Saturday, June 29, 2013

LET THERE BE A FIRMAMENT IN THE MIDST OF THE WATERS

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst
of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. Gen. 1:6.


In previous posts I have expressed the view, which I have long held, that sacred scripture makes much more sense when it is interpreted spiritually or metaphysically. What that means, among other things, is that many of the stories and events described in sacred scripture should be taken to occur within the mind or consciousness of the reader---that is, you and me.

Now, the above verse from the Bible, when interpreted metaphysically, means this. Just as God is said to have created a ‘firmament’ to divide the waters from the waters, so must we in our moment-to-moment living. The word ‘water’ (or ‘waters’) is a very important word in sacred scripture; it refers to ‘spirit’---that is, your consciousness or mind. More specifically, the word refers to the creative process of mind dynamics at work in your mind. The word ‘God’ refers to that ‘I Am-ness’ that is the very ground of your being, the reality of your life---that is, life in you, and as you. More specifically, the word 'God' refers to your own particular understanding or concept of God as a power-not-oneself, that last mentioned expression encapsulating the ‘real’ person that you are, as opposed to all those little ‘I’s’ and ‘me’s’ that parade before your consciousness and demand your attention. More than that, those 'I's' and 'me's' distract and divert you from living mindfully from one moment to the next. You may say, ‘Well, I don’t believe in God, at least not the God of traditional religion.’ That may be so, and I won’t argue with you on that matter, but please accept that it is still the case that whatever you give power or authority (that is, attention) to---that is your god. 

I am not into Christian Science---although I have made quite a study of it---but as I see it Mary Baker Eddy (pictured left) got a number of things right. In the ‘Glossary’ to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mrs Eddy defines ‘firmament’ as spiritual understanding, being the line of demarcation between Truth and error. I see it this way---‘firmament’ is the line of demarcation between living mindfully and living mindlessly. Living mindfully is living from and with a choiceless awareness of Life as it unfolds from one moment to the next. Living mindlessly is living in bondage to those false selves, those likes, dislikes, cravings and attachments in our mind and body, which we mistakenly believe are the ‘real’ person that each of us is. In Truth, each one of us is a person among persons. We are not those waxing and waning false selves, those ‘I’s’ and ‘me’s’ that misdirect and mislead us into thinking they are ‘us.’

A Divine Science minister of yesteryear, H B Jeffery (pictured below right), wrote in his book The Principles of Healing that each of us must be a ‘firmament,’ which Jeffery described as a ‘firm mind.’ Jeffery advised us to ‘stand firm with your eye single to one thing only---the Presence of God.’ Another way of expressing that is this---don’t allow yourself, that is, the person that you are, to be deflected by the content of your consciousness or mind. Watch, with choiceless awareness, what unfolds from one moment to the next, but don’t identify with any of the content or mental wallpaper. It is not ‘you.’ Not at all.

What Mrs Eddy referred to as ‘mortal mind’ are various beliefs---actually, misbeliefs---and subjective states of consciousness that have no substantive reality. In the Glossary to Science and Health she defined ‘mortal mind’ as ‘nothing claiming to be something.’ I like that. Nothing claiming to be something. That is precisely what those ‘I’s’ and ‘me’s’ do---they claim to be something, that something being the person that you are, but they are not that person. They are ‘nothing’ in the sense that they have no separate, independent, permanent, substantive existence of their own. They are mental wallpaper that have no power or authority other than what we give them by our attention and identification---and it is best that we don’t do that. Otherwise, we have, in the words of Mrs Eddy, ‘error creating other error,’ and that is a recipe for human failure.

You see, what I am talking about is this---we need to rescue ourselves, the person each of us is, from everything that separates us from the fulness of being. We need to shift our focus from a false concept of being to a right one, the latter being nothing less than---be-ing-ness itself ... the 'one primal cause.' At its best, every religion seeks to rescue us ... from our 'selves' ... in the knowledge that everything---yes, every thing---is being created, or rather re-created, afresh in each new moment!

So, live mindfully. Create and maintain a ‘firmament’ in your mind, separating error (your false selves) from truth (life as it unfolds from one moment to the next).


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