Superimposed Reference Dual-Definition


The Modified Dual Definition

Another unique type of dual definition is the type where an added definition, in the form of a third definition, has been provided that serves as a modifier for the meaning of the defined term.

We have a similar situation here, as the indivisible dual definition, with the difference being, that the defining element pertains to two terms simultaneously.  In this case, too, the added definition does not serve as an actual definition in its own right, but stands as a part of each of the dual terms. An example of this type is found in the definition for the term, Son

Mary Baker Eddy provides three definitions for the term, Son, in a single paragraph, which renders it a vertical contrasting definition, but she places the third sentence in quotes.

1 - The Son of God, the Messiah or Christ.
2 - The son of man, the offspring of the flesh.
3 -
"Son of a year."

Mary Baker Eddy tells us in Miscellaneous Writings (p.180) that in Hebrew usage a calendar month is called "the son of a year." She states further that this concept also applies to man, in both the lower and higher meaning. Therefore, the phrase "Son of a year," is not an actual definition for the term son, but
a modifier for the contrasting duality. It gives both of the defined concepts of sonship at unique meaning, which neither of them would have if the term "son of a year" were regarded as a third stand alone definition with no connection to the other two terms. 

I see Mary Baker Eddy telling me: Be careful what you perceive yourself to be a part of, because the "son of a year" concept applies to the son of the flesh kind of perception, or its defines me as the Son of God as the reality of my being. She tells us that man has the power to become the Son of God, to accept that kind of sonship; whereas material sense accepts the mortal sonship in the flesh.

Must I therefore regard the definition of Son in the Glossary to contain only two stand alone definition, or three, each with the connotation "son of the year" mentally added.

The concept that is brought to light here, evidently has a profound implication on how one identifies oneself, hasn't it? Let me therefore, present in part, Mary Baker Eddy's reference to the phrase "son of a year."


But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.--JOHN i. 12, 13. 

Here, the apostle assures us that man has power to become the son of God. In the Hebrew text, the word "son" is defined variously; a month is called the
son of a year. This term, as applied to man, is used in both a material and a spiritual sense. The Scriptures speak of Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of man; but Jesus said to call no man father; "for one is your Father," even God. 

Is man's spiritual sonship a personal gift to man, or is it the reality of his being, in divine Science? Man's knowledge of this grand verity gives him power to demonstrate his divine Principle, which in turn is requisite in order to understand his sonship, or unity with God, good. A personal requirement of blind obedience to the law of being, would tend to obscure the order of Science, unless that requirement should express the claims of the divine Principle. Infinite Principle and infinite Spirit must be one. What avail, then, to quarrel over what is the person of Spirit,--if we recognize infinitude as personality,--for who can tell what is the form of infinity? When we understand man's true birthright, that he is "born, not . . . of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God," we shall understand that man is the offspring of Spirit, and not of the flesh; recognize him through spiritual, and not material laws; and regard him as spiritual, and not material. His sonship, referred to in the text, is his spiritual relation to Deity: it is not, then, a personal gift, but is the order of divine Science. The apostle urges upon our acceptance this great fact: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." Mortals will lose their sense of mortality--disease, sickness, sin, and death--in the proportion that they gain the sense of man's spiritual preexistence as God's child; as the offspring of good, and not of God's opposite,--evil, or a fallen man. 
Miscellaneous Writings, 180:20 - 181:30

Since there is no in between state possible, I perceive Mary Baker Eddy's definition for the term, Son, only as a dual definition, not as a triple definition. However, I see it as a dual definition with the modifying sense, "son of a year," added to each of the spiritual and material definition of the concept of Son. The contrasting pair would then be the following:


The Son of God, the Messiah or Christ (son of a Year).

The son of man, the offspring of the flesh (son of a year). 

This means that I can recognize only two distinct definitions for the term, Son, not three.