Recent meetings and talks on a plane, in a Boston coffee shop, in the CS practice brought me back to the "Cool kids" by Echosmith - conversations about who we are and who we want to be. Someone wondered whether spiritual development is scary - changing one's identity in such a way that one doesn't fit in anymore. A student likes to find out what God knows already about her - but, she shared with me, she just hopes that she likes what she get to know then. And with someone else the topic was the pressure to fit in, to become part of "the cool kids". Is this really so great? In the song we hear someone, who evidently doesn't fit in, someone like a wallflower, observe from a distance: "They're driving fast cars, but they don't know where they're going. In the fast lane, living life without knowing. And he says, "I wish that I could be like the cool kids..."." And about a girl is being said that "they all got the same heartbeat, but hers is falling behind."
This song has been liked almost 70 million times on Youtube and peaked on number 13 of the US-Billboard Hot 100, and I feel that it is not "the cool kids" that pushed this song forward. But those who would like to be like someone else - or like everyone else, as the lonely thought tends to think. So the vast majority feeling unlike "the cool kids" and wondering how to progress from there. Most certainly at time those whom others regard as "cool kids", too. Everyone feels at least at one point that there is a difference between who we are and who we want to be. The need to get real - to dive below the surface of words and acts and find the real stuff, solid qualities, steadiness, something gentle and authentic. Authenticity and difference are two sides of the same coin.
Even if you are not accustomed to approaching life's questions from the Bible perspective stick with me still - and see whether you can go along with this observation: Christ Jesus, can we agree, was the one individual that shaped history the most by presenting to humanity God is no one has ever done before and after him. Christ Jesus truly showed the world at the same time what it means to be an individual. The first and only Christian at that time, with a small, though engaged following. People accepted long hikes, engaged in impressive efforts to see or meet Jesus, did everything they could to encounter him. Because they realized how individual and special Jesus was, an individual who stood out and was different. At the same time Jesus insisted that all questions find an answer as we get to know God, Truth. We all have the same Father (Christian Science is adding the motherhood, too), which makes us siblings to the uniqueness of Jesus. He could do nothing without God, his divine source and the reason for his existing. And likewise can't we. You could say that Jesus' individuality was demonstrated beautifully in humbly understanding where everything comes from. He was the finest metaphysician - like a spiritual mathematician, who proved: The more ego or human sense you substract the more individuality you have. The more God is in your thought and life, the more real you are. More individuality, more God, less human ego. This is the mathematics of spiritual sense, you could say.
Mary Baker Eddy speaks about Jesus' own progress as an individual and writes: "This spiritual idea, or Christ, entered into the minutiae of the life of the personal Jesus. It made him an honest man,
a good carpenter, and a good man, before it could make him the glorified." (Misc. 166)
So was Jesus a cool kid? Definitely yes - with authority he took an individual stand, did the right things and the good things. And did many things for the first time, living a fearless life, an honest life, a life dedicated to healing and comfort.
Was Jesus a cool kid in the modern sense? Definitely no - he didn't aim at fitting in and didn't want to have a special place in God's world without everyone finding this special place, too. Jesus' place was everywhere, with everyone, most often with the outcasts and marginalized, persisting in the understanding that no life is complete without everyone else's life being complete, too. In God's new world - the world of spiritual authenticity, equality, safety, and individual worth - the rule is love and affection without conditions. We cannot enter this new world of Spirit without our honest desire that everyone has a place in it, just like we already have. In God's world no one is "in the background", as a line of the song goes, everyone is in the front row. In the full spotlight of Love. Happy - and just right. God says: "Come as you are. I love you all. My wonderful, cool kids."
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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