Christian Science: Its Message of Individual Salvation

 

William Duncan Kilpatrick, C.S.B.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The subject of the lecture was "Christian Science: Its Message of Individual Salvation."  Mr. Kilpatrick spoke substantially as follows:

In the accustomed walks of life it would be rather difficult to find many people who are not in some degree familiar with Christian Science. Few nowadays but know that Christian Science is not only a religion based on the Holy Scriptures, but that also it is a religion which claims to follow the teachings and admonitions of the great master Christian, Jesus the Christ, in his instruction to all mankind to "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." His commission to heal the sick through spiritual means alone is universal, perpetual, and unequivocal.

Mary Baker Eddy, through her clear and unusual spiritual vision and insight, in the early sixties caught the vital import of this command of the Master, and in obedience to divine impulsion has, through the establishment of the Christian Science movement, given to the world the rules and method whereby all mankind may avail themselves of the privilege of following Jesus in the way of his appointing and thereby heal the sick as well as reclaim the sinner. That the efforts of Christian Scientists in this line of endeavor are being rewarded with no small degree of success, even though in the infancy of their Messianic work, is attested by thousands upon thousands who have been wholly and permanently healed of physical disorders, ranging from functional to organic, including those of the most severe and virulent nature.

 

The Bible

One cannot undertake, in the brief span of an hour, to more than touch upon a few of the salient features of a topic of so great import as Christian Science.  If, however, there shall have been awakened in any of you today a wholesome desire for further information on our theme, I earnestly recommend a careful study of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," given to the world in 1875 by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, as well as of your Bible. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 406) Mrs. Eddy makes the positive statement that "the Bible contains the recipe for all healing," and it was on the spiritual truths contained in the Bible that she founded her teachings of spiritual healing upon which has been builded the Christian Science church with its many branches extending throughout Christendom.

In that vital prayer of our Lord, throbbing with divine compassion, we are taught to repeat, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," and it shall be my purpose today to bring to your understanding, as far as I may be able, the means whereby, through the teachings and practice of Christian Science, this divine will is made available to humanity in its struggle for freedom from the bondage of sin, sickness, poverty, and unhappiness.

 

Reasoning from Effect to Cause

Any effort or accomplishment looking to the consummation of this devoutly-to-be-wished objective, must, according to the teachings of Christian Science and the Holy Bible, be predicated on a correct understanding of what God is and of what the man of God's creating is. In the first chapter of the book of Genesis we are told that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." There is no equivocation, therefore, as to what man is. Man is the image of God. The question is as to what God is. To arrive at an unadulterated concept or understanding of man we must, naturally, begin with God. We cannot start with the human, corporeal, fleshly, mortal sense of man and work backward to ascertain what God is. Our reasoning must be from God to man. For instance, Jesus tells us that "the flesh profiteth nothing," and Paul, on an occasion, observed that "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." At another time Paul wrote, "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God." To assume, therefore, that the corporeal sense of man is the man of God's creating and then work back from that standpoint would bring us to a god made in the image and likeness of a human, corporeal, sinful mortal.

In fact, is not this latter method of reasoning, from a corporeal man to a corporeal God, the exact method many of us have been wont to follow in our contemplation of God and man? Have we not patterned our God after this corporeal concept of man and, as a consequence, have we not been praying to and worshiping a finite, material deity in place of an infinite, incorporeal Being designated in the Scriptures as Spirit, and Mind, and Life, and Truth, and Love? And may not this wholly erroneous and foundationless concept of God account for the failure to bring into experience the freedom, the harmony, the abundance, the health, and the security which the Bible has vouchsafed every one of us? The important thing, then, for you and me to ascertain is as to what God is and what the man of His creating is, and thus bring ourselves into the position or condition where we may consciously discern our true nature and sonship with Him.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

The spiritual longings and aspirations of one lone New England gentlewoman, groping in the wilderness of human want and suffering, in her quest for the true God and His Christ, opened the way and led to the discovery and founding of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy, almost from her infancy, had been a devout and consecrated student of the Bible. She had, in her childhood, evinced a most unusual and spiritual insight into the deeper import and purposes of that sacred Book and had taken keen and active interest in her church and in all things religious. She later perceived that throughout the Bible there was that which, if clearly discerned and understood in its spiritual significance, would bring to men that dominion and power which is so specifically vouchsafed them in the first chapter of Genesis, and which would assure the individual mastery of every condition of sickness, poverty, adversity, or inharmony with which they might be confronted.

Is it any wonder, then, that a glimpse of the true spiritual import back of Holy Writ found its externalized expression in her healing from a most severe and threatening physical condition? I often wonder, in my moments of contemplation on the life of this great and good woman, how soon mankind will rise to the full appreciation of what she has done to free it from the thralldom of superstition and ignorance in which it has been entrenched, lo! these many weary ages. However, may we not all rejoice that, in some degree at least, humanity is awakening not only to its debt of gratitude to Mrs. Eddy, but to the realization, in a measure, of the happiness and freedom which her teachings are destined eventually to establish in the hearts and consciousness of every man, woman, and child?

 

The God Proclaimed in the Bible

What, then, is God? No person who ever lived could more clearly explain to us what God is than Jesus the Christ. You may recall the little incident of the meeting of Jesus with the woman of Samaria at the well of Jacob at Sychar, and how the woman, in her argumentative and more or less cynical attitude, catechized the Master as to God and

where and how He should be worshiped. You will recall also, among other things, that Jesus said to her, in answer to her questionings: "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father . . .  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth . . . God is a Spirit."

The more modern versions of this passage quote Jesus as saying, "God is Spirit," instead of "God is a Spirit." As far as that statement goes could there be anything plainer? Two things therein are made so clear that it would seem impossible to mistake their true import. Those two things are: first, that God is infinite, incorporeal, and everywhere present at all times; and secondly, that God is not a finite person, is not localized, and is not humanly circumscribed, or material. "Ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father." Meaning what? Why, that God is not a humanly circumscribed, limited, or localized personality who could be conceived of as being in one place or locality, and not in any other place or locality. It means that God is not to be thought of as posited or located, as in a mountain or as at Jerusalem, but that He is to be understood as infinite, as everywhere present, and as always available to each and every one of us. This fuller explanation takes away from God any sense of materiality or human personality, and brings out clearly the larger sense of infinity and ever-presence.

At another time Jesus, referring to his miraculous works and God's part in this Messiahship, said, "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." Jesus obviously was not there referring to a humanly circumscribed personality as dwelling within himself. He must have been referring to the consciousness or Mind of which he was possessed, as it is evident that the works of Jesus were accomplished through no other means than a pure and spiritual mentality. This conclusion has confirmation in the admonition of St. Paul, where he bids us all to have that Mind in us "which was also in Christ Jesus." St. Paul makes it very conclusive that the works of Jesus were accomplished through his dear spiritual insight, or Mind. So the God of Jesus must have been the Mind which prompted his every thought and action.

As Jesus referred, on one occasion, to "my Father, and your Father . . . my God, and your God," he makes plain to us that the same God, or Mind, which inspired him in all his works is likewise available to all of us at all times as our Father, and that, therefore, this Mind which he designated as his Father, by virtue of whom he accomplished all his wonderful works, exists as one infinite Mind or intelligence, and is thus instantly available to every human being at all times.

Further clarifying this concept of God, John tells us that "God is love." Love, of course, is something which you and I express in thinking. Inasmuch as you and I and everyone else have the privilege of expressing love in an equal and unlimited degree, does it not become evident that the God which Jesus called "Spirit," which Paul designated as "mind," and which John named "love," exists as one infinite Deity or Mind, outside human consciousness, and is, therefore, common to all mankind in just the degree that each one of us admits into his consciousness thoughts emanating from this Mind?

 

The Man of God's Creating

So, instead of a corporeal, localized, circumscribed, or finite being, God we find to be incorporeal, infinite Spirit or Mind. And what must the image and likeness of an incorporeal Being be like? "What must the image and likeness of incorporeal Spirit

be like? What must the image and likeness of divine Mind be like? Could the image and likeness of something that is incorporeal or bodiless assume corporeal proportions or find expression in a material embodiment? Could the image and likeness of infinite Spirit find expression in matter - in that which could be localized, limited, outlined, or circumscribed? Could the image and likeness of Mind find expression in aught but that which is contained in Mind? No! The image and likeness of an incorporeal God must be incorporeal - bodiless. The image and likeness of Spirit must be without human outlines, boundaries, form, or limitation. The image and likeness of Mind must include only that which could emanate from Mind. And what, obviously, could emanate from Mind? What could express Mind? What else but ideas or thoughts? Mind could not be expressed in or through matter. It could only find expression in thoughts or ideas.

Therefore, God being divine Mind, man, His image and likeness, must be a compound idea of that Mind. That is, man must be the expression of the infinitude, the multitude, and the variety of ideas which originate within and proceed from the divine consciousness. And an idea, or a multitude of ideas expressing themselves in one individual consciousness, would be very far from a humanly circumscribed, material personality. Your true manhood cannot be expressed in terms of avoirdupois, nor is it found in physical attainments or superiority. It lies in your individual conscious expression of divine ideas which come to you from the divine Mind, or God.

A compound idea of an infinite Mind must express the qualities and attributes of that Mind. Therefore, God being infinite, man, as an idea or image of that infinity, could not be localized, limited, or circumscribed. Ideas find expression in individual thinking or consciousness. Man, then, is consciousness. He is not material. He is the consciousness of divine ideas which emanate from the divine Mind, or God, and as these ideas express the infinity of that divine Mind, man must be the conscious expression of infinity, in which there are no material persons, places, things, boundaries, localities, circumferences, diameters, or distances. Thus we find that man is expression - the expression of God - and therefore is inseparable from his creator.

 

Man the Expression of God

Man, as the image and likeness of God, is the expression of God, because he is an idea of that Mind which is God. Mortal man, in the very nature of his make-up, is more or less the manifestation of suppression or repression. I have seen some remarkable accomplishments in the healing of sickness, poverty, business difficulties, etc., through the understanding and individual demonstration of man as expression. If man, is the expression of God, he must express all the qualities of that divine Mind or intelligence which constitutes God. That Mind includes all love, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, patience, tenderness, compassion, purity, honesty, and the like. Therefore, to the extent that you and I consciously express these qualities of Mind, or God, are we uniting ourselves with God and thereby consciously establishing our sonship with Him.

To avail ourselves of our true sonship with God it is necessary that we consciously express those ideas which come from God. On page 591 of Science and Health, in her definition of "Mind," Mrs. Eddy says, "God, of whom man is the full and perfect expression." Hence, man is God expressed. God is Love. Therefore, Love expressed is man. Truth expressed is man. Honesty, purity, kindness, joy, compassion, gratitude, etc., expressed is man. Love unexpressed is not man. Remember that. Love unexpressed is not man. In the actuality of being, Love is eternally expressed. In the false human concept of existence hate often seems to transplant and usurp the place and prerogative of Love. As we gain true manhood we gain true freedom. Therefore, do you not see how individual the process of salvation becomes, and how, no matter what others may think or do, it is the better part of wisdom to devote our time to expressing those qualities of thought which bring individual freedom from the bondage of the material? Try this expressing business around the home, in your office, in the shop, wherever you may be, and see what it accomplishes. Express joy, happiness, gratitude, appreciation, thanksgiving, consideration for others, patience, forgiveness, gentleness, trustfulness in God and your brother man, and the like, and see how soon the clouds will disperse, the skies become blue, and all mankind and nature react to your emotions.

Don't measure your endeavors in expression by what someone else may do or think. Don't make your expression of love, devotion, care, kindness, compassion, tenderness, and the like dependent upon the attitude of others. Don't assume the position of meeting others only halfway in your business of expressing God. That will accomplish nothing. What others may think or do is their concern. They have their own salvation to work out. Your concern is to bring yourself into that sense of freedom where you will not be bound by the fetters of poverty, sickness, unhappiness, and the like, and if your freedom from these ills is to be accomplished solely by your own expression of God, you cannot allow your endeavors to be measured or curtailed by the opinions, the attitude, or the reaction of others. Your motives, may be misunderstood and your efforts scorned, but do not let that deter you. There is no neutral ground. Never compromise with evil or your conscience for the sake of expediency. Simply to refrain from outwardly manifesting hate, malice, jealousy, and the like will not answer. Your expression of God must be positive. The negative attitude of refraining from expressing hate and malice, while commendable, will not serve the purpose of the positive example of outwardly, actively, and sincerely expressing love, gratitude, patience, and the like. Do not suppress or repress noble qualities of thought. Express them, for in their expression lies your true manhood and womanhood.

There are human natures which seem to find the outward, active individual expression of love, kindness, consideration, gratitude, and the like most difficult. This reticence and reluctance to individual expression of kindly and helpful interest in the affairs of dear ones; to the expression of tenderness; to the expression of care and affection: to the expression of gratitude and appreciation, are most blighting and stifling to one's spiritual growth as well as to one's material happiness and success. This tendency to suppress true expression is often found in individuals as the manifestation of family or inherited traits or characteristics. It is often the manifestation of national or racial influences. The tendency often results from a false sense of pride or of reprisal. Whatever the supposed cause, the failure or refusal to outwardly express towards others those qualities of thought which tend to establish and cement one's unity with God fosters unhappiness, heartaches, and bitter disappointments, and defeats individual enjoyment of that freedom and contentment which true expression brings. Man is the involuntary expression of God. He cannot help but be as perfect as his Maker. Mortals must school themselves in divine expression to consciously realize and demonstrate their true sonship and dominion.

 

True Embodiment

Spiritually considered, man is the embodiment of divine ideas which come from God and which exist as individual consciousness. Man's true embodiment is his consciousness, and man's consciousness constitutes his embodiment. This consciousness which constitutes man consists of ideas which express the infinite. Therefore, man must be the reflection of infinity, in which there can be no localized, limited, personified, humanly circumscribed, or material embodiment. As man is thus the conscious expression of the infinite, he cannot be subject to the mortal or carnal arguments of localized error, objectified error, or personalized error, such as sin, sickness, poverty, unhappiness, heredity, luck, chance, change, birth, growth, maturity, old age, death, and the like.

The individual consciousness of divine ideas, which constitutes man's embodiment, includes all the faculties of man. Hence man's faculties are reflections of the one infinite Mind which governs His vast system of ideas with unerring intelligence, wisdom, and accuracy. Thus do man's faculties express the eternal perfection and changelessness of the intelligence creating them. Man has no faculties of his own that can be lost or destroyed. Man's faculties have their source and government in God.

In the realm of the material we say that man's sight, for instance, belongs to man; that it may be good or bad, according to individual material experience; that it may be subject to injury, old age, heredity, etc. In the realm of the real or spiritual, man's sight is spiritual, perfect, and eternal, expressing the perfection and eternality of God. Man's sight is in God and exists as one. There is but one sight, and that sight is reflected by man as idea. Sight, therefore, is never subject to material conditions. Man cannot lose his sight, as it exists as one in the divine consciousness, which never changes. Sight, even though existing as one, is not divisible. It is individually reflected.

Individual man's existence or being is his consciousness of divine ideas. Man's home is his consciousness - his consciousness of the divine. Man's home is peopled with spiritual ideas which man himself reflects. Man's universe, his environment, his atmosphere, and his experiences are constituted of his conscious reflection of ideas which emanate from God. Man's universe, then, consists of divine ideas, which man himself reflects. Therefore, man includes his universe. Hence the dominion which is vouchsafed man in the first chapter of Genesis.

 

Mortal Man

We have briefly traversed the subject of God and God's man, and now we are confronted with the next logical query as to the so-called material man - the man of flesh and blood and bones; the man known as the Adam man. How shall we account for him? What of his origin? How did he get here, and what is to become of him? We have seen that God is divine Mind, and that the man of God's creating is a compound idea of that Mind. Just as God is divine Mind, the Bible points out that there is a so-called counterfeit of this divine Mind, which Paul has designated as the carnal mind. As the divine Mind, or God, is one and infinite, filling all space, existing in its entirety and infinity, ever present and eternal, in like manner this so-called carnal mind, in its attempted counterfeit of the divine, claims existence as one infinite mind, filling all space and ever present. This supposititious carnal mind was never created of God and therefore seems to exist only as a counterfeit of the divine. As God's kingdom is an infinite and everlasting kingdom, the carnal mind and its creation can have no place or existence except as human illusion. Just as God, or divine Mind, is one and infinite, and fills all space to the complete exclusion of every counter-claim of the carnal, so the so-called carnal mind claims existence as one infinite, ever-present mind awaiting admission to individual human consciousness.

The divine Mind or God, is expressed, as we have seen, through His own ideas, and these ideas reflected in individual consciousness constitute the true man and the true universe. In its attempted simulation of the divine, the carnal mind, on the other hand, finds expression in carnal thoughts, and these carnal thoughts admitted to individual consciousness constitute the material universe and the human body, of which individual mortals are conscious. Neither the divine Mind nor the carnal mind exists in brain or originates in individual human consciousness. Therefore, neither divine ideas nor carnal thoughts originate in your or my thinking. Both divine ideas and carnal thoughts come to us from without. A man's brain never evolved one single thought or impression. If man's thoughts originated in his brain, what a pitifully helpless condition you and I would be in! We have no control, according to material theories, over our brains, and thus would we become unwilling victims of anything our brains might wish to conjure up, if thought originated or existed in brain. Sickness, poverty, in fact all inharmony, originate in wrong thinking, and therefore a man would be in no position to free himself from the bondage of his own wrong thinking if his thoughts originate in his brain and he has no control over his brain. If one's thoughts, inclinations, or instincts originate in one's brain man would become the helpless victim of his brain. He would become an involuntary sinner, invalid, or pauper, without the will, volition, or ability to escape the penalties due for the wrong thinking over which he has no control and of which he becomes an unwilling victim. All thoughts, good or bad, originate outside human consciousness, and are admitted to consciousness at the will or volition of the individual. With this understanding we may begin to glimpse, somewhat, the possibilities of individual enjoyment of that freedom from material existence.

 

Human Consciousness

In gaining a clear understanding of the processes of individual salvation from the bondage of sin, sickness, poverty, and all the inharmonies of mortal living, one must become clear as to the intermediate or transitional state between the carnal and the divine, which Mrs. Eddy has designated as the human consciousness, or the human mind. God, or divine Mind, never changes, and in the process of individual translation from the material to the spiritual the carnal mind is not changed from bad to good; the carnal is dropped entirely - it disappears. It is replaced by the divine Mind. So in the order of individual salvation it is evident that, - neither the divine Mind nor the carnal mind becomes the object of salvation. What, then, is it that needs to be saved? What is it that needs changing? Why, obviously, the human consciousness, or the human mind. On page 251 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy tells us that "the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the so-called human mind through truth, leads the human mind to relinquish all error, to find the divine Mind to be the only Mind, and the healer of sin, disease, death."

The human mind, or human consciousness, is a fictitious dual condition of consciousness. The human consciousness is constituted of ideas of the divine Mind, on the one hand, and of thoughts which claim to come from the carnal mind, on the other hand. Individual human consciousness, or the human mind, is where illusion says you and I are right now. The human mind or consciousness designates our present state of seeming material existence, and is constituted partly of the divine, and partly of the carnal.

We have seen that divine ideas coming from God, or divine Mind, reflected in individual consciousness, constitute the real man's existence, his embodiment, and his universe, all of which must be spiritual and not cognizable through the medium of the physical senses. On the other hand, the thoughts which come to you and me from this so-called carnal mind, and which we voluntarily accept into consciousness are, in turn, objectified as matter, and thence comes our material universe with all its sin, its sickness, its misery, and its poverty. Matter, then - that which you and I see, feel, taste, smell, and hear - is individual thought.

 

Matter Not Self-existent

The so-called carnal mind individually expressed holds within itself all evil - all the matter, all the sin, all the inharmony, all the poverty, and all the sickness of which you and I or anyone else will ever be conscious. Matter is carnal thought held in individual consciousness. Matter exists in no place but individual thought. The carnal mind does not exist as matter until it becomes individualized in the human mind. The carnal mind becomes objectified as matter only as it becomes active in individual human consciousness.  Material creation is not a process, it is an illusion of the carnal mind expressed in the human consciousness. This so-called human mind which you and I seem to possess admits carnal thoughts which come from the so-called carnal mind. These thoughts, in turn, are externalized or objectified to us as, matter - the material universe, the human body, sickness, poverty, and the like. It is only through the medium of our individual human minds that the carnal mind becomes externalized to us as matter. Just as the man of God's creating, through the reflection of divine ideas, includes his spiritual universe, so the so-called mortal man, through expressing in consciousness carnal thoughts which become objectified as matter, likewise includes the material universe of which he is conscious. Thus, the material universe or world does not exist outside our individual consciousness or thinking.          :         

Sir James Jeans, of Cambridge University, in England, one-time President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, brings the thought of the physical scientist quite into line with the teachings of Mrs. Eddy when he states, "The old physics imagined it was studying an objective nature which, had its own existence independently of the mind which perceived it, which indeed, had existed from all eternity whether it was perceived or not." But of the new physics the learned professor says, "The nature we study does not consist so much of something we perceive as of our perceptions." All of which means that until recently the physical scientist believed that matter existed independently of individual thought, but now (really since Mrs. Eddy's discovery) the physical scientist has learned that we see, feel, taste, smell, hear, and experience only what we hold in thought.

 

Consciousness One Hundred per Cent

For the purpose of elucidation let us consider each individual human consciousness as constituting one hundred per cent, which one hundred per cent is made up of a certain percentage of good thoughts, or ideas, coming from the divine Mind, God, and a certain percentage of carnal thoughts coming from the so-called carnal mind.   Each human consciousness constitutes the whole of existence for that individual. Nothing outside human consciousness is included in individual existence or experience. Therefore, each human consciousness constitutes one hundred per cent of individual existence, and includes all the good and all the evil of which the individual is cognizant.

Let us assume, by way of further explanation, that one individual human consciousness, or mind, is constituted of sixty per cent of the carnal and forty per cent of the divine, the two aggregating one hundred per cent. The sixty per cent carnal thought which one might hold in consciousness would constitute his personality as well as his material world with its sin, its sickness, its poverty, and its inharmony. The forty per cent of the divine which one might hold in consciousness would constitute his individuality - his spirituality. Now if the individual who holds in consciousness this sixty per cent of the carnal learns something of Christian Science and God and, as a result, begins to change his thinking by admitting into consciousness something of the divine, the percentage of evil, or the carnal, in his consciousness will diminish in exact proportion to the good, or the divine, which he admits, because at no time could individual consciousness be constituted of more than the whole, or one hundred per cent.

If a man holds in consciousness sixty per cent of the carnal and forty per cent of the divine, and by a change of thought he increases the amount of the divine in consciousness to, we will say, fifty per cent, then the carnal in his consciousness has diminished ten per cent and existence for him thus becomes but fifty per cent carnal or material, instead of sixty, and fifty per cent divine, instead of forty. As the carnal in his consciousness diminishes, existence for him becomes less material. As consciousness becomes spiritualized, matter, sin, sickness, and death become less apparent, and their manifestation in human experience diminishes in the proportion that the divine takes the place of the carnal. When the individual human consciousness becomes one hundred per cent spiritual, through the process of exchanging the carnal for the divine, then will matter entirely disappear in the experience of each individual, and the millennium, or the kingdom of heaven, will have been attained. This explains scientifically and certainly the ascension, or disappearance to human perception of Jesus the Christ. We dematerialize existence by spiritualizing thought.

 

Improved Beliefs

With the understanding that material existence is merely a state of the human consciousness, and that our material world is the externalized expression of carnal thoughts which come from the so-called carnal mind claiming existence independently of that consciousness, we may begin to understand how the process of individual salvation is to be accomplished. As we have seen, the thoughts of the carnal mind which you and I hold in our human consciousness constitute our materiality, our material environment, and our embodiment. Aside from those thoughts held in consciousness which manifest themselves as matter and body, there are thoughts which manifest themselves as sickness, poverty, inharmony, unhappiness, and the like.

The carnal mind, through the agency of the individual human consciousness, becomes objectified not only as our human body but also as the sickness, the poverty, and the unhappiness which torture and distress our sense of material existence. Through carnal thoughts resident in our human consciousness we endow these material objectifications - our material world and our material body - with all the ills with which mortal existence is beset. Through the carnal in our consciousness we endow our material universe with those laws and conditions which make for the unhappiness, the misery, and the tragedies of human living. Through the carnal in human consciousness we endow our brother man with the hate, the jealousy, and the dishonesty with which he confronts us.

The sickness, the poverty, and the inharmonies of the human body are inflicted thereon by the carnal which obtains in the consciousness of the possessor of the body. The injurious and harmful elements of nature are not inherent therein but become a part thereof through the carnal mind in human consciousness. The golden rod and other beautiful expressions of nature embody no natural elements of danger and discord. They become annoying and pestilential only through the carnal held in human consciousness. The ferocity and carnivorous natures of the beasts of the jungle are simply the manifestation of the carnal claiming existence in the human consciousness. The poison and venom hidden in the fangs of the reptile are imposed therein by the carnal in our human consciousness. The carnal mind in human consciousness not only creates our material world but it likewise endows that world with those material and harmful qualities which render material existence a most precarious and perilous experiment.

Through the influx of the divine into the human mind these carnal thoughts which are externalized in our concept of materiality as sickness, poverty, hate, poison, bestiality, danger, and the like are gradually displaced. The carnal thoughts entertained in the human consciousness are thrust out by the divine, so that the process of salvation involves the necessity of human perfection of the material state before complete spiritualization of existence can follow. Thus, in accomplishing the process of complete spiritualization, each individual must have overcome and eliminated from experience the minor or secondary conditions of material existence, such as sickness, poverty, sorrow, inharmony, and the like, before he can proceed to the larger problem of spiritually or mentally overcoming and eliminating matter entirely. In following, then, the divine order of complete salvation, instead of being possessed of a human mind through which is manifested a sick, poverty-stricken, material body, we shall find ourselves, as thought becomes more spiritual, possessed of a consciousness through which is manifested a material body and a material universe, from which have been eliminated all elements of sin, sickness, hate, jealousy, poverty, inharmony, danger, discord, and the like.

What a boon to be permitted to enjoy the gifts of nature in all their pristine simplicity, without the carnal accompaniments of danger, harm, and destruction for which our own wrong thinking has ever been responsible! How beautiful the smile of the golden rod without those elements of distress which annually plague the victims of hay fever! What happiness and contentment in the world wherein the creatures of forest and field are free from the carnivorousness and bestiality of human imposing! Surely, "the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." What happiness, joy, and comfort shall be found in the company of those in whom we find no guile, no sin, and no hate, because we see as Jesus saw. In the human consciousness, or the human mind, lie all the sickness, the inharmony, the unhappiness, and the misery of mortal existence, and through the influx of the divine into this consciousness must come the freedom of mortal man from the bondage of his own wrong thinking.

This process of gradual material improvement is what Mrs. Eddy refers to as a "better belief." In her book "The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany" (p. 217) Mrs. Eddy writes: " 'An improved belief is one step out of error, and aids in taking the next step and in understanding the situation in Christian Science' [Science and Health] (p. 296). . . Jesus demonstrated the divine Principle of Christian Science when he presented his material body absolved from death and the grave."

 

An Illustration

An illustration of the benefits to be derived through the exchange of carnal thoughts for divine ideas in individual consciousness is found in an article which appeared in the Cosmopolitan Magazine a few years ago. The article embodied a statement attributed to Dr. George W. Crile, the eminent physician and surgeon of Cleveland, Ohio, in part as follows: "Worry kills man. Fear kills man. Hate kills man. Jealousy kills man. Man doesn't do these things with his intellect; he worries, fears, hates, and is jealous with his organs. Prolonged states of emotion may consume as many as one hundred thousand brain cells. . . A man cannot fear, he cannot hate, he cannot worry intellectually; he does these things with all his organs. . . The emotions - fear, worry, hate, jealousy - affect every cell of the body."

Thus do we begin to understand how to gain control of our bodies and to regulate them for good by right and spiritual thinking. If carnal thoughts, such as those mentioned by the learned doctor - fear, hate, worry, jealousy, and the like - put into operation in the human body those influences which destroy the substance, energies, and vitality of mortal man, the remedy is obvious even from the viewpoint of the materialist. The remedy is, of course, to rule out of individual consciousness all thoughts which thus tend to put into operation these elements of destruction. This may be accomplished in but one way, and that is through the influx into individual consciousness of divine ideas which replace and eliminate those carnal thoughts which bring disaster.   

So, do you not see how, through the regeneration of the human consciousness, by exchanging carnal thoughts for divine ideas, we may begin to transform this material world of ours from a charnel house of misery, sin, sickness, poverty, and inharmony into a sanctuary of beauty, health, peace, and plenty - into a veritable heaven on earth? Do you not also see how much more enjoyable, profitable, and pleasant material existence may become to the spiritually minded than to the crass materialist or the carnally minded?

Finally, my friends, bear ever in mind that now are you a son of God. It is your God-given privilege, here and now, to claim and proclaim your divine birthright. Cling to the consciousness of your true being. God's man never fell from his high estate. God's man is as eternal as God Himself. You are God's man. God did not create two of you - one divine and the other carnal. God made you pure, perfect, spiritual, and eternal. Thus you are and thus you will ever be. Claim this true concept of yourself. Cling to it, for therein lies your freedom from the bondage of the world's materialism. Therein lies your happiness, your health, and your prosperity. Keep the vision of the true God and His Christ ever before you. It will brighten every footstep of your rugged pathway. It will smooth the rough places in your journey through the fading mists of error. It will bring solace to the injured heart, and will heal the wounds of treachery and malice. His love is ever with you. His guiding care is yours to claim and to hold. Infold into your pure consciousness this love and care and guidance, and the Comforter will be ever at your right hand. "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."

In the words of our beloved Leader, Mrs. Eddy, found in Science and Health (p.174): "The thunder of Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount are pursuing and will overtake the ages, rebuking in their course all error and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven on earth. Truth is revealed. It needs only to be practised."

 

 

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