1) What do you feel the word creation implies?
To me “Creation” implies both that which exists, and that which is coming into existence.
(2) In your own words describe your impressions of the chapter “Creation” in Science and Health.
After reading and re-reading this chapter I am amazed and “thrilled” by discovering it to be so new. It is SO many-faceted. I feel that I am just getting a glimpse of its possibilities. But for now:
Creation is all about the impact of what God has done and is doing. “Eternal Truth is changing the universe”. (SH 255:1 only)
First I saw that the whole chapter is about the finite sense of God yielding to the infinite sense of God – the finite sense of man yielding to the infinite sense of man, the finite sense of cause, creation, individuality, yielding to the infinite spiritual sense of cause, creation, individuality. Talk about limitless possibilities to discern good! Illimitable!
And then I realized that “Let there be light” is a perpetual demand of God, and that “the finite must yield to the infinite.” Thus, “Who is it that demands our obedience?” is about faithfully watching and working to choose to gaze on, reasoning from, being occupied with the perfect goodness of Mind's creation. This leads me to the next question.
(3) How can the increased understanding of true creation make a difference in your life? Better yet, share with us how the truth of creation has been, or is being, demonstrated in your life.
Jesus is recorded as saying: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…” (Matt 7:13,14)
I have a couple of newspaper apps on my phone which, in the morning say on the home screen, “Here’s what you need to know to start your day”… and when I’ve believed that, I find myself being led right into the broad way of destruction that Jesus talks about. I am led right into the belief in what has been or is about to be or is able to be destroyed!! The demand for the light of Truth and Love, the demand for God-consciousness, is what I need to start my day with - and finish my day as well. The straight gate and narrow way is the “eternal Truth” of spiritual being which is indestructible and infinite - even illimitable!
The political landscape has had me, when I’ve gone into the “broad way” of destruction, tied in knots, sleepless, fearful and not well. But gradually, I am gaining in strength and obedience to start with and stay with what God has done and is doing. This holy government of my universe starts with me. And I am day by day gaining a little in this direction. Many times I have been rescued from “destruction” by letting there be spiritual light. Does it make a difference? It sure does to me, and I know that this spiritual fact far outweighs the turmoil on the national and international scenes. “He has the whole world in His hands.”
I’ve recently had another, quite profound impact of “the truth of creation” changing my universe…
Science and Health states: “Acquaintance with the original texts, and willingness to give up human beliefs (established by hierarchies, and instigated sometimes by the worst passions of men), open the way for Christian Science to be understood, and make the Bible the chart of life, where the buoys and healing currents of Truth are pointed out.” (SH 24:4)
I have loved searching for the original meanings of words in Strong's Concordance. For a long time- even years - I’ve pondered Jesus’ declaration that“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) - the Greek meaning of “one” being a primary numeral (that which cannot be divided). So, he and God are indivisible. And later when he says “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” and also “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:21-22 emphasis added) The word “one” here, in Greek, also means indivisible.
This eternal spiritual Truth is that our divine nature, like Jesus’ divine nature, is indivisible in God. In the book of Acts, Paul says “In Him we live and move and have our being”. (Acts 17:28) I’ve loved this, but in significant ways its practical implications haven't come readily.
Several years ago I happened upon a Facebook posting in which my niece was asking friends for guidance on an issue relating to her son’s preschool experience. I made an observation, and offered an opinion based on experiences I’d had when my kids were little. The response from her contemporaries was instant and stunning. My observation and my integrity were angrily attacked and mocked.
It felt like I was in a shark feeding frenzy - and I was the bait. And equally as shocking was that there was no defense from my niece. I withdrew from the site, and from her mentally. I shut her and her friends out of my heart. But over the years, I did pray on the situation - seeking to forgive. And there was softening but I still mentally held my niece at “arms length” and felt a distinct divide.
And over the years in varied situations with mostly church-related people, I found myself in relationships where I felt I was a victim. And I would withdraw from them literally and in heart. Separation was clear.
As well, for many years I’d had occasional bleeding - and several months ago it began to increase. By the time this Christmas season came, the bleeding was increasingly dramatic and frightening. Our daughter was with us for the holiday, and we’d planned an additional trip to be with our son. But because of the dramatic symptoms, I did not know if it was safe to go. As our planned departure approached, I was pretty much on my back and our daughter was concerned. It seemed right to tell her a bit about the problem, as she is not practicing CS, and admitted that she had been imagining all sorts of terrible things. Then she confided that 10 years ago she’d had a diagnosis of “ulcerated colitis” and was partially managing it through medication and diet. The symptoms were similar, and in some way this gave me a direction in prayer, and the conversation reassured her.
We did make the trip, but the bleeding continued aggressively. Our kids were kind and not inquisitive as I was lying down a lot. And the prayers of a CS practitioner were very strong.
Then, at one point I “heard” this wonderful Bible passage - out of the blue so to speak. It was not something I had worked with before.
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: ... thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (Isa 58:12)
I realized that the “breach” with my niece, and actually my brother and his family, was something I did not want to tolerate, justify or entertain anymore in thought. I could and would love. I could love her and all of them, whether or not I ever saw any of them again. I wanted to think on them as God's ideas, known forever by our one Mind, God.
So right then, I got up and wrote a Christmas card to her. I felt tenderness, assurance and gratitude for this awakening. I was so grateful to feel love for her and all of this family.
And the bleeding stopped right then. I have been back to all my normal activities.
I think the indivisibility of “I and my Father are one” - and that “they all may be one” had been developing in my heart and understanding. This was the “Holy Ghost” (what Mrs. Eddy defines on page 586 in Science and Health, as “the development of eternal Life, Truth and Love” - that is, the development of God!). This was “Eternal Truth…changing (my mortal sense of) the universe”!
And what is so remarkable is that this willingness to challenge breached relationships, and embrace others in our oneness in God, has continued to have a transformative effect on other relationships.
A couple in my branch church, where hostility between us had caused great discomfort for many, has been gently adjusted to humor, appreciation, even affection. We still don’t agree on a big issue facing our congregation, but that isn’t getting in the way of our love and our work together in church.
Even this week, when a church friend who’s under a lot of stress was cranky with me, and practically hung up on me for a very silly reason, I eventually yielded to the quiet guidance to reach out to her. It was so tender, and the conversation was supportive of her and constructive. Our oneness in God, and the developing action of Truth, Life and Love, moved me in paths to dwell in…Eternal Truth changing the universe and revealing the harmonies of being in God.