Chapter One Hundred two
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Need to Demonstrate in Every Detail
In the eighth chapter of Zechariah, there is a beautiful picture drawn of the restoration of the holy city, where old men and old women, as well as boys and girls, shall dwell in the streets. This Scripture prophesies that we will not all be ushered into heaven at a specific time, but that on the heavenly road there are students in various stages of growth and yet, all are in the Promised Land, or walking the path that promises to bring them continual growth.
Another unfoldment to be gleaned from the above, is that an individual Christian Scientist may be very advanced in his spiritual understanding in one direction and yet, a mere child when dealing with other phases of thought. Thus, we might encounter a practitioner very far advanced in his understanding of treating the sick, and yet a mere child in the demonstration of the one Mind in the business meetings of his or her branch church.
I can assert with conviction, that Mrs. Eddy’s home was the only place where I ever saw a perfectly consistent application of scientific demonstration to all matters. She made it a requirement that we must demonstrate all the material experiences of ordinary daily life, and strive to see God back of everything, no matter how insignificant an incident might seem. The result of this was that with the students in the home, there was less contrast on the streets of Jerusalem, less boys and girls, and more men and women of experience. This condition resulted from Mrs. Eddy’s vigilant care that they extend the process of demonstration to every department of human experience: food, sleep, daily tasks, caring for the horses, etc.
What lesson has this for the student today? It is a call for him to broaden his demonstration of Christian Science. Everything that was done for the Leader had to be demonstrated; for whatever was not demonstration, was not acceptable to her, or to God.
Sensitive people can feel the difference in the service rendered by a servant who loves the family, and one who regards the household duties in terms of dollars and cents. This illustration will help the reader to understand that, when one is sensitive to spiritual things, service without demonstration has little power to satisfy or bless.
Jesus said that man cannot serve two masters. So, in serving Mrs. Eddy, we could not have a mortal sense and a demonstrated consciousness of God back of our service at the same time. If we did not rely on the divine Mind, then mortal mind was behind it, and we know that mortal mind is always a murderer at heart.
From the above can be deduced an answer to that hungry cry, “Why is there not more spiritual growth among Christian Scientists today?” The reason is, that individual Scientists do not comprehend, as they should, that true growth, true progress on the streets of Jerusalem, results from extending one’s application of Truth and Love; and that the student who is punctilious about demonstrating every minute detail of existence, will develop more in a given period, than the one who limits Christian Science to healing the sick, even though he produces spectacular cures, and who confines demonstration to the few recognized inharmonies that interfere with the joy of human living.
Mrs. Eddy demanded that demonstration be applied to every experience, to the minutiae of human living. Her conception of consistent progress was comparable more to the tortoise than to the hare. Although the latter was able to make spasmodic efforts which were spectacular and outclassed the tortoise, he went to sleep; whereas the tortoise kept consistently and everlastingly at his work, until he reached the journey’s end. This is encouragement for those students who find that circumstances prevent them from having the opportunity to fill important positions in the Cause, and to become prominent practitioners and so, accept the suggestion that they cannot expect to progress much. If such will only persist in demonstrating everything confronting them, whether it be housework or business, they will perceive that they possess a process of consistent spiritual development, through employing Christian Science even in mundane affairs, and will discover themselves, even though infants in Christ, on the streets of Jerusalem, walking in the Promised Land, on a road that will take them to the Father, into the realm of God.
Mortal man judges a thing as either great or small through his senses. Hence, it seems more important to move a large rock out of his field than a small one, until investigation reveals that the large one is a surface stone, whereas the small one is the outcropping of an underground ledge. This analogy discloses how many of the spectacular demonstrations in Christian Science which are over-estimated, represent those phases of mortal belief that are on the surface; whereas the minutiae of life, which one is almost tempted to neglect, the questions of eating, sleeping, the commonplace daily necessities, are of the utmost importance from the spiritual standpoint, because they are the deep-rooted beliefs which bind man to dependence on matter. Thus, we perceive the deep spiritual insight of our Leader in her insistence on demonstration in the non-essentials. She saw that, although they appeared trifling to material sense, they represented the most important mile-stones of the students, the short but persistent footsteps of the tortoise, that will eventually win man that goal of freedom, freedom to depend wholly upon God.
Another application to Mrs. Eddy of the Biblical picture of the old men and women together with the children in the streets of Jerusalem, which must symbolize the path from sense to Soul, can be gleaned from interpreting the spiritual significance of youth and age. Youth symbolizes that bright optimism that follows the pathway of life with a light heart. Age represents the acquiring of experience and wisdom, that tends to serious and sober thought. Therefore, youth might represent spiritual inspiration and age, spiritual wisdom. In demonstration, these two might typify the powder and the bullet, neither of which has any efficacy without the other. In Truth, one’s scientific statements require the quality of inspiration and joyous expectancy, in order to be effective and to fulfill their objective. The temptation of age in gaining understanding and wisdom, is to lose scientific optimism, whereas youth has this fresh and active sense without the steadying influence of wisdom.
This point is further clarified by the fact that David, as a representative of spiritual understanding, could not build the temple. It required the addition of Solomon, his son, who represented spiritual expectancy and inspiration, in order to complete the demonstration.
Mrs. Eddy had handled the claim of animal magnetism, which would attempt to prevent youth and age from uniting in spiritual purpose. If the streets of Jerusalem represent spiritual activity and progress, then it is plain that both youth and age, both the children and old people, were present in Mrs. Eddy’s consciousness. She combined a deep spiritual wisdom, based on years of experience, with a youthful and joyous expectancy and inspiration, so that she could resist the temptation to grind out her demonstrations, instead of having them run along on light feet. She continually drank of the wine of inspiration to renew her joy, lest the arduous work she was called upon to do should lose in effectiveness, through being done with a human sense of duty.