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Learn how to not be unwittingly fooled by lies so clever they sound like truth!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Unreality”
For September 30-October 6, 2019

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO
Kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041

When I get to this lesson on unreality, I always find myself asking the same question: why do we have a lesson on reality, and then one on unreality? I don't ask because I am skeptical, it just always seems to come to mind. The fun thing is that I usually find some new idea, or reason, that inspires me. This time, one of the themes that I notice is the idea that we actually need to have "A knowledge of error and of its operations…" (S3). Here Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) explains that this knowledge "…must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker." This explains why we need to study this subject of unreality. In order to truly understand Truth, the true man that is God-made we have to be able to discern when we might be fooled by evil, or error.

Our Golden Text declares with firmness that we "will not" be fooled or tricked by "lies so clever they sound like truth." A really helpful key to healing is awareness of when we might unwittingly be falling prey to societal beliefs or trends.

For many years I struggled with feeling very sad, even despondent in the day or two prior to the arrival of my period. Even though this happened on a regular basis, I didn't "connect the dots" and so was not very effective in my prayers, not identifying the suggestion that this was attributable to hormones. At some point, I began to realize that there appeared to be a connection. This recognition of the way that I was being "tricked with lies so clever they sound like truth" was pivotal in my being able to turn things around. I cannot say that after this recognition I was never challenged by the suggestion of sadness, but armed with the knowledge that this was a lie in the first place, parading as a necessary "side effect" of being female, made it so much easier to laugh at myself, govern my emotions, and also suggest that those in my family shouldn't take my feelings during those times too seriously, as well.

Error has no power over man, but it might be helpful to think of evil like darkness in a room. You will have a hard time seeing while sitting in a dark room. If you don't know that there is a light in that room, maybe you can't even find it, then there you sit, in the dark! Yet the darkness holds no intrinsic power. It cannot "take over" another room where a light is on. In fact, the minute a light is turned on in that dark room, the darkness disappears and you find yourself in the light. When we understand where the "light" is, where it comes from, how to find it, we are able to bring that light with us to shed its healing power to reveal truth in all that we do.

It would be hard to find a time in history when there weren't people despairing over evil in society, violence, war, and so on. Our Responsive Reading this week brings a passage that points to the way that matter appears to us as full of aggression, fear, violence, disease, famine… And the temptation might be to look to matter for "signs" that somehow explain this evil appearing. But, this disturbing picture is followed by seeing the "Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." This is our gift when we are nurturing our spiritual consciousness, our spiritual sense that helps us discern the truth, and contradicts and replaces these convincing acts of error with spiritual reality.

I am reminded of the passage in Mary Baker Eddy's poem and hymn "Christ My Refuge", where she says: "…And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea I see Christ walk, And come to me, and tenderly, Divinely talk." (Mis. 396:17-20). Knowing the Christ, truth, indeed sets us free from the lies of error. [SAP1]

Section 1: We know we are understanding reality when we are at peace.

Genuine peace comes with relying on God for our understanding/discernment of reality. The Bible in this section gives us several verses that tell us how to identify when something is from God. When God does things, they are lasting and complete [B2, SAP2]. And citation B4 tells us that we are anointed by God, Love's blessing, so the ability to perceive spiritual good, is within each of us.

Finally, in citation B5 [and SAP3] James gives us a list of qualities that distinguish God's wisdom from evil or error. "…the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality, or hypocrisy." (New Revised Standard Edition of the Bible) What a list! Here we have actual instructions, we can ask ourselves if what we are seeing around us matches this list. If it doesn't, it does not have the power of Spirit behind it.

There are more qualities that we can use to discern the difference between God's creation and the mythological model of material creation. Citation S1 tells us that everything God makes is "worthy", and "good". Discernment, spiritual understanding is key here. Not only must we discern and understand error and its "operations" (S3), but we must also gain a true understanding of God's goodness. This is easiest done through a deeper study of divine Science, in this way we can glimpse "A world more bright" that is part of Mary Baker Eddy's poem that I mentioned above.

Section 2: Moses learns to distinguish truth from the lie.

There are a couple of impositions that God dispels for Moses in this section. First of all, Moses is full of self-doubt. God addresses this imposition in a couple of ways, though one of them is not included in the verses in this lesson. This self-doubt is dealt with by God's statement that His name is "I AM". This is a statement of the one Ego. Moses had no separate, unworthy, or unequal self. All that God asked him to do, he could do because God is the source of all good, all right action.

Then God further helps Moses on his path to understanding the totality of God's power by turning Moses' staff into a serpent, and then back to a staff, and turning his hand leprous, and restoring it to health. [B8, Exod. 4 & S5, p. 321:8, & SAP4] It is an illusion that we are personally responsible for aiding and healing, blessing and freeing our fellow man. By discerning the serpent from the staff, through spiritual demonstration, healing, we lose our fear and self-doubt. We approach the time that Mary Baker Eddy speaks of in citation S6 "…when mortal mind will forsake its corporeal, structural, and material basis, when immortal Mind and its formations will be apprehended in Science, and material beliefs will not interfere with spiritual facts." Again, it is spiritual sense that is reliable, trustworthy. Material sense can only be relied on to bring messages of unworthiness, inadequacy, or possibly pride, a false estimate of personally owned skill. Spiritual sense brings Mind's messages and truth to our consciousness (S8).

Section 3: Spiritual sense slices through the surface level lie of a material reality.

Citations B9 and B10 are getting at our inmost being, the core of who we are. Our spiritual sense "…discernment of spiritual good." Citation S10 is what will cut through the false picture that error or unreality presents, just as it did for Moses. The passage from Romans 12:2 has many beautiful translations that point out this search for our truest sense of self that is the man of God. The New Living Translation is one: "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." [B10, SAP5]

Spiritual sense that comes to us through Divine Science, cuts through the "fetters"–the standards of material belief: human codes, scholastic theology (simply an intellectual understanding of religion and matters of spirit—the word more than the heart), and material medicine and hygiene. These material standards keep us in bondage, no less severe than that of the Children of Israel when they were enslaved in Egypt.

We can get a true and freeing understanding of our nature when we look through the lens of Divine Science. The sword and slicing analogy is continued in citation S12 which speaks of anatomy in a spiritual light. Again, we are learning to discern the origin of thoughts that come to us and distinguishing the true or real, from the false or unreal.

Section 4: Warfare between truth and error is a mental conflict. (S17)

This slightly altered statement of Mary Baker Eddy, parallels citation B12 {& SAP6] in which we have error exposed as not being a warfare of "flesh and blood", but against the suggestion that there is power in matter, "rulers", "spiritual wickedness in high places". Again, we are identifying error as something that tries to tell us we are powerless against it.

Citation B11 is simply an account of a time of warfare between the kingdom of Judah, which included Jerusalem, and the kingdom of Israel (Ephraim), which had joined forces with Syria to overtake Judah. The promise from God at the end of that passage affirms that it is God that is in control, and not these seemingly mighty, combined "powers".

This section is reminiscent of the Responsive Reading. As we put on the mental, spiritual armor necessary to resist these erroneous impositions, we find our "…genuine selfhood…recognizable only in what is good and true." (S18) This "battle" takes place on the mental battlefield. And, as we are keeping our thought spiritually prepared, we quickly find we can discern the facts from the fictitious fables and find the peace that comes from understanding the "…entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil." (S19)

[SAP7 outlines Mary Baker Eddy’s WALL or CALL treatment in S20 –495:16) to eliminate illusion.]

Section 5: The true man of God's making, cannot be perceived by the eye.

Jesus was all about helping mankind better understand God as Love—as a Good Shepherd and the abundant source of good alone. [B14 & SAP8] He pursued this mission by sharing parables, preaching, teaching and most of all, by healing. I don't know if my thoughts about this story of Jesus healing the blind man in citation B15 [& SAP 9] are accurate, but it seems that Jesus is addressing the strongly held belief that our sight is contained solely in the eyeball.

The prevailing thought (remember the Golden Text!) is that a man born blind cannot be made to see. Jesus led this man away from the crowds and out of town, away from stubborn material belief. Even then he met with a "two stage" healing as his "correct view of man" overcame the resistance of human belief in material "law". Perhaps it is helpful to see this man's healing as his movement forward in understanding. It didn't come all at once, but in stages. We could see it as a little bit (slightly!) more gradual giving up of material beliefs, and admitting of spiritual facts. (S25)

Section 6: Identify materialism as that which blinds us to spiritual reality.

It is so expansive to look at the story of Jesus in citation B18 [SAP 10] whipping the money changers out of the temple in a more spiritually symbolic light. What if we are to look at the temple as our body or consciousness. If our consciousness of self is clogged with materialistic thoughts and pursuits, we can hardly be effective healers, and we certainly cannot find stable and abiding joy.

Our consciousness, when it is spiritually awake and alert, is a dwelling place for God. I was struck with the passage in citation S28 where Mary Baker Eddy tells us that "…evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy." (italics added)

It is a subtle suggestion of error that we have some kind of permission to believe that the human condition is one that has good and evil, while the spiritual has only good. Here Mary Baker Eddy is quite clear, that even in this place of our present consciousness we are to demonstrate, through healing, the divine fact that Good is all there is, is All-in-all. A subtly materialistic belief in the reality and presence of evil in the human condition would hamper our spiritual understanding of the omnipresence of spiritual reality. [W: Christ Jesus’ wholistic, spiritual mindset pops out in this line of his “Lord’s Prayer” — “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” He shows us how his “prayer so fervently offered possessed no opposing element” (My. 293:21). And, Mary Baker Eddy expounds on this in her spiritual interpretation of that line of the “Lord’s Prayer” — “Enable us to know, —as in heaven, so on earth, — God is omnipotent, supreme.” (Science & Health, 17:1-2, bold, underlining added).

Section 7: "All the real is eternal."

The prophecies in citations B22 and B23 speak to the fact that this spiritual reality has been known and seen throughout time and eternity. It is based on the fact "that Truth is real and error is unreal." (S30) We are not trying to "reach" spiritual reality. Nor are we trying to make it appear.

Reality is the fact because it comes from Truth. We discern it through spiritual sense. It is revealed to us as we recognize the lie for what it is, and employ and practice this Science to build our treasure chest of spiritual evidence.

Here's hoping CedarS APPs—Application Principles Practiced–will stick with you!
Warren Huff is compiling these Application ideas from Cobbey Crisler and others on select citations posted online and to be emailed to you SOON.


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