Max Kappeler’s Teaching Moments
The Seven Synonymous Terms for God
[by Joel Jessen]
Meet the World’s Need
For a New System of Reference
The human system of reference
Philosophical answers to the fundamental question “What is reality?” have formed our present human system of reference—a system of reference which is founded on the belief that both mind and matter constitute reality. Simply stated, the human system of reference is based on mind, matter, body, personal theories, death, mortal consciousness (including the subconscious and the unconscious) and imperfection. The human system of reference can be outlined briefly as follows:
1. Mind. There exists mind per se, mind as the material organ of thought. Everyone has a separate mind.
2. Matter. There exists matter per se, matter as material substance, composed predominantly of atoms.
3. Body. Sensible matter constitutes the body. All the faculties of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling are material and belong to the body.
4. Material theories. The belief of mind-matter-body molds our material theories concerning reality.
5. Death. Death is the ultimate effect of practicing materialistic theories.
6. Mortal consciousness (including the subconscious and unconscious). Mortal consciousness is the form in which the mind-matter-body belief manifests itself.
7. Imperfection. Imperfection, fear, hate, and so forth, are the inevitable experience of mortal consciousness.
Fundamentally, the mind-matter-body belief is the basis of our material universe; if we take mind-matter-body as our governing principle then our experience is death, mortal consciousness and imperfection.
This can be illustrated thus:
Today’s world view
In the past, various world thinkers have questioned the ultimate validity of the belief that there are two separate substances, mind and matter, and instead have postulated the theory that reality is mind, and matter is a mental construction. For example, in the 1940’s Sir James Jeans (British astronomer and mathematician) wrote that the “objective and material universe is proved to consist of little more than constructs of our own minds.” Physicist David Finkelstein (Professor, School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology) is looking for a link between particle physics, relativity, and human consciousness (David Finkelstein, “Reaching Beyond the Rational.” Time, April 23, 1973).
Along with the recognition that all is mind, we have the recognition by many psychologists that the grounding of human consciousness (mind) is based on ancient mythological beliefs—original archetypal beliefs. Carl Gustav Jung (Swiss analytical psychologist) revealed that these original archetypal beliefs are the irrational data which form the matrices of all our thoughts. These archetypes or primordial images are inherent in the human psyche (unconscious mind) and it is our local circumstance which provides the imagery through which these archetypal themes are displayed.
Moreover, as world thinkers begin to understand that it is our unconscious mind that is determining the major part of what we experience, it is no wonder that a few of them begin to ask for and seek a new basis for consciousness, a new system of reference. According to Bruce Wilshire (American educator and philosopher), “We are confined to a store of conceptual tools that may be inadequate to the task of comprehension …. we may even forge new conceptual tools and see the world in quite a different way—indeed, the world may be quite different….” (Bruce Wilshire, Metaphysics (New York: Pegasus, 1969), pp. 27, 29.
The divine system of reference
Mary Baker Eddy (Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science) in the late 1800’s presented to the world a new system of reference. First, she realized that all was mind, and matter was the subjective state of mind. Secondly, however, she went further and discovered a higher basis of reality—the real spiritual basis infinite Mind. She states, “My discovery, that erring, mortal, misnamed mind produces all the organism and action of the mortal body, set my thoughts to work in new channels, and led up to my demonstration of the proposition that Mind is All and matter is naught as the leading factor in Mind-science” (S&H 108:30).
Mary Baker Eddy not only discerned the real basis of reality, infinite Mind, but she also presented new conceptual tools which enable us to understand this real basis. Her definition of God declares, “God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love”, and adds that these terms for God are synonymous (S&H 465:9). Thus she designated Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love as the foundation of the new system of reference which will enable us to comprehend the nature and essence of spiritual reality.
The following outline briefly illustrates the method of reasoning with the seven synonymous terms for God, and shows how Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love—the basic constituents of the divine system of reference—expose the falsity of mind, matter, body, material theories, death, mortal consciousness, and imperfection—the basic constituents of the human system of reference.
- Mind – basis (vs. mind). “Mind,” as a symbol, conveys the sense that infinite Mind, God is the basis of spiritual reality. Mind is the only creator, producer, and cause that creates the universe of ideas, therefore Mind alone is the creative power that forms the image of the spiritual universe, inclusive of man. Mind’s will is mandatory and law (There is only one Mind, the infinite Mind. Infinite Mind is infinitely individualized, yet still remains the one infinite Mind. There are not many “separate” minds).
- Spirit – substance (vs. matter). “Spirit,” as a symbol, conveys the sense that idea is the only real substance (Substance is idea, a Mind formation, matter is a false concept).
- Soul – identity (vs. body). “Soul,” as a symbol, conveys the sense that Mind-idea (Mind–Spirit) constitutes true unchangeable identity (All faculties of the true senses are faculties of Mind, not of body).
- Principle – government (vs. material theories). “Principle,” as a symbol, conveys the sense that true spiritual identity is governed by the law, order, rule, system, method, form and plan which are inherent in Principle, Mind (True identity is not governed by material theories about mind-matter-body).
- Life – existence (vs. death). “Life,” as a symbol, conveys the sense that true spiritual identity experiences eternal life (not death), multiplication, abundance (not lack), spontaneity (not material causality), instantaneousness (not human time process).
- Truth – divine consciousness (vs. mortal consciousness). “Truth,” as a symbol, conveys the sense that true spiritual identity experiences divine consciousness (not mortal consciousness), health or wholeness (not sickness), truth (not error).
- Love – perfection (vs. imperfection). “Love,” as a symbol, conveys the sense that true spiritual identity experiences perfection (not imperfection), plan (not purposelessness), fulfillment (not frustration).
Understanding and demonstration
Essentially all forms of concrete error can be reduced to the opposite of Mind, Spirit, and Soul, i.e. to mind as the opposite of Mind, to matter as the opposite of Spirit, and to body (five physical senses) as the opposite of Soul. Therefore, if we adopt an understanding of the one infinite Mind (instead of mind), of Spirit (instead of matter), and of Soul (instead of body) then the entire question of a mortal material universe is seen as the illusionary experience of a material consciousness. We can therefore ask: Can there be death, mortal consciousness, and imperfection without the triad of mind-matter-body? The answer is, no! Why? Because death, sickness, and so forth, are the effects of the mind-matter-body belief. In other words, 1. mortal mind is the root cause of all forms of error, 2. matter is the objectified state of mortal mind, 3. body (material sense) is the outcome of putting mortal mind into matter, 4. material theories are formulations which are based on material sense testimony, 5. death is the ultimate effect of practicing materialistic beliefs, 6. mortal consciousness is the form in which materialistic beliefs manifest themselves, and 7. imperfection is the inevitable experience of the erroneous mortal consciousness.
Consequently, starting from an understanding of Mind, Spirit, Soul, holds the triad of mind-matter-body in check and enables us to ultimately demonstrate eternal life (Life), divine consciousness (Truth) and perfection (Love).
This is illustrated in the following table:
The fundamental answer to the entire life-problem is, in fact, simple. We do not have to change a seeming material, mortal universe per se; all we need to do is change our basis of consciousness from mind-matter-body (the root constituents of the human system of reference) to Mind-Spirit-Soul (the root constituents of the divine system of reference) and let our new structure of consciousness retranslate the so-called material experience into a spiritual experience.
It will take an enormous amount of spiritual insight for all of humanity to realize that death, sickness, fear, and so forth, are the illusionary experiences of a false basis of consciousness, but understanding reality demands this awareness.