To me the word “creation” suggests newness, freshness, something entirely original and unique—kind of like God’s ideas!
In reading the Creation chapter and thinking about the stories of creation in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, I can see that Creation and Gen. 1 both have a sense of largeness and expansion in common. It was pointed out in a lecture I heard recently that the first chapter of Genesis uses the word “and” repeatedly, whereas the second chapter introduces the word “but” in the sixth verse. It’s all downhill from there, just as it always is when we know the spiritual fact, and then say, but what if…
Some of the verbs and verb phrases that Mrs. Eddy uses to express God’s spiritual creation within the chapter are: expands, sprang, takes off, advancing, rises, emanating, forever developing, broadening, improve, breaking away, gained. Also, she uses adjectives like changing, limitless, inexhaustible, boundless, enlarged, wider, higher, more permanent, perennial, ascending. Nouns—redemption, vastness, and (infinite) range (of thought)—suggest the result of this spiritualized state of existence. When speaking of the material view, Mrs. Eddy uses these verbs: bounded, compressed, chills, hampers, grope, cling, defraud, nipped. Adjectives: limited, corporeal, material, narrow, isolated, solitary, fleeting, withered, unreal, obsolete. Nouns—finiteness, formalism, failure, loss—again show the narrowness of expression and experience resulting from the limited view of creation. Those words can also apply to the Adam and Eve version of creation in Gen 2 after the word “but” comes into play.
In my study this year, it’s become more clear that we’re either going Spiritward or matter-ward. Mrs. Eddy points this out in so many ways throughout her writings. She uses the word “opposite” and its derivatives about a couple hundred times as well as words like “reverse” (and words associated) many times. And her imagery about the “inharmonious travellers” (SH, p. 21) going to California and Europe vs. those going in the same direction show that if I’m going toward Spirit, I’ve turned my back on matter, and if I’m going toward matter, then I’ve turned my back on Spirit. There’s never going to be harmony or healing while we’re trying to entertain both or we’re vacillating between Spirit and matter.
In praying about some things requiring healing this year, one of the citations included in our readings has become important to me. It’s SH 129:7: “If you wish to know the spiritual fact, you can discover it by reversing the material fable, be the fable pro or con, --be it in accord with your preconceptions or utterly contrary to them.” Again, it’s that idea of opposites that captured my attention.
I had a healing resulting from this work. I noticed (felt) a bump on the skin on my leg and at first didn’t even look at it or pay much attention to it, but after a few weeks of being aware of it, I did look at it. It wasn’t very nice looking and seemed to have grown larger. I refrained from analyzing it, and I knew it would be unwise to let any fear or temptation to diagnose creep in. The lines from SH, p. 246 came to me: “Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.” Here were opposites again. Which way would I think of my existence? In terms of spiritual qualities of loveliness, freshness, continuity? Or matter-based age and blight? I didn’t actually look up the word “blight” at the time, but I was familiar enough with blight on plants as being something undesirable and ugly—marring the beauty and health of the plant, to know it was something God definitely did not create for His spiritual ideas—plants or me!
One morning as I showered, I was aware of smooth, fresh skin where the growth had been. I rejoiced for having experienced the practical effect of sticking to God’s idea of creation, and I also felt confident that one thought lifted above human suggestions of age-related stuff leavens the whole atmosphere of thought regarding age.