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[Seek Happiness in Soul’s infinitude to more readily attain it & retain it! (S13, S&H 60:29)]
Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Soul”
for August 18, 2013

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

This week's lesson on Soul can help us drop our limited sense of self as we understand God's nature as Soul.  This nature would never confine us to finding happiness in a limited mortal sense of mind, never keep us trapped in the realm of a mind that is separate from Mind and possessing a will of its own, never bind us to a mortal body in which we must find satisfaction, beauty, purity, nor cut off our ability to share Soul's abundant goodness by death of that body.  Soul's “infinite resources” are reflected in all our varied expressions of divine Life, through reflection, not through matter!

Our Golden Text and Responsive Reading (R.R.) this week open with an exultant call to rejoice in the presence, and beauty, and glory of Soul, God. This, combined with the Section 1 call for us to notice, and rejoice in the beauty and majesty of His creation, give us permission to relish the natural/man-made beauty around us. We do this by translating it into what this beauty represents spiritually.  A spectacular city scene with a bridge elegantly spanning a large river might represent the spiritual qualities of strength, balance, grace, wisdom, transportation, design and so on.  While a grand view of a mountain range or the ocean crashing on a rocky shore might represent His power, majesty, vitality, color, and hint at a sense of the unlimited capacity of Soul's creative abilities.  Mrs. Eddy points this out in citation S3 when she talks about what some of these grand landscapes and creatures represent.  We can make this a practice of our own wherever we happen to be.  There is spiritual beauty that points to Soul's presence with us (“I will walk among you” R.R.), everywhere around us, even when it might seem obscure.  This is where we worship Soul, “in the beauty of holiness” (R.R.), right here where we are, lifting our thought above what mortal sense perceives.

[Section 1: Observe “the heavens declar(ing) the glory of God”. (B1, Ps.19:1)]
This Sunday and Monday night in the Northern hemisphere, we have the opportunity to view the Perseid meteor shower.  It's a great year to see this event because there is little interference from moonlight.  I mention this because it stands out to me in the context of what we are talking about this week and the very first citation in section 1 speaks of “The heavens declar[ing] the glory of God”.  You can read about this show in the Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0811/Perseid-meteor-shower-peaks-tonight-why-this-is-a-can-t-miss-year-video ).  I love the reference that the writer makes when he describes the shooting stars as “cosmic leftovers” from the Swift-Tuttle comet!  My 9-year-old and I went out and lay on our backs to watch the skies tonight for awhile in an attempt to see some of these bright streaks of light.  Can you believe that these bright lights are actually mostly the size of a grain of sand?  A scientist on the radio referred to them as being more or less the size of a “grape-nut” (if you are familiar with that cereal).  And yet we can see them, all these thousands of miles away, as they burn through our atmosphere!  My son and I weren't able to see any on tonight (Sunday night); the clouds were a little too abundant, but we did enjoy sharing the night noises and watching the bats fly overhead as we lay shoulder to shoulder.  The beauty of something as infinite as Soul cannot be limited by a few clouds!  Soul's beauty and presence abound in a multitude of ways.  Citation B3 touches on this when it states that “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.”  Such a small gesture, the opening of the hand, but the opening of the “hand” of Soul satisfies “every living thing”.  Wow!  If you are struggling to feel that satisfaction and peace, here is a promise that it is there, it is walking with you and surrounding you, and as Soul's creation, you are a part of it, enveloped in it and embraced by Soul Herself! (S5)

Section 2: Happiness resides in Soul.
I know we hear this sort of thing a lot.  But it's awfully easy to get wrapped up in our day to day activities and find ourselves feeling happy or sad based on what we see or feel through our material senses.  We have a reiteration of the verse: “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Here in citation B6 it is from a different book of the Bible, but it is word for word the same as in the R.R.  Holiness and the beauty of it are by definition outside of the body.  We cannot perceive or find that kind of beauty and the joy that comes with it by looking into matter more and more deeply.  Citation B8 asks God to “rid me, and deliver me form the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is the right hand of falsehood.”  The Psalmist is probably speaking here more of enemies of his country, but we can perhaps look at it as a warning to root out those thoughts that are foreign to us, not “related” to us through our creator, Soul.  These “foreigners” are liars, and their promises are “vain”, empty and worthless.  The next sentence speaks of “our sons” and “our daughters”, those would be the loved and valued members of our true family.  We welcome these thoughts or ideas and they fill us with infinite joy, sustenance, creativity, intelligence, vigor, etc. that “…our garners (storehouses) may be full, …our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets” and so on. Look at all the abundance that is bestowed on us as we push away the thought that we possess a separate mind from God that welcomes in these “strangers” instead of our true “children”.  Once you start to see it this way you can see it spread through the Science and Health of this section. Citation S6 states that: “The senses confer no real enjoyment” (those “strange children” don't bring us joy).  Citation S7 speaks of “wrong tastes and sentiments”, more “strangers” right?  And our “sons and daughters”, those spiritually, Soul-based ideas, are represented in citations S9 and S10 with “Unselfish ambition, noble life-motives, and purity,–”. And with “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true…”.

Section 3: Human will blinds us!
The story of Saul being blinded as he heads to Damascus to gather up Christians to bring them to “justice” is the story of foiled human will.  When we rely on our own, sometimes very strong, sense of right, we can be blind to what Soul is telling us.  We must be careful that we are letting Soul lead us down paths that are lit with the bright light of Soul.  Confidence is a wonderful spiritual quality, if it is based in a clear understanding of Soul's direction.  We can know where this confidence comes from when we take a moment to pause and pray before we head in any direction.  Always be listening, you never know when Soul, spiritual sense, will speak in a way that we can hear.  But if we are too strong in a personal sense of how things should go, when we justify something because it's what we want to believe or think, we may find ourselves temporarily blinded as Saul did!  Fortunately this blindness really can be quite temporary; we are Soul's reflection, and it is inevitable that we find our true selves as we search and listen to Soul (S15).  This section also emphasizes the truth that sight is not a quality of the eye, rather it resides in Soul, is governed by Soul, is a completely spiritually-based sense.

Section 4: Body/physique doesn't make us satisfied or happy.
This seems like a tough sell and probably always has, not just in today's society.  Even when we know the truth of this statement it can seem difficult to really turn away completely from the idea that we can find pleasure and satisfaction in something about our body.  To succeed at this we don't ignore our body or disrespect it or abuse it.  We have to embrace it in our thought.  We keep a spiritual, Soul-modeled view of body.  This doesn't make the body “disappear”.  In fact citation S21 uses the words: “the visible manifestation…”.  This is very cool, because it means that all our efforts at understanding our nature as reflections of Soul becomes very obvious to us; it is not some ethereal, pie-in-the-sky, ideal.  It is, once again, Soul, “walk[ing] among [us]”, right here where we need to feel and sense Soul's presence.  Mrs. Eddy gives us directions to achieving this higher sense of body, “Moral conditions will be found always harmonious and health-giving.” (S21)  The purity entertained in thought helps one to see one’s body as truly spiritual and just like we spoke of how mountains and all represent spiritual qualities, so every aspect of our body represents a substantial spiritual idea.  Let's not mix together spiritual and material thoughts about body, but maintain a very clear and spiritual view of body.  Just as those tiny specks of “cosmic leftovers” can be seen brightly burning from all those miles away, so a Soul-based view of our bodies brings brilliance and beauty to our lives.  We start taking that first step when any physical-sense suggestion comes, by rejecting it and replacing it with the Soul-based view of ourselves.  It takes persistence and practice, but brings us light, joy and freedom.

Section 5: Is goodness contained in/limited to matter?
This story of Tabitha [or Dorcas, in Greek] being raised to life by Peter tells us that God's goodness cannot be ended by death.  Soul's expression is not contained within a limited body.  We don't live in matter with a sense of spiritual goodness within us that dies when our body dies.  Peter proved this by raising Tabitha from death.  All her good works were the reflection of Soul's creativity and love.  They didn't reside in Tabitha's body.  She was Soul's reflection of generosity, creativity, love, compassion and care for her fellow man.  These qualities are infinitely and eternally reflected in man.  “Life is never for a moment extinct. Therefore it is never structural nor organic, and is never absorbed nor limited by its own formations.” (S24)  Soul's creation is not a separate, limited, mortal or material creation.  Take a moment to absorb that thought.  I think we believe that on a certain level, but then just go about our business as just such a mortal… Goodness is immortal, it is reflection.  It is what we do as Soul's reflection.

Section 6: [Find and abide in] Spiritual peace.
This section kind of recaps what we can derive from our increased understanding of Soul and Soul's creation, including us.  We can find real peace.  Such peace includes of course, health, humble listening, a spiritual sense of body, and infinite and eternal goodness or righteousness.  We then see those bright, meteoric showers of Soul's beauty around us even when clouds seem to obscure the “show”.  We see Soul's brightness in the warmth and love of sharing a few minutes in the dark staring at the sky, or in a few volunteer sunflowers under the bird feeder, whatever our spiritual, Soul-senses perceive.  This can be quite an infinite array when we don't allow material sense to fool us into missing Soul's presence, walking among us.


[The above application ideas are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. They 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 http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & of the bracketed, italic additions.]

[Happy results from our recent LETTING NEEDS BE KNOWN:  
CAMPERSHIPS: Wonderful contributions needed for camperships have recently been given! CedarS was just able to fulfill its top priority of having a camp filled with (over 1,200 different) Sunday School students this summer having fun experiences in applying Christian Science to take home in transformed lives to 40 states and 16 countries

[OUR LIVESTOCK FENCING NEEDS:
Over $32,300 has been given recently by a foundation & several individuals who saw the need to do more than just “band-aid” long sections of our dilapidated pasture fencing for our herd of wonderful horses that serve our campers every day.  Won’t you match their generous support as you are able to help provide even a small part of the remaining $13,500 needed to finish upgrading the fences around our horse pastures and our riding rings?  Just say “fencing for horses”]

BIG THANKS in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,
BY PHONE at 636-394-6162, 
OR BY MAIL at:
CedarS Camps Inc. 
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

 [*You may want to join our “club” of Frequent Flyer mile donors who are standing by to give their miles (that may be expiring soon anyway) to worthy campers so that they can travel to camp and back with life-transforming results! Just email us your air mile info and we’ll work with you from there to put it to good use.]

[Check out CedarS with its Fundament Concepts, Unique Facilities and Features designed to transform lives! Click to see testimonials in writing!]

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free — by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has just been offered.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist.  The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

 

 

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