Christ and Christmas

by Mary Baker Eddy

Part 2 - A journey of exploration

by Rolf A. F. Witzsche



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What is so special about Mary Baker Eddy's rendering of the Morning Star on the book cover of her illustrated poem? What does its seven-pointed shape represent?

The seven-pointed shape is significant in many ways. It can be regarded to represent the spiritual spectrum, just as the white sunlight breaks down into seven bands of color that are called the primary colors, which together constitute white light.

That the white sunlight is a composite of 7 colors is visible in the rainbows, or when prisms are used to disperse the light. Bands of color appear that are recognized as the seven primary colors of white. The colors are:


Each color is specific, but together the colors all blend into white, which each color contributes to.

Our seven-day week may have been derived in very early times from the recognition of these basic primary colors of the rainbow.

Mary Baker Eddy applied the seven-part spectrum to God. She created a spectrum of seven synonymous terms to define the composite nature of God. She defined God as Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; and Love. The creation allegory in the opening pages of the Bible presents a seven-day progression of the unfolding of the universe, as it was a progression from Principle to Love.

If one applies Mary Baker Eddy's composite spectrum of God to the ancient seven-part unfolding in the creation allegory, an interesting correlation comes to light. In this context the seven-part spectrum of God represents the highest spiritual 'names' that one can perceive for the divine nature, which, of course, is reflected in all creation and continues to unfold for evermore.

In this exploratory process a large array of concepts became attached to the concept of God, reflected in Man and the Universe.

On this note Mary Baker Eddy expands the symbolism of the Morning Star, representing the composite of God, still further. She surrounds it with 56 rays of light. The number of rays is symbolic too, in a number of different ways, with some concepts going way back in time.

One concept is reflected in the ancient monument, Stone Henge.

Within the grounds of the monument, near the outer edge of its enclosed inner area, a circle of 56 pits has been found, each about a meter in diameter. They are believed to have seated a ring of large wooden poles. The pits are known as the Aubrey holes, named after John Aubrey, the 17th-century antiquarian who is thought to have first identified them. Since the discovery predates Mary Baker Eddy's time, it was likely known to her.

It is highly likely that the number of these pits dug was NOT an arbitrary number, selected by the ancient builders. What the builders have created had likely appeared in the ancient skies as a large-scale astrophysical phenomenon.

It has been discovered in high-energy laboratory experiments that a single plasma beam becomes self-organized into a circle of 56 individual beams that subsequently combine into a group of 28 beams, then 14, and 7, and so on. The same phenomenon may have been seen in the sky with the naked eye in gigantic form, during the last Ice Age.

It is known that near the end of the last Ice Age enormously large climate fluctuations have occurred, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger events.

These events warmed the Earth up in the span of roughly 30 years from the deep glaciation conditions to near the interglacial climates, then back again almost as rapidly. The Sun, being electrically powered, would have stored a large mass of plasma during its warming phase. Plasma is the electric-energy 'blood' that powers the universe and also our sun. It has mass and is attracted by gravity, but it also has an electric charge that balances a sun's accumulation of it against the external pressure. Then, when the external pressure diminishes, and does so rapidly, the ancient people would have seen very-large mass ejections from the Sun in the form of a circle of 56 bright spots.

It can almost be duplicated in the small what the ancients would have seen in the sky. While the builders of Stone Henge would not have known this, they may have seen the original in the sky. We can still see such phenomena in the cosmos, now that our telescopes have advanced. The ancient cultures, however, would likely have seen such features rather regularly as the shape of plasma discharge events are reflected in archetypal drawings from widely dispersed areas of the world.

In this sense the monument of Stone Henge stands as a witness that a great singular event is rarely singular in nature, but is a composite of a wide spectrum of related events, as indeed is the phenomenon of civilization.

Thus, Mary Baker Eddy surrounds her central star that reflects the seven- part spectrum of God with a vastly wider spectrum, that is also symbolic, and which has a natural basis with a wide expression. On this basis Mary Baker Eddy takes us once more far back in time.

She takes us back in time to the scientific age of the Christ era where an inspired writer tells us in the closing pages of the Bible about a concept he had envisioned of a foursquare city descending from God to humanity that all the kings and nations would bring their honor into.

This is what Mary Baker Eddy has done. She built everything that she has created onto the platform of this fundamental foursquare 'city.' In a sense, she has brought all of her works into this city, which thereby became a city of profound concepts.

For this reason all of her works are created in 16 parts or multiples thereof, including the 16 verses of Christ and Christmas and their illustrations, which in some cases are divided into two halves where two verses are attached.

A foursquare matrix can be seen in different ways. It can be seen as a structure of rows that represent four specific points of perception, or levels of thinking.

A foursquare structure can also be seen in terms of four columns of vertically interrelated elements that represents streams of upwards oriented development of progressive concepts.

Mary Baker Eddy provided each of these concepts a fundamental definition in the last pages of her own book, her textbook for the science she has discovered. In these last pages, of the last chapter, she describes with some significant details the nature of that structure, a city foursquare, that would support the future development of humanity and civilization.

She describes the structure in terms of its main points, or levels of perception. She writes: "This spiritual, holy habitation has no boundary nor limit, but its four cardinal points are:

first, the Word of Life, Truth, and Love;

second, the Christ, the spiritual idea of God;

third, Christianity, which is the outcome of the divine Principle of the Christ-idea in Christian history;

fourth, Christian Science, which to-day and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar.

This city of our God has no need of sun or satellite, for Love is the light of it, and divine Mind is its own interpreter."

If one looks closely at this little scene from the 4th painting, one notes a tablet in the woman's lap, which is divided both horizontally and vertically. With this division taken into account it makes sense that Christian Science should be located at the lowest level. This is the level where all the great material problems are located, especially those that have remained unresolved throughout history, which only spiritual science, the Christ Science, can address.

Vertically I have labeled the two halves Temple and Church, with temple relating to our inner development, and church relating to our outer development as society'.

Mary Baker Eddy also defines the columns in a similarly extensive manner. In addition, she also gives the four columns the names of the four rivers mentioned in the early pages of the Bible. She further describes the four columns in terms of geographic orientation, sequenced in accord with the daily cycle of the Sun.

She writes.

"Northward, its gates open to the North Star, the Word, the polar magnet of Revelation;

eastward, to the star seen by the Wisemen of the Orient, who followed it to the manger of Jesus;

southward, to the genial tropics, with the Southern Cross in the skies, - the Cross of Calvary, which binds human society into solemn union;

westward, to the grand realization of the Golden Shore of Love and the Peaceful Sea of Harmony.

Her definitions for the foursquare structure are unequalled in the world, though the foursquare concept itself is not.

The foursquare concept is fully incorporated in the design of the garden of the Taj Mahal in India, which may have been built in the 11th and 12th Century. The difference is that Mary Baker Eddy's foursquare structure has no direct physical representation. It exists only as a city of interconnected spiritual concepts and ideas. When this is taken into account, there exists also a slight correlative for the center of the structure. In the garden of the Taj Mahal the center is a raised pool, called the pool of abundance. In Mary Baker Eddy's structure, it exists purely as an idea that is the composite of divine Truth, Soul and Love.

The Taj Malal's central pool is a big thing that dominates the entire garden. In comparison, the central concept of Mary Baker Eddy's structure is so kept out of sight that it is deemed not to exist, though it becomes monumental once it is discovered. This comparison is essentially true about Mary Baker Eddy's entire foursquare structure.

While the Taj Mahal is universally known around the world and has become a tourist attraction, Mary Baker Eddy spiritual structure, which is of far greater complexity and significance, is largely not even known to exist. And this should be so, because the most profound is spiritual, and not recognized until its significance can be understood. So, it will never be a tourist attraction.

While Mary Baker Eddy's external achievements are known, it remains largely unknown what they are built on and are a part of, and how they are related to it.

Mary Baker Eddy created her works as three types of structures. They are either development oriented structures, or platform structures, or a combination of both.

The developmental structures all begin at the lowest position in the first column and sequence upwards column by column, ending at the highest point in the last column.

The platform structures begin at the highest point and sequence backwards, and downward, level by level, across the lower concepts, ending at the lowest element in the first column.

However relating the Bible Lesson topics causes a bit of a problem, because a year has 52 weeks. Such a structure doesn't seem to fit. Or does it?

Mary Baker Eddy solved the puzzle by creating a set of 26 topics that are repeated semiannually. And since 26 elements are still impossible to relate to a 16 element structure, Mary Baker Eddy solved this additional puzzle by creating a third structure of 24 elements, two of which incorporate dual concepts. This structure is the textbook chapter, Recapitulation, which contains questions and answers, two of which are dual questions that bring the total up to 26.

Even Mary Baker Eddy's most extensive structure, her glossary structure of 144 elements, fits neatly into the city foursquare.

The type of interface for it is contained in the crown of the last painting. The crown incorporates a nine by sixteen dimension. In the frontal view the crown presents 9 jewels, but in the global view it contains 16 jewels.

There are two types of arrangements for the 9 glossary terms per element indicated in metaphor in the paintings for Christ and Christmas. One type is indicated in the crown in the form of triangular arrangements. Each triangle has three sides. In a triangle none of the sides are opposite to each other. This enables significant meanings to become illustrated.

The other type that is also indicated in metaphor is an arrangements of terms in two concentric circles. It contains four horizontal terms to represent the four rows in the small, and four vertical terms to represent the columns in the small, with one term left over standing in the middle as the primary term.

This type of arranging the sub-elements is indicated by the angel of science standing inside two concentric squares.

It should be noted that the glossary lists its terms alphabetically, so that the arrangement of the interrelationships becomes a reflection of one's developing understanding of the science of the concepts and their relationship to the whole of the body of science.

Nor does the glossary contain 144 listed terms. It contains fewer, but it also contains 5 different types of dual definitions that bring the total number up to 144. The factor of 5 is also indicated in the crown, both in Christ and Christmas, and later in her seal.

It is as if she was saying that if you don't recognize what the factor 5 represents, you do not recognize the glossary correctly, and so you cannot recognize its dynamic functioning.

When the glossary is developed as a structure of three triangles per element, a directionality becomes incorporated that adds still another dimension to the utility of the resulting structure, and the utility of the whole of Mary Baker Eddy's work. This is so, because nothing that she has created stands isolated by itself.

Everything that she has created has been brought by her into the city foursquare that now serves as a universal platform for scientific and spiritual development by which all parts, not just the glossary elements, become interrelated.

The scientific significance of Mary Baker Eddy bringing all of her works into the foursquare city, is that all of her works become thereby functionally connected into a single whole, element by element, since they are by design constituents of that single larger city.

This interlaced interrelationship dramatically expands the scientific dimension of the spiritual city. This means that every verse of Christ and Christmas and its associated scene, pertains to the corresponding element of everyone of her works in the foursquare city.

This vast interrelationship, of course, extends her work tremendously in significance, which is also reflected in her renowned healing accomplishments.

Because very little of Mary Baker Eddy's accomplishment is known to exist for reasons of the still underdeveloped scientific sense in society, one of her greatest healing contribution for civilization as a whole remains almost totally dormant. When it becomes developed some day it may become understood as the Manual for Civilization.

Two years before Mary Baker Eddy had created her poem Christ and Christmas, she had created a 16-element church manual, based squarely on the city foursquare. While this manual is specific in its details to the governing of her church, it incorporates a universal dimension that applies to the whole of civilization. After all, with Principle being singular, there can exist only one Principle of Civilization, not two, or half a dozen. And this single principle is of course universally applicable. It sets up a platform for a Manual for Civilization, for which the principles of her church manual can serve as a foundation. It provides a framework for healing and for endless development.

Another aspect that is also highly significant for the development of civilization is indicated in metaphor in the form of 9 birds surrounding the central cross in the last painting. The 9 birds are significant in that they represent the 9 names of the Children of Jacob, the man who later took on the name Israel.

Mary Baker Eddy selected 9 of the of the names of the sons of Jacob, which she defined in the glossary, to illustrate different types of responses to the divine idea, ranging from individual self-enslavement, all the way up to scientific freedom. With these, illustrated by their position, she unmasks the deadening nature of empire and the wide open nature of freedom in the truth.

It is rather amazing how vast a world of spiritual ideas and healing concepts is tied into this small illustrated poem, Christ and Christmas. Still, one shouldn't be surprised. Mary Baker Eddy was, and still stands today, as the unsurpassed leader in the field of scientific and spiritual development.

With this having been said, let's close the book and look at the cover once more, because the puzzle of the 56 rays of light can also have a more profound solution, than has been indicated at the beginning, since the foundation hadn't been built for that.

The number 56, when it is divided by 7, the composite spectrum of God, yields 8 fields to which the spectrum applies. These eight fields are located in the upper half of the foursquare city. These are the divine elements and the spiritual elements of Christ Science. Here is where humanity finds its power, its substance, and its freedom.

As Mary Baker Eddy had pointed out herself, farther we cannot go, higher we cannot look, and for more than this we cannot ask.

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Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada  - public domain - Rolf A. F. Witzsche