Monday, March 26, 2012

Your freedom cannot be compromised

By Anthony Whitehouse CS

It is probably clear to anyone that if one had a perfect sense of liberty and freedom one would be in the kingdom of heaven. That sense of freedom would involve a sense of freedom from poverty, sin, compromise, error, malice etc., so that irrespective of the challenge before us we would never lose that sense of freedom. We would be in that place which was totally free of any sense of being constrained by anything. We would have that sense of heaven which freedom entails.

So if we are going to experience the opposite of that sense of total freedom i.e. hell, then evil, personal sense, error etc., is obviously going to come up with a set of circumstances which seem to compromise freedom. Usually it looks like an incurable disease, or an insurmountable problem. But actually the issue we really have to deal with is neither the insurmountable problem nor the incurable disease; it is simply the sense that our freedom can be compromised. It cannot be!

In fact this issue is the sum total of the challenge in Divine Science, because it applies equally to men and women of all religions and all works of life.

It is in fact a law of God, a principle of Divine Science that there is no such thing as compromise and lack of freedom because the nature of God is infinity and infinity is an integral component of freedom which is incapable of being constrained.

However we cannot really take this freedom on board until we see how good evil and error are at presenting scenarios which seek to fetter that sense of freedom. Take for example someone living in a deprived neighborhood, living on a pension and facing a health issue. What is the real issue here? It is not really the circumstances but the whole construct of the scenario is saying to that individual, “You have nowhere to go! You have no freedom, you are constrained. You cannot escape this horror.” The mesmerism is complete. But what is compromised here is not really the individual. What is compromised is the sense of freedom and this is actually of far greater consequence than what appears as the physical constraints, because a sense of freedom is one of the primal qualities of Spirit, God. So if our sense of freedom has been compromised we are effectively cut-off from God and of the two challenges that is by far the greater sin. If we lose our sense of freedom we have effectively lost our sense of God: that is hell and purgatory, all rolled up in one.

So, if we are going to be effective healers, effective spiritual scientists it is critical we never allow thought to lose that sense of freedom. We need to be very wary of any circumstances which are trying to tell us that we are compromised.

What is so interesting in this whole issue is that the word free comes from an Indo-European root meaning “to love”. So, it is not hard to see that God, love MUST necessarily involve a sense of freedom. It obviously follows that if we lose a sense of freedom our ability to love is compromised at the same time. Neither can we say that we love God if we entertain the idea that we, as the expression of God, can have our sense of freedom compromised.

It is also true to say that we can never have any sense of joy without an inherent sense of freedom. How can we entertain joy if we feel that we can be taken hostage by fortune? Belief in the vagaries of chance would certainly do that.
Our sense of freedom must also necessarily entail that others cannot have their freedom curtailed either. One can imagine walking down the street and seeing someone with a disability and passing the thought “ There is no freedom here”. In today’s current climate of hedonism one could also be forgiven for entertaining the idea that others have been mesmerized into forsaking church worship or their freedom to worship God has been curtailed. But that would involve us in entertaining thoughts that mankind is NOT free to worship God. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We cannot call ourselves children of God and entertain any notion that man is not free to do his duty otherwise our own sense of freedom ( and love ) is necessarily compromised.

It often appears to us that others are behaving in a loveless and hateful manner towards us. We can turn these traits on their head by insisting that that these people are both free of such unloving traits and their ability or freedom to act in a loving, intelligent and cooperative manner cannot be compromised. It is our sense of freedom which heals the situation.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Confusion: The John the Baptist syndrome!

By Anthony Whitehouse CS

If there is one personality in the Bible who behaves in an odd manner it has to be John the Baptist. His mother and the mother of Jesus are related, he prophesies the coming of the Messiah, he baptizes and prepares thousands for the coming of Christ but when Christ turns up and even after he recognizes Jesus as the Christ, he has a crisis of confidence and cannot follow him.

How could that possibly happen ? Even Jesus kept sending him proof of his healings as we find in Matthew 11:4 “ Go and shew John again those things which you do see and hear”.

What weapon did error use in this instance ? The answer is the weapon of confusion. And it is this sense of confusion which is the mist which went up from the earth and watered the ground. Confusion is the mingling of good and evil, the lack of clarity which comes from having more than one Mind and more than one creation.

So are we going to fall into the same trap as John the Baptist? I am a great believer in learning from other peoples mistakes. In this instance I think it behooves us to learn from one of the greatest spiritual blunders in history. Interestingly Moses made the same mistake. He never got to the promised land either because he allowed himself to become confused about the existence of God and the validity of His promises.

When John the Baptist allowed himself to become confused about the reality of the Christ in his experience , we see the result only too clearly. He lost his head. In fact his story is a terrible condemnation of allowing ourselves to become confused. The issue here is not really one of doubt but of confusion. We can be in a position where we do not really doubt the creation and perfection of God but we can be led into a position where we are so confused by human events that we lose the mental clarity which allows us to insist and experience the perfection and creation of God as our own reality.

Irrespective of how painful a realization it may be I believe it is essential to realize that error is very good at sowing confusion. The parable of the tares and the wheat witness this phenomenon. It will present us with a so called insoluble problem and we end up totally confused by the situation! Immediately we lose our spiritual clarity and focus. We are persuaded there is more than one creation and more than one Mind. Confounding confusion has to be the result and such result involves our exclusion from the kingdom. Our leader tells us “Man is harmonious when governed by Soul “ but that statement will lose its power if we become confused by a problem.

So the answer must be to always maintain that intense spiritual clarity that is never confused. In order to have this clarity we must totally deny the reality of sin, sickness and death. If we accept error then confusion must result. God warns us against eating the fruit of the tree of good and evil (and even touching it!) but we do not heed the warning. Why? Because the real fruit of this tree is confusion and we have not really recognized its distressing effects.

Jesus’ great strength was that he was never confused by any human situation and he was certainly never confused about his identity as the image and likeness of God. Mrs. Eddy refers to the blessings which came about as a result of both this spiritual clarity and absence of confusion when she writes:

No. 36:12-26 The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin, disease, and death, and was conscious only of God, of good, of eternal Life, and harmony. Hence the human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being, — holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real. It was this retreat from material to spiritual selfhood which recuper- ated him for triumph over sin, sickness, and death. Had he been as conscious of these evils as he was of God, wherein there is no consciousness of human error, Jesus could not have resisted them; nor could he have conquered the malice of his foes, rolled away the stone from the sepulchre, and risen from human sense to a higher con- cept than that in which he appeared at his birth.

So the great challenge we face as Christians and devotees of The Way is whether we are going to make the same mistakes as John the Baptist and Moses? It really is the difference between a stance of mind which says I have a problem to solve and wondering how I am going to solve it ( the stance of confusion ) and the stance of Mind which insists that “ Now are we the sons of God , the separation has never taken place, God reigns, all is perfect now !”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Either supremacy or anarchy

Anthony Whitehouse CS

Christian Science presents you with a rather stark choice but one that we have to make. It falls out of the realisation that God is supreme, that there is no other power and no other state of affairs than absolute perfection and complete harmony. This is the nature of God and His nature is supreme.. i.e above all and totally pervasive. The problem for the human mind is that it suffers from the belief that this is not actually true and as a result it experiences anarchy. I must add that the delusion that God is not actually supreme can only exist as a delusion. It can never be a reality. Does not Mrs Eddy say " All that really exists is the Divine Mind and its idea... "

So this is our choice. Either we take on board and understand that God ( Love, truth , serenity , peace etc) really are supreme or we must live with the opposite ... anarchy. When seen in this llight we realise we don't actually have a choice.

It may not be that we are able to totally digest the full impact of this realisation but this is not important. What is critical is that we see how important to destroy the belief in something less than supremacy and work to establish the sense of God's supremacy. We can then usher in the millenium albeit 12 years late !

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Commentary on the 91st Psalm and its Poetic Adaptation as a Hymn

By Stirling Watts CS

These inspiring words are adapted from those of Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, two Irishmen who were adherents to King William, to whom Brady was a chaplain, circa 1700 A.D. This text also appears as the words to Hymns 99 and 100 in The Christian Science Hymnal:
He that hath God his guardian made
Shall dwell beneath th’Almighty’s shade;
Thus of the Lord I now will say,
He is my fortress, shield and stay,
My God; in Him I will confide
And in His secret place abide.
His tender love and watchful care
Shall free thee from the fowler’s snare.
He over thee His wings shall spread,
To cover thy unguarded head,
And from the noisome pestilence
His truth shall be they strong defense.
He gives His angels charge o’er thee,
No evil therefore shalt thou see.
Dwelling within His secret place,
Thou shalt behold His power and grace;
Thy refuge shall be God most high,
See His salvation ever nigh.
This poem, as does the 91st Psalm itself, tells of us of God’s ever at-hand, permanent, protective, and healing power. We can all partake of witnessing that Truth and feeling the healing hand of His Love when we mentally rise in prayer above the false testimony of the evil called disease, which deceitfully claims to reside with us. God, good, being ALL, evil would claim an impossible victory for itself.  Its supposed selfhood can only reside in an imaginary realm OUTSIDE of God’s infinity. Where would such a place be? To God, that place would only be a dream realm. How can we get to a place outside of an infinity of Love? Where is the barrier of infinity, an infinity filled with Love? We can never really be in such a place, but we as humans can certainly entertain the false conviction that we are. Anyone who has ever awakened from a frightening nightmare knows the feeling of the sudden realization, that what we were convinced was threatening us, was not really in the realm of reality. In the same sense, we as humans live in a conviction of an environment called human consciousness. This can often seem like a nightmare. When we at least partially awake from that state of false conviction through prayer, our real and perfect spiritual state becomes more apparent. Healing will feel much like the awakening from a nightmare.
Through sincere, holy, and truly uplifting prayer, we always win, in spite of frightening human appearances and presentations of outcome which defy God’s goodness.