Thou shalt not ..

When Jesus was asked which was the most important commandment, he didnt say “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination”. He said there were two commandments at the top of the list – love God supremely and love your neighbour selflessly.

The Jews had thousands of commandments in their law. Questioning Jesus, they intended to trip him up somehow with the choice he made. The “top level” commandments Jesus picked are indeed words taken from the Old Testament. By leaving aside the hundreds of detailed commandments, Jesus is saying that following every detail of “the Law” is not the way to holiness. The way is instead to understand and live the two great commandments. Jesus did not follow all the detailed commandments, he famously did healing work on the Sabbath, and permitted his followers to eat food without washing their hands.

The writer Marchette Chute sees the Bible as a record of “The Search for God”. The vivid examples of God’s power and guidance in the Old Testament progress to the revelation of God’s true loving and spiritual nature in the New Testament, particularly the fourth Gospel. The detailed commandments are the laws of the Jewish nation, put together by the human leaders of the nation, inspired by God to create a workable social and moral framework. If our modern leaders listened to God, they may be inspired to create a framework for our time, which would not necessarily be the same as met the needs of the early Hebrew nation. Not everything in the Old Testament gives a clear pointer to the nature of God.

God our Creator

[Section under review]

Loving God

How can we love God if we do not have any idea of his nature? To understand him better we need to explore the possibilities of spiritual creation, a spiritual Creator, and our own spiritual nature. The lesson of Jesus miracles and teaching is that material law and evidence is always secondary, and that the divine or spiritual law is primary. Seeing God’s laws working in our lives is an important part of loving Him. In the Bible we read:

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. ...
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (I John 4:12, 16)

In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes:

Not materially but spiritually we know Him as divine Mind, as Life, Truth, and Love. We shall obey and adore in proportion as we apprehend the divine nature and love Him understandingly, warring no more over the corporeality, but rejoicing in the affluence of our God. (SH 140:7–12)

Loving our neighbour

[Section under review]

Spiritual Creation

[Section under review]

Consciousness

Our consciousness is where we commune with God. And also where we experience the thoughts and suggestions of the world.

In a spiritual creation, dominion over the whole earth - the promise of Genesis chapter 1 - equates to dominion over our consciousness.

Controlling thought

Where all is spiritual , all is experienced in consciousness, and controlling thought is essential to find God, and our true being.

The book “The Ultimate Freedom” by John Wyndham, gives a practical illustration of putting this into practice in extreme circumstances.

Control of our thought is Biblically mandated:

... when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
(Matt. 6:6)

In Science and Health (p 15), Mrs Eddy comments on this verse

The closet typifies the sanctuary of Spirit, the door of which shuts out sinful sense but lets in Truth, Life, and Love. Closed to error, it is open to Truth, and vice versa. The Father in secret is unseen to the physical senses, but He knows all things and rewards according to motives, not according to speech. To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error.

In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God's allness.

When we silence materialism we hear the direction of God. This is prayer.

Mesmerism

Mesmerism is the claim of the control of one human mind over another. The reason I describe it as a “claim” is explained below.

The clearest example of mesmerism is the playground bully. He can only exercise his power over a susceptible subject. The standard advice to the person bullied is that the bully only has the power over us that we allow. We allow ourselves to be bullied. Without the permission the bully can do nothing – we become like the other people he doesnt bully.

Mesmerism and fear are linked. We experience fear in all sorts of ways. Medical theories about our vulnerabilities – DNA, brain chemistry etc – tell us that we cant avoid doing certain things, or that we will suffer if we dont take certain medicines. These laws of biology are bullies – they only have the power we allow them. Addictions are all bullies.

We can become mesmerised by sexual scenarios - perhaps from the past, perhaps imagined - or by visions of sexual symbols/organs. Only if we allow them to have power.

Question. Where was the Devil when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness? Answer. In Jesus’ consciousness. He was not a creature with horns and a tail.

Controlling thought dispels the mesmerism. Controlling thought allows Divine wisdom to be in control of our consciousness.

Perfect Love [God] casteth out fear

Identity

We are taught that our identity is something to be jealously guarded

Our physical, material identity is determined by how we have evolved, our DNA, our conditioning. And material laws tell us (mesmerise us?) that these elements of our identity, for good or bad, are permanent and we cannot do without them.

But these are the laws of the world. In spiritual creation our only identity is as a reflection of God. The world sees this as a poor exchange. But if we understand God as all wisdom, all power, all knowledge, all beauty, all loving – then, if we, you and I, are a reflection of all this, how can we be discontented about it?

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
(I John 3:2, 3)

If there seems a big challenge here, dont worry about it. The task is to understand we have more power over our lives than the material world would have us believe. Exactly how we use this power is still a matter of choice, though we will only be able to use it to bless others; that is, following Love’s commandment. Mary Baker Eddy writes:

Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth. (SH 485)

Next Section – Marriage





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