A Higher Humanity (Summary)
Thomas O. Poyser, C.S.B., of Dallas, Texas
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
At times of emergency, men often spontaneously volunteer to help, in a unity of spirit and action, Thomas O. Poyser of Dallas, Texas, said in a lecture entitled "A Higher Humanity." As an illustration, Mr. Poyser told how forty men, by banding together and helping each other, saved a city.
A few years ago in Holland, he said, a terrible storm broke, destroying the dikes and flooding the land. When part of a dike broke to the city of Colijnsplaat, the forty men made themselves into a living dike. For hours they struggled together, fighting to keep back the icy sea water. By uniting, the lecturer pointed out, they had become a living, saving wall. The dike held, and they were able to save their families and homes from flood.
We are living today in a time of emergency, Mr. Poyser stated, and we too can unite on the level of a higher humanity to combat the divisive forces that threaten to flood us. "'Man's inhumanity to man' doesn't have to continue!" he commented.
Despite evidence today of selfishness, indifference, prejudice, and violence, people are taking a greater interest in humanity's welfare than ever before, the lecturer asserted.
Christ Jesus is history's great example of a man who always met the human need, Mr. Poyser said. But his motivation and method were purely spiritual, he added, and his social activism was God-oriented. In facing human problems, Jesus sought to lift men's thought to a recognition of the Christ to save and heal, the lecturer said.
Mr. Poyser quoted the words of Mary Baker Eddy in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus." The life of Mrs. Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, was also one of deep social involvement, he continued, but it was an involvement concerned with men's spiritual as well as material needs.
Humane efforts to better the lot of the less fortunate on a material level are sometimes helpful and often vital, Mr. Poyser remarked. But he added that men's greater need is for individual spiritual revitalization which in turn produces a higher humanity. As we love God most, we love each other more, he declared.
The lecturer went on to state that the world needs people whose perspective includes spiritual awareness of the true nature of God and man, whose viewpoint is not blocked by a material concept of being. "An understanding of God and man uplifts thought so that it may embrace the Christ, bringing the higher humanity which meets today's and every day's needs," he declared.
The lecturer mentioned marriage and the field of labor relations as examples of practical areas in which to practice one's highest humanity.
Describing the industrial disputes that arise from suspicion, misunderstanding, and unfairness, he declared: "Both labor and management are likely to lose at such times." A divinely-based concept of humanity, he concluded, can help resolve such conflicts.
True unity, however, doesn't imply a sameness or uniformity, Mr. Poyser cautioned his audience. Each one of us is unique and distinct, he added, but we all exist together in harmony because we all have one God, the same divine source. "This Fatherhood of God and all men's divine sonship is the basis for universal brotherhood," he declared.
Mr. Poyser ended his lecture with a plea for men to face the challenges that threaten to divide the world. "Man's inhumanity to man," he stated, "must increasingly yield to the Christ — to that higher humanity which induces among men a greater concern and consideration for one another, lasting helpfulness, and true brotherhood."