The Discovery Which Solves Today’s Problems
Will B. Davis, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Understanding and application of
the healing Christianity taught by Christ Jesus holds the answer to current
world problems of poverty, unhappiness, disease, disaster, sorrow, and sin,
Will B. Davis, C.S.B., of
Today's problems have their origin in the fearful misconception that discord is the will of God, Mr. Davis said. "To those unfortunate persons who are living in constant fear of the future, who expect evil almost more than they look for good, and who superstitiously hold to the belief that success must always be followed by failure, the teachings of Christian Science come as a blessed relief," he declared.
"Christian Science," he added, "teaches a positive sense of God's ever-present love, and when the spiritual fact that God is the only power is understood, fear is seen to be unnecessary."
Mr. Davis spoke under the auspices
of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in
"To this lecture, which is as
an oasis for you in the midst of your busy day, The Mother Church, The First
Church of Christ, Scientist, in
"Our lecturer, a member of the Board of Lectureship of this church, has chosen as his subject: 'Christian Science: The Discovery Which Solves Today's Problems.' This lecture, I am happy to tell you, will be printed in full in today's issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
"As we listen to the lecture with open heart and thought, we shall understand more of Christian Science: the healing, heaven-sent message to this age."
Solution Found Only in Spiritual Realm
Miss Appleton then presented Mr. Davis, who spoke in substance as follows:
Thinking men and women readily agree that human warfare, material schemes, and regimentation have fallen far short of bringing any satisfactory solution for the complex problems of these times. Obviously, then, the answer must be found in the spiritual realm, and it is stated with amazing clarity in a simple, inspired verse in Romans (12:2); "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." We cannot believe that disaster, disease, unhappiness, and turmoil are the will of the one good and perfect God. With what joy we learn that we need not conform to the materialistic opinions and beliefs of mankind, but that we can attain, through the regenerative teachings of Christian Science, a transformation of thought, a renewal of mind, and thus "prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
I presume that many in the audience have not studied, or even read, the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. When you do, and I hope it will be soon, you will notice at once that the teachings of Christian Science are a radical departure from ordinary materialistic thinking. When one accepts the Scriptural concept of God as Love, Spirit, or Mind, it is logical to conclude that the entire creation of Spirit must be spiritual.
The world says that man is matter, subject to disease and eventually to decrepitude and death. But the glad message of Christian Science is that man is spiritual, the son of God, and that this real man necessarily expresses the attributes of his Father-Mother God.
Perhaps someone is thinking, But how can I refuse to see the poverty, unhappiness, disease, disaster, selfishness, sorrow, and sin which are evident everywhere? To say that such material evidence is not true and to insist that such things have no basis, or fundamental principle, may seem unreasonable, until one begins to learn through Christian Science of the illusive nature of all that is not God-created.
In the verse in Romans to which I have just referred, we are told not to believe the evidence of the material senses, and also we are told how to prove that the creations of Spirit are the only reality. It is solely a question of the "renewing of your mind." This renewal is primarily an awakening to one's spiritual status, a realization that spiritual man has not lost his indissoluble connection with God, his creative Principle.
The truth about God and His
relationship to His spiritual universe, including the real man, has always been
true. It was through understanding this truth that Jesus was able instantaneously
to restore to normalcy those who were sick, sinning, dying, or even dead. This
he did, as the Bible clearly tells us, and without the use of drugs or other
material remedies. His immediate followers were successful practitioners of the
healing method he had taught them and, following his admonition, they healed
others and taught them how they could heal themselves. His followers went into
all parts of the then known world and preached the gospel of healing, even in
Christ Always Present to Effect Healing
A study of the teachings of Jesus makes it plain that the Christ which he expressed and through which his healing success was made possible has always been available. His statement, "Before Abraham was, I am," did not imply that the human Jesus existed before Abraham, but that the Christ, Truth, has been expressed throughout all time. Unfortunately, the selfishness and materialism of mankind, the very opposite of the Christ-consciousness, obscured the healing Christianity Jesus had lived and demonstrated. Religion had become more ritualistic than practical. In the intervening centuries, there has always been some healing through faith in God, but the unfailing way to rise above the ills and disasters of human living which Jesus taught, seemed to be almost entirely lost until this present age. Then came an unprecedented discovery. It was learned that the Christ is here, that the manifestation of divine Love is now available for solving every human problem.
The truth that spiritual man has forever been God's image and likeness, and is therefore perfect, was the basis of the healing works of Christ Jesus. That the same understanding of the healing Christ may be utilized today was not realized until Mrs. Eddy discovered the Science of Christianity. The way in which this discovery came about is familiar to many in this audience. But just as Paul never tired of telling of his awakening from spiritual, as well as material, blindness, so we as Christian Scientists never tire of reviewing the facts which led to the discovery of the method of healing which was used by our Master, and which has brought immeasurable blessings to us. Mrs. Eddy had been sure for many years that such a discovery could be made. She had searched the Bible from beginning to end and on some occasions had healed herself and others.
Christian Scientists know that Mrs. Eddy completed the task which was given her to do. She speaks of her discovery as the final revelation. She discovered the Science of Christian healing for which she had been searching, and she proved through successful demonstration that she had learned how to heal as Jesus healed, through spiritual means alone.
In her published writings she tells us exactly what she learned. For example, she writes on page 108 of Science and Health, "When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death-valley, I learned these truths in divine Science: that all real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present." These truths about God and man's inseparability from Him have always been true. But they needed to be discovered, and this was the purpose of Mrs. Eddy's life-work. We, too, may awaken spiritually to the fact that there is only one creator and that Spirit's creations are perfect and permanently good. Mrs. Eddy learned these truths, and we must learn them. There is no mystery about her discovery. It is plainly stated in our textbook. Through the earnest study of this book as a "Key to the Scriptures," we have the privilege of traversing for ourselves the road to spiritual regeneration.
Sickness Proved to Be False Testimony
Having accepted the fact that "Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful," quite naturally we seek an explanation for diseases and disasters. The explanation for the discords of human living came to Mrs. Eddy through divine revelation and is given in many passages in our textbook. For example, consider the remaining portion of this paragraph on page 108. It reads, "that the opposite of Truth, − called error, sin, sickness, disease, death, − is the false testimony of false material sense, of mind in matter; that this false sense evolves, in belief, a subjective state of mortal mind which this same so-called mind names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit."
The discovery less than a century ago that all sickness and disease is but false testimony, the product of a counterfeit, mortal mind, has since been blessing multitudes. Matter is wholly unintelligent, is not creative and never actually caused anything. The only source, the origin or Principle of all, that which knows, is God, the divine Mind. The mind which we call mortal, because it is not immortal or real, is a supposed creator. Mortal mind creations, or beliefs, appear at times to be healthy matter, and then again they seem to be sick matter; but through Christian Science we learn that every externalization of mortal mind is illusive and unreal,
There could not actually be an opposite to that which is almighty and omnipresent. The divine Mind which is the only Mind, that Truth which is the only Truth, in reality has no opposite. The one Mind, God, made all, and since Mind is Spirit, that which seems to be a matter creation must be unreal. Not being from God, Truth, such inharmonies as infection, malformation, misplacement, pain, and the like could not be attached to any idea in God's kingdom. Spiritual man could not be conscious of sick, inflamed, irritated matter, because he does not possess a sick, inflamed, irritated mortal consciousness. Being the image of Soul, divine consciousness, man is now, always has been, and always will be aware only of good. It is through such prayerful reasoning, my friends, that the discords of our human experience are healed through Christian Science.
Thus we see that the study of Christian Science shows us clearly and irrefutably that our human experience is the externalization of thought. A purified, uplifted, unselfish, and Godlike human consciousness images forth harmony, happiness, health, and success; but the very opposite manifestation comes forth from discouraged, fearful, impure, selfish, sensual, unscientific thinking.
A businessman soon learns that greed, dishonesty, fear, and the like are not satisfactory business companions. From such states of thought emanate unhealthy business conditions. It is also now quite universally accepted that erroneous, fear-laden thinking is detrimental to bodily health.
To illustrate the mortally mental nature of disease that seems wholly physical, I am going to tell you about a healing which began at a Christian Science lecture. The news of this particular healing came to me in a letter, and I am going to read some of it to you: "About two and a half years ago, while undergoing a routine physical check-up required by my employer, the doctor declared that I had a very severe case of diabetes and must at once regulate my diet. Being what I considered a Christian Scientist (to my satisfaction, at least), I continued in my regular habits, but was not alert to the suggestion planted in my consciousness. About six weeks later, I was again examined, and further laws were laid down and ugly pictures painted. I was pointedly informed that unless I at once took up the use of insulin and continued its use, I could not expect to again see my son, a B-24 pilot overseas."
The letter goes on to explain that he resigned all his church activities and began to use the drug. Then he writes: "Several times I willfully discontinued the injections, but each time my fear resulted in some claim which the doctor attributed to the disease, and the dosage was increased until I finally was taking the largest dosage known in his experience."
At that point, which was in March, 1944, the man attended a Christian Science lecture, and of this he says: "I left the lecture hall a new man, literally and actually. I had passed through the valley of decision and had begun the upward climb. Injections of insulin stopped that day." Through the help of a Christian Science practitioner and his own sincere efforts, he gained his complete and permanent healing within a few months.
Before I decided to tell you of this healing, I wrote my friend for his permission to relate his experience. In his reply he told me he would be very happy to have me do so, and he quoted the following sentences from page 493 of Science and Health: "Disease is an experience of so-called mortal mind. It is fear made manifest on the body." He added, "The lecture so completely removed the fear that I knew I could never again have confidence in either the diagnosis or the remedies of mortal mind."
Spiritualization of Thought Dispels Fear
I wonder how many of the Christian Scientists in this audience remember this statement: "As mortal mind is the husbandman of error, it should be taught to do the body no harm and to uproot its false sowing." It is in Science and Health at the top of page 180. To those unfortunate persons who are living in constant fear of the future, who expect evil almost more than they look for good, and who superstitiously hold to the belief that success must always be followed by failure, the teachings of Christian Science come as a blessed relief. Christian Science teaches a positive sense of God's ever-present love, and when the spiritual fact that God is the only power is understood, fear is seen to be unnecessary. The word "husbandman" means gardener or cultivator. To be eliminated, fear which is nurtured, or cultivated, in mortal thought needs only to be subjected to a prayerful acknowledgment of the substantiality and almightiness of Spirit. A regenerated human consciousness instructed in things divine cannot harm the body.
When one is confronted with some discordant bodily condition, the manifestation seems to be entirely physical, but we learn through experience in Christian Science the mental nature of conditions which seem to be wholly physical. This Adam-dream experience becomes progressively more harmonious as the truth dawns in human consciousness that in reality there is only one Mind or intelligence, that Spirit, divine Principle alone, is creative, powerful, and substantial. The error of which mortal mind is the husbandman is illusive and unreal, for Truth is the source of that which is perfect and true and of nothing else. To awaken from a dream, or belief in sickness, we need to be aroused mentally, not changed physically.
Many medical practitioners have reached the conclusion that the ills of the flesh are induced mentally. They often tell their patients that they must give up their hatreds and fears. But if physicians do not differentiate between the so-called human mind and the divine Mind which is God, they are not able to give their patients the sure remedy for fear. Mrs. Eddy gives Christian Scientists specific instruction for eliminating fear in these words: "Tell the sick that they can meet disease fearlessly, if they only realize that divine Love gives them all power over every physical action and condition" (Science and Health, p. 420). A reassuring verse in the forty-first chapter of Isaiah re-echoes the same encouraging admonition, for it tells us just why fear is not necessary. It reads, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
Christian Science instructs us concerning the truth of being, and as our human consciousness is thereby uplifted or resurrected, this is manifested in a larger and truer sense of harmony and health. This thought is expressed in the third verse of the tenth chapter of II Corinthians: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh." Putting it in a different way, even though we seem to be living a material existence in a matter body, our warfare against the seeming discords of human living is carried on through spiritualization of thought. Further explanation is given in the fifth verse of this same chapter of II Corinthians. It reads: "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." When the Christ dawns in human consciousness, thoughts of sickness, fear, and death are eliminated. Material beliefs of every name and nature yield before a spiritualized consciousness which refuses to entertain the false but steadfastly holds to the real and the true.
Man Cannot Manifest Disease of Any Kind
Mrs. Eddy makes a pertinent statement on the subject on page 176 of Science and Health, where she writes, "All disease is the result of education, and disease can carry its ill-effects no farther than mortal mind maps out the way." Some reputable physicians are of the opinion that much damage is being done by the so-called educational campaigns to raise funds for the ostensible purpose of controlling certain diseases. These sincere thinkers have come to see that these diseases are mental in their nature and that the publicity and advertising of the symptoms tend to bring these very symptoms into manifestation.
As Christian Scientists, it is not enough for us to deplore the mortal mind propaganda which is being presented for acceptance. As our contribution toward the welfare of mankind, we need to know that the man of God's creating has no negative mind which could accept and then manifest evil suggestions of any kind. The claim that at certain stages disease becomes incurable is not true. Evil never becomes incurable. Evil has no support from God and, therefore, does not possess a power which could give it reality, continuity, or incurability.
In speaking of "them that believe," Christ Jesus has said, "In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17,18).
We cast out devils, or erroneous beliefs, by refusing to accept lies as truths. Publicity, which assumes that under certain circumstances it is too late even for God to help man, must be denied through a clear perception of God's all-power. If, inadvertently, we accept as true some of this well-intentioned but mistaken propaganda, we should promptly detect and reject the evil suggestions. Thus we can verify Christ Jesus' promise, "If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them."
As mortal mind is the husbandman of error, human consciousness, not matter, needs to be shown that the divine Mind is supreme and the only producer and creator. Human thought needs to be shown that God is the only cause and that He made all permanently good; that the spiritual man of His creating is perfect now and will always be so. Earlier in the lecture I quoted the verse from I John, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." Obviously, unintelligent matter could not be afraid, and Love or Mind, which is God, contains no fear; therefore, it is human consciousness from which divine Love casts out fear. Mrs. Eddy tells us that fear is an element of all disease. Fear does not exist in divine Love and, therefore, as Love is the only giver and imparts only good, fear's nothingness and powerlessness are not difficult to prove.
A good example is the experience of a young woman who had been attending a Christian Science Sunday School and who was given an opportunity to demonstrate that the truth she was learning there could be utilized practically. She and a young man who was not a Christian Scientist had been enjoying each other's company. She had noticed that one of his wrists was swollen and seemed to be deformed, and one weekend he mentioned it to her, complaining about the discomfort it was causing in his work as a mail carrier. He also voiced the fear that the other wrist was beginning to be affected. With no hesitation she assured him that Christian Science could correct this discord. She explained that she would be able to help him, and he agreed to let her do what she could. Each day during the following week, she pondered these words from Science and Health (p. 418); "Tumors, ulcers, tubercles, inflammation, pain, deformed joints, are waking dream-shadows, dark images of mortal thought, which flee before the light of Truth." She knew that dark images of mortal thought have no power, for God alone is Mind. Waking dream-shadows need not be feared, for they have no realism or actual existence. When they met again during the next weekend, the Sunday School pupil inquired about the condition, and the young man was astonished to see that the discord had disappeared.
We learn as we progress that statements of truth which, when understood, result in the healing of physical disease are just as useful for solving business problems. This same young couple have worked out the question of adequate supply for a home and a growing family by turning for inspiration and guidance to the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings. They have learned to do this habitually, many times during the day, and in the midst of busy human activities. As their understanding of divine Love's abundance has expanded, their everyday experience has continued to express more and more affluence. The man is now conducting his own very successful and highly profitable business. He knows how to keep his thoughts in close communion with the divine Mind, the source of all right ideas, and this has resulted in correct business decisions and harmonious, consistent progress.
In the proportion that we exclude from our thought all erroneous beliefs through filling our consciousness with a clear concept of God and His perfect spiritual creation, progress becomes inevitable, right where we are.
Maintaining thought on a high spiritual plane is not always easy, but Christian Scientists have been provided invaluable aids. For example, we have the privilege of instruction and inspiration through our Bible Lesson-Sermons. These are studied daily during the week and used in all of our churches on Sunday. Every Christian Science church maintains a Reading Room where the Bible, together with Science and Health and Mrs. Eddy's other writings, may be read and studied. These writings are also available in small volumes which can be read during the day as opportunities present themselves. We have our authorized periodicals containing articles on Christian Science as well as testimonies of healing.
Monitor Presents Unbiased News Reports
Our daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, performs a service for the Christian Scientist and for all its readers which is not always fully appreciated. It brings us accurate, truthful news of national and international importance, thus presenting an opportunity to give discordant news our prayerful attention.
The turmoil and disaster which are presented to us in the guise of international affairs are no more real in God's sight than the sickness and other inharmonies which tempt us into believing they are attached to individuals. Let us know that the divine Mind is always present to guide decisions in national and international conferences and assemblies. By doing our part in realizing the impersonality and powerlessness of evil in its various guises, we are using the most effective weapon which could be employed to establish peace among men and nations. Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive − more blessed for the giver. All Christian Scientists have ample opportunity these days to help themselves, and all mankind as well, by doing more than merely reading the unbiased news reports in our international daily newspaper. When we thus become aware of world or national conditions which need correcting or healing, we learn to impersonalize the discord presented, that is, to separate the evil from person or nation. Then let us realize the nothingness of the discord by knowing it does not exist in God's perfect plan.
Mrs. Eddy sums up the thought of how to learn to pray aright in these inspired words: "In this Science, we discover man in the image and likeness of God. We see that man has never lost his spiritual estate and his eternal harmony" (Science and Health, p. 548).
It seems more evident each day that obedience to the law of God as taught in Christian Science will alone save the race from destroying itself. Those who are studying this Science have a profound duty and privilege. We have learned that true progress is spiritual. It is true that the real man (and by this time I am sure we are all agreeing that there is no other man) has always possessed abundant goodness, right activity, and harmony, by reflection. Therefore, when health seems to be lost, when necessities seem to be lacking, when correct ideas for working out difficult business problems do not seem to be at hand, or when the world seems to be exploding with strife and turmoil, we are only being confronted with different phases of the erroneous belief that man does not reflect God. There is not one vestige of truth in such a fabulous notion.
Mrs. Eddy has written: "Let us rid ourselves of the belief that man is separated from God, and obey only the divine Principle, Life and Love. Here is the great point of departure for all true spiritual growth" (Science and Health, p. 91). Actually to get rid of the belief that man is now suffering, lacking, sick, or discouraged, we must gain a clearer concept of the permanence of the real man's unity with his Father-Mother God. And having gained this higher ground, my friends, we must share more fully with all mankind the boundless blessing that has come to us through having the privilege of utilizing Mrs. Eddy's priceless discovery, namely, "that all real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present" (Science and Health, p. 108).
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, March 28, 1952.]