Because the Concept of Eight involves several fascinating and important aspects, there is much to explain. Knowing about these aspects will enable the student of Christian Science to gain substantially more from our Pastor (The KJV Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy). To prevent this post from being too long, there will be two parts, each one posted separately. Part One focuses on verses in the Bible. Part Two will be devoted to citations in Science and Health (SH)
The Concept of Eight, is cousin to the Concept of Four with its variations: Balance of Love, Foursquare or the Holy City, and the Four Omnis. Because the Beatitudes are included in this Concept of Eight (B-3, Example 3 below), a fourth form of Four is being introduced: The Law of Love. As with the Number Concepts already presented, the Concept of Eight is identified by a pattern, this time of eight words. These may be verbs, nouns, adjectives
Concept of Eight passages in our Pastor are delightful to find, because they guide thought to transition upward from the physical or metaphysical to the spiritual. Why is this significant? Because healing takes place on the spiritual level of thought
A. FEATURES OF THE CONCEPT OF EIGHT:
A-1 DOUBLE PORTION of the CONCEPT OF FOUR
This Concept of Eight has double the power of the Concept of Four. As mentioned in the introduction, the Concept of Four can appear as:
Balance of Love –
Or despisest thou the riches of his 1 goodness and 2 forbearance and 3 longsuffering; not knowing that the 4 goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Rom 2:4)
Blessed 1 are they which 2 do hunger and 3 thirst after righteousness: for they 4 shall be filled. (Matt. 5:6)
Four Omnis −
What to material sense 1 seems substance, 2 becomes nothingness, as the sense-dream 3 vanishes and reality 4 appears. (SH 312:5)
The Law of Love –
And he 1 opened his mouth, and 2 taught them, saying, Blessed 3 are the poor in spirit: for theirs 4 is the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:2, 3)
The Concept of Eight may be a double portion of any one of these, or a combination of any two of these, for instance Balance of Love and Foursquare.
A-2 Transitioning thought
Healing takes place on the spiritual level of thought, not on the physical, and not on the metaphysical. Concept of Eight metaphysical citations take one there, especially when applied as treatment. Within them, the reader will find a transition of thought, a mental change that goes from the physical and metaphysical up to the spiritual, and parallels the “Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind” outlined on pages 115:19–116:3 in Science and Health. Please notice the Marginal heading “Transitional qualities.”
Here needs to be explained the four types of sentences described in a previous blog. Rather than just relative and absolute, the Spiritual Concepts Approach (SCA) points out that there are four types or levels of sentences: physical, metaphysical, spiritual, and absolute. Mrs. Eddy never mentions the “relative” in her writings. She does, however, mention the other four, and the SCA follows our Leader by doing the same, replacing the term relative with physical. As you will see, these levels of thought have everything to do with the transitional nature of the Concept of Eight.
What impels this transition? God’s Omni-action!
Omni-action is an inseparable part of this concept and may be felt even if not apparent in the text. It is the law of Principle, God’s Law of Good, ever in operation—fulfilling its God-ordained blessing for man to come to fruition, full circle, and it always completes its mission. The definition of Good in the Glossary, page 587:19, is like an abbreviated description of Omni-action: God, Spirit’s omnipotent, reciprocal Law of Good constantly and actively blessing man.
Mrs. Eddy mentions Omni-action by name only this once in all her writings, yet it permeates Science and Health. In the SCA, we learn that there are several other closely-related words that signify Omni-action in our textbook: acting, action, active, activities, activity, acts.
Each of the following citations includes Omni-action:
Action expresses more gratitude than speech. (SH 3:26 (only))
He claimed no intelligence, action, nor life separate from God. (SH 136:5-6) Fear never stopped being and its action. (SH 151:18 Fear (only, to 2nd .))
Mind is all that feels, acts, or impedes action. (SH 166:3-4 Mind)
Only the action of Truth, Life, and Love can give harmony. (SH 169:27) Reason is the most active human faculty. (SH 327:29 Reason (only, to 2nd .))
Such acts bear their own justification, and are under the protection of the Most High. (SH 436:13) God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting… (SH 587:5-6 (to 1st ,)
A SCA definition of Omni-action is the power of God’s established law of good for man. This definition explains why we spell it with a capital O. It begins with God, flows out from Him, blesses everyone and everything, and reflects back to Him. How wonderful that the SCA has noted it throughout the Pastor, clearly defined what it is, points it out so that we can recognize and acknowledge it, be blessed by it, and bless others with it.
Isaiah 55:10, 11 is an apt example of Omni-action. God is the center and circumference of all life. What He creates and initiates encompasses all being. God, Spirit, is Omni-action. What starts with God, Cause, is everywhere, Effect. Omni-action never stops or slows down, but is ever active, ever expressed by God, and then reflected by man. It is never static or absent, but is present here and now. This truth needs to be acknowledged in order to open consciousness to its blessings.
Omni-action is the Christ activity itself!
The law of Omni-action works without human interference, effort, or involvement. Acknowledging it, however, functions as a door opening to admit Love’s blessings. Acknowledging this law serves to uplift thought, transitioning from the physical, to the metaphysical, and finally to the spiritual The spiritual universe is teeming with unseen activity. Spirit is communicating right ideas and the spiritualized consciousness lets them in. Acknowledging the absolute initiates Omni-action.
A-4 Going full-circle
In the SCA, we use the term going full circle regarding Omni-action. In passages and citations where the Concept of Eight is found, Omni-action going full circle is present to be identified. Again, Isaiah 55:10, 11 is an excellent example and beautifully exemplifies God’s taking us all the way.
“Full circle” means back to the original state or position, back to the starting point. Mrs. Eddy’s discussion of a circle or sphere is a fitting illustration (282:3) of Omni-action going full circle, especially the three-dimensional sphere which “represents good, the self-existent and eternal individuality or Mind.” Mrs. Eddy further applies the symbol of the sphere to Mind because Mind is “perpetual motion” – Omni-action! (240:14) Mind, is both the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. (Rev. 1:8) What starts with Him is reflected back to Him.
Two of Jesus’ statements beautifully illustrate this principle of going full circle. Speaking of himself, he states
“I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” (John 16:28)
At the end of the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus said:
“And he arose, and came to his father.” (Luke 15:20 (to 1st .)
Jesus knew something about Omni-action. It applied to him, and since he included it in his story, he knew it applied to everyone. When the prodigal opened his thought to God, the Father, through prayer, he initiated Omni-action which soon harmonized his life. Gratitude also is an initiator of Omni-action.
Omni-action going full circle isn’t a process involving time, direction, distance, or place, but is an immediate and constant expression of completeness. Spirit’s expressing and man’s reflecting are one, just as God and man are one. Still, from our metaphysical point of view, God, Mind, Truth, is the only Cause, and man is Effect. Spiritually, God and man coexist and are inseparable. This is our true being.
B. EXAMPLES OF THE CONCEPT OF EIGHT IN THE BIBLE
B-1 Example 1 Double portion of Love
Happy 1 is he that 2 hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope 3 is in the Lord his God: Which 4 made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein 5 is: which 6 keepeth truth for ever: Which 7 executeth judgment for the oppressed: which 8 giveth food to the hungry. M (Ps. 146:5, 6)
Our first step is to find the correct concept by counting the verbs, the action words. The red numbers highlight them. This verse focuses on the loving acts of God for us, and how we can rely on Him for help and hope. God acts lovingly, and we depend on Him, Omni-action. There is reciprocity here, a clear indication of Omni-action going full circle. The loving gifts to man are constant, are repeated over and over throughout human time, so that they can be understood as laws about God: a source of help and hope, truth and judgment; Creator of the universe while sustaining man. God gives; man receives; consequently, man relies on Him. Therefore, man is happy – a transition of thought.
B–2 Example 2 Concept of Four Combined with C & E
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things (thoughts) are 1 true, whatsoever things are 2 honest, whatsoever things are 3 just, whatsoever things are 4 pure (spiritual), whatsoever things are 5 lovely, whatsoever things are of 6 good report; if there be any 7 virtue, and if there be any 8 praise, think on these things. M (Phil. 4:8)
In this verse, the qualities add up to the count of eight. Four are qualities of Truth, four of Love, a combination of Foursquare, and Balance of Love.
true, honest, just, pure = Truth
lovely, good, virtue, praise = Love
What are we supposed to do with these qualities? Think about them. Dwell on them, thus utilizing the Law of Dwelling: that which one dwells on most, grows. And what is this law? Really, it is a manifestation of Omni-action! This Law also initiates Omni-action which cannot be obstructed.
Simply pondering this verse and its virtues, determining the number concept(s) within it, is applying this unalterable, always fulfilling Law of Dwelling whereby what we focus on most, grows in our thought and experience. As we focus on honesty, that grows and expands; as we ponder purity, it develops and increases. Consequently, others are blessed as well as ourselves. Such is the power of this Law. Mrs. Eddy describes the beneficial effects of this law in her article “What Our Leader Says”:
“Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them.
“Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.” (My. 210:2-4, 7)
Looking at the preceding verse, Phil. 4:7, one sees its promise bringing verse 8 full circle:
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
As the Concept of Eight is transitional, helping thought transition spiritually, so is the Law of Dwelling to its user. An outcome of applying the SCA method to study our Bible and SH – our Pastor – is our own inevitable transition to the spiritual!
B-3 Example 3 BEATITUDES – A SERIES OF VERSES
Sometimes the Concept of Eight appears as a repeated word pattern in a series of verses. Such a passage is Jesus’ Beatitudes. There are eight of them, each beginning with “blessed are.”
1 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. M
2 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. M
3 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. M
4 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. M
5 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. M
6 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. M
7 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. M
8 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. M (Matt. 5:3-10)
These eight qualities in blue add up to Love, a double portion of the Balance of Love. They are all attributes of Love!
Poor in spirit means spiritually receptive.
Mourn means to grieve over (loss or misfortune).
Meek means doing God’s will without objection or protestation.
Hunger and thirst after righteousness means strongly desiring spirituality; yearning receptively for the spiritual.
Merciful aligns with the Golden Rule.
Pure is compassionate in thought and action.
Peacemakers are peace loving.
Persecuted, when reversed, means cared for, cherished – qualities of Love.
These eight Beatitudes are easier to understand when one reasons from the recommended quality rather than from the blessing. One can also reason effectively from the reward, arriving finally at the beginning “blessed are.” Either way, each can be used for a Christian Science Treatment or Thought Correction, depending on whether they are for a specific individual, or a non-specific group.
Each one of these Beatitudes moves with Omni-action going full circle. Each can be divided into three parts: the blessing, the key quality or virtue, which leads to the reward or spiritual truth. And being truths, the Beatitudes are laws − loving laws: Laws of Love.
The qualities received from Principle, Love, are on the metaphysical level of thought, expressed to everyone equally—they are qualities whose actions can be seen. Love has no favorites. As we reflect love, we are blessed and grateful.
The rewards are on the spiritual level of thought, and are present, unseen truths. Hence, there is a transition higher, from the seen to the unseen, the metaphysical to the spiritual.
Reasoning this way, one realizes that these aren’t promises for future rewards, but that they are blessings present now. We, as spiritual ideas, have them now. Correctly stated, “shall be” becomes IS, because God, Spirit, the source of all Good, is in the present. With Spirit, there is only NOW. Spirit, Life, is omnipresence!
Each one of these Beatitudes is a wonderful example of Omni-action going full circle!
1 Blessed are the poor in spirit (spiritually receptive): for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (harmony, peace).
The spiritual receptive have the peace and harmony of heaven now. And they are grateful. (Blessed also means grateful.)
2 Blessed are T they that mourn L: for they shall be comforted Lv.
In the SCA, negatives are reversed, exchanging mourn with rejoice. (123:12; 269: 14) Rejoice because the presence of our Father-Mother Love and the divine Comforter are present and comforting. And they are grateful.
3 Blessed are the meek (obey God without arguing, resisting, refusing): for they shall inherit the earth (eternal life). (SH 585:5)
Those who are truly meek have eternal life. And they are grateful.
4 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst (desire deeply) after righteousness (spirituality, the spiritual): for they shall be filled.
Those who hunger and thirst for spirituality or spiritual sense show they already have it. And they are grateful.
5 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Those who show mercy (forgiveness, love, tolerance), acknowledge they already have it. And they are grateful.
6 Blessed are the pure in heart (thought): for they shall see (understand) God.
The spiritually pure in thought do see/understand God. (209:31-32) And they are grateful.
7 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Those who are peaceful are the representatives of God, Life, Truth, and Love. (582:28) They bring harmony, peace and stability. And they are grateful.
8 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (because of their spirituality): for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
When individuals are persecuted because of their spiritual sense, they grow stronger spiritually; they are secure in the harmony and peace of the kingdom of heaven now. And they are grateful.
And this last Beatitude brings us full circle back to the first one, beginning and ending with the “Kingdom of Heaven.” Each Beatitude brings us full circle back to Spirit, the spiritual sense of things. Each one is part of the definition of the Kingdom of Heaven, the reign of harmony (590:1) which is included in the definition of New Jerusalem, the kingdom of heaven (592:18). The latter is The Holy City in Rev. 21 and 22, and which is described in SH pp. 572 to the end of the chapter. It symbolizes one’s ideal, Godlike mental habitation. Again, we are brought full circle to Mind.
These eight short verses at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount are alive with the healing power of Omni-action. Will you ever read them the same way again?
The SCA provides marvelous tools for studying our Pastor, S&H and the KJV − the Word of God. The sincere CS student is encouraged to linger over a citation, taking time to look more deeply in the text in order to identify the concepts contained therein, allowing fresh ideas to be revealed. The SCA is a satisfying resource for understanding words and interpreting symbols – the language of the KJV Bible. (575: 13-14) The serious student is prompted to see the parts of a passage. Rather than being misinterpreted as intellectualism, this spiritual attention to detail allows one to digest God’s Word gently and understand a sentence bit by bit rather than quickly swallowing it whole without savoring its sweetness.
Since studying CS with the SCA, consulting Bible commentaries, dictionaries and translations to find out the deeper meaning of a passage is very rare for the writer these days. Applying the SCA to our Pastor, one need not consult those Bible reference books, but becomes a law to oneself.
Rather than looking to fallible human opinion, turning to Spirit, God to reveal a citation’s spiritual sense, which Mrs. Eddy says we should look for, is most reliable. Both the KJV and SH are written in the same style, following the same cryptograms, so that when we apply the SCA’s principles and rules, they operate flawlessly. Only God could have guided the Bible writers and Mrs. Eddy to such accord. Through the SCA, the secret method of writing or cypher of all our Pastor’s writers has been revealed and is available to every earnest Christian Scientist. It is truly a most remarkable discovery!
The reason I am sharing this blog and the SCA is because this method has enabled the writer and anyone who learns and applies the rules of the SCA to understand our Pastor as never before.
It isn’t necessary to find the Number Concept in every sentence or verse in a Bible Lesson (BL). Choose one citation, determine the number concept, and write down its spiritual meaning. There is an overview of the Number Concepts and their meanings on the “Index of Blog Posts” Page. The link is below. Doing one each day is great practice—it is a CS Practice, a mini application of CS Treatment for ourselves and the world around us. Therefore, like the Beatitudes, it automatically blesses all. You will find them so spiritually enlightening just plain fun that you will be hungering and thirsting for more!
NEXT BLOG: CONCEPT OF EIGHT – PART TWO
© 2017 Mary Walls Kuhl