by Rolf Witzsche
Perhaps the greatest breakthrough discovery that Mary Baker Eddy has made, may be her discovery that God is Soul.
Prior to this discovery humanity has seen itself as a vast mass of essentially isolated beings who all live alone in their own limited sphere, and at the very best live in a slightly larger sphere established by matrimony which has in many ways been even more tightly limited and circumscribed. In contrast to this practice of humanity's self-perception, that has been established over countless ages and for countless largely political objectives, stands one of the great postulates that Mary Baker Eddy has set forward. This postulate is that God is Soul, which includes the postulate that there is no such thing in the divine universe as a multiplicity of human souls and spirits. The notion of the existence of souls and spirits is invalid in Christian Science.
Can you imagine what this means? This means that we, that is the whole of mankind, share in our being one singular Soul that is the heart and essence of our humanity - a universal humanity that no one is excluded from. On this platform humanity is one. On the divine platform we are all 'married' as it were, to one another. Mary Baker Eddy points out, "There is but one I, or Us..."*1
Can you imagine what this implies for the legitimacy to love universally? It takes the steam out of ethnic, racial, cultural, religious, ideological, and political division and isolation, even out of our sexual divisions and our social divisions into enclaves of tightly circumscribed marriages and friendship bonds. We have yet to discover what it means when these divisions into countless forms of isolation become dissolved and the divine nature of being comes to light. Mary Baker Eddy puts a faint mandate on the table by making no provision in the Church of Christ Scientist for institutional marriages. It is as if she is saying, don't go there! Embrace the true nature of your being in the divine universe, in which there is no division in the basic design of humanity. Mary Baker Eddy's love for humanity, that shown so brightly that healed instantly whoever was touched by it, evidently was rooted on this universal platform of the singularity of Soul. For her, universal love was a natural thing. We should ask ourselves if it is really possible to express Love on any other platform. The comments that one reads, associated with Mary Baker Eddy's healing work, are in the majority astonishments about her love, which people say is a love they have never before felt or have even known to exist, or assumed to be possible. The comments speak of a kind of love that appeared as though it was from another world. Obviously it wasn't. But is was from the recognition that we do live in a world of one singular universal Soul that defines our being in the sphere of the divine Being.
May Baker Eddy was not a saint who was able to do great things out her saintly position in the universe. No, she was the ultimate realist. She operated from the universal platform on which all humanity is founded. The only aspect that set her apart was her greater understanding of this platform, and this was achieved with an immense dedication of human labor and scientific honesty with herself. What excuse do we have for not following in her footsteps, which have already been precisely laid out for us? I can see no valid excuse. Still, there is a great reluctance to accept her platform. As a matter fact, the very notion of universal love is deemed absolute treason in the social marriage environment. Rather than dealing with this challenge, and growing by resolving the paradox involved, most Christian Scientists go to other churches and their priests and ministers to get married the old way. Indeed, the challenges are staggering. I began many years ago with a project to explore the challenge posed by the principle of universal love in the social domain. That project took almost twenty years complete and became a series of five novels. (see novels by Rolf Witzsche)
I have searched through the bulk of the reports of healing accomplished by Mary Baker Eddy, and yes, there exists evidence in some cases that the uplifted platform of spiritual integrity that is reflected in the accomplished healing has had an uplifting effect in the social environment. I would like to suggest that we have barely begun to move in this direction. I would also like to suggest that a strong movement in this direction is almost essential to break the deep reaching division and isolation in humanity for which we have created an arsenal of nuclear weapons so huge, that one hundredth of it is sufficiently large to destroy the whole of humanity, even as one hears ever louder cries of society's willingness to use them. We should not ignore Mary Baker Eddy's warning, when she writes in the textbook, "If living in disobedience to Him, we ought to feel no security, although God is good."*2
The great distance that we have yet to travel to embrace the divine standard of the singularity of Soul, is reflected in the great distance that separates what is practiced under the banner of love today, from the Love that has shone so brightly in Mary Baker Eddy's healing works when this Love instantly eradicated diseases and uplifted people onto a whole new platform of regarding themselves and one another.
The term Soul, as a synonym for God, has not been defined in the Glossary of the textbook, by Mary Baker Eddy. Evidently that definition cannot be rendered in simple words, but must unfold individually as a revelation coming to light in life and love, wrought through the processes of moral, spiritual, and scientific development, which Mary Baker Eddy has also provided the basis for.*3
All of the able leaves me with having to consider which of the columns of the foursquare matrix that Mary Baker Eddy has founded all her works on, represents the development of the human perception of Soul. I am inclined to see this development happening, or beginning, in the first column that Mary Baker Eddy simply labeled, "the Word." The river that corresponds to this column is Pison, defined as, "The love of the good and beautiful, and their immortality."
Mary Baker Eddy provided all of the fundamental definitions for that manner, in a fairly obvious way. After that, she left the scene open to the process of scientific discovery in individual consciousness. All the Glossary terms fall into this category. Her leaving the scene open necessitates the discovery of universal principles that open the human thought to the divine reality and its embrace in daily living. I recognize our developing awareness of Soul as being represented by the first column for two reasons. The first reason is that Mary Baker Eddy associated the first column with revelation, and described it as being oriented "northward" in the direction of the first faint hue of light in a midsummer morning, ending the night. This symbolism fits the process of our dawning recognition of our universal oneness in Soul, in God, as the reality of our being. The second reason is that this dawn is bringing to light what is truly beautiful. The truth about our humanity is, that there is nothing that can be found there that is not beautiful, and that in very real terms, our sense of beauty itself, is anchored there. This fact is reflected in the title of my five novel series mentioned above, which is, The Lodging for the Rose.
This element of beauty, that is anchored in Soul, is not unknown to any human being. We can build on that, and as we peel away in the process of building all aspects that would isolate us from Soul, our life will become richer and we will become more impelled to enrich one another and the world that we all share, out of the riches that we discover in ourselves.
In Mary Baker Eddy's metaphoric images that she presents for every element of the foursquare matrix in her illustrated poem Christ and Christmas, we find that the image for the top position in the first column can be seen to represent herself. We see a woman in an upper room beneath a tiny window writing a book. The room is in many ways similar to the one in which she authored the manuscript of the Christian Science textbook that she gave to the world out of the riches of her being. The title for the scene is "Seeking and Finding."
Indeed, all true scientific development is anchored in Soul. The Christ Science that Christ Jesus presented and demonstrated, is anchored there, and so is Mary Baker Eddy's discovery of Christian Science.
development process in this column begins with the light of a star
through some break in the clouds - "O'er the grim night of chaos
1. Science and Health, p. 588
2. Science and Health, p.19
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