Christian Science and the One True Way

I was raised as a Christian Scientist and love the spiritual truths and metaphysical ideas that I have learned through studying and practicing its teachings.
Recently I was talking with a friend (also a Christian Scientist) about some spiritual concepts and he referred to me as being relativistic. This was not intended to be a compliment, on the contrary it was intended to suggest that there was something not quite right in my spiritual approach. I should be more absolute in my religious loyalty and beliefs. According to my friend I am apparently too accepting of diverse perspectives and alternative paths.
For some reason this comment has bothered me and I have considered it a lot over the past few months. While I am absolute in my spiritual beliefs I probably am rather relative when it comes to religion.
I think it is interesting how quickly religions claim that their leader or founder is the “one true voice of God” and has the one true explanation, or that their religion is the one true path. As if infinite Mind is “talking” to one person rather than another; one person is more “chosen” than another, one religious or cultural group is God’s chosen people.
Now I think it is clear that some people are more receptive or tuned in to “Truth”, but there is no chosen person to the exclusion of any other. In fact the suggestion by any religion that theirs is the one chosen path is, I believe, an extremely limiting and rather egotistical and flawed idea. Jesus said that the way is narrow that leads to eternal life but he certainly did not say that only one religion had the answer. When Jesus said that “no man cometh to the father but by me”, he was not referring to a religion, he was referring to the Christ Truth which was so completely expressed in him, but is also within all of us, irrespective of the religion, philosophy or belief system we follow.

The way to more fully understand who we really are can be found in many spiritual paths when we go past the dogma, the ritual, the words and the traditions and are free to find the underlying spiritual truth of the Christ that is within each one of us.

Now, there may well be one path that appeals to you or to me, for whatever reason. It may be that you were born into it, or found it at a time of great need. It may be that you were inspired to study a particular teaching, and fortunately for all mankind, we are eventually led through trial and tribulation, blessing and glory to the realisation of our true inseparability from God; our oneness with divine Love. However, someone else’s discovery or path can only take you so far, eventually you have to make your own path, you have to make your own connections, realise your own truth. Spiritual revelation is not an intellectual exercise and does not come from reading books or quoting from the writings of others; it is a humble surrender and receptivity to the omnipresence and omniscience of God. It is in every one of us when we listen.
Thankfully there are those who can see further than we can and who often sacrifice themselves to take us a few steps further on our journey. Too often, through ignorance and fear we reject and attack those who would help and guide us on our way. We should do our best to cling to the hem of their garments as they gently lead us to make our own discoveries.
No, spiritual enlightenment has nothing to do with a particular religion, or “one true path”! Eventually we must outgrow religion to realise our true spiritual nature.

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Practice, Practice, Practice

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“If there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things”.
​​The Bible

Watching the amazing performances of the students in a Junior School Swimming competition, this week, made me think about the effect of swimming practice and practice in general. Seeing the number of records set, the overall standard of swimming and the feeling of elation and success the students felt as they came up to be congratulated, reminded me of the importance of the statement of St Paul’s above.
Why does he ask us to think on “these things”? Why look for virtue and praise?
The answer is simple and I am sure you all know it. Practice makes perfect! The trouble is that this adage applies whatever we are practicing. If we practice the wrong stroke in swimming for long enough, that stroke becomes “ingrained” and our way of swimming. It may take a professional coach many months to get rid of a bad habit in one’s swimming style. It is so important to practice the right way of doing something from the beginning.
What are we practicing?
If we practice complaining, we will become world class at complaining.
If we practice self-justification, we become an expert at it.
If we practice worrying, we become outstanding at worrying about everything.
If we practice mediocrity, that becomes the one thing we are really good at – being mediocre!

On the other hand, if we practice being spectacular, being kind, being compassionate, being enthusiastic and excellent then that is what we become; enthusiastic, kind and compassionate – yes, spectacular people.
Whatever you consistently practice, think about, focus on and talk about becomes who you are; becomes your way of being.
That’s why, “If there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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The Secret Revisited; Getting, Having and Giving

The Secret – Getting

I am sure that, like me, many of you loved the book and movie called “The Secret”. The very idea of attracting into our experience what we are focussing our attention on; or deciding what we want and then visualising it coming into being, is quite romantic and empowering. It also makes us responsible for what we experience and reminds us that to change our lives, we must change our thinking. Being happy, energised and joyful while imagining what it is we desire, will bring these things about. There is, however, a great danger in all that. Firstly, we start to think happiness is all about getting stuff, jobs or even people into our lives, and secondly we run the risk of focussing on “want” or “lack”.

The Metaphysical Viewpoint – Having

From a metaphysical perspective we must understand that as soon as we desire something “out there” we are declaring that we lack! As the reflection of God, infinite Abundance, infinite Good and infinite Wisdom, all these things and more are already a part of who we are. What we must do is express the abundance, the good and the wisdom that is already within us. That way we will find that we have more of all these things, in fact more than we could ever visualise or imagine. Our purpose is to be a conduit for God. “Son [daughter], thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”

Simply Shine – Giving

Ultimately we should never seek to get. The responsibility that goes with realising that we have an unlimited abundance of everything,  is that we must give, we must shine, we must share. We can never expect anything because as soon as we expect something in return, we are thinking that we could lack, that we need something and our giving becomes conditional which indicates that we believe that our supply is limited.
Our need is already met. Giving love in order to receive it is contrary to divine Principle. We give love because that’s what the expression of Love does. The sun shines without expecting anything back. Love is loving without condition.
Progressing towards the complete understanding of this is a work of lifetimes, but what a joyous and fulfilling journey it is.

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Divine Love Meets Your Need

imageOn the church wall behind the Readers in many Christian Science churches one reads the quote from Mary Baker Eddy, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet, every human need”. I have grown up with this statement and frequently used it in prayer. Recently, while doing some study, I read a comment on this statement by the early Christian Science practitioner and author, Joel Goldsmith, which was a real “ah ha!” moment for me. He said,

“…there is a misconception that there is a divine Love somewhere out there that is going to meet your need.”

I realised that Divine Love is not some power apart from me that is going to do something to meet my need because I declare it to be so or hold that statement in my thought. Divine Love is infinite and is an ever-active part of each one of us. I am (we are) the way divine Love is expressed and experienced in the world. Being loving and unselfishly kind, truthful, and caring is the way in which the expression of God demonstrates divine Love. In so doing, one’s needs are met.

However, we can’t just make declarations and not DO something. We need to think deeply about ourselves, uncover the unloving, unkind aspects that may be in our thinking; the criticisms, jealousy, negativity and competitiveness, in order to be able to realise more fully the complete loving expression that we truly are. The laziness of simply “declaring the truth” while not for an instant looking at ourselves (uncovering our hidden thinking) leads to superficial recitation of words without deeds. No apparent change will be seen and no needs will be met while we think some “superpower” is going to “do” something to us or for us. God is not waiting for us so that He/She/It can then meet our need. God’s work is done. That’s why divine Love always has met and always will meet our every need.

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How to Succeed Without Really Trying

Watching a dress rehearsal of the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” made me think about the ideas of success, ambition and achievement. The idea of “not really trying” also presented some interesting thoughts.
Many of us are raised in a society where success and “trying hard” are very highly valued. In fact it is usually suggested that trying hard is the pathway to success. Now, far be it from me to tell people, children, students to take it easy, watch television and sleep and you will be successful, however, when we consider these ideas from a spiritual, metaphysical perspective, it is quite surprising what becomes apparent.
Mind is all and in all. Mind is not something for which we must strive. It is not something outside of ourselves. It can’t be, because Mind is all. Therefore we already have all that we supposedly seek or strive for. The success we seek already exists in its fullness within every one of us.
“Consider the lilies, they toil not … yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God (the awareness of the God consciousness within), and all these things will be added unto you.”
When we come to understand the consciousness that every one of us has, we will stop seeking for more of the things that we have been told will make us satisfied and will seek a deeper understanding of our oneness with the divine, our complete expression of the Christ consciousness that is within every one of us. There is not God and man. Man is God manifested!
When we come to realise that our consciousness is the activity or manifestation of Mind then we will strive no more, we will seek no more and the universe will astound us with its blessings and generosity.

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Shifting To a Higher Spiritual Awareness

The recent events that have taken place over the Ukraine have resulted in much sadness, indignation and recrimination. We all have a sense of the wrongness of the event and it is natural to want to blame someone, even to blame all the wrongs of the world on this unthinking and horrific type of action.
What is a higher way of thinking about this seeming dreadful occurrence? Firstly, an understanding of the eternality of life in God helps us to realise that in reality there is no death. This helps as we deal with the grief of loss and separation. Secondly we must focus on what we do want, not what we don’t want. We must keep our attention on the higher view of things in order to bring them about. Love is always more powerful than hate and will help in bringing healing to the world.
The world is in a state of transition. I believe that we are shifting to a higher awareness of the true spiritual nature of things. Progress is the law of God.
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