Tyranny Is Rooted To Spiritualism and Anthropomorphism
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes in the chapter “Christian Science versus Spiritualism,” “Jesus taught but one God, one Spirit, who makes man in the image and likeness of Himself [as written in Genesis 1], — of Spirit, not of matter [not Adam man]. Man reflects infinite Truth, Life, and Love. The nature of man, thus understood, includes all that is implied by the terms ‘image’ and ‘likeness’ as used in Scripture. The truly Christian and scientific statement of personality and of the relation of man to God, with the demonstration which accompanied it, incensed the rabbis, and they said: ‘Crucify him, crucify him…by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God [the Son of God is man as God’s image and likeness].’
“The eastern empires and nations owe their false government to the misconceptions of Deity there prevalent. Tyranny, intolerance, and bloodshed, wherever found, arise from the belief [as taught by spiritualism] that the infinite [God] is formed after the pattern of mortal personality, passion, and impulse.” (S&H 94:1-16; [my interpolations])
“Question. — What is man?
“Answer. — Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God. Including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.
“And God said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’
“Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not God’s man. Mortals are the counterfeits of immortals. They are the children of the wicked one, or the one evil, which declares that man begins in dust or as a material embryo [as in the allegory of Adam and Eve]. In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle and idea.
“Error, urged to its final limits, is self-destroyed. Error will cease to claim that soul is in body, that life and intelligence are in matter, and that this matter is man. God is the Principle of man, and man is the idea of God. Hence man is not mortal nor material. Mortals will disappear, and immortals, or the children of God [“Children. The spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love.” (S&H 582:28)], will appear as the only and eternal verities of man. Mortals are not fallen children of God. They never had a perfect state of being, which may subsequently be regained. They were, from the beginning of mortal history, ‘conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity.’ Mortality is finally swallowed up in immortality. Sin, sickness, and death must disappear to give place to the facts which belong to immortal man.
“Learn this, O mortal, and earnestly seek the spiritual status of man, which is outside of all material selfhood. Remember that the Scriptures say of mortal man: ‘As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.’
“When speaking of God’s children, not the children of men, Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is within you;’ that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God’s image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy. Man is not a material habitation for Soul [To believe this so is spiritualism.]; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being Spirit, is seen in nothing imperfect nor material.
“Whatever is material is mortal. To the five corporeal senses, man appears to be matter and mind united; but Christian Science reveals man as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions. Divine Science shows it to be impossible that a material body, though interwoven with matter’s highest stratum, misnamed mind, should be man, — the genuine and perfect man, the immortal idea of being, indestructible and eternal. Were it otherwise, man would be annihilated.” (S&H 465:5-477:18; [my interpolations])
“Genesis i. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
“The eternal Elohim includes the forever universe. The name Elohim is in the plural, but this plurality of Spirit does not imply more than one God, nor does it imply three persons in one. It relates to the oneness, the tri-unity of Life, Truth, and Love. ‘Let them have dominion.’ Man is the family name for all ideas, — the sons and daughters of God. All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power.
“Your mirrored reflection is your own image or likeness. If you lift a weight, your reflection does this also. If you speak, the lips of this likeness move in accord with yours. Now compare man before the mirror to his divine Principle, God. Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection. Then note how true, according to Christian Science, is the reflection to its original. As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God. The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere.
“God fashions all things, after His own likeness. Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness, which impart their own peace and permanence. Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light. The grass beneath our feet silently exclaims, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth.’ The modest arbutus sends her sweet breath to heaven. The great rock gives shadow and shelter. The sunlight glints from the church-dome, glances into the prison-cell, glides into the sick-chamber, brightens the flower, beautifies the landscape, blesses the earth. Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth. Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.
“Genesis i. 27. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
“To emphasize this momentous thought, it is repeated that God made man in His own image, to reflect the divine Spirit. It follows that man is a generic term. Masculine, feminine, and neuter genders are human concepts. [When this fact is accepted it will be understood that there is equality between the sexes.] In one of the ancient languages the word for man is used also as the synonym of mind. This definition has been weakened by anthropomorphism, or a humanization of Deity. [Here we are returning to those eastern empires and nations.] The word anthropomorphic, in such a phrase as ‘an anthropomorphic God,’ is derived from two Greek words, signifying man and form, and may be defined as a mortally mental attempt to reduce Deity to corporeality. The life-giving quality of Mind is Spirit, not matter. The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity.
“The world believes in many persons; but if God is personal, there is but one person, because there is but one God. His personality can only be reflected, not transmitted. God has countless ideas, and they all have one Principle and parentage. The only proper symbol of God as person is Mind’s infinite ideal. What is this ideal? Who shall behold it? This ideal is God’s own image, spiritual and infinite. Even eternity can never reveal the whole of God, since there is no limit to infinitude or to its reflections.
“Genesis i. 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
“Divine Love blesses its own ideas, and causes them to multiply, — to manifest His power. Man is not made to till the soil. His birthright is dominion, not subjection. He is lord of the belief in earth and heaven, — himself subordinate alone to his Maker. This is the Science of being.” (S&H 515:11-518:4; [my interpolations])