At Time4thinkers.com, one of the Radical Acts of Jesus receiving focus this summer is the demand to "Challenge Pharisees". Justin Belote is one of the Radical Actors giving attention to this demand. I loved his take on it. He wrote:
"A Pharisee, in Jesus’ words, is a hypocrite. All about the law and not the spirit. The talk and not the walk. The rules left behind by moments of true inspiration -- not the inspiration itself.
"We all know these people. A boss, a teacher, or even a friend. Someone who just seems to miss the point — someone who sacrifices true meaning in order to live by the book.
"But for me, this summer isn’t about challenging an unfair boss or setting a friend straight. It’s about challenging the Pharisee within. Do I always act out of true inspiration — out of that true oneness with the infinite? As an artist, am I always creating from the truest source, or from a surface-level, uninspired place?
"Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Christian Science church, said “Honesty is spiritual power.” She also talked about becoming a “transparency for Truth” -- a transparency for God. She even thought it was possible “to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal.” Rather than just rising to the occasion once in a while.
"People expect that our relationship with God should flicker off and on. That we should have dry moments -- even whole dry seasons. But Jesus didn’t. As far as we know, he lived in the sacred present. Every moment, a moment of Truth.
"This summer I want to live in that sacred present, and make decisions as well as create art from there. So go ahead and challenge Pharisees this summer. Out there. In here..."
Wonderful and right on target, I think.
Justin referred to one of my favorite statements of Mary Baker Eddy. The full quote is, "To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science." (First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, Eddy, 159)
When it comes to quotes, my faves are often the ones I have struggled the most to get my head around. And that is certainly the case here. Initially Eddy's statement made me mad. I often struggled with roller-coaster inspiration and I couldn't figure out how I would ever be able to keep human consciousness in line with spirituality for a sustained period of time, let alone constantly.
Then I was inspired to turn the statement around, like in a math equation. I reasoned that Christian Science involves individualizing infinite power - that is, understanding God as the infinite and only power and that I reflect that power as God's image and likeness. The result of this individualizing - or seeing my relation to God and not leaving my sense of God or of my spiritual self to remain abstract - I would find my human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal.
It works, guys. It isn't even that hard.
Here's how I do it. I make sure I individualize the power of pretty much every clear thought I have about God. With every "fact" I read or "truth" I know about God, I try to see how it applies to me as reflection. It's simple. The way "to live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science." Individualizing the power, not leaving myself out of the inspiration equation, is the key.
The comments that follow Justin's "Radical Acts" post are wonderful. I hope you will take a moment to check them out and add your own to the discussion!
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no