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Love Moves -- Love One Another

Have you ever wondered why Jesus said, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18)? Apparently, Jesus was describing something he witnessed, but it would be improper to think of it in literal terms. Jesus regularly used common objects to advance spiritual ideas, and so we can assume that Jesus was using lightning as a teaching metaphor. Even though Jesus beheld evil's demise, we also know that his thought must have been focused on good.

In nature, lightning is electricity forging its own path through the atmosphere. Mary Baker Eddy said, "Electricity is the sharp surplus of materiality which counterfeits the true essence of spirituality or truth, - the great difference being that electricity is not intelligent, while spiritual truth is Mind" (SH 293:17). As a metaphor, the lightning strike appears to be an impulse of self-will designed to impress the senses. Jesus beheld Satan as a counterfeit, and Mrs. Eddy confirmed that view with her definition of electricity. A counterfeit is an imitation of the genuine article, but it is both a liar and a lie with no intrinsic value. Consider lightning to be nothing more than misguided evidence of God's power, evidence that must be stricken from the human mind. Every attempt to waver from the infinite way is no way at all. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Atonement is the exemplification of man's unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love" (SH 18:1). Lightning is the exemplification of mankind's resistance to God. Satan exemplifies resistance, but in the one-power universe of Mind, there can be no resistance. Resisting the infinite with nothing is not a reasonable venture, yet mortals insist that it is worth a try. Attempting to thrive in an earth that is laden with the dust of material sense has been a failure from lightning's first spark of disobedience. Science removes Satan's dazzling pretense, enabling us to discern that "spiritual truth is Mind."

We can use our knowledge of electricity and wire to expand Jesus' metaphor. In the same way that power generators use wire to deliver energy to homes and cities, our power source is omnipotent Love, and love is the delivered product. Assume that the symbolic wire is filled with Love's energy and that every idea of God is connected to it, receiving spiritual light, warmth, and grace. Now suppose the wire breaks - sparks fly! The sparks are proof that power is running through the wire. If effect could disconnect itself from its spiritual source, its identity would be lost - it would appear to fall from heaven. Egotism - self-will, self-justification, self-love, and self-destruction - tries in vain to break Love's channel, but every attempt to usurp God's power is a disaster. Mrs. Eddy says, "Self-love is more opaque than a solid body" (SH 242:15). What value is there in opaque love? None! Understand that we are like the wire. Divine Love is passing through each and every one of us, motivating us to be charitable and kind. If we suppose ourselves to be broken, we feel the sparks: stress, pain, broken relationships, sin, death, and so on. We may desire to stop the pain or to be inert, but our help, our only real solution, is at hand: Love is present and keeps flowing. What heals the hurt and restores the wire? The loving of another: passing love on as an unbroken wire. Unselfed love proves one's unbroken link to divine Life, where peace, health, and happiness reign.

Consider another analogy. Mary Baker Eddy defines river as a "channel of thought. When smooth and unobstructed, it typifies the course of Truth; but muddy, foaming, and dashing, it is a type of error" (SH 593:14). She also defines Adam as "a dam, or obstruction (SH 338:15). Like a river, you are a course for truth and love. If you fear that Love's supply is limited and attempt to collect, or dam up, the good that is arriving, it will begin to accumulate; pressure builds until you think you are going to burst. How important it is, then, to "sell all that thou hast" (Mark 10:21). As you allow Love's current to pass through you by giving it away, the pressure is relieved.

If one were to ask a young child where water comes from, the child might point at the sink faucet, yet the faucet is not the source of water but is merely the appliance that dispenses it. Metaphorically, the reservoir or deep well (God) is the supplier, and we are the faucets. When we are open to dispensing good to others - giving freely - love fills the pipe. We lose nothing and fulfill our proper function, pouring truth into every situation (not of ourselves but through ourselves).

Mrs. Eddy also likens man to a windowpane. When it is clear, light passes straight through. When our mind is self-directed - corrupted by the cares of this world - our window is dirty. Light heats the windowpane, and we feel the heat. We suffer because we identify with the dirt and cling to it. A mind controlled by one's ego is disinclined to charity because it is incapable of forgiving itself. Perhaps Jesus' first demonstration of being like a clear windowpane was a star: the star of Bethlehem, which "went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was" (Matt 2:9). Jesus' angel concludes his revelation to Saint John by confirming his first demonstration: "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Rev 22:16).

Combining the previous two metaphors, Jesus is calling himself a light faucet or star - a clear windowpane that light shines through. The star of Bethlehem is no more a source of light than the faucet is a source of water. The infinite reservoir of Love passes through Christ to all mankind. Jesus said, "I am the way [the wire, the river, the faucet, the clear windowpane] the truth, and the life" (John 14:6, emphasis added).

It is reported in some ancient texts that when Saint John was old, he would rise at every meeting, say, "Love one another," and sit back down. This simple and profound message is a distillation of his glorious career.

Pass love on; give it unconditionally without hesitation. Love, love, love, for we are not fallen, broken, dammed up, turned off, or dirty.

George Denninger ©

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