Original Good

I listened to a great audio chat on spirituality.com Tuesday  (“What is True Manhood?” by David Stevens, CSB) that referred to the Adam and Eve story as the story of original good.

I love this idea because it shows the inherent goodness of man and woman.  Man and woman were created good, in God’s own image and likeness.  To me, the story of Adam and Eve describes the nature of the serpent – that which tries to entice our thought into believing we aren’t the spiritual, beloved children of God.  It might say that God isn’t our creator, so therefore God isn’t going to take care of us.

What a lie is this.  The entire burden of thinking we have to care for ourselves can be lifted off when we realize that God is our divine, loving parent, our Father-Mother.  It is God’s job to supply us with all that we need – to eat, to be clothed, to express our purpose, and even the proper functioning of our bodies.  And God does do this.

Mary Baker Eddy, a Christian healer and teacher (1821-1910), wrote, “Is civilization only a higher form of idolatry, that man should bow down to a flesh-brush, to flannels, to baths, diet, exercise, and air?”[i]

Jesus said, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”[ii]

This points us to God, the source of all goodness.  We are each the beloved child of God.  And abundant goodness, harmony, happiness, purpose and health are the rights of our being and existence.  And there isn’t a being or existence that doesn’t include these attributes, since God is the one and only creator.

All the good that God includes, we include, too, as His reflection.  We have this spiritually, within our relationship, our oneness to God.  When we try to obtain these things materially, we discover they aren’t lasting and are fleeting.

Keeping our eye on God, we cannot be enticed by the serpent (or suggestions in our consciousness).  We find original good and only good to be all there is and all that we can experience.

[i] Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 174

[ii] Holy Bible, King James Version, Matthew 6:31

Women’s rights

I listened to a wonderful online live audio chat called  “Spirituality and Women’s Rights” with Christian Science practitioner and teacher Ethel Baker, CSB as the guest speaker.  I love this topic because we can learn about how women’s rights have their derivative in our and everyone’s inherent spiritual rights.  The true idea of woman is entirely spiritual, created by God and is flawless and perfect.  The true idea of manhood is the same way.

A woman called me recently with some health issues that she had learned
about at the gynecologist.  We prayed to see the truth about women –
all women.  Together we read and prayed with the definition of man (as
in mankind) found in the Christian Science textbook
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. This definition starts with asking, “What is man?” referring to generic man.  To help us discern the true nature and identity of woman, we replaced the word man with woman in our reading so the question became “What is woman?”.  The answer states “[Woman] is not matter; [s]he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements.  The Scriptures inform us that [wo]man is made in the image and likeness of God” (Pg. 475).  We prayed to see that her true identity, her womanhood, came from God and was entirely spiritual, indestructible and flawless.  She is the image and likeness of God – whole, complete and perfect – as the book of Genesis explains to us (Gen, 1:26-27).  God sees her only as perfect.  We also took this a step further and thought about God as Mother and brought in more of the feminine nature of God to our prayers, which is attributed in love, compassion, purity and strength.  In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy identities God as Father and Mother which emphasizes a complete balance of the masculine and feminine qualities.

After praying with these ideas for a couple weeks, the call came
from the gynecologist saying that all was clear and normal.  We were
both very grateful for learning more about the true sense of woman — flawless and perfect – and God’s feminine nature as the source of womanhood and the true Mother and Creator.

In the world today, there might be some resistance or fear in thinking about woman as equal to men, just as some may find it problematic to
thinking of God as “Mother”.  And in this online chat it pointed out
there may be a fear of one then becoming greater and the other becoming lesser.  We can really fight and combat this fear of duality in our prayers in seeing and knowing that there is no duality in God’s
nature. God’s being is in total balance and harmony with itself and
included in God is manhood and womanhood. So we can see and recognize
right now that the harmony, balance, and equality of manhood and womanhood doesn’t include any destructive element.

In Genesis it states that God made them “male and female”.  In Christian Science we learn that this doesn’t refer to the male and female material reproductive systems, but that each of us is a whole complete idea embodying both manhood and womanhood.  We do this by express and possessing an equal balance of “masculine and feminine qualities” (Ibid pg. 57).  Strength, intelligence, wisdom, compassion, tenderness, gentleness belong to each of us because we are each the whole, complete idea of God – the embodiment of both masculine and feminine qualities.  This totally frees us from gender limitations and gender related disease.  And it helps to know that our happiness never comes from another person, but we are whole, complete and happy ideas now.

The interviewee also shared an idea in which she helped someone else to see a healing.  It was “your manhood protects your womanhood”.  I love this idea, and it immediately helped her patient to be healed of the menstrual cramps with which they were dealing.  None of these ideas – manhood or womanhood – could ever be exposed.  Our manhood or masculinity is protecting our femininity.  And our femininity is nurturing or “tenderizing” our masculinity.  Therefore you can’t have strength and power ever get out of control; neither can you have feeling or compassion ever be deprived of wisdom, intellect and good judgment.  We can begin to see how praying and thinking from this standpoint can erase gender related problems such as emotionalism often attributed to women, and power-control often associated to men.

I love thinking and praying about these ideas and I know, just as in the two examples stated above, that they have transforming affects, and
these spiritual ideas begin to appear in our human experience.