- Christian Science -

Mary Baker Eddy's Church Manual
 in the empire of Mind
  Rolf A. F. Witzsche

 

 

I recognized recently that my series of novels, The Lodging for the Rose, which grew out of an effort to contribute to the healing of the world, corresponds precisely in its sequence as written with the characteristics of the four development streams that Mary Baker Eddy has outlined and defined in many ways more than a hundred years go. The series wasn't written to achieve this coincidence. If this had been the case it would have been subjective and interpretive, instead of being objective, dynamic, free, and being guided by the one Mind that is expressed in all. But then why should one be surprised that every product of infinite Mind in its various dimensions is coming to light in a coinciding flow of unfolding? 

Obviously all of the coinciding dimensions are mutually enriching. Mary Baker Eddy used this principle extensively. She made all of her major scientific works contributory to one fundamental foursquare structure that defines the four major levels of perception that she recognized as reflected in the four major development streams in which is summed up the spiritual and scientific development of mankind. Mary Baker Eddy contributed 10 major structures to enrich this one fundamental, all-embracing structure. 

One of these contributory structures is the Christian Science textbook, made up of 16 chapters (not counting the preface and glossary). The unfolding pattern of the textbook chapters coincides precisely with the unfolding pattern of the 16 segments of her Church Manual, and also with the 16 elements of her book of metaphors, Christ and Christmas, and with the 16 stanzas of the Lord's Prayer and her spiritual interpretation of it. And all of that is just the beginning. 

By brining all of her works into context with the one all-embracing scientific dimension, and by defining this dimension as she has defined it, she has put the various parts into a specific context that reflects the natural flow of scientific and spiritual development, the kind of flow one would expect to see reflected everywhere.

In the example below the 16 textbook chapters are aligned, in their original sequence, with the four development flows.

 

 

The Word *2
The river Pison - oriented northward to the early dawn

Christ *2
The river Gihon - oriented eastward to the sunrise

Christianity *2
The river Hiddekel - oriented southward to the heat of the day

divine Science *2
The river Euphrates - oriented westward to the sunset

The Word *1

4 - Christian Science versus Spiritualism

8 - Footsteps of Truth

12 - Christian Science Practice * 16 - The Apocalypse

The Christ *1

3 - Marriage 7 - Physiology 11 - Some Objections Answered * 15 - Genesis

Christianity *1

2 - Atonement and Eucharist

6a Science
6b Theology
6c Medicine
10a - Science of Being

10b - Platform of Christian Science

14 - Recapitulation

Christian Science *1

1 - Prayer 5 - Animal Magnetism Unmasked 9 - Creation

13 - Teaching Christian Science

 

In retrospect I have come to recognize that my series of novels, The Lodging for the Rose, coincides with the criteria established by Mary Baker Eddy. The series is designed to explore the demands of the divine Principle of Universal Love reflected in the social and political world. The alignment of the novels in their original sequence utilizes the same pattern as that used for the chapters of the textbook, but is applied only to the top three rows (similar to applying the 24 Recapitulation questions).

The links in the chart below bring the novels (and the textbook chapters) into conjunction with the metaphors in Christ and Christmas, the stanzas of the Lord's Prayer, and the 16 segments of Mary Baker Eddy's Church Manual.

 

 

The Word *2
The river Pison - oriented northward to the early dawn

Christ *2
The river Gihon - oriented eastward to the sunrise

Christianity *2
The river Hiddekel - oriented southward to the heat of the day

divine Science *2
The river Euphrates - oriented westward to the sunset

The Word *1

Roses at Dawn in an Ice Age World

The Flat Earth Society

Endless Horizons

Lu Mountain

The Christ *1

The Ice Age Challenge

Seascapes and Sand

Coffee Sex and Biscuits

Sword of Aquarius

Christianity *1

Discovering Love

Winning Without Victory

Glass Barriers

Angels of Sex in Queensland

Christian Science *1

Flight Without Limits 

Brighter than the Sun

Economics

The New Ice Age

The bottom row, with the cardinal point, Christian Science (also labeled, night, hell, and unreality), pertains to the great critical problems or challenges of mankind, the arena where nothing short of Christian Science healing will ultimately carry the day, as is evident by the glaring lack of progress by any other means. I have chosen four aspects that appear to be among the greatest mankind is currently facing: 

1 - A general sense of impotence, which I focused on in the novel, Flight Without Limits
2 - The insanity of nuclear war, another dimension of impotence, which I focused on with the novel, Brighter than the Sun.  

These two novels are not a part of the series, The Lodging for the Rose, that is designed for exploring the dimension of the Principle of Universal Love.

The great problem arena in the third and fourth column are also related. The first of these is one that everybody knows about and is touched by and seeks solutions for in all directions except the spiritual one, while the second one, which is vastly bigger, is being carefully hidden, and quite successfully so. 

3 - The lack of economics. The world is economically collapsing while the divine Principle of Economics is being rejected. 
4 - The New Ice Age. The challenge is real. It is huge. Still it is a spiritual challenge, not a physical one. The continuity of mankind through the next ice age is physically possible, but to muster the spiritual resources to acknowledge and then face the challenge with the necessary steps to overcome it, is hard.

Placing the major challenges at the bottom row gives the healing development above it, in the columns, somewhat of a focus.

 

Adding the unique dimension of Mary Baker Eddy's 16-part Church Manual, extends the inner dimension og the foursquare structure quite a bit further by providing additional perspectives for it. If one looks closely at how the 16 segments of Mary Baker Eddy's Church Manual are laid out, one can recognize that the foursquare structure appears to be logically divided into two halves (which I identified below as aspects of Temple and aspects of Church).

 

Temple

Church

 

The Word *2
The river Pison - oriented northward to the early dawn

Christ *2
The river Gihon - oriented eastward to the sunrise

Christianity *2
The river Hiddekel - oriented southward to the heat of the day

divine Science *2
The river Euphrates - oriented westward to the sunset

The Word *1

4 - Meetings

8 - The Mother Church and Branch Churches

12 - Board of Education

16 - Church Manual

The Christ *1

3 - Discipline

7 - Relation and Duties of Members to Pastor Emeritus

11 - Teaching Christian Science

15 - Church-Building

Christianity *1

2 - Church Membership

6 - Reading Rooms

10 - The Christian Science Publishing Society

14 - Committee on Publication

Christian Science *1

1 - Church Officers

5 - Church Services

9 - Guardianship of Funds

13 - Board of Lectureship

The only reference that Mary Baker Eddy has provided that the whole structure might be 'seen' as functional divided into two halves is provided in visual form. We find this visual metaphor provided in the form of a tablet held in the lap of the woman of Science in the second half of the painting Christmas Eve.

On the tablet that we find in the lap of the woman of Science, we find a major division presented that divides the structure represented by the tablet down the center into two halves. 

Mary Baker Eddy also defined two terms in the Glossary of her textbook, which structurally and functionally match the major vertical division of the structure into a right and left half. She gave each of the two terms two separate definitions (presented in separate paragraphs) which functionally stand side by side in their respective half. The two defined terms are, Church, and Ark. 

The term Church is defined (below) as structure of science. 

Church. The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.
    The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.

The term Ark (defined below) gives us the manifest sense that we should experience when the structure of Church is fully functioning.

Ark. Safety; the idea, or reflection, of Truth, proved to be as immortal as its Principle; the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter.
    God and man coexistent and eternal; Science showing that the spiritual realities of all things are created by Him and exist forever. The ark indicates temptation overcome and followed by exaltation.

However there is another term defined in her glossary, the term Temple (shown below), which combines both aspects of Ark and also includes the concept of the horizontal division of the lower three rows in to an upper part relating to the spiritual domain, and a lower part relating to the physical domain, centered at  the moral that she defined as transitional.

Temple. Body; the idea of Life, substance, and intelligence; the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of Love; a material superstructure, where mortals congregate for worship.

Mary Baker Eddy put the distinction between Temple and Church prominently on the table in her message for the dedication of the great extension edifice of the Mother Church of Christ, Scientists in Boston, Mass. on June 10, 1906. She concluded her message to the over 30,000 who had come for the dedication service, dedicating the giant structure that had been built and fully paid for with two million dollars received in donations from across the land and other lands, asking if they were aware what precisely they had come to dedicate, saying:

"You have dexterously and wisely provided for The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, a magnificent temple wherein to enter and pray.  Greatly impressed and encouraged thereby, deeply do I thank you for this proof of your progress, unity, and love." (Miscellany p.6)  


The 30,000 had come to Boston to dedicate a church edifice. She called it a temple. The Temple is a structure for celebration. When spiritual truth unfolds within, it inspires celebration . The Church, on the other had is a structure for discovery, a structure of science, of divine Science, a workhouse in which we discover our completeness in the reflected completeness of God. The 16 elements of her foursquare structure cover both of these two grounds, with the two aspects of Temple and Church standing side by side. Now let's look at all the parts drawn together

 

 

Temple

Church

 

The Word *2
The river Pison - oriented northward to the early dawn

Christ *2
The river Gihon - oriented eastward to the sunrise

Christianity *2
The river Hiddekel - oriented southward to the heat of the day

divine Science *2
The river Euphrates - oriented westward to the sunset

The Word *1

Roses at Dawn in an Ice Age World
4 - Meetings
Seeking and Finding
4 - Christian Science versus Spiritualism

The Flat Earth Society
8 - The Mother Church and Branch Churches
Christian Science Healing (part 1)
8 - Footsteps of Truth

Endless Horizons
12 - Board of Education
Christian Unity (part 1)
12 - Christian Science Practice

Lu Mountain
16 - Church Manual
(...the Morning Star)
* 16 - The Apocalypse

The Christ *1

The Ice Age Challenge
3 - Discipline
Christ Healing (part 2)
3 - Marriage

Seascapes and Sand
7 - Relation and Duties of Members to Pastor Emeritus
Christmas Morn
7 - Physiology

Coffee Sex and Biscuits
11 - Teaching Christian Science 
Treating the Sick
11 - Some Objections Answered

Sword of Aquarius
15 - Church-Building
The Way
* 15 - Genesis

Christianity *1

Discovering Love
2 - Church Membership
Christ Healing (part 1)
2 - Atonement and Eucharist

Winning Without Victory
6 - Reading Rooms
Christmas Eve (part 2)
6a Science
6b Theology
6c Medicine

Glass Barriers
10 - The Christian Science Publishing Society
I thank thee O Father..
10a - Science of Being

10b - Platform of Christian Science

Angels of Sex in Queensland
14 - Committee on Publication
Truth versus Error
14 - Recapitulation

Christian Science *1

Flight Without Limits 
1 - Church Officers
Star of Bethlehem

1 - Prayer

Brighter than the Sun
5 - Church Services
Christmas Eve (part 1)
5 - Animal Magnetism Unmasked

Economics
9 - Guardianship of Funds
Christian Science Healing (part 2)
9 - Creation

The New Ice Age
13 - Board of Lectureship
Christian Unity (part 2)
13 - Teaching Christian Science

Of course, since the two halves of the foursquare structure are functionally identical, though pertaining to their specific dimension (Temple or Church), one can recognize the development process from element 1 to element 8, echoes in the development process from element 9 to 16. This 'echo' draws the two halves together so that element 1 and element 9 (the starting elements in their respective halves) are addressing the identical problem or unfolding perception, though seen from a different standpoint. Thus, we see element 1, which deals with the scientifically false sense of impotence (Flight Without Limits), being reflected in the generally accepted false sense of economics that is presently manifesting itself as worldwide general economic collapse crisis. In the same manner are elements 5 (such as nuclear war) and element 13 (such as the New Ice Age) related. While these two issues appear to be two opposite faces of the coin, called technology - one that promises doom and the other that offers survival - the act of drawing the two faces together puts both into the court of Spirit so that the problems we face in either case are typically mental problems, relationship problems, perceptual problems where the real solutions must be found, rather than technological problems that are but secondary aspects of false or lacking intentions.

It is interesting to note the escalation of the dimension of impotence. In element 1 the sense of impotence is accepted as human. That is why we have prayer. We recognize that there is something spiritually lacking and we see spiritual solutions. This same impotence unfolds on the much larger scene of economics (element 9) in the form of poverty and general economic collapse into a new dark age. But here it becomes much more difficult to recognize the cause as being "something spiritually lacking." With this in mind let's look at the issue of nuclear war (element 5), which is rarely recognized as being basically a gross sense of impotence, the impotence that results when there is "something spiritually lacking." All the supreme terror threats and responses with fear are but cries of impotence. Technically this is an issue that can be resolved in a day. It is known where the nukes are located, and it won't take much of an effort to eradicate them. But this won't happen for as long as the sense of impotence prevails that keeps us tied into knots. Once the sense of impotence is overcome the movements become natural and fearless and free. Of course, the supreme case of impotence is found in society's current response to the coming Ice Age. The implications are too huge in human terms to even contemplate on the present platform of what we call economics. The sense of impotence is so great that the whole issue is put out of sight as if it didn't exist. But it does exist. The details are well understood, and so are the consequences when mankind's food supply remains unprotected in the rapid cooling of the global climate to the kind of conditions that caused ice masses to 'flow' across the northern hemisphere, as far south as Wisconsin on the American side, piled up sever miles deep. Oh, indeed, we would have reason to feel chilled to the very bone with deep sense of impotence in the face of such a challenge, if it weren't for the fact that we, mankind, the very reflection of God, have the creative and productive capacity built into the very nature of our being to meet these kind of challenges by means of scientific and technological progress. Once the chill of impotence is lifted, we will see an ice-age-preparation renaissance erupting that will uplift the world to such a degree that it won't seem to be big task at all to feed ten billion people with the products of indoor agriculture from countless facilities thousands of acres in size, fifty stories high, spread across the ice-free areas of the world. But not a single step will likely be taken in this direction until the prevailing, deadening sense of impotence is lifted that keeps us asleep and dreaming of global warming. Global warming is a lie by intention and is generally accepted as a convenient excuse for evading the critical need to face the sense of impotence that has at its root the simple fact that there is "something spiritually lacking." The scientific development in the dimension of Church, in the last column, appears to be designed to address this issue, with all the development steps leading into it, supporting it.

This kind of correlation, of drawing the two halves together into two parallel dimensions, naturally applies to every element in the same manner; and the results are amazing. At least this what my experience has been.

Of course the development in the columns, as Mary Baker Eddy has laid it out, is equally as important for the defense of mankind and deserves consideration. 

The Church-Manual elements in vertical alignment

There are four columns in the structure of the Mother Church of Christ Scientists, the first two relating to Temple and the last two relating to Church, but they are all related to metaphysical healing of every disease known, including the most devastating and most deadly disease ever known of the face of the Earth that so far has defied all attempts of healing. It's name is, "empire," a mental disease that has been raging for four millennia and has been shredding human culture as fast as it was being built and now stands poised to eradicate civilization. The disease has grown in sophistication, but its fundamental nature has not changed. 

It stands fundamentally on four distinct pillars, which the structure of the Mother Church of Christ Scientists appears to be specifically designed to counter, and with it affect the healing of society from its debilitating impositions. Each of the pillars of empire comprises a specific attack on the nature of the human being and society as a whole. The attack is carried out in each case through a process of degradation aiming for the destruction of civilization for the simple reason that the rule of empire has no roots in civilization and cannot survive within it.

Historically in the war of empire versus civilization has been fought against mankind (and is still being fought) on four major fronts that the Church Manual counters in a spiritual and scientific development type fashion. The following are what I recognize to be currently major mode of mental attacks of mankind in the still raging war of empire versus mankind. One needs to be aware of these attacks, though not frightened by them, in order to counter them. The four modes of attacks on mankind are uniquely addressed in the development streams of the four columns and can be explored in this relationship. 

(1) The claim of a mission -- the supposed divine right of kings to rule, to suppress, to loot, etc.. 
(2) The mythology that the human being is not human. 
(3) The right of property -- the feudal platform for looting expressed by the modern financial empire-apparatus.  
(4) The process of erosion to grind civilization down; to grind it into the dust of impotence, causing its internal collapse.

The last three of these aspects have become prominent in a big way in a timeframe that coincides with Mary Baker Eddy's timeframe, which also was a timeframe of scholarly prominence. It is not likely therefore that Mary Baker Eddy would have been ignorant about these developments. It is more likely that her scientific platform for healing would have included a strong focus on healing the disease of empire, which the Church Manual appears to be specifically designed to address in its universal context. In this respect the the remainder of this article is focused on exploring the functional coincidence of the four columns of Mary Baker Eddy's Church Manual with the four fronts in the war of empire versus civilization. 

The sequence that appears to work the best for this particular study is to look backwards, that is, to begin with the grossest attack on mankind, the attack on the metaphysical nature of man. The exposure that society suffers on this front is what the 4th column appears to be designed to counter and heal. This exploration would then be logically followed by exploring the front related to the second column (the correlative to the fourth column but related to the Temple concept); this then would be followed further by exploring the third front, and then its Temple-correlative, the first front in the first column. This backwards exploration is suited to illustrate that the 'grosser' errors are typically build onto a series of 'lesser' errors.

The defense of mankind in the 4th column

The defense of mankind in the 2nd column

The defense of mankind in the 3rd column

The defense of mankind in the 1st column


*1 The cardinal points or levels of perception. Mary Baker Eddy presented 4 cardinal points for the 'city foursquare' (The city of our God.) She writes: "This spiritual, holy habitation has no boundary nor limit, but its four cardinal points are: 

first, the Word of Life, Truth, and Love; 
second, the Christ, the spiritual idea of God; 
third, Christianity, which is the outcome of the divine Principle of the Christ-idea in Christian history; 
fourth, Christian Science, which to-day and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar.

Mary Baker Eddy also listed two sets of four terms that identify four levels of perception, respectively:

Heaven, Day
Kingdom of Heaven, Morning
Earth, Evening
Hell, Night

She also describes four levels of, good, in glossary definition for the term Good:

omnipotence
omniscience
omnipresence
omni-action


*2 The characteristic of the development streams is described in a similar manner as four main points. She used the names of the four rivers in Genesis 2 and defined them, not in their biblical context, but in the context of four flows of scientific and spiritual development. And since these rivers are out-flowing, to metaphorically water the world, she also defined the sides and gates of the city through which they are flowing. The four rivers are (in their biblical sequence):

Pison (river). The love of the good and beautiful, and their immortality.
Gihon (river). The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially.
Hiddekel (river). Divine Science understood and acknowledged.
Euphrates (river). Divine Science encompassing the universe and man; the true idea of God; a type of the glory which is to come; metaphysics taking the place of physics; the reign of righteousness. The atmosphere of human belief before it accepts sin, sickness, or death; a state of mortal thought, the only error of which is limitation; finity; the opposite of infinity.

She describes the sides to which the rivers pertain saying: "The four sides of our city are the Word, Christ, Christianity, and divine Science." She adds, "This city is wholly spiritual, as its four sides indicate." And she adds further, "It is indeed a city of the Spirit, fair, royal, and square. 

Northward, its gates open to the North Star, the Word, the polar magnet of Revelation; 
eastward, to the star seen by the Wisemen of the Orient, who followed it to the manger of Jesus; 
southward, to the genial tropics, with the Southern Cross in the skies, - the Cross of Calvary, which binds human society into solemn union; 
westward, to the grand realization of the Golden Shore of Love and the Peaceful Sea of Harmony.

Note: The north, east, south, west sequence that she presents here reflects the progression of the sun across the sky, from the early dawn to the sunset.

She also describes God with four special qualities that can be applied to the four columns respectively as an aid to focus our attention in these four development streams. She writes, God is incorporeal; divine; supreme; infinite.

Now since the entire structure of four rivers is logically divided into two halves the first two rivers and associated concepts pertain to the 'Temple' dimension, and the last two rivers to the 'Church' dimension. The resulting division puts the qualities of God as "incorporeal" and "divine" into the 'Temple.' This tells us that God is Life and Love as Principle, reflected physically and corporeally. This view renders God as the all-powering animus. We see this view echoed in the most leading edge perceptions in cosmology. In old cosmology the sun and stars are deemed to be individually self-powered, each by its own nuclear furnace. Advances in science and instrumentation for observation have yielded evidence that supports a much profound view of the universe. It renders the suns and stars not as self-powered, but as externally powered vast electric plasma currents, named Birkland currents, which pervade all space and form and power the galaxies and all the suns and their systems within. This means for us in our living in the 'Temple' of Life that we are not isolated and disconnected entities, but are creations of the vast Intelligence that is expressed throughout the universe and powers it. Small-minded thinking would keep us out of the 'Temple' into an isolated world of our own, and it succeeds to the degree we allow it. But scientific thinking can break this barrier.

On the side of 'Church' a different aspect of Principle comes to light that Mary Baker Eddy has identified as "supreme" and "infinite." The world is currently awash with "supremacy" movements that tear civilization apart, centered on dreams of national, ethnic, racial, religious, cultural, and other types of. supremacy over one another. The ideological madness in these supremacist movements is deep and is now threatening the entire world with a new dark age that few may survive, but they all rest on the one single lie that denies the supremacy of universal divine Principle. Of course the root of this lie is the same as in the first half, namely that man and every aspect of the universe is isolated and self-powered. The movements of divine Science in the workshops of 'Church' are destined to bring to light a correct view of man and the universe and the reality of our being where Principle is supreme, just as Kepler has overturned the fundamental false assumptions in astronomy that had persisted for thousands of years and had stumped the brightest in the field from Ptolemy to Copernicus.

The separation of the four rivers into two halves unfolded two types of scientific celebrations, the 'incorporeal' and the 'supreme.' Neither is unimportant. We live individually in the 'Temple' where we celebrate our oneness with God. We also live collectively in a civilization, our 'Church' that is the reflection of our universal commitment to good and its endless development.

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Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada - (c) Copyright 2008 - public domain - Rolf A. F. Witzsche