Monday, February 13, 2006

Why die?

I got this question over the weekend:

In her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy says, "Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death." (p. 475). Why did she die? I am not ridiculing, just trying to ask an honest question in seeking to understand the harmony between her/your belief and the reality of life. Thank you.

Fair question. And there are a number of ways to approach answering it. (I hope anyone else who has thoughts on this will also comment!)

The sentence quoted comes from a larger section of Science and Health, the question-and-answer “What is man?” in Recapitulation. In the first part of that section, Eddy speaks to man as made in God’s image and likeness. This is a view of man that flies in the face of materiality. So, when she concludes, “Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death,” she’s speaking of *that* man.

“The reality of life” the questioner mentions above I take to mean this mortal seeming. This material day-to-day. But the you and I that we see when we look at each other is not the man Mary Baker Eddy is talking about in the beginning of that section of Science and Health. The mortal body *does* die. That’s what makes it mortal. The immortal idea, man, never dies.

So for me, a deep understanding of Christian Science—indeed even being the founder of it—does not prevent each of us from going through the transition known as death. This mortal body has got to go, we’ve got to leave it behind.

But the important point for me is that while the body may die, *we* don’t. The immortal man that we are continues intact. We wake up, I’m fairly sure, outside of this body but still very much alive. We continue on our spiritual journey, learning, growing, achieving ever-increasing understanding.

With all that great growth ahead of us, another question might be: Why would we want to stay here? Okay, we have work to do, children to raise, a desire to make a difference and contribute. I myself want to accomplish many things before I move along. But I don’t think the point of spiritual demonstration is to stay here, mortal, indefinitely. The point is to embody more of my spiritual nature, step-by-step. I can’t rush the process, but I wouldn’t want to thwart it either.

So I think my answer to the original question is twofold. First, I think Mary Baker Eddy’s work was done. She’d made her contribution. Her mission was complete. Second, and on a deeper level, I don’t believe she’s dead. Her *body* is dead and buried, don’t get me wrong. But she herself continues, probably still being the "sturdy pioneer" for those around her.


Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 2/13/2006 05:01:00 PM, Blogger Franklin said...

I haven't read alot of this lady's writings, but it seems she was quite inteligent.

Why would she not have said, spirit is incapable of death instead of man? That would have been clear as to what she meant.
If that is what she meant.

I am in agreement with you on the spirit part, but it just seems curious about the word useage.

Do you know of any teaching of hers that suggest that man in body was capable of living forever?

At 2/17/2006 04:49:00 PM, Anonymous TLJC said...

Mary Baker Eddy, (on page 214:line 5-8) of Science & Health makes reference to Enoch, "If Enoch's perception had been confined to the evidence before his material senses, he could never have "walked with God," nor been guided into the demonstration of life eternal"

Enoch, the father of Methuselah, walked with God....The book of Enoch was taken out of the bible....the reference to him in the bible, says that Enoch walked before God and pleased God, and before his translation, he had this testimony, that he pleased God, but without faith, it is not possible to please can research Enoch on the net......i read the 'Book of Enoch'....he did not die but was taken

bible references; Gen 5.18, 22; Luke 3.37; Hebrews 11.5
jude 14

walking with God, Ge 5.24;
Pleasing God, Hebrews 11.5;
Witnessing for God, Jude 14

Enoch did not die, but before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God...

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him....

I know that Mary Baker Eddy pleased God and 'believed that he is', and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him...
Her works, her testimony and writings prove that...beyond doubt; she diligently sought him...:)

At 11/16/2007 05:44:00 PM, Anonymous Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry said...

Laura, dear one,

I think you should be notified that your logic constitutes disputation of Christian Science in public because you are not giving a proper reading of SCIENCE AND HEALTH: Specifically you are assuming a done-Eddy from a dead-Eddy as your explanation of death: Whereas Mrs. Eddy herself has said that if we better understood (not disputation-of) Christian Science, we would see her here talking with us ... (She said that in reference to Mr. Edward Kimball, And if you think it does not apply to herself then you're plagiarising her work: pretending superior intelligence.)

As for your other readers:-- Enoch walked with the gods below, He was taken by horseback up the mountain (aka heave-n) and there taught the gods' children for many years 'til Adam passed, and he came back down to bury Adam in the Garden, and at some time resumed living in Eden;- He was around during the flood....(The word, translate, means, move a distance: eg. up the mountain.)

You must get the spiritual meaning of every phrase, or you're missing the creme de la creme: leaving it?

And, Franklin,-- Read, Mrs. Eddy's Scientific Statement Of Being:- It explains -straightway- that Spirit is-not another entity to 'not-die'.

And a tidbit about immortality:-- It is demonstrable, when, everyone in the family is alive.... That is why the ancient gods (Ra, Jehovah, Anu, Marduk etc., so-called, gods, because they lived 120 years-plus, but could be killed, as most were: Abel, Apsu, Cain, Eve, Adam, etc.) doted on lineage:-- to prove that everyone did live together, though not in the same place .... This is the only immortality known in the universe:-- And, It, is, known...! (If you find exception, 'Ha ha.')

It is also why Mrs. Eddy said we should see Mr. Kimball with us... meaning: Get busy,-- what else...?

The only deadline -you need- in Science is the did-line: Prove it.



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