Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekly Lesson Books

I cannot tell you how many times I have dreamt about these books. They are my first ever set of Bible and Science and Health. I got them when I was 10 years old.

For anyone who does not know, these are the main books of the Christian Science religion which I was raised in. Some people may know the religion by its reputation as one that "doesn't believe in doctors."

Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the religion, thought that it would be best to have one, consistent voice each week, so she wrote Science and Health and introduced the weekly "Lesson," which includes certain Biblical extracts and then 6 sections of selections from both the Bible and Science and Health. Many Christian Scientists read the lesson every day and then go to church on Sunday to listen to it be read with 3 hymns interspersed.

From 8th through 12th grades I went to a private, Christian Science boarding school that has since closed its doors. It meant that I was required Monday through Friday to read the Lesson myself, and then we were also required to go to Sunday School on Sundays and there was also daily chapel that students were not only required to attend, but were required to create. I think it was from 9th Grade on.

We were required to create our own service of hymns and one set (I believe) of readings from the two books. I remember the first time I "did chapel." I was up in the front of an empty chapel and was being coached by one of the student leaders. He was telling me to speak loudly. When I spoke loudly as I did, I thought it was too loud. But he assured me that it would be just fine. When it came time to do chapel, and the building was full, there comes a moment of silent prayer followed by the Lord's Prayer led by the student who is the reader. It was very quiet. You could hear a mouse when suddenly my voice boomed, "OUR FATHER..."

I later found out that he told me that was a good volume as many people lower their voice once they begin. Apparently I did not. It made for a good laugh and something to talk about and it something that I still remember to this day.

As to those dreams I have...I often imagine that I have left home and forgotten them, or that I in some way they are not with me, or the lesson is not properly marked (we had to mark the books each week with the selections we were to read, and our books were checked every Sunday night to be certain we had done what we were supposed to) - which of course was a no-no back then. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that they have to do with a "Lesson," but I have yet to come to anything conclusive. But I seriously cannot tell you how many dreams I have had over the years.

For as much as I am deciding to get rid of, these books are not on the "Hit List" at the moment. I suppose it could change. Given how infrequently I pull them out, perhaps they should go. I don't know.

It occurred to me today that one reason we may sometimes have difficulty getting rid of something is because a piece of us gets attached/invested and it becomes like we are losing a part of ourselves in the process. I have decided I am going to see what I can do to call back all of my energy and see if it is any easier to let things go. It certainly can't hurt to try.

If I do say good bye to them, at least they will still be with me in spirit, via this picture.

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