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[You are Soul's song!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

For August 19, 2018

by Christie C. Hanzlik, CS from Boulder, Colorado 720-331-9356


Many people seem to find Soul, used as a synonym for God, difficult to define. For me, Soul is what brings color, beauty, individuality, and harmony to our experience. Without Soul, the universe would be colorless. Without Soul, we would be dull and grey and blah and all songs would all be the same. But with Soul, we have bright vibrant colors and textures and rhythms. We could watch 100 sunsets and each one would be rich with color, but no two would be the same. Without Soul, all songs would be repetitious and monotonous and redundant and routine.

But Soul brings out the richer harmonies of music. A gazillion songs exist, and yet a gazillion more are possible…and no two are exactly the same. And no matter how beautiful a song is, it never takes away from the beauty of another song. Soul is what makes each pure song infinitely beautiful and perfectly unique. No two people are the same because Soul inspires us with infinite individuality and beauty. We need to listen with full spiritual understanding and receptivity to hear the full harmony of Soul. Looking beyond the limited senses and moving toward a freer Soul-inspired sense enables us to love each individual expression of Soul, and hear beauty in each song. So, let’s get to the Lesson and learn more about Soul and listening to the infinite, harmonious, and ever-new song of Life.

As I was reading through the lesson, the hymn “Rise Up and Walk” written by Peter B. Allen kept coming to my thought. I saw the lines from the chorus as titles for each of the sections. For your reference, here is the full chorus… (Hymn #453 in the Supplement hymnal—#565 in the 2017 CS Hymnal)

"Rise up and walk! God made you free,
Born of His liberty.
Carefree and strong, you are His song,
perfect for all to see.
Mountains and seas, great rising trees,
echo the joyous song:
Heaven is here, harmony’s bliss
to everyone belongs."

Oh! And have fun counting all the references to song, harmony, music, harp, notes in this week’s Bible Lesson….there’s even a hymn sing in Section 5!

"Mountains and seas, great rising trees, echo the joyous song"
[More in Warren’s PS#1]

The Golden Text frames the Lesson with the idea of Soul/God as our song—"The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.” (GT) And the Responsive Reading (RR) echoes this idea, connecting God/Soul, song, and joy. We can go out with joy, and "the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” So, the song of Soul doesn’t just come from people, it comes from the mountains and hills and trees of the field. Seeing the universe, including man, as a grand orchestra of God’s song is an impressive vision! Even the desert rejoices, and the rose blossoms “rejoice with joy and singing.”

The RR also connects Soul to our unlimited/eternal senses, our unlimited ability to take in the beauty of Soul. We have the promise that walking with Soul can "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.” As we tune in to Soul’s beauty and ever-presence more and more, "the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” (more on this in Section 3) What a beautiful image! We can see the universe, including us, as a bountiful symphony of harmonious sight and sound, with “the way of holiness” opening for us to follow. With Soul lighting our path, we find “joy and gladness,” and any “sorrow or sighing” flees away. (RR)

SECTION 1—"Mountains and seas, great rising trees, echo the joyous song"(cont.)
+W’s PS#2 and PS#3]

Section 1 is chock full of words about song and singing and praise and rejoicing. As we fill our days with as much rejoicing as is in this section, we cannot possibly be dragged down by anything. We cannot both be joyous and discouraged, and our song of praise keeps us focused on the source of our joy—Soul!

We can see evidence of Soul’s strength in the beauty of the world, and in the stars and planets. To be clear, the textbook of Christian Science does not teach that God is some kind of spirit that exists within inert things, like a spirit in a rock, or a spirit in a piece of wood, or other objects. Instead, the stars and planets and natural objects are expressions of Soul—a way of seeing the beauty of Soul. These things—the stars, the planets, the leaves—teach us “grand lessons,” and yet, they are still just hints of all the beauty that exists.

I think of this a lot when I’m at home in Colorado. Colorado has many beautiful mountains. For me, these mountains hint at the strength and majesty of Soul. But they are still just a hint. Beauty is not because of the mountains, but we can understand it better because of the mountains. There is an eternality of beauty and strength that we can begin to understand better when we ponder the view of mountains. For example, when we look deep into the reality of mountains and ask, “how did they begin?” and we go back gazillions of millions of years, we find that there is no physical science explanation for how the universe could have gone from being a blank void to having material substance. While physical scientists present the Big Bang theory, they are also well aware that there is not yet an explanation for what came before the Big Bang and how the whole process of the big bang began. Since there isn’t an adequate explanation for the very beginning of the universe—according to Christian Science, there is no beginning—then there is no explanation for how the substance that formed the mountains came to be. In Truth, the mountains had no beginning any more than the universe has a beginning. So, while the mountains suggest beauty and order, what we seem to be seeing is just a limited view of all that is there. When we examine the mountains under the “microscope of Spirit,” we begin to see that there is even more to understanding them fully then we may have thought possible initially. (S1-S5)

When we see the order of the universe—that the sun, moon and stars circle harmoniously—it helps us understand that “all is one grand concord.” "Suns and planets teach grand lessons.” These lessons reveal a way of understanding the infinite and divine Principle, and yet it would limit these lessons to think of these great objects as somehow containing spirits and souls. This concept is very similar to the idea that numbers help us learn math, but math does not exist in the numbers. The suns and planets (and flowers and mountains) may help us learn the Science of Soul, but the Soul does not exist in the inert substance of suns and planets. Soul is eternal, without beginning and without end, and infinite in its expression.

SECTION 2 — "Carefree and strong, you are His song…."

Section 2 gives us the story of when David played the harp to soothe Saul’s troubled thoughts. More than this, the harmony of Soul revealed the natural harmony that was present—“Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” The harmony of Soul governed Saul. (B7) This story correlates with the idea from Science and Health that, "Man is harmonious when governed by Soul. Hence the importance of understanding the truth of being, which reveals the laws of spiritual existence.” (S6)

We can see that the laws of music are similar to the Divine Law of Soul that governs us. It is true that Divine Soul alone governs man. What a blessing to know that Soul governs us, that the same Soul expressed in the harmony and structure of music governs our every thought. We are in tune (like an instrument) and governed by the Laws of Soul. It is as if God is the musician and we are His song. It is only when we don’t “tune in” to this fact that we may seem to drift out of tune. But, the fact is that there is “no lapse from nor return to harmony”….we can never fall out of tune. (S9)

We are an instrument of Soul that cannot go out of tune. We are Soul’s song that cannot be discordant. It would only be a lack of understanding that would make it seem like we could be discordant. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony. Truth will at length compel us all to exchange the pleasures and pains of sense for the joys of Soul.” (S12)

SECTION 3 — “…you are His song, perfect for all to see." [+W’s PS#4 and PS#5]

The spiritual senses—unlimited sight, sound and touch—enable us to look beyond the “outward appearance of things” to see the full harmony of Soul. Soul is infinite. The physical senses are limited. Our eyes play tricks on us with optical illusions and the way things look different in the dark and so forth. Physicists say that we only see 5% of what’s going on the world around us. The eyes are not a reliable source of truth. And neither are the ears. Our limited sight and limited hearing can only give us a suggestion of what’s going on, and that suggestion is a dim, inverted, and distorted sense of reality. So, what do we do about it?

As we turn away from our physical senses—call into question the information they give us—and turn toward our Soul sense, we get a more expanded view, a better understanding of "Soul and salvation.” (S13)

We turn toward our Soul sense by constantly asking, “God, what do you see here?” While our eyes and ears may suggest lack and sickness and the belief that we separated from goodness, we can turn away from this false evidence and instead ask, “God, what do you see here?” And then listen. As we strive to check-in with Soul/God for our information, we find truer answers, we find more love, more peace, more harmony that what the limited senses had shown us.

To illustrate this point, the story from the Bible in this section of the lesson shows how Jesus healed a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. (B14) “Jesus beheld in Science [the fully receptive man, able to hear and speak perfectly] who appeared to him where [everyone else in the room] saw [a man separated from goodness/perfection]. In this perfect man the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed [the deaf man].” (SH p. 476) Jesus demonstrated that "Divine Science reveals sound as communicated through the senses of Soul — through spiritual understanding.” (S16)

SECTION 4 — "Heaven is here, harmony’s bliss…to everyone belongs."

In this section, it was helpful to me to take one of the Bible citations and plug in the definitions given in the correlating ideas form Science and Health. In Isaiah, we are given this promise, "as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” (B18) So, with the substitutions, we can see,

"As the [‘Spiritual understanding; the pure consciousness that God, the divine Principle, creates man as His own spiritual idea, and that God is the only creative power’] rejoiceth over the [‘Purity and innocence, conceiving man in the idea of God; a sense of Soul, which has spiritual bliss and enjoys but cannot suffer’], so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” (B18, S18)

This is more than a mouthful, so let’s simplify…

"As [Spiritual understanding] rejoiceth over [Purity and innocence], so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” (B18, S18)

Of course spiritual understanding rejoices over purity and innocence. Spiritual understanding is best when it’s clear—like a clear window—and purity and innocence are pure and without blemishes or smudges. This is how God sees us. God sees us with purity and innocence, like clear windows. God does not see us with smudges of any kind. We are pure, innocent and free, according to the Law of Soul.

Doing this word substitution makes me realize how important it is for us to see our roles—as friend, daughter, son, parent, wife, husband, uncle, aunt, employee, boss, etc.—as having a spiritual basis, a deeper purpose. And as we understand the full God-given purpose of our roles, and the God-given purpose of others, harmony governs our thoughts and actions.

We are not just limited people playing out some role on a stage, like an actor with a circumscribed existence. We are the infinite expressions of Soul. We have a purpose—to be Soul’s song, to love, to discover, to praise good.

In this section, we read about the true roles of husband and wife being governed by Soul, and marriage being an expression of the union of the masculine and feminine strengths within each of the marriage partners. Marriage, in its spiritual ideal, is obedient to the Laws of Soul in the same way that musical notes must obey the laws of music. And other relationships are also governed by Soul, and each of us individually is governed by Soul. As we tune-in to Soul instead of people as the source of all harmony, we will see more and more uninterrupted joy and peace in our experiences. Soul provides a structure in which the harmony of man is expressed.

SECTION 5 — "God made you free, born of His liberty." [+W’s PS#6 and PS#7]

Section 5 contains a Bible story that is part of Paul and Silas’ journey. I wanted to understand the story better, so I looked it up in multiple translations of the Bible. In the New Living Translation (NLT), we read, "One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.’

"This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And instantly it left her. Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace….

"'The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!' they shouted to the city officials. 'They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.' A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” (B22, NLT)

Wow. What a great story! Clearly the praise and song of Paul and Silas celebrated the comfort of God and the “songs of deliverance.” (B20) Their song was prayer, and prayer is song. Paul and Silas’ singing was praising God, Soul, showing gratitude even before they were freed. They demonstrated that “The power of God brings deliverance to the captive.” (S24)

This may seem miraculous, like a break in the natural order of things, but the earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison and set the men free was obeying the higher Laws of harmony. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "Human sense may well marvel at discord, while, to a diviner sense, harmony is the real and discord the unreal.” (S25)

SECTION 6 – “Rise up and…" SING!

The final section is the crescendo and finale to our song of Soul in this week’s lesson that reminds us to sing, and praise God. (Sometimes I feel like I can hear a big bass drum, like the ones in large orchestras, as I’m reading the last section of the lesson—am I the only one who hears this?)

In this section, we’re asked to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (B25) It may be helpful to write this citation on a note card and tape it to our mirrors this week. As we remember to "sing with grace in your hearts to the Lord,” we cannot help but to have a fresh spring in our step and to discover new harmony in relationships and to discover freedom from limitations. Sing! It’s such a simple form of prayer, and in its simplicity it is richly effective. [W: It’s been said that “to sing is to pray twice.”]

We’ve seen in this lesson multiple examples of how songs of praise enable us "to demonstrate the Christ, Truth, as the healing and saving power.” (S29) Singing is actively expressing the Science of Soul, the reign of harmony. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, "To develop the full might of this Science, the discords of corporeal sense must yield to the harmony of spiritual sense, even as the science of music corrects false tones and gives sweet concord to sound.” (S30) Songs of praise command "the discords of corporeal sense to yield to the harmony of spiritual sense.” (S30)

The harmony of Soul, the shift from limited sense to Soul-inspired sense, enables us to progress from one “stage” to another. "As human thought changes from one stage to another of conscious pain and painlessness, sorrow and joy, — from fear to hope and from faith to understanding, — the visible manifestation will at last be man governed by Soul, not by material sense.” (S31) We are the reflection, the expression, of Soul. (S32)

We can all sing together…

"Rise up and walk! God made you free,
born of His liberty.
Carefree and strong, you are His song,
perfect for all to see.
Mountains and seas, great rising trees,
echo the joyous song:
Heaven is here, harmony’s bliss
to everyone belongs."

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