Agape Research

How to advance education
 in Christian Science
to enable effective healing?
 by Rolf Witzsche


The reason why there is no effective Christian Science teaching being done, is not really the fault of the teacher, or with the system, but rests with the individual Christian Scientist throughout the field. Allow me to explain what this statement is based on.

In the previous article I pointed out that Mary Baker Eddy's provision for teaching is, that the curriculum of the primary class is to be based on the textbook chapter, Recapitulation. This chapter is a major constituent element of Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure. However, it is also one of the higher level structures. This means that the primary class teaching corresponds to a mid-level entry point into the pedagogical structure. 

In other words, a teacher would have to ask a prospective student. Have you done all the rudimental work? Are you familiar with all the rudimental elements of the pedagogical structure that you are asking me to build on? If you are applying to enter college you are expected to be able you read. Likewise, if you are applying for class instruction you are expected to have worked your way up through the rudimental level of Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical work. You are expected to be familiar with the 16 element matrix that all of Mary Baker Eddy's works are built on, including all the rudimental elements that are related to it, such as the 16 textbook chapters, Mary Baker Eddy's 16 stanzas of the Lord's Prayer, the 16 verses in Christ and Christmas and their corresponding 16 illustrations. You are expected to be familiar with the four cardinal points of the matrix and the function of its four development streams. How else can you understand what the 16 textbook chapters represent? 

Most likely, any prospective student would ask; What on earth are you talking about? Of course, the above questions would never have been put to a student in the first place, since Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure is globally denied to exist. Still it does exist, and it is designed to enable any primary student to acquire a working knowledge of Christian Science and to become familiar with its universal principles. It is evidently not enough just to read the textbook, because each chapter fulfills a unique purpose, representing unique principles and their relationship to each other.

With her pedagogical structure Mary Baker Eddy guides the student through the process of patient self-discovery towards a profound understanding of what Christian Science is all about and how its healing process unfolds. The rudimental aspects of this pedagogical work are evidently designed to enable a student to master the rudimental steps in healing. Later, when all of this has become so thoroughly understood that healing occurs naturally without effort, then the teacher has something to build on, to guide the student to uplift that healing work to a still higher level.

Does this actually work in practice? It surely does, and surprisingly well, and it all begins with the Christian Science Bible lessons.

The rudimental elements and the Bible lessons

Since the Bible lessons contain corresponding citations from the Christian Science textbook, these lesson citations are thereby linked to the entire pedagogical structure that the textbook, itself, is a part of. Each textbook chapter pertains to a unique element of that structure, which all together, are designed to widen our spiritual and scientific perception. In this context, even the rudimental elements are profoundly rich.

As a tool for my research work, I had developed myself a software package that automatically includes all the relevant references to the rudimental elements of Mary Baker Eddy pedagogical work. There are 16 elements in the structure of that pedagogical work, according to the biblical city foursquare (Rev. 21). Correspondingly, there are 16 chapters in the textbook, 16 stanzas in Mary Baker Eddy's rendering of the Lord's Prayer, 16 verses in her illustrated poem Christ and Christmas, and 16 scenes corresponding to the verses. 

The respective element of these four rudimentary structures, is brought into the context of the Bible lesson citation through the textbook chapters, to which a citation pertains. The end result is, that all of these related elements coming together invariable enrich the Bible lesson citation and provide the student with a wider sphere of vision that would otherwise not come into view. 

The textbook chapter selected element is then further defined in terms of Mary Baker Eddy's definition of the structure's four cardinal points, and the definition for the corresponding four 'rivers' or development streams. Every element in the matrix (that means every textbook chapter) represents one of the four cardinal points, and one of the development streams, in various combinations. The consideration of the definitions for the rivers, and what they represent, and that of the cardinal points and what they represent, provides a rich background for the lesson citations, which uplift the whole meaning of what the lesson is all about.

All of this may sound complex, but it is really very simple. Only the outcome from it isn't simple.

My experience has been, and still is, that the outcome from the process of including these rudimentary elements of Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical work right into the stream of the lessons, to turned out to be so profound, that it literally brought the lessons alive. And this did not diminish over time, but increased, and became more effective and uplifting as hitherto unrecognized aspects suddenly popped into view with a much higher meaning.

So it was in my own experience, that the software tool that brings the lessons and the references together, was no longer used as merely a research tool that took a few thousand men-hours to develop with the idea that it would be be cast aside once the research was done. rather, it became the provider of a daily 'diet'. It became a continuing part of the Bible lessons for me, with astonishing results being realized from it. In my experience, it became the greatest tool for Christian Science treatment ever developed. The result was so profound, that during the height of its development phase, I was presented with an offer for a new job with double the pay I had been getter, without asking for it, without even wanting or needing a new job. Soon after I accepted the new job, it turned out that my old job suddenly disappeared. Had this new offer not been made, that I almost rejected, I would have been out in the cold.

Does this prove anything? Does it prove that there exits a connection? I really can't say that this proves anything. But I can say with certainty that the Bible lessons, enriched with Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical work, even at this most rudimental level, has been the richest resource for healing that I have found.

I have prepared over 600 Bible lessons in this manner, enough for a lifetime, pertaining to the years 1898 to 1910. The first set of these (26 lessons) is made available online on the Internet as a sample. And even this sample, if it is utilized, is so rich that it won't likely be exhausted for some time.

In this quite rudimental manner, one comes as close as one can get to a treatment by Mary Baker Eddy, in a way that is gentle in its demands and profound in its fulfillment. Indeed, you will likely agree that no intellectual proficiency is required for one to begin this growth in grace which is rich, powerful, and profound. No doubt, Mary Baker Eddy was fully aware that all real intellectual development actually begins here.

In any case, whatever the outcome of this process may be in individual experience, this simple process of gently stepping into the vast domain of Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure, even at the rudimental level, already supercedes anything that has so far been offered in formal Christian Science teaching, because the teachers themselves have not worked themselves up to that level, not even to the rudimental level, because the entire structure is being denied to exist.

The end result is that there is little effective healing work being done. That result is unavoidable, really, since all teaching has so far been limited to focus on a grain of sand, instead of on embracing the 'seashore' in all its dimensions, meaning the dimensions of Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure. The Bible lessons, being brought into context with this structure, open the door to the wide world of the 'seashore' and with it, the world of immortality and Love that I will address later.

How would the healing process be enhanced?

Let's assume that Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure were fully accepted, and everything functioned according to its design. Let's assume that the teacher and the student both affirmed to each other that they had done the rudimental work, so that the next step could begin. What would the primary class teaching involve? What would it bring to the scene that is new, that can raise the whole platform for healing? 

This 'teaching' that would unfold would be based on the chapter, Recapitulation. The teacher would have to guide the student to open his perception to whatever that chapter represents, and whatever is related to it. And with that a great up-shift in perception would begin, because there are only 24 elements in that chapter (24 questions and answers), but there are 16 elements in the matrix. How does one correlate the two?

The teacher would point out that the structure of the platform of Christian Science is made up of 32 parts, so that we have two parts for each of the 16 matrix elements. In that manner, the chapter Recapitulation contains 24 parts, or two each, for 12 elements of the matrix, and the teacher would point out that this is highly significant in that it provides no references for the bottom row.

The teacher would further point out that since the bottom row also represents the domain of "night" and "hell," one would expect that entire domain of night and hell to disappear from human experience as the result of Christian Science healing. Even the Apostle John hinted at this, when he described the city foursquare, which represents the end of all evil through scientific and spiritual development. He said about the city that there would be no night there. That, too, is the goal for every Christian Science healer, isn't it, that there be no 'night' there? The Recapitulation structure fully acknowledges this goal, and bids us to acknowledge it also.

Here, the teacher would also have to explain what happens to the textbook chapters that pertain to the bottom row. Would they go away also? Yes, their subject would become obsolete. "Prayer" is obsolete when humanity acknowledges itself as the full reflection of the divine. Likewise, "Animal Magnetism Unmasked," becomes an obsolete concept when humanity recognizes itself in the metaphor of the woman of the Apocalypse, clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. If that becomes acknowledged at the natural attraction, any form of animal force attraction is out of the picture. The whole concept becomes obsolete. In the same manner, the concept of "Creation" becomes obsolete at the higher level perception of Christian Science where the reality of our being reflects man's oneness with God, without beginning or end. Even "Teaching Christian Science" becomes obsolete in the higher perception of Christian Science where man reflects the omniscience of God. Even Socrates recognized this reality more than 2000 years ago, when he illustrated to his friend Menon, in Plato's Meno dialog, that a human being does not have to be taught anything, that the ability to recognize universal principles is a native quality of man. Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure is not a teaching instrument, but a platform that guides one to the realization of profound discoveries.

The primary class teacher would also have to point out that the chapter Recapitulation also provides an interface to the 26 Bible lesson topics, and to the corresponding 26 elements of the Glossary definition for the name Adam.

Any teaching at this level, if it were carried out, would naturally raise the effectiveness of Christian Science healing, perhaps even tremendously so.

Uplifting the education of the teacher.

Mary Baker Eddy provided still a higher level platform for the education of the teacher, which is carried out in the "Normal Class". Here the curriculum is the same, but with an extra platform added, that of the platform of Christian Science. As noted earlier, that Platform is a 32 part structure which provides two parts for each of the 16 elements of the basic matrix. But something else comes into play in conjunction with this platform, which is the 16 part structure of the definition of "mortal mind" in the Glossary ,that counters every element of the platform of Christian Science.

In Christian Science, what Mary Baker Eddy has termed, "mortal mind," is not an aspect of Truth, but a negation of the reality of man's being. In Science, man reflects the divine Mind. That reality however is almost universally denied by society, which which reduces itself to extremely small-minded thinking. This small-minded thinking reduces everything to the lowest level of perception. It is very base, crude, and generally quite deadly. It also embraces the counter-scientific concept of the mortality of man. Indeed, it becomes a murderer. The term "mortal mind," thus stands as a metaphor for a gross distortion of the truth. Unfortunately, this distortion is accepted as real and is acted out in daily living in countless forms of what Mary Baker Eddy described as "mental malpractice." In a very real sense, "mortal mind" and "mental malpractice" go hand in hand, and the end result is extremely destructive to the process of scientific mental healing, which Christian Science healing is.

It becomes the teacher's job, therefore, to be keenly aware of that destructive process, which is even destructive to Christian Science itself. Mary Baker Eddy pedagogical structure links the two counterpoising platforms. When the curriculum puts the focus onto the platform of Christian Science, in respect to all of the 16 matrix elements of the pedagogical structure, it draws into focus in the same context also the 16 elements of "mortal mind" and its forms of "mental malpractice." The curriculum, thereby, imposes a great responsibility to protect the efficacy of Christian Science healing, indeed Christian Science itself, from being denied or destroyed by the countervailing concepts conjured up by mortal mind's mental malpractice.

This does not mean that the platform of Christian Science applies only to teachers, as it becomes a part of their formal education. It doesn't mean that at all. Everyone bears the responsibility for protecting one own thinking. It does mean, however, that the teacher thereby becomes professionally responsible for upholding that platform universally, and to protect it against the onslaught of small-minded thinking, that is, mortal mind's mental malpractice. Indeed, the teacher in Christian Science has an ongoing responsibility to guide his pupils beyond the end of the formal course.

By this process of people becoming truthful with themselves in respect to the reality of our being, even in the most demanding dimension, Christian Science 'teaching' will enhance the realized efficacy of Christian Science healing and bring us closer to the standard in healing that Mary Baker Eddy illustrated as the native capability of the human being.