Identity

June 5, 2014

"Man is the expression of God's being."
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy

Discussion

"Identity was the focus of the Emergence Conference in Denver."

"Was there a keynote speech?"

"It was more like a workshop. We looked at what our identity did and didn't include."

"Mortal vs immortal?"

"Right. We challenged false beliefs and tried to experience our spiritual nature."

"So how'd it go?"

"I weakened a few beliefs, I guess, just by seeing them more clearly. For instance, I've tended to drag around a whole sad childhood which has left me with major abandonment issues in spite of years of Christian Science study and practice. When I really got into trouble I could work on a specific healing, but the underlying fear continued."

"Doesn't fear just come along with identifying ourselves as mortals?"

"Exactly — that's the quicksand underneath every problem."

"If someone's suffering from a bad background or abandonment fears, how would you get rid of them?"

"I basically worked to see my true background — where do we come from? God is the source and condition of all existence. So there's no need for history — other than as a kind of dream or alert pointing to the absolute Truth of what's going on."

"Something we've discussed a lot is how mortal mind is incapable of grasping infinity and eternity. It's all a kind of abstraction or vague intellectual belief. Mrs. Eddy ran into the problem constantly. She had to use common language and concepts to describe God, the infinite and eternal."

"At the human level we're left with improved beliefs, indicating some increased understanding of God."

"Can we ever reach at-one-ment with God?""

"I don't know. Maybe briefly here and then totally at some future point."

"I hate leaving it there — it's so orthodox! Are we at the mercy of time and space?"

"There's a Catholic notion of infused contemplation where God takes over your mind. It's obviously only a short term thing but I imagine Mrs. Eddy got there quite a bit as she wrote her far out passages."

"Look, our identity is 100% divine already. In the original version of Science and Health Eddy introduces the idea of how we are holding ourselves. Even though I'm completely spiritual I may be holding myself as a dual concept with birth, death, sickness and all the rest. I'm like the prodigal son gathering up my allotment of divine perfection and power and leaving my at-one-ment with reality for a hallucinatory bout of mortality. The adventure backfires — thank God! — and I have to get back to where infinite Love accepts and heals me of the belief of separation."

"The other day an amazing feeling came over me. I was walking along Eighth Avenue thinking about some scientific truths when suddenly I felt completely at ease, filled with joy and peace. My whole experience was like I was God-infused."

"Isn't that a satori?"

"Maybe. I've never had anything like that before."

"Did it last for a while?"

"A few minutes — but the memory of it, I still kind of feel it. It wasn't just mental — it was total body."

"How did you see others or feel about them?"

"I don't recall specifically but I was totally at peace and joyful. It had to bless those around me."

"That's really interesting. Mrs. Eddy says ' Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.' [ Science and Health 476: 32-2] I'm trying to find my own identity as the man in Science which would be able to see God's man and universe."

"Let's talk about privacy and identity theft..."

"And NSA snooping."

"I'd say now that we have the internet, privacy is a thing of the past. But Science has the answer."

"Like what?"

"Live your universe as divine idea, including all right ideas. Any info that flows in the perfect, divine universe is God putting it forth and God taking it in."

"So you're saying don't hold yourself and others as dualistic concepts, but let everyone be what they in fact are — infinite divine idea."

"Well, if we could get that vision right, we could heal anything, anywhere. The human beliefs about our identities wouldn't interfere with the presence of peace and wellbeing."

"That must have been more or less what Mrs. Eddy had in mind when she wrote this: "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, "Love thy neighbor as thyself;"annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed."

"Good! Bring that reality to bear on any so called problem and how could it resist healing? Like Jew, Muslim, Christian — Sunni vs Shia — Gay and non Gay or whatever. Within these groups each person is actually an idea in the Mind that is God and includes all others. Everyone is included in our true identity and we're in theirs!"

"What about sexual identity and LGBT identity? Most of us are doing pretty well in the US and Europe and Latin America now but in parts of Africa, Islam and Eastern Europe things are really bad."

"I heard the Nigerian finance minister recently talk about the apparently dire situation of Gay people in her country. She said the extremely restrictive laws now on the books are just their way of starting the conversation about LGBT people in their midst. She felt things would come along ok and pretty rapidly actually because of the advances made elsewhere."

"Certainly they must be losing their taste for religious bigotry after all the killings and kidnappings by the various sects including Boko Haram."

"Do you think the Duck Dynasty folks and Fred Phelps will be able to come along?"

"Oh sure! Fred's now doing it elsewhere but everyone who sees himself as a mortal has to work out his or her own male-female balance, and not lash out at others who are working theirs out. These people may even be deeply repressed homosexuals themselves but whatever the case let's pray they find some peace on the way to their own divine destiny."

"What's this male-female balance?"

"It's a big part of Christian Science. God is Father Mother. Each one of us is a reflection of God, so we partake of His nature. But each of us is also unique, so the balance of qualities reflected, as well as which are projected unto others or incorporated into ourselves will vary with the individual. It's basic to Freud's approach and to Jung's also."

"I'm sure you're on to something but could you back it up with some solid Christian Science — maybe some quotes from the Textbook?"

"Listen to this from Science and Health: "Let the "male and female"of God's creating appear. Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine "powers that be.""

"OK but can you take it apart a bit?"

"I think Mrs. Eddy in her day saw the second sentence being a description of the male energy while the third is the female energy. But remember, each of the energies is in every person, either incorporated or projected. She herself wrote of her maleness in an essay not released to the public during her lifetime. Nowadays with the growing understanding of gender variation, we can make much greater use of her insight. Dominant women and submissive men are no cause for alarm. Transgender, Lesbian and Gay people are largely considered to be normal — although special attention may still need to be paid where transphobia and homophobia have left wounds."

"I like what you've said. It'll help me investigate my own male-femaleness."

"And live it!"

"But we still need to realize the need to rise above sex."

"Why go there? Why is it always sex we have to ditch? What about food, clothing, housing — maybe they'll have to go first. Anyway, what is sex? God is our identity, our substance, our action — am I leaving anything out? Sure, the human symbols will change, but we may be having sex throughout eternity. I think it's clear in the absolute, we already interpenetrate through time and space in unique individual ways."

"Have you ever thought the whole Newtonian structure of physics is like the second chapter of Genesis while quantum physics is like Genesis chapter one? The Newtonian paradigm, with its time and space, its opposing forces, even its personalities and nationalities and so on served up to a point, but it's getting to be a drag. Fortunately quantum physics is becoming more evident and practical.""

"Aren't Newtonian and quantum physics just the current mythologies replacing the primitive ones, including Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew and Christian? They're the present explanation for everything but after them there'll be other theories — or to put in terms of our topic, other ways of identifying stuff."

"You remember Bicknell Young looked at a sunset and said ' Behold my beautiful body.'? Take that further, since we're each an infinite idea, occupying all time and space, and we can claim the universe as our identity.""

"What did Jesus say? I'm in you and you're in me and we're both in the father.""

"Here's the quote from John 17: 22, 23 ' And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me..'"

"Are we saying God Himself is the only man and the only universe? If each of us is individual, unique — then we've got a whole bunch of universes coexisting and interpenetrating."

"Right. That's where the whole notion of parallel universes comes from and pushes against the frontiers of consciousness."

"I think we've found the truth of our identity. Can we live it as a practical, day to day reality?"

"Mrs. Eddy says this on page 258 of Science and Health: "God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis."I'd say it's God doing the whole thing, identifying Himself as us and all."

"That's a good point to end our discussion of identity and start looking at the next Emergence Conference topic which is 'True Companionship'."

"Our work on Identity should give us some insights into what constitutes true companionship."

Next topic: Harmony In Action (June 12, 2014)