Agape Research


 

What is Spirituality?
What is a Human Being?
by Rolf Witzsche

These questions have been asked many times throughout history. I is interesting to note, that whenever these questions were asked in earnest, civilization flourished, and when these questions were put aside, civilization collapsed. The grave problems that we are facing in ore modern world stand as silent testimonies that these question still remain to be answered. So, what is spirituality? What is a human being?

A faint clue may be derived by exploring what love is. For centuries poets have written about it; musician have sung about it; preachers have made sermons about it; and of course, every human being feels the substance of it in his or her heart. But can we define it with the kind of scientific precision with which we say that 2+2=4? No, we can't. The answer to what love is, and therefore, what spirituality is, appears to exist on a higher level.

The one thing that we can say with certainty about love, is that whenever we withdraw it, when we create philosophies that make it irrelevant, the human scene disintegrates. It is save to say in this respect, that love is an essential element of our humanity. There are other such elements, of course, but love is definitely one of them.

Another self-evident quality of our humanity is truthfulness, honor, integrity, and so forth. This quality too, is an element of our spirituality. Like love, those aspects of our humanity are hard to define in black and white term, but if one were to withdraw them human civilization would collapse. No human society exists anywhere on this planet, from the greatest nation to the smallest tribe, where those aspects are not fundamental to the functioning of society.

It is even being said that life itself is a spiritual quality. We have tried to explore life in terms of its existence in the form of electro-chemical reactions that govern biological processes, but the resulting understanding is crude, vastly incomplete, and is to a large measure governed by political philosophies as in the case of the Darwin's theories of evolution that was developed on the platform of Ortes' population (control) theories. Indeed, social Darwinism, and the parallel application by his cousin Galton of that theory for population management, known as the Eugenics theory, the theory that Adolf Hitler built his empire on, have proven to be highly destructive to society, because at the very root of this evil lies a deep lack of spiritual understanding. The very fact that spiritual healers have been able to combat diseases from ancient times to ours by non-medical means, and this often with astounding effects, proves that life is much more than a mere chemical-electric process of interacting nucleic acids.

Evidence suggest that intelligence has a far greater direct impact on the unfolding of life than random, accidental mutations. Intelligence, certainly can be regarded as one of the great spiritual qualities of our humanity that sets us apart from any other species in our immediate universe. It provides us with a profound self-awareness, understanding, cognition, and a capacity to discover, learn, apply knowledge, create art, culture, and a whole range of resources for living that do not exist nature, but which are a product of intelligently applied human labors and technologies. The concept of, Mind, may be the best term that one can find to describe this extraordinary spiritual quality of our humanity that intelligence is a part of, as well as intuition, inspiration, scientific understanding, and so forth.

Another spiritual quality of our humanity may be summarily termed, Soul. As human being all over the world, we share common hopes, joys, feelings of love, honor, and a universal intelligence and integrity. One might say that we share a common universal Soul that is reflected in our universal humanity. Apart from a few minute differences in individuality, there is very little that sets us apart from one another, regardless of where we may happen to live. Whatever categorical differences may appear, are all artificially created and are not reflections of the spiritual potential that we all do incorporate.

A profound example of this universal 'Soul' may be found in the Meno dialog by Plato, Socrates illustrates to a friend Menon, that intelligence is a common universal quality of humanity. He calls a slave boy away from a plantation and guides the boy, merely by asking a few questions, through the complex process of geometrically dividing a square in half (half in surface area) while maintaining the shape of the square. And the slave boy does it, without prior training, without scientific education of any sort, and without any special knowledge of geometry. Nor was this done in a haphazard fashion. When the end result was achieved, the boy could speak with absolute authority from understanding the principle involved that the resulting square was half in size. His answer was: "Certainly, Socrates."

This sets the stage for exploring one more spiritual quality of our humanity, that we find unfolding in our being, which we may call reliance on Principle. The entire animal world operates on a platform of instincts that have been shaped over long periods of experiences, but none can order their lives in coherence with recognized principles. Our human society all over the world has evolved as being principled in nature. The principles that guide our actions are not necessarily correctly perceived or applied. But the quality of our humanity is such that we tend to order our lives in coherence with perceived principles that reflect the principles of the universe that we have recognized to exist. Our lives have become intertwined with these principles and many freedoms have been derived from this process. Human freedom cannot be understood as unfolding apart from this process, a process that reflects a distinctly human spiritual quality.

Since all of these spiritual elements of our humanity are so impossible to 'quantify', except to note that civilization collapses without them, they have become over the ages associated with the term God. Unfortunately that association has proven to become enormously problematic for society as countless religions have been build around this concept which have been exploited and often entirely shaped for political purposes, as in the case of the many modern mass-cult religions which have become financial power structures with global political influence.

Nevertheless the term God appears to be a valid one as a unifying concept of all the spiritual aspects of our humanity. The concept of God can be understood in terms of our spiritual qualities, which themselves can only be understood in terms of their enriching effect on society and civilization. These qualities that are summarized under the term God are deemed to be spiritual in nature as no fundamental material cause can be found for them. The term, Spirit, may therefore also be applied as a summary descriptor for the spiritual nature of mankind. It has been said that there is a spirit in man. Indeed, this descriptor can be applied to all the great works of beauty that human culture has produced; beauty in art; beauty in music; beauty in literature; beauty in the human being itself; beauty in architecture, landscapes, great public works; beauty in self-recognition; the beauty in relationships, etc..

I have mentioned here only a few of those wonderful spiritual qualities without which civilization would not exist. But how many are there? Evidently this question was asked a long time ago by a little girl growing up to become a young woman, a farmer's daughter in the New England area of the USA, by the name of Mary Baker. In those days Plato was still 'alive' in North America, or rather the Platonic method of the scientific dialog for discovering truth. Mary was very much exposed to this still leading edge method of scientific enquiry. Her brother Albert was an accomplished scholar, who was very much admired by her, probably for that reason.

Since Mary ran into all kinds of problems as a young woman, including health problems, the question evidently popped up many times: What other spiritual qualities do we have as human beings? Since the Bible has always played a central role in the family in which she grew up, and it is a profound historical document of a highly spiritual society, she turned to it in search for answers. Evidently she came to ponder the Apostle John's book of Revelation, in which John describes in significant metaphor the end of all evil. Especially the final phase of it seems to have interested her. John describes a city foursquare descending from God out of heaven with a dimension that he describes as a measure of a 144.

She may have reasoned that John might have been thinking in terms of a twelve by twelve structure, after all 12x12=144, and the factor of twelve was significant in the history of the Hebrew people that the Bible describes, reflecting the twelve tribes of Israel.

Except, who can deal with such a huge structure in the search for spiritual qualities? Mary may have also realized at some point that John was actually talking about a four square structure which contains only sixteen elements. After all, he talked about a city foursquare, which is obviously a much more manageable thing.

Mary, evidently, may have also realized that this simple structure that John referred to, still accommodates John's measure of 144, since 9x16=144. This means that she could now deal with John's measure and divide it into sixteen piles of nine.

Such a concept, of course, presents one a significant scientific challenge in the search for spiritual qualities. It means that Mary had to find thirty-six of them, just to fill the top row. Also, these thirty-sic concepts had to be of the type without which civilization cannot exist, like love, and truth, and life; the kind of qualities that one can summarize under the term God.

Evidently Mary was successful in meeting that challenge, because she created all of her future works in a structural conformity with this basic foursquare structure that the Apostle John had introduced with his metaphor of the city foursquare.

In order to make it easier on herself she appears to have divided John's structure into two halves. Evidently, a lot of our spiritual qualities pertain to our 'inner' self as human beings, that define us who we are. But there are also a lot of spiritual qualities that we have, that pertain to our 'outer' self as members of a human society. If the sum total of ones existence of this planet hasn't in some way enriched and ennobled society as a whole, what would the reason have been for having lived at all? 

Obviously, the answer is imbedded in the nature of these spiritual qualities that we have. Nobody really knows where they come from. Random evolution is too primitive an answer. They simply appeared some thousands of years ago as if someone spoke the word and the thing was done.

Whatever her reasons were, Mary labeled this top row (appropriately): The Word of Life, Truth, and Love.

Unfortunately our world is also a world of many problems, such as diseases, poverty, war, depravities, and so forth. Mary also realized the Christ Jesus, and others before him, had been able to alleviate a lot of these problems with the fuller utilization of the spiritual qualities that we do have has human beings; qualities that one could recognize to be divine qualities. Thus she realized that one should be able to find a way to scientifically correlate our spiritual qualities with the vast array of problems that we do encounter in our world, in order to deal with those problems and to eventually solve them.

And as you might have guessed, she found a way to do that. According to metaphoric evidence she divided the three lower rows of John's city in half. The lower half, then, represents our human problems, and the upper half represents various elements of spiritual awareness that historically has, and logically should, counter those lower problems and solve them.

She appears to have created a confrontational structure in this manner, in which rays of hope and 'light' counter corresponding areas of darkness. This general concept, of course covers a huge area which still remains quite unmanageable, conceptionally.

Now something interesting happens in the way Mary appears to have solved that problem, from a logistical standpoint. If one looks at just a single column, and divides the three elements in half as shown below, and one does this in such a manner that one of the nine sub-elements is shared as a link between the upper and lower parts, each of those parts contains fourteen sub-elements. The significance of that is, that the spiritual account of creation in Genesis 1 deals with seven unfolding spiritual qualities. Perhaps it was in this context that Mary defined seven primary synonyms for the concept of God in her textbook, which she recognized to be the fundamental spiritual qualities of our humanity. These together add up to 14.

The bottom line is, that those confrontational structures of spiritual light versus darkness have now all been uniquely defined in terms of these two sets of seven spiritual qualities.

Unfortunately, we still have a problem with this. We have four of these sets of confrontational structures to deal with, as you can see below.

To solve that problem, Mary introduced another concept for ordering our perceptions of spiritual ideas. She looked at the human scene and recognized that our struggles in the world can be divided into four major categories. One of these is the area of our relationship to ourselves, our spiritual nature. The next is our relationship to one another as human beings. The third is our relationship to society in the context of healing the human ills and improving human conditions. And the fourth category is that of our relationship to society in terms of our continuous scientific advancement and increasing the human understanding of the divine nature of the human being. With these concepts in mind she uniquely defined four development streams, utilizing symbolically the names of the four rivers from Genesis 2, with which she describes the nature of these development streams. The names of these rivers are, in biblical sequence: Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates.

This is, apparently, the structure that she worked with, according to the metaphor she presented in her work Christ and Christmas in the painting Christmas Eve. This is also the basic structure that she has extensively outlined and documented, and build all of her major works on. And there were many of those works created that structurally relate this fundamental foursquare structure; eleven in total.

It is not known today at which point in her development the above recognitions were made, or that they were made in the manner described. It is only known through extensive metaphor that they were made and that she bids humanity to replicate them. It is also known that her deep reaching research into the spiritual nature of man has had corresponding effects in her life which were absolutely profound and opened the door to a whole new world of scientific development. One such effect restored her health almost instantly from a near death situation. 

This 'awakening' occurred rather dramatically. In the winter of 1866 she fell on an icy street and suffered a severe injury, which the physicians had deemed to be ultimately fatal. Her condition was so severe and apparently hopeless, that the local minister came by her place before his church service one morning to prepare her for the worst, as she might not be alive in the afternoon, after his service, to receive him. It was in the short time frame in between his two visits, when it happened that everything she had learned about the spiritual qualities of man seemed to be drawn into focus, perhaps in the same manner as Christ Jesus had done this during his healing activities. In those moments of deep reaching contemplation of discovered truths, however short these moments may have been--as if a light had dawned--she found herself suddenly well. She was able to get out of bed; stand; walk; and when the minister returned that afternoon to 'bury' her, she opened the door for him and bid him welcome.

What came out of this event was so dramatic that it enabled her to go out and help the medical physicians heal their difficult or hopeless patients. She even opened a college for primitive Christian healing on a spiritual and scientific basis, in which she taught thousands of students to heal others in the same manner. She also wrote a textbook about her newly discovered science, which book she named, Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures. And as you might have guessed, this book has sixteen chapters. In fact, everything that she has created is made up of sixteen parts or multiples thereof. As I said, there are eleven such structures altogether.

Naturally, she had hoped that the Christian churches would welcome her discovery of scientific Christian healing. But this was not to be. Strong opposition developed everywhere. Structures of power and prestige would have been threatened by this new way of thinking about the spiritual nature of man. Eventually, she created her own church. And to get away from ownership claims and power structures, she reorganized her church in 1905 on a platform that is completely built on constitutional law, and that law too, has been created as a structure of sixteen elements. 

As of this date her church is the only institution on the planet that I know of, that is completely built on constitutional law which reflects the fundamental principles of human civilization.

As for the present period, the functioning of her church is in decline, because the foundation on which it stands, John's four square 'city' that became her 'city', remains unrecognized, and therefore not understood and acknowledged. The few pioneers who have dared to look at her 'city' have all been excommunicated as the unfolding thought violated the religious opinions that were held by society and the people within her church. This, unfortunately, is still the general state today. As a result, a virtual Roman style Pantheon of new Christian Science philosophies have emerged, within and without the church organization, representing various opinions of what Mary baker Eddy was all about. In comparison to the sheer majesty of her work which she has left for humanity to consider, and the depth and the scope of it that is largely still denied to even exist, the new philosophies that claim to represent her can be compared essentially to beggars proudly leading the blind.

Mary Baker Eddy's work, as she later called herself, is of course complete, unsurpassed, and forever available to whoever is willing to look and see. John's measure of his 144 element city is neatly documented in great detail in the Glossary of her textbook. In fact two of the major structures of her 'city' are designated to be the platforms for the formal teaching in her church. This hasn't happened yet, though nearly a hundred years have passed since that law was put on the books. Some day, most certainly, it will happen. Nor is society hampered by this. Everything that she created exists right in the open for all people to have access to. One merely needs to open ones eyes. And why shouldn't one? The human being remains for all times a spiritual being. The principles that Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy understood and utilized for healing, will always remain the same, and will always be the foundation for civilization. In a very real way, the future of our life, of our world, our civilization, and the state of our humanity, rests in our hands. This future can be as bright as the sun; and why shouldn't it be? We have the resources for it at our feet, imbedded in the spiritual nature of our humanity.

 

Rolf Witzsche



The end