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[Rise up from the dream of life in matter. Progress in the reality of your spiritual origin!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Adam and Fallen Man”
for the week ending November 5, 2017

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

In this week's lesson we are invited to "awake" and shake off the "dust" of a false origin story. How we understand our origin is key to how we can find lasting and genuine harmony, joy, vigor. As Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health "Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress." (170:22-24, citation S5 in this week's lesson). Just how we go about shaking off that false sense of a life that is confined in matter either completely or in part, is the business of this week's subject. So let's get to it!

The Golden Text commands us to wake up, or stop living in, being satisfied with, the dream of material existence. This is the "Adam dream" that is mentioned in Genesis 2 (B5). It further demands that we "shake [ourselves] from the dust;". We can shake off any thoughts that would obscure our true, Godlike, identity; shake off anything that would cause doubt, shame, or make our thinking about man or God unclear or confusing. The true man is the "new" one which is made in the image of God "…in righteousness and true holiness." (Responsive Reading, RR) We are made in His likeness, so we are holy, and righteous. This Christlike man, our realization of our identity as Christlike, remands the "Adam man" to the dustbin of falsehood. In Adam we are condemned to die. In Christ we experience life, the life that springs from Life/God. (B16/S24) We cannot "spiritualize" matter. (That's why we have to "shake it off"). There is no way to reconcile the true creation with the false. As it says in the RR: "…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." What we do for God, living as the Christ-man and not for matter, this is always fruitful, productive, or "…not in vain…" as it says at the end of the RR. Living a productive, progressive life, embraced in divine Love, is living in Christ. This is the only origin that is true, and promotes progress.

Section 1: There are no "buts…" in spiritual creation! [See poem in PS#1 or upper right.]

I love how the Genesis 1 creation is complete.* There's no "But there went up a mist…" (as in Genesis 2, B2. The complete statement of creation in citation B1 is "…the simplicity that is in Christ." mentioned in citation B8. While simple in concept, it is challenging to material sense. Christian Science gives us the tools to make things clear, help us to view things through the senses of Spirit, Truth. I am not implying that this is easy. But one thing that has become clear to me is that material sense will often tempt us with the suggestion of a simple answer, and then plunge us into a maze of confusion as we pursue its winding path. The side effects of many drugs that can sometimes be pages long are an example of this confusion. The "But…" in the second chapter of Genesis reminds me of the thoughts of doubt and fear that creep in when we are working on a healing of any kind. Right when we are affirming and rejoicing in our perfection, doubt sneaks in and suggests that actually, "so and so was coughing in class the other day… so maybe that's where I got this cold." If we go back to spiritual causation and consider it more deeply, if we start as Jesus did from the standpoint of perfect God and man, then we have a basis from which we can progress. This summer I had a powerful healing from this standpoint of divine origin, one good cause. I had been struggling for two days with headache and nausea. I'd missed several meals in the process. When I called a practitioner for some extra support so that I could continue my own work in healing, his first words were "there is only one cause." (Meaning God/Good.) I woke the next day and hiked some ten or eleven miles with our group, in altitude, with strength and joy. This is just one such example of the progress available to man as we clear away the suggestion that we stem from matter and are subject to material "laws" whatever their nature.
*[The first three sections point to the distinction between the accounts in Genesis, Chapter One and Genesis, Chapter Two. A delightful poem that captures the essence, flavor and healing importance of that distinction is included as a download in the upper right and as Warren’s PS#1.]

Section 2: Don't get your information from your sleeping dreams.

We would never go about our day making decisions from the basis of something we dream! (Okay, maybe if our dreams are anchored in spiritual inspiration, but generally speaking…)
In my case, most of my dreams are totally nonsensical and this would make for a very peculiar existence! Citation S7 tells us that "The parent of all human discord is the Adam-dream, the deep sleep, in which originated the delusion that life and intelligence proceeded from and passed into matter." All human discord proceeds from this dream of life in matter! That's a lot of human discord, and might really encourage us to look to a different kind of origin! We could think of this as helping us to see that when we are "asleep" or "dreaming", we are unaware of the spiritual reality and creation that is continuously unfolding. We'd be experiencing the dreaming world, the world of matter, while actually, spiritual reality and God is unfolding to spiritual sense, the infinite range of spiritual creation (S11). In like manner, a life that is seen as rooted in material origins is dreamlike, unreal. I learned this week from the My Bible Lesson notes that citation B6, which tells us to "…arise, and sit down…" is speaking of getting up and then sitting down in a place of honor, such as a throne. That really illumines this passage. We can wake up and rise from the limited sense of the dream of life in matter, and sit in the honored throne of the Christ-man. There we can experience the harmony of spiritual creation! It takes action on our part, mental effort and protest. We "rise" mentally, to take our place in the realm of Spirit. This happens now, not at some future time. True creation is eternally unfolding spiritual ideas, as Mrs. Eddy says in citation S11, not in a time-limited dream of life in matter.

Section 3: For true progress, recognize the serpent for what it is—material sense!

The suggestion of the serpent that we shall "…be as gods…" is no different than the suggestions of material sense today telling us that a deeper knowledge of matter will lead to better health, happiness, satisfaction, intelligence and so on. Its hubris is revealed when it says we will be as "gods", first implying that there is more than one God, and second, that we know more and are more happy if we concede that evil is just as real as good. God's true nature, and man's true nature has never been more deeply or truly understood by a knowledge of evil. Evil has no part in either. (S14) Have you ever been tempted to think that we are more "worldly, cool, up-to-date, normal, popular, happy" and so on, if we accept the "simple" belief that evil is part of existence? We might gain a temporary sense of belonging through relinquishing the Scientific view of reality as all good and all spiritual. But ultimately this view is difficult to maintain when based on matter as the source of existence and progress. Often, our participation in what seem to be these "normal" views, leads to shame and subjugation, rather than joy and freedom. This is because we tend to see ourselves as somehow "bad" or "sinners". From that basis we are unable freely rise to our true selfhood because rather than understanding that our true origin is all goodness, we are trying to elevate our material sense of self into a better iteration of that self. This is much harder to do, and ultimately, very limited in scope. Mrs. Eddy points out that in the allegory of this section, it is Eve's identification of corporeal sense as the serpent that allows her to be first to abandon the belief in material origins of man and so a woman to become the mother of Jesus, first at the grave to see the risen Savior, first to interpret the Scriptures in their true sense… (S13). Don't we all want this progressive sense of being?! This progress requires us to shake off that false sense of man's origin. I love that we have citation S15 that speaks of how being "Lulled by stupefying illusions, the world is asleep in the cradle of infancy, dreaming away the hours." I'd never extended that idea of the "cradle of infancy" being a place of paralyzed progress. Spiritual sense reveals a fully awake, progressive idea of God's man, rather than someone stuck in infancy and stupor. This is the progress of a man originating in Spirit.

Section 4: Ask the right questions and progress! [See W’s PS#2 and PS#3.]

This section includes the story of the man born blind. Jesus answers the disciples' questions about this man's origin with the statement that they are asking the wrong question! Healing is always about what God is and man is, as God's reflection. If we are digging into material cause, we will at best, make tortuous progress. This is because it is much like trying to solve math equations without the correct mathematical information. We can plug in the wrong numbers and information all day and we will never get a correct answer. When healing, we have to "plug in" the spiritual facts only, and this includes only a spiritual origin. Paul reaffirms in citation B14 that we are heirs and children of God, and joint heirs with Christ! This understanding is progressive. In citation S18 we have that beloved statement of how Jesus beheld man, right where sinning man appears to mortals. It is this true view that brings an adjustment in our vision, so that we see only the man of God's making. We also get to see that God's kingdom is always "intact", unbroken by the temptation of the serpent or material sense. We are free then, to rise "higher and higher" from this spiritual, true, and "boundless basis". (S19). That's a basis of real progress!

Section 5: Spiritual progress does not include death. [See W’s PS#4 and PS#5.]

Jesus did not go at once to Lazarus' aid, even though he might have prevented Lazarus' death. Jesus knew that the progress of Lazarus' life as an expression of Life/God, was never confined to matter. While we may not feel up to that demonstration, we are called upon, as his disciples to confront the idea that death is inevitable. In fact, life, as created in Genesis 1, includes no matter, only image, likeness, dominion. These are spiritual descriptions of a divinely royal man made after God’s likeness. Spiritual sense bears this out each time we have a healing. Jesus used the analogy of sleep when describing Lazarus' condition—and this is not the first time he does this (see Mark 5 or Luke 8). I think, in part, this is why this story is included in this lesson about the dream of life in matter. Through a spiritually-elevated, first Genesis view of creation, we can overcome the suggestion of death. We glimpse the reality of life as never contained in matter in the first place, therefore never passing out of matter. (S22) Jesus showed us all how we can progress in our understanding of eternal Life by demonstration of our understanding of God as Good, as All, as a loving creator of spiritual, true man. From this standpoint we can progress eternally and infinitely, rather than gradually or precipitously declining in age or disease or accident. Spiritual origin promotes continuous progress.

Section 6: Original sin, or God as the origin of all that is good and true?

Man is not a sinner. We accept this, and the old views of man as derived from matter pass away from us as a dream. We then can put on that "new man" each day. (B19). Spiritual progress springs from an un-ruptured relationship with our Father-Mother. If it seems as if that relationship is broken, this is a sure sign that we are relying on material sense to determine our understanding of our relationship to God. This relationship cannot be changed in any way, by anything. Sometimes we seem to wander about in a dream of separation that might include various forays into an attempt at more vibrant living through diving deeper into matter. But these give way to the realization that Love is more deeply satisfying than matter ever can even claim, much less be. Our eternal and satisfying identity as God's man, is established, upheld and impelled by Love. This identity is ever unfolding to us.

Click here for the rest of Warren Huff’s additions of insights by Cobbey Crisler and others on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Adam and Fallen Man” for November 5, 2017.


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