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WE ARE SOUL’S SONG “carefree and strong … perfect for all to see!” (Hymn 565)
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible lesson on

 “Soul”
ending February 13, 2022

by Kerry Jenkins, C.S. from House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041


INTRODUCTION

Who are we? What is our purpose? These are the kinds of questions that this week’s lesson on Soul tends to answer. Mary Baker Eddy poses the question on page 477 in Science and Health with key to the Scriptures: “What are body and Soul?” The first part of her answer is: “Identity is the reflection of Spirit…”. (Italics added) What is our— generic man’s— identity? Is it personality, physique, intelligence, a combination of these things? Can man be described without physical form in a way that truly gives each of us a unique and clear identity? What does it mean to express Soul in “…form, outline, and color.” (citation S8/247:10-24), but independently of matter? I find myself coming back to these kinds of questions often and seeing what Soul has to say to me each time.


GOLDEN TEXT AND RESPONSIVE READING:
(Ps. 90:17 let, Ps. 96:1,2,4, 6-9, 84:11, Isa 61:10,11)

Beauty in the Bible is translated from a Hebrew word that is more akin to pleasantness and grace than physical loveliness (the Bible Lens). This is helpful to remember because beauty shows up multiple times in our lesson this week. This does not mean that we cannot associate beauty with Soul, but just that we should try not to think of beauty as a solely physical attribute. How we really see man and, frankly, how we see everything, is the gift of Soul when we use our spiritual senses to discern Soul’s beauty and goodness all around us, and within ourselves.

Our lesson contains many statements of Soul’s abundance, and the Responsive Reading is not an exception. I like the statement “…the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Yet God is infinite and unconditional Love and is not transactional. Love does not make deals–“you do this, and then I’ll give you what you need”–“Love is impartial and universal in its adaptations and bestowals.” p. 13 of Science and Health.  So, what is the Psalmist saying in this passage? I think it might be thought of as pointing out that God’s open fountain of goodness and abundance is overflowing, but unless we are “walking uprightly”— being obedient, loving, wise, unselfish, and so on— we are walking around with the equivalent of a blindfold on. It is not a “deal” that we are making with God or vice versa, rather it is like taking off a blindfold when we follow that “upright path”, and we can see the abundant good of Soul all around us.


SECTION 1: ABUNDANCE, FULLNESS, PEACE…THESE ARE SOUL’S GIFT TO MAN.

Fruitfulness and growth are continued from our Responsive Reading into our first section. “I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” “I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.” “Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.” “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Bible citations: B1/Lev.26:1-4 I am, 6 (to:), 9,11,12. Ps. 67:5,6). These qualities of growth and abundance are the source of joy. I don’t mean (nor does the Bible) that a lot of money is the source of joy, rather constant spiritual growth and the recognition of spiritual abundance.

Joy is inextricable from Soul, and an understanding of Soul. Seeing spiritual abundance brings us peace and joy because this abundance is substantial and “Soul is the substance, Life, and intelligence of man, which is individualized, but not in matter.” (cit. S3/477:22) As the expression of Soul, man includes all this abundance, peace, joy, and fullness. Any time we feel we are in a drought, figurative or otherwise, we can turn our senses to Soul and perceive the open spring of Soul’s gift pouring out on each of us.

If we start from the fact that Soul has given us the gift of peace, we can then stand on this foundation and challenge the lies that come to our thought to claim otherwise. Sometimes we get fooled and sidetracked into seeing challenges as powerful. But at any moment, we can turn our thought to Soul, listen with our spiritual sense, (our “discernment of spiritual good” – cit. S12/505:16-21) and watch, or feel, the seeming power of error dissipate into nothing. This can be a struggle sometimes, but what it really takes is an honest awareness on our part that we are disturbed by a lie, that we recognize it as a lie, and then make time for actual prayerful treatment of the situation. If we take the time to quietly listen and pray, we can be sure to make progress and feel greater peace, no matter the issue.


SECTION 2: INSTEAD OF “MEASURING AND LIMITING GOOD”, LET SOUL DO THE OUTLINING.

Mary Baker Eddy’s choice of words here is brilliant. (cit. S10/246:13, 20) “Measuring and limiting” perfectly defines how we look at the human body and human prospects. We analyze based on age, weight, height, strength, gender, and so on. And this analysis is all about quantifying and, through that process, limiting our abilities to achieve, be it physical or intellectual. It is understandable that we do this because matter is necessarily limited by all these factors and more. When we describe a human body, it has boundaries that are physical, it has a form that is limited to “human shaped”. This form can be altered by accident or illness. It can be limited by age, either youth or advancing years. But the promise we have from Soul is that man’s beauty cannot fade, his intelligence cannot dim, nor his freedom diminish.

The inspiring thing about learning of Soul’s power, is that we find that we can experience freedom from some of these limitations as we understand that our beauty, strength, intelligence, and energy are not contained in a body, but in Soul. As reflections of Soul, we do not possess beauty, strength, intelligence and so on, we simply reflect it, as the moon reflects the light of the sun but possesses no light of its own.  One way to take a step towards seeing more of this freedom is to follow the guidance in Psalm 50 which is extracted in Bible citation 5 (Ps 50:2, 6 (to:), 7 I am, 10 every, 11,14,15,23). This Psalm encourages us to focus on the fact that God is the source of all good, all abundance, all beauty.

If we spend our energy worshiping, being filled with gratitude, noticing spiritual abundance, rather than being “…afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted…” as it says in citation B6/Isa 54:11-13, we catch glimpses of the beautiful abundance of good. We start to find that our human “outlining” does not bring the promised peace and order to our lives, but that we can trust and enjoy the limitless outlining of Soul. Soul always has infinite good designed for Her reflection.


SECTION 3: SOUL-SENSE IS TRUE SIGHT.

Our whole lesson is encouraging us to see beyond what our human senses tell us. In the story from 2nd Kings, Syria’s army surrounds the city of Dothan in order to capture Elisha. There are all kinds of “seeing” in this story. Elisha has been telling the king of Israel all the moves of the Syrian army before they occur–prophetic seeing. Elisha’s servant has his eyes opened to see beyond the threat of the encircling army–spiritual sight. And, though it is not part of this Bible lesson, the entire army has their sight taken, and then restored before they are sent home on full stomachs.

The question I hear being asked of us in this section is: what kinds of evidence are we looking for in our daily life? Much like the admonishment in Psalm 50 to focus on worshiping God rather than wrestling with our own agenda, this section reveals the need to look to spiritual understanding to support a clear view of Soul’s unfolding good for each of us. By lighting up our spiritual understanding, we can bear witness to the incredible, infinite capacity of Soul (cit. S13/85:2-9).

Certainly, Elisha was not viewing things from a material standpoint. He was a prophet, a spiritual seer. We too can develop more of that kind of spiritual sight. One path to that capacity is found in Jesus’ beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God,” which Mary Baker Eddy quotes in citation S15/324:2. This kind of purity of heart and ability to see spiritually is accessible to us right here and right now on a daily basis.

We can ask God each day for direction, for ideas, for inspiration. We are the way that Soul expresses itself so we naturally have access to spiritual sight. But much like a flush bank account that we are unaware of, we will never tap into that abundance if we don’t know it is there! Each of us has spiritual sense, spiritual sight. We become aware of this ability when we “change our standpoint”, as Mary Baker Eddy writes in citation S14/322:3-7 from a material to a spiritual basis. This is what Elisha did for his servant who was despondent in the face of the Syrian army surrounding his town. This sight is the only true sight and it always reveals Soul’s safety, abundance, grace, and beauty.


SECTION 4: THE LAW OF SOUL’S ABUNDANCE CAN MASTER THE FALSE EVIDENCE OF MATTER.

Human sense always tells us that good is limited. In the story of Jesus feeding the multitudes for the second time (cit. B15/Mat. 15:30-38) we are again reminded that the human laws of supply are no match for Soul’s law of abundance. I have read articles and testimonies in our periodicals that attest to this superior law of Soul, and have seen it demonstrated multiple times in my life as well. There have been several cases where our family has scraped the bottom of the proverbial financial barrel. Each time our needs were met— sometimes in highly unexpected ways such as bags of free groceries. Other times, over a period of months where we hadn’t made “enough” to cover each expense, somehow, after a time, we found that Soul gracefully met each need, even if we at times had to borrow money.

When all good comes from Soul, we come to realize that wherever we get our abundance it is really from Soul. There can be no burden in “paying back” Soul-derived supply! Each bill we have, each need we have, can be expectantly supplied through Soul’s “secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God.” (cit. S21/15:25-26). These times don’t usually come without a struggle for peace, faith, confidence in Soul, and a deep, daily cultivation of spiritual sense. But substantial good never comes without this kind of growth.


SECTION 5: SOUL HAS ABUNDANT LIFE.

Guess what? This section tells us that another human law is overcome by Soul’s constant expression of good and of life. Peter is called to come to a nearby town to bring Tabitha back from the dead. (cit. B17/Acts 9:36-41)  I was struck this week particularly by the fact that Peter comes to her bedside from another town. Nearby though it was, there was no speeding car to carry him there, and I suspect Tabitha had remained dead far longer than is considered humanly possible for resuscitation. Again, we have a human “law” overcome by the abundant law of Soul. Peter demonstrated for us today, that there are no laws of time, of separation from Life or Soul, there is no journey that can keep us from feeling our oneness with Soul.

Mary Baker Eddy clarifies that “Man’s individual being can no more die nor disappear in unconsciousness than can Soul for both are immortal.” (cit. S 23/427:5) We bring about this understanding each day through this kind of daily growth. Growth is a distinguishing, and essential property of life. As we keep growing in spiritual understanding, we are constantly moving toward that “visible manifestation” of man governed by soul. We are nearing a more accurate understanding of our true, Soul expressed form.


SECTION 6: SOUL EXPRESSED AS MAN IS GRACEFUL AND AT PEACE.

“Man is the expression of Soul.” This is the sentence that ends our Bible lesson this week. (cit. S32/477:26) We might allow our spiritual sense to “soak” in this sentence. What is the expression of Soul as God’s being? Being has to be living, expressing, singing—if you will. We are encouraged in this section that there is a path, an “open gate” through which we can pass to enter into this “heaven of Soul” (cit. S28/535:15-17). There is a promise here, and a benediction to our journey toward recognizing our true nature as Soul’s song – as “carefree and strong … perfect for all to see!” (as Hymn 565 puts it).


More application ideas & Bible-based GEMs from Cobbey Crisler & others will be emailed later in the week.


Ken Cooper’s “POETIC PRELUDE” shares Bible EXAMPLES of Soul’s infinite resources & blessings for EACH of us and ALL mankind!

    • Ken’s YouTube poem “Keep Your Violin In Tune” recognises the beauty of what we are and represent.
    • The poem “HERE AM I”  is told by the boy who gave 5 loaves & 2 fish to Jesus to feed thousands.
    • The poem “Tabitha”, delightfully read by Sue, is a monologue imagined from Tabitha’s best friend.

PDF copies are available under Downloads in the online version of  this Met.


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AND OUR $150,000 OPERATIONS GOAL TO FEED OUR HERD, MAINTAIN A CAMPSITE IN KEEPING with OUR MISSION, AWARD CAMPERSHIPS…
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