Socrates was sitting in the Athens marketplace, 399 B.C., asking the younger generation “Is excellence still possible?” The older generation was too busy for nonsense. The context for his question was their magnificent Greek culture collapsing around them.
Today Socrates is just a name. It means only what we make of it, has no reality but what we give it. To many, his name means little or nothing; to some, it might mean a crossword puzzle clue or an old book on a dusty library shelf; and to others, to scientific metaphysicians, it names the first recorded instance of the highest human concept of the God-idea: The human is human because it is divine. Reason defines the human, and Reason is Soul.
Jesus is a name. Mary Baker Eddy, Margaret Laird, John Dorsey are names. To some they mean nothing, to some the highest human concept of the God-idea: Love inserting Itself in our everyday language, usually in unwanted form (paradox), contradicting our views and demanding acknowledgement of Good in all ways, the Self-discipline which is Self-fulfillment. Two millennia ago, this unwelcome form was named Jesus Christ; before that it was Socrates, always coming to the young. The elders are too busy.
When I was ready, my first metaphysics teacher appeared: Bullwinkle the Moose. Before Jesus was, I am the new identity of Mind, and “Fractured Fairy Tales” was teaching me to treat as silly the old God-idea of a supernatural savior-god whose heroic exploits save those in distress from being victimized by that evil genius Snidely Whiplash. Dastardly doings apparent as loss, even catastrophic loss, were Saturday morning entertainment.
Later, when I was ready and my teacher, “Transactional Analysis,” appeared, I started to move on from the whole “victim-persecutor-rescuer” syndrome, the language of the “drama triangle,” by giving up an infantile ego-idea for an “adult.” Until Love inserted itself in my language as the riddle of Infinity—in the unwelcome form, “Who Am I, now?”—my interior monologue had kept me too busy to listen to the Truth unfolding itself as my consciousness of It. The discovery I made, called Psychology, was an indispensable footstep leading to perfection (maturity).
However, without Science—the fuller God-idea of “…and not human for the same reason,” for my vision—I was ready/not ready to move on from the old, since I was at the time an ordained Presbyterian minister. Wedded to the high human concept of 2,000 years ago, I was not ready to see the silliness of the Jesus Christ myth and its syndrome of sin, sickness and death. Love—the cognitive Reality, the reality of things, Mind demanding conscious identity to be Mind—continually pressed its demand on me to be alone with my own consciousness.
Without the light of Science— the high human concept of today, the full statement of Being—the Christ-Jesus/Jesus-Christ fact/fiction named: the human is human because it is divine and is not human for the same reason, or “man became God that God might become man”—I had half my discernment language happening for me/as me without me happening as/with it. But I still had an unwanted “other”—a split—the yes/no paradox of Infinity (Love) perceived in the language of now/not yet.
When I, as teacher, was ready my students appeared. And I taught “them” Freud, Jung, dream work, the form of meditation called Centering Prayer (which I had learned from Thomas Keating), contemplative spirituality, the mystical experience and the transformation of the personality by “dismantling the false self,” empowered by spiritual energy (Love), received from the Divine Presence and Action within me: Man becoming God that man’s world might become Heaven.
This seemed good until Good, appearing again as my indispensable human footstep, came to kick me out of my self, out of all these “my” activities in one fell swoop, and into nowhere. I found myself in the empty space that Infinity provides where human thinking can come face to face with itself as conscious identity, Life reflecting ITSELF in existence. The names for empty space are oblivion and anonymity, which mysticism euphemizes by calling it “The Silence.” The absence of sound, of noise, of tension is the absence of the “false self.”
Little did I imagine that Margaret Laird and John Dorsey were just a “turn-the corner” ahead for me, and that Margaret would “laugh” me loudly out of my self-identification with that old supernatural, savior-god, heroic-rescuer concept of the high human-divinity, calling me not “Jesus Christ” but “Dudley Do-Right.” I didn’t laugh—at first. A few more steps leading to maturity (Love) were indispensable before I could laugh the old identification away. “Non- sense” bellowed Margaret Laird on some tape I was hearing. Meaningless thought is disease. Confusion in language is obstruction.
Mrs. Laird wrote, “The Christianity concepts of Christ- Jesus as a Savior-god or a Way- Shower did not make a race of more humane men and women loving their neighbors as them- selves. In fact, such concept dehumanizes the God-idea by externalizing it. With the Christ hidden in the myth of pagan dogma as a miracle-worker, a personality to placate and worship, humanity could only experience individual divinity in the language of suffering, poverty and death (Laird Letter, November/ December 1979, p. 2).
I had come far enough out of the old and into the new not to be fascinated with my own voice. We love ourselves, since we are human because we are divine and not human for the same rea- son. We naturally like hearing ourselves talk, thinking we sound like Jesus Christ and not Dudley Do-Right. So why do we disown our voice when we hear it coming from a tape recorder?
Do you remember, are you old enough, that more times than not it was Dudley’s horse that saved the day in “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” while Dudley was facing backwards in the saddle, enthralled with his own beautiful vocal quality? We are all fascinated with ourselves and in love with the sound of our own voice making noises, and we hate how silly the tape-recorder (the “other”) makes us sound. It is our individual divinity, in new- tool form, asking us what is the sound of “non-egoic” speaking (living)? Love’s true subjectivity sees and hears the things of this modern Art world with the full Art appreciation, or matured discernment language of “the spiritual facts of whatever the material senses behold.” Not about, of.
A statement like: “Every human thought must (does) turn instinctively to the divine Mind as its sole centre and intelligence” (Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 307: 30-1) is silly, nonsense—until, Love’s genius inserting itself into our own discernment language, perfection is gained because Perfection is.
St. John of the Cross, the quintessential Christian mystic next to Meister Eckhart, said: “The soul does not live in the body, it lives in what it loves.” These words are an acquired taste.
Margaret Laird is a name for the idea that the Paradox of Infinity (Love) must have conscious identity or reflection to be Infinity (Mind, Itself), and this demand is felt humanly as the demand to evolve new identity. Only from the God position, the Love position, can this form be correctly evaluated, evolved, and freed to its evolving. “Learning in Science is simulation since it is reflection, and as such is God seeing, hearing, feeling Himself in human form. In living one’s divinity Selfconsciously as Spirit, one lives by Grace, not by deeds of righteousness or ‘right thinking’. Grace resolves ‘I want’ into ‘I am'” (Laird Letter, November/ December 1979, p. 4).
In the language of discernment (love), the high human concept rises higher and higher as the inflated personal ego- image bubbles bursting, crashes and burns in a rapid deflation of sense/nonsense, no/yes. We see the evidence of our Love reception/perception if we hear ourselves laughing out loud at the old silliness collapsing. Discernment, the language of Love, of Self-appreciation, of acknowledging my Good in all my ways, laughs when the silly old Jesus-Christ complex shows up, instead, as Dudley Do-Right riding forwards facing backwards.
It’s very funny.
– Rob CraigDorsey / Living Consciously