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Lesson Met for the week of June 14-20, 2004

Subject:  “Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
Prepared by:  Kathy Fitzer, CS of St. Louis, MO

Upright Science or Inverted Physical Sense?  What is Your Approach to the Universe?

Golden Text:  Thank Goodness!  Regardless of what the physical evidence sometimes reports, God created the universe – not a pile of atoms. The eternally present, almighty God is in charge!  It is important that we remember to give gratitude every moment of every day for that fact, and keep the right perspective!

Responsive Reading:  We start with the affirmation that “the Lord reigneth” with majesty and strength and has established the world so that it remains firm and indestructible.  Sure, the floods sometimes rage – it may feel like we’re about to drown at times.  BUT, we are told that God is stronger than the rising water and lifts His voice above the roar.  Indeed the Lord “sitteth upon the flood.”  Isn’t that great imagery?  God is always on top, giving “strength unto his people” and blessing “his people with peace.”  No matter how deep the trouble seems, God is on top of it, giving us the strength and peace we need to stay afloat.  Look up, grab on to the lifeboat of Love, and climb on in.  The voice of God “thundereth” – like a foghorn in a storm.  Follow the voice to safety.  Nothing can swallow up God OR God’s creation.

Section I:  God has everything under control – give up any other theory!

God is the Principle that created the universe and maintains it.  We have nothing to fear, as we bear witnesses to this fact.  Here’s the question to ask (and the answer): “Is there a God beside me?  Yea, there is no God; I know not any.” (Isa. 44: 8)  The problem comes when we try to interpret the universe from the standpoint of matter and material history.  God is Spirit, and Spirit could not create its opposite, matter.  What we call matter is limited in nature.  It supposedly comes from a tiny particle called an atom that is supposed to be the source of vast potential energy.  But where did the atom come from and why would God (Mind) – the almighty, all-good, wise creator of all – work with a medium that is inherently limited?  The prophet Jeremiah got it right:  “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.”  (Jer. 10:12)  Since the physical senses can’t see Spirit, we have to depend on Science to interpret so that we can find the truth.  So, strive to see everything from the basis of Spirit, rather than matter, and you will find that “the true theory of the universe, including man, is not in material history but in spiritual development.  Inspired thought relinquishes a material, sensual, and mortal theory of the universe, and adopts the spiritual and immortal.” (S&H 547)

Section II:  Don’t let material beliefs interfere with spiritual facts.

We’ve got to get it right.  In order to reach a correct solution, we have to begin from a correct basis.  We can’t keep turning things upside down.  Try standing on your head sometime and see how accurate the view is.  Over the years, people have come up with a lot of theories (such as Darwin’s theory) to explain existence.  But, the more we try to figure out and explain matter, the farther we’re moving from the truth.  Ps. 100 gets right to the point:  “Know ye that the Lord he is God:  it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.”  It is actually very freeing to follow this path.  It not only frees parents from the fear of what they have or have not given their children, but allows each of us, as the child of God, to take full advantage of the limitless dominion that God has bestowed on us.  As James (1: 17) explains, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  Don’t most of us yearn for a sense of consistency – in work, school, play, relationships?  We will find consistency only we recognize that ALL is Mind, and accept the gifts our Mother/Father is bestowing on us.  As long as we try to justify Mind and matter working together, we are working with opposite forces – ones that pull against each other and bring us to a standstill.  Mind, being Truth, is forever permanent.  The individuality of each of us reflects the infinite individuality of Spirit – uniquely special, nothing lacking.  As we give up the belief of material creation (totally rejecting the theories of heredity – both seemingly positive as well as negative aspects of it) we are free to move in the freedom of Spirit in the spiritual universe of Mind.

Section III:  Miracles are natural – the right-side-up view!

When we’re looking at things from the “headstand perspective” of a matter-governed world, we are tempted to believe that limitation is natural and the putting aside of limitation (miracles) is unnatural.  The truth of things is actually quite the opposite, as illustrated time and time again in the Bible and in current events.  The belief of limitation whether it appears as limited supply, (as felt by the widow woman in Zarephath) or limited health, or limited intelligence, or limited companionship stems from the misperception that matter reproduces itself.  Let’s correct that view.  Stop standing on your head, and let’s see things from the perspective of Spirit.  Jeremiah (32:17) wisely teaches, “Ah Lord God!  Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” Plants, animals, people … all grow and yield fruit “because they reflect the Mind which includes all.  Infinite Mind creates and governs all, from the mental molecule to infinity.” (S&H 507)  We’re not working to get “rid” of what we see around us.  We’re just putting it back into the spiritual perspective of unlimited, harmonious action.  “Mortal sense inverts this appearing and calls ideas material.”  (S&H 507)  Get off your head and back on your feet – use the spiritual discernment that is inherent in man – and you’ll see things correctly.  So-called miracles will then be seen as the natural, everyday way of life.

Section IV:  Life is deathless – turn things right side up and celebrate Life!

Basing life on matter allows for ups and downs in our experience.  Right after having enough food presented to preserve life (3rd section), it appears that the woman’s son dies.  Her response is to turn angrily to Elijah, asking him why he has come.  She suspects that he has brought God so close to her that God has discovered some hidden sin and thus is punishing her for that sin by taking away her son.  In order to demonstrate the falsity of this supposition, Elijah takes the boy up to a room on the roof (separated from the mortal sense entertained by a mortal mom) and prays to God to restore the child’s life.  Although we don’t know, of course, just how Elijah prayed, we do know that Elijah understood God to be the creator (Father/Mother) of this child.  The child was a gift of God given to the woman after she had fed Elijah during the years of draught and famine so many years before.  The “headstand” view would suggest that God gives good, and likewise takes it away.  Stand up and see things from a spiritual perspective and you see that “spiritual facts are not inverted.” (S&H 207)  The problem is the belief that matter has life.  Mrs. Eddy teaches in S&H, “The belief that matter has life results, by the universal law of mortal mind, in a belief in death.  So man, tree, and flower are supposed to die; but the fact remains that God’s universe is spiritual and immortal.”(289)  Again … start from the right basis, and you get to the correct conclusion.  No matter how tumultuous things appear to be, Science remains undisturbed and continues to unfold “to mortals the immutable [unchanging], harmonious, divine, Principle …”  (S&H 306)   When things seem to be turned upside down and not in accord with harmony, keep thought focused.  “Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, – neither in nor of matter, – and the body will then utter no complaints.”  A single moment.  That’s all it takes.  Practice basing your conclusions on Science, rather than the testimony of false material sense, and those moments of spiritual vision will become more frequent.

Section V:  The authority of the Christ and Christian Science stills the storm of matter.

God created the heaven and the earth – everything!  Divine Principle governs the action of the universe, and has established a covenant (or agreement with the people) providing for them the light of the Christ to guide them in the way of peace.  (See Isa. 42)  Jesus has finished preaching and is in a ship with his disciples when a storm comes up. (Mark 4) Earlier we learned that Science (Truth) is undisturbed in the jarring testimony of the material senses.  This is proven to be the case with Jesus.  He wakes up at the urging of his disciples and quiets the storm – inspiring great awe in his students.  They had already seen him heal, yet they were still impressed by a physical storm that threatened their sense of safety.  Mrs. Eddy offers this two-part definition of “wind” in the glossary of Science and Health:  “That which indicates the might of omnipotence and the movements of God’s spiritual government, encompassing all things.  Destruction; anger; mortal passions.” (S&H 597) The first is the true sense of wind that Jesus witnessed; the second is the inverted mortal sense that threatened the peace.  What enabled Jesus to speak with such conviction that the physical testimony changed?  It was his inseparable nature “from Christ, the Messiah, – the divine idea of God outside the flesh.”  (S&H 482)  Was this Christ lost when Jesus departed from view?  Hardly.  It is the truth that is demonstrated through Christian Science, “the immutable law of God, good.” (S&H 134) Jesus’ example demonstrates the “divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance.” (S&H 134) No matter what presents itself, we can exercise this authority.  As we remember that “adhesion, cohesion, and attraction are properties of Mind,” (S&H 124) we aren’t impressed with cut flesh, slippery roads, broken relations, storms of any nature, or any form of inharmony.  We know, instead, that these are only the “headstand” views.  In all our daily activities, we can turn to the Christ to show us what is really going on.  I love this from Science and Health (427: 23) “Immortal Mind, governing all, must be acknowledged as supreme in the physical realm, so-called, as well as in the spiritual.”  What appears as the physical realm is just an inverted view of the one creation – the creation of Spirit.  We don’t wait for it to go away – we correct the view of inharmony wherever we are and watch the physical correspond with the spiritual truth of things.

Section VI:  Translate man and the universe back into Spirit and rejoice.

God’s wisdom and understanding have established the heaven and earth in perfect harmony. ( See Prov. 3: 19) What do we need to do to see it that way – to make the harmony practically felt in our lives?  Stop looking at things upside down.  We need to speak the language of Spirit, and translate all things into that language.  Thus, we find that all is Mind.  What appears as rocks and minerals, gravitational pulls, the position of the stars – and any supposed influence they have on our lives, or dangers they present – don’t mean a thing.  How do we translate the universe back into Spirit?  I find it is helpful to think in terms of qualities, rather than “stuff.”  I look at a tree and see flexibility, strength, shade, growth, balance, symmetry, beauty, etc.  Mountains signify exalted thoughts and a means to a clear view.  Grass may symbolize gentleness, home, provision.  The solar system indicates order, attraction, right place.  Left in the realm of matter, these qualities could be reversed.  But recognizing that all is in Mind, the good is enduring and there is no flip-side.  Mrs. Eddy defines earth as a sphere, in the glossary. A sphere is even all the way around.  It was once believed that the earth was flat.  This would indicate a realm of good with a flip side of evil.  But, the earth is not flat and there is no flip-side of evil in God’s creation.  So, “Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine powers that be.” (S&H 249:8) Mind is all – there is no matter.  Translate properly.  Judge things according to Science and don’t be fooled by what seems to be.   “Science reveals only one Mind, and this one shining by its own light and governing the universe, including man, in perfect harmony.” (S&H 510: 28)  That’s the fact!!!

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