For New Yorkers - and visitors from around the world - there's nothing quite like the annual Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center to spark the holiday spirit, especially if it's accompanied by snow and a roasted chestnut or two.
Last night, the tree lit the faces of the crowd once again, for the sixty-eighth year. There's always an extra dimension for me because I love the architecture of Rockefeller Center. And there's one thing in particular about this masterwork of 1930s buildings and civic spaces that I think about all year round.
It's associated with the soaring 70-story RCA (now GE) Building designed by Raymond Hood. The Christmas tree is on the plaza side of the building, overlooking the famous skating rink. On axis with the tree, at the front of the building, is the diminutive main entrance loggia on Sixth Avenue. Its exterior ceiling is a dazzling mural of mosaic tile. And in this mural, above the main doors, is one word: THOUGHT.
Thought ... as if to signify that, for all the steel, limestone, aluminum, and glass, the most important thing about these buildings is the invisible substance they represent - that the entire complex, in all its magnificence, is ultimately homage to and expression of a deeper, powerful underlying force and enduring reality.
You might say that this substance, force, reality, is the creative Soul and animating Spirit of the universe. The fountainhead of all good ideas. The one divine Mind. As the Psalmist of the Bible sang thousands of years ago, "Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered" (Ps. 40:5).
The founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, put it this way: "Infinite Mind creates and governs all, from the mental molecule to infinity. This divine Principle of all expresses Science and art throughout His creation, and the immortality of man and the universe. Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 507).
Infinite Mind is the true source of our intelligence and imagination. It's where all our wise, bright, kind, unselfish, Christlike thoughts come from. Jesus showed that it's where powerful healing thoughts come from, too. You can draw on eternal Mind to help, heal, comfort, and inspire you, and feel the influence of the Christ-power - today and every day.
And you can do so with confidence. Because, despite appearances, reality is ultimately not physical but metaphysical, that is, governed by divine law. We are the "image" and "likeness" of God (see Gen. 1:26). The children of divine Mind. Which means that we are ideas. Compound formations of God's thoughts. Under God's constant control and care.
"Metaphysics," says Science and Health, "resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul" (pg. 269). You and I - as well as buildings and everything else that is good - are really Soul-created spiritual ideas, which express the unchanging qualities of Life, including stability, strength, sturdiness, shapeliness, soundness, significance, seriousness, and sparkle.
This knowledge has benefited me in all kinds of good ways involving family, finances, health, and career. It has helped me design distinctive buildings. I start from what's true. That God is authoring, composing, and arranging every aspect of a project in original and deep ways. And I eagerly expect to see this fact expressed in my work, to hear divine Mind's gentle and sure direction of the entire production. The Apostle Paul sums up the way I feel: "The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own" (Rom. 8:19).
I like thinking of everyone this way. As beautiful, vibrant Mind-crafted thought-forms on tiptoe. Expertly and lovingly designed by the divine Architect of the universe. Healthy. Whole. Functional. Light. Safe. Loved. Expectant. Brilliantly formed. Infinite and ageless.
Shining ... as a line from the Broadway show "Annie" says, "like the top of the Chrysler Building"!
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society