Join us for the best summer yet!

TO HEAR CHRISTIE READ HER MET, CLICK HERE FIRST. THEN, scroll to & click on the  BLACK “LISTEN” BUTTON.

BLOW AWAY THE CHAFF OF “UNREALITY.”
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Unreality”
for March 28 to April 3, 2022

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


INTRODUCTION • GOLDEN TEXT • RESPONSIVE READING

It strikes me as humorous that we have a whole Bible Lesson dedicated to what does not exist…”Unreality.”  I mean, last week we had a Bible Lesson on “Reality,” so why do we need to study what does not exist?  Perhaps we should all take a moment to ponder why it’s crucial to understand what does not exist.  As I understand it, as we are clearer and clearer on what is unreal, we are less and less likely to confuse reality and unreality, or what is true and what is false.  The chaotic cacophony of world thought seems to blur, blend, conflate, and confuse the real and unreal, so being alert and quickly seeing what is unreal enables us to remain clear and undeceived.

To help us see the value of understanding the “unreal,” I love the analogy of train tracks appearing to converge at the horizon.  If a train conductor did not know that the parallel tracks do not actually come together at the horizon, the conductor would be terrified their train could derail and crash as it moves forward.  In contrast, understanding the nature of illusion, the nature of unreality, enables the conductor to move forward with confidence.  Likewise, as we learn to see through the illusion of inharmony, injustice and so forth, we can trust divine Truth’s ever-present guidance and move forward with complete assurance.  A train conductor who is confused about the unreality of train tracks appearing to come together at the horizon would be constantly fearful.

The conductor could ask, “Who makes the train tracks come together at the horizon?”  No one.  They could ask, “Why do the tracks come together at the horizon?”  They don’t.  Or, they could ask, “How do we make them parallel again?”  We don’t need to make them parallel again because they never actually come together at the horizon.  These questions help us to understand that there is no source or creator causing parallel tracks to come together at the horizon any more than there is a cause or source for “unreality.”  Years ago, I made a video of trains and train tracks to illustrate the metaphysical concept of moving forward with confidence.  You can find the video on my web site or view here: https://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WWGY7WNX


The Golden Text, or main idea, of the Bible Lesson is a citation from Ecclesiastes about “empty promises” and “foolish dreams” that “mean nothing.” “Empty promises” and “foolish dreams” are comparable to train tracks appearing to come together at the horizon.  If we looked at merely the outward appearance of things from a limited viewpoint, then we would not see the full view of infinity and infinite supply.  “Many empty promises are like many foolish dreams” and the “outward appearance of things.” “They mean nothing.”  As we become alert to deception and illusion—also known as “unreality”—we can “look deep into reality,” gain a more reliable awareness of harmony, and thus “honor God.”  (GT, Ecclesiastes 5:7, International Children’s Bible; combined with Mary Baker Eddy’s statement, “Look deep into realism instead of accepting the outward appearance of things.” SH 129: 22-24)


The Responsive Reading describes how the real and unreal, the true and false promises, appear to be intermingled, but that God’s judgement—divine Truth’s judgement—gives us clarity to distinguish between what is real and eternal and what is false and deceptive.  As you read through the Responsive Reading, you could note which verses describe “empty promises” (the unreal) and which describe solid and dependable truth (the real).  (Ecclesiastes 1:3, 4, 8, 9, 14, 173:14, 15, 1712:14)


SECTION 1: DIVINE TRUTH MAKES CLEAR WHAT’S REAL VS UNREAL

The first section of the lesson uses the imagery of dwelling with and trusting in God, our refuge and fortress, to deliver us from the “snare”—the trickery—of “pestilence.” (citation B1, Psalm 92:1-3) Divine Truth delivers us from feeling “ashamed and confounded” by offering a metaphorical threshing instrument that sorts the chaff (unreal and un-useful) from the wheat (real and useful).  (cit. B2, Isaiah 41: 11, 13, 15-20)

As Mary Baker Eddy explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The Science of Christianity” (or the way to understand divine Truth) “comes with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat.”  (cit. S1, 466:26)

While our limited viewpoint and the blurriness of competing versions of truth vie for our attention, “[Divine] Science reverses the false testimony of the physical senses, and by this reversal mortals arrive at the fundamental facts of being.” (cit. S2, 120: 7-9)

The outward appearance of things seems to confound us with confusing counterfeits of Truth, but the light of divine Science enables us to find “waymarks to eternal Truth.”  (cit. S3, 267:19-25 note the marginal heading)

It is comforting to know that that Truth cannot be made untrue.  Truth cannot actually be contaminated by confusion.  And “Truth cannot be contaminated by error.”  (cit. S4, 287:32)

Sometimes discord seems to try to wear the costume of person, place or thing that could disrupt the eternal harmony of Truth, but as we stick with absolute Truth, we begin to see more and more easily that nothing but a limited and distorted view could seem to contaminate the perfection of Truth.  As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.” (cit. S5, 71:1)


SECTION 2: LIKE ELIJAH, WE CAN TAKE A STAND FOR TRUTH

The second section uses the account of the prophet Elijah following God’s instructions as he escaped from Ahab—a pagan despot—to flee Eastward into what was considered barren wilderness.  Elijah stood up to Ahab, denouncing paganism and defending monotheism, but now needed safe hiding from Ahab’s vengeance.  Elijah represented the metaphorical fan that was sorting out the chaff of paganism from the wheat of monotheism, even as his stance for good aggravated Ahab.  Whereas some may have expected to starve while hiding in barren land, Elijah trusted God’s instructions and found ravens that provided his food and a bubbling brook to quench his thirst.  (cit. B4, I Kings 17: 1-6) Elijah’s story offers a helpful illustration to understand Christ Jesus’ words centuries later, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”  (cit. B3, Matthew, 5:6)

As I see it, Elijah’s story relates to the train conductor who needs to see beyond the illusion of the train tracks coming together at the horizon.  If Elijah bought into the view presented to him—a bleak and barren wilderness—he could have been as fearful as a train conductor who thinks their train will derail when the train tracks came together up ahead.  But just as the train conductor can trust in the truth of parallel tracks and turn away from the outward appearance of things, so too could Elijah trust in the truth of divine Love’s provision, and turn away from the threatening terrain up ahead to move forward with confidence each step of the way.

Elijah’s experience shows us that we can stand up for goodness and purity right in the face of what seems like tyrannical world belief, and trust that divine Love will gently tend to our needs as we listen and obey on the path forward.  Our “Ahab” isn’t a “person, place, or thing” but is the blurry blending of unreality with reality, the confusion of world belief threatening to undermine our clear and present sense of peace.  No.  “Suffering, sinning, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, they will have no power over man, for man is immortal and lives by divine authority.” (cit. S76:6-10, 18)

Elijah’s fan-like stance for sorting the wheat of monotheism from the chaff of paganism was a clarification of divine Truth that had seemed to become blurry in Ahab’s paganistic rule.  Elijah honored God.  And as Elijah stood for the reality of monotheism against the “empty promises” of paganism, he received divine Love’s continual provision and protection.


SECTION 3: CHAFF OF PAGANISM VS. WHEAT OF MONOTHEISM

In the third section, we find the account of the prophet Elisha, who was Elijah’s attendant and successor, and Elisha’s trust in God to guide and provide for the Shunammite woman.  The Shunammite woman trusted Elisha’s relationship with God because he had already healed her son.  And now, in this account, Elisha tells her she needs to leave her home and go to the land of Philistines during an imminent famine.  She obeys Elisha’s instructions but while she’s gone for seven years, her home was confiscated. In an attempt to recover her home, the Shunammite woman bravely approaches King Joram—the ruler of Israel and the son of Ahab and Jezebel—to claim her property. As if on cue, at the same moment that the Shunammite woman is approaching King Joram, Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, has just finished telling the King about Elisha healing her son.  Gehazi points out the woman to the King, and the King decides immediately to restore her property to her. (cit. B7, II Kings 8:1-6) Note that this background information is available in Bible commentaries and you can also find it in this week’s “Bible Lens Research” compiled by the Christian Science Publishing Society.

The woman’s story illustrates the promise in Isaiah, “The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.”  (cit. B5, Isaiah 58:11, 12 NLT)

The Shunammite woman clearly trusted in divine Love’s provision, and Elisha’s prophet-sense of divine Love.  Her prospects appeared bleak—just like the train tracks coming together at the horizon present a bleak picture for the train conductor.  But she trusted the principle of divine Love’s provision, listened to Elisha, and found that she was provided for each step of the way.  Her home, her “consciousness of good,” was rightly restored.

Elisha, and thus the Shunammite woman discovered that, “In divine Science,” which is omni-present, “man is sustained by God, the divine Principle of being.”  (cit. S11, 530:5-6) It may have appeared that the metaphorical train tracks coming together on the horizon would derail her future, but she trusted divine Love’s sure path forward.  She found she could depend on divine Love.  As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”  (cit. S13, 494:10-11, 19-29) It may have been tempting for the woman to despair and give up on divine Love during the “apparent discord,” but her trust and obedience enabled her to witness how a “right understanding” of God “restores harmony.”  (cit. S14, 390:4-9)

It seems to me that this story also reveals that Ahab and Jezebel’s son—King Joram—gained a better understanding of monotheism after hearing Gehazi’s account of Elisha’s healings and meeting the woman whose child Elisha healed.  The new King’s understanding of monotheism shows that even the disruptive storyline of paganism was being corrected.  As it happened, the new King, who was also the son of the rulers who chased Elijah into the wilderness because Elijah boldly stood for monotheism, restored the property of the woman whose son was healed by the one and true God.  This is a multigenerational example of God’s Law of Adjustment, which shows that the metaphorical train tracks of progress are never-ending.

We could say that, “It was Ahab and Jezebel’s “ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produce[d] apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him [by their son, King Joram] restore[d] harmony.”  (cit. S14, 390:4-9)

The healing account in Section 3 is about the Shunammite woman and the restoration of her property.  And it is also about a multi-generational chaff-and-wheat sorting of paganism and monotheism.  The chaff of paganism was thrown to the winds of time, and blown away, leaving behind the useful and truthful wheat.


SECTION 4: CHRIST-TRUTH SORTS THE UNREAL FROM THE REAL

The fourth section includes the story of Christ Jesus healing the man who had the “spirit of an unclean devil.”  The man seemed to be experiencing multiple personalities—conflicting forces—warring within him.  To me, this seems like the metaphorical chaff and wheat were at war within the man, and in the confusion, the man seemed to lose his grounding in truth.  The war within him seemed to be a war between unreality and reality. Christ Jesus was not deceived by the devil of confusion.  Christ Jesus brought the Science of the Christ, and came “with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat” in this man.  (cit. S1, 466:26)

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “The notion that both evil and good are real is a delusion of material sense, which Science annihilates. Evil is nothing, no thing, mind, nor power. As manifested by mankind it stands for a lie, nothing claiming to be something, — for lust, dishonesty, selfishness, envy, hypocrisy, slander, hate, theft, adultery, murder, dementia, insanity, inanity, devil, hell, with all the etceteras that word includes.”  (cit. S16, 330:25)

Christ Jesus’ understanding of divine Truth, our unity with God, was the fan that blew away the “unreality,” blew away the chaff of confusion in this man.  And Christ Jesus authoritatively declared to the “unreality” of confusion, “Hold thy peace, and come out of him.” And the “devil,” or confusion about reality, left the man, and hurt him not. (cit. B9, Luke 4:14: 33-36) Christ-Truth was able to silence the clamor of confusion confounding the man. This account illustrates the prophetic vision of Zechariah, who wrote, “Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.”  (cit. B8, Zechariah 2:13 NLT)

Mary Baker Eddy explains that, “The arguments to be used in curing insanity are the same as in other diseases: namely, the impossibility that matter, brain, can control or derange mind, can suffer or cause suffering; also the fact that truth and love will establish a healthy state, guide and govern mortal mind or the thought of the patient, and destroy all error, whether it is called dementia, hatred, or any other discord.” (cit. S17, 414:7)

Christ Jesus was not confused by the appearance of warring powers any more than a wise train conductor would be afraid their train would derail off parallel tracks coming together at the horizon.  The confusion that seemed to confound the man was evil, which Mary Baker Eddy explains has no true source.  She writes, “Evil is a negation, because it is the absence of truth. It is nothing, because it is the absence of something. It is unreal, because it presupposes the absence of God, the omnipotent and omnipresent. Every mortal must learn that there is neither power nor reality in evil.”   She continues, “Evil is self-assertive. It says: ‘I am a real entity, overmastering good.’ This falsehood should strip evil of all pretensions. The only power of evil is to destroy itself. It can never destroy one iota of good.”  (cit. S19, 186:11-20)


SECTION 5: THE WHEAT OF CHRIST-SCIENCE HEALS THE MULTITUDES THROUGHOUT ALL TIME

The fifth section shows how the truth of Christianity—not as a creed, system of ceremonies, or ritualism—but as the Science, the complete and effective knowledge, of Christ, can free mankind from the metaphorical chaff of sickness, sin and death.  (cit. S20, 135:21) The fifth section illustrates this point with the account of Christ Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law, who appeared to be sick with a fever. (cit. S11, Matthew 8:14-16)

Rather than feel sorrow for her, Christ Jesus witnessed her health.  Instead of seeing the chaff of disease, he focused on the wheat of health.  Once again, Christ-Truth acts as the fan, and we see again, “The Science of Christianity comes with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat.”  (cit. S1, 466:26)

 

And, of course, Peter’s mother-in-law was not the only one healed.  Many more were brought to Christ Jesus to heal, and “he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.”  (cit. B11, Matthew 8: 14-16)

It didn’t really make a difference what the illness or disease was.  Christ Jesus could see through any inharmony as unlike divine Truth, and thus unreal.  Likewise, it doesn’t matter what the view is surrounding parallel train tracks—a desert, a prairie, a forest—it is just as untrue that the tracks come together at the horizon.  Some vistas may block more of the tracks, or make it more difficult to see the full view, but the tracks are still just as parallel.  Likewise, there is no need to classify diseases to heal them more effectively.  As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “One disease is no more real than another. All disease is the result of education, and disease can carry its ill-effects no farther than mortal mind maps out the way. The human mind, not matter, is supposed to feel, suffer, enjoy. Hence decided types of acute disease are quite as ready to yield to Truth as the less distinct type and chronic form of disease. Truth handles the most malignant contagion with perfect assurance.” (cit. S21, 176:24)

But how do we heal? We can “Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, — neither in nor of matter, — and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well.” (cit. S22, 14:12-16)  In other words, we can sort the chaff of matter from the wheat of true body, and experience health.  When we think of the body as a limited container of parts and organs it is like accepting that we contain both chaff and wheat.  But as we see true body as the individualized expression of at-one-ment with divine Truth, we can allow the truth-fan to blow away the chaff of disease and leave behind the wheat of health.

SECTION 6: WE CAN BE THE FAN THAT SORTS THE CHAFF FROM THE WHEAT

The sixth section concludes with instructions to love and honor God, Truth and by so doing, see beyond the illusion of “unreality.”  (cit. B12, Ecclesiastes 12:13) As we understand the deceptive nature of “unreality,” we can see through it more and more effectively.  We will not be deceived.  Our understanding of divine Science—the truth of reality—empowers us to be the fan that sorts the chaff of unreality from the wheat of harmonious reality.  This is the whole duty of man, to honor God, Truth, and be the fan, or witness, for Truth.

We can pray to honor God, Truth, each day with a prayer of honor like the one found in Chronicles, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” (cit. B13, I Chronicles 29:11)

With the confidence of the train conductor who moves down the tracks that they know remain parallel at the horizon, we can trust in God, Truth’s omnipotence.  We can actively understand, “There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God.” (cit. S24, 228:25-27)

As we “honor God,” we achieve the whole duty of man, the whole of man.  Our confidence derives from the truth that “Divine Love is infinite. Therefore all that really exists is in and of God, and manifests His love.”  There is no “unreality” any more than there are train tracks that come together at the horizon.  As we know this with greater and greater understanding, we become the truth-fan that sorts the chaff of unreality from the wheat of health, harmony, and infinity of Love.


A Ken Cooper POETIC POSTLUDE related to this Bible Lesson will SOON be POSTED on CedarS INSPIRATION website & EMAILED TO THOSE WHO SUBSCRIBE FOR IT HERE.

GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas from COBBEY CRISLER and others are yet to be fully excavated and refined and so WILL BE POSTED later this week on CedarS INSPIRATION website & EMAILED TO THOSE WHO SUBSCRIBE FOR IT HERE.


HUMBLE, HEARTFELT THANKS to all you difference-making DONORS WHO HELPED US MEET OUR YEAR-END MATCHING FUND GOALS!  (Additional gifts are still greatly appreciated answers to prayer to HELP US FEED OUR HERD, MAINTAIN CedarS CAMPSITE IN KEEPING with OUR MISSION, AWARD CAMPERSHIPS…

LASTLY WE ARE FOREVER BEYOND GRATEFUL for a multi-year Endowment Matching Grant!  We’re just over halfway to our match and making steady planned giving progress.  Thank you for helping us share a love of Christian Science and its practical application with generations to come. For more on making a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an endowment gift (that will be MATCHED) feel free to call or text me (Warren Huff) at 314-378-2574.

Your needed, ongoing support will help us “love into view”  lasting, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS for hundreds of families and thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and the world.


WATCH TOMORROW FOR AN EMAIL FROM HOLLY WITH VIDEO LINKS TO OUR FAST-FILLING PROGRAMS.  PLEASE SHARE IT WITH ANYONE WHO WOULD BE BLESSED BY AN UNBEATABLE BLEND OF SKILL-BUILDING FUN AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH — REGARDLESS OF FINANCES! 

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

Back
to top