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The Bible Lesson platform
The Bible Lesson topics have no direct connection with the Glossary structure, except for their relationship to the city foursquare.
There are 26 Bible Lesson topics specified for the Sunday Services of the Christian Science churches, repeated twice a year. Since the number of topics is determined by the number of weeks in a year, Mary Baker Eddy created an interface that enables the 26 lesson topics to be brought into the city foursquare. The chapter Recapitulation serves as this interface. The chapter Recapitulation contains 24 questions and answers, the right number, when divided into 12 groups of 2, to cover three rows of the city foursquare. Since two of the questions in Recapitulation are of a dual nature, the 26 Bible Lesson topics can thereby be interfaced to the city foursquare structure. In like manner can the 26 parts of the first definition for the name Adam, as denial, be interfaced with both, Recapitulation and the Bible Lesson topics.
However, before we can look at the details, we need to consider that all three of these structures are created in the form of a platform.
Platform presentations begin with the highest element and then sequence downward to what lies below. The sequencing doesn't imply steps in manifestation. In the platform context everything is simultaneous. The platform merely illustrates relationships.
The Bible Lesson topics are presented by Mary Baker Eddy as a platform-type structure, and so is everything connected with it. The Christian Science Platform, too, and its associated mortal-mind denial, are likewise presented as platform-type structures. The difference between the two is that the Christian Science Platform group covers the entire city foursquare, whereas the Recapitulation group with the Bible Lessons covers only three rows, which apparently are the upper three rows that reflect the dynamics of the scientific translation of infinite Mind.
The 12 groups of two begin at the highest element in the upper right position, and have their complement at the lowest element in the lower left position.
The complementary nature divides the 26 topics into two sets of 13. Each set is provided in a separate quarterly to keep the upwards focus, and downwards focus separated.
The complimentary nature of the topics is illustrated here. The arrows indicate the direction of their sequencing. In this complimentary manner the topics amplify each other, each contributing a certain dimension to the other.
Mary Baker Eddy calls the Christian Science Lessons Sermons in the churches, 'a lesson on which the prosperity of Christian Science largely depends.' With so much standing behind it, the statement is justified. It is as if she had designed the Bible Lessons as a vehicle for bringing out the interlaced, deep, elements of Christian Science that she discovered and demonstrated. The lessons, ironically, function to raise consciousness above the often dead scene of the mere letter and to bring the Spirit to the foreground in daily living that the letter cannot facilitate. Thus she calls the Bible and her textbook, Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, the impersonal preacher, and calls herself as the author of the textbook, Pastor Emeritus. This established duality reflects in function the simultaneous dynamic nature of the elements of a platform presentation.
The Christian Science Platform and its associated counter structure - the denial by mortal mind - is not only a platform by name, but is also so by its function. The difference is that it applies to the city foursquare all across the entire city foursquare, so that all its definitions for the city foursquare apply to the Christian Science Platform.
By Mary Baker Eddy placing all of her major works into the context of the city foursquare, a vast interrelationship comes to light. This can be applied routinely, at least in part, when considering the textbook citations in the Bible Lessons. By the chapter that a citation is in, the corresponding element of the Lord's Prayer comes into light, and the corresponding painting and verse from Christ and Christmas, and also the definitions for the row and column that define the element itself.
Does this look like information overload? At first glance it does, but it has a powerful effect in stepping from the letter towards the spirit, especially when textbook citations are considered.
Actually it isn't an information overload. You can check this out for yourself, I have produced a practical application that brings for every textbook citations of the Bible Lessons, all the corresponding elements into view that you see here, except the glossary element and Mary Baker Eddy's poetry. I have applied this method to the entire 1898-set of the historic Bible Lessons. The application is online, freely available. It presents the chapter name for each textbook citation, the chapter's location in the foursquare city, the text of the River it is in, and the full text of the applicable verse from Christ and Christmas, and a link to its image. It also presents the applicable stanza of the Lord's Prayer.
In addition it presents links to the full description of the definition of the applicable row and column of the city foursquare. It further presents an extended link to the full text of the applicable elements of the Christian Science Platform and its counter platform in the definition of mortal mind, and it presents also, when applicable, the full text of the Recapitulation question and answer, the applicable Bible Lesson topics, and the applicable Adamic lie. All this is provided for every textbook citation for the full set of 26 Bible lessons. It aids in stepping away from the letter towards the divine Spirit beyond the letter.
I have chosen the 1898 set of Bible Lessons for this interlinked presentation as these may have been produced by Mary Baker Eddy herself or with her direct guidance, which would therefore remain standing as a model in perpetuity, which in turn renders the interlinking presented with them, somewhat of a model too.
Without the the city foursquare, linking everything into one comprehensive whole by one common scientific denominator that defines them, all the critical elements in Christian Science that Mary Baker Eddy had laboured for more than 40 years to draw together, would become isolated.
When her grand structures stand in isolation, the dynamics of the whole is lost and their significance becomes lost with it, whereby the isolated structures become increasingly irrelevant. Mary Baker Eddy is said to have suggested that her profound book of metaphors, Christ and Christmas, would likely, largely disappear from the shelves of the Reading Rooms before its significance would become recognized. And this, to some degree, is already true, and likewise for a number of her associated structures.
Then, when it comes to teaching, they are deemed not to exist. The specific letter is then all that remains to be focused on. And this is not much, is it?. When Mary Baker Eddy stipulated that that the formal teaching be based on Recapitulation and the Christian Science Platform, she had evidently something far more-profound in mind than a mostly empty board.
She evidently expected the board to be filled with great riches that the students then can take home and fill their life with.
Apparently, she didn't expect this to happen in her time. Even in her time the board was largely blank. She appears to suggest that the breakthrough from the letter to the spirit would not come from the established authorities, but from the 'least in the kingdom', from one without status, fame, power, salary, or office, and starched perception.
Whatever her expectation might have been, it is interesting to note that this painting in Christ and Christmas coincides with the textbook chapter, Science of Being, which has the Christian Science Platform attached to it, and coincides also with the Lord's Prayer stanza, "Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections. The applicable segment of the Church Manual is: The Christian Science Publishing Society. The title seems to suggest that the onus is on society as a whole, to publish Christian Science as pioneers of the Spirit standing at the leading edge.
The scene shown here is of the painting Christ and Christmas titled, "Truth versus Error." It is the scene that coincides with the chapter, Recapitulation. Christian Science knocks at the door, but who hears the call? Two children take heed while the party in the mansion goes on. What Christian Science offers is deemed to be of little value. But whose fault is this?
The fault doesn't rest with God. The applicable stanza from the Lord's Prayer is: God leadeth us not into temptation (into small-minded thinking), but delivers us from its consequences (from sin, disease, and death). This means that the fault lies in humanity's own self-denial and the denial of the truth.
It is interesting to note that the applicable Manual segment is: Committee on Publication. The committee is charged with assuring that the truth about Mary Baker Eddy be published. This truth includes the facts about what she has accomplished. Some day this charge will be fulfilled.
The right half of the painting presented here coincides with the textbook chapter, Science, Theology, Medicine, which contains what is probably the most profound definitions for the four cardinal points of the city foursquare, which is the scientific translation of immortal Mind and of mortal mind. It is one of the most defining factor for the city foursquare that she has an example of laying in her lap. No one gives any heed to what she has bestowed on society. Nevertheless this 'silence' is destined to be broken. The Lord's Prayer stanza for this position reads: Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present.
The applicable segment of the Manual has the title: Reading Rooms. In the universal sense the topic contains a solemn charge to society to keep its reading rooms vital with the most precious a society can bestow on itself, which is the truth.
One final painting concerns us here in the line of exploring what society should have attained of Christian Science - what it has lost, and what it never had. We see a cross obstructing The Way, which casts a dark shadow in the foreground.
We see nine birds surrounding the cross. These appear to represent the 9 names of the children of Jacob that Mary Baker Eddy has defined in the Glossary. The definitions for the names are actually representative of the mentality of Jacob's two wives, in respect to bearing children. As the story unfolds, one of the two wives, Leah by name, gains her freedom from using children as a means for gaining Jacob's love, in competition with her sister. The freedom is gained when her focus shifts unto the universal good of the family, away from the recursive focus on herself. This freedom is reflected in the birth of Gad, and later Asher. But failing to move forward to still higher ground, Leah can't hold onto the advanced state she had achieved and falls back into the trap that she started from.
I have produced a video about the details of the story, named Marriage on the Infinite Plain, both for the significance of the story, and for the significance of it in the context of the city foursquare, and also for its relevance to our age that is reflected in that story. Leah's tragic experience is tragically mirrored in humanity's experience, especially in the context of the movement of Christian Science within modern society. To some degree, this is what has happened to the Christian Science movement too.
The field of Christian Science has collapsed by a whopping 93% from 1970 onward. In 1970 nearly 5,000 Christian Science practitioners and nurses were listed in the USA. In 1910, there were only 335 left. A thousand churches have closed their door of the 1,800 that existed in 1971, while many of the roughly 800 churches that are still operating in the USA, are but largely empty houses.
The tragedy is not the fault of any specific person or office. It appears to reflect Leah's tragedy. Her tragedy resulted from her not being able to move forward from her pinnacle to still higher grounds. Something had blocked her way. The blocking is still happening where great scientific sensitivity in spiritual issues is required.
It is interesting to note in this regard that Mary Baker Eddy's definition for the 4th river, the river Euphrates, applies to the column for this painting, and evidently to this very element. It matches Leah's experience. The definition defines divine Science as a type of the glory that is to come, metaphysics taking the place of physics, and so on. Leah had experienced this definition. But she also experienced the second part of the definition, the limitation in mortal thought, the mortal fascination with finity, the not-yet achieved sense of infinity. This tragedy is still the scourge of our time.
Mary Baker Eddy seems to suggest in the painting here that the blockage that Leah's story illustrates, which is symbolized by the 9 birds, is a blockage caused by a type of mortal thought ensnared with finity and limitation. But behold, the mortal thought has a white-winged healing message coming to it, which in the painting comes from the crown that symbolizes the Glossary structure and the city foursquare. It promises a healing for the entire scene by which the blockage is broken and the way becomes free and unobstructed.
The crown is a complex metaphor for every critical aspect of Mary Baker Eddy's Glossary structure. It contains the 9 times 16 dimension of the glossary structure itself. In the frontal view the crown presents 9 jewels, but when seen in the global view, it contains 16 jewels. The crown also presents the factor 5 with its five places for the jewels.
Mary Baker Eddy has used the crown from Christ and Christmas with the obstructing cross at the center, as the center image of her seal. In the seal the cross is hewn down. She placed the compound seal on the cover of her textbook, saying, this is the pinnacle of what I am bestowing onto the world. Pay attention! The Glossary structure is the pinnacle. You need to work with it, The challenge is great. Nothing is sequentially provided here. You need to discover the science and the spirit on the path of exploration, and she promised with the rays of light that the process of building the Glossary structure will never be dull.
When she redesigned the original cross and crown seal after 1901, she retained the factor five and exaggerated it. She amplified it. Saying more strongly now, pay attention to this factor! The Glossary structure, built into the frame of the city foursquare, is your path out of the letter to the spirit.
It is interesting to note that the factor 5 in the crown was actually the main factor in metaphor right from the beginning. This is strongly evident in a stained glass window of the church edifice that was built in 1894, which reflects closely the emphasised factor 5 of the modern design, unless the window was altered subsequently.
It is further noteworthy that the Church Manual segment that coincides with the position for the painting where the crown and its factor 5 plays such a vital role, has the title: Church-Building. The hyphen indicates that the building is a process - the process of building church, of building civilization. And it is further interesting to note that the stanza of the Lord's Prayer for this position is: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
And so, one may assume that the profound process of scientifically building on the city foursquare basis that Christ Jesus appears to have pioneered for its application to spiritual issues, which Mary Baker Eddy developed further in the late 1800s and built all of her achievements onto, which indeed might not have been achieved without it, may yet come to full fruition in our time. As Mary Baker Eddy points out, it is still the same power today as then, "that writes the page."
It is also interesting to note that the textbook chapter Recapitulation, and the chapters in which the Christian Science Platform and the scientific translations appear, are all located on the second row from the bottom that holds the moral line. This indicates that the teaching of these critical foundations for learning in Christian Science, is presented by Mary Baker Eddy as a moral imperative.
The moral imperative is a development imperative, because the alternative is collapse. Collapse is the destination of the default train, where people, if they are wise, seek the aid of Christian Science to get off. It is not legitimate for humanity to be on the train to hell. It is native to humanity to heed the Christ's call and to follow it actively.
The fact that the call for learning Recapitulation is issued at the moral line, does not mean that its platform unfolds at this level. It unfolds at a higher level by the imperative of its nature.
In the same manner does the Christian Science Platform unfold at a higher level by the imperatives built into it.
The need for following built-in imperatives often leads to amazing surprises in the process of building the Glossary Structure. One surprise is that Mary Baker Eddy left 3 of her 7 synonyms for God out of the Glossary, the terms Soul, Truth, and Love. She lists them among synonyms for God in the defining platform, but omits them as defined terms. It appears that by omitting them, she gives them special significance. She gives than a defining significance for the whole. When the terms are applied in a platform sequence, as top-line terms across the top row, the term Soul pops up in the middle between the two halves, with Truth and Love left over to define the top two rows as a whole.
The division of the city foursquare by the term Soul as a synonym for God, appears to be significant. But what is the significance of Soul? Is it sensitivity, joy, conscious awareness? Mary Baker Eddy seems to have defined it in the context of standing between the two halves of the city foursquare. By more detailed exploration it becomes apparent that the two halves are functionally equivalent, except for the different contexts in which they are located, like two verses of a melody set in different keys, which Soul binds into one. It may be that Soul can only be defined in Spirit, not in words.
Love is similar. Countless novels have been written in an attempt to define it, and countless songs and operas, and still the letter fails us. Nevertheless, we do know that if it would be withdrawn, civilization would collapse, so powerful is the essence of love.
The same may be said of Truth. With God being Truth, then its essence may be found in God's acknowledgement of himself as, I Am, which comprises all that is real and good.
Maybe Soul is the light that illumines the Universe, that God sees, which is reflected in countless different forms that all have vitality and value in individual expressions - a diversity in individuality bound by the unity in Soul, a unity in quality and value manifesting God that we bow to.
With the foursquare city thus divided into two halves by the term Soul, it becomes imperative to define the two halves individually. The distinction between temple and church comes to mind that Mary Baker Eddy laid on the table in her message for the dedication of the great extension edifice, built adjacent to the original Mother Church edifice.
Mary Baker Eddy said in her dedication address, "You have dexterously and wisely provided for The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, a magnificent temple wherein to enter and pray." Then, speaking of the edifice of the original Mother Church, in contrast, she says, "its crowning ultimate rises to a mental monument, a superstructure high above the work of men's hands, even the outcome of their hearts, giving to the material a spiritual significance - the speed, beauty, and achievements of goodness. Methinks this church is the one edifice on earth which most prefigures self-abnegation, hope, faith; love catching a glimpse of glory."
Equally significant is the term Ark that mirrors Church. It speaks of safety and God and man coexisting and being eternal. Which term is correct then, Ark of Temple? You choose. When one bridges the gap between the letter and the spirit, the concepts of correct, or incorrect, become irrelevant as these terms are mortal measurements that bear no weight in a world that is coloured by Spirit that has infinite manifests that are all valid. Their validity is determined by spiritual factors and by truthfulness. What is true is not defined by opinion, but by self-evident facts and understood and acknowledged principles. The critical factor is truthfulness. We need to consider if an assertion is truthful. Does it stand the test of truth? These are valid considerations. If an assertion is truthful, it is valuable, because one can safely built on it then. Questions of correctness, in contrast, often involve considerations relative to opinions and artificial considerations and even illusions. Let's consider an example.
It is reported by Plato in his Meno dialog that the famous Socrates had asked a slave boy to draw a square, and then another one that is double in area. The boy shook his head. You can do this Socrates urged him. Socrates guided him to draw four squares that together cover 4 times the area, and then divide each of the squares in half from corner to corner, to form another square. The boy smiled. Socrates asked the boy if he could affirm with certainty that the inside square covers twice the area of the original square. The boy nodded. I can count the triangles. There are twice as many triangles in the new square than in the original square - the objective is accomplished.
In this case the proof is so secure that no opinion can alter the outcome.
Now let us consider another case, to prove the Pythagorean theorem that the sum of the squares over the short sides of a right triangle, equal the area of the square of the long side. I was asked one day to puzzle this out. To do this I built on the principle that Socrates had illustrated. I expanded the triangle into four rectangles. The dividing line formed the big green square in illustration B, which is C-square. To prove the theorem, all I had to do is create an area that is twice as big as C-square and fit two B-squares into the area, and two A-squares. And this is easily done. To build the double C-square, all I needed to do is add as many blue triangles to the outside of C-square as there are inside, and add an area that is equal to the area that is not covered by the triangles. The result is double the size of C-square. To prove the theorem, all I had to prove that one can place two B-squares, and two A-squares into this area with nothing left over. Illustration D shows the placement of a B-square. Illustration E adds the placement of two A-squares. Illustration F places the second B-square into the lower corner. It overlaps the previous B-square. The overlapped area is identical to the area added in making the double-C area.
This 6-step illustration proves the theorem. But is it correct? Yes, it is correct. One can count the triangles and the squares, and they all add up. However, there are 370 other ways possible to prove the theorem. Which one is correct then? The reality is that they are all correct. The difference between them all, then, is the efficiency in illustrating the facts and the principles involved. The example shown here is reasonably efficient. No special knowledge of geometry is required to understand the proof. One merely adds up the squares and triangles, and the proof unfolds as plain as day. Is this efficient? I would say that it is.
When Mary Baker Eddy gave us her framework for building the Glossary structure, she gave us the most efficient pathway for stepping away from the letter to the spirit that anyone had produced. But she didn't give us the end-product. If she had done this, she would have said, this is the correct version and would have closed the door. And she would have been wrong in doing this, because there are probably thousands of versions possible that are all technically correct. And since it isn't the letter that counts, but the spirit that unfolds in divine recognition as one ponders the letter, the most correct version is that which accomplishes the task most efficiently for the individual's needs. This makes divine science rather exciting, because there is no formula that one can apply on the path from the letter to the spirit.
The French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau won great fame as a major theorist of music in the 18th Century. He developed formulas of how music aught to be composed.
However, if one compares the music composed with Rameau's formula, with the music of Haydn, Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, and so on, the formula music is flat and dull and lifeless. Music comes from the heart, the spirit, the soul. The same holds true for spiritual discovery.
With her numerous definitions for the city foursquare, and for the Glossary structure, and all the auxiliary elements added, Mary Baker Eddy challenges us to become composers of symphonies in divine Science with the musical scales that she started, which are open to infinity.
When working with the Glossary structure one becomes challenged to discover and accept the wide dimension of Spirit, and also of Soul.
With these definitions added, the city foursquare ends up immensely richly defined, which is important for bringing the 144 glossary terms into it, which need to be placed according to the spirit they represent. To do this, one has no choice but to step away from the letter, to the spirit.
The end-result is amazing, but the main benefit lies in the process of building, though we find no evidence that any serious building is going on anywhere.
The metaphor for the Glossary structure is introduced in the painting named, The Way. The painting coincides with the highest element on the second row that represents the Christ. The highest element on this row is also the element that in the Church Manual bares the title: Church-Building. Mary Baker Eddy seems to say that building the Glossary structure is synonymous with Church-building. As a consequence, there is nothing profoundly happening on the level of the Christ.
Mary Baker Eddy associated the level of the Christ with the synonym for God as Love. One sees little on this front happening either in today's world. Instead of Love being manifest as universal love, one sees universal stealing on the rise by economic looting, bank-bail-in grand legal theft, and universal war with nuclear war standing evermore on the horizon, and universal fascism on the rise that champions the depopulation of our planet from the present 7 billion, to less than 1 billion in a process that is already being carried out with the mass-burning of food in automobiles as bio-fuels that, by its enormous scale, is probably killing already more people by starvation each year than all the wars in history have, combined.
The principle of universal love has drifted so far out of sight that it became rather challenging to explore it in fiction in novels. I set out two decades ago to write a novel centered on the principle of universal love. The principle proved to be so extensive that what started out as one novel became a 12-volume series, (The Lodging for the Rose) which as I discovered later matches the essential dimension of the first three rows of the city foursquare.
I wrote a poem more recently that metaphorically explores our humanity, which I discovered later, matches the novels. So I combined the two and made a video of it.
Far more than these efforts is evidently needed to bring the principle of universal love back into the foreground, as it once had been to some degree reflected in the principle of the general welfare. But more than that is needed.
The complexity in scientific discovery on the scale that Mary Baker Eddy requires and has laid out before us, is also urgently required in universal scientific research, especially on the front of astrophysics where we face the beginning of a deep ice age in the near future with the Sun becoming inactive in possibly 30 years time with a reduction of radiated energy by more than 70%.
The scientific evidence for the rapid onset of the next glaciation cycle exists, but for it to be acknowledged requires far greater scientific sensitivity in society, even in the sciences, than the current dogmatic simplicity in astrophysics allows that borders on perceptions akin to blindness, relative to the evidence. While the onset of the normal glaciation cycles was devastating in ancient times so that only a few million people made it through the last Ice Age, the repeat of the tragedy can be avoided this time.
The technologies, energy resources, and materials exist to build infrastructures afloat on the tropical seas where large-scale agriculture will remain possible under the dimmer Sun.
But will we do it? Will we even acknowledge the need for it? These are questions of moral imperatives.
It is interesting to note in this respect that the down-trend towards the next glaciation cycle was already underway in Jesus' time, so that when Christ Jesus had started to raise the bar for moral and spiritual perception by his work with the city-foursquare concept, which is evident in the structure of the Lord's Prayer and John's later presentation of it in the last chapters of book of Revelation, Christ Jesus may have been inspired by God to start the critical process for the scientific spiritual orientation of mankind that would become essential for meeting the moral imperative in our time.
When Mary Baker Eddy was inspired to pick up the trend that Jesus had started, and developed it further over a span of 44 years, she may have done so under divine direction towards overcoming the critical impasse that humanity is facing at the current stage without barely recognizing that an impasse exists.
Of course, as this video presentation has illustrated, Mary Baker Eddy fulfilled her appointed task to the utmost, with a dedication to it that is second to none.
But what about us? Will future historians, if there are any, say about us that we closed our eyes and mind, and perished by the consequences?
In the last column of the Lord's Prayer Christ Jesus warned us about small-minded thinking, which he termed sin, sickness, and death, at the time, and then raised the bar up to the truth of man's oneness with God and the fullness of it. In this context Mary Baker Eddy's glossary definition of the term, Son, comes to mind with its link to her article that describes the concept of, "son of a year." In this article she reminds us that by Jesus' grand demonstrations he illustrated the power that we have to become the sons of God in our own sight, even as we are so already seen in the Father's sight.
On this note we can move forward.
(see: Miscellaneous Writings - Bible Lessons - also, Mary Baker Eddy 'promised': "The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, — he will look out from them upon the universe; and the florist will find his flower before its seed." S&H p.125 The time has come for this to be done spiritually in divine Science, as "Future ages must declare what the pioneer has accomplished." S&H p.vii )