Saturday, May 28, 2005

Part I: Foundational ideas

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII


What is Christian Science? I suppose no one person could define it entirely, not even its discoverer. But this little series gives some ideas about what Christian Science means to me, and how it can be a help to anyone, no matter what their faith tradition or spiritual background.

You may already have looked into many of the world's faith traditions. Each one touches in part on what I’d like to call “absolute Truth.” There are universal concepts that most traditions and teachings share, such as the power of goodness and mankind’s ability to focus thought to achieve spiritual growth.

What Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery, Christian Science, does, is extend these highest of metaphysical concepts to their logical conclusion. This absolute basis of pure metaphysics enables us to achieve healing through a disciplined mental state, otherwise known as prayer.

Here’s an example. Many teachings espouse the idea that God is All. You could consider this as one of these high metaphysical truths that mankind has discerned in our growth Spiritward. Christian Science takes that idea, and insists it is fact. And that since God is All, in reality there is nothing else. Add to this the truth that many have discerned, that God is Love. Take this and the idea before to its logical extreme, and you have Love is All. Period. No exceptions. There is nothing but Love.

This dislodges God from the notion that He is simply a big version of a human being, and places Him squarely in the arena of total Spirit, for Love is not a material thing, but a spiritual idea.

Let’s add to this another one: God is all power. Many faiths agree with this point. Christian Science takes the position that He is indeed ALL POWER. Meaning that He’s not just all powerful, but actually the only power there is. Which, if you add that to the concept of God as Love, means that Love is the only power there is.

Remember that scene from Disney’s Aladdin, where the genii is discussing his own powers, and he says, “Phenomenal cosmic power! Itty bitty living space”? He actually claims to be omnipotent at one point, yet he’s trapped in a lamp! This is not omnipotence. To truly be omnipotent, the being that possessed all this power would need to be the only power there is. If anyone else had any power, the omnipotent being would only be partially potent. In Christian Science, God is truly omnipotent, the only power there is.

So this touches on the Christian Science concept of God. As you can see, this concept goes way beyond thinking of Him with any human characteristics. He’s not confined to a body or a form, nor is He limited as to His abilities or benevolence. In fact, He’s not even a “He” – I’m using this just as a convenient pronoun.

God in Christian Science is universal Spirit, filling all space, Creator of all, wholly good, Love, Truth, Life itself. It’s a completely spiritual concept. This idea of God is the foundation of everything that flows through Christian Science reasoning. Christian Science starts with perfect God as the explanation for the universe.


Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII


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