The Lord's Prayer
is a simple prayer when seen superficially. But when one takes a closer
look, it comes to light as a complex of 8 statements arranged in 4
groups of two closely related elements. The amazing consistency and the
progressive nature of the groups suggests that this didn't happen by
chance, but had a scientific intention standing behind it. But, if so,
what does it mean? It seems to suggest that the Christ era was an era of
scientific movement happening in the world, which history tells us it
was. Scientific development was the hallmark of the Greek Classical era
that culminated into the Christ era. Many great names from this
scientific era are still household names in the scientific community,
such as Pythagoras, Solon, Socrates, Plato, and so on. Evidence suggests
that the prevailing science-background is carried forward in the Christ
era. The evidence exists in the form of the "City of God"
concept that the Revelator John, who had evidently worked with Christ
Jesus, had presented in a book that became the last book of the Bible.
The City of God Concept: John spoke of a foursquare 'city' being conveyed from God to humanity that the 'kings of the earth' would bring their glory and honour into it. Such a foursquare city of scientific concepts can be see in a number of different ways. (See more on the 'city')
The Lord's Prayer, in its design, incorporates two of the three features illustrated above. The four groups of the Lord's Prayer thereby come to light as four columns of progressive development going on within. In each column the primary idea is developed into a more-advanced concept. Thus, the focus is oriented upwards.
However, John's "City of God" concept suggests that there are actually 4 successive levels involved within each group or column. The separation may have become lost in the process of translation. When we incorporate the "City of God" concept, the elements of the Lord's Prayer come to light in an amazingly progressive manner, as shown below.
Let's look at what happens here.
The first column begins with "our Father." The concept of father is typically used to identify our individual (family) root. It is something that defines us, our identity. Next we discover that our identity is rooted in "heaven," which gives our identity a spiritual character. This is obviously true, because intelligence is one of the great hallmarks of the human being - and with intelligence comes power, harmonizing power, uplifting power. If this is us, wow, let's celebrate this profound fact (hallowed be). And what is it really, that we celebrate? This remains yet to be fully discovered. We are still in the process of discovering what the term Man includes, in which, what we call 'God' comes to light. The name of God, is the name of Man by reflection or participation in the divine design. The entire progression in this column is a yearning to discover who we really are as human beings - the tallest manifest of life on the Earth, or divine beings. The focus is to discover what we are and what God is, which is really one and the same process, a process of discovering our divine Identity.
In the second column the spiritual identity (or nature) of humanity unfolds as Power, the dawning sense of power: the power of leadership; of divine ideas; of the authority of divine intention; of the inevitable, principled, divine intention being consciously expressed. The focus is away from the poverty of mass-power, to the enriching movement of universal power, which is spiritual power and is already built into the design of God and Man.
In the third column we deal with Participation. That's where action is key, where the 'pedal is pushed to the metal' so to speak. Here action is defined in meeting the human need. Here we participate in the divine process. One might call this column the column of economy. Meeting the human need is a debt that society owes to one-another and to God in whom the human identity is anchored. The debt becomes extinguished when the human need is fulfilled. This type of debt, and there is none other, can never be forgiven in the divine economy. It becomes extinguished only when the divine requirement is fulfilled in our participating in the process of reflecting love in the world as the highest form of humanity meeting the human need. The process of participation is well illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan, attributed to Christ Jesus.
In the fourth column we deal with a type of fulfillment that comes to light as the inevitable Reflection of the divine process being born out in humanity. The focus here is on breaking out of small-minded thinking and attitudes. For humanity, reflecting the divine, small-minded thinking is self-denial. Small-minded thinking is a trap. Our prayer must be to become sensitive to avoid being trapped by small-minded thinking in any form, because by being trapped we loose the most precious we have: we lose our divine identity.
America's spiritual pioneer of the 19th Century, Mary Baker Eddy, has worked extensively with the "City of God" concept. This is evident in the fact that she divided all of her major works into 16 parts, or multiples thereof, including her textbook that is made up of 16 chapters. She wrote about the City of God in the last pages of the last chapter of her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She used different sets of terms there, for the description of the columns, such as: The Word, Christ, Christianity, and divine Science. She also used terms related to the cycle of the Sun in the sky, Northward for dawn, Eastward for sunrise, Southward for noon day, and Westward for the golden sunset.
The four imperatives were evidently related to the City of God concept that had been pioneered in the time of Christ Jesus, which Mary Baker Eddy had built all of her works on.
Mary Baker Eddy also added two additional statements to each column, respective of the Lord's Prayer. The additional statements present her spiritual sense of what the respective groups of the Lord's Prayer signify in a column. In this context, her statements for the lower groups in the columns can be seen as starting statements. The statements should inspire us to break away from closed-minded thinking. In this context, her statements for the upper groups, can be seen as 'target' statements for the columns, something to work towards, something that is within reach. The result is shown in the summary below.
In addition to all that, Mary Baker Eddy has rendered the names of the four rivers listed in the second chapter of Genesis with a scientific meaning that bears no relationship to the biblical text where the names appear. However, the scientific sense of her definition for the rivers is highly significant for the characteristics of the four columns, representing four development streams, of the City of God. By bringing the term "river" into this context, she seems to suggest that each of the development streams is destined to flow momentously and become a great river with 'biblical' dimension and significance. The table below presents Mary Baker Eddy's glossary definitions for the four rivers in their biblical sequence.
The definition for the river Euphrates is extensive. It continues (*) "the true idea of God; a type of the glory which is to come; metaphysics taking the place of physics; the reign of righteousness. The atmosphere of human belief before it accepts sin, sickness, or death; a state of mortal thought, the only error of which is limitation; finity; the opposite of infinity."
Now we face the task to make sense of all that. For this, it becomes useful to bring the Lord's Prayer into context with other major works that have likewise been built on the platform of the City of God. One of these is Mary Baker Eddy's illustrated poem Christ and Christmas, which is made up of 16 verses.
The coincidence of the poem with the city, and thereby with the Lord's Prayer, suggests that the 16 elements of her poem and the 16 elements of the Lord's Prayer should scientifically coincide in design, and that the result would be significant.
So let's test this assumption. Let's put the two together and see what happens.
Note: In some cases, in Christ and Christmas, an illustration for the poem covers two verses. Often, in such cases, the attached scene has two distinct parts incorporated as one. In this manner the illustrations cover the entire scene of the city in a rather interesting manner.
Let's begin with
column that focuses on discovering our divine
(click on the image for a larger view)
What Earth-shaking significance can one find in this column? An answer presents itself when one considers what it is that comes into view when one discovers our common, universal, divine identity as human beings that includes all that is good, beautiful, and eternal, which alone are significant. As aspects of God, they have an infinite dimension in expressions. In the top painting the searcher searches the Scriptures for tidbits of this dimension as ancient cultures have discovered their identity, and with it the identity of God, as God is reflected in man. Some cultures did so more profoundly than others, and in some cases with amazing results in their living. In the second painting, in the first part of it, a person representing the Christ idea, the highest concept of man, is shown raising a woman out of a coffin. No such specific scene is reported in Scriptures related to Jesus, which makes it a universal scene of Christ Healing, a personal expression of an impersonal truth that is as bright as the Sun and as wide as the universe. The scene presents an example of what our identity includes, from the wide scene of all that is good and beautiful and progressive.
The result is a strong-flowing river, unless the flow is blocked by cultivated denial of the nature of humanity. The denial comes in the form of impositions by a self-appointed elite that imposes on humanity what their identity as a human being aught to be. Religions fall into this trap, spinning dogmas for people to bow to, who, if they refuse, have their head chopped off, or slander heaped upon their head, or have their names stricken from the rosters that eventually will contain only the names of willing slaves. Even the greatest institutions are prone to fall into this trap.
The Christian Science organization is a good example. Whenever, for example, advanced thinkers discovered elements of the City of God in Mary Baker Eddy's work, which officially is not authorized to exist, the individuals were vilified, excommunicated, slandered, and even persecuted as dangerous dissidents in some cases. On this road of authorized doctrines and identities, what should be a living science becomes smothered to death. This happens in politics too, and even in the halls of physical science.
Astrophysics, for example, has become a holy sea of cherished doctrines that serve numerous objectives, except the truth. Those who speak for the truth, are slandered as "deniers." And so, humanity denies itself, its own identity, and offers up its most precious on the altars of the blind, the small-minded, and those sick with cultivated ignorance. Mary Baker Eddy's call is, "Heal the sick." Don't tolerate the disease that has infested the fabric of civilization. Claim your divine identity and be free.
The second column
focused on Christ: Power
It has been said, the kingdom of God is with men. Mary Baker Eddy didn't define the term, Kingdom of God, but she did define the term Kingdom of Heaven. She defines it as "The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme." And she defined Heaven as "Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul." These two statements provide a rough outline of the dynamics in the column.
The Christ is never born. That's the meaning of Christmas. It has no beginning and no end, but it has a sunrise for us as we reach for it. No one owns it. But it is expressed in humanity to as high as we can reach, and this is as high as heaven itself.
Without the universal Christ the human scene is dead, sometimes serenely dead, and sometimes tumultuously dead. In the second half of the lower painting, the scene is quite dead. Theology has society spell-bound, it 'owns' society. Medicine has society chair-bound. It owns society by impotence. And science itself is bound to a rocker with a crown of thorns on the head as on Golgatha. The only one who is not bound is the boy. He is alive. Science has him by the genitals as it were. No one owns him. Mary Baker Eddy's call is, "Raise the dead." And this includes raising the Christ idea to the status of never born and never dying, of being alive in us all, of it being our power, expressed on Earth as it is in heaven. But are we on board with this?
We say in so many ways, the Christ is dead. The power of the human genius has been reduced in status to private property, and its product a marketable commodity that is sold for profit. The copyright symbol rules. The trademark symbol rules. Even life itself is increasingly owned as a patent. What a free, unbound, and living scene looks like is illustrated in the upper paintings. The power of the Christ comes to light there.
Mary Baker Eddy's definition for the river of this column is highly symbolic. She may represent the Christ, the heart of man. Mary Baker Eddy once stated (in 1884) that "Woman is the highest term for man." She may have referred to the Christ by making reference to the moral, civil, and social scene where the most precious of the divine is reduced to the level of a commercial commodity, a restricted use commodity, a club commodity, rather than the universal spark, or sun, from heaven.
The third column:
From grace to love we progress in participating in the divine process. In this column civilization is being built, and if we loose its focus, the civilization that we have is doomed to collapse. In this respect the upper group (of 2 elements) is of critical importance. Mary Baker Eddy's top statement that divine Love is reflected in love, is a scientific statement that illustrates the dynamics of divine Love: It is reflected in love. That's the process. It unfolds in participation. The process of participation has two elements. One element is focused on meeting the human need as a 'debt' to divine Love. In the process of participation - in the flow of love meeting the human need - the obligation required by divine Love is fulfilled, whereby the debt becomes extinguished. In this context, the prayer "And forgive us our debt" simply means "help us to meet our obligation to Love, to get us out of debt." The parable of the "Good Samaritan" illustrates this point (Luke 10:33).
The parable is about a traveller who was robbed and injured and left at the wayside to fend for himself or die. A high-minded (small-minded) priest came along and saw the man's predicament. He responded by going far out of his way so that he wouldn't feel obliged to help, to meet the human need. He probably said to himself, "let God help the poor man." Thus he made the typical high-minded decision not to become 'involved' in the divine process. His response to divine Love was, leave me out of it, I don't want to have any part in it. His response is a common response in our modern world that is by it becoming increasingly fascist. In our world where money has been poisoned with greed, evermore people are being denied a place to live, and even food to live. The priest in the parable walked away from the tragic scene with a huge pile of debt on his shoulders that he will have to carry until the debt is extinguished. Modern society is carrying the same type of debt, and under the weight of it, civilization is collapsing, nuclear war looms, and the Next Ice Age stands on the horizon denied.
The Samaritan, in turn, did participate in the process where divine Love is reflected in love. He didn't even see it as a debt or obligation, but simply moved along with the process. He may have realized that by responding as a human being, where Love is reflected in love, he was creating a brighter and richer world for himself to live in, and for everyone else too. In which world would you rather live: In the world of the priest, or in the world of the Samaritan? Christ Jesus followed the same course, meeting the human need, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, and so on.
When Mary Baker Eddy incorporated the Christ imperative, "Cleanse the lepers," into her seal in 1881, the leprosy of old, essentially didn't exist in the USA, and wasn't an issue anymore worldwide. This means that she referred to a different form of leprosy, a mental correlative of the disease that once had disfigured the face of man, termed poverty, indifference, disdain, hate, slander, persecution, and so on, which are all facets of the refusal to participate in the divine process of meeting the human need.
The question that Jesus' parable poses, as to whose world we would rather live in, the priest's or the Samaritan's world, is evidently the most critical question in the modern world. Will we heal the modern form of 'leprosy' that is disfiguring the face of man? Or will we walk away with a pile of debt our shoulders. We live in a world that is facing economic collapse under the yoke of financial looting and subsequent escalating intentions to restage (destroy) the world with war, and with the grand orgy of nuclear war that has been well prepared for. The Levite versus the Samaritan, in the parable, represents this type of indifference to the human dimension that stands behind every aspect of poverty, starvation, looting, slavery, war, and nuclear war, which like an unhealed disease has festered for centuries and grown more acute. The Levite probably represented Rome in the parable that had championed those unhealed factors. The Levite also represented the fate of Rome that was eventually crushed by the weight of the accumulated debt that it had shouldered by its own choice.
The topmost part of the prayer "As we forgive our debtors" is focused on the debt we owe to ourselves as human beings, to participate in the divine process. This obligation too, cannot be forgiven, but it becomes extinguished as the obligation is fulfilled. The Samaritan carried no such debt. Mary Baker Eddy defined the river of his movement as: "Divine Science understood and acknowledged."
The fourth column:
Mary Baker Eddy's famous statement, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (S&H p: 494), is often used as a pretext for evading the individual participation in the divine process in which divine Love is reflected in love whereby the human need is met. Mary Baker Eddy seems to say that whenever the process was in operation, it has never failed to fulfill its design objective, which is assured by its principle, and which therefore cannot fail under any circumstances in the future, whenever society participates in the process, individually and collectively.
Mary Baker Eddy presents this statement in the second-last part of the chapter (Recapitulation) of her textbook that pertains to the same element of the City of God as does the painting of the angel knocking at the door of the dwelling of humanity, shown above. Mary Baker Eddy's statement that the divine process has never failed and will never fail when it becomes a part of the human scene, has been inscribed on the walls of the edifices of the churches of Christ Scientists, perhaps as a reminder. The obligation, of course, to open the door and participate, is universal. Thus, the angel will keep on knocking until the divine process becomes actively reflected in every facet of the human dimension, whereby the 'heavens open' and the future becomes bright. We are not there yet, obviously not by a long way. We staunchly refuse to participate in the divine process, singing "me, no, keep me out of it." We hide behind this closed-door song, and why wouldn't we? We have no experience in 'singing' the divine song in deeds with love. These are the "demons" that Mary Baker Eddy has evidently in mind - the "demons" of small-minded thinking, high-minded indifference, and closed-minded refusal to care - that she had dedicated herself and her science to cast out from the human landscape.
It is evidently a highly challenging demand on humanity to open its prison of small-minded thinking and high-minded attitudes, from the inside. But when this happens, not even the coming next Ice Age will remain a challenge. This challenge stands already at our door, knocking, with the discernment in astrophysical science that the currently unfolding transition in solar dynamics will lead to the Sun going inactive in the 2050s timeframe with a 70% loss in radiated energy, whereby the areas of all the northern nations become uninhabitable. (See: Ice Age Ahead in 30 years)
The current demons of closed-minded science 'cry' that a rapid Ice Age can't happen, and with their cry they prevent the building of the infrastructures that are needed for the relocation of the northern nations into the tropics. With their high-minded 'crying' the demons are committing the world's children to death. Their cry is an ugly song.
The small-minded carry demons of a different type. They sing the song that God will save the world, which is true. God has opened a portal to the protection of humanity through the channels of science. That's the current divine intervention. That's the divine style. The demons cry, keep us out of the loop we have no part in that, we look for miracles from God so that we can remain asleep in our easy chair. Mary Baker Eddy's call is: "Cast out the demons." This was the call even in Jesus' time. Of course neither he nor she could have known in their time that the failure by society with their demonic small attitude - the failure to cast out their demons from the land, would result into such monster threats as nuclear war, or such blindness that the potential starvation of 90% of humanity at the onset of the Ice Age, raises not as much as an eyebrow, much less a hand to prevent it. That's amazing indifference. But when will start to turn the ship around? When will we begin to move into the direction of the Samaritan? When will we stop singing the song, "let the needy die?" When will we take the first meaningful steps in the divine direction?
In the fourth column of the Lord's Prayer we are told that the starting point must be a desire to get out the demonic trap. Mary Baker Eddy's definition for the river that starts at this point is extensive, as if to indicate that far more than we can imagine rides on this critical river. She defines its dynamics as, "Divine Science encompassing the universe and man; the true idea of God; a type of the glory which is to come; metaphysics taking the place of physics; the reign of righteousness. The atmosphere of human belief before it accepts sin, sickness, or death; a state of mortal thought, the only error of which is limitation; finity; the opposite of infinity."
Mary Baker Eddy also hits at what the scene would be if the river was not blocked, if our way was unobstructed, if humanity would succeed in healing its broken wings. She writes in the poem:
No blight, no broken wing, no moan,
When Christ's music-tone becomes our heaven's hymn, the future will be bright, as bright as the Sun, which is our Star. It is interesting to note that the great star on the cover of Christ and Christmas is surrounded by 56 rays of light. It was not known in Mary Baker Eddy's time that this phenomenon is a natural phenomenon in high-energy physics. It has recently been discovered in plasma-flow experiments at the Los Alamos National Laboratory that in high-density environments electric plasma currents become drawn together into 56 filaments that form a circle. While this phenomenon may have been seen in ancient times and had apparently been replicated in the Stone Henge monument, it is highly unlikely that the scientific community was aware of this fact in Mary Baker Eddy's time. (See: The Power of 56)
The natural principle that was not known in Mary Baker Eddy's time was evidently not unknown to the Mind that created the phenomenon as a Principle. That the divine style, and it is the divine style to impart critical aspects by intuition before their significance becomes known. Thus, the last river of the Lord's Prayer moves towards the recognition that "God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All."
It is interesting to note that Mary Baker Eddy uses the term "all-power" in her sense for the final group of the prayer. This is not symbolic. On it the future existence of humanity will likely depend. All the world's energy fuels are fast being depleted (at the current rate in 60 years, both oil and nuclear) with no viable alternatives in sight to get us through the coming 90,000 years of the next Ice Age, and the millions of years of an endless future. (See: Invitation to master the Greatest Challenge)
The future of human civilization, past the depletion stage, is only possible with the utilization of a higher-level energy resource that is not entropic, but infinite. This resource is available through the science of electro-astrophysics in the form of the electric energy-streams that power the Sun. The demons of the small-minded underworld scream that this is impossible, even if it is the option humanity has, to have a future. Whether humanity succeeds in letting the fourth river of the Lord's Prayer flow strongly enough, will determine the future of humanity, if not its very existence. In this river, the movements of physics and the movement of infinite Mind reflected in man, combine as metaphysics. The Scriptures infer that God is Spirit, science unfolds that the divine Spirit is reflected in Man.
The presentation on this page is an advanced scientific exploration of the Lord's Prayer. It is highly complex. Simpler forms are possible and have been previously pursued. It is possible to regard the Lord's Prayer as a sequence of 8 elements, which Mary Baker Eddy expanded into 16 elements with her scientific statements for the elements of the Lord's Prayer. An example is attached to my online rendering of her book "Christ and Christmas." The simpler version is also described in my video production, "The Science of the Lord's Prayer."
While it is impossible to know how the Lord's Prayer was originally constructed and intended, and how Mary Baker Eddy had intended her scientific sense of the Lord's prayer to be regarded, we have little choice but to scientifically explore all options and choose the most powerful result. This, I believe to be the one presented on this page, of the two options I pursued. It is highly likely that the Lord's Prayer was originally created as a 16 element structure, as it came from the same 'workshop' where the 16-element City of God originated. This does not mean that the exploration ends here, meaning that no more-profound explorations are possible. The exploration of infinite Mind is evidently not inherently limited. A vast body of evidence exist that Mary Baker Eddy worked extensively with the City of God concept, as every major work she created is built on it. But she never defined her work in such terms, as the definition would become a doctrine rather than being an open door to the infinite, which science inherently is.
In a world that is brimming with doctrines of all sorts the open door of scientific progress is critically needed. It is needed in all areas, from economics to astrophysics, and it is needed in the spiritual realm, including Christianity and Christian Science. When this door is closed the Lord's Prayer becomes meaningless. It is spoken mechanically and evokes no responses as the increasing tragedy in the world illustrates. Inversely, as science opens the door and enables participation in the divine process, the tragedies lessen and healing begins. How far we have advanced from one to the other, future historians will tell, provided that we assure that there will be any. I like to think that our chances are good on this front. We have the potential to stand on the shoulders of giants, if we care to do so. But will we? The answer has not yet been determined, but I expect it to be a positive one. With everything considered and taken into account, we are human beings by design, built on the tallest foundation for life to unfold, a foundation that makes us divine. With the Lord's Prayer standing tall as an element of our self-discovery, infinity opens before us.
Rolf A. F. Witzsche