Friday, February 26, 2010

". . . never jam to-day."

If you were to lament that the ship bringing in your healing or relief from some problem too often gets lost at sea, you wouldn't be the first. "The rule is, jam to-morrow, and jam yesterday--but never jam to-day." (Lewis Carroll, "Alice Through The Looking-Glass") We all have the same lessons to learn, but some of us seem to have a perverse and bullheaded affinity for more than a few of the attractions in the smorgasbord of mortal mind. It doesn't take much vinegar of wrong thinking or acting to sour the milk of Truth in one's thought.

"Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2: 10) I described in an entry long ago how some monkeys are captured. A hole just large enough to admit the monkey's paw is cut into an empty gourd. A delicacy is placed in the gourd, which is then tethered. The monkey reaches in to get the desirable munchies, but finds his full fist will not pass back through the small opening. The monkey will thus allow itself to be captured rather than let go of its prize and free its paw. One may be inclined to think "How dumb can a creature get?", until he takes an honest gander at some of the infelicities he clings to and cherishes "In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart" (Yeats), in the unkempt gourd of his material indulgences. At least some of us can be grateful that it is never too late to finish our job of putting error out of one, thus assuring that our ship unfailingly comes in.

Note: The quote "If you have tears . . . ." is from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". Anthony is speaking, mordantly, at the funeral of Caesar. It might also be relevant that he says later in his speech:
They that have done this deed are honourable.
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it. They are wise and honourable,
And will no doubt with reasons answer you.

In fact the entire play has a measure of relevance to the Church matter, where, though, it appears to have been a mental assassination, not, obviously, one with knives or daggers. There is also portrayed in the play envy, conspiracy, and a touch of that old chestnut "Who shall be greatest?"

It was not my intent in that entry to drum up support, monetary or otherwise, for the group featured in the "Banner" (Novus Ordo Seclorum), but neither would I airily pooh-pooh their effort. The subject is, I believe, a real and serious one, but legal sapping of the disputed fortifications has been attempted before--unsuccessfully. I wouldn't go so far as to say they have embarked on a fool's errand, but there is an element of the quixotic about it at this late date. God can accomplish through our prayers what the uncertainties and limitations of the legal system, vis-a-vis religious and metaphysical matters, cannot.

26 comments:

L. R. said...

Most interesting blog post. Enjoyed reading this thoroughly, and thanks for explaining the Shakespeare reference on that previous posting.

Around Boston said...

You know, I quite agree with you about supporting that lawsuit. To me, nothing less than fervent prayer to our all-powerful Father will bring the changes needed.
Thanks!

E. W. said...

Another fine offering, Christian. Thanks for thinking and writing so clearly. A blessing for us.

West Coast CS said...

You are definitely using your talents in a great cause--Christian Science and I appreciate it a lot.

Hartford, CT said...

Not only are you a well-read blogger, but a devoted follower of Christian Science.
Keep up the good work...

London (UK) said...

Fresh,creative, a pleasure to read.

Kathy said...

Have just begun reading your website and I was wondering, why don't you put your name on what you write?

Anonymous said...

Fascinating connection you've made between Shakespeare's play and the Church. And as one who once worked at the Church Center, "Who shall be greatest?" is one of the most anti-Christ elements one finds. Helps explain a lot of peope not willing to stand up for what our Leader has given us. Too busy feathering their own nest.

Journal-listed practitioner said...

No, it's never too late to overcome mortal mind with all its false mental presentations that would make us think God is not All in all. But He is, and we can be eternally grateful that the Bible and the writings of CS make this clear and provable.

Thanks much said...

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning:"

(Lam. 3:22, 23)

Stephen said...

To me, perhaps not one of your best, buy can't say I didn't learn something.

California CS said...

Thanks for another thought-provoking blog post. And I agree with what you say about the lawsuit, that it is better to pray about this. Right on!

St. Louis regular said...

Along the lines of the Bible quotation posted earlier by one of your viewers, let me give this one. It's from something Mary Baker Eddy wrote in "Christian Healing", page l9: "Tireless Being, patient of man's procrastination, affords him fresh opportunities every hour; but if Science makes a more spiritual demand, bidding man go up higher, he is impatient perhaps, or doubts the feasibility of the demand. But let us work more earnestly in His vineyard, and acording to the model on the mount, bearing the cross meekly along the rugged way,into the wilderness, up the steep ascent,on to heaven, making our words golden rays in the sunlight of our deeds; and 'these signs shall follow them that believe...they shall lay hands on the sick,and they shall recover.'" I think this is perfectly beautiful!

Sincere wishes, Zurich said...

Dear Sir:
(I presume you are a man from the way you present your thoughts. You write very well, and it's always a joy to read your essays.

H. B. said...

Want you to know, blogger, how much help I'vereceived from your website over the months. I've had an education I feel.

Somewhere in the West said...

Very well written, dear English professor. And I feel sure this describes your occupation. When will you favor us with another one of your poems?

Longtime follower said...

Dear Christian,
I congratulate you on having such a well-done, successful website.
Keep up the fine work.

Cambridge said...

You are certainly a fine example of man as the reflection of divine intelligence. What you do others can apply themselves to CS and do as well. This website provides incentive in that direction, in my opinion, and I appreciate your sharing fruits of your study.

Anonymous said...

你可以從外表的美來評論一朵花或一隻蝴蝶,但你不能這樣來評論一個人........................................

Washington, DC said...

I have really enjoyed your blog, recently, it has really sifted the chaff from the wheat for me in many ways, but in order for this work to have a powerfully uplifting effect on the Movement, isn't it necessary to be in one accord on all points? As a relatively new student to Christian Science I am striving to come to terms with and to understand better our Leader's place in Biblical prophecy, as that seems to have played a major role in the lives of Christian Scientists and their practice of this Science throughout the early (and more successful)periods of growth. If you can sympathize with someone struggling with all of the confusion that is manifest on this topic, please speak now or forever hold your peace. It seems to me that if our Leader did not have a place in the prophecies of Scripture, something to validate her work, we would all be deifying her, as a mere mortal personality that has done good work on the human level, but has no divine backing. Up until 1991, the pamphlet entitled Mrs. Eddy's Place was published by the Church and was used as what seemed to be an official position statement regarding the way Christian Scientists should think of their Leader. Maybe I am missreading or missunderstanding you, but throughout your archives you seem to reject the notion that Mrs. Eddy, as the divine revelator that she says she is, has a place in Scriptural prophecy. Jesus had a place in prophecy, that does not mean we deify him. Please comment. How can we impersonalize Christian Science by saying that Christ Jesus and Christian Science are the two great lights. That is not consistent. Mrs. Eddy says the Revelator and the Revelation are one (they can never be severed). It makes complete and perfect sense (atleast to me) that as Jesus represented the Fatherhood of God there would have to be someone who represented (on the human scene) the Motherhood of God. And who else but the Revelator of Christian Science could fit that mould?? You have established many great (unforgettable, really) points for your readers, but perhaps some clarification on this single point will have a greater effect on the Movement than anything else. The confusion stemming from the publication of both the Knapp book (which seems to establish in 'homely maiden' terms our Leader's place) and the Gill book (which clearly shreds any inkling of an appointed place)is manifest and only the earnestness of students longing to know more and to dig deeper will reveal a conviction on this point that will heal the Movement. As our Leader says... understanding her in her true light and life will do more (correcting and healing) for her Cause 'than aught else could.' Also, do you not think, as wonderfully detailed as the Peel bios are that they could've opened the gate wide for the kind of scholarly research represented by Gill's book, as Peel on more than one occasion interjects a human opinion, which may or may not be appropriate?? Please comment.

Lafayette, LA said...

You certainly have a blog that seems to be reaching far and wide. I hope the person who put on a comment in Chinese? will revisit and put it in English for us who don't speak their language.
I enjoy all you have to say, Christian.

Anonymous said...

TO WASHINGTON DC

I don't understand why this issue is so divisive. Beleiving that she is the woman in Revelation does not prevent others from beleiving she is not, and vice-versa. There is room for both to co-exist because understanding Mrs. Eddy's place can ever be issued or adopted by decree.

As an aside I was recently reading an article about the deification of the Virgin Mary in the R.C. church and learned something I never knew before and that is that they beleive that the mother of Jesus, the historical Mary in the Gospels, is the woman in Revelation!

Washington, DC said...

Agreed. There is plenty of room for the two opinions of our Leader to co-exist peacefully. But both opinions cannot be true. One must be accepted, understood, and cherished as truth or spiritual fact, while the other being false is denied any reality. That is scientific. As the Scripture says 'How long halt ye between two opinions?' Even while many calling themselves Christian Scientists had not accepted the prophetic view of Mrs. Eddy as propounded by her Church (up until 1991 that is), the facts show that her Church was growing exponentially under that regime. It was in the 1940s, when a committee assigned with the task of combing through all of Mrs. Eddy's published and unpublished writings found that the evidence there was overwhelmingly in favor of the prophetic view. The result of their work was the pamphlet entitled 'Mrs. Eddy's Place,' which established the fact that Mrs. Eddy's work, as the Discover and Founder of Christian Science was symbolized by the Woman in Revelation. While this establishment was helpful to many, it at the same time seemed to awaken a sleeping dragon that went to war with the spiritual fact regarding the Leader of the Christian Science Movement. Alert Christian Scientists have been battling this dragon, or error, since that time. For many years now, the opposing (and it is the opposite) view of our Leader has taken the upper hand in the minds of those making decisions in Boston. The tone and actions have shifted (putting it mildly) as a result and have taken on a much more worldly appearance and attitude. The history of the Movement (including what is currently taking place)seems to show that while the spiritual fact regarding Mrs. Eddy's mission on earth was cherished and expounded (even to those who do not understand it), the Movement was on the straight and narrow. When that spiritual fact and the symbolism of the Apocalypse is understood, it has a powerfully uplifting effect on the individual Christian Scientist and his healing work. The student is much more conscious of the fact that his daily work is part of that battle of Armageddon described in the book of Revelation, which inspires him to go forward under whatever pretense error, or the dragon has concocted, knowing as he does that the dragon is ultimately defeated.

Anonymous said...

The fact remains that the understanding of Mrs. Eddy's place cannot be forced as a dogma. It must be revealed. If it is true, not only Christian Scientists will eventually understand it, but the whole world. At the rate C.S. is going now, that will take centuries if not thousands of years.

I seem to recall reading that Mrs. Eddy did not want her place as understood by some to be trumpheted abroad too loudly. Consistent instantaneous healings of blindness etc. will do more to give her her due in this temporal realm than anything else.

Anonymous said...

One further thought: I believe the article 'Caution in Truth' in Prose Works explains why it is wise not to overly antagonize mortal mind. What one knows in private need not necessarily be broadcast from the mountaintops.

Washington, DC said...

Agreed wholeheartedly!