by MJSmith

Mother’s Consciousness
            While reading from the book building of The Mother Church, by Joseph Armstrong, on page 63, I came to his chapter “mother’s room”.  (I am not sure why he did not use capital letters when titling his chapters.)  He begins his chapter with two verses from the BIBLE.

Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. — Galatians 4:26

Her children arise up, and call her blessed;…let her own works praise her in the gates. — Proverbs 31:28, 31

Seen below is the capstone that was placed upon the homestead of the Baker family in Box, New Hamphire.  An unenlightened board of directors, in Boston, destroyed it (with dynamite) because they claimed it led to idolatry of Mary Baker Eddy.  The capstone was built by a mason and it is supposed to be the same exact size as the missing capstone to the Great Pyramid of Giza.  The capstone of the original Boston Edifice, is Mother’s Room.

From – Landmarks From Bow to Boston – published by the CSPS

The First Church was built upon a triangular plot.

            Mother’s Room is found on the East Side, at the head, of the original Church Edifice (in Boston).  It was a small apartment “for the sole use of our beloved teacher and mother,”[1] Mary Baker Eddy, when she came to town.  It was up to the Busy Bees (Christian Science children) to collect money for this room.  With the help of Miss Maurine R. Campbell, five thousand dollars was raised.
            “The room is located on the auditorium stage of the tower and opens directly into the vestibule.  The entrance as originally planned did not satisfy the Directors, and after several consultations the architect was requested to design a marble archway more in harmony with ‘Mother’s Room.’”[2]  They used Italian marble for the Immanuel Arch.

The Immanuel Arch with its five steps that ascend to the door of Mother’s Room

            The doorway had to be widened “and the wall above cut out to the ceiling of the main vestibule, so that when the arch arrived the workmen”[3] would immediately begin to set it.  It was at six o’clock on a Friday that “the upright sections of the arch were in place to the finely carved cornice.”[4]  It seemed to be an impossible task to have the job complete before Sunday, as the workmen, when asked about it, said that it would take six days’ work “to set and finish the arch”[5] before they could fill in around it.  Yet, with Christian Scientists helping out, both physically and metaphysically, the job was finished “the next morning, in exactly twelve hours…and in an hour or two more the mason had filled in the wall around it with brick.”[6]
            After this, two coats of plaster were applied to the brickwork and then a painter laid down two coats of paint.  All of this work had been completed in one day, from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday.  Symbolically, the work was done on a Jewish Sabbath, a Seventh Day of Love.
            “The archway leads by five marble steps into a small lobby, brightened by electric lamps artistically hidden behind the high cornice.  The light illuminates the vaulted ceiling, and reflects a soft color from the rose tinted walls upon the white door with its golden knob.  Above the door, in letters of gold on a white marble tablet, is the word LOVE.”[7]  The color of rose paint is symbolic of the Madonna.  There are other rose symbols found throughout the Edifice.  The gold doorknob and gold letters are symbolic of the divine.  So, on the white (Principled) tablet we find divine LOVE.  “Near the ceiling on each side are three small stained glass casements, admitting enough light from two outside windows in the two dressing rooms to bring out the glazed colors and enhance the general effect.  Inlaid with different colored stones in the mosaic landing before the door, may be read:

                        “Mother’s Room[8]   The Children’s Offering”[9]

            “The thoughts leading to these arrangements came one by one to the individual Scientists overseeing the work and seemed like inspirations from Love.”[10]  Mary Baker Eddy “gave many helpful suggestions relative to all parts of the work,”[11] especially the decorations.
            In a presented letter, Armstrong shows his reader that it was Mary Baker Eddy’s own idea to have Mother on the floor and upon the arch the word LOVE.  We are to LOVE Mother’s Room (Consciousness).  I feel that the five steps leading up to Mother’s Room represent Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, and Life – so as we enter into the room we are on the level of Truth, the capstone of the Major Pyramid Matrix of Truth.
            The size of the room is “fifteen feet in width and eighteen in length, measuring from the door to the middle of the bay”[12] window.  Terra cotta flooring was laid, the room was plastered and painted.
            “The baseboard, both for the main room and the adjacent dressing room, is of pure white Italian marble without dark veining.  In the toilet room African marble, of Numidian red, is used alike for basin and baseboard, and the water-popes are gold-plated.”[13]

The Star of Boston

The Star of Bethlehem/Boston

            Of course the subject for the three testimonial windows are borrowed from Christ and Christmas.  The window on the left hand side is STAR OF BETHLEHEM (I also call it THE STAR OF BOSTON, and it is in the position of Life [five], yet it is the first [Mind] Illustration in Christ and Christmas), symbolizing “the ray of Truth penetrating the darkness of mortal mind.  ‘The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not’;[14] nevertheless it shines on, because it is from that divine source declared by Saint John to be ‘the life…of men.’”[15]

Suffer the Little Children Stained Glass Window

First Edition

            Next is the topic of the window found on the right side of Mother’s Room (while inside the room).  It is titled:  “SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME”.  This window is in the position of Love (seven) and the Illustration is the seventh Illustration in Christ and Christmas.  Armstrong says that it “represents the unbiased and innocent child-thought finding and appropriating the revelation of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which explains the words and works of Jesus, the prophets and the apostles.”[16]

“T’is the same hand that writes the page.” or “Seeking and Finding”

            Next he moves on to the central panel window, which he calls “Seeking and Finding” even thought there is no title on this window like there is with the other two windows.  The picture (directly above) is how the window is seen from outside the Church.  Mary Baker Eddy’s position is reversed from how she is facing in the Illustration of SEEKING AND FINDING (seen below).  (All three windows are opposite the three Illustrations while looking at them from outside the Church.  It is only when you are inside Mother’s Room that they are correctly viewed and matched up to Christ and Christmas.)  I call this window “T’IS THE SAME HAND THAT WRITES THE PAGE” because I feel that it represents a different time during Mary Baker Eddy’s life (1882) than the third Illustration SEEKING AND FINDING (1874), as seen in Christ and Christmas.

First Edition

…What Armstrong says next I somewhat disagree with.  He says that the window “is not a portrait of our teacher and mother but is a type which presents the thought of her, searching the Scripture with unalterable trust in the divine wisdom, above and beyond mortal concept.”[17]  This center window is found at the HEAD of the Church Edifice, in the position of Truth, and I say that the woman also depicts Mary Baker Eddy.  I feel that the window is supposed to be after she has written SCIENCE AND HEALTH, not before her writing the Textbook – as depicted in Christ and Christmas.  And this is why I give it a different title, borrowed from a line in Christ and Christmas.  Also, this window is in the position of Truth (six) while the Illustration is in the position of Soul (three).  He continues on:  “In this sacred search the ‘Star of Bethlehem [Boston],’ or gleam of Truth, is never lost sight of but shines steadily on the inspired page.”[18]
            Notice that he does not even mention that this star, in the window, is also a flower!  The three stars that are seen in these three windows are flowers, modeled after the Star of Bethlehem flower, therefore they are feminine symbols of enlightenment.  Why?  It is because this Star-Flower is the morning star (the planet Venus) that Jesus spoke of in Revelation and that is spoken of at the very end of Christ and Christmas.  Of course, this seven petaled Star-Flower also represents divine Science.  These three stars represent the virgin thought that Jesus’ mother Mary manifested during the Fifth Day of Life, the virgin thought that Mary Baker Eddy manifested during the Sixth Day of Truth, and the virgin thought of the young girl (representing generic man) manifested today – the Seventh Day of Love.  When Venus transits the sun it is clothed with the sun (Revelation 12 speaks of the woman God-crowned being clothed with the sun).  Venus became clothed with the sun twice during Mary Baker Eddy’s God-crowned mission (December 1874 and December 1882), likewise during Mother Hood’s God-crowned mission (June 2004 and June 2012).

            From here Armstrong begins to speak about the mantelpiece.  It is “constructed of onyx blocks from Puebla, Mexico, on exhibition at the World’s Fair, Chicago, in 1893.”[19]  This is interesting, but I wish he would have explained how they acquired these onyx blocks!  “Onyx of this opalescent green tint is said to be an object of worship with the Mexican Indians.  Though this contract dated from only five days before Christmas, the mantel was in its place by New Year’s.”[20]  He does not mention the circle found in the center of the mantelpiece that somewhat matches the circle found upon the keystone of the Immanuel Arch.
            There were gifts given to the room.  One gift was a rug placed in front of the fireplace.  It was “made by the Esquimaux from a hundred eider duck skins.”[21]  Sounds sort of gross to me! But it is a pretty rug.
            “Other remembrances were an elaborately carved imported chair, an onyx table, a large china lamp and shade, the desk lamp shade, an Assyrian bridal veil, jardinière and cloisonné clock, two water colors by an English artist, valuable vases, bookmarks and embroideries, a sofa pillow covered with white and gold tapestry, matching the other furniture, an Athenian hanging lamp two centuries old [which was supposed to have been kept lit at all times].  Silvery green plush draperies and antique Persian rugs of similar tint harmonized with the delicate frescoing of the walls.  A little onyx beehive contained the names of twenty-eight hundred Busy Bees.  Everything was provided for the beloved mother’s actual occupancy, as witness such tokens as a handkerchief, a tiny pincushion, dressing gown, slippers, and every needful toilet article.”[22]
            Something that Mary Baker Eddy herself contributed was an oil painting of the chair she sat in while writing SCIENCE AND HEALTH.  Evidently it was quite large, but they found the perfect place for it.  They set it on the floor (makes since as it was a painting of a chair) and it was “lighted by electric lamps fastened on the upper edge of the frame and concealed by green draperies.  The effect of the painting, so placed, is to enlarge as well as enrich the room for it is so realistic that, looking at it, one seems to be gazing into another apartment.”[23]
            Finally he speaks of a bookmark with some lines from a Whittier poem, which was given by two little girls.  Armstrong says that the Whittier expressed “the thought of many who enter this room:”

And so I find it well to come,
For deeper rest, to this still room;
For here the habit of the soul

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Feels less the outer world’s control;
And from the silence, multiplied
By these still forms on every side,
The world that time and sense has known
Falls off, and leaves us God alone.

            He does not mention, however, that the room is an oval room, as Christian Scientist David Nolan says it is.


[1] building of The Mother Church, by J. Armstrong, p. 63

[2] Ibid, p. 64

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid, p. 64-65

[8] “In 1904 in accordance with Art. XXII, Sect. 1, of the Church Manual, the title Mother’s Room was changed in the mosaic to Rev. Mary B. Eddy’s Room.” (Ibid, p. 65)

This was done, in 1903, after Mary Baker Eddy had given up the title of Mother, because she knew that the Bride must descend.

The First Church was completed in December 1894.  The first Church Manual did not come out until September 1895.  We LOVE our Leader – Reverend Mary Baker Eddy – by obeying her Manual estoppel clauses and By-Laws.

[9] Ibid, p. 65

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid

[12] Ibid

[13] Ibid

[14] “John 1:5.” (Ibid, p. 67)

[15] “v. 4.” (Ibid)

[16] Ibid

[17] Ibid

[18] Ibid

[19] Ibid

[20] Ibid

[21] Ibid

[22] Ibid, p. 67 & 69

[23] Ibid, p. 69