What are we trying to build?
Before we can begin to look at the paradox it is useful to consider what we are trying to build. So, what is this all about? Two quite different objectives have arisen.
The road map idea
I had to ask myself the question as to why didn't Mary Baker Eddy provide this road map, rather than merely providing the building blocks for it? I also had to ask myself if it is really desirable to have such a map, that one might conveniently use similar to a formula? It made no sense to me then, to go in this direction, and it still doesn't. For one thing, this kind of project would be, if it were possible at all, create a finite form that tells one: My son you have arrived at the ultimate. This is it. You can't go further. To my knowledge, Mary Baker Eddy never said such a thing. But what other option do we have?
The pedagogical structure
It took some time for the idea to unfold that all the various structures that Mary Baker Eddy has outlined and defined to varying degrees, are there primarily for our learning. They exist for our scientific and spiritual development. They exist to guide us to the discovery and understanding of all the profound universal principles that Christian Science represents. They exist as pedagogical instruments, instruments for 'teaching,' to help us onward. With that in mind it suddenly makes sense that Mary Baker Eddy didn't provide all the structures completely defined by her, but are presented in outlined form only, in most cases. This puts the onus on us to build the structures, to explore the principles, to research the complexities, that ask ourselves questions that have never bee asked before, and to develop answers for them. Nor can this work ever lead to a finite form, since there is no finite limit to human development. The way the pedagogical structure is designed, it literally opens up towards infinity, towards an ever greater understanding and application of that understanding.
This then provides the background against which the paradox can be resolved.
Let me summarize the main points of the paradox.
The Apostle John described the city foursquare in the book of Revelation in a metaphor that is rich in numeric references. He presents factors of 3, 4, 12, and 144. These are facts that are fixed. According to available evidence Mary Baker Eddy utilized these dimensions in applying all her major work to John's matrix structure in an effort to facilitate the scientific development in human consciousness to higher levels of understanding of Christian Science, which she termed "the final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing."(S&H p.107)
The metaphor which she presents in Christ and Christmas also can be recognized to represent these dimensions. Certainly the dimensions of 3, 4, and 144 are directly represented. This, too, is a fact.
If one looks at the Glossary with the simple rule of perceiving dual definitions in the form of contrasting pairs of definitions that are presented in separate sentences, then the Glossary comes to light as a structure of a 146 definitions. This is likewise a physical fact.
The end result is, that we have two contrary facts. These contrary facts present us with a paradox. The recognized physical dimension does not match the metaphors. How does one deal with a situation like that?
One has two options at this point. One option is to throw out the metaphor as invalid, and then work with the 146 definitions that have been recognized as a physical fact, according to the perceived rule of recognizing dual definitions.
Another option of dealing with a paradox is that one does not capitulate to it, but resolve the paradox by examining ones perception that has created the paradox. In the case at hand, this means that ones perception of the rule for recognizing dual definitions needs to be more deeply evaluated. This approach is likewise a response of scientific integrity.
In the sphere of science, the existence of a paradox is understood to be an indication of a deeply underlying failure in one's perception. In the real world, paradoxes don't exist. To resolve a paradox, one therefore raises the level of perception with an eye on discovering errors in one's recognition of what is true.
In the case of working with the Glossary, this means that one raises one's perception about the rule of determining the nature of dual definitions, with an 'eye' open towards discovering a higher or more profound rule by which the outcome matches the metaphor. This approach reflects a deep scientific integrity that has been recognized for many centuries, because science is after all the human pathway to understanding truth.
The Aristotelian doctrine
The difference between the two types of scientific integrity that we face in the two approaches of dealing with the paradox, is actually a manifestation of the conflict that the philosopher Aristotle introduced in ancient Greece as a counterforce to the Platonic scientific method of discovering truth.
Aristotle says, what you see is reality. There is nothing else. Don't bother to look further. Plato, on the other hand says in essence, that if a paradox appears in the physical realm one needs to step up to a higher level and explore the world with the mind's eye in the search for underlying universal principles by which we gain a truer perception of reality. This approach invariably resolves the paradox as one perceives the conflicting physical phenomenon from a higher perspective. By this process, seemingly impregnable barriers come to light as nothing more than axiomatic errors. Thus, truth comes to light that would otherwise not be revealed.
Aristotle's assigned task in the service of the ruling elite was to counter this evermore deeply unfolding perception of truth that Plato had set into motion. In the course of Aristotle's destructive incursion into the realm of science, some rather deep reaching cultural abomination were created, like Aristotle's theory of natural slavery that would undermine and prevent the advance of civilization for centuries upon centuries--right to the present day--with shallow perceptions to support imperial power structures.
Most of what we finds as modern day scientific integrity is based on Aristotle's notion, a notion that only what one sees physically, is the truth. Thus, the call of perverted scholarship still goes out as it did over 2000 years ago, saying to humanity: Don't bother to look with the mind's eye for spiritual, universal principles. There exists no truth apart from what you can see.
The scientific integrity that is based on this type of platform, is presently embraced throughout the world with great respect, while the Platonic scientific method has been largely eliminated from the scientific scene all over the world.
The cultural warfare that accomplished the destruction of the Platonic scientific method was put to into high gear in the early stages of the American Revolution.
The founding of the USA, as the world's first true nation state republic, was squarely based on the Platonic, scientific method of thinking. The American republic wouldn't exist without it. In order to prevent another such Revolution for Independence from erupting anywhere in the world, the Platonic method became targeted by the leading empire of the time, for elimination. Towards this end the French Revolution was covertly launched by the empire through the Shelburne circles of the British East India Company. In the unfolding orgy of terror almost the entire the leading edge scientific elite of the nation of France was systematically murdered. This focused kind of warfare against the scientific elite was later spread throughout much of Europe by Napoleon.
Only on the American continent did the Platonic scientific method remain in the foreground a little while longer. It was certainly still very much alive when Mary Baker Eddy grew up, and during the years of her scientific education and spiritual development. It is unlikely, therefore, that her search for Truth was not largely based on the Platonic scientific method. It is even reasonable to assume that her discovery of Christian Science might not have been possible without the 'fertile' scientific and cultural background in which she grew up, which was by design conducive to advanced scientific reasoning.
In the light of this historic unfolding it stands to reason that Mary Baker Eddy's expectation of a response to her work by society would have included of a type of scientific integrity that corresponds with the Platonic method of thinking that her work has evidently been based on, rather than the Aristotelian method of cultural destruction that was unleashed in the Americas beginning in the late 1800s on.
It is my perception that Mary Baker Eddy's achievements, including the scientific structures that she has created for the scientific and spiritual development of humanity, can only be understood to any significant degree with a scientific integrity in society that reflects the Platonic method of thinking. Any other approach leads to barriers that close the door to the 144 element structure, as Howard Meredith found out. He said he would have loved to see 144 elements, but the method of counting that he recognized as valid yields 146.
In my own thinking I face a paradox in this regard. I ask myself, did Mary Baker Eddy reject her own 9x16 metaphor that corresponds with John's metaphor of 144 in Revelation 21, or is my counting of the Glossary definitions too limited in scope? I chose the second answer and counted again and again, wondering where my perception was too narrow or too limited that it prevented me from being able to agree with the metaphor. In the process of this searching I recognized that my counting had been too limited indeed. I had recognized only one type of dual definition in the Glossary. When I recognized the existence of five different types of dual definitions, my counting did match the metaphor and I recognized that Mary Baker Eddy's design of the crown did reflect in metaphor also the factor of five.
I am not saying that this is how Mary Baker Eddy saw her design. I can't know this. Ultimately, everyone has to go through the process of counting individually. For myself, I can only compare what I have come to recognize with what I see reflected in other metaphors relating to Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure. One of these I find in her definition of "River" as channel of thought. "When smooth and unobstructed, it typifies the course of Truth; but muddy, foaming and dashing, it is a type of error." I recognize that the 9x16 form of the 144 element structure yields a completely uniform structures of four rivers without choke points or priority points where every element is vital and bears the same weight. Thus, the structure reflects as a model the integrity of humanity as individuals reflecting the boundless individuality of Mind and Soul in human expression existing in a boundless lateral lattice where no one exists above, below, or outside of it. This model reflects the nature of (universal) divine Love. That is what I see reflected in the form of the 144 element structure, the city foursquare that John beheld descending from God out of heaven. I am not saying that this model cannot be superceded, or that anyone should agree. I am merely saying that I find this model profound, rich and beautiful. And that is what I am aiming to share, a perception of a structure that I find profound, rich, and beautiful.
Another metaphor can be found in Christ and Christmas in the painting that refers to the wise and prudent.
Howard Meredith alerted me recently that the curtains at the window in this painting are not uniform. The curtains at the left hang in clean straight lines. This is the side where the representative of the "wise and the prudent" appears. The curtains at the right appear fuller, almost as if they didn't fit, as if they were too long for the window. This is also the side where the young girl appears who lives in the light of the star the provides real light. The representative of the wise and the prudent has the Bible sitting on a table next to him as a closed book, while the girl has the textbook with "...Key to Scriptures" printed on the cover, in her hand, open.
The two halves of the painting appear to represent the two halves of Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure, which in turn appear to be related to the two major methods of mankind's approach to recognizing truth. One of these is the Aristotelian method where truth is determined by what is physically apparent as seen by the senses. Mary Baker Eddy refers in the first element of the applicable verse to "olden faith's pale star." To material sense Christ Jesus' work is miraculous. That is how olden faith sees the Christ manifestation of truth. The gospels are full with references to "miracles." The acceptance of miracles makes the great demonstrations of the Christ appear 'smooth' so that one doesn't have to think about them. Nothing challenges the legitimacy of mortal thought when the paradoxes can be explained as miracles. It appears to me that the left half of Mary Baker Eddy deals with breaking the legitimacy of this kind of thinking, the narrow thinking which keeps humanity in the dark, which spares it the trouble of having to resolve the paradox that Jesus' works represented, the paradox in which spiritual truth is clearly unfolding contrary to a materially defined world. Jesus challenges the thinking of society to its very core. The represented the Christ, which society immediately denied as a miracle. The Aristotelian, so-called scientific method, represents this kind of "olden faith" thinking that needs to be challenged for truth to be recognized.
In the right side of the painting the development of thought is no longer confined. The focus is on science and truth. We are no longer hampered by miracles and closed minded thinking, even institutional thinking, such as that which gets us to accept sickness as truth. In science we are challenged only by the limits we impose on ourselves. We look at the world more honestly in the domain of science. We no longer hide the fact that certain aspects do not fit the way we expect them to fit. If Christ Jesus illustrated mental healing as an obviously achieved reality, we are no longer tempted to dismiss it as a miracle, but see it as the result of a spiritual process resulting from the operation of universal principles. Indeed, what Jesus did totally messes up mankind's neatly perceived material world, and we love it, because it presents humanity in a new light and opens up boundless possibility for good, like metaphysics superceding physics.
In the scientific world Plato represents this kind of thinking which constantly challenges us to open our inner eyes ever wider and recognize what no material eye has ever seen. He challenges us to push back the limits we have imposed on ourselves. Plato represents the kind of thinking that we see metaphorically represented in the right half of the above mentioned paining, the kind of thinking in which humanity is forever 'young', forever developing, forever unfolding. And that humanity unfolds in the light of the only visible star in the painting.
I find it interesting that curtains on the right hand side appear fuller, almost as if they didn't seem to fit. I must acknowledge that without the Platonic approach in looking at the Glossary dual definitions, my perception of the 144 element structure would not have been possible. But the structure has become possible, and I am satisfied that what at first glance didn't seem to fit, does fit, and that the result is rich, full, and beautiful.
This I see the 144 element structure to represent mankind's most advanced method of thinking. Isn't that what Mary Baker Eddy challenges us to adopt as our own and develop further. I think she is. Others may it differently. There are certainly numerous other structures that represent the factor five, that one could relate to the five elements in the crown in Christ and Christmas. One of these are the five physical senses. However, I can hardly imagine that the crown would represent what limits the human dimension, rather than what makes it limitless.
I see the specific paradox that unfolds in relating the Glossary structure to the predefined metaphors, echoed in the fundamental difference between the two opposing types of scientific perception which is exemplified by Aristotle representing the limiting sense perception, versus Plato representing the limitless domain of spiritual perception in which principles rather than limits come to light. The scientific limits that embraces the Aristotelian type of thinking leads one inevitably into the sphere of insurmountable paradoxes that involve a simplistic rule to recognizing what is real. Whatever becomes subsequently build on such a platform, like Aristotle's theory of natural slavery that rests on an unresolved paradox, will invariably lead to further barriers for the development of humanity, which actually accords with the design objective of the Aristotelian platform of thinking.
As an individual I choose the path that inculcates the leading of Mind, which invariably unfolds what best promotes one's individual growth. I do not propose that anyone chooses the pursuit that I have chosen. I am merely saying that I, personally, found Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structures (144 def. based on the Platonic method) extremely useful and exciting, a kind of rare treasure that can never be exhausted, that gets richer the more one uses it.
As a scientist I can safely share my research only on this platform, and I do so in the hope that some of it might be useful to others. This is the approach that Mary Baker Eddy too, has taken. She cautioned her followers twice (in 1900 and in 1901): "Follow your Leader only as far as she follows Christ." (Message to the Mother Church, June 1900 and 1901)
I, personally, in following her leadership and my highest perception of what is true, have found the Platonic scientific method highly effective in exploring the Glossary structure. It allows me to see beyond the physical limits, as indeed Mary Baker Eddy requires us to do in Christian Science, and as Christ Jesus had done before her. The outcome of this research has always been beautiful in my sight, even though it has often been extremely challenging in the face of Aristotelian based thinking.
The outcome is beautiful in the sense that the 9x16 matrix structure is beautiful and represents a structural order and unity that one finds reflected in the structures of the natural world and the universe. The research resulted in a kind of structure which allows for the unrestrained contemplation of complex ideas and the interrelationship of them. However, in order for one to get there, some deep reaching questions need to be asked about the nature of some of the dual definitions that Mary Baker Eddy presented. That is where I find the unfolding getting interesting. That is also where the challenge begins since there is no agreement for the perception of higher spiritual principles in Aristotelian type of thinking.
So, what about the five types of Glossary definitions?
The majority of the dual definitions that one finds in the Glossary present us a rather obvious 'black and white' contrasting duality. This duality is straight forward. It is easy to understand and to deal with. In all of these cases Mary Baker Eddy presents us a 'black and white' type of duality in the form of a definition that presents the spiritual perception of a term, associated with a definition that presents the material perception of the same term. These 'contrasting' types of dual definitions can be found throughout the Glossary, sixteen of them in total, for the terms: Believing, Benjamin, Children, Jacob, Jerusalem, Lord, Rock, Sword, Tithe, Wilderness, Will, Wine, Wind, Wine, Zeal, Zion.
The real challenge begins in ones dealing with the remaining dual definitions where we find a duality presented that is divided into separate sentences, but which does not represent 'black and white' issues. How does one deal with issues? Evidently, one needs to look at them more deeply with the 'eye' of spiritual sense, to discover the spiritual dimension that they represent.
There are altogether five types of definitions found in the Glossary where a deeper reflection is required to determine the underlying universal principles, which in turn alter ones response in dealing with them. I shall examine all five types here.
The non-contrasting dual definitions.
According to the simple rule of determining dual definitions, the definition for the term Adam is not a dual definition, since it does not present a higher and lower level contrast. Nevertheless, Mary Baker Eddy presented two distinct definitions, and these two definitions describe two distinct types of denial that the name Adam represents.
The first definition, which is presented in a huge single sentence, presents a sweeping denial of the nature of man and humanity, while the second sentence, which is also quite large, presents a sweeping denial of the nature of God.
I see in the duality of this definition a challenge to my thinking, to recognize the duality of the Adam perception, a duality that represents in parallel, a deep denial of the nature of man, and a deep denial of the nature of God, respectively. Speaking for myself, I want to keep this duality always in mind, by considering this definition as a clear dual definition.
Naturally, in order to be able to do this, I find myself forced to modify the simplistic rule for perceiving dual definitions. The simplistic rule would not allow me to acknowledge the profound duality of the Adam concept that Mary Baker Eddy has presented. Consequently, I raise the threshold of the rule to include non-contrasting dual definitions.
But now, that I have modified the rule, what to I do with the resulting dual definitions? How do they relate them to each other and to the matix? This kind of determination had been easily made in the cases of the contrasting dual definitions that represent a higher and lower image of the defined concept. In the case of Adam, however, we don't have a higher and lower image. We have two distinct images of denial, each of which represents a level of thinking that is about as low as one can get.
Obviously, the two definitions for the name Adam pertain to two different development streams in which I must deal with these denials individually, each in a different and unique context. This means that the two definitions can be, and indeed should be, at the same level. In other words, I deal with a horizontal duality here.
The choice that I face at this point, is that I must modify my perception of the rule for perceiving dual definitions still further, in order to acknowledge the nature of the duality of Adam in a manner the represents the uniqueness of this specific type of duality. If I don't do this, I deny myself the chance to acknowledge the profound implications of this duality.
I must ask myself therefore: Which option did Mary Baker Eddy choose in presenting this distinct duality for the term Adam to us? It is my opinion that her perception of the rules for presenting this duality would have been such that the duality which she presented can be fully acknowledged.
Howard Meredith regards this perception not to be valid, arguing that Mary Baker Eddy's rule for dual definition is very simple and consistent, and unyielding. Where there is no contrast, there is no dual definition. To accept this assumption would require me to deny the duality of the Adamic concept, which is too profound to me to sacrifice at the altar of a simplistic perception of rules that Mary Baker Eddy evidently has not established herself, but were, according to the resulting evidence, perceived on a tragically limited scientific platform that is presently widely honored in society.
The horizontally separated duality
Glossary also contains another definition of the same type, the type of a
similar to that for the term, Adam. This definition is for the term
We have three sentences presented here. The first two present different aspects of the same concept:
... the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter...
that the spiritual realities of all things are created by Him and exist
Another 'horizontal' definition, ( where there no 'black and white' contrast, and the two parts are presented in separate paragraphs) is the definition for the term Church.
Once again, we have a duality here that pertains to two different development streams, and to to indicate this fact, Mary Baker Eddy has the duality separated into different paragraphs, in contrast to the definition of Euphrates where the non-black-and-white duality is kept together in in a single paragraph (considered below).
The indivisible dual definition
Another type of dual definition that presents no clear 'black and white' contrast in terms of a spiritual and material definition for the terms, is represented by the definition for the terms Burial and Euphrates.
Note: In definition for Adam and Ark the two aspects of their duality are separated into two separate paragraphs, whereas in the definition for Burial, the duality is not separated into two separate paragraphs, but is contained within the same paragraph. With this in mind, since no clear horizontal contrast exist, I must ask myself: What is Mary Baker Eddy telling us? I must ask myself: Can I really split the two concepts apart, or are these two distinct concepts of a nature that must be kept together for the defined concept to be correctly understood?
This is an enormously important question for humanity as a whole to consider, because great harm is done if spiritual concepts, which are valid only in unison, become split apart. History has proven this to have tragic consequences. In the sixteenth Century, for instance, the notion was promoted that the principle of sovereignty and the principle of love are separate issues, and are valid by themselves in separation. Love was said to be valid only in the private domain and not in the domain of the state, while sovereignty was valid only for the state and not in the individual domain. This 'separation' based philosophy was promoted at this time among many others by the still famous philosophers, Thomas Hobbes and Hugo Grotius. Out the separation of the two principles that these philosophers promoted, eighty years of warfare unfolded in which half of the population of Europe perished. The carnage was only ended when the two principles of love and sovereignty were united intentionally into a single concept that was reflected in the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia by which all warfare ceased, all debts were forgiven, and universal sovereignty of all nations was recognized and acknowledged.
So, I must ask myself: Is Mary Baker Eddy's dual definition for the term Burial of the same type? Is the concept of Burial as she defined it, a type of concept where I end up with something spiritually lacking if I separate its essential elements and consider them separately?
let's do that. Let's separate the two elements and take a look at what
What happens if we pursue each of these in isolation?
Indeed, this separation has been tried in countless occasions as monks in previous centuries have locked themselves away from the world in dark cloisters, sometimes without windows in them, to disable the physical senses. What resulted was a kind of self-annihilation, not the annihilation of a false physical sense as indicated in the definition for Burial, which can only be achieved through an intelligent spiritualization of thought and perception. Likewise is the second concept of Burial, not achievable in isolation. Submergence in Spirit, by which immortality is being brought to light, is not possible without one having also to deal with corporeality and physical sense. If I try to attempt this kind of burial in isolation, there is something spiritually lacking, and it won't work. So, what would I be looking at if I separate the two definitions, and look at only, "Submergence in Spirit; immortality brought to light?" I would be looking at something that can actually be achieved in isolation? I would say, no.
I see Mary Baker Eddy telling me, by her care of keeping the two definitions together in a single paragraph, that I cannot separate the two parts of the definition without loosing the whole concept of burial that elevates human existence.
In cases, where a clear contrast and separation is indicated, the separation of the duality always raises spiritual awareness and scientific understanding. But in the case of the definition of Burial, this is not happening. It is my opinion therefore, based on the scientific understanding of what is involved, that Mary Baker Eddy did not present Burial with a dual definition that can be split apart into isolated concepts, but is one that must be considered in unison, which she symbolically combined into a single paragraph. With this in mind I must raise the level once more, of my perception of the rules for dealing with dual definitions, in order to enable me to meet this spiritual requirement.
This is the perception that I have come to over the years of working with the Glossary.
Still, one needs to face that still greater challenge where we have yet another dual definition that presents once again, not a 'black and white' contrast, and like the definition of Burial, presents the dual elements combined into a single paragraph. This is the case of the definition for the term Euphrates.
The challenge that one is facing here, once again, is to determine if the two definition have any meaning standing alone by themselves. So, let's do that and split them apart, and see what we get.
This would be one of the two definitions. If I consider this statement standing all by itself, as a mortal human being living on this earth, I would have to say to myself that this is pie in the sky stuff that is so far out of reach that I have to become a saint before I can see myself operating in this realm. In fact, I find my state of mind quite accurately defined by the second definition of Euphrates.
However, I also must acknowledge that Mary Baker Eddy has put the two definitions together into a single paragraph, so that both are considered as one, and both together define the nature of the river for me. By uniting the two elements, she acknowledges the limitations of mortal thought, but she does not acknowledge it as a limit that isolates me from embracing and understanding Divine Science.
If I separate the two elements of Euphrates, I throw this vital interlinking acknowledgement by Mary Baker Eddy into the trash can. I would throw away what I see represented by the unity of the definition of Euphrates. If I were to separate the two elements I would therefore suffer a deep reaching spiritual loss. However, I also see Mary Baker Eddy telling me, gently: You don't have to make this sacrifice, because I have bound the two elements of Euphrates together for you, into a single paragraph representing a single indivisible concept. Can't you accept that?
Howard Meredith warns that such reasoning is invalid, that the simple rule must prevail, according to which the two elements must be considered in isolation. The resulting loss would be too great to bear. Therefore, I'd sooner sacrifice the simplistic rule once again, for a higher rule that takes into consideration the spiritual dimension as a valid criterion for consideration.
The modified dual definition
Working at the leading edge of science is evidently not a simplistic process. This becomes even more evident when one considers the definition for the term, Son.
This definition, given in a single paragraph, presents a clear 'black and white' contrast in perception. The two contrasting elements can clearly stand in isolation from each other to represent separate definitions for the concept of, Son. This separation can be allowed, though the dual aspects are both contained in a single paragraph. In other words, we deal with a totally different structure here. In fact, the dual aspects must be separated, because each element of the contrasting pair denies the nature of the other.
We have many such contrasting pairs in Glossary (for the terms Believing, Benjamin, Children, Jacob, Jerusalem, Lord, Rock, Sword, Tithe, Wilderness, Will, Wine, Wind, Wine, Zeal, Zion). But what about that third sentence in the definition for Son, the sentence, "Son of a year?" Did Mary Baker Eddy give us a third definition of a state in between or outside the sphere of the contrasting pair? Howard Meredith suggests that it is possible to perceive of a third state in between the two opposites. He recognized this in between state to represent our state of becoming the son of God, according to the biblical verse with which Mary Baker Eddy prefaces the article in which she describes the concept, "son of a year."
In this article Mary Baker Eddy tells us that the apostle assures us that man has power to become the son of God, right were we are. She writes:
She also tells us that this term, as applied to man, is used in both a material and a spiritual sense. This definition gives us only two options, doesn't it? One cannot reasonably assume to be the son of the flesh, and also a little bit, the son of God. We can only recognize ourselves as one or the other. She continues:
Isn't she saying to us: There really isn't such a thing as an in between state. One either recognizes recognizes oneself as the son of the flesh in the sense that a calendar month was once recognized as the 'son' of a year, or one recognizes oneself as the son of God in the same sense, and that in this no compromise is possible. Everything she writes about this duality points this out, also pointing out that humanity has the power, the scientific and spiritual resources, to make the transition in our self-identification from a sonship in the flesh to one that reflects the reality of our being. Thus, one becomes in one's perception the son of God. She continues:
Since there is no in between state possible, I perceive Mary Baker Eddy's definition for the term, Son, only as a dual definition, not as a triple definition. However, I see it as a dual definition with the modifying sense, "son of a year," added to each of the spiritual and material definition of the concept of Son. The contrasting pair would then be the following:
The Son of God, the Messiah or Christ (son of a Year).
The son of man, the offspring of the flesh (son of a year).
This means that I can recognize only two distinct definitions for the term, Son, not three. Howard Meredith warns that this perception is invalid under the simple rules. This means that I must elevate my perception of the rules still one more time to incorporate an acknowledgement of the unique spiritual significance that comes which this type of dual definition. If I were to split away this profound modifier, and create three separate definitions, something spiritual of great value would be lost. Indeed, the whole concept of sonship would be lost. This cannot allow myself to do.
I must apologize therefore to all those who like simplistic rules, but I cannot follow the simplistic rules when the loss is so great that would thereby be incurred, while there exists no need for this loss.
There is also an added benefit to be won by stepping beyond the simplistic rules, to higher rules which incorporate spiritual parameters. The added benefit is that one end up with a Glossary structure of 144 terms by this process, which is a beautiful structure that is orderly, consistent, and thereby the most powerful spiritual resource for scientific and spiritual development that I can think of. However, this is not where the profundity of the Glossary structure ends.
The 56 rays of light and the Duality in One
On the cover of Christ and Christmas Mary Baker Eddy presents a seven pointed star surrounded by 56 rays of light. Indeed, every star in Christ and Christmas is a seven pointed star. Even the stars on the crown of the modern cross and crown seal that Mary Baker Eddy applied to the cover of all of her published books (except the Manual), are seven pointed stars. Evidently the factor seven was highly important to her. This factor is even incorporated into the factor 56. If one divides 56 by four, according to the four columns of the structure foursquare, one ends up with 14 for each column, or two times seven. There are (accordingly) seven synonyms for God defined in the Glossary under the term God, and seven major characteristics of God, and two categorizing elements. Mary Baker Eddy also focuses extensively onto the seven days of creation in the textbook chapter, Genesis.
All of this poses one huge challenge of how to correlate the 56 rays of light to the foursquare Glossary structure. Howard Meredith, who discovered the 56 rays of light, has taken 56 of the materially oriented terms of the Glossary and placed them all into the lowest row of the matrix into four structures of 13, plus some extra terms that are not directly incorporated into the rows. This concept creates a paradox for me, since it reflects only a part of the metaphor, but not all of it. It doesn't represent the factor of seven that is widely imbedded into the metaphor. Nor does it represent rays of light. My perception is that one needs to look for a much more profound structural feature that fulfills all established criteria. It took me a long time to realize that this is actually possible, and that this unfolds in a profound manner.
If one deals with a uniform matrix of nine definitions each, and divides the lower three rows into half, and this in a manner that the central element of the center row are shared, then each of the two halves are made up of 56 terms, or 14 per column to which the synonyms and the characteristics of God, and the seven days of creation can be related. The key requirement for this structure, of course is, that the Glossary contains four definitions in the form of concepts that have an upwards and downwards duality incorporated into a single definition, presented by a single sentence. I recognize that the definitions do indeed exist that fulfill this requirement. They exist for the terms River, Temple, Valley, and Year, ,as shown below.
It is interesting to note that the division between the two halves occurs at the level of the cardinal point, called, Christianity, and the shared elements that have a dual exposure are located there. Christianity, without a scientific foundation, represents a volatile state that either leads upwards to the Christ Science, or downwards into depravity, night, and hell. The 56 rays of light in the upper half, and their reflection in Christianity represent the Christ Science exposure, while their absence in the lower half represents our volatility for a regression into hell. So, we do have a confrontational structure here, where the substance of spiritual light confronts the void of darkness and removes the void from human experience. In other words, the call from Genesis 1, "Let there be light" will never go away, but will be facilitated by the structure of the foursquare matrix until there is no night there, or hell, as the Apostle John pointed out when describing the foursquare city.
Other opinions about the cardinal points
Howard Meredith warns, however, that this perception is invalid. He reversed the cardinal points of the lower two rows and labeled the third row, divine Science (which does not facilitate a directional duality), and labeled the lowest row, Christianity, coincident with the definition of Hell and Night. Likewise, he reversed the order of the rivers for the columns. He associated the definition for Hiddekel with second column, labeled the Christ, and the definition for Gihon with the third column labeled, Christianity. His reason is that the rights of woman must be resolved in Christianity.
I must apologize to all who regard these reversals as essential, but I cannot follow this path.
It is my opinion that Mary Baker Eddy did provide the basic definitions for the foursquare structure in a manner that I can trust to be in accord with her highest perception of divine Science. In my opinion this trust is verified in metaphor, which she presented in Christ and Christmas. In the case of applying the definitions of the four rivers to the flow of the columns, I recognize Gihon to be the second river, and Hiddekel to be the third river, presented in Genesis 2.
I can see no reason to believe that Mary Baker Eddy would alter the specifically described sequence in adopting the metaphor of the rivers. Thus, I can safely relate her definitions for the rivers to the development streams of the matrix foursquare via this metaphor of the four rivers. This sequencing relates the definitions for Gihon with the second river, which she defined as the Christ, which represents the second of the four sides of the city.
The question has been raised: Is my adaptation of her sequencing of the rivers to the matrix only my opinion? I think it is more than just opinion. This correlation is verified in metaphor. If one looks at all the paintings in Christ and Christmas that relate to the second column one will find that they all deal with advancing concepts of 'woman', beginning with Eve of the Adam mythology, all the way up to the woman of the Apocalypse, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feat, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, the stars in the crown of rejoicing. And really, could this tremendous upwards development of the idea of woman unfold in any other development stream than that which is defined as the side of the Christ? I would say, no.
It is also my opinion that the definition for the third river, Hiddekel, applies to the third column, or the third side of the city defined as Christianity.
The third column is illustrated in metaphor as the column for the healing of humanity, ranging from the deepest gloom all the way upwards to the full acknowledgement of the operational unity of the Christ and Christian Science. The illustrations we have for this third column representing the side of Christianity, have nothing to do whatsoever with the rights of woman acknowledged.
It is my opinion therefore, backed up by Mary Baker Eddy's metaphor, that I can trust her in providing the basic definitions for the city foursquare in the manner that she understood them. I also find that if I were not to trust her with these, if I were to alter the sequencing, a great loss would occur. Thus, I rejoice in accepting her definitions for the four rivers as given, and for the four cardinal points that define the four rows of the city. She defines the cardinal points as follows:
I rejoice in the recognition, that she defined the bottom row as Christian Science, the science that fulfills John's prophesy that there shall be no night there in the city. This coincides with her own statement about Christian Science as the final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing.
I find her definition of these cardinal points powerful and profound. I also acknowledge that these cardinal points represent metaphorically (in sequence) the mental states defined as Day, Morning, Evening, and Night; and likewise with the concepts of Heaven, Kingdom of Heaven, Earth, and Hell.
It is also my opinion that these cardinal points and there related definitions have no relationship whatsoever to the geographic dimensions of north, east, south, and west, that may be applied to the four sides of the city (represented by the four columns) and to the substructures of its elements, as defined below.
I recognize these directional definitions to be functionally distinct from the function of the cardinal points. The cardinal points define levels of thinking, while the directional descriptions define the nature of the flow within the development column at each of the four sides of the city. Their rivers do indeed flow northward, eastward, southward. and westward. It is further my opinion that the sequencing of these directional definitions corresponds with the cycle of the sun. We find the earliest light of the dawn in mid summer, northward. Eastward, we find the sunrise. Southward, the sun traverses the southern sky in the heat of the day. Westward, we find the sunset, the Golden Shore of Love and the Peaceful Sea of Harmony.
It is my opinion that these directional 'exposures' give the columns a beautiful additional meaning, but that they are NOT related to the levels within the columns, described by the cardinal points, which describe totally different dimensions. Do I find any verification in metaphor that illustrates that the directional definitions are totally different from the function fulfilled by the cardinal points? No, I can't find any such metaphoric verification. Nor can I find any verification that there exists a relationship. At this point, only the functional characteristics of a matrix representation becomes the determining factor which clearly illustrates that the rows and the columns fulfill a radically different function in what they represent. I must apologize therefore to those who like to see definitions of north, east, west, and south associated with the rows. I must admit that such a correlation makes presently no sense to me.
There remains still one last point of contention that needs to be addressed. Is it my goal to create and present the one perfect and final structure that incorporates all possible aspects with absolute precision, the structure that Mary Baker Eddy didn't provide? My answer is NO! I recognize that this cannot be done.
Howard Meredith suggests that it is theoretically possible to do this, on a scientific basis, to create a final form, furnished by science, since there is only one Truth and one Science representing it. It is my perception that this kind of finity oriented thinking is a trap that limits the dimension of human thought, the only error of which is an acceptance of limitation and finity.
Mary Baker Eddy points out that this city of our God, this structure that unfolds from the infinite, this spiritual and holy habitation of thought, has no boundary nor limit. No finity can check its path. No form can be created beyond which one cannot go. If God is infinite, human development towards the infinite can have no limit and no finity. Creating a finite form would create such a limit and turn this limit into a dogma which then would end further development. Rather than creating a finite form, my concern in working with Mary Baker Eddy's structures of Divine Science is to explore the processes it incorporates for human scientific and spiritual development. While it is the spiritual reality of our being that we are the sons and daughters of God, we need to engage in scientific and spiritual development to recognize what this means. That is what I am concerned with, and gladly so. On this pathway, every step forward is cause for rejoicing and celebration.
Rolf A. F. Witzsche