Overview - The City Foursquare:

A pedagogical structure for scientific and spiritual development, 
outlined by Mary Baker Eddy

Feb, 2007.

The Basic Architecture of the Pedagogical Structure:

 All of Mary Baker Eddy's major work have been produced in 16 parts, or multiples thereof, or parts that are directly linked to them.

What remains yet to be generally discovered about Mary Baker Eddy's works, and the foursquare city that what they are a part of, is vast in scope, simple in design, complex in some detail and surprisingly extensive and fresh, brining to light aspects of Mary Baker Eddy's work that have existed for 100 years, but may have never been known to exist for all this time. It is for this reason that the presentation in this book does not constitute an 'official' presentation, but represents this editor's private research that had been carried out over more then two decades utilizing the outline provided by Mary Baker Eddy in structures, interrelationships and metaphors. The simple fact that every major work of Mary Baker Eddy is created as a structure of 16 elements or multiples thereof invites an in-depth investigation.

But where does one begin? The number of associated parts is rather extensive.

As the above figure indicates there are altogether 10 major constituent parts brought into the city foursquare. One of these is Mary Baker Eddy's book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, as a structure of 16 chapters. Even the 26 topics of the Christians Science Bible Lessons and the 26 definitions of that name ADAM can be directly related to the pedagogical structure and become a part of it by their link to the 24 questions and answers in the chapter, Recapitulation. 

The pedagogical structure is made up altogether of three groups, each made up of three parts. In addition, Mary Baker Eddy created one other major part that is standing all by itself, the Glossary that comes to light as as structure of 144 parts. 

Many of these parts are of course well known, but some make little sense standing by themselves. An example of this type is Mary baker Eddy's book Christ and Christmas that contains a single illustrated poem. Mary Baker Eddy is said to have predicted that the book would largely disappear from the shelves of the reading rooms where her books are sold, before its significance would be recognized. This is fast becoming true. However, once it is recognized that the poem contains 16 verses and illustrative scenes that relate directly to the basic architecture of the city-foursquare pedagogical structure, its connection with the pedagogical structure brings the book to life as a profound body of metaphors.

Once the recognition is made that all of Mary Baker Eddy's major works are by their very nature constituents of the foursquare pedagogical structure, it is easy to discover an extensive outline by Mary Baker Eddy standing behind it all, which is foundational to every one of the constituent parts.

A Structure of Rows and Columns

The main elements of her outline for the basic architecture of the foursquare pedagogical structure are found in her definition of the biblical city foursquare in the textbook chapter, The Apocalypse. Here the structure is defined both in terms of four rows and four columns as shown below.

When seen as rows, the foursquare structure ties together elements horizontally into logical groups that share a common characteristic or level of perception, or a unique domain.

When seen as columns, the foursquare structure ties together elements vertically into four groups that relate to four specific 'flows' of upwards development.

Mary Baker Eddy provided several sets of definitions for each of the rows and the columns. 


Defining the Four Rows

The rows are basically defined horizontally as representing four distinct "cardinal points." She writes in her description of the city foursquare (Science and Health 577) "its four cardinal points are:

1. The Word of Life, Truth, and Love.
2. The Christ, the spiritual idea of God.
3. Christianity, the outcome of the dive Principle of the Christ idea in Christian History.
4. Christian Science, which to-day and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar.

The four cardinal points can be understood as the four main points for discovery, represented by the four rows.

There are two additional sets of definitions associated with the rows. These are contained in the Glossary. One of these is made up of the following two groups of defined terms:


Another set of definition for the rows is contained in the Glossary definition for the term GOOD, as aspects of God, Spirit. These four aspects are:

1. Omnipotence (of God, Spirit)
2. Omniscience (of God, Spirit)
3. Omnipresence (of God, Spirit)
4. Omni-action (of God, Spirit)

These three major groups of definitions define the pedagogical structure horizontally in terms of its four levels.

Another set of descriptors for the rows is found in Mary Baker Eddy's translation of the concepts of IMMORTAL MIND (level 1) and MORTAL MIND (level 2,3,4)-(see Science and Health 115). The four levels are described as follows:

1. GOD (Divine synonyms) - MAN (Divine image) - IDEA (Divine Reflection)

2. Spiritual - Understanding - Reality

3. Moral - Evil beliefs disappearing - Transitional qualities

4. Physical - Depravity - Unreality

Note: In the absolute domain of the divine, everything exists side by side, laterally. No hierarchical differentiation or isolation is possible. No 'distance' isolates God, Man, and Idea. Every divine "Idea" is forever complete, including all the substance, power, and intelligence that may be needed to bring it to full fruition as the direct object of divine 'understanding'. Here Man unfolds as a divine Idea, bearing by reflection the divine image.

The moral domain (3rd level) is defined as the middle ground between the physical and the spiritual, functioning as the transitional gateway to the spiritual domain, which in turn becomes the gateway to the divine domain where everything exists laterally, side by side. The moral domain is important as a 'stepping stone' to the the spiritual domain of Christ Science, and from there to the divine domain that powers the healing process of Christian Science.

Defining the Four Columns

Like for the four rows, Mary Baker Eddy provided three types of definitions that define the foursquare structure in terms of four 'vertical' columns or development streams, or rivers of specific types of development, or development channels.

The most fundamental of these architectural definitions is again provided in her description of the city foursquare. In this case the city is defined in terms of four sides. She simply puts it this way (Science and Health 575): The four sides of the city are:

1.The Word, 2.Christ, 3.Christianity, and 4.divine Science

The concepts of the columns as 'sides' makes perfect sense when one considers her four definitions for the geographic orientation. With these, she gives the developmental flow in each column a specific 'direction' (Science and Health 575). The sequence that she provided for the orientation is unique in that it matches the cycle of the sun over the space of a day. The four orientations are:

1.Northward (dawn), 2.Eastward (sunrise), 3.Southward (heat of the day), 4.Westward (sunset)

The sides are also associated with the names of the four Rivers from Genesis 2:11-14.

The names of the biblical rivers are defined by Mary Baker Eddy in the textbook Glossary, and appear to be specifically defined by her for her pedagogical structure, rather than for the biblical context of the four rivers.  The four rivers are, shown in their biblical sequence:

1.Pison, 2.Gihon, 3.Hiddekel, and 4.Euphrates

The concept of  a "river" suggest a flowing process, a process of moving ahead, a process of development. It also represents abundance, as is indicated in the following verses from Psalm (36:7-9)

7 How excellent is thy 
lovingkindness, O God! therefore 
the children of men put their trust 
under the shadow of thy wings. 
8 They shall be abundantly 
satisfied with the fatness of thy 
house; and thou shalt make them 
drink of the river of thy 

9 For with thee is the fountain of 
life: in thy light shall we see 

Another set of definitions for the four development columns is located in her answer to the first question in the textbook chapter, Recapitulation, of: "What is God." The answer contains the following four qualities that are uniquely related to the four development aspects of the pedagogical structure. The four qualitative terms for God that pertain to the columns, that the upwards development is moving towards, are:

1.incorporeal, 2.divine, 3.supreme and 4.infinite


The full definition of the orientation of the sides is as follows:

(1) Northward (towards the dawn), its gates open to the North Star, the Word, the polar magnet of Revelation;

(2) Eastward (towards the sunrise), to the star seen by the Wisemen of the Orient, who followed it to the manger of Jesus;

(3) Southward (in heat of the day), to the genial tropics, with the Southern Cross in the skies, - the Cross of Calvary, which binds human society into solemn union;

(4) Westward (towards the sunset), to the grand realization of the Golden Shore of Love and the Peaceful Sea of Harmony.

The full Glossary definition of the four rivers (in their biblical sequence) is:

(1) Pison: The love of the good and beautiful, and their immortality.

(2) Gihon: The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially.

(3) Hiddekel: Divine Science understood and acknowledged. 

(4) Euphrates: 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.

Defining the Individual Elements

The individual elements are further defined by the nature of the elements of the constituent parts of the foursquare matrix. Each of the constituent parts is typically made up of 16 element or multiples thereof, or is in some unique way linked to them.

The 'horizontal' definitions for the foursquare structure in terms of rows or cardinal points, and the 'vertical' definitions in terms of columns or development channels, now form the foundation for defining the various individual elements of the constituent parts.

As shown before, there are three groups of constituent parts provided by Mary Baker Eddy for the foursquare pedagogical structure.

The three groups, of three parts, each are centered on a key structure.

The first group (the upper group) has the 16 textbook chapters as its 'central' key structure, for which it may be called The Textbook Group. The 16 textbook chapters have three additional 16 element structures associated with them (the 16 stanzas of the Lord's Prayer, and the 16 verses and illustrations in Christ and Christmas, and the 16 element platform of bylaws that makes up The Manual of the Mother Church). The textbook chapters and their associated parts are unique in that they are all arranged in a progressive manner, beginning with the lowest element (corresponding with the lowest element in the first column), and progressing on from there to the highest element, sequencing through the entire pedagogical structure column by column.

The second group (the left group) has the 24-element platform (in the form of 24 questions and answers) from the chapter Recapitulation as its key structure. Associated with it are two 26-elements structures for which a special interface exists in the chapter Recapitulation. The two associated structures are that of the 26 Bible lesson topics, and that of the 26 elements of the Glossary definition for the term ADAM.

The third group (the lower group) has the 32-element Platform of Christian Science as its key structure. It has two additional platform type structures of 16 elements each, associated with them. They are the 16 element Glossary definition for the term MORTAL MIND, .

Both of these groups are made up of a platform type structures. This means that they begin with the highest element and progress downward.

The fourth constituent (the 144 element constituent) is not a group. It is a giant constituent structure all by itself, which by its extensive nature stands on its own. It is the 144-element Glossary Structure. Here each individual element is defined by a 9-element substructure of 4 horizontal definitions and for vertical definitions that represent within each element the nature of the four rows and four columns with a central definitions at the center to define the whole. The entire compound structure is defined by the Glossary definitions that contains five different types of definitions, which altogether add up to a structure of 144 individual terms that match the metaphor in Christ and Christmas and in Revelation 21 where the biblical city foursquare is described.

Note: A more detailed description of the basic architecture is presented in the book, Universal Divine Science: Spiritual Pedagogicals - The Science of Peace, Joy, and Power by Rolf A. F. Witzsche. (See website  books.rolf-witzsche.com)

This article and its illustrations are a part of the book
Universal Divine Science: Spiritual Pedagogical