Sunday, August 25th, 2019 Roundtable
A Sound Mind
This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: Mind
Click here to play the audio as you read:
Oh, may the light that is never dim so encompass you, that no night is there. May His angels hold thee in their power, and Songs of Science be heard in the intuitions of thought, till your life is in tune with the rhythm of God.
— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 224
436 — WATCH lest you forget, in your need to solve difficult problems and to study the letter of Christian Science, to take time to soar mentally into the realm of spiritual uplift, in order to contemplate heaven peopled with spiritual beings governed in perfect harmony. We need to refresh our hearts and souls with this vision at frequent intervals, lest we dwell on error until we make a reality of it, or become weary in well doing. It was for this reason that Mrs. Eddy once said to the students in her home, “Let your minds go out every two hours, all is peace, good will, love, etc. Say nothing of error; confine your thoughts to the right side.”
If you make a treadmill out of your Science work, you are liable to keep errors alive day after day, working on them endlessly, as a woman would do on a sock she was knitting, if she never toed it. We must work on error and then have done with it, in order that we may progress through the unlabored motion of the divine energy, and fill our thoughts with good.
— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
Golden Text — “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” — II Timothy 1 : 7
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” — II Timothy 1 : 7, Amplified Bible
Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.
— from Science and Health, 1910, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 392
God is All; there is no evil.
All is harmony; there is no discord.
All is health; there is no sickness.
All is Spirit; there is no matter.
All is joy; there is no sorrow.
All is Truth; there is no falsehood.
All is faith; there is no fear.
All is Life; there is no death.
All is Love; there is no hate.
— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 282
Jesus responded, ‘Bring him hither to me.’ … It was as if he had said, Bring him to where it is known that Spirit is the only power —to the understanding that man is spiritual, not material.
It was evident that in no other way than by the understanding and recognition of man’s perfection could this child be saved. Jesus’ explanation to his disciples of their failure, ‘This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting,’ showed the necessity of fasting from any material suggestion of a personal self needing to be healed, and the holy desire to do the will of the Father, divine Spirit. The pure reflection of God. Mind, could see only the pure image of Love.
It is significant that the healing of this child came after Christ Jesus had returned from that sacred mountain-top experience known as the ‘transfiguration.’ Before that pure elevation of thought, disease could have no witness, and so melted away into its own nothingness.
[The article then quotes p. 222 of Mrs. Eddy’s Miscellany, and her interpretation of prayer and fasting as “refraining from admitting the claims of the senses.”]
This interpretation of Jesus’ words by our Leader shows plainly the requirement of absolute purity of thought as a requisite for healing.
Prayer and fasting bring the pure recognition of the Christ. We find ourselves in ‘the secret place of the most High,’ where Christ dwells forever with the Father. The realization that the divine image and likeness ceaselessly beholds the face of God is the prayer which heals. Such prayer demands fasting from the illusion of the senses. It is the Christ-consciousness which heals and saves.
— from “By Prayer and Fasting” Christian Science Sentinel July, 1943, by Ruth W. Herwood:
Question: What are demons?
Answer: They start as little disturbuing thoughts that seem plausable and we accept. When we ruminate, complain, wonder about them we give them life. Then they govern our actions and color our thinking until we see evil instead of God’s goodness.
— Shared during discussion
Demon: an evil spirit, which influences.
— Webster’s 1828 dictionay
Adam, the synonym for error, stands for a belief of material mind. He begins his reign over man somewhat mildly, but he increases in falsehood and his days become shorter.
— from Science and Health, 1910, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 529
Evil begins with a toehold, if unchallanged gains a foothold, and last a stronghold.
Seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride.
Cast out: to drive out, expel, banish, kick out, throw out, drive out, to cause or force to leave, eject, driving away especially permanently.
— from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
…the practitioner is daily confronted by sick folks who have such a conviction of the seriousness of their afflictions, which are supported by the evidence of the senses, that, if the healer becomes careless or too mentally lazy to reject and challenge every illusion that attempts to fasten itself upon him, so that he acknowledges its existence, he may find himself partaking of the same error! It is plain, therefore, why Mrs. Eddy did not want the students to fall a victim to the error…by looking at it, “talking about it, thinking it over, and how to meet it,” as we read on page 130 of Miscellaneous Writings, since she says that this “has the same power to make you a sinner that acting thus regarding disease has to make a man sick.”
— from Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Precepts by Gilbert Carpenter:
Reaction is the bridge over which animal magnetism reaches us. A disturbed, irritated thought is a catchall for error’s spurious suggestions.
What is the solution? The answer lies in the instant rejection of the aggressive suggestion. The Bible tells us to agree with our adversary quickly while we are in the way with him. Mrs. Eddy clarifies this in Science and Health by stating, “Suffer no claim of sin or of sickness to grow upon the thought. Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate.” (p. 390)
Mary Baker Eddy once said, “Be so instant in Truth that error is always too late.”
— from Sermons and Articles by Doris White Evans, page 70
Article — The Story of the Two Wolves
An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, pride and hatred. The other wolf represents joy, love, peace, humility, forgiveness and honesty. This fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”
The children thought about it for a minute, and then one child asked, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee replied simply, “The one you feed.”
— A Cherokee Legend
Christian Science is not a dweller apart in royal solitude; it is not a law of matter, nor a transcendentalism that heals only the sick. This Science is a law of divine Mind, a persuasive animus, an unerring impetus, an ever-present help. Its presence is felt, for it acts and acts wisely, always unfolding the highway of hope, faith, understanding. It is the higher criticism, the higher hope, and its effect on man is mainly this — that the good which has come into his life, examination compels him to think genuine, whoever did it. A Christian Scientist verifies his calling. Choose ye!
When, by losing his faith in matter and sin, one finds the spirit of Truth, then he practises the Golden Rule spontaneously; and obedience to this rule spiritualizes man, for the world’s nolens volens cannot enthrall it. Lust, dishonesty, sin, disable the student; they preclude the practice or efficient teaching of Christian Science, the truth of man’s being. The Scripture reads: “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” On this basis, how many are following the Way-shower? We follow Truth only as we follow truly, meekly, patiently, spiritually, blessing saint and sinner with the leaven of divine Love which woman has put into Christendom and medicine.
A genuine Christian Scientist loves Protestant and Catholic, D.D. and M.D., — loves all who love God, good; and he loves his enemies. It will be found that, instead of opposing, such an individual subserves the interests of both medical faculty and Christianity, and they thrive together, learning that Mind-power is good will towards men. Thus unfolding the true metal in character, the iron in human nature rusts away; honesty and justice characterize the seeker and finder of Christian Science.
The pride of place or power is the prince of this world that hath nothing in Christ. Our great Master said: “Except ye . . . become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,” — the reign of righteousness, the glory of good, healing the sick and saving the sinner. The height of my hope must remain. Glory be to Thee, Thou God most high and nigh.
Whatever is not divinely natural and demonstrably true, in ethics, philosophy, or religion, is not of God but originates in the minds of mortals. It is the Adamdream according to the Scriptural allegory, in which man is supposed to start from dust and woman to be the outcome of man’s rib, — marriage synonymous with legalized lust, and the offspring of sense the murderers of their brothers!
Wholly apart from this mortal dream, this illusion and delusion of sense, Christian Science comes to reveal man as God’s image, His idea, coexistent with Him — God giving all and man having all that God gives. Whence, then, came the creation of matter, sin, and death, mortal pride and power, prestige or privilege? The First Commandment of the Hebrew Decalogue, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and the Golden Rule are the all-in-all of Christian Science. They are the spiritual idealism and realism which, when realized, constitute a Christian Scientist, heal the sick, reform the sinner, and rob the grave of its victory. The spiritual understanding which demonstrates Christian Science, enables the devout Scientist to worship, not an unknown God, but Him whom, understanding even in part, he continues to love more and to serve better.
Beloved, I am not with you in propria persona at this memorable dedication and communion season, but I am with you “in spirit and in truth,” lovingly thanking your generosity and fidelity, and saying virtually what the prophet said: Continue to choose whom ye will serve.
Forgetting the Golden Rule and indulging sin, men cannot serve God; they cannot demonstrate the omnipotence of divine Mind that heals the sick and the sinner. Human will may mesmerize and mislead man; divine wisdom, never. Indulging deceit is like the defendant arguing for the plaintiff in favor of a decision which the defendant knows will be turned against himself.
We cannot serve two masters. Do we love God supremely? Are we honest, just, faithful? Are we true to ourselves? “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” To abide in our unselfed better self is to be done forever with the sins of the flesh, the wrongs of human life, the tempter and temptation, the smile and deceit of damnation. When we have overcome sin in all its forms, men may revile us and despitefully use us, and we shall rejoice, “for great is [our] reward in heaven.”
— from Miscellany, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 3-6