Christian Science: Its Demonstrable Application
William Duncan Kilpatrick, C.S.B., of Detroit, Michigan
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Mr. William Duncan Kilpatrick, C.S.B., of Detroit, Mich., a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture entitled "Christian Science: Its Demonstrable Application," last evening, under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice, Falmouth, Norway and St. Paul Streets.
The lecturer was introduced by Mr. Gordon V. Comer, C.S., First Reader in The Mother Church, who said:
The Mother Church welcomes you to this lecture on Christian Science.
Among the many activities of the Christian Science Movement provided by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, for the dissemination of authentic information on this subject, is a Board of Lectureship. Members of this Board are authorized to speak on Christian Science and to bear testimony to the life of the inspired Leader of this great religion.
A Christian Science lecture is an opportunity to learn more about God. It explains to the stranger something of the manner in which Christian Science teaches one to work out the problems of human life, and to the student of Christian Science a lecture on this subject should bring greater spiritual unfoldment.
The opportunity to receive and to express good is ever present. If the argument has come to you that you lack opportunity, resolve this very minute to recognize the presence, here and now, of infinite opportunity; open your heart to receive the good which this lecture has for you and claim your heritage of good as the child of God. The purpose of this lecture is to bless you and all mankind. It is my pleasure to introduce to you Mr. William Duncan Kilpatrick of Detroit, Mich., a member of the Board of Lectureship of this church. The subject of Mr. Kilpatrick's lecture is "Christian Science: Its Demonstrable Application."
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
How to reconcile the teachings of physical, or natural, science with religion or, more properly, Christianity, as taught by the theologians, has been an enigma with which those theologians have struggled in vain for centuries. In fact, physical science has been a stumbling block in the pathway of many people calling themselves Christians. The Bible has at times been discredited on the ground that it does not square with the teachings of material sciences. The miracles of Jesus and others, recorded in the Bible, have been put aside as impossibilities, or as manifestations of superhuman power resulting from a special dispensation at the hands of an unknown and unexplainable God, for the same reason. Some have lost interest in religion because the Bible and what they have been taught in the schools do not agree.
Now comes Christian Science to the world to explain the seeming inconsistencies which have wrought so much havoc in the religious fabric of life, and to knit together the loose threads of reason and logic which have left a rent in the garment of spiritual or religious understanding with which we have been so scantily clothed. No one can read the Bible, listen to the teachings of what is called orthodox Christianity and at the same time face the findings of the natural or physical scientist without some feelings of misgiving. What a mental muddle we find ourselves in when we conscientiously and religiously endeavor to reconcile the teachings of theologians with the demonstrable conclusions of the physical scientist and then attempt to square both with the Bible. There certainly must be some "way out. There can be no God in such an unholy medley of contradictions and inconsistencies.
To have proclaimed to the world in an age of crass materialism that matter and the material universe, including mortal or physical man, are simply pictures in individual - human thought, figments of the carnal mind, erroneous mental concepts, must have involved more spiritual vision and understanding; more courage, more fidelity, more faith in God and His word than one can readily credit to any human being. Yet that was what Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, did. Over fifty years ago Mrs. Eddy, in astonishing fearlessness and in the strength of a God-given conviction born of divine revelation, proclaimed to the world in her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science (p. 468): "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual." Whereupon, from every nook and corner in Christendom came condemnation and revilings. Pulpit and press vied with each other in anathema and invective. Nothing was left unsaid to proclaim Mrs. Eddy an impostor, a dreamer, a fanatical visionary. She was spared nothing. Physical science was invoked to prove her teachings valueless and mythical. To all but Mrs. Eddy, the five physical senses proclaimed to humanity the truth of being. That which could be seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and felt offered the only evidence of true existence. And was not physical science based and built upon that which the physical senses proclaimed as true? What foolish sophistry was this which argued the nothingness of that which any man could see, feel, taste, smell, and hear? But Mrs. Eddy stood her ground. She knew. With sublime faith and courage, urged by a conviction born of a constant communion with God, she stood, and nothing moved her. Throughout her entire life, a life filled with hardships, disappointments, sorrows, and, at times, a heroic struggle for mere existence, the Holy Bible had been her constant and, often her sole, companion. And now after all these years of prayer and devotion to God, had come the true light, that light "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." She had glimpsed the sacred truths of existence. She had seen God and man in their true and spiritual significance - God, the Father, as divine Mind, and man, the son, as His idea. And after she had fully proved her discovery to be the truth, by the healing of the sick and the reclaiming of the sinner, in the manner of Jesus appointing, she heralded her great message to the world in her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and there she stood - one lone woman against the material opposition of church and scholasticism.
Behold that picture of fifty years ago, and then return with us to the present time! What do we find? An ecclesiastical opposition softened by love and understanding; a world more tolerant and forgiving than it has ever been before, and, strangest of all, the ranks of the physical scientists proclaiming to the world, in the ecstasy of a newborn discovery, the nothingness of the material universe, and its existence only as thought.
To be sure, the recent findings and deductions of physical science along this line do not go to prove Christian Science to be true. The Bible, divine revelation, reason, and demonstration only can do that. They simply admit what Mrs. Eddy revealed to the world over fifty years ago in regard to the mental status of the material. They do not furnish anything to take the place of that which they have taken away. Like Christian Science, they resolve the material into thought, but there they end. Christian Science completes the process, and in place of that which it proclaims to be the product of mortal, erring thought, it reveals to us a spiritual universe existing in the divine Mind, or God, perfect and eternal, as the goal for which mortals must strive to relieve themselves of the limitations, the sin, the sickness, and the inharmonies of the material. And thus do we begin to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." That is, this material concept of existence must sooner or later be completely overcome in the consciousness of men and be replaced by the understanding of what constitutes the true heaven and the true earth, or spiritual creation. And thus do we begin to glimpse the meaning of those words of Isaiah, which read, "For behold. I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." And the words of St. John in the Apocalypse, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
As we begin to gain the understanding that the material is not real and eternal and that this material concept of man as the true image of God must be relinquished, we are confronted with the necessity of changing our concept of God from a humanly personal concept to something in accord with Scriptural authority. St Paul tells us that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" and if we are to accept the statements of Jesus that "the flesh profiteth nothing" and that "it is the spirit that quickeneth;" that is, that the spiritual is the only real and eternal creation, then we are forced to the unavoidable conclusion that anything that has to do with the flesh or matter could not possibly have been created of God and therefore does not represent God or God's kingdom in any way. And if the fleshly, or material, man does not represent or reflect God, then the image and likeness of God cannot be material. If the image and likeness of God is not material, or fleshly, then God, Himself, of which man is the image, cannot be material. The Bible is perfectly plain on that point. As we look into the Bible for our definition of God we do not have long to search to find that for centuries we have been entertaining an entirely erroneous concept of Him.
One writer in the Bible describes God as Love which, of course, is not represented or reflected by a physical form, or personality, but is expressed in individual right and pure thinking. There is but one God; therefore there is but one Love, and that Love is not tainted with any sense of materiality, or personality. It is one and infinite and is reflected by man. Hence you and I express that one Love, or God, by reflecting Love in thought, word, and deed.
Jesus plainly stated that God is Spirit. In fact that was the only definition of God he gave the woman at the well of Jacob, in Samaria. Now Spirit is not humanly personal, nor is it material. Spirit signifies something which is present everywhere, in all places, at all times, and is instantly available. The spirit of Love, for instance, may be considered as everywhere present, filling all space, and available at all times. St. Paul in many of his writings refers to God as Mind, - as that "mind . . . which was also in Christ Jesus" -indicating that the Mind which animated Jesus in all his activities, and by which he accomplished all his wonderful works, was God. As there is but one God, and as God is Mind, there can be in reality but one Mind. That Mind being infinite cannot be tainted with any sense of materiality or evil. So to the extent that you and I exclude evil and the material from our thinking and express in thought only pure and spiritual ideas, to that extent are we reflecting that Mind which is God. In that Mind which is God exists the creative Principle of the spiritual universe, including the life and soul of man.
St. Paul in his reference to the "mind which was also in Christ Jesus" makes it clear that that Mind was God, for in another place he speaks of the so-called "carnal mind," which might be termed the devil or evil. So we have on the one hand the divine Mind, or God, which is the real and only Mind, and on the other hand the so-called carnal mind, which is not of God, and has no real existence. From the one divine Mind, or God, emanate all the thing's of God: spirituality, eternality, heaven, happiness, purity, unselfishness, meekness, kindness, abundance, love, and the like. From the so-called mortal mind emanate all the things of the devil - matter, sin, sickness, hate, animality, poverty, material birth, growth, maturity, old age, decrepitude, and death. As the divine Mind, or God, is one and infinite, and is reflected by you and me in right thinking, so this so-called mortal, or carnal, mind claims existence as one and is expressed by you and me in carnal, or mortal, thought.
From a close inspection of Bible teachings it becomes perfectly evident that the material universe, with which you and I have become familiar through the medium of the physical senses - that is, the universe which we see, feel, taste, smell, and hear materially - is the product, or outcome, of carnal or wrong thinking, and that matter, instead of being substance, is merely thought. As one prominent physical scientist has recently said, "the universe we live in" - that is, that with which you and I are familiar through the senses of seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and hearing - "is a creation of our own minds." If, therefore, the material world is a product of the carnal mind, expressed in human thinking, and if the material creation is evidenced only by the senses of seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and hearing, is it not clear that these senses must be the product of this same so-called mortal, or carnal, mind, and exist only in thought, and not in matter?
By way of illustration: suppose a person were to stop thinking for some reason: suppose he were administered an opiate, and as a result ceased to think for a time; what has become of his material universe, that universe which he sees, feels, tastes, smells, and hears? Is he conscious of it at all? No. Does not his concept of matter depend entirely on his ability to think, rather than upon his physical senses? And therefore does not his universe of matter, including his physical senses, exist in his thought only? And where do these thoughts originate, or come from, by which he is conscious of a material existence? Not from his brain, evidently, because while he is under the opiate he still has his brain, and yet he is devoid of thought. These thoughts must come from without somewhere, and Christian Science teaches that they come from what St. Paul has called the carnal mind, which exists only in belief, and which is expressed through mortals in their thinking. There is but one carnal mind, so called, and this supposititious mind not being God has no real existence. Just as two times two equals five is no part of the science of mathematics, so this so-called carnal mind is no part of God's creation. The only power or existence it has is what you and I give it in belief. So, with this comprehension of what is called the carnal, or mortal mind, as the basis of all matter and materiality, which mind mortals express in thought, we can begin to understand how the material universe exists, as the professor just quoted says, only in our minds, our thinking. Hence, our mortal sense of existence does not come from within, but from without, and thus do we begin to see how by substituting in our thinking the divine for the carnal we may rule out of our experience the inharmonies of the carnal, and institute in place thereof the beauties and harmony of the divine.
You and I see material things, or see things materially, because we think material thoughts which emanate from the carnal mind, which so-called mind exists apart from human consciousness. When this carnal mind is allowed place in human consciousness or thinking, it is expressed as material things existing outside that human consciousness. Mortal mind has to be admitted to, and entertained in, human consciousness before that consciousness is able to visualize material things.
Material existence is a state of material consciousness. You and I are conscious of matter simply because we think material thoughts. We look out upon a material world because we look out from mortal mind. We see our own thoughts. Therefore the world which we see, feel, taste, smell, and hear is not only the product of our own thinking but is a part of our individual consciousness. Our material world, with all of its etcetera of sin, sickness, poverty, want, woe, lack, sorrow, death, and the like, exists only in our individual thinking. Each of us lives in his own individual world of thought, and you and I live in the same material world simply because we all express the same mortal, or carnal, mind in our thinking. The so-called materialist thinks that matter is substantial, and as long as he thinks so, just so long will he be the victim of matter with all its claims to intelligence, and the consequences thereof, finding expression in sin, sickness, poverty, death, and the like.
The materialist steps on a set of weighing scales, and these scales tell him that he weighs 175 pounds. If he is at all religious he may conclude that here are 175 pounds of God-made substance. Now all that God ever made is as eternal as God, not subject to change or the mutations of time, decay, or disintegration. Sometime later, this good man of 175 pounds of God-given substance steps on the scales again and they tell him he weighs but 150 pounds, some 25 pounds less than he did previously. What has become of that 25 pounds? If it was of God there must be some accounting for it. Where did it come from and where has it gone to? If it was substance and substance is of God, what about it? What is the difference between that 25 pounds which has disappeared, and the 150 pounds remaining. Is there any difference? Is there any difference between the 25 pounds which have disappeared and everything else with which we are cognizant through the medium of the senses? From a material standpoint, is there anything more real to the human being than his body? And is there any difference between the 150 pounds of his body which are left and the 25 pounds which have disappeared? Is there any difference between the 25 pounds which have disappeared and the material universe of which one becomes unconscious in the case of the opiate? Not one bit.
The human body is simply a concept of the so-called carnal mind - a state of material consciousness. As a well-known professor of physical science has said, "The mind and body are not two separate things, but are one thing." We include our bodies in our thoughts. Our bodies are manifestations of our individual consciousness. Our bodies are the products of the one mortal, or carnal, mind which you and I admit into consciousness, and if we did not express in thought anything of the carnal mind we would not be conscious of the mortal body, or for that matter, of material existence. And as this carnal mind, which does not belong to either you or me, but which we accept or reject at our own wills, contains all that goes to make up material existence with its matter, its sin, its sickness, its poverty, and its death, do you not see how completely you and I have it within our power to control and regulate our own lives and experiences for good by rejecting the carnal and admitting only the divine Mind to consciousness?
Matter, or the material world, is itself thought, and has no more substance than thought. It was because Jesus knew that all matter is as substanceless as thought that he was enabled to pass through closed doors and emerge from the tomb, sealed at its mouth with a huge stone. The complete conviction in the consciousness of the Master that matter is as substanceless as thought resulted in his ascension, or disappearance to human comprehension. Material existence is simply the expression of our own thinking - our own acceptance of the carnal mind, which is common to us all, but which belongs to none of us. Twice two are five belongs to no man, yet it is common to all who are willing to believe it. Hate is common to all men but belongs to no one who refuses to entertain it.
Sickness and Inharmony Not of God
We are conscious of sickness because we think sick thoughts which come from a common source, and which you and I may accept or reject at will. We become subject to the arguments of this mortal, or carnal, mind, expressed in conditions of lack, limitation, poverty, and the like, because we accept these thoughts which come from without. As Mrs. Eddy has expressed it in Science and Health (p. 270): "Mortals think wickedly; consequently they are wicked. They think sickly thoughts and so become sick." A man cannot commit sin without first thinking sinful thoughts. No more can a man become sick without first thinking those thoughts which emanate from the so-called carnal, or mortal, mind. We commit sickness just as certainly and for exactly the same reasons that we commit sin. The body is never guilty of sickness, in and of itself. It has no more power to become sick than this table. It has to be thought into a state of sickness by its owner. Our material bodies, our material homes, our businesses, our environment, are all of our own creating, through thinking those material thoughts which come to us from one common source, and which do not originate in us, but which are expressed by us in our individual thinking. So is it not clear that to the extent that we bring God into our lives by expressing the divine Mind, or God, in our thinking, we are excluding that which makes for inharmony, unhappiness, sickness, poverty, and the like? If we express love in our thinking, and our experiences are determined by what we think, we shall meet only love in our daily contacts. The same with honesty, abundance, peace, et cetera. So all our experiences of life exist in our own thinking, and we regulate those experiences for good or bad in the degree that we eliminate the carnal from thought and substitute therefore the divine.
If it were so, that our thoughts originate in our individual brains, or came to us from within, then there would be little hope for salvation from the blighting influences of material existence. But when we understand that our material world is simply the carnal mind expressed in individual consciousness; that the carnal mind claims existence as one mind apart from mortal man; that it is expressed by us at will in our individual thinking, and that we may banish it completely from thought and experience by the substitution of the divine Mind, or God, we then begin to glimpse some ray of hope and salvation from that which we have heretofore looked upon as inevitable and unavoidable.
And wherein lies our freedom from this bondage of human, or mortal thinking? How is one to escape the consequences of that which brings only unhappiness and disaster in its wake? We learn in Christian Science and the Bible that God is divine Mind. That is, God is that Mind which contains nothing of mortality, nothing of sin, sickness, poverty, misfortune, unhappiness, death, and the like. God is that Mind which does not recognize the existence of matter or any of its concomitants, and just as the so-called mortal mind is expressed through mortal man in his thinking, so the divine Mind, or God, is expressed through man in his thinking. This reflection, or expression, of the divine Mind in individual thought is what constitutes the man of God's creating. God's man is the active individual conscious expression of divine ideas coming from that Mind which is God. To the extent that you and I are consciously expressing that which constitutes the divine Mind such as love, spirituality, kindness, purity, honesty, fearlessness, moral courage, and the like, to that extent are we children of God, or the divine Mind in which these divine ideas originate. So man is really the consciousness of God expressed. Man, the Bible tells us, is the image of God. As the image and likeness of God, as an idea of that Mind which is God, man is at-one with and inseparable from God. Man cannot help but be as perfect as his Father. He cannot help but be as pure, as holy, and as spiritual as the Mind which he reflects. He cannot be mortal or material. He was never born, he has never fallen, and he never dies. Man is an idea existing eternally in the divine Mind.
Love, purity, honesty, and the like exist apart from mortal man as ideas of God, but as soon as they take shape in individual consciousness, or thinking, they constitute man. A mortal has nothing in common with God until he begins to be conscious of Him. If God is Love and Love is expressed in thinking, then you and I must think love to become children of Love, or God. We could talk about Love as God from morn till night; we could repeat indefinitely all that we know about God as Love, but unless we consciously expressed love in our individual thinking we could never become children of God, or reap the benefits or blessings vouchsafed the children of God. A loving thought is a child of God. To claim love for one and hate for another of our brother-men would avail nothing. One cannot hold love and hate in consciousness at the same time. We may think we love the members of our own family, but that there are traits of character in our neighbor which make us righteously hate him. The hate that we righteously bear our neighbor will cancel and annul all the good we could hope to derive from loving the members of our own family. Hate and love cannot dwell together in the same mental household. The mentality which entertains human affection for one and resentment or hate for another, is an expression of the carnal mind.
It is perfectly obvious that the more of good one reflects in his thinking, the less of evil he is bound to express, and as our life experiences are determined by our thinking, it is clear that the harmony and happiness of our lives depend on God's presence in our thoughts. You and I have to think and we have the privilege, every minute of our waking day, to think just exactly what we want to. We have the privilege of choosing the source of our thoughts. We may draw from the divine Mind, or God, of His inexhaustible source of ideas, which bring health, abundance, peace, joy, harmony, confidence, assurance, and the like, or we may draw from the so-called mortal, or carnal, mind from its supply of mortal thoughts which bring sickness, poverty, loss, reversals, unhappiness, and the like. It is up to us to choose which source we will draw our supply of thoughts from, and therefore our happiness, our success, our life experiences depend upon our method of thinking, and we have no one but ourselves to blame if we are sick, unhappy, poverty-stricken, and the like.
God is divine Mind, and the kingdom of God or that which goes to make God's universe, including the real man of God's creating, are all ideas of the divine Mind. So that which constitutes the kingdom of God, or the real creation, are ideas of that divine Mind called God. Therefore, to the extent that you and I think in terms of this divine Mind are we becoming children of God. Every right thought which you and I entertain, every right idea which you and I express in our individual thinking, constitutes our sonship with the Father, and it is only through expressing in thought these divine ideas that we become God's children, or sons of God, and not through material birth or material symbols of religious devotion, or death.
In the first chapter of the book of St. John, we read this: "But as many as received him [that is, as many as accepted in thought the truth that Jesus taught], even to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name,” indicating very clearly that a human being is not born a son of God, but becomes a son of' God through individual right thinking. He is given the power to become a son of God if he so wishes. And is it not made clear that the kingdom of heaven is achieved in the same way, where Jesus tells us that "the kingdom of God is within you," explaining that the kingdom of God, or heaven is not a place to which we may go after death, but is a state of consciousness which is obtainable here and now? The kingdom of God must be the kingdom of heaven. If heaven were something obtainable through death of men Jesus certainly would not have deprived Lazarus, and several others mentioned in the Bible, of the sublime bliss of heavenly existence by bringing them back to earth after they had gone through the experience of death. Lazarus was a man who, according to Bible history, had been under the personal tutelage and instruction of Jesus, and if death is the doorway through which we enter heaven after earth's preparatory school, Lazarus, above all other men, should have been prepared for heaven when he died. But did Jesus choose to leave him there? No! He knew he never had gone to heaven. He knew that death is the work of the devil, or the carnal mind. He brought him back to prove to the world, more than for any other reason, that heaven is not obtainable through death, and that death is something that must be overcome by mortals just as much as sin, before we can enter heaven, or divine harmony. What did Jesus' resurrection prove to mortals, to you and me? Why, simply that death is an enemy which must be overcome before we can even hope to glimpse the celestial portals of heavenly bliss. If “the wages of sin is death," as St Paul tells us, do you think it would be possible for you and me to purchase a place in the kingdom of heaven with such wages?
You and I have to think, and we have the undisputed freedom to think just as we wish. We may choose for ourselves the source of our individual thoughts, and our world and our experiences are the products of our own thinking. We have no one but our- selves to blame if we are sick impoverished, unhappy, or tormented, for the reason that we may instantly bring the law of God into operation in our affairs by expressing in thought that Mind which is God. No outside influence, either of men or conditions, can be held to be responsible for our experiences. We make our own worlds by our own thinking, and we create our own heaven and our own hell right here and now, depending entirely on the source of our individual thoughts, and some day this old world of ours will learn that we don't have to die to go to either heaven or hell, and that we shall find no more of either beyond the grave than we have right here, to-day. So is it not a gratifying and invigorating thing to know and realize that simply by substituting in our thinking the divine for the carnal, the solution of all of our material problems is instantly at hand?
Things as Thoughts
There is a right and correcting idea with which to meet every adverse or wrong so-called material condition, and these ideas are drawn from the divine Mind, and are expressed by us through our individual right thinking. Every erroneous condition, be it physical, moral, or financial, is simply a picture of the so-called carnal mind reflected by mortals through the retina of thought, and every and each one of these erroneous pictures may be replaced and corrected by applying to them ideas of divine Mind. A material manifestation or condition is just as mental and just as substanceless as the hallucinations of the demented, and for that reason may be corrected by the substitution of a right idea in place of the erroneous thought. On page 269 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy has written: "Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul." In resolving a thing - a material thing - into thought we simply recognize that matter is really a mental concept or an object of wrong thinking, or material thinking. And is not that exactly what our physical science brothers are now doing - resolving things (matter) into thought? In resolving things, or matter, into thought, we, of course, have not accomplished anything along the line of spiritualization. We have simply seen matter for what it is - erroneous thought. The thought of the thing is the thing. Things are thoughts; therefore, the thought back of the thing is no more spiritual and no less material than the so-called thing itself. We have not made the metaphysical, or spiritual, correction of the material condition simply by resolving the thing or the condition into thought. The thought which creates the material thing or material condition is just as erroneous as the thing or condition itself. So, by resolving things into thoughts, we have not accomplished the spiritual ultimate. We have simply gotten the thing or condition into the realm of thought, whereby we proceed to the spiritual conclusion of Mrs. Eddy's statement and exchange "the objects of sense," that is, the thought into which we have resolved the thing, "for the ideas of Soul," or for the right idea, which corrects the so-called material condition or thought. There is not a spiritual idea of the thing which we resolve into a thought. The thought into which we resolve a thing is strictly carnal. So do not be misled into thinking that by resolving a thing into thought you have accomplished the spiritual. You have simply gotten the thing into the realm of the mental, where it may be replaced by, or exchanged for, "ideas of Soul," or right ideas. God must take possession of consciousness before spiritualization of thought can be accomplished. We cannot spiritualize matter even in thought. Matter is thought, and we spiritualize thought by the process of substitution - by exchanging, and not by changing. It is perfectly obvious that all of this is done through the process of right thinking, through casting out of consciousness those thoughts which emanate from the so-called carnal mind, and substituting therefore the ideas which emanate from the divine Mind, or God. God never created matter, does not know or recognize matter, and therefore matter exists only as a false mental illusion retained in the minds of mortals, to be replaced by right thinking, or that Mind which was in Christ Jesus.
Individual Responsibility for Freedom from Error
We bring problems on ourselves by permitting ourselves to become channels for thoughts which emanate from the so-called carnal mind, and we meet and master these problems by becoming channels for ideas which emanate from divine Mind. We become subject to sickness, sorrow, poverty, unhappiness, unemployment, or what not, by allowing ourselves to become channels of the so-called carnal, or mortal, mind in which all of these erroneous conditions originate. I once knew a man who believed that all his misfortunes were inevitable, unavoidable, and came from God, or from some source beyond his control. What a blighting condition of thought! What hope has anyone of deliverance from sickness, poverty, failure, calamity, want, unhappiness, disaster, and the like, who believes such conditions are unavoidable, or are from some source over which the victim has no control? Few, if any of us, have arrived at that stage in our understanding of scientific Christianity where we are not confronted with many problems - serious problems; but what a comfort and joy it is to know that no one but ourselves is responsible for the presence of these conditions, and that, therefore, we have our own immediate remedy at hand, as soon as we wish to change our method of thinking, and allow God to take charge. To feel that anyone but ourselves, that any outside condition or influence, is responsible for our failures, our shortcomings, our mistakes, and our diseases, would place us at the mercy of all the evil influences of the carnal mind, and would deprive us of any hope or prospect of relief or salvation. There is not much of comfort and hope in the conviction that someone else is responsible for our troubles. We cannot control the thinking of others, and therefore if we believe that our affairs are controlled by the opinions and thinking of others, we are in a pitiful plight when things start to go wrong.
You and I cannot prevent humanity from believing in hard times or unemployment if it wishes to so believe, but you and I, through right and righteous thought, by bringing God onto the field, can prevent the argument of' hard times and failure from coming into our experience, because we experience what we hold in consciousness. Our consciousness, constitutes our world, and we certainly can control and regulate our own thinking. You and I cannot prevent humanity from believing in the necessity of sickness and disease, but through right and righteous thinking, by knowing the omnipotence of God and His kingdom, we may prevent these conditions from affecting us. Poverty, hard times, disease germs, and the like obtain the only power they have from the carnal, or mortal, mind entertained in individual consciousness. They are not conditions of matter any more than the belief that twice two is five is a condition of matter. They are conditions of thought and may be met and corrected by applying to them the adverse or correcting power of divine ideas. If mankind were subject to every outside influence which claims existence in the thought and experience of mortals without regard, whatever, to his own state of consciousness, what hope on earth or in heaven would there be for men? It is because we know, in Christian Science, that every wrong manifestation has no existence in the divine Mind or God, and that every erroneous manifestation may be corrected by substituting the divine Mind, in our thinking, in place of the carnal, that Christian Science becomes the Comforter which Jesus, centuries ago, promised to send suffering humanity.
The Business Man
Every right antecedent has its right subsequent, and every wrong antecedent has its wrong subsequent. Every right thought has its right manifestation and every wrong thought has its wrong manifestation. We may be assured that when things are not going well with us, it is because thought is not right with us, and that all that is necessary to correct a wrong condition is to correct our thinking about it. If a man were in business, and he thought that his business were subject to the thinking of others; that his business could be affected by political conditions, economic conditions, local conditions, financial conditions, the so-called laws of supply and demand; in fact, if he thought that his business could be affected by anything but his own thinking, what chance would there be for that man in the business world? If he did not know that his business was the expression, of his own mentality; if he did not recognize his concept of business was the expression of his own thinking, and of nothing else, how in the world would he control his business? If he believed that the opinions, the beliefs, and the activities of others affected his business, and if he had no way of controlling the opinions, beliefs, and activities of those whose thinking he believed governed his business, what a plight he would be in! To feel that our business, our homes, et cetera, are under the control and domination of the thinking and beliefs of others, and to feel that we have no control over that thinking and those beliefs, puts us, at once, at the mercy of every evil influence outside ourselves, and places our business and our homes in the hands of the entire world's wrong thinking.
A man would not think of embarking in business and deliberately saying to others, who are not even remotely interested in his business, or his success, "Now, I'm just going to step aside and let the rest of you run my business, while I sit by and watch it go to the dogs." No one would deliberately do that, I know. Yet that is what most of us are doing in our businesses, in our homes, in our daily affairs. We are letting the thinking of the whole world influence us and run our business, our homes, and our affairs, without the slightest protest or resistance from us. We are letting the carnal mind enter our consciousness to the extent that that carnal mind has complete control of our affairs. We watch the papers, news reports, stock reports, crop reports, weather reports; we listen to the hard-luck stories of everyone we meet; we study the laws of supply and demand; we consult soothsayers, phrenologists, palmists, and what not; we will listen to any and every one from the janitor to the banker, if he has a real harassing tale of bad luck to tell us, but not once do we turn to God. People think that there are hard times and unemployment, and we immediately open our consciousness to the same thought; and where that thought gets into our consciousness it gets into our business, our home, and our affairs because our business, our home, and our affairs are the manifestations of our thinking. We see, feel, taste, smell, hear, and experience just and only what we think, or hold in consciousness. Our body is an object, or part, of our consciousness. If we let sick or sinful thoughts get into our consciousness then we have a sick body. Our home is an object of thought, or a condition of consciousness. When dishonesty, injustice, impatience, anger, faultfinding, criticism, self-righteousness, dictation, human will, or the like, enter consciousness, then we have a disrupted and unhappy home. Our business is a manifestation of our consciousness, and when we allow fear, greed, dishonesty, suspicion, impatience, self-importance, arrogance, egotism, injustice, and loose thinking to get into consciousness, then our business begins to manifest the results of this wrong thinking. Remember this: no man or condition on the face of the earth is responsible for your poor business or your failures. No one but yourself is responsible; and the man who attempts to pass the burden or blame on to another, no matter how wrong or how dishonest that other may seem to be, is simply prolonging the day of the return of harmony and prosperity to his own business or condition. God is eternally at hand to guide and save, and we put Him at the helm in our affairs the very instant we turn to Him in thought and give Him place in our thinking to the exclusion of all evil.
Man, as the image and likeness of God, is not material, he is spiritual and perfect. He is the complete embodiment of all right ideas, which emanate from his heavenly Father, or divine Mind. He is at-one with and inseparable from God, held in perfect place and position by the Mind which created him. He is as eternal and indestructible as the Father, dwelling forever as a divine idea in the consciousness of Mind. He was never born and he never dies. He is not subject to matter or any of the beliefs of matter, or the carnal mind. He is complete, and never subject to chance or change. As the full expression of his Maker, he knows no lack, or limitation. He is conscious only of abundance and harmony. He is the full expression of the activity of divine ideas, and every divine idea is manifested through him in its inexhaustible nature. As a child of the only Mind there is, man is neither young nor old. He dwells eternally in the bosom of his Father-Mother God, and his home is heaven.
That is the truth about man, and the truth about man is the truth about you. This truth understood and held constantly in individual thought is true prayer, and this prayer is "Emmanuel," or God with you. This prayer constantly entertained will heal you of your sickness and your sins. It will usher in for you the millennium, and will prove to be for you the second coming of the Christ, or Truth. It will sever the bonds of lack and limitation, and will fill your coffers with the treasures of God. It will cancel the curse on man, and give you a Father and Mother of Love. It will rout the blighting sentence of a parental or prenatal influence, and set you free to be a child of the living God. It will bring into your life joy and purity, in place of the sordid and the sorrowful. It will quell the pangs of fear and remorse. It will take away your past, and reveal only a glorious present. It will remove the mark of old age, and reveal man in his eternal youth. It will open to you the very gates of heaven, wherein you may enter pure and undefiled.
Man as the image and likeness of God, as a complete idea of the Mind which is God, is at-one with and inseparable from God. His every thought, his every action, his very being, is an expression of God. His business is as a witness of the only Mind and intelligence there is. The only business man is engaged in is God's business. The only animating influence in his business is God. God is the only Mind governing man's business, therefore man's business is expressing the harmony and abundance of God. Man's business is God-governed, God-controlled, God-directed, and God-protected. God is the only Mind there is, and man is the expression of this Mind; therefore, man's business cannot be governed by minds many, wills many, or purposes many. There is no confusion, misunderstanding, misdirection, mistakes, or indecision in man's business, because man's business is the full and complete expression of the one and only intelligence, which holds man and the universe eternally in perfect place and position. Man is eternally in his right place. He is eternally and profitably employed, because he is an expression of the one Mind. Man is eternally at the point of success. He never lacks. His business is expressing God's abundance. There is a supply for every demand and a demand for every supply, which maintains an eternal balance in the divine economy, and this balance is never broken or interfered with. Because man's business is God's business, man's business must be good.
That is the truth about man's business, and the truth about man's business is the truth about your business. This truth understood and held constantly in individual thought is true prayer, and if persisted in will become a law to your business. It will bring God, or omnipotence, into your business. It will remove the effects of fear and misapprehension. It will sever the chains of economic laws, which have so long held your business in bondage. It will break the claims of lack and limitation. It will put you in a right position, or a better position. It will enable you to shift the government to His shoulders, and relieve you of your self-assumed responsibilities. It will bring peace and confidence, where now is worry and fear. It will remove offensive and oppressive conditions. It will brighten your contacts, and protect your contracts. It will lift your business from the sordid level of matter into the sunlight of Spirit, and it will bring God to everybody.
Man's home is heaven, and heaven is here and now. Heaven is a state of divine consciousness, and man is an expression of that consciousness. Man dwells eternally in his heavenly home. God is the Father and Mother in man's home and that home is peopled with spiritual ideas which are eternally obedient to the Mind that creates them. There is eternal harmony in man's home, and Love only reigns therein. There is no matter, or mortal mind, there, and purity is the family bulwark. Love and true affection govern, and peace and order reign. One Mind and one intelligence govern man's home. There are not minds many. There are no willful minds there. There are no evil minds, difference of opinions, misunderstandings, or disagreements in man's home. God is the head of the household of man, and justice sits enthroned. Kindness and consideration govern the activities of the members of man’s home, and the abundance of God supplies all the needs therein. There is no lack or limitation there, for Love alone provides. Man's home is beautifully furnished with grand and noble ideas, provided by the Father. Man's home is Mind. There is but one Mind; therefore there is nothing from without man's home which can enter to defile or make a lie. Harmony, peace, and prosperity reign in man's home.
That is the truth about home. It is the truth about your home. This truth understood and held constantly in individual thought is true prayer. This truth understood and held constantly in individual consciousness will of a surety bring heaven down to earth. It will rob the divorce mills of their daily grist. It will bring purity and affection into your experience. It will bring harmony where now is only struggle and strife. It will bring plenty where now is penury and want. It will make you better neighbors and better citizens, better husbands and better wives. It will unify your lives and bring higher and loftier ideals. Home is heaven, and heaven is here and now. In the words of Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 254): "Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God."
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 11, 1932.]