Christian Science: The Way of Understanding

 

Evelyn F. Heywood, C.S.B., of London, England

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

To understand − this is the natural desire of every intelligent child, man, and woman. This is the rightful purpose and ambition of us all. The mistake has been that men have given much attention to material learning often without seeking for and relying upon spiritual understanding.

The instinct of the child is to question, to investigate, to prove for himself. Wisely directed and encouraged this makes for the intelligent scholar and later the useful citizen. The business man, the mechanic, the artist, the statesman knows that with the understanding of his subject comes a sense of power, comes success and certain progress. But the human mind has continued to regard understanding as connected with the brain: and further it has largely focused its ability and industry on the imbibing and application of human knowledge. It has not turned to the divine Mind for direction and guidance in human affairs. Not until we realize that there is only one Mind, the Mind which is God, is ability lifted out of the realm of the mortal into the spiritual. The basic teaching of Christian Science is that Mind is God, all-power, all presence, governing His idea, man, and the universe and that he who accepts and makes practical this teaching does so in obedience to the words and acts of Christ Jesus.

 

Spiritual Inspiration Is Understanding

In Job we read, "There is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." This spirit in man is that which reveals the presence and nature of God. Inspiration, or breathing in − and that is what inspiration means − is the evidence of life. Without spiritual inspiration the true life of man is not expressed. This comes only as the result of understanding. On page 204 of "Miscellaneous Writings" we find this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, "Through the accession of spirituality, God, the divine Principle of Christian Science literally governs the aims, ambition and acts of the Scientist." The purpose of this lecture is to seek to set forth what spiritual inspiration or understanding does for him who lets it take possession of his thought and so rule his life.

Because understanding is of God it is everywhere present and always available. "Understanding," we read on page 505 of the Christian Science textbook "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, "is a quality of God, a quality which separates Christian Science from supposition and makes Truth final." Because it is a quality of God, it belongs to man. The recognition and acceptance of this fundamental fact banishes limitation.

This understanding, because it is the inspiration of the Almighty, depends in no way upon profound learning, upon scholarly attainments or intellectual gifts. He who is the least proficient in scholarship can lay hold of spiritual understanding. Yet it brings the best of all education, the finest of all knowledge. It teaches men to appraise what is true, to reject what is false. With spiritual understanding there comes the wisdom and power to deal rightly with every situation that arises, as Jesus continually bore witness.

Men have sought to understand God because of a great longing to revere and trust that which is higher and greater than themselves: because of a desire to know more of good; because of a desire to be rid of evil, or at least the evils from which they wish to be delivered.

 

Spiritual Understanding Is Dominion

Jesus came teaching men the way of understanding, and because he knew more of God than anyone had ever done, he was called the Christ. He sought to rid mankind of sin, suffering, and lack, but he did not merely show occasional dominion over mortality as had Moses, Elijah, and Elisha. He overcame every form of evil, annulled every material law of discord and limitation, and finally overcame death and the grave. He taught that all men who think and act from the basis of Spirit, God, are empowered to overcome in like manner.

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 313): "Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause."

Profound scholars and men of physical science have worked and sacrificed, dedicating their lives to delving "beneath the material surface of things,'' not in search of the spiritual, but of a material cause. Perceiving material effects, they have sought along every channel of material learning and experiment for causes which would explain the universe which would alleviate ignorance and suffering. Nevertheless, while they have made great discoveries while they have accumulated and dissected knowledge, and in the human realm accomplished much, how frequently they have willingly admitted that the fundamental cause of all remained unrevealed. They still stumble and feel their way amidst much darkness. But this most scientific man, Christ Jesus, found the spiritual cause of all reality, uncovered all suppositional causes; separating the true from the false, he revealed Truth. Christ Jesus looked to God, Mind, and accepted no other direction.

On page 129 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes, "We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things." My friends, the outward appearances, how often they involve suffering and loss, fear, temptation, and uncertainty. He who looks into reality finds the spiritual cause, the laws of health and order; finds strength and peace. He finds that the inspiration of the Almighty does indeed give understanding. He who plunges "beneath the material surface of things" in the way that Jesus did finds that which is the reflection of Spirit. He finds the truth about man. He finds himself as God's individual idea forever identified with Mind, with divine intelligence.

A woman I know had a small son whom she had taken to doctor after doctor because he was very delicate and constantly ill. Some of the doctors she consulted suggested an operation but with no least conviction of success. At last one of them said to her, "Your little boy is too spiritually mental" (note the words) "for the medical faculty to be able to help him. We can do nothing for him." And she in despair asked, "Then what am I to do?" He answered her, "You have love, you have patience, you have understanding; take him home, and keep him with you, and perhaps one day he will grow strong "

Not very long afterwards, this woman heard of Christian Science, and she told her little boy about it. "Why mother," he said, "nothing else but that could be true!" And in a very short time he was completely healed. Through the revelation of Christian Science spiritual understanding had come to her and her child in its unerring logic and power.

Today is the day of Christian Science. It is here for all who seek and desire it because of the discovery by Mary Baker Eddy of the laws of God. The gift is ours and there is no one who cannot possess it. It enables us to differentiate between what is true and what is untrue; it shows how to find and abide with the spiritual cause. He who perceives that two plus two is not five, but is unable to put into effect two plus two equals four, does not go very far in mathematics. Understanding is neither negative nor passive: It is continuously positive and active.

 

The Human Evidence of Understanding God

Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health (p. 209), "Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God." The spirit that is in man, the inspiration that gives him understanding, is not exercised merely by saying that God is infinite. It is exercised by him who is consciously and constantly identifying himself with good, replacing in human experience the lie with the truth. Understanding God is the true consciousness and it is in this consciousness that Jesus dwelt. He was, as Mrs. Eddy tells us, "the most scientific man that ever trod the globe;" and this implies that he was also the most practical. There was nothing of the mystic, the doctrinarian, the recluse, about him. His purpose was twofold, and he gave the three years of his public life to its accomplishment. First he aimed to teach men what is Truth; and secondly, to show them how to prove it. His words were always accompanied by his works. Spiritual sense is knowing and being, and is always the result of understanding. "I will come and heal him," said Jesus. "Be whole." "Thou art loosed from thine infirmity." "Be not afraid." Why could he say this? And how could he prove it? He could say it because he knew that God is the only cause and creator and that evil is unreal and causeless. Spiritual cause had shown him that there is none other, and that its effect must be spiritual. And how could he prove it? Because he who knew spiritual law, who lived it as wholly, as selflessly and consistently as did Jesus, understood how to bring the power of the Christ to every situation that presented itself.

On page 200 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy says, "It was the consummate naturalness of Truth in the mind of Jesus, that made his healing easy and instantaneous. Jesus regarded good as the normal state of man and evil as the abnormal."

This divine Science which Mrs. Eddy has presented to this age is the Science of living; it is the exemplification of the allness of Mind, revealing law and action, governed by Principle, God, illumined by Spirit, inspired of Love. The recognition of our oneness with this divine Principle reveals to us the power which accompanies it.

How close, how intimate Mrs. Eddy recognized her relationship with God to be, is evidenced in all she wrote and accomplished. This New England woman in the middle of the nineteenth century, after searching for God through years of suffering and invalidism, found herself, as the result of a severe accident, on what was believed to be her deathbed. Spiritual light from the New Testament − from one of Jesus' miracles − brought her sudden healing. She rose and joined her household. Mrs. Eddy knew that this was what the human mind would term a miracle. To her in her own words it was "the falling apple" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24). She recognized that behind this healing as behind all the acts of Jesus there must be a law of God. She therefore retired from the world for three years, to find in the Bible and in communion with God the explanation of what this law was and how it could operate consistently in human affairs. For years she had been seeking to understand man's relationship to God. She was to find it now in the Science of being, in the laws of divine Principle, to the everlasting benefit of mankind.

 

The Discoverer of Christian Science

Most beautifully in her autobiography, "Retrospection and Introspection," Mrs. Eddy relates the moment when her faith became understanding. Her search for the seemingly unknowable was at an end. "When the door opened," she writes (p 23), "I was waiting and watching; and, lo, the bridegroom came! The character of the Christ was illuminated by the midnight torches of Spirit. My heart knew its Redeemer . . . Soulless famine had fled. Agnosticism, pantheism, and theosophy were void. Being was beautiful, its substance, cause and currents were God and His idea. I had touched the hem of Christian Science."

A study of Mrs. Eddy's early life shows that more than anything else she had desired to know God. Those who courageously, unerringly, determine to know God, even though it means the laying down of human will, of selfish desire, of personal affection, of material pleasures, will find Him. Spiritual understanding results in right decisions. This alone is what directs, moulds, establishes our lives. This is what reveals the Christ.

After Mrs. Eddy's discovery, and from then on through countless vicissitudes, persecutions, and disappointment, supported by an ardent, faithful little band of followers, but betrayed often by those upon whom she would seem to have had the greatest reason to rely, Mary Baker Eddy pressed on with her great adventure, through arid deserts of indifference and scorn, over mountainous seas of opposition, past dangerous shoals and treacherous currents of bitter opposition and scorn, to world recognition and ever-accumulating gratitude from those who were being healed and rescued.

Always she was at the helm; always guiding her followers from the standpoint of Principle; always vigorous, undaunted, boundless in energy, in enthusiasm, in confidence. To this intrepidity, this fortitude, this certain faith in her Cause, this measureless love for humanity, we owe the establishment of The Mother Church and its branches, we owe Christian Science in all its multiple activities, reaching throughout the world. Thousands of men and women and children owe their health, their happiness, their very lives to this great, this universal gift of Christian Science to mankind.

 

Evil Without Cause

There is nothing that seems more wonderful to the invalid than to find himself suddenly well; nothing more welcome to him who had believed all was lost than to find darkness being replaced by light. But Christian Science does much more than this. While it relieves us of specific ills, banishes for us insistent fears, it teaches us that there is indeed no cause for disease, for sorrow; that within ourselves is the power to overcome them. Christian Science teaches us that spiritual understanding is dominion, and that this dominion is man's divine heritage.

Belief in duality of power, belief that power is both good and evil, has been the plague and downfall of the human race. Men have believed in the power of sickness to incapacitate them, of ignorance to overthrow them, of lack to limit them, of danger to cripple them, in the evil thoughts of others to undo them, in the power of death to destroy them. Mrs. Eddy, striking at the root of every trouble, declares in one brief sentence, "Mankind must learn that evil is not power" (Science and Health p. 102). And she alone of all teachers, writers, exponents, since the advent of Christ Jesus, has shown us how we can learn and then prove that evil is not power,

A young woman who had been brought up in an orthodox religion but had never found comfort or satisfaction in it because it seemed to her to offer no logical explanation of God and the universe, sought far and wide in other religions, in philosophy and in ethics, that which would satisfy her reason and supply her spiritual hunger. But she sought in vain. Always she came up against this barrier: that men must have faith in that which could not be explained, that there were certain aspects of God which must remain a mystery, certain questions which could not be answered; that evil was evidently as great or greater than good and there were no apparent means of overcoming it. Moreover, understanding was not a word one used in connection with God. And all around her she saw things going on which if God were responsible for them, were permitting them, made Him inexplicable. No book she read, no one whom she knew, could explain to her why if God were all-powerful, there seemed no way out of the miseries and perplexities of human experience. And so she adopted agnosticism − the meaning of which is not knowingas her only logical and honest standpoint. Like so many others, she felt it unreasonable and unintelligent to accept as one's religion that which seemed neither comprehensible nor workable. Of course this was a negative and therefore wholly unsatisfactory state of thought and sometimes she was half inclined to envy the people who accepted and even found comfort in religious faiths which were neither consistent, comprehensible, nor logical.

And then one day Christian Science came into her life. The textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy was put into her hand and she soon found that this was what she had been seeking. This was the Truth. Here was a book which, on its first page, in its first sentence, spoke of spiritual understanding. It declared that it was legitimate and possible to know God: that His laws were available in healing and in redemption. Here the words "Science" and "religion" were associated. Here was one who spoke with authority, with power not with didacticism or fanaticism but with reason and with proof. And not only that. It became clear that this must be Truth in its final and complete revelation. This was the Comforter promised of the Master.

 

Spiritual Knowing

Anyone who has read the books of great men of physical science and philosophy, such thinkers as Kant and Charles Darwin, William James and Arthur Balfour knows that profound and significant as is their research and learning, yet in the spiritual realm their writings are tentative and exploratory. They weigh this argument against that; they put forward many theories, speculate with regard to many solutions, because mortal man, unillumined by Truth is accepting a universe of matter which is without cause, without possibility of solution. In the textbook of Christian Science there is nothing tentative. Here is spiritual knowing as the result of spiritual revelation. Here is reasoning from a spiritual basis; here is evidence divinely deduced. Here is the inspiration of the Almighty because in understanding.

In Science and Health we read these statements: "Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man" (p 393). And again, "If God were understood instead of being merely believed, this understanding would establish health" (p. 203).

Mary Baker Eddy proved these facts for herself. She was healed, she healed others. As the result of deep study, of perceiving spiritual rules and applying them to human affairs, she learned to know instead of merely believe, and in her writings she sets this forth with divine authority.

So in the place of agnosticism there dawned for this searcher for Truth the conviction that intelligence can be satisfied, that faith can be based upon understanding, that the enigmas of existence can be solved, that there is no evil which cannot be destroyed, that there is no obscurity which cannot be illumined.

In Christian Science we learn what was the spiritual cause which Jesus found. We learn that because of this spiritual cause he reasoned from no mortal premise, accepted no mortal dictum, acknowledged no mortal laws. Indeed, wherever they presented themselves, he repudiated all material theories and false evidence. He recognized for himself neither material birth nor death. He never spoke of himself as a mortal. Of his material body he said to his disciples, "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." The leper was instantly cleansed; the paralytic picked up his bed and walked; the blind saw; the insane were restored to sanity.  Jesus walked on the water; from a few loaves and fishes he produced enough to feed thousands. He stilled the tempest, he cast out sin, he raised the dead. And why? And how? His power to heal lay in his love for, his understanding of God and man. Jesus healed because he loved. Without love there can be no Christ-healing. And how did he heal? Through his understanding that God's laws are laws of health, of harmony, of plenty, of peace, of life, of purity.

 

Trust in God

The natural instinct of the physical senses is to judge by what they see, feel, think they know, and in which they have been educated. The scientific, the spiritually scientific, alone can discern the one and only cause and thus find God who is Spirit and His creation which is spiritual. The Bible injunction is, "Trust in the "Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." But whenever one who is uninstructed in Truth is disturbed, frightened, afflicted, or in any way concerned, he leans unto his own understanding, or to his belief in the situation as presented by mortal laws, prognostications, and fears. Let us learn to turn swiftly to the divine source of all good to the ever-presence of God. Let us trust God alone. This trusting is exemplified by prayer in Christian Science. He who in every situation trusts God is praying in the truly scientifically spiritual sense. This prayer of trust, of confident affirmation, is the spiritual knowing of divine reality.

An individual, a Christian Scientist, had occasion to be traveling during war time in waters where there was an ever-present menace of enemy raiders and submarines. She realized that though fortitude and control were generally manifested by the passengers, yet underneath there was a considerable current of fear. One or two people spoke of this fear, and the Christian Scientist was told that it was felt she had something which they had not, something which made for serenity. "What is it that you have in Christian Science that prevents you being afraid?" she was asked by one woman passenger. The Scientist answered, "In Christian Science we learn that we can trust God implicitly." Her interlocutor who was a staunch church woman replied: "I have complete trust in God; too, but I do not trust myself. I do not know what I should do or how I should behave if something terrible happened."

You see, this individual had a sense of herself as separate from God. Here is the difference between blind faith without understanding, and the faith which, because it is based upon God and man's relationship to Him, assures us of our safety whatever the situation may be.

Trusting in God and knowing Him to be all-power and all-presence we know ourselves to be within, not without, His trust. The Bible says, "We love him, because he first loved us." We might equally say, "We trust Him because He first trusted us." Man is the expression of God's trust in Himself. How could it be otherwise? Man expresses the qualities of Mind, he therefore expresses trustfulness. The dangers and distresses which beset mortals may be heroically borne by those who believe in but do not understand God. They will be met and overcome spiritually only as men know themselves to be one with the divine All-power. When this is accomplished, they will understand why the Master could say to his disciples after he had delivered them from what appeared to be extreme peril, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?"

 

"The line of demarcation"

On page 505 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes. "Understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal" My friends, it is through spiritual   understanding alone that we learn to discern between what God made and what is but a mistaken concept of creation, wholly false and devoid of power.

The whole inherent trouble of the human race has been that it has accepted two premises, one spiritual and the other material; two men, one spiritual and the other material; two minds, the human and the divine; and finally two worlds, the world of Spirit and the world of matter.

Let us picture a line drawn between this world of Spirit and the world of matter and ask ourselves on which side we are living. As we leave this building, as we wake tomorrow and go forth to the day's demands, will our thoughts be below or above this line? Below the line is darkness and fear, discouragement and resentment, sorrow and loss. Above the line is confidence and courage, gratitude and peace. This world of joy and peace, of health and freedom, was the world which Christ Jesus' spiritual understanding revealed.

Mrs. Eddy has explained with clarity and eloquence how Christ Jesus maintained his understanding of spiritual being, never yielding to argument, to mortal opinion, or to the persecution of the carnal mind. On page 36 of "No and Yes" Mrs. Eddy writes: "The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin, disease, and death, and was conscious only of God, of good, of eternal Life, and harmony. Hence the human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being, − holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real."

My friends, in this spiritual retreat, in this resort to our true selfhood, we too learn to express in our lives the scientific meaning and action of prayer.

A great writer has declared that we do not possess what we do not understand. As we understand our spiritual selfhood, then we possess it. If we do not, then we have not yet entered into ownership of it. We are living still in a mental world of make-believe; we have no place of retreat, we are still more conscious of evil than we are of God.

 

The Demands of Truth

Humanly speaking we do not gain spiritual understanding easily nor maintain it without effort. It requires consecration, devotion, vigilance; it requires the willing subordination of merely personal desires and selfish interests. It calls for vision; it exacts allegiance to what is highest and noblest within us. The mathematician knows that to succeed he must be exact, not here and there, but consistently. The man of Science knows that there is no fluke, no monopoly, no corner, so to speak, in good. Our Leader has summed up in one sentence what is required of those who seek the only power, the only satisfaction and recognition that are to be desired, the only understanding that is understanding. She says in Science and Health (p. 3). "To understand God is the work of eternity, and demands absolute consecration of thought, energy, and desire."

To understand God, thought must be illumined by spirituality. Looking at the world picture today, the gigantic needs of men, the complicated problems, the distrusts and rivalries, the waste places which must be rebuilt, the policies which must be inaugurated, men may well ask themselves, Where are the wisdom, the patience, the honesty, to be found for such a task? And the answer must be, in spiritual understanding. Spiritually illumined men will be guided even as was Jesus in ways that bless and heal. Their energies, their desires will be consecrated to their task because they have learned how to pray, where to turn for light and love and enduring strength. Energy characterizes the thoughts of him who finds his inspiration in God. There can be no individual who expressed more energy of speech, greater vigor of action than did Christ Jesus. Our Leader's record of accomplishment shows her to have been one of the mightiest workers the world has ever known. And the energy of spiritual-mindedness, though it is mighty, yet how quiet it is, because it is divinely controlled.

Have you ever asked yourself what was the main consideration of Jesus, the greatest task which he had to perform? In Science and Health (p. 50), Mrs. Eddy throws the clear light of her own spiritual analysis upon the subject. She tells us that "the real cross, which Jesus bore up the hill of grief, was the world's hatred of Truth and Love." And she continues (p 51), "It was the possible loss of something more important than human life which moved him, − the possible misapprehension of the sublimest influence of his career." "Misapprehension" − Jesus knew that if there were no spiritual understanding, Christianity would be lost to the world. And at that moment, as he bore the cross up the hill, how little his followers understood. Not enough to believe after all he had told them, that he could save himself from death and the grave. Not enough even to be loyal to what they knew. Not enough to keep them from going back to their fishing, they who had been called to be "fishers of men."

You remember how, after the resurrection, Jesus, finding his disciples gathered together, "breathed on them" and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." That is, he sought to bring them the inspiration which alone is understanding. Today the Holy Ghost has been revealed to us in all the fullness of the letter and the spirit of the Word. In her textbook (p. 548), Mrs. Eddy tells us that "Christian Science separates error from truth and breathes through the sacred pages the spiritual sense of life, substance and intelligence." This explains the many healings which have been experienced through the reading of the Christian Science textbook, the textbook of spiritual understanding.

 

The Healing Truth

I should like to tell you the story of a man who some years ago was traveling to Europe by ship to consult medical specialists. He had been to many physicians but his suffering was in no way diminished, and he seemed night and day to be never out of pain. A Christian Science practitioner who was on the same ship was standing on the deck one day when she saw him coming towards her. A great wave of compassion swept over her at his air of suffering and despair. She turned from the picture he presented and looked away out to sea, silently affirming the power and presence of infinite Love, expressing itself everywhere always, in health and happiness, enfolding beauty and light in its vast creation. She did not realize that the sufferer had come and was standing beside her until suddenly he said, "What were you thinking about?" She answered quietly, "I was thinking about God." And she told him what she had been thinking. He listened without a word, very still, standing there beside her, looking across the wide expanse of sea. And then at last he asked, "Where did you get those thoughts about God?" And she told him that she had got them from the Christian Science textbook by Mrs. Eddy. Then he wanted to know how he could get hold of this book. She had a copy with her which she had brought up onto the deck and she told him he could take it to his cabin with him, and as she had another copy, he could keep it that night.

The next morning when she and others were breakfasting, he joined them. His whole aspect was transformed. The look of pain and despair had gone from his face; his step was light; there was a smile on his lips and in his eyes. For the first time for years he had slept peacefully. He was well. Something of the false, sense of man as mortal had faded away, with its self-inflicting pain and misery and hopelessness, because something of the understanding which is man, free and whole and joyous, had appeared, and with it healing had taken place. When they parted at the end of the trip, he went not in search of doctors, but in search of a Christian Science Reading Room, where he could purchase his own copy of Science and Health.

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 435), "Emerge gently from matter into Spirit." Many people are inclined to interpret, the word "gently" as "slowly". That is presumably what the little boy was thinking when he was overheard to say as he knelt by his bed for his evening prayers, "Please, God, make me a good boy, but take your time." Nevertheless Truth is swift, and what we understand of Truth we can immediately begin to put into practice.

 

False Reasoning

The most insidious form of malpractice is that which we turn upon ourselves. It is well to remember that we ourselves are responsible for the beliefs that we accept. Someone may say of himself, "I am very slow, I have had the claim a long time, I have so much to work out of." Or on the other hand: "There is no hurry. I am comfortable, prosperous, well thought of, why not go on as I am?" And those who long for freedom and relief and have not yet found it, sometimes ask, "If all good is here and now, why do we not emerge more quickly, why do we take so long and progress so slowly?" My friends, so long as we continue to live in matter, to argue and question from a material basis, like Job, we shall never find the answer, we shall never emerge.

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 419), "Meet every adverse circumstance as its master." So long as we believe that evil in any form can master us, so long as we are willing to submit to it in any degree, so long as we seek material reasons, causes, excuses, extenuating circumstances, for its existence, we are working from the basis of a belief by its reality and we will suffer therefrom. Why did Jesus triumph over every condition of evil? Because as Mrs. Eddy tells us he continually had retreat into spiritual selfhood. In this retreat, which is recuperation, in this continuous apprehension of what man is and its daily demonstration in the refusal of submission to the beliefs of materiality, the question as to why progress seems slow and sometimes painful falls away. And this is because more and more the consciousness of spiritual understanding, that "line of demarcation between the real and unreal," is ours, more and more we are aware of reality which is unfolding within.

This line of demarcation is not a figure of speech, it is not an academic statement, it is not a philosophic conclusion, detached from individual experience; it is our own discernment of the real. This is power within us, ever bearing fruit.

 

The Mind That Is God

Man, the only man, our true and eternal being, representing the Mind that is God, is the consciousness of understanding. We grasp this fact and so prove it in our lives, as we accept the real of spiritual selfhood, and reject the unreal of materiality, knowing, as we are known of God. To have retreat into this spiritual selfhood demands unceasing, vigilant prayer. We have been shown in the textbook and throughout Mrs. Eddy's writings what prayer is. Jesus exemplified prayer in his own attitude towards his Father, towards his brethren. Prayer is conscious at-one-ment with spiritual reality and therefore the inevitable separation from what is unreal. Prayer is divine communion, and in this conscious oneness of God and man we walk in the way of understanding.

In this way of understanding there is healing from all ills; there is the art and science of living so that our relations whether with our family, our fellow-citizens, or the citizens of the whole world, will be brought into the control, under the jurisdiction of divine Mind. In the way of understanding our churches will continually prosper and attract those who seek to know God and serve Him. In the way of understanding will the horrors of war and the danger of uncertain precarious so-called peace, be finally eliminated.

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 496), "Your fruits will prove what the understanding of God brings to man. Hold perpetually this thought, − that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.

My friends, this is the way of Christian Science. This is the way of understanding.

 

[1944-1947.]

 

 

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