What’s in a word? Shakespeare had his character Juliet declaim “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” indicating that it was not the name that was important, but the identity.
Yet the great bard chose his words carefully. The words we use convey meaning—convey ideas and concepts—and the usage and awareness of them is of significance.
This is particularly true for Christian Scientists where words and their correct context may indeed have spiritual impacts—impacts that can lead to or away from healing or being healed.
Recently, I’ve become aware of some of my Christian Science friends either using in conversation or posting links on Facebook to a certain word.
What is it?
Now, this may seem like a fairly innocuous term—even pleasant—so why would I be concerned about it? It connotes a happy state in a relationship, doesn’t it?
On the surface, perhaps. But when we actually think about the word and its origins, a different picture emerges. It traces its roots back to ancient Greek mythology which purports that the gods divided previously androgynous humanity into genders whose souls would long for each other to be complete. In Judaism the beliefs of fate and destiny are added to the longing of separate souls. While in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, theosophy and Edgar Cayce take up the term in which reincarnation and karma now become intertwined with it.
Therein lies the problem. Incomplete souls. Identities that would need another individual—that “perfect soulmate”—to make us complete, to bring us true happiness and fulfillment. A word that is so imbued with pantheistic beliefs that it really is the antithesis of Christian Science.
Only our immutable relationship with God—a perfect relationship which has always been and will always be—brings happiness and love—love from divine Love, God, Himself. If our relationships are based on seeking happiness in another human being, then we are in effect forsaking God and worshipping other gods. And for a Christian Scientist to be thinking and accepting the false concept of individual souls is in itself a problem since only God is Soul and we are each the reflection and expression—the image and likeness—of Almighty, all-good, all-whole God.
Our happiness, whether we’re single or married (and one state is not more holy than the other), can only come from understanding our true relationship—a relationship that is entirely spiritual—to our Father-Mother God. It’s in that understanding that we find completeness, that we find fulfillment—that we find that Love, God, is the only source of our being. And it’s spiritually understanding this fact that leads to meaningful relationships with others—relationships that bless and heal.
But if we’re buying into, intentionally or not, a false concept that is loaded with false theology, can we really expect that our healing practices or the healings that we’re seeking won’t be adversely affected? Can we expect to find happiness and completeness in any of our activities if they’re based on even one false concept?
Mary Baker Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings (p. 118) states:
To obey the principle of mathematics ninety-nine times in one hundred and then allow one numeral to make incorrect your entire problem, is neither Science nor obedience.
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a name—a word—may not be as sweet as we think.