Answers to questions after reading and living with chapter "Creation" from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
1. What do you feel the word creation implies?
The first thought that came to me as I contemplated the question was that creation implies the Truth of God’s being and of man’s being as His reflection. That it implies total spirituality, - holiness; that it is completely above anything that originates from a material realm.
The word itself, creation, seems to imply the start of something, but we know that if there is beginning there must be an ending. However, Truth, God, and all His synonyms are absolute; they just are. They are reality. Hence no beginning or ending.
Creation includes all the endless qualities of God: purity, perfection, goodness, strength, infinitude, as well as His oneness, His changelessness. Truth is true, there is no opposite; it just is, and therefore creation is. It destroys any other belief - anything that seems real – like materiality. And the oneness of God and creation (which is spiritual) is the only.
However, I do think the word creation implies movement, and therefore, newness, open mindness, but at the same time, continuity, progress, broadening of thought. I also love that to us as Christian Scientists, there is zero, no reality or thought of a material body. When I feel the need to lift my thought, perhaps from a problem of some sort, and really contemplate God and the spirituality of creation, all material beliefs become baseless, unbelievable, totally unreal, gone from thought, and that is when, of course, healing occurs. That is when we understand the completion of creation. Like the perfect circle it is complete - no way in, no way out, any starting or ending. Its perfection is its completeness.
2. In my own words describe my impression of the chapter “Creation” in Science and Health.
My first impression was how one chapter can have so many statements I have loved (and underlined) and that I didn’t really realize how many were in this chapter!
I love the way Mrs. Eddy starts with “Eternal Truth is changing the universe.” (SH, p. 255) And then subsequently does away with any baseless suggestions of human theories or “shackles”, and gets to the principle, “Mind, not matter, is the creator.” (SH, p. 256)
Reading the marginal headings is, to me, like the lesson book of a school teacher guiding us, lovingly, with inspiration and beautiful enfoldment of thought. I found this chapter very comforting. Like all Mrs. Eddy’s writings, the love, light, affirmation shines through. Her questions are also thought provoking, i.e., “Who that has felt the loss of human peace has not gained stronger desires for spiritual joy?” (SH, p. 255) And, “Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank?” (SH, p. 266) But two paragraphs later she gives us (marginal heading), “Beatific presence." How loving! She reminds us we are not from matter. Any such belief is erroneous, counterfeit.
I wrote “AP class” in my Science and Health when you particularly emphasized a paragraph, and one of those is the first paragraph of the second page of Creation. I love that because it covers the basics and ends with the powerful: “Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.” (SH, p. 256) That, to me, pretty much sums up Creation.
3. How can the increased understanding of true creation make a difference in my life?
In a very unexpected way, this chapter took on increased meaning to me when, a few short weeks ago on a Monday morning, I spoke with my friend of many years standing, who became my practitioner several years ago.
This has been a year for me for deeper study and almost daily help from this practitioner. When I called the next morning her daughter answered the phone and told me her mother had passed on the previous night. I literally could not speak; she had been perfectly well and this seemed beyond belief. But, having been studying creation in its truly spiritual sense, I also immediately knew I did not have to believe this false belief. She was not separated from Life, God, and all the truths she knew were true right now. As a reflection of infinite God, the only creator, she was never in or of matter. I re-read all the notes I had taken of truths she had reminded me of, declared for us both, and knew true creation was alive, surrounding, and totally meaningful. And, as another friend, a practitioner said, that she had proved her spirituality, and just moved forward; that her work went with her. That meant a great deal to me.
Knowing that the spirituality, understanding, and holiness of creation are being demonstrated in my life too, is of great help. Turning away from the claims seemingly real from the material body, requires vigorous study and discipline.
I am deeply grateful for the many healings I have had this past year. For proving “Divine Mind is the only cause or Principle of existence”, and that, “Cause does not exist in matter, in mortal mind...” (S&H 262:30), I thank God.
I am truly humbled by the beautiful and helpful fruitage you receive and share with your students. Each one is a treasure, - a proof of what God sees and the Christ voices to man.