Sex 

in Christian Science
by Rolf Witzsche

Since ancient times God, the creative divine Principle, was deemed to be Father of mankind.

The term Father was extensively used by Christ Jesus, such as saying that the Father that dwelled in me, he doeth the works. This male divinity was further extended in organized Christianity by Christ Jesus, a male, being regarded as the personal son of God, the only begotten of the Father. When a new religion emerged half a millennium after the dawn of Christianity, the religion of Islam, the whole sexual identity of God was dropped. God became simply Allah, the universal All that we stand in awe before. 

The God of Islam is inconceivable in terms of gender or plurality. This was a step forward out of the quagmire of sexual division and isolation. The founder of Islam, the prophet Mohammed, is quoted to have said that "I trample on anything that divides man from man." It was a brave attempt to counter division and isolation among mankind. But ultimately there was something missing that made the goal unattainable. The missing element was sex, the one factor that divides and isolates the whole of humanity more deeply and more extensively than any other factor. Sex is the root of gender isolation, family isolation, marriage isolation. Islam's answer was to sweep this factor under the rug and hide it, to hide it under the burka and the hijab. But this didn't solve the problem.

Mary Baker Eddy was the first spiritual pioneer in history that addressed the problem scientifically. In very ancient times is was recognized that the universal God can have "no name" or else "all names" must apply to it. Islam attempted to give it no gender, but this didn't work, since mankind is a sexual species. To deny sex would be to deny a major aspect of our humanity by which we are defined. Mary Baker Eddy turned the page of history and defined God as the All-in-all that includes both sexes. Christ Jesus' concept of "our Father" was scientifically redefined by Mary Baker Eddy as "our Father-Mother God."

This new definition not only ends an age-old problem in theology, it also opens a whole new horizon. Mary Baker Eddy even said that we have a stronger case to perceive God as female, because Love (the mother love for a child) gives us the clearest perception of deity. She even stated once in the early editions of the Christian Science textbook that "woman is the highest term for man." 

In Genesis 1, the spiritual account of unfolding creation, the female gender is the last to be mentioned. Also, in the book of Revelation (the Apocalypse), John the Revelator saw in his vision a "woman clothed with the sun... and on her head a crown of twelve stars." He saw the new face of humanity not as an angel, but as a woman.

Mary Baker Eddy removed the sentence, "woman is the highest term for man," in later editions of her textbook on Christian Science. Perhaps the foundation for regarding woman as a metaphor for the spiritual idea of humanity - humanity as the reflection of God - had not been established at the time. But Mary Baker Eddy did not remove the metaphor of woman as the highest spiritual idea of humanity from her pedagogical structure in which everything that she stood for and has discovered, is drawn together. 

There are four consecutive development streams defined in her pedagogical structure, and the second of it is defined as (Gihon) "The rights of woman, acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially." Moreover, in her book of metaphors for the pedagogical structure (Christ and Christmas) that describe her pedagogical structure, she presents the spiritual idea of humanity visually in the female form.

Linguistically the term, man, can represent both the male of mankind and also mankind universally, whereby the sexual identity becomes negated. The term, woman, however can only be perceived sexually. It clearly includes the sexual identity. John the Revelator must have seen in his spiritual sense that the sexual identity must be included to give a more correct (higher) definition of our humanity. In this sense Mary Baker Eddy uses the female form in Christ and Christmas to denote the spiritual quality of humanity that is all-inclusive (that has the sexual individuality recognized and included). In contrast with that usage, she uses the male form where the universal sense of mankind is important, meaning all mankind.

Mary Baker Eddy never actually used the term sex that defines the quality of gender, but she does refer to it. In fact it appears to have been so important to her she focused on it prominently in her pedagogical structure, and this not just once, but twice, and she presents it as located outside the sphere of marriage.

Sex and Marriage separated 

Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure is a 4-square construct made up of 16 elements. In horizontal alignment as 4 rows the elements represent 4 level of perception. 

In vertical alignment as 4 columns the same elements can be seen as 4 development channels or development streams.

For details see: Structures of Divine Science - Rudimental Elements

The illustration below shows the same matrix with Mary Baker Eddy's two references to sex presented. They are presented in two separate development streams (the 2nd and 4th, on the second-lowest level, the moral level), with marriage being represented in yet another development stream (the 1st) with its position being on a higher level. 

 

The references to sex are contained in visual form in her book Christ and Christmas. The reference to marriage is provided by the title of the 3rd chapter of the Christian Science textbook, which maps to the third highest position in the first column. The details are covered further in a separate article: Universal Marriage and Universal Sex.

It is strongly indicated here that Mary Baker Eddy had recognized the need for separate environments for development, suggesting that sex and marriage are totally separate aspects.

Christ Jesus warned about the different challenges pertaining to sex and to marriage.

Mary Baker Eddy placed her visual references to sex into the moral domain (Christianity). But the moral domain is not safe. It is just one step higher than the lowest domain, the domain of depravity where Christian Science healing is required. The moral domain is the pivot between scientific and spiritual development and regression into depravity. Christ Jesus illustrated the point with a warning, saying that whosoever is merely looking at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in his heart. Nor did he bring marriage into this context, as it is evidently not a factor in this context. He chose the word, adultery. He might have also chosen the word, rape, if it had been in general usage at the time. Both concepts violate the original version of the Decalogue which admonishes not to break the honourable bond that love has forged (or would forge). In the German version the term for this honourable bond is, "ehe." The concept is explored in more detail in the chapter, In the Brilliance of a Night, of my novel Discovering Love.

A line from a Christian Science Hymn (#64) declares, "From sense to soul my pathway lies before me." The transition has many meanings and encompasses many grounds of healing. One of these 'healings' evidently also pertains to the marriage concept, as Christ Jesus had pointed out. He had been presented with a hypothetical case of a woman that was married to a man who had six brothers. As he died, she became the wife of one of his brothers, and so forth until she married the last of the brothers. The question was, that when the last bother died and she died also, in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be, since they all had her (Matt. 22:28) . Christ Jesus suggested that they asked an invalid question, since in the resurrection (the spiritual awakening of mankind) the small sense of marriage would fall away and the truth of mankind as children of God existing laterally in the universal family of man would govern all relationships as seen by the angels in heaven. He didn't use those words, but he did convey this Christ-sense of reality. 

While he said about the small-sense to let it be, as is has a place until the higher sense is established in science, he also suggested that in future ages the developing Christ-idea of truth would set things right. Of course, he also said that this future can be now. He said in essence to the pioneers at heart, let the dead bury their dead, and come and follow me (Matt. 8:22). Mary Baker Eddy suggested that society should realize that the threshold to reality is here. She makes strong demands and consequently fewer concessions to false concepts and small-minded thinking. In this context she made no provisions in the Christian Science church for the traditional marriage institution that Christ Jesus said would fall away on the path of spiritual development 'from sense to soul.'

Mary Baker Eddy once referred to marriage and its erroneous root-concept as being "synonymous with legalized lust..." (Miscellany 5). Consequently she wouldn't sanctify it by making provisions for it. She kept the door open, however. Marriages of her followers may to be performed in other churches. She also counsels tolerance, saying: "Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth." (Science and Health 485:15) Still, she expected spiritual growth, and more so should we, living a hundred years after her time. We should be pioneers of Sprit and Truth.

Mary Baker Eddy defined marriage in a revolutionary manner, as home and center, but not as a boundary. She writes: "Home is the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the boundary, of the affections." In the same paragraph she writes, under the heading "Mutual freedom," saying: "There is moral freedom in Soul. Never contract the horizon of a worthy outlook by the selfish exaction of all another's time and thoughts. With additional joys, benevolence should grow more diffusive." (Science and Health 58:12)

Christian Science describes an expanding type of marriage in which we acknowledge ourselves and increasingly all mankind as children of a common humanity, human beings of the universal family of man in which God comes to light. Mary Baker writes under the heading, "Assistance in brotherhood," saying: "God gives the lesser idea of Himself for a link to the greater, and in return, the higher always protects the lower. The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good. Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud. All the varied expressions of God reflect health, holiness, immortality - infinite Life, Truth, and Love." (Science and Health 518:13)

The oneness of mankind is intact. It is not a crime, but wisdom to acknowledge it. The oneness of mankind does not need to be created by marriage, it already exists. The marriage contract builds on it and expands its expression like a light shining in the wilderness, encompassing all mankind, enriching it. Boundless individuality is a divine quality that makes everyone distinct in the all-encompassing unity of the 'children of God.' But it does not cause isolation or self-isolation, which are invalid concepts in divine science. A healing experience illustrates that, which is described to some degree in the chapter, The Lateral Lattice of Hearts, of my novel, Discovering Love. We live in a lateral world, reflecting the divine ever-presence in our being like light illumining the universe. Love is an overflowing fount. Should there not be healing unfolding in this rich abundance of good reflected in love?

Splitting up marriage and sex.

By Mary Baker Eddy splitting marriage and sex up into different development streams, she seems to be telling us that we are dealing with distinct spiritual ideas with different development objectives. Nor is she alone in making this demand. Christ Jesus supported the separation of the two concepts when he was forced to judge the 'adulterous' woman, a person found in an active sexual relationship outside of her marriage boundary. Under Rabbinical law she stood condemned to death for the 'crime.' Christ Jesus rescued her by separating sex and marriage and inspiring the people, her accusers, to look at the case from a higher level standpoint as human beings. At the scientifically spiritual level all humanity stands laterally side by side as human beings in the image of one universal God, undivided and indivisible. He asked the people: Isn't that what you can sense in your heart, your spiritual sense, as the truth? In this sphere of truth no transgression occurred. The accusers had no case and left the scene. Jesus asked the woman, "has no man condemned thee?" "No man," she replied. "Neither do I condemn thee," Jesus replied. He added, "sin no more." (John 8) The sin that referred to was evidently not related to the charge from which she had already been exonerated at this point. The sin might have been that she might have condemned herself by feeling guilty, or that she was guilty in terms that the sexual relationship had strayed into rape, which also happens in marriages.

Even the original Mosaic Decalogue doesn't impose any marriage boundary (Exodus 20). The original commandment relating to relationships between people simply counsels one, not to break the honourable bond that love has forced (according to the German translation). The nasty law that is brimming with limits, boundaries, and penalties, even killing people for transgressions, appears as a revised version of the Decalogue, a politicized version that the priests used for social control and domination (Leviticus 20).

 

Sex in Spirit

One of the most revolutionary concepts in Christian Science is that God is Spirit, and that man is the reflection of God. Therefore man is not Sprit, but is spiritual. 

All the aspects of man that define mankind universally and individually are spiritual, such as sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, sex, are spiritual aspects. They all reflect the quality of God together with a wide range of still higher aspects that uniquely define our humanity and put man onto the pinnacle of the divine creation, manifesting advanced  intelligence, ingenuity, sublimity, creativity, honour, generosity, beauty, and so forth, which are all elements of divine Life, Truth, and Love. 

Man truly is a spiritual being, never material, and is reflecting God, Spirit, in infinite quality and individuality in which God comes to light. Thus God, man, and humanity are one, in the nature of Spirit and its boundless manifestation which exists as one. Just as the sunlight is one with the sun, illumining the universe, so man is one with God, Spirit, in spiritual being.

Mary Baker Eddy has richly described this interrelationship in her textbook on Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. (see: Infinite Spirit)

In divine Science all creation is understood as being spiritual for the simple reason that matter has no life to give; all life is spiritual, reflecting God, Spirit, Life. Creation consists of spiritual ideas reflecting the divine nature. However, 'creation' is not a static thing that is finite. Rather than being static, it is forever progressively unfolding. The whole universe reflects the principle of progressive unfolding with ever higher divine ideas coming to light and man being the highest idea of creation. We are endowed with advanced spiritual qualities that no other expression of life has. Creativity and understanding, for example, manifest in science, industries, technologies, art, music, and so forth, are all unique spiritual aspects of our humanity that we share with no one, while we reflect them universally across the whole of mankind. These higher qualities set mankind apart, even while we share a range of spiritual qualities with the animal world, such as such as sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, and sex, etc.. This might be the reason why Mary Baker Eddy placed her visual references to sex into elements that pertain to the third lowest level of her pedagogical structure, the level that she described as "moral" and "transitional" (S&H p.115). She clearly expected us to uplift these qualities, or our perception of them, to the highest level concept of divine Spirit, far above the animalistic level.

We do this kind of uplifting routinely. The quality of sight, for example, means far more in the human domain as physical perception. Just look at a pair of railway tracks. Physical seeing conveys to us that the tracks become narrower and merge in the distance, but when we look at the same scene with the mind's eye that interprets the scene with the science of geometric perspective, we adjust our perception with the knowledge thus gained and keep in mind the true image of what we see. Isn't that also how we should approach sex?

Can we do that? Can we uplift the concept of sex? In the animal world sex is entirely an aspect of procreation, and in the human realm it still fulfills this function. But is procreation all there is to life. Is mankind a breeding machine? Evidently mankind exists on a much higher level even though procreation is a part of our life. Men and women value their sexual individuality and find a distinctiveness in it that enriches the human scene from the most intimate sphere all the way to the widest public sphere. We are proud to be men and women together in our individuality. The sexual division and subsequent isolation and privatization of people are all artificially imposed, often for various types of imperial purposes. It is inconceivable in divine Science that the manifest reflection of divine Spirit be subjected to division, isolation, and privatization. God and man exist as one in the Divine Order, even while the forever shifting New World Order of social and political machinations would would split mankind apart into a multiplicity of isolated camps, divided by national factors, ethnic factors, colour, sex, marriage, age, and wealth. The Divine Order of Spirit is not only denied, but torn apart down to the deepest level of sex where mankind where mankind is split in half into two isolated and opposing camps. It appears that a healing is needed at this deep level and is needed urgently before all the myriad political, economic, and imperial division in our world can be healed that now threaten the very existence of mankind with wars and weapons that have become too powerfully destructive to be tolerated any longer, that are now threatening life as a whole on this planet. So, it becomes a matter of survival in the long run that the spiritual quality of sex be uplifted out of the sewer and into the light of infinite Spirit.

Divine Science can enable this transition. Jesus represented Christ Science and became the Exemplar of it. He raised the 'dead' not only physically, but also from the moral level, giving mankind a higher identity of itself. He didn't condemn Mary Magdalene who had been sexually involved, but raised her up. It was evidently for good reasons the John the Revelator saw the new image of mankind as a "woman clothed with the sun." We are told in scriptures that Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus in the process of his ascension. We are not told in scriptures what the specific steps were that uplifted the sexual perception of Mary Magdalene to become the "woman clothed with the sun." However, we are told that Christ Jesus worked extensively with her as a person receptive to advanced ideas. We are told that he cast out her "seven devils," or scientifically speaking, seven 'false' perceptions that didn't measure up to the divine image of sex as the manifest of divine Spirit. In scriptural metaphor the numeral seven represents infinity. Consequently Mary Baker Eddy didn't define those steps specifically. Nevertheless she utilized the numeral seven extensively.

Mary Baker Eddy's usage of the numeral seven comes in three major ways. It is visually used in Christ and Christmas, throughout the book, in the form of a seven-pointed star. Likewise the stars on the crown of her cross and crown seal that she identified most of her works with, are seven-pointed stars. In a similar manner, the central jewel of the crown in the last painting in Christ and Christmas is surrounded by seven leaves (the leaves that are for the healing of the nations Revelation 22:2). 

Mary Baker Eddy's next major usage of the numeral seven is incorporated in her definition of God in the form or seven synonyms: Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; and Love (S&H p.587). Her usage of the numeral seven thus corresponds with the seven days of creation outlined in Genesis I. All in all the development she sees for mankind is 'wrapped' in boundless progression in the infinite unfolding of man as God made manifest in mankind in a relationship in which God alone is absolute. It is in the realm of individual self-discovery where this progression unfolds, including that of sex, which no one can outline in specific detail for another. We can only acknowledge scientifically that the details do not include division, isolation, and privatization since God the All-in-all is indivisible and universal. We also know that the details of the spiritual unfolding in the sphere of sex must reflect the seven synonyms of God that reflect the nature of the infinite. And the footsteps of course are bright with spiritual 'light' as we approach the 'sun' and find ourselves 'clothed' in its light.

Mary Baker Eddy appears to give us a hint of the kind of development she expects to see in the sexual sphere from the moral level to the infinite level of Spirit. In the second development column of her pedagogical structure, where her first visual reference to sex appears, the highest position in that column is associated with a verse of the poem in Christ and Christmas that ends with the line:

For Sharon's sore must bud and bloom
    In human hearts.*

And she added the following reference: *"God was manifest in the flesh." - St. Paul.

This reference may have referred to Christ Jesus who presented the highest concept of humanity to date. In the last development column of her pedagogical structure, where her second visual reference to sex appears, the highest position in that column is associated with a verse of the poem in Christ and Christmas that she attributes directly to Christ Jesus, which ends with the metaphor-rich line: "And I will give him the MORNING STAR."

If God is all-inclusive, and all is infinite good, then this is what we will find reflected in our humanity. What can be more richly profound than that?

Rolf Witzsche

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