In Mary Baker Eddy's thought-provoking book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures we find an idea which has provoked and inspired my thinking about life in general and about our individual history in particular:
"The true theory of the universe, including man, is not in material history but in spiritual development." (p. 547)
Does our thinking involve a material record of some sort - an account of past events, causes, beginnings, believed to be objective facts? Does some challenge we deal with call for some advancement or progress in a way that involves a material logic? Evidently history, individual and collective, presents not the whole truth, and actually ultimately no truth at all. This profound, radical insight has inspired me many, many times. Here is what I am getting from it: 1) Life is not static. The universe is not a state, but a process. It moves, it develops, it unfolds, and it can truly and only be perceived as spiritual development. 2) Material history does not represent the enfoldment and development of the universe. 3) Only spiritual sense perceives the spiritual development truly going on and is therefore the main "sense" that calls for training, daily use, and deployment. To grow spiritually is the way to feel the wonderful warm comfort God's love is showering us with.
Spiritual development: What is it? How can I experience it? Who am I if material history doesn't determine me? What am I without the story that seems to define who I am? Is this important in healing?
The Bible teaches us that spiritual development is going on every moment, presenting an overabundance of spiritual richness: there is enough for every one, enough goodness, health, and peace. There is constant spiritual growth going on, development, change. So, we must challenge the gravity of historical thinking in our life and overcome the notion of material history in every aspect of living.
The moving force of spiritual development is God who made us and everything - including stars, hippos, bluebirds, humpback whales, roses, and succulents - so breathtakingly beautiful, interesting, progressive, alive. The stuff which God uses is Spirit because God wants everything ever created, made, or perceived to exist forever. Love loves to create so much that nothing is ever lost but eternally developing from a starting point without limitations.
In a talk between Christ Jesus and Nicodemus this fundamental question – Is life all about history or all about development? – is tackled. The talk is about rebirth, about the past, about man. Nicodemus needs some help in keeping up with Jesus' spiritual discernment of life, and Jesus finds an image, an analogy for him. He says:
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 7,8. NRSV)
Where we were born, where we are going does not truly matter, Jesus seems be saying: What matters is that we are God's children. The great miracle is the spiritual development of man. Right now we are spiritual individuals, moving and enfolding being integrated into a stupendous creation. Like the wind there is a certain lightness and weightlessness about us, like the wind we really do not have to worry about sharp edges which we might have encountered and about corners that might have been too tight for us. It's over, gone like the wind. And as much as the wind constantly changes and moves, we are being changed and become every day what we are. Spirit is the energy of the universe, always fresh, always new, always active. We always be with God. There is always so much good coming our way. This wind carries away all "chaff thoughts" of sadness, embarrassment, shame, and resentment. We are so willing to let the Spirit move us and to be who we are. Let us leave a soft, gentle imprint and let the sound that the world is perceiving from us be a friendly hum, a spring breathe, cooling the troubled heart and comforting the worried mind.
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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