What is a
by Rolf Witzsche
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
her reasons were, Mary labeled this top row (appropriately): The Word of Life,
Truth, and Love.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
we still have a problem with this. We have four of these sets of
confrontational structures to deal with, as you can see below.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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
beggars proudly leading the blind.
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
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.