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Understanding Spirit Expands our Capacity for Inspiration
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on

For July 31 through August 6, 2023
(A 1st Sunday of the month, CedarS Hymn Sing Sunday! (email coming)

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S.,    Boulder, CO • 720-331-9356 •


I’m serving right now as the main camp Christian Science Practitioner at CedarS CampS and we have a wonderfully full session of vibrant and active campers, staff, and adult helpers. While I was thinking about this week’s Bible Lesson on Spirit, I was looking out at the field in the middle of camp, watching trees gently blown by the wind, and it made me wonder, “Where does wind come from?” Of course, we could answer this question with the metrological principles relating to fluctuating temperatures, but this answer doesn’t quite satisfy my curiosity about the very first moment of wind…like, when was the very first moment of wind ever. This made me realize that wind—like light, love, truth, goodness—is beginningless.

Pondering the beginningless-ness of wind can help us to understand Spirit, the synonym for God that is all about inspiration, enthusiasm, and comfort—the “breath of the Almighty” that inspires, enriches, encourages, comforts, and surrounds us. The word “wind” is connected to the word “breath” and the word “inspire.” The word “inspire” comes from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe,’ so means to breath or blow into. The word “inspire” originated as a term related to a divine being that imparts a truth or idea to someone. Put simply, inspire shares etymological roots with the words “Spirit” and “wind” and “breath.”

Divine Spirit is the only source of inspiration. And we are only inspired by Spirit. Spirit is the source of all inspiration and there is no other source of inspiration. Spirit is beginningless…Spirit, like the wind, has no beginning. The wind—or inspiration that has no beginning—is a symbol of or metaphor for divine Spirit. Along these lines, the Golden Text, or main idea, of this week’s Bible Lesson is, “The spirit of God has made me and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33: 4). In other words, the wind that always has been and always will be is constantly inspiring, giving us life.

The Responsive Reading offers several examples of how beginningless Spirit, not limited thought, is our true source of wisdom, faith, knowledge, speech, and truth. That which is from Spirit is spirit-ual. That is, spirit-ual means originating with Spirit. Since Spirit is beginningless, that which is spirit-ual, of Spirit, is also beginningless.


The opening citation in the first section is from the book of John, and may seem confusing because it says, “God is a Spirit,” as if God is one in a series of many spirits. In the King James Version of the Bible, which translates from Greek, Latin and Aramaic, the citation from John reads, “God is a Spirit;” however most other Bible translations omit the word “a” and instead say, “God is Spirit” (ICB, NLT, ESV, Phillips, CEV). For me, these other translations make this particular citation easier to understand because it makes clear that divine Spirit is singular. The all-ness of Spirit makes it impossible that Spirit is one in a series…there are not multiple spirits. There is one God, one Spirit that is all. In The Message, which is an interpretation rather than a translation of the Bible, Eugene Peterson interprets the Golden Text citation as, “God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration” (Citation B1, John 4: 24). In short, divine and beginningless Spirit is the singular source of all existence.

Whenever we have a Bible Lesson subject that is one of the seven synonyms of God—Life, Truth, Love, Spirit, Mind, Soul, it can work well to substitute in the synonym for “God” as we read.  For example, in the first section, we could say, ”And [Spirit] saw every thing that [Spirit] made, and, behold, it was very good” (cit B2, Genesis 1: 16-31). (Note that Principle is one of the seven synonyms but not included as a Bible Lesson…you could also substitute the word Principle in for God to expand the meaning of sentences in the Lessons.) Synonym substitution also helps with the citations in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. For example, consider the second citation in the first section: “Everything in [Spirit’s] universe expresses [Spirit]. [Spirit] is all-inclusive, and is reflected by all that is real and eternal and by nothing else” (cit S2, 331: 16, 20) Using synonym substitution while reading can keep our thought and inspiration fresh, and ensure we don’t drift into anthropomorphizing God. In other words, using synonyms as we’re thinking about God can keep us from thinking of God as a manlike being

A term connected to Spirit is the word “spiritual.” “Spiritual” is often used but seldom defined. As Mary Baker Eddy uses it, spiritual means deriving from Spirit. In other words, that which derives from Spirit is spirit-ual. Others may think of the term as relating to multiple spirits and influences in the world, and use the term “spiritual” to mean deriving from spirits plural or influences plural. Some might say, “I’m a spiritual thinker,” and mean that they relate to many different types of spirits—like pantheism or spiritualism that sees deity in objects, natural rock formations, trees and so forth. When the term “spiritual” is used this way, it is not in line with Christian Science. To be accurate when using the term “spiritual” in Christian Science, “spiritual” only relates to one singular Spirit, one singular God that is the only Cause and Creator of all being. As individuals, we derive from Spirit, so we can say we are spiritual. We are not spirits. We are spirit-ual. We are of Spirit, deriving from one singular Spirit. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “[Spirit] fills all space, and it is impossible to conceive of such omnipresence and individuality except as infinite Spirit or Mind. Hence all is Spirit and spiritual” (cit S2, 331: 16, 20).

The question I posed earlier about the origins—or causation—of wind relates to this idea from Science and Health, “Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress. The age seems ready to approach this subject, to ponder somewhat the supremacy of Spirit, and at least to touch the hem of Truth’s garment” (Citation S6, 170: 22). Understanding the one-ness of Spirit makes the supremacy of Spirit easier to grasp. And then relating this spiritual concept to the metaphor of beginningless wind can help expand our understanding of Spirit with the concept of eternality. In other words, discovering the beginninglessness of wind, and seeing wind as a symbol of Spirit, helps us to ponder the supremacy—and eternality—of Spirit and catch an expanded glimpse of substantive reality.


The second section of the Lesson, as I understand it, is about the seeming war between Spirit and flesh. We could define “flesh,” a term often used in the Bible, as a limited sense of life, lacking inspiration or joy. Spirit—the inspiration and zeal of being—with “flesh” being the opposite. Flesh is a limited, end-able sense of existence and contrasts with unlimited, beginningless, and endless Spirit. But, as Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Spirit can have no opposite” (SH, p. 278:11). In other words, there is actually no real opposite to Spirit. There is no such thing as the absence of Spirit because Spirit is all. I was thinking about this truth—that Spirit can have no opposite—while considering wind as a metaphor for Spirit and realized that there is no opposite to wind. One might want to argue that stillness is an opposite, but stillness doesn’t really act against wind. Stillness is not an opposite or opposing force. Likewise, there is no force that can act against Spirit.

The author of Romans 7 and 8 writes about the feeling of being torn between Spirit and flesh: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” It is as if the author is saying, “For I know that in me (that is, in my limited and mortal sense of who I am), dwells no good thing….” The author laments, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (cit B7, Romans 7: 18, 19, 24, 25) Ultimately, the author concludes that as we accept the way Christ Jesus taught, we discover, “We are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (cit B8, Romans 8: 1, 2, 6, 9).

Mary Baker Eddy describes Christ Jesus as showing us the way to delineate between Spirit and flesh. She explains, “Wearing in part a human form (that is, as it seemed to mortal view), being conceived by a human mother, Jesus was the mediator between Spirit and the flesh, between Truth and error. Explaining and demonstrating the way of divine Science, he became the way of salvation to all who accepted his word” (cit S8, 315: 29-2). In other words, Christ Jesus showed us the way to overcome a limited and mortal sense of our existence and to accept our full spiritual—deriving from Spirit—reality. Spirit has no opposite. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Spirit is the only substance, the invisible and indivisible infinite God” (cit S10, 335: 8-13)


The third section of the Lesson contains the story of Christ Jesus healing a man who appeared to be mentally insane with multiple personalities, described as unclean spirits, within him. The man spoke about himself as if he had lots of spirits within him, telling Jesus, “Let us alone.” But Jesus was not deceived, and he spoke to the unclean spirits, saying “Hold your peace, and come out of him.” And the unclean spirits left the man and he was healed and in his right mind (cit B9, Luke 4: 14, 33-36).

To heal this man, Jesus saw beyond the outward appearance of the dis-arrangement of the man’s identity, and knew that there are neither evil spirits nor multiple spirits. What seemed to appear as evil spirits were simply evil beliefs. Jesus saw through these beliefs with spiritual understanding, that is, understanding that is grounded in the truth that all existence derives from one singular Spirit, not multiple spirits. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “There are evil beliefs, often called evil spirits; but these evils are not Spirit, for there is no evil in Spirit” (cit S12, 206: 321-1). Jesus saw through the suggestion of evil spirits even when it seemed like they were using the deranged man to speak to him. Christ Jesus demonstrated the one-ness of Spirit by casting out the false belief of multiple spirits and influences. As Mary Baker Eddy explains “Christ, Truth, was demonstrated through Jesus to prove the power of Spirit over the flesh, — to show that Truth is made manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body, healing sickness and destroying sin” (cit S15, 316:7). Christ Jesus healing the deranged man is an example of the power of Spirit overriding and expunging a false belief in flesh, this time manifesting in a belief of mental insanity.

As we gain a clearer and clearer sense that Spirit has no opposite, that what appears as matter is only a limited and distorted and confused view of Spirit, then we can heal as Jesus did. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate [stop] the ability and power divinely bestowed on man” (cit S18, 393: 12).

Note that Mary Baker Eddy writes that Spirit has no opposite, and yet she also says that “matter is Spirit’s opposite” (cit S16, viii: 9-12). These statements may at first seem contradictory, but they don’t conflict because matter is simply the limited and distorted and confused view of Spirit. So matter isn’t actually a real, it’s a limited view of what is real. Matter would be Spirit’s opposite if it were real, but because matter—a limited and distorted view—is not real, it is not actually capable of opposing Spirit. “Spirit is real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal” (SH, p. 468:12–13).


The fourth section, as I understand it, reminds us that we are filled with Spirit—the inspiration of being. As we read in first Corinthians, “Don’t you know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Cor 3: 16, 18, 19).  We are submerged in Spirit, like a drop of water is at one with the ocean or, perhaps we could say, as a breeze is at one with wind.

Section 4 includes the story of Christ Jesus seeing the goodness within Zacchæus. While Jesus didn’t say it this way, it was as if he saw that the Spirit of God dwelt in Zacchæus, and seeing Zacchæus this way, restored Zacchæus to his full character (cit B11, Luke 19: 1-10). Zacchæus’s earnestness in climbing up the tree to see Christ Jesus got Christ Jesus’s attention and he saw Zacchæus as reaching toward the “imperishable things of Spirit.” Christ Jesus saw Zacchæus as advancing spiritually, and striving to enter in, and that he would “gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy” (cit S23, 21:9).

It may have been tempting for others to judge Zacchæus as a spiritually lost man, but his earnestness in seeking out Christ Jesus demonstrated that he was willing to lose a material—limited and flesh-like—sense of self, let go of a false belief that he was separate from God (Spirit) and feel the divine energy of the one singular Spirit. He was willing to let go of sin—the belief that he was separated from Spirit—and accept his spiritual origins. In short (pun intended), Zacchæus was willing to accept his true spirituality. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Is man lost spiritually? No, he can only lose a sense material. All sin is of the flesh. It cannot be spiritual. Sin exists here or hereafter only so long as the illusion of mind in matter remains. It is a sense of sin, and not a sinful soul, which is lost. Evil is destroyed by the sense of good” (cit S20: 311:8) The seeming evil in Zacchæus was destroyed by a renewed sense of good.

Regardless of our stature, each of us can be reaching for new heights as Zacchæus did. We can each be striving to become clearer and clearer about our true spirituality, that we are derived from one singular Spirit. Mary Baker Eddy gives us a way to measure, or ascertain, our progress. As she writes, “To ascertain our progress, we must learn where our affections are placed and whom we acknowledge and obey as [Spirit]. If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then submitting to Spirit. The objects we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint, and show what we are winning” (cit S22, 239: 16). Elsewhere Mary Baker Eddy writes about our step-by-step spiritual progress resulting in joy. She writes, “If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy” (cit S23, 21: 9).


The fifth section includes the story of Christ Jesus healing Jairus’s daughter. Jairus called for Christ Jesus to come to his house because his daughter had died. And Christ Jesus, of course, raised her from death. When Christ Jesus went to the house, he witnessed the true spirituality of the girl, saw that she is not made up of flesh, but spiritual and eternal. Christ Jesus demonstrated an expectation of spiritual life. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built” (cit S24, 138: 14-15).  He knew that “Matter has no life to lose, and Spirit never dies” (cit S26, 275: 1).

Before Christ Jesus raised the girl from the dead, he sent those who were not prepared to witness her spirituality out of the room. To me, this serves as a reminder for us to strive to maintain a mindset of someone who would be allowed to stay in the room to witness life eternal. In other words, we can be asking ourselves, “Would I be allowed to stay in the room at this moment?” Perhaps a way to ask this question differently, “which of my thoughts should I kick out of the room?” Of course, the pure spirituality of each one of us is welcome in the room as a witness for Spirit’s eternality. But we can willingly kick out—or expunge—the false beliefs and false opinions that don’t belong. As we cast out those false beliefs we can simultaneously acknowledge that we are submerged in the atmosphere of Spirit, like a drop of water is at one with the ocean. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine “powers that be.” Such is the true Science of being” (cit S29, 249: 6-10).

SECTION 6: Spirit IS Comfort

This past week at CedarS, I was talking with a young camper, who came into the care facility for rest. She was sharing with me her love for Christian Science because it gave her something to think about when she has challenges. I asked her what her definition for Christian Science is. I told her I didn’t have an answer in mind, but that I genuinely wanted to know what she thought. She pondered the question for a minute or so, and then said, “Christian Science is comfort.” I found her answer inspiring because she was describing the Comforter—the Science of the Christ, the Knowledge of how an awareness of Divine Love works in our lives.

Christ Jesus showed us the path to whole-souled health—“the way, the truth, and the life”—and also told us that we would receive another Comforter that would abide with us forever. Christ Jesus explained that the world—limited thought—cannot receive the Spirit of truth because the limited and distorted view cannot see the Comforter. But we can know the Spirit of truth because it dwells with us and in us and we can know it. (cit B15, John 14: 5, 6, 16-18) Even though limited and mortal thought sometimes seems to block or interrupt our awareness of the Comforter, we cannot actually be without the Comforter because it dwells with us and in us.

As we gain a greater and greater awareness of the Comforter, we make more and more rapid strides of spiritual progress. As we read in Galatians, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (cit B17, Galatians 5: 25). This verse makes it clear that we are not stagnate beings who just exist in Spirit, but rather we must also walk—make progress—in Spirit. We may be like a metaphorical drop of water at one with the ocean, but that drop of water moves forward with the ocean’s current and expands in its capacities.

Mary Baker Eddy made it clear that the Science of the Christ—the knowledge of how divine Spirit works in our lives—is the Comforter.  She explains, “Our Master said, ‘But the Comforter . . . shall teach you all things.’ When the Science of Christianity appears, it will lead you into all truth” (cit S30, 271: 20-22).

We can constantly strive and advance in our understanding of Spirit—the source of all inspiration and awareness. We can constantly learn more about what is real and beginningless.  As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Let us learn of the real and eternal, and prepare for the reign of Spirit, the kingdom of heaven, — the reign and rule of universal harmony, which cannot be lost nor remain forever unseen” (cit S31, 208: 20).

When we realize Life is Spirit—like Christ Jesus demonstrated with Jairus’s daughter, this understanding will expand in a greater and greater sense of our spiritual identity. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.

Spirit and its formations are the only realities of being. When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man’s spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God’s creation, — all the glories of earth and heaven and man” (cit S32, 264: 15-20, 28).

Some GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) will be POSTED sooner this week.  You can always check  for current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free, inspirational offering.

Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.

Every camper & visitor will be blessed by your generosity, vision & LOVE!

ANOTHER MATCH WAS MET and its project operationally completed before camp!  Thanks to several generous donors to our special A/V Appeal we were able to finish building a CHAPEL AV BOOTH that will protect not only new, donated equipment, but also all our hymnals for worship services and for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings, like tonight’s first one of our Fourth (2-week) Session of 2023!

If you haven’t lately checked out the GIVING TREE, there are still plenty of other smaller areas of need to fill yet this summer! Campers & staff will also be blessed bigtime by the donations made to additional areas of camp, including the horse program, activity equipment, camperships, and Christian Science nursing and practitioner services.

We’re deeply grateful for EVERY GIFT of love & support,
The CedarS Team

P.S. For more about ways to keep CedarS operations ever more green and flourishing and/or to make a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an ENDOWMENT GIFT (that will all be MATCHED), feel free anytime to call or text me (Warren Huff, Executive Director Emeritus and Project Manager) at 314-378-2574. I can put you in touch with our Financial Advisor/broker who donates all fees for stock transfers and freely shares tailored, tax-advantaged giving approaches.


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