1) What do you think the word creation implies?
Directly from the “Creation” chapter in Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy:
Order, “music of the spheres”
spiritual, inspirational, immortal
spirit of Christianity
“Mind is within and without all things”
still the desires, satisfy the aspirations
“Mind…its infinite character as inexhaustible Love, eternal Life,
“glories of limitless, incorporeal Life and Love”
infinitude of Truth
pure, perfect, enduring
rise to the spiritual consciousness of being
“…glorious form which we sometimes behold in the camera of divine Mind”
“…finding all in God, good and needing no other consciousness”
“all the glories of earth and heaven and man”
2) In your own words describe your impressions of the chapter “Creation” in Science and Health.
The way the “Creation” chapter is laid out, it appears to me a progression of ideas. It starts with God, urging us to see the infinite nature of God, beyond form or pretense. Rather, “Mind…within and without all things” or “Mind…its infinite character as inexhaustible Love,” as a few examples. This naturally leads to a broader, richer, more substantial view of man, as God’s image and likeness. A mortal concept of man, with its limitations, history, personality, is reversed. I love that man, as Mrs. Eddy describes and based on Bible truths/experiences, has unlimited capacities.
I noted where Christ Jesus was first mentioned in the chapter (p. 259) and to me here we are shown what the true image of man looks like, the Godlike man, and what this relation with God is (inseparable) and what an example it is!: “The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow…” (SH 259:6 The)
Next we read about body (and putting this off) and I love the inclusion of the story of the actor (p. 261). My notes about this part of the chapter: “speaking about the body thoroughly and forgetting about it!” Then a focus on good and its value, availability and our willingness to strive for it (SH 261:32-5). Next, the many references or implications on birth, origin, offspring, within this chapter and culminating here. I recall from class instruction being invited to delve more deeply on various topics, such as heredity, age, birth, to better prepare ourselves, when calls on these topics come.
To me the last few pages of the “Creation” chapter give so much light, joy, clarity, while at the same time urging us to dig deeper, think more broadly about our fellow man, and to see ourselves distinctly as children of God. The title of the address, “Our new illimitable Life” is captured so much in these last pages. Just one example: “Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.” (SH 264:24)
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.
Something that I recognized in myself this past fall that needed to be addressed, was a lot of mental rehearsing. There was inharmony with family at that time, and difficulty in a living situation. So, the mental rehearsing seemed justified. But Mrs. Eddy’s writings (and her experiences) along with Christ Jesus’ example and teachings, urge us to love our enemies, bless those that curse us. I began to also experience some alarming physical symptoms. It’s sad that all of this had to culminate before I finally woke up.
But I felt a tangible turning point occur. I turned to the hymns a lot. Anytime these negative thoughts would come in, I would instead think of lines from hymns and work with them. This was in front of the mirror getting ready for work, or on the subway, or walking from one destination to another. The point was the negative thoughts came a lot, and the only thing I really had to counter them were things familiar and good, that I could draw on right away. Bible passages and MBE writings helped a lot, but the hymns were the real winners. I also recognized the need for more calm and peace in thought when situations arose that caused anger or upset. A passage along these lines from Retrospection and Introspection by Mrs. Eddy, helped that a practitioner shared: “The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action.” (Ret. 93:13)
I strove to find this stillness and peace before taking any human action. This sometimes brought angst (as I often felt I needed to do something), but the results were more beneficial, expressing trust in God and His ways and means. On a very practical note a quick hit on the send button on emails grew less and less.
I am no where near perfect at this, and still gaining ground, and falter many times, but the passage in Skip’s recent letter about “Tireless Being, patient of man’s procrastination, affords him fresh opportunities every hour; ….” (Hea., p. 19) is so helpful. A line from the “Creation” chapter seemed so appropriate to what I have been learning:
“We cannot fathom the nature and quality of God’s creation by diving into the shallows of mortal belief. We must reverse our feeble flutterings – our efforts to find life and truth in matter – and rise above the testimony of the material senses, above the mortal to the immortal idea of God. (SH 262:9-14)
I am so grateful our assignment is for the year. I know I will have more to share. With last year’s assignment of reading 1943 CSS testimonies, I know many of us kept going with this reading to future years. I just checked my phone where I had bookmarked ones I loved (what a great way to travel to and from work on the subway, reading these testimonies and how it blessed me, and could only spill over to others). I continued with the 1954 Journal and Sentinel. And I recently finished 1987 CSS, although none of these I formally bookmarked. The bonus for 1987 was reading Skip’s editorials in between testimonies. I love the shortness of this assignment (12 pages) to the length of last year’s assignment (one volume of testimonies) but regardless of page numbers the spiritual impetus is at work.