

1st section Tip: Deny the Trick of accepting “corrupt” doctrine from uninspired Bible passages that conflict with “the inspired Word of the Bible.” (S&H 497:3) Affirm an “inspired Word,” Christian Science Treatment and view that man as God’s “image and likeness” (Gen. 1:27) is “very good” (Gen. 1:31) and that “God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.” (Habakkuk 1:13) The Bible, being written across a millennium, by individuals of various levels of understanding and insight, not only speaks to all levels of the human condition, but also contains countless contradictions. We see this from its opening two chapters, which have conflicting accounts of creation. Mrs. Eddy was a pioneer at drawing a sharp distinction between these opposite accounts and logically and consistently applying the Bible’s own guide to “make the tree good and his fruit good” (Matt. 12:33) and to burn the corrupt tree (the Genesis 2:8-9 tree of good commingled with evil) and its corrupt fruit (sin, disease and death). While those who put stock in the Genesis 2 account of creation are stuck with a God who knows evil (and therefore is not all good) and cannot prevent it (and therefore is not all powerful), Christian Scientists who put their stock in the Genesis 1 record go for an all good and all-powerful God who renders evil powerless and unreal, existing only in human imagination. (See 5th Section) “Evil is unreal because it is a lie, false in every statement.” (S&H 527:19) This makes evil a mis-statement of being, not a state of being.

2nd section Tip: Don’t fall for the Trick of thinking human knowledge, especially of bodily conditions, of the ailments, viruses and bugs going around, will make you healthier and happier. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” I Cor. 3:19 Instead such knowledge is “untrue and dangerous” (S&H 299:22) and “increaseth sorrow” (Eccl. 1:18) by naming and describing disease “which mirror images of disease distinctly in thought . . . . like a Parisian name for a novel garment. Everyone hastens to get it.” (S&H 197:2) “Now reverse the process” (S&H 397:17) “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (I Cor. 2:4) Affirm in your Treatment that “having the stronger evidence of Truth” you refuse to be un-Christian – “to think of . . . error . . . as real or true, either in the form of sickness or of sin.” (S&H 353:7-12)

3rd Section Tip: Don’t fall for dietary deceptions, whether “fasting or feasting,” (S&H 220:26) or think that “you are what you eat!” Pulse (actually “grains, seeds and vegetable pods” 1 “such as peas, beans or lentils”)2 proved to be a good, undefiled diet for the four Hebrew boys in this section. “These captives were to receive food and drink from Nebuchadnezzar’s own table, and, as was the regular practice, it was probably food and drink that had been offered as an oblation to the Babylonian gods.” (God’s Word for the Biblically-Inept according to Researched Bible GuideRBG) The Exploring Series (from RBG) pictures the scene after the dietary trial period: “Ten days later they brought those boys in. They looked in their eyes, and their eyes were clearer than the rest of the boys. They looked at their faces, and their faces were more radiant than the rest of them. Their muscles were stronger and their posture more erect. There was a difference in their countenance. They had courage to have convictions, courage to be true to the Lord and not go along with the crowd.” (42) Bold added to bring to remembrance Robert Frost’s assertion that taking the “Road less traveled by . . . has made all the difference.” While those on Broadway, are measuring their good cholesterol and bad cholesterol (the mix again is a good clue), let’s make sure our treatments are based on knowing that “God is all.” (Rhymes help me 🙂 Mrs. Eddy sets forth this clear and powerful corollary for harmony: “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.” (S&H 390:7) Since the very names, or natures, of the four Hebrew boys include either forms of El or Yah (Elohim or Yahweh, their God) their very names are constant Treatments! RBG states: “Dani-EL means ‘God is my judge’; Hanani-Ah means ‘Yahweh is gracious’; Misha-El means ‘Who belongs to God?”; Azari-Ah means ‘Yahweh has helped.’ “ The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (3, 21)
Wouldn’t these affirmations all be great treatments to guide what and when we eat?! They relate to Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual translation of the line of the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread” to “Give us grace for today; feed the famished affections.” (S&H 17:4-5) And, here’s a new (to me) “food met” application of a Bible verse when I’m tempted to overeat or over-indulge: “The meek shall eat and be satisfied.” Ps. 22:26 (implying “The proud shall overeat, and never really be satisfied.”
1 according to Lacocque in The Book of Daniel 2 Random House, from RBG

4th SectionTip: Let’s affirm with “conviction, that “there is no real pleasure in sin.” (S&H 404:19) The New Century Bible Commentary defines sin as “an activity, individual or social, intentional or unintentional, which makes it difficult to believe in the goodness and presence of God.” (44) The Greek root of “sin” is an archery term meaning, “to miss the mark” (of identifying and beholding what really is good and present.) Fortunately God keeps handing us more arrows till we get it right. Diablo, the name for Devil, or Evil, is related in that it means to try to shoot or throw something in two opposite directions at the same time. No way to hit the target whenever we’re pulled in opposite directions and “lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.” Start with the tricky, secret faults conniving a “conspiracy . . . against” your “own awakening to the awful unreality (TRICK) by which” (you) “have been deceived.” (S&H 339:15) Try to catch sin when it is little, because it will next become a “presumptuous sin” and “finally get full mastery . . . This completes the climax, which begins with involuntary, and advances to hidden, presumptuous, and at length ruling sins, which leave a man their hopeless slave.” (Commentary on the Psalms, Perowne, 1873) Another helpful paraphrase of “presumptuous sins” from The Message reads: “Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking that I can take over your work.” (Ps. 19:13) It is usually when we start “playing God” and intervening that we get in trouble and situations seem hopeless. What a wake-up call to see hopelessness as an immoral sin! On page 115:26-27 of Science & Health, Mrs. Eddy includes “hope” in the list of “MORAL” qualities. What is tempting you to be hopeless (and so immoral) today? Refuse to be tricked, give a treatment to the situation in: Iraq; Israel; Afghanistan; Iran; North Korea; Washington; the economy. Let’s stop being presumptuous and start knowing who’s really in charge anyway. I Cor. 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

5th Section Tip: Deny the Trick of just talking “borrowed” Christian Science platitudes, instead of being “aflame with divine Love” (S&H 367:8) and demonstrating it. Although metaphysically accurate, “the superficial, cold assertion, “Nothing ails you'” (460:22) just won’t cut it and is detrimental in bringing about healing. Since “Sickness is neither imaginary nor unreal, . . . (but) is solid conviction,” it needs to be dealt with through a right apprehension of being.” (460:14) “By the truthful arguments (Treatments) you employ, and especially by the spirit of Truth and Love which you entertain, you will heal the sick.” (418:23)

6th Section Tip: Deny the Deception (trick) of regarding man “as a miserable sinner” (573:17) subject to “death, sorrow and pain.” (573:27) Affirm with C.S. Treatment that “the blessed child(ren) of God” (573:18) are “they who do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and enter through the gates to the city.” (Rev. 22:14) What a security setup in the holy city: “there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, . . .worketh aBOMination, or maketh a lie.” (Rev. 21:27) And, “if eventually, why not NOW?!” “The Revelator was on our plane of existence, while yet beholding what the eye cannot see, — that which is invisible to the uninspired thought.” (573:3) Like John’s thought, our thought can be inspired, so that a spiritual “recognition of being is . . . possible to men in this present state . . . that we can become conscious here and now of a cessation of death, sorrow and pain.” (573:24) We can be like a flawless Relief pitcher in the baseball playoffs and World Series, one who can come in “equal to every emergency” (406:5) and strike out the side. It’s time to “Emerge and SEE” reality! (No more tricks, just effective treatments!)

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