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Manual for Civilization
'Spiritual Dynamics' 

Rolf A. F. Witzsche


 

what the Manual of the Mother Church can teach us
about the dynamics of Christian Science and civilization


by mikebaird

  a bird soars on two wings
for the Mother Church the two wings are called
Temple - and - Church

The Manual of the Mother Church is made up of 16 segments
sequenced in the order of a progressive development

  the dawn
the Word
the sunrise
Christ
  heat of the day
Christianity
sunset - (gold)
 divine Science 
divine
order
4 8   12 16
Christ
science
3 7   11 15
Christianity
(transitional)
2 6   10 14
Christian
Science
1 5   9 13

 Mary Baker Eddy has divided her foursquare structure into two halves - two wings as it were

the two wings have related characteristics, so that they do work together. For example:
elements
1 to 8 are mirrored in elements 9 to 16
however, the elements in each half are also 'mirrored' so that
elements
1 and 5 work together, and likewise 9 and 13

 

Let's apply the title of the 16 segments of the Manual of the Mother Church in this manner

Now let's apply the titles of the 16 textbook chapters likewise
don't the two structures (the Manual and the textbook) mirror each other?

  the dawn
the Word
the sunrise
Christ
  heat of the day
Christianity
sunset - (gold)
 divine Science 
divine
order
4 - Christian Science versus Spiritualism 8 - Footsteps of Truth   12 - Christian Science Practice 16 - The Apocalypse
Christ
science
3 - Marriage 7 - Physiology   11 - Some Objections Answered 15 - Genesis
Christianity
(transitional)
2 - Atonement and Eucharist 6a Science  Theology  
Medicine
  10a - Science of Being  14 - Recapitulation
Christian
Science
1 - Prayer 5 - Animal Magnetism Unmasked   9 - Creation 13 - Teaching Christian Science

 Let's explore the pattern further

The Manual of the Mother Church is made up of 16 segments, covering 16 topics. While the details in this manual have been adapted specifically for The Mother Church as an institution, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston Massachusetts, the general topics evidently apply universally to the temple of our civilization and the 'church' of the nation. It is the general sense that is focused on in the exploration below, where this manual applies as the (small "the") Manual of the Mother Church as a universal, scientific, spiritual construct. Since the Manual is development oriented, let's begin the exploration at the bottom row, at the lowest level and then progress upwards.


Exploring the Lowest Row


For example: Manual segment 1 and 5 - Church officers and Church services

If one doesn't have an organization, one doesn't have church services and the temple (of civilization) remains empty. Without a functioning organization with officers dedicated to constitutional principle, who furnishes the facilities and organizes the function? Also, don't both have the same function? "Prayer in the churches shall be offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively." (Ma: 42) The church officers likewise work for the congregations. That's the Principle of the General Welfare in operation, the Principle of Universal Love. Civilization cannot exist without that.

Now let's look at the textbook chapters 1 and 5 - Prayer and Animal Magnetism Unmasked

What is the objective in prayer? Is it to change reality? No, God's expression is forever perfect. However, we do have a duty towards God to un-clutter our mental landscape and 'unmask' what is not divinely real, so that we may experience what the divine reality is that earthbound perceptions shroud with so many errors that would tie us to the ground.


Now let's look at the corresponding elements in the right wing (Church)

Let's consider the Manual segment 9 and 13 Guardianship of Church Funds and Board of Lectureship

Here we have the Principle of the General Welfare standing at the center again. No civilization can function unless society guards its economic life blood well. While money has no value in itself, a nation's currency gains its value by the 'wealth' of its productive power. What a nation produces is its wealth. Money gains its value form that. The guardianship that a society needs to hold sacred here, and protect, and develop to its utmost, is its productive power by which all its physical needs be met. Without this guardianship, a nation's economy disintegrates. Thus, it needs to be function of the highest expression of church that affords proof of its utility to promote the guardianship of society's productive capacity, which is ultimately its physical infrastructure. And for this task to be accomplished, the church cannot stand in royal isolation from society. It needs to boldly speak to society of the spiritual principles involved in the guardianship of the 'health' of society in all respects. The principle of Christian Science healing must not be limited to only bodily healing but must cover the whole ground where divine Principle is reflected in man.

Now let's look at the textbook chapters 9 and 13 - Creation and Teaching Christian Science

What is the objective? The chapter Teaching Christian Science is a part of the textbook, because it applies to everybody. We are all 'teachers' of one another when the objective is powered by the Principle of Universal Love, we are Christian Science 'lecturers' in our daily living, for we are in the divine reality all one-another's brothers and sisters, with a divine duty to uplift one another into our native divine sphere, in spite of all the evidence that often stands monumentally to the contrary. If we understand creation to be intact (the chapter Creation helps here), we have a good foundation established to fulfill our task.


Now let's look at the above four explorations

 Isn't the same basic objective involved in all four aspects, and the same basic principle, the Principle of the General Welfare, even the Principle of Universal Love? While the the Principle of Universal Love gets developed throughout the foursquare structure, the Principle of the General Welfare appears to be most specific as a focus on the fourth row, both in the Manual and in the textbook, and in both of the wings of the Temple and the wings of the Church.

The recognition of these interrelationships, evidently enhances our perception of the dynamics of Christian Science in which the Manual and the textbook are not isolated parts, but in which the Manual actually gives the textbook chapters a more specific focus.


Exploring the 2nd-lowest Row


Let's look at the Manual segments 2 and 6:  Church Membership and Reading Rooms

What does Mother Church membership ultimately mean? Does it not mean that one recognizes oneself in the divine sense as a human being, a member of mankind, the image and likeness of God, and that this recognition of membership has a profound meaning to oneself. From this recognition arise certain duties and freedoms, and also profound realizations unfolding into joy. Once this recognition has been made, no one can excommunicate one from this membership. One can only excommunicate oneself by not fulfilling the inherent obligations. The world, tragically, is filled with people who have excommunicated themselves and no longer regard themselves as members of mankind - they steal from one-anther, kill, destroy, and lie to one-another. The temple of our civilization has become a dark place by such neglect and often willful inhumanity.

In order to maintain one's membership, one needs to become scientifically sensitive as to properly maintain one's 'reading room.' Nothing should find a place on one's 'shelf' (including entertainment, etc.) that doesn't measure up to the standard of truth, including divine Truth. Nothing pollutes one's membership more deeply than mental trash. The keep the house clean becomes therefore a solemn task. Here the textbook can help us. 


So, let's look at the textbook chapters 2 and 6: Atonement and Eucharist and Science, Theology, Medicine

The subject of atonement really stets the stage for our membership in humanity. The closer we come to God, intimately, the closer we come face to face with our humanity and with one another. That is what atonement is all about, isn't it? It should be expressed in our Eucharist with one another - honoring, and giving thanks for one another - acknowledging to one-another that the fullest expression of God is in the design of man. God is Love. Higher we cannot look. But can acknowledge one another as its manifest. The takes us a long way in developing our membership in humanity. The scientifically perceived divine membership, of course, has its reflection in the physical world where it determines the direction of our science, theology, and medicine. The temple of civilization is not an 'empty' temple. It must meet the human need, and science, theology, and medicine are aspects for meeting the human need. This need is best met when a clear scientific distinction is made between what is divinely real and what is unreal and often dangerously erroneous. There is certainly a great need in the world today for society to keep its 'reading room' clean of perversions of science, theology, and medicine, which have become rather numerous.


Now let's look at the corresponding elements in the right wing (Church)

Let's consider the Manual segment 10 and 14: The Christian Science Publishing Society and Committee on Publication

While it is important to keep one's membership and one's reading room free from being polluted with erroneous concepts, it is equally as important to actively build a nation on this platform. If one's membership in the divine humanity is to have any meaning, its essence must be brought into expression. Christian Science is of no value to society without its expression. Therefore, publish it to the farthest extend possible - publish peace, love, joy, and the liberty of mankind. Without a dedicated commitment to this process, what would fill society's reading rooms with content worthy to have a space there? In this context it is important too that Christian Science becomes the standard with which society keeps its own publishing clean, which the Committee on Publication symbolically represents. Honoring the truth means that errors are uncovered and pointed out. Indifference has no place here, or apathy, or silence. The world is flooded with outright lies today, which are all destructive to the nations, and who stands in the hustings correcting these lies? Every member of humanity owns this task. With this task being neglected, lies will govern the legislators, the sciences, the economies, and the politics, as we have it today in vast abundance in all of these aspects. Again, the textbook helps us with these essential tasks.


So, let's look at the textbook chapters 10 and 14: Science of Being and Recapitulation

The basis for 'publishing peace' is amply covered in the textbook chapter, Science of Being, the second-largest chapter in the textbook. It covers a vast ground. It lays the foundation for giving expression of one's membership in humanity. The chapter also contains the complete Christian Science platform. There exists no greater resource in the textbook for 'publishing peace,' serving as a minimal standard for society's self-publishing. The chapter, Recapitulation, serves a similar function. It may be seen as the healing equivalent. In healing the divine Truth is demonstrated. No other criterion for judgment is needed. Truth furnishes its own imperative. Thus the judgment rests not with opinion, but with achievements in healing. The chapter Recapitulation is Mary Baker Eddy's class book, from her class teaching of Christian Science for medical purposes. The entire chapter is also intertwined with the Christian Science Bible Lesson topics, the topics for the church services, where the focus is on healing. Beginning with her earliest days on the pulpit, Mary Baker Eddy's effect on the congregation has been a healing one in countless cases, and the congregation swelled so that were not enough places in the pews to accommodate all who came. The word of this happening spread like wildfire. The task of keeping the facts clear in the media of the public isn't a huge task under those circumstances, though a necessary one. The major task here, therefore, is the promoting of the truth demonstrated in healing on the basis of scientific metaphysics.


So, once again, let's look at the above four explorations

 Isn't the same basic object involved in all four aspects, namely the recognizing and acknowledging of the truth, individually to enrich the temple of our civilization, and collectively, to spread it across the nations and to develop it further. Tragically, the concept of what a human being is, and what one's membership in humanity is - and the science for protecting it - has been vastly eroded in the modern world. Mankind is being declared a cancer on the earth that needs to be depopulated to heal the planet off its 'pest,' while truth itself no longer means anything almost anywhere, where it laid aside to gain advantage over another, rather than being members of a single humanity uplifting one-another, and with it the temple of our civilization, and the nations.


Exploring the 2nd-highest Row


Let's look at the Manual segments 3 and 7:  Discipline and Relation and Duties of Members to Pastor Emeritus

Here we deal with things at the level of Christ Science. The topics start with the focus on discipline in the individual sphere, of the kind of discipline that Christ Jesus found himself moved to live by. He said in essence, "as I see the Father do, so do I." Discipline in the arena of the Christ awareness of Truth goes far beyond any form of discipline to doctrine or established traditions. It demands that one move with the truth. It opens the door to the kind of discipline spelled in segment 7: Relation and Duties of Members to Pastor Emeritus. Here a by-law states that any member of the church could be called on to serve in the household of the Pastor Emeritus, Mary Baker Eddy, for as much as three years, and this without an option to refuse. The by-law may seem preposterous, but at the Christ level it merely reflects the fact that then the Christ calls on one to serve in the Father's win yard, to refuse is not an option. Refusal would be paramount to self-denial, and also the denial of the Christ and God. Speaking of herself at the end of a career of grand achievements, she writes: "To-day, though rejoicing in some progress, she still finds herself a willing disciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of Christ." S&H ix


With this in mind, let's look at the corresponding textbook chapters, 3 and 7: Marriage and Physiology

Mary Baker Eddy made no provisions for marriage in the church of Christ Scientist. If the unity of God and man is intact, the subsequent marriage of mankind is universal and already established in fact. So why would one join artificially what is already established? Of course, the resulting discipline to the truth doesn't obsolete marriage concept, but raises it to the level of divine Truth and makes it wider and universal. The chapter, Physiology extends this Christ discipline further to include the healing of diseases as the natural consequence of mankind reflecting the all-harmonizing Spirit of God, unfolding in divine Mind, manifest in man. Obedience to Truth gives man power, and strength. The healing process is powered by God, not man. Man's unity is with God. This is something we really cannot opt out of. Nor is it necessary that an individual, such as Mary Baker Eddy, shoulder all the burden in healing the world. An attempt to do this would imply the proposition that divine Mind is not universally reflected mankind, suggesting that one is the only person so motivated. It would be gross mental malpractice to go down this path. Mary Baker Eddy never did this. For example, for the building of the Mother Church edifice, she contributed only the land, and encouraged the field to provide the funds. On any other basis nothing would likely have been built.


Now let's look at the corresponding elements in the right wing (Church)


Let's consider the Manual segment 11 and 15:  Teaching Christian Science and Church-Building

We are faced here with the not-so surprising fact that the end-result of the Christ discipline unfolds into a process of Church-building. Everything flows into this process. The chapter, Teaching Christian Science, presents the specifics of what should be taught towards this end. It stipulates that in the field, the teaching process should be centered on the chapter, Recapitulation, Mary Baker Eddy's own class book. It also stipulates that the education of the teachers themselves must also be focused on the Christian Science platform. On these two platforms being taught, evidently hinges the entire church-building process, so that nothing is likely to happen without it, precipitating the collapse of the church, and with it the nations. It is interesting to note here that that in the segment, Church-building, Mary Baker Eddy stipulates that shall be a building committee of no less that three members in operation. When this is seen in metaphor one cannot help but notice that The Mother Church's edifice and temple are build on a triangular plot of land, with the three sides possibly representing the three synonyms for God, Love, Truth, and Soul, which are not included in the glossary of the textbook, but are set aside for this purpose.


While building on this, let's look at the corresponding textbook chapters, 11 and 15: Some Objections Answered and Genesis

There seem to be always objections forthcoming against the church-building process, especially that of its larger reflection in the building of a sovereign nation. Mary Baker Eddy. The objections in this case are voiced against the fundamental fact God and man are one,  the very  reality that the Adam mythology denies. The Christ represents the unity of God and man unfolding, contrary to all objections. There is no church-building process possible without the Christ. Indeed, the process of creation itself is a church-building process, nor can nations be built without that process. Civilization is inherently a spiritual construct, resulting from spiritual processes of scientific metaphysics. On a purely material basis 99% of the present world population of mankind would likely not exist, since almost all of mankind lives by physical resources that have been intelligently created.


So, again, let's look at the above four explorations in a single context

Isn't the basic object always the Christ, demanding scientific, spiritual discipline, discipline to the Truth and its demands, which impose not a burden, but offer the only foundation for true freedom there is. Ultimately, the process of building real freedom is a church-building process, including the building of a civilization that is free from the Adam myth, a freedom that unfolds into healing.


Exploring the top Row


Let's look at the Manual segments 4 and 8:  Meetings and The Mother Church and Branch Churches

Here we deal with things at the absolute level, the divine level, the level of God, and of man as God's reflection. And that is where the topic of, Meetings, becomes significant. The Manual in this case deals with the regular meetings of The Mother Church, including the annual meeting. Here Mary Baker Eddy states that no others than the church's officers are required to be present (as required by law). There is a great danger involved in mass meetings as if fosters the notion of the existence of many minds and souls, or spirits and souls. Mary Baker Eddy writes in the textbook:

(Mankind redeemed)
The term souls or spirits is as improper as the term gods. Soul or Spirit signifies Deity and nothing else. There is no finite soul nor spirit. Soul or Spirit means only one Mind, and cannot be rendered in the plural. 

Principle and its idea is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is man and the universe..- 466/7

The belief in many minds puts the divine Mind, which is properly reflected in man, out of reach. Mass meeting have that effect. I was once invited by a group of people to watch a movie of a large stadium filled with people who had come to meet their exalted guru and to be blessed by him. After watching this spectacular event for less than half an our I felt ill and had to leave the room. Once being on the street again, and free of the mesmeric effect, the sick feeling vanished just as quickly. It appears that the guru didn't bestow something that the people didn't have, but took away the people's sense of reality, of the one Mind that is reflected in all.

This sense of the "one Mind" appears to extend across the entire top row. It is reflected the Manual segment The Mother Church and Branch Churches, in the bylaw that states: "The Mother Church and the branch churches shall not confine their membership to the pupils of one teacher." - p.73 - The requirement demands the recognition that the one Mind is reflected in all.

 


Now let's look at the corresponding textbook chapters, 4 and 8: Christian Science versus Spiritualism and Footsteps of Truth

Here we find the sense of the one Mind reflected again: denying the existence of spirits and souls, departed or otherwise. We find the same also reflected in the chapter, Footsteps of Truth which adds to it the corresponding recognition that the is but one Truth. On the top row God is one - singular and universal - and God's reflection exists with God in a lateral fashion. Every hierarchical concept is thereby invalid - as invalid as the question: How do elephants fly? Well, they don't. In the real world elephants do not fly, nor do hierarchical relationships exist in the real (the divine) world of Spirit.


The one Mind, and Truth, etc, is also the focus in the corresponding elements in the right wing (Church)


Let's consider the Manual segment 12 and 16:  Board of Education and Church Manual

The focus on this side is extended still further. In the segment, Board of Education, Mary Baker Eddy defines a teaching institution that she is the President of, though she no longer exists in person. In the margin of the application forms for membership she suggest that one can "take" a degree at this institution, which is physically not possible, since she is no longer teaching. She appears to be saying that the ultimate teacher is God, and that one can take a degree with God and acknowledge it as valid for oneself, for there exists ultimately no basis in divine Science for one person to 'authorize' and 'certify' the achievements of another, for who would authorize the advanced perceptions of science at the leading edge that pave the way beyond mediocrity? By judging infinite Mind, one would limit its expression, and thereby limit the limitless. On this road science in general has been shackled with "consensus" rather than be left open to the infinite. "Consensus science" is really a contradiction in itself.

The segment, Church Manual, is interesting in this context as the Manual of the Mother Church as an idea, a scientific construct, represents a universal idea that cannot be limited. Whatever is an aspect of Truth cannot be privatized or limited in its application. And so, Mary Baker Eddy states that in its form as The Church Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, it "adapted" to The Mother Church. Naturally, as a scientific construct representing universal Truth, it applies also to the self-government of individuals and nations, and may be so adapted in countless different forms, because of the underlying principle, reflecting divine Principle, there exists but one.


And here again, let's look at the corresponding textbook chapters, 12 and 16: Christian Science Practice and The Apocalypse

The same focus applies there too, which in this case is expanded further to include "one Love." If God is Love, then divine Love is reflected in love universally in all its myriad forms. The divine Principle thus is expressed in the Principle of Universal Love, as Mary Magdalene to some degree signifies, which the chapter Christian Science Practice opens with.  This is the chapter that contains the statement by Mary Baker Eddy, "If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine." p.365

The chapter, The Apocalypse, expands the focus still further to also include "one Principle." The chapter expands on the biblical apocalypse (the book of Revelation) which depicts not the end of the world, but the end of all evil through a process of spiritual and scientific development. The chapter ends with an extensive exploration and outline of the city foursquare in Revelation 21, which the Revelator beheld descending from God. The foursquare dimension of a scientific structure for spiritual development originates there. Mary Baker Eddy designed all of her major works in a manner that makes them a part of this universal structure for scientific and spiritual development. If Principle is one, it must apply universally. Mary Baker Eddy shaped 10 major works accordingly, to reflect one Principle. It can be stated on this basis that the principles and platforms that Mary Baker Eddy has pioneered will ultimately become universally expressed in principle. Just as there exists just one principle of economics, so there exists only one basic principle for scientific and spiritual development, the foursquare principle. As Principle and its idea is one, so are all forms on its expression, one in principle. The Church Manual stands not apart from this reality, but reflects the foursquare principle in a pioneering fashion, even to the point of defining the nature of Christian Science, its structures, and its textbook.


So, once again, let's look at the above four explorations in a single context

This time the basic object isn't the Christ, but the allness of God, and of God's reflection in man and the Universe.


 

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Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada - 2008  Rolf A. F. Witzsche

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