Saturday, July 10, 2010

"My mother is a fish."--Vardaman

That well-known and startling statement is a complete "chapter" in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. It may only be a choice bit of Faulkner's gothic rhetoric, but it can be used to make a useful point, I think. If a child, like Vardaman, made such a perverted statement and one set out to correct it in Christian Science, he certainly wouldn't pray for a correct concept of a fish. To establish in Vardaman's thought the proper sense of a human mother wouldn't permanently or Scientifically correct anything either.

The root of the animal magnetism, aggressive mental suggestion, claim, or temptation harrying one may lie much deeper than the tears and pain occasioned. "That which is least distinct to thought is most forcible." (My 197: 2-4) How many of us have a cherished or feared glass menagerie we keep enshrined on a shelf deep within the shadows of our false beliefs? For many (most?) of us only strict obedience to God and His laws and the absolute purity of thought the furnace of affliction brings will allow Science to get to all of it and destroy it. Mrs. Eddy tells us, though, that the warfare with oneself is grand and gives idle minds, and even busy ones, plenty to do. We certainly don't think our loving Father-Mother God is a fish--at least I hope not--but are there not too many times when our disobedient and apathetic "three-day" thoughts of Him begin to smell? As we break the bonds of mortal mind and its enslaving beliefs we might do well to sing in our dissolving chains "like the sea", though time should never be permitted to hold us "green and dying" as we do so. (See "Fern Hill" by Dylan Thomas)

Note: I'm sorry if I appeared to take the commenter on brevity "to task". My comment was merely an explanatory comment thereon.

20 comments:

Boston suburb said...

A wonderful entry, this. And your title drew me right in, as most of yours do.
Thanks Professor!

Boston suburb said...

A wonderful entry, this. And your title drew me right in, as most of yours do.
Thanks Professor!

Susan said...

You certainly seem to be well read, both in fine literature (Faulkner is too deep for me I must confess), but I do find some of Dylan Thomas's poetry quite nice.
I enjoyed reading this, Christian.

Thanks (CA) said...

Arresting title/very good essay/solid CS metaphysics.

Greetings from Hawaii said...

Aren't we grateful for all Mrs. Eddy points out as to the correct way to give a treatment in Christian Science? Always we start from the divine truth that there is no material condition to be corrected. God is holding His creation intact, perfect--just the way He conceives of it.
A good blog post.

Anonymous said...

As our Leader states in the textbook, illness (any problem actually) cannot be effectively treated from the basis of matter. Not an exact quote, but this captures what you bring out in your first paragraph, I think.

Cambridge said...

What a way to start off a blog post, blogger. One can't help but read on to see where on earth such a start is heading. Interesting development on this main thought, I thought.

Appreciate you! said...

Dear Writer,
It's always a rewarding experience to read what you've posted--at me it is. And I imagine to every one who gets to read your essays.

Anonymous said...

May you keep on blogging these very creative and worth a read blog posts! So refreshingly fresh.

London (UK) said...

Who knows, you just may end up encouraging your readers to become better thinkers, certainly where Christian Science is concerned. And this, never mind educating them, is well worth your time, I should think.
Good job!

Jacksonville, FL said...

Startling is right, Christian. You've chosen an attention getter to start off this essay. Can't imagine many of your readers have read that book you quote from, and had any idea of who Vardaman was, is. A neat way to get people into what you're trying to impart, if that is what you were after.

Regular visitor said...

Really like the way you express your thoughts on metaphysical topics. Makes me go away thinking what I pick up on as your central point. Often does this.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Like this a lot. You are an English professor, I just know!

W. R. said...

Glad I stopped by your website. Another very well-written piece, I must say.
Anything that helps us out here acquire a better grasp of divine metaphysics I say.

Longtime viewer (MA) said...

God bless you for using your gifts on behalf of this religion we can't do without! I've said this before, will no doubt tell you this again, Christian. But I mean it!

West Coast (USA) said...

I'm glad you out the furnace of affliction aspect of our getting the victory over what the carnal mind presents to us. I used to balk at something Mrs. Eddy says in her writings, that only through great trials do we enter the kingdom of heaven. I have learned through the years in my study of our religion how true this is. Mortal mind is not put off with casual or superficial effort. This takes all-out commitment and the most earnest prayer. Not to mention living more each day the life our blessed Master showed us to live.

Anonymous said...

很用心的blog~很喜歡~願您一切順心..................................................................

Midwest somewhere said...

Morning Christian,
Always enjoy your essays, and sometimes the comments. An alive website you've got here (for CS's) --

Anonymous said...

教育的目的,不在應該思考什麼,而是教吾人怎樣思考............................................................

Anonymous said...

我愛那些使自己的德行成為自己的目標或命定的人................................................