Individuality & The Universal Nature of Church and Man
In this 35-page booklet, John’s essays explore two key questions. In “Individuality”, he considers, “Who am I?” which is of importance to everyone. He thoughtfully exposes how the definition that personal sense has of individuality robs the student of his or her real identity and “individualized infinite power”. He goes on to show how “the breakthrough comes when we cease to consider God, man and the universe from any standpoint but that of the Mind that is God…” John elaborates on the point that “we must begin by enquiring into the nature of God’s individuality — His indivisibility, oneness, integrity, pre-eminence, infinitude, and distinction in expressing Himself as all the grandeur of being.” This essay provides an inspiring opportunity for the reader to peel away layers of misty beliefs about “individuality” and clarify in thought exactly “who I am”. It is a marvelous treatment to get “person” and “personal sense” out of the way.
In the second essay, “The Universal Nature of Church and Man”, John addresses the question, “So what does it mean to let thought rest upon and proceed from Principle?” Again here, he shows the fallacy of reasoning from the five physical senses and how personal sense undermines spiritual clarity and reasoning. He then focuses on the key point of the essay, that “because church and man are really synonymous in a scientific sense, it follows that what we are accepting as man also determines what we experience as church.” If we accept man as personal sense, then we also accept ‘church’ as a “collectivity of human men and women, with personal minds and lives” and invite “the possibility of these minds’ and lives’ warring, dissenting, dominating or being dominated” and so forth. In this essay, John discusses how man and church reflect the universal nature of Truth and Love, the oneness of divine Mind. The reader gains great clarity to identify the many ways personal sense tempts one to see church for all the things it is not instead of what it divinely is.
As always, in these essays John carefully documents all his statements with citations from Science and Health and Mrs. Eddy’s other writings. In this respect, these essays bring to light a wide range of Mrs. Eddy’s most important insights from many of her writings.