Intimacy, and Christ and Christmas by Mary Baker Eddy - presented by Rolf A. F. Witzsche


Yet wherefore signalize the birth 
Of him ne'er born? 
What can rehearse the glorious worth 
Of his high morn?


Christmas Morn


What can rehearse the glorious worth 
Of his high morn?




The natural progression of the divine idea, man, involves its universal manifestation right across the entire the human landscape, including the churches and governments. This is the forever goal of the Pastor Emeritus of The Mother Church, representing the Christ in divine Science, mankind's universal impetus. Mary Baker Eddy puts this goal symbolically onto the plate of the entire field of the members of the Mother Church who have declared themselves to be dedicated to the advance of the unfolding of the Christ, the spiritual idea of God in human society. Towards this end, Mary Baker Eddy created what may be the strangest segment in the Church Manual.

The segment has been given the title, "RELATION AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS TO PASTOR EMERITUS." In it we find a by-law that stipulates that a member of the Mother Church of three years standing may be called upon by the Pastor Emeritus in her person, who upon ten days notice, shall serve with her for three years, and who failing to comply, upon her complaint, shall be excommunicated , while those who do comply shall be well paid, and because of her teaching, shall receive the degree of her college (the degree CSD, synonymous with a doctor degree.) From a human relationship standpoint the harsh conditions make no sense, but when seen symbolically, they come to light with great significance. She is saying in essence, be aware friends, when the Christ calls on you to serve in his win yard, you have no choice not to comply. If failing to comply you effectively excommunicate yourself from the community of mankind. In other words, if you refuse the Christ, you are not a human being. A human being does not have this choice. If the call is refused, the self-excommunication of the individual from the field of spiritual and scientific development is thereby self-enacted - not as a punishment, but as a fact. Passive compliance with a divine idea is evidently not a possibility, because it does not reflect the nature of the divine dynamics. Mere lip-service, without action that raises the physical environment in the world into accord with the divine idea, would in fact be a denial of it.

The painting above illustrates the dynamics involved. The painting is oval in shape, meaning all-encompassing. The focus for healing at this high level, the Christ-level where the element at this stage is located, can no longer be focused on the all-excluding personal "I." The focus must be on the impersonal, universal "us," that is reflecting the divine I, the "I or Us" the "one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence, men and woman unchanged forever in their individual character, even as numbers which never blend with each other, though they are governed by one Principle..." defining the divine I, or Ego.

In response to this higher call I replaced all the references to the personal I, on may page Morning Hymns, with references to the universal us, reflecting the divine "I or Us." As God is All, whatever of Truth pertains to the individual I, pertains to the universal Us, as Truth is singular and Principle is One.

Christ is God's self-revealing impetus that is ever present. It is without beginning in time or end of days. No anniversary is justified to honor it, if it is ever present, for such honoring would be a denial of its presence. To honor it is to acknowledge it. This demands that we watch where in all places of the world an opportunity exists to raise the platform higher, and then act on it this opportunity. 

That, in essence, is what the river Gihon is all about, that defines the current column, defined as: The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially. Here, the term "woman" itself demands to be raised to divine heights in thought and in deed. Thus "woman" stands for the divine idea manifest in society; the Christ-intimacy being recognized; and the reflection of God thereby being acknowledged as the fundamental reality in civilization. Is this really happening?

Listen to the angels as our thought police. Are they searching for hypocrisy to correct it? Are you listening?

Society says no, "No, no, the angels of the thought police not after us! Our world is clean, nice, neat, and moral. The spiritual police won't find any dirt on us. We've done nothing wrong."

Indeed, this may be true, because our greatest crimes are located in omissions, in excluding, in shunning, in diminishing what is of value, and so on. 

To acknowledge the rights of woman is not a passive process, but an active step, morally, civilly, and socially. Most repressions of women in history were passive. Thus, "to acknowledge" means "to honor, to uplift, to facilitate." And that is where Judy Chicago puts the pressure on society by putting the female vulva onto the plate of the women of achievement. To honor means, that we don't hide the vaginal core, or shun any aspect of our natural humanity, but raise it up to its native air of a divine idea of great worth that we become the butterfly for, to lift it off the plate to higher ground and to higher levels of significance. 

History has shown us the darkness of the dark ages when this significance was lost. Through the ages we've been told that unlike our eyes and ears, sex is not a divine idea, is not of God, is shameful and has not a vital function to perform except for procreation, beyond which women have no value. Society dishonors what it does no honor. Love goes the other way. It is active in expression.

We have taken the dishonoring to such a great extend that we no longer talk about men and women, but refer to mankind as persons. And from this platform of utter poverty in love we intend to heal one another in divine metaphysics - a hopeless endeavor that invariably fails. Denial and self-denial cannot be the starting gate for healing. The women of achievement honored at the dinner table had one factor in common. They didn't stand for self-denial, but became the butterfly that lifted her sex high above the background of convention.

In some Eastern cultures men and women are seen as a unified expression of deity, such as in the spiritual sense of Hinduism. The temple complex of the great Taj Mahal in India, or example, features 4 major male symbols incomplete balance with 4 major female symbols incorporated in its design, honoring both sexes in perfect balance, with a giant female mother symbol, a female breast complete with an areola and a nipple on top, is towering above the entire scene.

The spiritual fact, that mankind is made up of men and woman, cannot really be ignored, except be self-denial. When the self-denial is deep, the human landscape is dark, as instead of intimacy, isolation and domination rules the scene. At the very best, in such cases, mediocrity smothers the scene.

One universal theme is found threaded through the pages of Judy Chicago's book on The Dinner Party. The thread is that in all real historic cases of achievement the woman honored fat the dinner table were determined to act as women in their own right, to stand up tall as equal members of society, often powered by just a glimpse of the divine idea that they saw reflected in themselves, as is native in every human being. In many cases it was this spiritual core that powered their achievements, and this often against incredible odds. It appears in retrospect that they really had no choice, for the choice would have involved their self-denial. Mary Baker Eddy, of course, raises the demanded platform to still higher levels. She requires a decisive response, no timidity, not even a timidity in healing, and no exclusions from this active platform of the Christ that raises civilization to higher levels. What point is there in having a Mother Church when civilization is not nurtured, and uplifted, and empowered towards ever-greater forms of a renaissance. 

One of the women that Judy Chicago chose to represent with her art project, The Dinner Party, comes to mind in this context - a woman who struggled for equality in a male-dominated world, and won a significant victory. Her name is  Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910). She lived in the same time fame as Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910).

"Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in America to graduate from a medical school and become licensed physician, struggled throughout her lifetime to open the medical profession to women," writes Judy Chicago. "Deciding early that she would challenge the restrictions which barred women from becoming doctors, she began to both study medicine on her own and save money to attend school. She applied to twenty-nine institutions and was rejected by all but one - where a doctor agreed to let her sit in on his classes provided that she wear make attire. Although she knew that some women had done this, Blackwell refused; it was as a woman she wanted to be accepted.

"Finally; Blackwell was admitted to Geneva College, a small school in New York. The dean had asked the male students to decide her fate, and - more as a joke than anything else - they had agreed to let her attend. When Blackwell arrived, however, not only did the students treat her badly, but she was avoided by all the proper women of the town. Nevertheless, she graduated with honors in 1849 and went to Paris and London to complete her training..." 

She struggled and won heroically, but did she meet Mary Baker Eddy's criterion?  She certainly responded to the call put forward by the Christ, and left the world behind her as a better and richer place. However, I suspect that Mary Baker Eddy might said to her that merely achieving equality is not enough; you have to rise higher into the realm of the real and pull the entire field up behind you. This is what Mary Baker Eddy had done herself. Did Elizabeth Blackwell raise medicine itself to a higher level? Perhaps she did. Judy Chicago suggest so.

"Blackwell decided to set up her practice in New York City, but the hostility that greeted her made a shambled of her plans. She was denied to work at hospitals, was unable to rent office space, went months without any patients, and wrote in 1851, 'I stand alone.' She then began to lecture on sex, birth, and health to women. As a result people followed her down the streets shouting insults and sent her vile anonymous letters.

"Eventually, Blackwell established a practice with her sister, Emily, and Marie Zakrzewska, both of whom had - with her help - become doctors. Together they opened the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, the first hospital were female doctors could get training and clinical experience as well. In 1865, Elizabeth Blackwell founded a medical school for women, after which she went to England to help open the profession there."

Civilization needs to be uplifted, or else what would be the point of one's having lived if the world remained the same as if one had not lived at all? What the specifics might be is as wide a scene as the seashore. But ultimately the result is physical. Human living is physical. Prosperity, generosity, economy, are physical in outcome. Freedom is physical. Respect, honor, culture, are all physical components, even health is. The divine path is metaphysics. Metaphysics is raising the platform of physics to ever higher forms of expression by the power of the human mind and its processes, reflecting divine Mind. Ultimately the 'hand' of the Christ is not raised for healing, as the platform of physics rests in ideas and principles being expressed, whereby to establish health and the wholeness and completeness of the divine harmonizing order being reflected on Earth.  The light of the divine radiance must radiate on the Earth - as in heaven so on Earth. This is the new meaning, the meaning in divine Science,  the Science "of being clothed with sun." We are the angels in flight, in the above painting, Christmas Morn, acknowledging with joy what is already established in Truth. The image on Blackwell's plate is painted in bright colors as if reflecting the rainbow, like wings of colors  - wings of a butterfly that are nor meant to be passive, but wondrous in their flight -twisting slightly around the dark, still black 'well' at the center.

That Mary Baker Eddy had evidently still higher expectations is evident by one small inconspicuous item that is central to the central scene in the previous painting. The black woman is shown with a tablet in her lap as if she had given birth to it, which indeed she has as the central mother of the Mother Church. The tablet clearly does not represent the textbook. The Church represented by the boy to the right has fully accepted her textbook and is running with it. The boy evidently represents "The Mother Church" spelled with a capital T. But the book is closed. He doesn't know what is in it, or what the book really is. He doesn't know that the book is a part of the tablet that still rests in lap. The tablet represents Mary Baker Eddy's foursquare structure of divine Science, her pedagogical structure for scientific and spiritual development that is extensively outlined in the textbook - which the textbook itself is a part of with its 16 chapters, its 16-part Lord's Prayer, and its potentially 144-part Glossary, and so on, - which Christ and Christmas itself is a part of with its 16 verses and 16 scenes, as likewise the Church Manual, made up of 16 segments.

That the tablet is contained in the book that is still closed, is shown by the book being painted with a vertical line down its center, just as the tablet is shown with a vertical line down its center, dividing it into two halves, just as the scene above is divided into two halves. The boy to the right represents The Mother Church's function, and the girl to the left represents The Mother Church's temple, its membership. The tablet defines them both. However, the tablet remains in her lap, in the painting. She is challenging society to take it off her lap. And that is where the three years in the by-law provision become significant. The three is symbolic. It represents a lengthy but finite space of time. In other words, the time is not infinite before someone will take the tablet off her lap, nor is the time infinite (though lengthy) that it takes to learn to run with it. How long is 'long' is not defined. This depends on the individual. In my case it took me twenty-five years, with the help of others. Over the course of the exploration thirty books were written to present the various aspects of it; half of them novels and half of them science-research books. 
(See: Healing Novels and Science Books)

Ultimately, this is what the angels in the painting Christmas Morn signify, and its verse.

Yet wherefore signalize the birth 
Of him ne'er born? 
What can rehearse the glorious worth 
Of his high morn?

The real Christmas story begins here. It begins with society taking the Christ - the spiritual idea of God - out of the cradle and running with it, even flying with it. And so, bit by bit, the recognition will dawn in society what Mary Baker Eddy's term, Pastor Emeritus, signifies, and what the term "Mother Church" signifies. The term "Christmas Morn" stands at the beginning of this sunrise.

Now look at the painting, Christmas Morn, again. Note, it shows a road down the centers, and a river flowing. Both are symbolic, and are intertwined, and are found on both sides. However, the angels, with their 'eyes' open and 'ears' unstopped, are on the side of the temple, while the great tree is shown growing on the side of the Church. It is not surprising therefore that the structurally equivalent segment of the Church Manual on the side of the Church, with the title: Church-Building, reflects the actions of the angels. Note, the hyphen in the title, that denotes a dynamic activity, whereby the title does not refer to a static structure, but to the process of the building, the continuous building, evidently towards the ever-clearer realization of the "Church Universal and Triumphant" referred to by Mary Baker Eddy in the  Historical Sketch in the Church Manual. The painting that corresponds with the segment, Church-Building, shows a specific directionality in the process of building. which echoes the direction of the flight of the angels in the header painting.

The Way

The painting is called, The Way. It shows a highway of light that is inclined from left to right, from the temple-half of the 'tablet' to the church-half. That's the directional flow of the church-building process. As a result we get light streaming back, from the church into the temple. However, one sees and obstruction standing in the way, right in the middle of it, which may be termed the unresolved cross, which casts a large black shadow onto the foreground. The entire foreground thereby becomes a dark desert, which indeed civilization has become, a desert of greed, war, violence, looting, destruction, terror, and corruption, and so on. The unresolved cross has evidently stood as an obstruction for a very long time, having become massively overgrown with flowering vine. The dessert landscape that it creates in the foreground also reflects the current field of Christ Scientists that is fast dwindling into oblivion, as one would expect for a scene that has a large unresolved cross standing in the way.

The black cross isn't real, of course, being but a shadow. Nor is the unresolved cross real, as it does not accord with the divine design by obstructing the natural intimacy of God and man. The church-building process is therefore essentially a process of clearing the way, of removing age-old traditions and perceptions, so that the power of God brightens the foreground. The painting, The Way, therefore presents us two views. One gives us the apparent view with the unresolved cross standing in the way, and the other gives us the unobstructed view that is perceived by spiritual sense, with nothing standing in the way. And here the Manual provision for the church-building process becomes interesting. It stipulates that there shall be a building committee of no less than three members. The "three" may again be symbolic, referring to 'many,' but also to a finite quantity since the task is specific and not infinite. Right now the number is small, far too small. Consequently little is being build. 

A committee brings together talents with widely diverse potentials. Some might be financial in nature, and some historic, some organizational, and some even unfolding in the arts. Whatever promotes the advance from sense to soul advances the church-building process. I have focused on the work of Judy Chicago in this context though there exists no direct relationship to my knowledge, between her work and the Mother Church of Christ, Scientists. Still, as a member of humanity her work that is focused on the historic unfolding of the female-principle and the related mother-principle, symbolically born up to higher levels of perception on the wings of butterflies, makes her a contributor to the church-building process, maybe not in word, but in deed. She deals with a profound spiritual idea; its dawn, its subsequent obstruction that like a great cross stood in the way of civilization, and also with the heroic efforts that have been made in removing this particular cross from the landscape of mankind, which is still progressing. She started her work on The dinner Party in 1974, a decade before I began to discover Mary Baker Eddy's dimension of the Mother Church, and started my own work of moving with it. 

In the physical realm a vast number of principles harmonize in the process the furnishes the construction of the Universe. In the spiritual sense Christ Jesus had organized a rather substantial building committee of his own, though he suggested that this wasn't anywhere near sufficient for the task. He said at one point: "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matt. 9) One day his suggestion will have its full-orbed promise born out, whereby the black cross will vanish from the human landscape and the place thereof will know it no more, but become a wellspring of life by which the desert will bloom. The expectation thereof appears to be incorporated into the symbolism of the cross and crown seal that Mary Baker Eddy has placed onto the cover of her textbook.

The cross is inclined from the side of temple to the side of church. As a cross it is synonymous with the unresolved cross that that stands in the way. But the cross is fading, whereby the way is becoming increasingly unobstructed, with the power of the 'crown' flowing into the temple. The seal thereby puts the challenge before society to fully remove what remains of  the unresolved cross, so that society's intimacy with God becomes unobstructed, a space of zero-distance. And why shouldn't this challenge be met with a vigorous building committee becoming dedicated to the task?

Next part

Associated elements:

Lord's Prayer: Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Textbook: Chapter 7 - Physiology

Manual: 7 - Relation and Duties of Members to Pastor Emeritus

lead-in: A Shine of Butterflies - Christ and Christmas Index  

related articles:
"A Shine of Rainbows"  
- Symbol of Our Heritage
Sex, Brain,  Intimacy, Spirituality
The singly powered universe
- What is God that Man is an Expression of?

- Sublime Science
- The Taj Mahal  
- Temples of India
- The Power of 56
- Morning Prayer Hymns

- related copyrights


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