You are a Masterpiece!

Notes and references: Oct 29, 2000
Your Original Perfection

The Story of the Masterpiece

Many masterpieces were lost forever when the owners covered them up by painting another scene over the original painting. This happened for a number of reasons: tax avoidance, an art thief fearful of getting caught, protection of art collections during a war, etc. A collector who searched out these hidden masterpieces bought one such painting at an auction. He then went to work removing the newer painting from atop the masterpiece he suspected might be there. He gently rubbed off the fresher paint to discover that, in fact, there existed a signature or the Master painter Rembrandt.

Now let me pose a question to you. If you owned that partially revealed masterpiece would you concern yourself with the nature or subject matter of the painting covering the Rembrandt? Of course not. It would be irrelevant. Every time you looked at your painting you would only focus on the painting underneath. Every time you thought about it you would be thinking about the masterpiece. Every free moment you had would be spent uncovering more of the masterpiece.

So it is with you and me. We are God’s masterpiece. Every time we look at corporeal personality or physical descriptions of each other we are looking at the false covering and not the true masterpiece, the Christ image. False, erroneous thinking has to be removed (“bring into captivity every thought tot he obedience of Christ”).

In this week’s lesson we had the story of the blind man whom Jesus healed. Let’s discuss this story in greater detail. But first understand something about the King James Version of the Bible. The Bible was translated from three languages and often from unpunctuated capital consonants. That’s right . . . No punctuation, no vowels and no spaces between the words.

Consider then that there may be two ways to read the following story. The first way is the original translation punctuated as we see here in bold:

John 9:1-7
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent. ) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

The punctuation suggests that the man was made blind so that “the works of God could be made manifest in him”. That’s absurd! God would never make a blind man just so He could then heal him. That is like a fireman starting a fire just so he could put it out. Lets look at another punctuation option:

Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents! But, that the works of God should be made manifest in him I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day. The night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

It reads differently doesn’t it? Now it reads that there is no cause of the blindness and Jesus will prove it by demonstrating the works of God. Isn’t that more consistent with the rest of Jesus teachings?

Another point about this story that is interesting. There are two viewpoints about the man’s blindness: Jesus view that he “was blind from his birth” and the disciple’s view that he was “born blind”. What’s the difference? Well, Jesus saw a man blind from his birth only not before he was born. The disciples saw a man that came into the world already blind-born blind.

Our Leader writes in Mis 189: “The meek Nazarene's steadfast and true knowledge of preexistence, of the nature and the inseparability of God and man, — made him mighty.”

He knew that this man was perfect. His original nature did not include any result of sin and certainly no blindness and he would prove it. He taught us that Life is infinite-no birth or death. He let his enemies try to destroy the body but three days later her ascended and then reappeared to his disciples.

At this point in our discussion one of you asked what happens after death. I am not sure, but I can tell you what Mrs. Eddy says about the subject. Here was an interesting question asker of her:

Mis 42:1-16
After the change called death takes place, do we meet those gone before? — or does life continue in thought only as in a dream?
“Man is not annihilated, nor does he lose his identity, by passing through the belief called death. After the momentary belief of dying passes from mortal mind, this mind is still in a conscious state of existence; and the individual has but passed through a moment of extreme mortal fear, to awaken with thoughts, and being, as material as before. Science and Health clearly states that spiritualization of thought is not attained by the death of the body, but by a conscious union with God. When we shall have passed the ordeal called death, or destroyed this last enemy, and shall have come upon the same plane of conscious existence with those gone before, then we shall be able to communicate with and to recognize them.”

Christian Science teaches the infinite nature of Life and our indestructibility. Knowing this and recognizing your spiritual Life, which can never be eliminated, gives you the same knowledge of preexistence that Jesus had and it makes you mighty. I ask you now, Is your consciousness in your body or does body dwell in consciousness, the consciousness of Mind, that is continually and forever thinking you? If your consciousness dwells in your body then when you die you lose your conscious existence. If, however, your body dwells in consciousness then when you appear to die, “consciousness constructs a better body”. Jesus also said that the second death hath no more power then the first. We may have to go through that experience a number of times until we finally get it.

There is another interesting story in the Bible. It is the one about the prostitute taken in the very act of adultery. Here it is from John 8:

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go,
and sin no more.

Here’s another question for you. What did Jesus write on the ground? In those days when someone was accused of a crime they had a stone engraved with the crime on it. Could it be that Jesus wrote her crime in the sand? I like that thought. With the swipe of his hand her sins are eliminated. Isn’t that a similar thought to the healing of the blind man? He saw perfection, the masterpiece in both individuals. He must have seen that the human claim was never a part of their experience or their pre-existence. This is what gave him the power to heal both the blindness and the sins of the woman.

We are all capable of wiping away past mistakes. Look at the sentence in Science and Health about no intercourse during pregnancy. Here it is on page 62:2 “The foetus must be kept mentally pure and the period of gestation have the sanctity of virginity.”

Now if a pregnant mother to be, (obviously not a virgin), can have the sanctity of virginity, then can’t we so purify our thought whether we are dealing with sickness or sin? Absolutely. We all can reach that sanctification or spotless purity no matter what past claims about ourselves have been accepted. We need only go back in thought and examine what we have taken in about ourselves that is not part of our original perfect self and get rid of it. Say to yourself, “you are not my thinking, that was never my thinking. Get out of my thought.” Like Job, say, “I never knew you!” Mrs. Eddy tells us this is possible with this sentence from Ret 22:1 “The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged.” So let’s do it. Let’s revise the human history about ourselves in the same way Jesus did it. (Just in case you don’t know what expunge means: EXPUNGE Students Ref.: v. 1. to blot out; to rub out; to obliterate. 2. to efface; to strike out; to destroy.)

Mrs. Eddy talks about this original perfection in several places. Two of them show an interesting comparison: First from Mis 14:8-12 (to ;) “It is urged that, from his original state of perfection, man has fallen into the imperfection that requires evil through which to develop good. Were we to admit this vague proposition, the Science of man could never be learned;”

Here is that same thought from the Bible story about the blind man. We were perfect but we fell into imperfection so that God could pull us out. Nonsense! Look at her other quote from My 262:1:

“God creates man perfect and eternal in His own image. Hence man is the image, idea, or likeness of perfection — an ideal which cannot fall from its inherent unity with divine Love, from its spotless purity and original perfection.”

That’s the truth of the matter. You cannot fall from your original perfection, from your spotless purity. You have the sanctity of virginity. You are a Masterpiece that cannot be hid.

Finally I must ask the question, HOW? How do we see that perfection about ourselves and others? How can we do good? How can we be good? Again I turn you to your Leader in Ret 86:0-16. The article is called: Exemplification

“To energize wholesome spiritual warfare, to rebuke vainglory, to offset boastful emptiness, to crown patient toil, and rejoice in the spirit and power of Christian Science, we must ourselves be true. There is but one way of doing good, and that is to do it! There is but one way of being good, and that is to be good!
Art thou still unacquainted with thyself? Then be introduced to this self. "Know thyself!" as said the classic Grecian motto. Note well the falsity of this mortal self! Behold its vileness, and remember this poverty-stricken "stranger that is within thy gates." Cleanse every stain from this wanderer's soiled garments, wipe the dust from his feet and the tears from his eyes, that you may behold the real man, the fellow-saint of a holy household. There should be no blot on the escutcheon of our Christliness when we offer our gift upon the altar.”

Imagine, it is as simple as doing it! When you are in trouble or feel sick, lonely, helpless, whatever, “wipe the dust from your feet and the tears from your eyes” and see yourselves as a fellow saint of a holy household. By the way, what does “escutcheon” mean? It refers to the reputation of your holy household. (In other words it is your family crest—what you stand for.)

There should be no blot on the escutcheon of our Christliness when we offer our gift upon the alter.
(Ret 86:14)
Students Ref.: n. a shield. 1. A shield on which a coat of arms is represented; the shield of a family.
2. That part of a vessel’s stern on which her name is written.

Now you’ve got it. There can be no stain upon your family reputation as the Christ child. You are truly perfect, spotless and pure. You always have been and you always will be. You are the Masterpiece!

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