How Christian Science Heals
Prof. Hermann S. Hering, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
A free lecture on Christian Science entitled "How Christian Science Heals" was delivered Sunday, July 9, 1939, at the New York World's Fair, in the Hall of Special Events, by Professor Hermann S. Hering, C.S.B., of Boston, Mass.
Professor Hering, a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, spoke substantially as follows:
The special topic, "How Christian Science Heals," has been chosen because I am convinced that the answer to this question is important to the thousands already healed by Christian Science, and also to those who are attracted by this scientific teaching but are not quite ready to accept its promised help.
Mary Baker Eddy, a native of New Hampshire, who was the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, instituted these lectures to introduce to the thoughtful inquiring public the healing truth which Christian Science teaches and demonstrates. It was love for her fellow men — those suffering from sin and disease, sorrow and misfortune — that moved her to impart to mankind, through lectures and other channels, the Science of Jesus’ healing work. This she first found in the Bible, and then proved in her own experience that it is available today for all who are willing to listen and consider its propositions.
That Christian Science does heal can no longer be questioned. Innumerable cases of permanent relief from serious bodily ailments and other discordant conditions present indisputable evidence to support this fact.
Growth of the Christian Science organization from one church in 1879 to twenty-eight hundred in 1938 is substantial evidence that Christian Science is a real benefit to humanity. Especially so when we consider the fact that the majority of the members of these churches have been brought out of conditions of misery, — most of which were pronounced incurable, — into health and happiness.
Why Bible Healing Not Understood
The healing power practiced by Jesus and the early Christians under his instruction has not been generally accepted as applicable today. Why? Because it is difficult for many to grasp the fact of physical healing by mental means. We find, however, in the many cases of physical healing recorded in the Scriptures that this Bible healing was accomplished through mental or spiritual means, and those alone. And it is now becoming recognized that Christian Science healing also is done mentally; that is, through some form of mental activity and not by employing physical and material means.
The general human disbelief in the spiritually inspired teaching of the Bible, in the miracles recorded there, and in the physical healings accomplished by Jesus and his followers is due primarily to the underlying belief in what is called matter — the basis of this material existence. We are schooled to deal almost exclusively with material so-called realities.
Thus it seems impossible to conceive of existence without matter, and you may ask, "What would there be to existence without matter? If matter, as you claim, is unreal, then what is real existence?" These questions need to be faced and answered; and when they are it will become apparent that all our inharmonious conditions in life are due to these false conclusions that matter is real.
Material Existence Mental
The belief in material life as real existence is almost universal. It is the great point of difficulty with many people, that they cannot conceive of existence apart from the evidence obtained from the physical senses. To clear this up let us take the familiar illustration of the figure 2. Now this figure 2 which we see on the blackboard is not the mathematical value 2. What we see physically is merely a material symbol representing that which is back of the figure and unseen to the physical eye.
This may enable many of you to grasp the fact that there is an existence, a reality, a truth apart from that which you cognize with the physical senses; that this existence is really mental, not material. And from this fact you can readily deduce that truth, the verity or reality of anything, is not physical, but mental.
Mental Nature of Matter
What physicists call matter was once said to be composed of tiny particles of matter-stuff known as atoms. But modern physics has corrected that supposition and now shows how this atom is formed of units of electrical energy. Therefore, so-called matter is composed only of energy, and so the atom is force only and not matter-stuff at all. Consequently, what we see, feel, hear, taste, or smell is all energy or force and not matter.
Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says on page 484 of her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "Physical force and mortal mind are one." It follows that since all we see as matter is really objectified force, and force is now known to be mortal mind, our so-called material universe is a wholly mental one. Indeed, the only evidence we have of the supposed existence of a material object or a material universe is a mental impression cognized. Regardless of how much you analyze it you will get nothing but a mental impression all the way down the line.
A very important discovery in mathematics reveals that the size of an object varies with its velocity, its mass becoming greater and its dimension in the direction in which it moves, smaller. This definitely proves that the substance of an object is not a fixed quantity, but is variable; and consequently it is not matter-stuff, but is a mental concept.
The deductive reasoning of philosophy and psychology on a physical basis, proves conclusively that there cannot be such a thing as matter-stuff.
One difficulty in dealing with such paradoxical reasoning was that the reasoners themselves were still involved in matter. They still believed in the evidence of the material senses; therefore they did not know what to do with their conclusions that there could be no matter, although some conceived it as an impressionistic concept, and thus as wholly mental. It is important for us to remember in this analysis that a mental concept of matter is as unread as so-called matter itself.
Unreality of Matter
We have now seen that, on the basis of common human knowledge, there is no evidence to sustain the existence of matter, except as a mental concept, which we have just seen to be unreal. Let us now consider this point from the basis of spiritual knowledge.
Thoughtful readers of the Christian Science textbook and other writings of Mrs. Eddy notice how very much she says about the unreality of matter and about its mental nature. Christian Science makes it plain that all our trials and tribulations, all our aches and pains, all our material difficulties, are due primarily to the belief that there is such a thing as matter, that it is real and substantial. Therefore, a knowledge of the reverse fact that matter is unreal and is a false mental concept which is also unreal, is essential in the healing of human ills.
For years prior to her own healing, Mrs. Eddy had been searching for an explanation of the Bible healing. Her mother had assured her from childhood that God could heal the sick. During all this seeking she never lost faith in God. Yet she demanded more than just faith. She wanted understanding. She wanted to know how this healing was accomplished.
She had been in an accident and lay on what was supposed to be her death-bed. Friends declared that she was on the verge of passing on.
But in this crisis Mrs. Eddy clung closely to God, and steadfastly looked to Him alone for healing. She turned to the Bible and read in the ninth chapter of St. Matthew how Jesus healed the palsied man. Then came the first faint beam of light into her waiting consciousness, as she pondered, if the Christ healing was possible in Jesus’ time, it was just as possible now. If God was infinite Spirit then, He was infinite Spirit still, and there was "none beside Him." She saw the allness of Spirit, the absolute nothingness of matter. She rose from the sick-bed healed, and rejoiced in that healing. Then she dressed herself and joined her startled friends who were in the adjoining room awaiting her demise.
Thus in a darkened world was sown the spiritual seed that took root and has since grown into the Christian Science movement.
Mrs. Eddy applied this healing truth which had thus come to her — that God is all and there is no matter — to a number of persons seriously afflicted, and did wonderful healing work, most of it instantaneously; thereby proving further that the Christ-healing follows when the allness of Spirit and the nothingness of matter is realized.
This revelation of the unreality of matter on the basis of the allness of God, the infinity of Spirit, became an essential element in Christian Science teaching and healing, and distinguishes it from all other forms of healing and all other physical, philosophical, and religious teaching.
What is Real?
We have been considering the nature of what seems to be real. We have seen the incorrectness of physical sense testimony, the materially mental nature of matter, and its consequent nothingness. Now you naturally ask: If this material sense of existence, namely, that which we see, feel, hear, taste, and smell, is unreal, then what is real?
At the outset it is important to understand that we can never destroy verity, actuality. It follows that we can never destroy reality, for what actually exists must always exist. Then we need to distinguish between relative or apparent truth — that which seems to be real but is only an impression, and absolute Truth — that which is actually real and, therefore, indestructible. To remind you again, the figures on the blackboard are not in themselves mathematical truth. The mathematical truth is the value back of the figures, and this value is indestructible. Does not two and two always make four? And can this fact ever be destroyed? Could you destroy numerical truth by erasing the figures? Now can you not see that reality is truly indestructible, eternal? Can you not see that it is everywhere, unlimited, consequently infinite?
Essential Elements of Existence
Existence or being depends upon the following essential elements: it requires basis, cause and law; this is Principle: it requires intelligence or consciousness; this is Mind: it requires substance, that which constitutes all things; this is Spirit: it requires individuality, identity, a sense of being; this is Soul: it requires vitality, continuity of being, living, existence; this is Life: it requires verity, actuality, reality; this is Truth: it requires that which unites, inspires, that which produces and sustains harmony of being; and this is Love. Without any one of these elements there could be no existence.
Such existence cannot involve finiteness nor limitation. It must be incorporeal and infinite. It is quite evident then that Truth includes no sense of limitation. A mathematical truth, for example, is everywhere, is everywhere available, is everywhere operative and powerful; and it is illimitable.
The fact that divine Truth is everywhere means also that it is always available, and therefore, always active and powerful. We need always to bear this in mind. Otherwise we cannot have a right appreciation of its value in the healing work of Christian Science. Not one of you here doubts that two and two makes four. You have absolute faith in the power of this mathematical fact. Not only do you never doubt that two and two make four today, but you are never afraid that two and two will not make four tomorrow. This shows the operative and omnipotent nature of Truth in which you really believe.
Nature of Truth
Let us consider the nature of Truth a little further and see more clearly the nature of that which is real. Since Truth is always true, continues to be true, knows enough to remain true and so to correct that which is not true, it must be intelligence. If Truth is intelligence then Truth is Mind, for we cannot disassociate Mind and intelligence. It is obvious that Truth is not matter, but is Spirit, the opposite of matter. Mrs. Eddy defines Spirit as divine substance, that of which all things are made; so it is clear that Truth is not only Spirit, but that all of Truth’s ideas are spiritual. Therefore, reality is "Spirit and spiritual" (Science and Health 331:24).
It is now plain that Truth cannot be finite, that reality is inherently infinite. Infinity may be briefly defined as without beginning or ending, without boundary or limitation, as to presence, power, continuity of being. This infinite, absolute spiritual being was revealed to Mrs. Eddy as God, who is Truth, who is Spirit, who is Life. St. John declares this to be the God who is Love. This is the concept of God taught in Christian Science, the one God, whom we understand to be All-in-all, apart from whom there is nothing else. This is the God who is the basis of all existence and of all Christian Science healing; the God who, according to the Scriptures, "forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all they diseases." (Ps. 103:3.)
Here it is important to understand that whatever is not included in this infinite Truth is a mistaken sense, therefore, not true. This is defined in Christian Science as error, the term that should be applied to everything which is not absolutely true, and thus which does not come from God. The meaning of the synonymous term, mistake, is perhaps more readily grasped; for we can see that a mistake is a false sense of Truth, a misstatement about Truth. So we begin to make a distinction between the real and the unreal; between what is true and what is erroneous, — a mistake.
Thus we arrive at the point where we can apprehend that just as in mathematics we detect a mistake because we know the fact, so do we detect human error when we apply the lens of Truth.
Now you are better able to understand why it is so imperative in Christian Science healing to recognize what is true and real before you can detect the erroneous nature of what is untrue, unreal. You understand better how spiritual healing is possible, how it is that God can heal the sick. For if God is the infinite Truth, the infinite Mind or consciousness, the infinite Spirit or substance, the infinite Life or existence, then His opposite — the finite, the material, the mortal — are not of God, consequently they are not true, not real. Then we recognize all the ills of material existence as errors, as mistaken conditions, and thereby distinguish between Truth and error. Then by knowing Truth, knowing God, we can apply exact Truth to the mistake and then Truth corrects it.
How Truth Heals
The question is often asked: How and why does Truth heal? How does it heal us when we think or hear the truth; especially, how does it heal others to whom it is declared and about whom it is known? In Christian Science the healing is not accomplished through any transfer of mortal mind, through any mental suggestion or hypnotism; just how then is it done?
Christian Science claims that all forms of discord and disease are error, because they are not the manifestation or result of divine Truth, but are the opposite of Truth; that since Truth is infinite it cannot manifest error, which is finite. Therefore, in Christian Science, when first the light of Truth enters the chamber of understanding, it illumines the darkened human consciousness.
Since by its very nature Truth is individual, it has its own distinctive, complete, indivisible character, which identifies it. Thus it can express only itself, its own nature and character — that which is true and truthful. Truth is fundamental. It is causation, and operates according to law. Then Truth is Principle; therefore it is power, and expresses itself with power. It is obvious that there is no power in a mistake. This being so, a mistake cannot resist the power of Truth to correct it. Consequently, error cannot resist Truth.
A mathematical truth corrects a mathematical error to which the truth is applied. It functions because of an essential quality and property. By which it always expresses and identifies itself, manifesting its own being in truthfulness. Similarly, metaphysical or spiritual truth, applied to a human error, corrects that error, because of the self-expressing property of Truth, whereby it always identifies itself when called into action.
There is, therefore, no difference in the effect of a treatment — the application of Truth — whether given to a person nearby or far away. In both cases the truth of the treatment acts upon the human consciousness and corrects the error therein. In an audible treatment, the truth reaches the patient’s mentality through his conscious thought as well.
Healing comes to many while reading the textbook of Christian Science, written by Mrs. Eddy. In "Fruitage," the last chapter of this textbook, there are many such healings recorded, and they are well worth your reading. Healing may, and does, result from reading Christian Science literature or while listening to the Bible Lesson Sermons at Christian Science church services. It comes to others at the Wednesday evening testimony and experience meetings; or while attending our authorized lectures.
Sometimes the door of conscious thought is opened just a little to let in only the faintest ray of Truth. But soon, more likely than not, the door opens wider and the radiance of Truth floods the once-darkened human consciousness, and healing results. Thus is the erroneous concept corrected by Truth’s inherent property of self-identification. And thus does it drive out error and establish a state of harmony.
The only explanation of such healing — which plainly is not the action of one human mind upon another, not the action of any mental suggestion or transfer of thought — is that sickness and sin, which are really mental errors, mistaken concepts, falsities, are corrected by Truth, in the written or spoken word, when Truth is brought to bear upon these errors in one’s consciousness. Christian Science healing is, therefore, Truth healing.
Nature of Mortal Man
In order to demonstrate this healing it is necessary to understand what man really is; for we have to deal with what is called a sick man or with some other discordant human condition. But first let us review what man is supposed to be; what he is from the premise of our human experience. We find that he appears to be material, corporeal, physical. This sort of man is born of the flesh. He lives in matter. His education comes through the physical senses. He must die in order to live again.
In a chemical analysis by Dr. F. E. Lawson of London, he deduced that at the then market prices a man’s body was worth just about one dollar. It consisted of enough magnesium for one dose of salts, enough phosphorus to make 2,200 matchheads, enough sulphur to rid one dog of fleas, enough lime to whitewash a small chicken-coop, enough iron to make a medium-sized nail, enough carbon for 9,000 lead pencils, enough fat for 7 cakes of soap, and 10 gallons of water.
The Scriptures tell us in Job, 14:1, about the kind of man to which Dr. Lawson referred. Job says, "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." David echoes Job’s view (Pslam 103:15-16). "As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more."
This is the kind of man previously referred to in the second chapter of Genesis, a man made of dust or of a rib, not the man created in the image and likeness of God; not the man described in the first chapter of Genesis, 26-27, where "male and female created he them." The second chapter records the imperfect work of Jehovah, or the tribal Lord God. The first chapter records the perfect creation by Elohim. These two records are contradictory on all points, and so both cannot be true.
The Real Man
It is logical to believe that the record of spiritual creation as given in the first chapter of Genesis, is the true record. This declares that God made all that was made and pronounced it "very good:" and "Thus the heavens and earth were finished, and all the host of them" (Gen. 2:1) Here is described the real creation, the true universe, the perfect man — all ever-harmoniously existent in God. This spiritual idea, man, was not born of matter. He was not like the grass of the field. He was not composed of lime, phosphorus, iron, sulphur, and water.
This man created in the image of God is spiritual. He exists as an idea in infinite, divine consciousness. He has the substance of Spirit, he is identified by Soul, he is governed by the law of divine Principle, reflecting the divine Life, embodying divine Truth, and manifesting divine Love.
This is the man that Christian Science reveals as the real man, and therefore the only man, the man who is already governed by God and is entirely separate from the dust-created man — the false sense of man.
Of this man the Psalmist writes (Psalm 8:4-6), "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things under his feet." This is the man of whom St. John wrote (I John 3:2), "Beloved, now are we the sons of God," and to whom St. Paul gave the loving command (Col. 3:9-10), "Lie not one to another, seeing ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."
Now let us see what Mrs. Eddy says of man. I quote again from Science and Health, page 591: "The compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind." Under the definition of Mind she writes, "Not that which is in man, but the divine Principle, or God, of whom man is the full and perfect expression." She thus reveals the real man whose material appearance is only a false and distorted concept.
Mrs. Eddy shows further how the recognition of this true man heals, when she says (Science and Health, 476:32-4 next page), "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." She also says (Science and Health 428:22-23) "The great spiritual act must be brought out that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal."
Specific Name for Error
One of the most important teachings of Christian Science, and one which Mrs. Eddy considered essential to ultimate success in healing, is that concerning animal magnetism. The dictionary definition of animal is "a sentient living organism other than a plant"; magnetism is defined as "the sympathetic personal quality that attracts or interests."
We are attracted by what we see, hear, feel, taste, or smell. Mrs. Eddy says of this animal sense (Science and Health 103:18-23), "animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind." It is therefore a name for material existence. Her further statement (Science and Health 484:23), that animal magnetism "is the human antipode of divine Science," is extremely important; for it shows us that animal magnetism is the exact opposite or reverse of Christian Science. This fact demands our earnest consideration.
Again Mrs. Eddy says, "You conquer error by denying its verity" (Science and Health 339:31). This involves a process which she called "handling animal magnetism."
Handling, as Mrs. Eddy explained it, means to take up and mentally deny the false claim or wrong condition, and thereby secure mastery over it. Handling, therefore, means to take up the claim and then put down its falsities.
An equally vital element in Christian Science healing, or in the successful application of Christian Science, is the mastery of fear. Mrs. Eddy considers this phase of the work so important that she says, "If you succeed in wholly removing the fear, your patient is healed" (Science and Health 411:31-1). She further declares (Science and Health 411:27), "Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of patients."
The truth that most successfully destroys fear is the fact that fear is always based on some unreality. To elucidate, let me ask if any of you can recall ever being afraid of good, of Life, of Truth, of Love. Did you ever fear anything real? I think you will answer that your fear has always been about something unreal, something that actually does not exist.
Further, when you learn that fear itself is an illusion, that it always argues about another illusion, then the fear finally vanishes. Was it not absurd to fear something that did not exist, except as a supposition?
In the handling of fear, as of animal magnetism, Mrs. Eddy admonishes us to analyze fear in such detail and so completely that there is nothing left of it. This process reduces fear to its true character — nothingness — and it then becomes unreal to our human thought. If, for example, we eliminate from our mistaken sense the claim that fear has substance, that it has intelligence, Life, Truth, Principle, Mind, then there is simply nothing left of it. Thus it becomes unreal to us and therefore powerless.
Such analyzing may be called the "fagot" method of handling error. An old fable relates that a father gave his sons a fagot or bundle of sticks, and told them to break it. They tried and tried, but without success. Then the father suggested, "Why not untie the fagot and break each stick separately?" This they did and thereby succeeded in breaking the fagot.
This serves excellently to illustrate Mrs. Eddy’s method of handling or demolishing all error — animal magnetism, fear, and other false claims. A general denial of error is not sufficiently effective upon the human mind to master these claims. But when their various elements are handled separately, then they can be destroyed. Success in healing involves reducing the discord, whatever its nature, to nothingness.
It is important, indeed essential, to know spiritual reality, to know God, to know the real man and the real universe, if we would detect their opposites — the things not real. When we grasp what Truth really is then we can see the powerlessness and unreality of these opposites, these unlikenesses — error.
Mrs. Eddy write (Miscellany 210), "Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them." This instruction is vital. Darkness cannot enter a room filled with light. Neither can the darkness of error enter a consciousness flooded with the light of Truth. The belief that two and two make five cannot enter a consciousness that knows that two and two make four.
Healing is Mental
All healing recorded in the Bible, as well as that accomplished through Christian Science, was done mentally — through the action of thought. Therefore, the nature of Mind and Mind action must be clearly understood, for there are many wrong concepts on this point.
Human beings claim the right, and have the ability, to think anything they may please. They may think either truth or error. Here we need to see that thinking is mental activity, cognition. Therefore, real thinking is the action of real Mind, — is the knowing of Truth; whereas, the activity of the mortal, carnal mind is the thinking of error and is not real thinking at all, but simply believing.
Should you attempt to solve a mathematical problem assuming that two and two make five, you would not be engaged in mathematical thinking. For two and two do not make five, and such falsity can be only believed. Now if you worked the problem by thinking that two and two make four, the answer would be correct and harmonious; for thinking mathematically that two and two make four is really knowing that they do. Thus you see that in mathematics real thinking is right knowing.
Likewise in metaphysics. When we think the testimony of physical sense, which we have found to be false, we are not really thinking. We are only believing. However, when we think the testimony of spiritual sense, the activity of divine Truth, then we are knowing Truth and really thinking.
So to heal successfully through Christian Science, we must first learn to think rightly, to think truth, to know what is real. Only thus can we detect wrong thoughts — thoughts of error — and deal with them, intelligently.
Next we must remember that the definition of God declares Him to be the infinite Mind, the infinite, real consciousness. From this it follows that there really is but one Mind, because there can be but one infinity, one all-knowing. It is helpful in pondering this spiritual fact to see that there is no need for another mind if that Mind is infinite. One Mind is enough — that Mind being all inclusive — just as one multiplication table is enough. And just as a mathematician gets harmonious results by knowing that there is but one mathematical truth, one mathematical knowing, just so we get harmonious results, or conditions, metaphysically, by knowing there is but one divine Truth, one infinite divine Mind.
Much healing results from this knowing that there is but one Mind, and that that Mind is good and includes all; for this spiritual Truth destroys the possibility of the existence of any discordant consciousness.
Many of you, perhaps, do not clearly distinguish between the divine Mind — which is the infinite divine consciousness of infinite Truth — and the human mind, which involves just ordinary thinking with all its attendant errors. Some — I hope none of you here — confuse Christian Science healing as well as the healing work of Jesus and his disciples with a sort of transfer of thought through the activity of what is called will-power, hypnotism, mesmerism, occultism — all of which are based upon mental suggestion, the attempt of one human mind to influence another.
It is necessary to see here that in true spiritual healing none of these errors of mortal mind possess any power to heal. It is Truth that corrects the human error and thus heals by destroying error.
Christian Science healing is therefore a corrective process. In the demonstration of this healing it is a great help to recognize this fact. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," free from Truth’s opposite, that is, error. This statement is perfectly logical, for mistakes are always corrected by Truth, and Christian Science enables us to see that all discordant conditions are mistakes; then it teaches us the nature of divine Truth, so that we can ourselves apply the truth to the mistaken condition.
An essential fact to understand here is that Jesus preceded his statement about this liberating power of Truth with the declaration, "If ye continue in my word," making steadfastness a condition under which this freedom could be achieved. Continuing in Jesus’ "word" naturally means knowing the truth, being obedient to it, applying it to our everyday human problems. Jesus’ word always teaches spiritual Truth. Therefore, by obeying Jesus, we develop spiritual Truth in our consciousness, and thus do we gain the necessary spiritual understanding which enables us to know divine Truth spiritually enough to apply it successfully to all our affairs.
Since in Christian Science we recognize that everything operates according to law, and since law is mental, it is important to know and declare that God’s law, the law of divine Principle, is the only law and that we are really governed by this law.
Since the power of Truth is the power of Principle, it follows that Principle is the only power. It is this power of Principle, of spiritual Truth, which really makes the needed correction, and therefore, does the healing, when applied through spiritual understanding, which the deep study of Christian Science bestows.
A Point in Successful Healing
A vital factor in successful Christian Science healing is knowing the already perfection of Being. This virtually means holding the standard, the idea, the real in thought, which corrects discordant human concepts. It further involves knowing what is real and recognizing the nothingness of the unreal.
If we argue that a man is sick and needs to be healed, we are by this assertion ascribing reality to sickness. We are making a reality of the mistake and thus cannot hope to correct it. If we reverse this argument and declare that man is already spiritual and perfect and well, this declaration includes the understanding that sickness is unreal, for on the basis of the reality of Spirit, sickness must be unreal. And this reflection of Truth accomplishes the healing, for knowing is reflecting.
The mathematician knows that two and two already make four, else he would not be able to find the answer to his problems. Likewise our knowing that the real man is already God’s reflection; that "Man is the expression of God’s being," as Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health 470:23); that man is indeed the present reflection of God, not the product of the past, and is therefore already harmonious — this knowing heals all kinds of diseased conditions and various forms of lack. Since man reflects God, he also reflects infinity. How, then, can he really lack anything? This spiritual truth realized, corrects the mistaken sense of lack.
Holding strongly to absolute divine Truth to meet an opposing evil influence is not will-power nor hypnotism; for these are the activities of the carnal mind. Divine Truth, divine Mind, is not the carnal mind, but is its opposite — the pure Mind which is divine Love.
Since existence is consciousness, the awareness of our being, our existence will be harmonious if our consciousness is harmonious; and Christian Science makes it possible for us to achieve this state of harmony. We have only to know persistently and faithfully what is real, recognize the unreal through spiritual Truth, correct a wrong sense through divine intelligence and thus establish harmony as our settled conviction.
Who Does the Healing?
The question is sometimes asked: Who does the healing in Christian Science? Jesus said (John 5:30), "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." Jesus also said (John 14:10), "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." And again Jesus said (John 14:12), "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." These sayings prove that Jesus knew God did the healing; but he also declared that he himself did the works of God. St. Paul also says (Phil. 2:13), "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
Perhaps in the study of this question of who or what does the healing work, it will be of help to consider who solves the mathematical problem. Evidently, mathematical truth does this, but not until this truth is correctly applied. In a sense, then, we ourselves do not solve these problems. Mathematical truth rightly used, does the work.
Likewise with divine Truth, which is the real healing power. It also must be applied; and we do this by right thinking and right knowing — through spiritual understanding.
Healing Through Love
I think now we begin to see that Christian Science healing is achieved by knowing that God is All-in-all, that there is "none beside Him;" that Spirit is all and infinite; that matter is nothing; that man’s nature is purely spiritual, and that divine Principle is forever active.
Since Christian Science reveals the true nature of reality as opposed to the false nature of material existence, we are able to determine what in our existence is real and what is unreal. Further, we have learned that the modus operandi of Christian Science healing is to know Truth, to recognize error as error and then to apply the truth to the error and so correct it. Thus we establish harmonious conditions.
Then, too, we have learned that since Truth is Spirit, we must realize what Jesus called the spirit of Truth, the deep, pure, innermost, essential nature of Truth. Only then do we fully qualify in the healing work for ourselves and others.
Mrs. Eddy has said much about the need to knowing what Love is: about the necessity of reflecting Love in order to accomplish the healing. The study of Christian Science enables us to do this. For through earnest study and righteous desire do we discern that divine Love is the supreme Principle, the divine cause; we learn that it is the all-knowing Mind or divine consciousness; the infinite Spirit or divine substance; the incorporeal Soul or divine identity; we discern that divine Love is the immortal Life or divine existence; the absolute Truth of divine actuality. And so we learn that Love includes and expresses the entire nature of God and is the highest and mightiest healing power.
Mrs. Eddy writes about healing (Science and Health 411:10), "If Spirit or the power of divine Love bear witness to the truth, this is the ultimatum, the scientific way, and the healing is instantaneous."
This power of divine Love to bear witness to the truth means to establish the harmony of truth in consciousness.
To Mrs. Eddy we owe our knowledge of divine Love’s healing power. She has often referred to the importance of knowing and really feeling this Love as a spiritual afflatus, as a divine consciousness that lifts thought into the realm of God.
Tribute to Mrs. Eddy
For a number of years I had the very great pleasure and privilege of Mrs. Eddy’s close personal acquaintance. This afforded me the prized opportunity of knowing her quite well.
I was enabled to see clearly how close she lived to God; how desirous she was of discerning just what God wanted her to do; how conscientious she was in forming the by-laws of The Mother Church and in establishing its various activities; and what a genuine follower of Christ Jesus she was.
She not only strove to understand the teachings of Christ Jesus but to live according to them. On one occasion when I was visiting with her she discussed a very serious problem in the movement — a problem regarding which she had to reach an early decision. She wondered what Jesus would do if he were confronted with this situation, and added that she always received great help when faced with a difficult question if only she could know what Jesus would do with the situation. I have often thought since how great a help it would be to anyone dealing with serious problems if he could just consider for a moment what Jesus would be apt to do under similar circumstances.
There are those who think that Mrs. Eddy stumbled by chance upon some phenomena that she named Christian Science. However, all available records indicate that her momentous discovery was the result of generations of preparation and spiritual influence. They indicate that this preparation made it possible for God to use her as His mouthpiece in sending to the world this great revelation of Truth.
She writes in her textbook (Science and Health 107:3-6), "God had been graciously preparing me during many years for the reception of this final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing."
The physical healing through mental means which she discovered, practiced, and taught was not the paramount purpose of her mission, although at first it startled the public thought and attracted much attention, just as it did when Jesus first practiced spiritual healing in Galilee and demonstrated divine power on earth.
The higher mission of Christian Science is "to take away the sins of the world" (Science and Health 150:16). This saving mission operates as a spiritual transformation of consciousness, which makes it possible to begin to discern the promised "new heaven and new earth."
This transformation results, as St. Paul says, from the renewing of the mind; and as taught by Mrs. Eddy, it is due to the study, application, and realization of the teachings of Christian Science. And this enables us to have in us the mind of Christ, through the coming of the spirit of Truth. This, Jesus promised, as St. John relates (John 15:26), "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." And again the following verse, "And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."
Christian Scientists love to testify of Mrs. Eddy and thus bear witness to her work in the degree that they understand her and know what she has done.
Jesus said the Comforter would abide with us forever; and this Comforter would be sent in his name, and that, in his own words, "he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26) Mrs. Eddy declares (Science and Health 55:26), "This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science."
This Divine Science leads into all Truth and includes the infinity of Truth. There is nothing more to be revealed; it needs only to be understood and demonstrated. When we fully understand the completeness and finality of her revelation, then we shall be able to see what Mrs. Eddy really is and realize somewhat the truth of her divine mission.
To bring this promised Comforter to humanity as a workable, spiritual, scientific religion is the great and ultimate mission of Mary Baker Eddy, the full and complete consummation of which will result in the healing of the whole world.
[Published in The Brooklyn (New York) Daily Eagle, July 15, 1939.]