My email: 4CherylWrites(at)gmail.com
As the revisionist of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, I receive emails or letters from people about my book, 21st Century Science and Health. Here is a recent one:
I got the kindle version of 21st Century Science and Health. I appreciate your work and your path. I am an acupuncture doctor. I have always been acutely aware of Mary Baker Eddy’s work. Until I ran across your work, though, I didn’t think a bridge could exist between my path, Eddy’s path, and especially the path of the institution currently designated as Church of Christ, Scientist. The fact that you recognize that doctors are often on a spiritual path (and NOT just evil mesmerists) is of immense importance!!
Your work is a breath of fresh air. Many thanks.
As the revisionist of Science and Health, I also hear another view: Church members mechanically wave off 21st Century Science and Health with great nervousness while authoritatively contending out loud, “That is not Christian Science.” However, it is evident that this authoritative attitude eludes reality and is transitioning out of itself.
Granted, it has long been acknowledged that two valid perspectives can be seen related to religious experience: one that focuses on religious institutions, their projects, their policies, and their “authorized” versions, and another view that focuses on the way religion is lived every day in “unauthorized” yet very real ways by common people of faith.
The Church of Christ, Scientist, clearly cares about promoting precise descriptions of orthodox institutional religious doctrines and guidelines. But that doesn’t mean their work has any more authority in Christian Science than the rest of us who work from the pews at the back of church, or from all of the unauthorized places—homes, schools, other denominational services, acupuncturist’s and doctor’s offices, campuses, social services—where religion employs major power.
Are the views on authorization changing? You bet, and like so many changes in the history of religion, that change may be coming from the people who are at the bottom of the hierarchy. I understand those at the top of the Christian Scientist’s hierarchy don’t like the idea of saying the church’s views are changing because it implies they were wrong before. But, in truth, the institutional church is always changing. For example, Eddy revised Science and Health over 300 times. After Eddy’s death, church officials did authorize a few changes in Science and Health, but then the revision work stopped dead in its tracks. Big Change.
The move to “authorize” a material object as if it is the valid representation of an idea, only sets the scene for disapproval of everything else—an unwelcoming scene to humanity receptive to revelation. As someone who has been writing about Christian Science for 20 years, I stand by my observation that views on religious authorization are changing. Christian Scientist’s repeat the phrase, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science,” and nod their heads like they understand, but they don’t realize what the reality means until forced to face it. To “discover” means Christian Science has always existed. Eddy didn’t kick-start it into existence. Therefore any person, anywhere in the world, in different human circumstances, can also “discover” Christian Science, put it into practice, feel its beneficial effects, and write about it with authority. Furthermore, if scientific Christian works continue to be waved off and contended against as “not Christian Science,” until Christian Science all but disappears, any person can also again “found” Christian Science while crediting Eddy for her ideas. The authority is in revelation, not status-quo, and revelation is not exclusive, but inclusive to humanity.
A small sign of this transitioning view of authority was recently given by Louis Benjamin, from South Africa, who was allowed to post online at www.ChristianScience.com his article titled, The Branch Church Constitution. In reference to his branch church, Benjamin posited a pregnant question in this statement, “We felt we should continually be looking at our constitution and bylaws to reduce the human element. We should continually be “keeping abreast of the times” (Church Manual, p. 44). How many times did Mrs. Eddy revise Science and Health? If we accept that she is our Leader, maybe we should be following her example.”
The revision of Science and Health illustrates transition, not in the doctrine of Christian Science, but in the stance of those who profess Christian Science. The views that a book or ritual can be authorized, or that a hierarchal interpretation is an authority to follow, is fading. Humanity sees we are independent thinkers who can take responsibility for own thoughts and actions. Eddy defined Christian Science in Rudimental Divine Science, “As the law of God, the law of good interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.” The law of God does not require human authorization for its survival. It is alive and well and unstoppable. We can receive and act on revelation right now!
For those of you who don’t know, I am diligently working on the 4th edition of the revision and update of 21st Century Science and Health. As I work, I continue to be happily astonished at the dynamic spiritual truths that can be experienced every day.
Just this morning I was sincerely contemplating a progressive idea and worded it as such, “Humanity must learn that the influences of propaganda or crowd thinking are powerless. Crowd thinking is oppressive, but only a phase of nothingness. Christian Science devastates the vacuum of independent thinking and preeminently promotes good-will and virtue in families and therefore in the community.”
There is no cruise control for mind. And, fortunately, our minds can be influenced by spiritual intelligence, instead of being manipulated by the downward spiral mortal thinking.
And, one hour later, the phone rang and the caller asked, “Cheryl, can you come to Hoyt Park right now and write up an article for the newspaper about the tweens activity we have going on right now?”
“Well, sure,” I responded, laughing at the fact I had just made some hot tea to sip.
I dressed warm and hopped on the motorcycle to drive to Hoyt Park to cover the story. Volunteer adults had brought art supplies to Hoyt Park for kids to make paper mâché projects and to paint blocks, rocks, or canvas. The volunteers have formed under the Community Action Network Program with the goal to provide extracurricular activity that continues to let children develop in a healthy creative environment.
The group of kids and volunteers was vibrant and it was an honor to see how the law of Love and Truth devastates idle or confused thinking. Good-will, originality, attentiveness, wholesome socializing, and delight were prevalent and alive in the family of humanity and the community.
I grew up on a farm in southeastern Washington State which is a desert in its natural state. The average rain fall is 8 inches per year. Farmers however use water from the Yakima, Columbia, and Snake Rivers to irrigate the millions of acres of fruits and vegetables.
I learned to be frugal with water usage by taking short showers, not flushing the toilet all the time, and managing to keep everything clean with minimal water. Every year since, I’ve added to my list of “Going Green.”
My question now is, What would be the next best step for me to take to go greener?
Here is my current completed list:
–Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. I even used cloth diapers, but kids are grown now.
I am open to suggestions because every little effort in the green direction makes for a better journey. You can leave a comment or email me 4CherylWrites (at)gmail.com
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19 NIV)
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