Radio hostess, Bonnie Lykes-Bigler interviewed me on writing and revising in relation to Christian Science.
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In its 150-year history, “Christian Science” managed to shoot to fame and get lost in outer space.
The line between what religion and legend have to say are worth looking at.
Religion: Born in 1821, the woman who was to become Mary Baker Eddy, the leader of Christian Science, had the faith that God could heal spiritually. In 1866, this New England woman had a liberating epiphany that faith can be coupled with divine knowledge as the foundation of mindful healing. Her discovery was dubbed Christian Science.
Legend: There was nothing quick, certainly not instant, about establishing Christian Science in the 19th century. The New England woman spent twenty years prior to 1866, trying to trace physical effects to a mental cause.
Only until Mary started helping herself, by thinking and experimenting like a scientist, did she transform her faith into understanding. Otherwise, she was a dependent, a woman with little umph. She had lousy health and a lousy marriage.
Religion: Stirred by her new thinking, Mary’s health improved. She taught the principles of Christian Science to one student, then more students. Some of the students became public practitioners, who applied spiritual truths until the human mind and body of their clients yielded to the divine Mind, God.
Legend: Not everyone was healed by the application of Christian Science. Not all relationships were made-in-heaven. Eddy herself continued to have relationship and health troubles to deal with.
As for her marriage, although Eddy touted a loving God that can heal marriages, her second marriage ended in a divorce. She later remarried, Asa Gilbert Eddy, the source of her famous name.
Religion: In 1875, Mary wrote and published the Christian Science textbook titled, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” Eddy’s book is from God.
Legend: The book published in 1875 was titled, “The Science of Man.” Mary Baker Eddy revised her book hundreds of times continuously until she died in 1910. The book was originally written for the public as a tool to learn spiritual, scientific Mind-healing. She may have been inspired when writing, however she continued to correct and clarify the book her entire life.
It didn’t evolve into a textbook for a church until 1895. The ideas in the book may be sacred, but the words are not, because human language is inadequate to voice the sacred spiritual.
Religion: Christian Science became popular and Mary Baker Eddy began preaching. She then took on the responsibility of leadership and organized a Christian Science church in 1879, calling it, The Church of Christ, Scientist. The religious organization became very prosperous, with branches around the world, at the turn of the 20th century.
Legend: Christian Science was defined by Eddy as the law of God, of good, interpreting and manifesting universal harmony. Christian Science is not synonymous with a religious organization. Just as Science and Health is not synonymous with Christian Science.
Religion: The Church of Christ, Scientist, is dying in the world today. Empty branch edifices are being closed and sold. Mary Baker Eddy’s, Science and Health isn’t being read, let alone studied by very many people.
Legend: Christian Science, as taught by Mary Baker Eddy is a spiritual idea that has existed forever. Many other people have discovered this law of God. It’s a divine force found in God and is still being interpreted and understood today, in multifarious expressions. The ideas in “Science and Health” are not restricted to words written 150-years ago and that is one beauty of religion and legend working together.
We can look at both, religion and legend to determine a line of spiritual progress. It is silly to defend or condemn either. We can appreciate the facts and experience God rather than religion or legend at loggerheads.
The element of time is being re-organized, not by anything physical, but by putting useful thoughts in key places and letting them call the shots and initiate betterment.
Relationships between our thoughts and the physical are seen every day. An improved physical condition can improve our attitude. We can even take matters into our own hands and reverse the sequence by improving our attitudes to improve our physical conditions.
The hiccup? It’s not easy to better our attitudes. Or, if we do improve our minds, the physical condition stays the same. But don’t give up before turning that next corner to visible improvement.
The next corner requires leaving behind the human ego and moving forward with what has been defined by leading thinkers as: divine consciousness, the universal Mind, the power of miracles, spirituality, or whatever other word is common to a specific culture.
Despite the multifarious words, we can turn that next corner to visible improvement. Our mental and physical evolution isn’t dependent upon a word, but upon the simplicity of yielding to an unseen force at work.
To speak to an unseen force, let’s review the teachings of genetics.
We know genes change, mutate, and can be manipulated. It’s evolution before our eyes. But we don’t see what causes the evolution. We only see the results of a force at work.
And those results are revealing.
For example, science has confirmed that genetic evolution doesn’t have to take more than a lifetime. Visible change or improvement doesn’t have to take a long time.
A 2015 Oxford study of chicken genetics overturns the popular assumption that evolution is only visible over long time scales. By using the technique of selective mating to combine genes and by studying individual chickens that were part of a long-term pedigree, scientists, led by Professor Greger Larson at Oxford University’s Research Laboratory for Archaeology, found two mutations that had occurred in the mitochondrial genomes of long-term pedigree birds in only fifty years.
For a long time, scientists have believed that the rate of change in the mitochondrial genome was never faster than about 2% per million years. The identification of these mutations shows that the rate of evolution in this pedigree is in fact fifteen times faster.
When it comes to our mental progress, we can translate this Oxford study to qualify another study. Mind study. We can use the technique of selective thinking to combine true and useful thoughts to close the gap in time and reveal visible improvement sooner rather than later.
Here is a list of useless thoughts that hold us back, followed by useful thoughts (printed in bold):
Doing something today in the hopes it will help us in the afterlife. Live for today, not for tomorrow, not for an afterlife, but live for today.
Repeating what we know because we believe it’s always been done that way. Greeting and experimenting with new ideas, to implement new intents or actions that bring more benefit to humanity.
Identifying one’s self with past hurts and grievances. Identifying one’s self with the unseen force even adapting us to survival and purpose.
Trying to satisfy physical drives. Satisfying the drive for personal improvement.
In our efforts to achieve visible progress, the obstacle of time is being removed, thought by thought.
Bio: Cheryl thrives while learning in the classroom of Mother Nature. Landscapes, plants, pets, and wildlife teach her to look deeper and consider the infinite. She also earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Colorado State University back in the day when typing was done manually and typewriters were behemoth machines. Now, Cheryl freelance writes on a range of subjects covering philosophy, principles, and policies. Her book is: from religion & science to God.