Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yielding to the Irresistible, Wading in Again

When I was younger (humanly) I used to avoid the trial in Science and Health (P. 430 ff.). Like Joe Friday on the old "Dragnet" I just wanted the facts, if I wanted anything, truths laid out like a string of bread crumbs which I could at least make a pretense of following. The trial required thought, and why didn't Mrs. Eddy just tell me in plain English what she wanted me to know? It is obvious now that she treated the subject in the way which would best educate the reader if he was of a mind to be educated and had the humility and patience to ponder the proceedings.

The trial takes up over 12 pages of S&H [the italics button is not working again], and it is certain Mrs. Eddy didn't spend even one sentence on something superfluous. No one will regret exchanging his low-cut shoes or sneakers for some serious high-top boots and wading into the trial, the further the better. In the previous entry I wondered about ruminating after feeling ill, but of course the moment we feel ill is the moment we can choose one of two courses. We can as, Mrs Eddy says, promptly and persistently oppose the suggestion of illness with Christian Science or we can ruminate and let the trial begin. Mortal Man may be the defendant, but the allegory quickly goes from "a man" to "the patient" to "the prisoner", which is his designation until the final page. Mrs. Eddy may have used Mortal Man as the title of the defendant in order to emphasize the need to depersonalize the claims of Personal Sense.

It is also a point of note that the prisoner became ill in the act of doing good. This seems to resonate with the test of all prayer in S&H (13: 5-16) and that equally compelling statement in Miscellaneous Writings (342: 5-9). Viewed in the light of these passages the trial adumbrates a sobering obligation for all Christian Scientists, but one which should be joyfully undertaken.

If we are sincere Christian Scientists, the Court of Spirit may be in session frequently, perhaps daily and hourly if we are confronting faithfully and courageously the legions of errors that beset all mortals. It is imperative that Christian Science be our counsel in these trials. If so, we can confidently expect a verdict of "not guilty". "So we beat on, boats against the current. . . ." (The Great Gatsby) The trial in S&H has much to offer and unfolds endlessly to our attempts to embrace it, even if it seems initially as unembraceable as, well, say "Fatty" Arbuckle's no doubt ample equator.

Perhaps the reason at least one reader didn't get the Zorro title is that it's dopey. Well meant, but dopey. A good candidate for the cash for clunkers program, along with some others, if that offer hadn't expired. However, I hope I am not alone in remembering this early tv program. Part of the introduction was Zorro's rapier swish, swish, swishing the three strokes of the letter Z. In the far more clean and morally unambiguous days of early television it and other similar programs nearly always presented a weekly catharsis of good over evil and right over wrong. I was hearkening back clumsily to that in the Zorro title, but this apologia doesn't make it any, ahem, zippier, I know. Ad astra per aspera.


A California regular said...

You are something else! Another zinger, may I say. I agree with you about the Trial in S&H. Not my favorite for years, but have learned to appreciate just how much healing there is in it.

A pal from Ohio said...

Well, I didn't have to wait long for another excellent blog post from you. Very well done. There's too much in just one reading, but wanted to get my thanks to you.

With my appreciation said...

Really enjoyed reading this, as I always do with yours. (Or nearly always.)
You've started off a new month with a very well written little essay.

W. T. said...

I'm off -- not to the ramparts -- but to my trusty dictionary. Goodness but you are one learned individual. And I am learning new words from reading your fine website.
A good one!

Anonymous said...

You mention the Trial. Do you know the part I like best? Where our Leader talks about the person healed with upright posture and a beaming countenance. Christ, Truth can certainly bring this about, I have found.
Thanks and love to you,

Best from Florida said...

I'll swear, you are one talented writer. (If I were into swearing, that is.)
A treat for me seeing something well crafted, intelligent.
Thanks a lot.

Best from me said...

Glad you explained the title of you previous blog post. I, too, was not quite clear on what you meant. But all told, you are one experienced and very clear thinker/writer.

Nameless (for now) said...

Dear Blogger,
I'm impressed with the way you keep turning out high-level blog posts. And admire your obvious devotion to Christian Science, and helping others understand it better.

NYC said...

Thanks for another excellent offering. Got a lot from this one, and I appreciate all you are giving out.

Hartford, CT said...

Note to you Blogger: stopped by this morning to see your latest and "Broken Net" didn't come up. I had to go to Google UK.
On your latest, very well put, helpful. You have a very lively thing going here.

L. R. said...

You brought up the Trial in our textbook, and I agree with what someone else has commented on, that it isn't a favorite part to read. But I am coming to appreciate more the truths in it. So grateful for what our Leader has provided for us.
And grateful for your postings.

Love from the Boston area said...

Love the way you think. And express yourself. You are right about the need for humility and desire for Truth in order to gain the benefits from "Science and Health". It does take work, but the rewards are sure.
What would we do without Christian Science to turn to?

Thanks, London said...

You do come up with the most catchy titles. And love the way you begin this blog post...when you were younger (humanly).
Fresh, original CS thinking and writing.

Toronto CS said...

I find your blogging so worthwhile. It causes me to think more deeply about CS and for this, I thank you much.
Keep sharing your talent with us!

P. B. said...

Love your blog, mister or miss or mrs. Wouldn't miss the fresh writing and most interesting topics you come up with.
(Oh, I like All Plus as a search engine, for what it's worth.)

Dallas, TX said...

Hi there,
Hope you have a good day. I think you have an attractive humility about you--despite being obviously quite intellectual. Glad you were inspired to start blogging on CS. You have helped me a lot!

Thanks from Wisconsin said...

Glad you are encouraging your readers to get into the Trial in S&H. Well worth the effort. And do you know what I like best? Where it says Christ is the friend of mortal man and can deliver him.
I have found this to be so in my own life.

Cambridge said...

Good blog posting, blogger. Can't help thinking that Mrs. Eddy would certainly be pleased with all you are doing to encourage a more thoughtful delving into her masterpiece.
I look forward to more from your lively pen.

CS Practitioner (NH) said...

Interesting website you have. Know why an acquaintance recommended it to me. Yes, it does take persistent staying ahead of mortal mind, in my case. And I imagine in most other people's as well. But we have the tools to do the job.
Enjoy what you post.

Regular reader (VA) said...

Thanks, blogger. You are right: our Leader certainly did not spend a moment on anything superfluous. She didn't have time! And I've always been taken with what she says in the front of her book that what she has given is the blunt Truth. If it takes real work for us to get the blessings from her writings, then so be it. It's worth it to me, having seen so many benefits in my life.
Appreciate you!

Best wishes, Germany said...

I really enjoy your blog, and it so often has me going away pondering some of the points you so ably bring out in your essays.
I feel you are doing a great service for our Cause.