Friday, September 11, 2009

The Boarding House Reach Goes For Seconds

I should probably leave well enough alone, but at least a couple of the comments to the second entry before this one compel a respose. We all should strive for and expect to attain a level of understanding and demonstration in which the Bible and writings of Mary Baker Eddy are all of the letter we need. If one has today the metaphysical chops to stick entirely to these works, by all means play on, play on, but to claim a higher position where ones reach has exceeded his grasp could inhibit growth rather than enhance it. That is why most of us, whether we admit it or not, still need to look for "All good, where'er it may be found" (hymn 224). To wrap oneself defiantly in the textbooks, like protean Balzac wrapped majestically in his cloak in Rodin's powerful sculpture, could well be to tempt disappointment and unnecessary trials.

To be stubbornly determined to blaze ones own trail out of the deep snows of false belief, mortal mind, when one could possibly make far more rapid progress following in the capacious steps of a King Wenceslas might be for many what Martha Stewart called "a good thing". One obviously can't expect to rely on others forever, but to deny oneself the helpful inspiration, guidance, and wisdom of those who have gone triumphantly before could result in unnecessary lingering in the Slough of Despond and on Hill Difficulty.

Someone may say: "I barely have time to read the lesson or the textbooks. I certainly don't have time to read anything else." Well, we usually find plenty of time to extricate ourselves from an assortment of pits, snares, and briar patches and the Gordian knots we tie ourselves into, so why not proactively take that time to get to know God better by any path He has provided? In the end we might even save time by a more efficient use of the truths we have learned in Christian Science. If we are humble and trustful, God will show us where we need to go, and it may well be the books and only the books, but at early and intermediate stages of our progress, we shouldn't shun or deny ourselves the wisdom and inspiration of the intrepid pioneers. They certainly didn't write for the dusty edification of the bookshelves in Reading Rooms.

My comments on Louise Knight Wheatley/Cook/Hovnanian were not intended to be flip, but obviously trod ungraciously on the toes of some. Were she unworthy, she would not have been chosen out of the thousands of writers who have written for the periodicals over the years. The comment that she may have been a professional writer of novels could shed light on my earlier remarks in another way--as a writer she was almost too facile. For some, at least, not all her articles justified the lavish attention she gave to the subjects. The overriding point is still that one should explore these and the many other early writers and make the invigorating acquaintance of some wise and uplifting practitioners of the art of Christian Science.

But enough, enough! If, however, as a result of that blog entry, just one person seeks out and finds one of these writers to be a blessing to him my time will not have been wasted nor, I hope, will your fleeting impatience with much too much on this subject go unreimbursed.


Anonymous said...

You are so original. Goodness me, you've done it again, given us a very well written little essay.
I agree as I get a lot from early powerhouses.
Right on, blogger.

Serious CS said...

Would you believe I would stop by your blog right now? I was the one who commented about a writer I very much admire -- the author of "Teach Me To Love" and I appreciate what you said in this blog post.
Thanks for all the good you are doing.

Not far from Boston said...

Just love the titles you come up with! They always draw me right in. And of course, the rest of what you've said is excellent as well.
So glad you are using your talent in this direction. You are needed, blogger.

L. R. said...

As for myself, I would have missed out on a lot of spiritual enrichment had a friend not put me on to the Bookmark. So many articles from there have blessed me immensely.
Thanks for your blog.

Unindentified, like you said...

You not only think deeply, and can defend your position on whatever. (I still think you're an attorney somewhere.) But you have such facility in expressing your thoughts.
Enjoy your website!

Thanks, Ohio said...

I always read your posts 2 or 3 times through to get the full effect of your writing. You're so fresh, so unusual for someone writing on CS that I need to pay close attention.
Really like your blog, blogger.

Anonymous said...

As I said before, your humility comes through in what you post, especially this one. And a sense of wanting to be just where Mrs. Hovnanian is concerned. I find this admirable.
Thanks for giving us consistently high-level essays.

Hartford, CT said...

Another fine entry on your website. You are so talented!

Best Wishes said...

Thank you for all you are doing to encourage deeper understanding of divine Science. Like your last paragraph especially. Such good will there.

Impressed said...

As a fairly new reader of your blog, have been going back through some of the previous postings. You have such an original approach to CS, and I can see why your website is so well read.
Keep up the good blogging.

None, for now said...

I can see where you're coming from a la your personal take on lesser metaphysicians (and I mean no disparagement here; I've been helped greatly by early writers) but I do feel the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy give me more than enough to tackle. After all, the writers you recommended in your previous blog post all got their inspiration from the higher source, namely the revealed Word of God in the Scriptures and the teachings of Christian Science.
But as you say, enough of this.
Like the way you think and write.

Richmond, VA said...

Let me weigh in on this discussion: I like what you say about the early articles not being done to just gather dust. And it is my view that if our Leader established the periodicals, it was an inspired step. And speaking personally, I don't think I have outgrown the need for them. (Not watered down things, needless to add.)
So, I agree with you it seems.

London (UK) said...

Love your writing. So very vivid, fresh--not the same old stuff we've read for decades.
Do keep giving us such fine essays.

Dorothy said...

Bless your sincere heart, blogger. Appreciate all you are doing to make the treasures of CS more available to your readers.
Love to you,

NYC said...

A delightful website. Always enjoy seeing the way you express your thoughts. Intend to be a regular visitor, dear sir or madam.

Anonymous said...

I think a person could almost learn to write better by reading your blog regularly, and studying the way you put sentences together.
A pleasure reading something so well-written.

Anonymous said...

I so agree with you. Can I add a few references that would support your view, from the textbook?
"The author has not compromised conscience to suit the general drift of thought, but has bluntly and honestly given the text of Truth. She has made no effort to embellish, elaborate, or treat in full detail so infinite a theme" (Preface, p. x). If she has not embellished or elaborated or treated in full detail this infinite theme, then who will, except those who follow in her meritorious footsteps?
Also, "A book introduces new thoughts, but it cannot make them speedily understood. It is the task of the sturdy pioneer to hew the tall oak and to cut the rough granite. Future ages must declare what the pioneer has accomplished" (Ibid., p. vii). Is it not the writings of the faithful followers of our Leader who have presented enlightened views on what the pioneer has accomplished?
Since we have all "eternity" (see p. 3:12) to understand God, should not there be intelligent and spiritually articulated contributions from loyal followers to help point out the way?
Appreciate your clarity of thought,
Presently..., Anonymous