Halloween, a sort of mish-mash of pagan customs and a derivative of a Christian holiday in celebration of the dead has come and gone in the United States. Children in costumes impersonate and take on the character of ghosts, angels, superheroes and monsters, going door-to-door looking for treats..
I still remember how years ago, as a young and impressionable youngster, I wanted to dress as the Frankenstein Monster. I was transfixed during, and frightened long after seeing, the movie version of author Mary Shelley’s story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein who created a monster from body parts. He was obsessed by the desire to create a man using body parts from cadavers and giving it life.
|FRIGHTENING MONSTER MOVIE|
We shivered in our seats as the strange Doctor and his assistant went to cemeteries at night, secretly dug up graves, scavenged body parts and then reassembled them in the scariest castle and the most frightening environment imaginable to a young boy.
In the years since that time, I have often thought that in some fashion we, today, still try to achieve what Dr. Frankenstein dreamed of. What seemed so eerily outlandish and impossible those years ago are now becoming possible. Medical science has witnessed the development of artificial replacements for body parts including legs, arms, hip and knee joints, even growing skin tissue and manufacturing replacement hearts. While these dedicated doctors may not be visiting cemeteries to harvest parts, they do use cadaver bones for grafting and organs donated by thoughtful givers upon their death, to be given to fortunate recipients.
For many who are in need of these new techniques, the replacement of defective or injured body parts with working replacements must be a wonderful blessing. So many people today are enjoying freedom and relief as the result of these technological advances. But it is well, while being grateful for the progress made, to also be aware of what life is really all about and not to dwell too much on the body as the key to happiness.
As Dr. Frankenstein discovered, seeing life as merely a collection of body
parts, an “assembled” material body without a "soul" or reflection if the Spirit, can backfire. The spiritual essence of the real man is not seen by the eye. While his own creation, a huge ugly
creature, was not at all attractive and had a disastrous end, even a beautiful body, perfectly
proportioned, all parts running smoothly, though we all may desire that,
doesn’t insure happiness, success and joyful existence. We too must beware of creating a “Monster”, the belief that happiness is found in the material body.!!
|EACH HEART CRIES OUT FOR LOVE AND MEANING|
As usual, the Holy Bible gives guidance. It is incredible that a record two thousand years old can still guide us today. With his deep insight, and understanding the need to see through the seeming physical attributes of man, Jesus of Nazareth said: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (1)
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? “(2)
His understanding of man as spiritual, a reflection of God expressing in a tangible way God’s love, tenderness, goodness, intelligence, peace and joy, none of which are physical, took him to a higher plane. His own pure thought, uplifted and reflecting God’s perfection, healed and restored the body through a spiritual understanding of reality.
In her Bible Companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy counsels: “If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” (3)
Maybe a better way of thinking of the body then is as a “delivery vehicle” for spiritual qualities such as love, tenderness, caring and sharing. We can appreciate the body parts as implements to heal, to serve others as we look beyond the “Monster of Self”, and begin seeing body parts as spiritual tools, avoiding the constant “taking thought for our body” as the source of life and happiness.
|HELPING HANDS - REACHING OUT|
We can start by asking, “Are my hands helpful to others?
Are my arms embracing others in Love?
Are my eyes seeing the good, the pure and the beautiful or are they critical and judgmental?
Are my feet running to help another?
Are my ears hearing God’s direction and guidance in that “still, small voice”?
Is my heart the center of love?
Do I live and move and breath the atmosphere of Spirit?
As found in Isaiah, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (4)
This loved hymn spells it out!!
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my every thought, to use
In the way that Thou shalt choose.
Take my love; O Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
I am Thine, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee. (5)
1.) Matthew 6:31
2.) Matthew 6:27
3.) Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures – Mary Baker Eddy p 260
4.) Isaiah 2:22
5.) Christian Science Hymnal 324