Thank you for another best summer yet!

[Trust Mind.]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
 

"Mind" for February 24, 2013
 

by Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
rickstewartcs@aol.com
+ 49 351 311 7664

How will I know what to do?  What should I do now?  What is my next step?  Did I do the right thing?  Oh no, what have I done, help.  Guess what?  Studying this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson will help. 

These questions and this yearning is certainly not new, and it is certainly not just you.  For thousands and thousands of years of human history people have asked for guidance, for instruction, for the wisdom or understanding to make the right decision.   And over those thousands of years many individuals have learned that it is vital that they rely not on their own personal experience, insights, or knowledge.  Instead many of these seekers have learned to look to a higher source for their answers and guidance.  And it is precisely that “source” that is the subject of our Bible Lesson this week.

As many reading this already know, Mary Baker Eddy was led in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, to refer to God in seven synonymous names for God. (See, S. and H. page 465:11)  One of the seven synonyms for God she uses in Science and Health is the term, “Mind.”  Therefore the subject for this week’s lesson explores this specific name for God.  But you might wonder if this is something that Mary Baker Eddy originated or invented?  Was she the first to think of God as Mind?

One of the great thinkers of our time, Albert Einstein, is quoted as follows:

“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details. “(The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p.202)

“I want to know his thoughts.”  Sounds a lot like “Mind” to me.

Through a little research I found out that in the Hebrew Bible there is a name for God that for me is a lot like Mind and appears 6,828 times.  This name is often translated in modern Christian Bibles as “Lord” or “Jehovah.”  In the Common Jewish Bible this is often written as “Adonai.”  This name for God is related to the verb, “to be,” and is in one form, “He is.”  When speaking it appears as, “I am,” as when God spoke to Moses.  This God instructs, guides, teaches, leads, and inspires as it did for Moses.

Exodus 3:14, Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)  God said to Moshe, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh  [I am/will be what I am/will be],” and added, “Here is what to say to the people of Isra’el: ‘Ehyeh [I Am or I Will Be] has sent me to you.’”

Exodus 4:10, 11, 12 Moshe said to Adonai, “Oh, Adonai, I’m a terrible speaker. I always have been, and I’m no better now, even after you’ve spoken to your servant! My words come slowly, my tongue moves slowly.” 11 Adonai answered him, “Who gives a person a mouth? Who makes a person dumb or deaf, keen-sighted or blind? Isn’t it I, Adonai12 Now, therefore, go; and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what to say.”

Here is a little more about this “name” for God as found in the online Encyclopedia “Wikepedia.”

“The name of God in Judaism used most often in the Hebrew Bible is the four-letter name יהוה (YHWH), also known as the Tetragrammaton.  The Tetragrammaton appears 6,828 times in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia edition of the Hebrew Masoretic Text.  It is first mentioned in the Genesis 2:4 and is traditionally translated as The LORD  in English language Bibles.

The Hebrew letters are (right to left) Yodh, He,, Waw,and He (יהוה). It is written as YHWH, YHVH, or JHVH in English, depending on the transliteration convention that is used. YHWH is an archaic third person singular  imperfect  of the verb "to be" (meaning, therefore, "He is"). This interpretation agrees with the meaning of the name given in Exodus 3:14, where God is represented as speaking, and hence as using the first person ("I am"). It stems from the Rabbinic conception of monotheism that God exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any concept, force, or entity ("I am that I am").”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Judaism

This week’s Lesson is a wonderful study in examples of those who listened, followed, and learned to trust this Mind.

 The Golden Text,   the golden nugget that sums up the theme of the lesson, is a favorite of mine.  It is from the Book of Proverbs that is attributed to Solomon. It is also about trust.   “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5, 6.

This week’s lesson is exactly about that indispensable quality of thought, a whole-hearted trust in God, Mind and is a wonderful training ground to learn more about that trust.

  Section 1:  God, Mind is the “ I Am”, the Consciousness of the universe.

The Bible citations (B-1 to B-4) all are from Psalms and each identifies this concept of God as Adonai.   It is interesting that this first section clearly establishes the Mind we are going to be studying about.  Every citation from Psalms refers to the God that you and I know as the “Great I am,” “the I am that I am.”  According to the Common Jewish Bible each of these references to God refers to the God that for us is the one God that is, was, and always will be, the creator, the self-existence before all else.  It is the God that was revealed to Moses.

The Jews held this sense of God so in awe that his name was only spoken in the temple.  Therefore when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and His name no longer spoken, eventually over time, the pronunciation of his name was eventually lost.  This name for God is sometimes rendered, “YHWH.”  Translators eventually added two vowels for the English rendering, “YAHWEH.”

As the Bible Citations make clear, (B-1)“ Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. (B-3)“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

The Science and Health citations continue to clarify that this Mind is the source of all creation and also of all faculties that belong to Mind.  Mrs. Eddy clearly identifies that Mind does not belong to brain, or is not found in a human skull.  How do we learn of this God?  It certainly is not an academic, intellectual study of the brain that leads to God.  In Science and Health (S-1) we learn it is through “divine metaphysics” and in (S-3) we find that is through the “Science of Mind,” that we find this God that is the one Mind of the universe.

This is explored interestingly in an interview in the Christian Science Sentinel from the 1970s.  It had to do with the invention of a single valve faucet.  Something we see everywhere these days.  To quote from the article, “Over twenty years ago George Cole set out to design the perfect water faucet—one that would never leak or wear out. His maintenance-free, single-control valve system is revolutionary.”  What always struck me about this article was the explanation that the ideas were unfolding before the invention was technically possible. 

These Science of Mind,” (S-3) issues are explored in the interview found in the Christian Science Sentinel, April 1977, Volume 79, Issue 14.  For those with JSH Online here is the issue information. Home  Issues  1977  April  Volume 79, Issue 14

 Section 2:  Joseph expresses insight and foresight through Mind, God

 This section includes a wonderful example of Mind expressed from the life of Joseph, (B-6) Genesis 41. (somewhere between 1700 – 1500 BCE?) This example from thousands of years ago still inspires. I love the practical implications in the inspired guidance that saved a nation and also reunited Joseph to his family.  It is also such a wonderful example of how we can pray and listen in spiritual terms to support governmental policy.

As in citation (S-7):“Science reveals only one Mind, and this one shining by its own light and governing the universe, including   man, in perfect harmony.”

Wise, discerning, just government is a need in all ages.  In 1978 my brother, Gary, had come back to our hometown, Ocala, Florida.  His motivation was love and support of our family.  And he was praying about employment.  He brought experience from working at Cape Canaveral and also from magazine management in the fishing industry.  And he was praying with a very effective management manual, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  Some close friends encouraged him to look into a position with our City government.  He first thought of applying for a low level clerk’s job, and someone recommended that he apply for a position as Director of Public Works.  There was a great need at the moment regarding this position.  Gary was hired.

Shortly after his new job began Gary and I attended a Christian Science lecture by Ralph Charbonneau, C.S.  Gary was struck with Ralph’s examples of utilizing Christian Science in the business world.  Gary was facing some great challenges in his new position that threatened the actual proper governance of our city.  So he hired Ralph as a Christian Science practitioner and they worked closely together on a daily basis. 

There were terrible problems with the effective disposal of trash, with the morale of his staff of over 100, and also with an attempt by a national trash hauling company to elbow its way into Ocala.  There were suspicions of an affiliation with organized crime regarding this company.  The suspicions seemed pretty certain when Gary found himself being threatened by employees of this firm.  Ralph and Gary prayed diligently.  During this time Gary was elected as an officer of the National Public Works Association.  And an investigation begun in Ocala had national implications in uncovering a widespread effort by organized crime to enter the garbage hauling industry in many parts of the country.  A court case that our city was involved with went to the state Supreme Court.  The resulting determination established the rights of a municipality to monopolize the trash disposal in their community and not be forced to allow franchised garbage removal. 

An investigator with the local Sheriff’s Department, Vance Ferguson, came to Gary one day and shared, “Gary, you know what we began here in Ocala ended up being the key to investigation of Mafia involvement in trash disposal as far away as Long Island. “ Vance even flew to New York to give testimony regarding his work.  This work eventually led to success in New York City as cited below.

“Although state and Federal prosecutors have periodically sought to eliminate criminal elements from the commercial garbage-hauling trade, the Giuliani effort is the first by City Hall to rein in an industry of more than 600 companies that collect trash from 250,000 businesses and private institutions.”   http://www.nytimes.com/1995/11/30/nyregion/giuliani-has-a-plan-to-battle-mafia-grip-on-trash-hauling.html

I’ve always cherished this as an example of what we might call, the “Joseph” function of metaphysics bringing us better government.

Section 3:  Everything under the control of Mind

When sometimes it might seem that things are out of control, just study this section!  What a wonderful, powerful statement of Mind’s control over all.

Concluding with this powerful statement of the promise we make in our 6th Tenet,

(S-15 ) 497:24   “And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.”

All evidence of a life, a business, an economy, a world spinning out of control can be met with the understanding that Mind, God is in control

(S-13) 171:12   “Mind’s control over the universe, including man, is no longer an open question, but is demonstrable Science. Jesus illustrated the divine Principle and the power of immortal Mind by healing sickness  and sin and destroying the foundations of death.”

My father and I witnessed this effective control one afternoon.  I was preparing readings for a Wednesday Evening testimony meeting.  It happened to be on the topic of weather, specifically “stilling the storm.”  It was a stormy, Florida afternoon, with lightning and thunder.  Suddenly my dad and I heard the sound of what could have been a loud train, but we did not live near any train tracks.  It was a tornado.  As we headed to the middle of our house, we both were praying and holding onto the fact that there were no destructive elements in God’s kingdom.  A boat and a camper trailer in our back yard were rotated 180 degrees, but undamaged.  Large branches from an ancient oak fell, but did not damage what was under those branches. 

That night the testimony meeting was filled with testimonies of protection and the prayers of members.  No one in the city was injured.  Some even began to say that it was not such a powerful tornado.  Then on the way home from church we drove by a recently resurfaced street.  Brand new asphalt had been applied the day before the storm.  And my father and I chuckled at the scene, all the new paving had been lifted off of the road by the storm and simply dumped by the side.  The seeming power of the storm was evident, but there had been relatively little destruction and no loss of life.  We were grateful. 

But when an area has been hit hard by devastation and destruction this alerts us to be praying not just for ourselves or our family, but for all mankind.  It is right for those “understanding the control which Love held over all,” to embrace humanity with their prayers.

Section 4:   Jesus heals dementia, affirms the presence of Mind

What a wonderful call for us to be a part of healing the international epidemic of mental deterioration.   One of our members who is currently living in a Nursing Home and is  crystal clear in her thinking  mentioned just last week what a challenge it is where she lives.

 Across the world there are great efforts under way to deal effectively with these claims of mental incapacity.  Looking for the source of the problem in matter and brain, sincere efforts are being made with little results. 

Isn’t it time for us as metaphysicians to take up this challenge to the best of our ability.  Through calm, loving, prayerful efforts we can address this in our individual lives, within our families, and in our communities. 

I remember my home and my mom’s Christian Science practice.  I can remember three specific examples of mom opening our home to those who were suffering from mental problems.  One of these was a young mentally-retarded man (a family friend) who had become violent was staying with us.  We all had grown up knowing and loving Griggs.  Suddenly he was out of control.  The only therapy offered was drugs and eventually a lobotomy.  It was not always the easiest of times, but when Griggs could return to his residential living situation without drugs and without an operation everyone was rejoicing.  After the Christian Science treatment he was his old self again, lovable, joyous, a real delight.  And a side note to this story.  At one point Griggs’ mom had been told he could never learn to read.  She asked my mom for help.  My mom prayed and she also taught Griggs to read. 

This inspired me later when I was in the practice.  A friend called and it appeared a case of insanity.  I was living at home with my mom and dad and there was not room in our house at the time for a temporary boarder.  But it just so happened that friends in the church asked me to house sit for them in their little, country house.   I called the young man’s family and said, “I’ll come out to the house and pick him up.  I have a great place for us to stay together.”  We then had a rather intense adventure over the next few days.  It certainly required a lot from my side, but it really was a holy time.  And the provision of the perfect place to “work this out” together had been God-provided.  And eventually we made our demonstration.  The topper was when this dear young man stood up in a Wednesday evening meeting and testified to his fond hope eventually to become a member of the Christian Science church.  His testimony received a loving, warm response.  And I will never forget the testimony given right after his.  A great friend, former Army officer, and new recruit to the church (through his wife), stood up and said.  “We would love to have you and I can tell you it is a great outfit to join.”

Section 5:  The two great commandments and the Good Samaritan

Bible citation B-16 (Luke 10) deals with the lawyers question about eternal life and its tie to the two great commandments.  The lawyer had tempted Jesus about what the law says about eternal life.  Jesus required that the young lawyer state that law, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” 

Jesus of course approved of the lawyers answer and then simply added, “This do and thou shalt live.”  As Nike encouraged us: “Just Do It.”

And then did you notice, the parable of the Good Samaritan follows right on the heels of this exchange.  I have to say I had never noticed this before. The two standing side by side.  Sure seems like the Master was encouraging a “just do it,” for us all.

How interesting that the Science and Health citations that deal with one Mind, the brotherhood of man,  the unfolding of true brotherhood, (S-22, S-23, S-24), then actually lead us to a citation on “practice.”  (S-25)  “The scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice, and God’s will must be universally done.”

How does Mind enter into to this seeming “practical Love” issue?  I had always thought of the Good Samaritan as being just Love expressed, but Mind?

Here is an example of how they are joined.  You might say Love is the motivator, and Mind is the enabler!  I got a call from an older family friend.  She had just been moved into a nursing home.  I was surprised because I knew her son had promised she would always have a home in his home.  The son had passed.  And the daughter-in-law had made the decision.  Out you go.

Olive was active, alert, and a good, practicing Christian Scientist.  It occurred to me that she might like to live with me in my big old house built in 1885.  When I made the offer she enthusiastically accepted.  I made arrangements and moved her up to my house.  There was enough room for her to have her own sitting room, bath, and sleeping room.  The only problem was the shower did not work in her bathroom.  I had no money for a plumber and I did not have the knowledge of a plumber. (I literally could not lean on my own understanding, because I didn’t have any.)  I went to a local plumbing supply, explained my situation, and got the guidance of what to do.  Then prayerfully I began the work.  One step at a time.  The wall was cut open, the old valve had to be removed and I reached a giant stumbling block.  I had no tool to correctly do the work.  I put my hands in my lap and simply said, “Father show me.”  Suddenly I saw a tool in my mind.  It was made up of a spark plug wrench, a screw driver, and a couple other “attachments.”  It worked like a custom designed tool.   Olive had been watching the whole thing.  And I know she had been praying in support.  She exclaimed, “Why Rick, you can do anything.”   I replied in all sincerity and with a huge laugh, “Olive I can’t do anything, but we both saw that Mind can !!”  Love was the motivator and Mind was the enabler.

Section 6:  The Lord will enlighten my darkness (B-19), Psalms 18

Mind does not leave you, me, or anyone in the dark.  A humble, listening, calm trust reveals Mind, the great I am, the I can, the I am able to each of us.  But what we begin to see through this lesson is there certainly is a Mind, a God, revealing itself to creation.  This Mind can communicate poise, peace, calm, health, harmony.  We can learn how to trust this Mind and lean on the communications of this Mind to govern our lives and the world.  This stilling of thought allows Mind to be heard.

A simple illustration of this calmness occurred when I was Scuba diving with my brother, Scott.  We were in the headwaters of Crystal River on the west coast of Florida.  Crystal River flows into the Gulf of Mexico and at its source is a giant artesian spring of crystal clear, fresh water.  The water flowing  from deep  in the Florida aquifer  remains a constant  temperature, year round, of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. (About 21 degrees Celsius.)

Near the main spring was a huge formation of water plants covering an area of about one acre.  These plants formed a thick carpet at the surface.  And as the plants grew they formed almost cathedral-like caverns.  The plants grew all the way to the floor of the river.  But as they grew large chambers developed that were almost like giant rooms.  You could pass from one chamber to another, almost like passing from one room in a cave to another.  The only thing was that this was all underwater. 

To go from one room or chamber to another you had to go all the way to the bottom of the river, about 30 feet deep (ten meters.)  And there at the bottom would be a little tunnel under the grass about one meter high where you could swim through. 

Scott and I had already passed through a couple of the chambers and I was about to  lead the way to enter the next one.  This passageway was a bit smaller than the others.  I slowly slipped through and tried as much as possible to not stir up the sediment at the bottom of the river.  This sediment was a very fine, almost dust like substance. It was probably from years and years of decaying vegetation.  If you stirred it up you could not see a thing.  I passed through first and expected Scott to be right behind me.  As I came into the clear water of the next big chamber I turned to wait on Scott.  He was not behind me.  I waited a little longer and still no Scott.  I looked where I had come from and it was pitch-black.  You could not see a thing.  I was tempted to become concerned and then I began to pray.  I knew God, Mind was right there.  And I knew that if Scott and I remained calm there was no problem. We had to trust. If either of us panicked and tried to swim up through the weeds or blindly thrash about we would become quickly entangled.

It was a time for real trust.  Calm, certain, steadfast trust was what was needed.  I could not speak to Scott; I could not see anything to perhaps signal him.  The only means of communication that I knew of was sticking with the certainty that Mind, God was there and would guide us both.  I quietly, trustfully swam back into the pitch-black water and simply extended my hand.  I continued to pray, listen, and know that Mind, God was there.  After some minutes, that seemed almost like hours, my hand touched Scott’s hand and I pulled him through.  We were both very happy to come back into the light and the crystal clear water.

With this week’s Bible Lesson we can learn together how to trust the Mind, the only Mind, that is God.  And we can make it our practice to listen to this Mind, follow its leadings, and in so doing bring the influence of this great enabler, the “I am that I am.” into our lives and our world.  We can learn to trust this Mind with every aspect of His creation.


[The application ideas above 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 study and application of 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 & its bracketed, italic additions.]

[While our herd still needs your "adoptive" support to be fully fed, trained and ready for camp, our focus now goes to filling camp with worthy campers!  Our main funding goals for early 2013 are raising funds for campership applicants and for operations support.  If you'd rather not give online or over the phone, thank you for mailing your checks to:

CedarS Camps Office,
1314 Parkview Valley Dr.,
Manchester, MO 63011

Or for calling us at
636-394-6162 to give a monthly pledge or a single, credit or debit card gift.]

[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.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. An "official" version of the weekly Portuguese translation is now available for CedarS Mets, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for the Portuguese version.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 12-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 subsequent emails.) 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 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 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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