Discovering Harmonious Relationships

Through Christian Science

 

Herbert E. Rieke, C.S.B., of Indianapolis, Indiana

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

There is a divine law of relationships that makes freedom, health, and happiness available to all mankind, Herbert E. Rieke of Indianapolis, Indiana, said Thursday evening in a Christian Science lecture in Boston.

To establish and maintain harmonious relationships with others, it is important to gain a clearer understanding of man's relationship to God, Mr. Rieke stated.

A member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, he spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, on the subject "Discovering Harmonious Relationships Through Christian Science." He was introduced by Arthur P. Wuth, First Reader of The Mother Church.

 

Man's Relation to God Is Basic

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

One of the greatest desires in the hearts of men is to establish and maintain harmonious relationships with others. Christ Jesus devoted much of his Gospel to this important subject. Christian Science further elucidates the law of God and its application to human relationships. We learn that it is very important that we understand man's relationship to God before we can find harmonious relationships between men.

Let us consider the nature of God and man's relationship to Him. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has given us a very helpful definition of God (p. 587), "God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence." Christian Science emphasizes the fact that man, according to the first chapter of Genesis, is the image and likeness of God. It is from the basis of the nature of God and man made in His likeness that Christian Science is practiced.

The world has entertained many human opinions in regard to the nature of God and man, and these human opinions have brought tension, conflict, misunderstanding, and the woes of humanity. Christian Science is showing the world how to give up these human opinions for God's idea of His own nature and the nature of man. This brings true release, freedom, health, and happiness.

Let us here consider the nature of this true spiritual man made in God's image. Since God is the divine source or Principle of man's being, it follows that man is not what human environment, heredity, or human circumstances would cause him to be. Instead, he is what divine Principle causes him to be. Man is, therefore, not a creature of chance. He is perpetually governed by the divine law of being. Man, therefore, expresses harmony, order, and dominion. Man is never cause; he is always the effect of one divine Principle.

Since God is the infinite divine Mind, it follows that the real man is what God knows him to be, the perfect expression of intelligence and wisdom. Man is never what a mortal or carnal mind claims he is. Instead of being made up of good and bad thoughts, man is the compound idea of God expressing only right ideas. He possesses by reflection all the faculties of Mind, such as keen perception, good comprehension, perfect memory, and the ability to express right ideas effectively.

 

The Evidence of Love's Presence

Man is not a finite soul but the very expression of the one divine perfect Soul which is God. Man is therefore not a carnally or materially-sensed creature; he radiates the spiritual sense of being which brings life and peace. He, therefore, sees, hears, and feels only the presence of God, the presence of good. 

Man, the image and likeness of God, is not flesh. His substance consists of the spiritual ideas he reflects. He is not controlled by the so-called laws of matter; he is governed by the divine law of Spirit. He lives in Spirit and never in matter. All of his activities are divinely inspired by Spirit, and they cannot be interfered with by the belief in the absence of Spirit called matter.

Since God is divine Truth, man, His reflection, is not the offspring of error and mistakes. He is the child of Truth. He does not deviate from the path of righteousness. He is accurate, dependable, honorable. He sees creation as it really is and is never duped by illusions or misconceptions.

The perfect spiritual man of God's creating is not a mortal creature. He was never born into matter, and therefore he does not have to die out of matter. He lives; he expresses eternal Life that knows no beginning or end. Because he reflects divine consciousness and spiritual awareness, there is no room in his experience for disease or decrepitude. He manifests a true sense of spiritual activity, courage, and strength.

Man is what Love, the divine source of all true being, causes him to be. Man, therefore, never thinks in terms of hatred, dislikes, envy, jealousy, resentment, or selfishness. He is always appreciative of all the good to be found in God's spiritual creation. Man reflects Love naturally, without effort, for he is the very evidence of Love's presence and power.

Here you may feel like asking: "What has all this to do with me?" In her book, "Unity of Good," Mrs. Eddy has given the answer (p. 46): "The scientific man and his Maker are here; and you would be none other than this man, if you would subordinate the fleshly perceptions to the spiritual sense and source of being." This is the true practice of Christian Science. It brings joy, satisfaction, health, and happiness.

 

Principle Does All the Real Doing

We begin to discover this perfect spiritual man through prayer. Through our study of Christian Science we learn that prayer is not a process of asking God's forgiveness, nor is it a petition for material blessings. Neither is prayer a process of putting forth human effort to express the nature of God. Prayer is a spiritual means by which we let God express His true idea of man in our consciousness and experience.

In the Manual of The Mother Church (p. 41), Mrs. Eddy gives us a very helpful and important daily prayer. It reads as follows: " 'Thy kingdom come;' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and. Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!"

Since God is all-acting, the creator of the universe including man, the one and only divine Principle or cause, it follows that it is really God who does all the real doing. Our Master said (John 14:10), it is "the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." It is our joyous privilege and duty to let God express the divine idea of man in our consciousness. Then evil is ruled out of our experience. Christian Scientists are learning that it is a very joyous privilege to pray daily. They love to listen for God's inspiration and guidance. They are also learning the importance of being consistent in their prayers and of accepting only God's idea of man.

The importance of such consistency is illustrated in the following experience. One day a neighbor riding with me on a bus asked: "What do you think of yourself?" I was a bit startled by the question. I stalled and asked: "Do you really want to know?" "Yes, I do," he replied. I answered: "Well, I think in reality I am man, the image and likeness of God, His perfect child; and so are you by the same token."

 

Physical Evidence Destroyed

There followed an interesting discussion. He had heard that Christian Science teaches that man is the perfect reflection of God, and he wondered whether we were consistent in thinking that way. I explained that a mortal concept of man is certainly not the image of God, but through our study of Christian Science we are learning to give up the mortal concept for the divine idea of man. He said that he was impressed by the fact that I added the phrase: "and so are you by the same token." That eliminated the possibility of accusing Christian Scientists of being egotists, thinking of themselves as God's perfect children while thinking of others as imperfect mortals.

Well, that conversation was a real eye-opener for me. I began to ask myself daily, "What do you really think of yourself? Are you thinking of man as the very image and likeness of God?" I discovered that there were a number of mortal concepts and human opinions that needed to be eliminated if I were to be consistent in knowing and demonstrating that man is the perfect reflection of God, good.

For instance, there was a growth on my face that seemed to be getting larger. I knew if I had been consistent in my knowledge of man's perfection, it would not have been there. Certainly, God, the giver of all good, had not caused this imperfection. But I had been believing in the reality of discord. I turned to God with a sincere desire that His eternal truth of man might be expressed through me. It was revealed that because I had been thinking in terms of mortal imperfections in myself and others, there seemed to be a blemish on my face. I began to face the facts of being that man is always spiritual and perfect. I knew that right where man is, and everywhere, the divine Spirit was making itself manifest in all spiritual perfection, and that man is this perfect manifestation.

That night I dreamed that an elephant's trunk was growing on the end of my nose. The dream seemed so real that when I awakened I found myself pulling on the end of my nose to see whether a trunk was there.

"But why doesn't a trunk grow on my nose?" I asked. I could see that it wasn't natural. Then I realized that it was just as unnatural for a false sense of growth to appear on my body. God doesn't do that to man. This growth was just a mortal dream. Every time I was tempted to look at the growth on my face to see whether it was becoming larger or smaller, I turned my thought away from the material sense testimony to the dream of the elephant's trunk. I surely would not attempt to observe whether the trunk was becoming larger or smaller, for it was really never there at all. The whole sense of imperfect growth seemed so ridiculous that I could laugh. I knew there was no imperfection in God's one and only spiritual universe. Soon I discovered the blemish on my face was gone.

It is very important that we all stop thinking of man as a discordant mortal creature, and that we start seeing him as the full manifestation of God's perfect being. In this way we find our health and dominion.

 

Christian Science Heals Hatred

Now let us consider our relationships with others. You will remember the last line of the Christian Scientists' daily prayer reads: "And may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" It is not enough to let God reveal His perfect concept of man in regard to us individually. We must see our brother also as the perfect man of God's creating. I do not mean that we should try to see our brother as a perfect mortal creature. Neither should we attempt to see God as expressing Himself through a false sense of mortality. Neither are we trying to see God's perfect man in spite of material evidence which would present a picture of man as a mortal material creature. Through our study of Christian Science we are learning to see God's perfect spiritual man instead of the false mortal concept of man.

May I show you how such thinking heals and establishes harmonious relationships. An individual in a large organization found himself in a situation which might be called a clash of personalities. He felt that his department head disliked him and wanted to see him fired. Although the Christian Scientist tried to be kind and helpful, every effort was rebuffed. He worried about the situation until rheumatism crippled him. A Christian Science practitioner was called. He asked the patient whether he loved everyone. The patient replied that he did, for he had learned through Christian Science that it is important for us to love others. The practitioner then asked whether everyone loved him. He then told about the hatred of the supervisor. The practitioner asked him what God is. He replied that God is Love. Then he was asked where God is, and he replied that God is ever present.

"Do you believe these two statements to be true?" asked the practitioner.

"I do," replied the patient. "Well, how do you reconcile those statements with the one you just made, that out there in the consciousness of someone is a thing called hatred?" asked the practitioner.

The patient saw that in order to be consistent he must see divine Love as ever present, manifesting itself as the true man not only in his experience but in the experience of everyone. Up until that time he knew it was important for him to love others; but what they thought of him - well, he had always regarded that as their business. Now he saw it was his business what he thought they thought of him. He began to rejoice in the words of the daily prayer that divine Love is truly enriching the affections of all mankind and governing them. He began to see man as the image of divine Love instead of a mortal, hating, or hated, creature. The rheumatism disappeared promptly, and there was soon a reconciliation with the department head.

 

Mind Governs the Universe

Through the study of Christian Science people are learning to protect themselves from all evil suggestions. In Science and Health (pp. 495, 496), Mrs. Eddy writes: "In the Science of Mind, you will soon ascertain that error cannot destroy error. You will also learn that in Science there is no transfer of evil suggestions from one mortal to another, for there is but one Mind, and this ever-present omnipotent Mind is reflected by man and governs the entire universe." Since God as divine Mind is omnipotent it follows that mortal mind with its suggestions of evil has no power to harm man. Since the ever-present, divine Mind governs the entire universe, it follows that there is no source from which evil suggestions can come. In Proverbs we are told that the curse causeless shall not come (Proverbs 26:2). Why not? Because God is the one divine Principle or cause, there is, therefore, no source from which a curse may originate. The one divine Mind causes all its spiritual ideas to express Love. Thus it causes us to think lovingly, helpfully, and constructively toward each other.

In the Bible we are told that Jesus spent forty days and nights in the wilderness being tempted of the devil. As each of these evil suggestions came to him, he realized that it had no power to influence him erroneously.

He answered each of these suggestions with the power of the Word of God from the Scriptures. He refused to turn a stone into bread or to jump from the pinnacle of the temple. But further suggestions and temptations kept coming until he finally took his stand in the recognition of the truth that there is no negative mortal mind to tempt and influence man erroneously. You'll remember how the Bible reads: "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, it thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him" (Matt. 4:8-11).

As long as Jesus admitted that there was a negative mortal mind to tempt him, evil suggestions continued to come. But when he realized that there was only one divine Mind, or God, and refused to worship, or think in terms of the reality of any other mind, then evil suggestions no longer came; and God's good thoughts or angels filled his consciousness. It was from then on that he began to do his many mighty works.

 

'Thou hast no enemies'

A woman I know was going through a wilderness experience. She was mentally and emotionally disturbed and appeared to suffer great pain. She told the practitioner who was helping her that every time the suggestions of discord and pain came to her she would cling steadfastly to God and His idea, sometimes through most of the night. She would finally silence these false suggestions; but she complained that they kept coming back.

"But do you want these suggestions to keep coming back?" the practitioner asked. Of course she didn't. "Then you must take your stand," said the practitioner, "that there is no mortal mind from which such suggestions can emanate." The patient was helped to see that she too must worship the divine Mind as All-in-all, the way the Master did. She took her stand and refused to believe in the reality of a mind separate or apart from God, good. That was the last of the suggestions of pain and discord. Angels truly came and ministered unto her and restored her to health.

Let us also rejoice that this same host of angels is always present with us ministering unto us, protecting and sustaining us. Let us rejoice that this same host of angels is in reality present with all men, causing them to think helpfully and constructively.

It is not enough for us to love our enemies and bless those that curse us. We must go further and awaken to the truth that in reality there are no enemies. In the one and only kingdom of heaven all of God's spiritual ideas are impelled by divine Love to express Love.

In an article, "Love Your Enemies" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 8), Mrs. Eddy asks: "Who is thine enemy that thou shouldst love him? Is it a creature or a thing outside thine own creation?" She goes on to say: "Love thine enemies is identical with 'Thou hast no enemies.' " Christian Science emphasizes the fact that by recognizing man's oneness with divine Love, we can keep consciousness so full of Truth and Love that there is no room for any sense of enmity. We can rejoice that divine Love is enriching the affections of all mankind and governing them. Herein is our true protection.

Now we come to another important point of relationships. The divine Mind relates each spiritual idea harmoniously to every other spiritual idea according to a divine plan. Much of humanity's troubles comes from trying to outline relationships through human will-power instead of letting divine Mind unfold its divine plan of right and constructive relationships.

At a university a friend who is a Christian Scientist once participated in a panel discussion on the subject of marriage - this was during Religious Emphasis Week. Speakers brought out the importance of similar tastes and backgrounds for happy marriage. Others recommended the services of marriage counselors, psychologists, and doctors. When it was my friend's turn to speak she said they had overlooked the importance of prayer in selecting a companion. She pointed out that Jesus said: "What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder" (Matt. 19:6). All the human ways of trying to figure out human relationships are of little value unless we turn to God, man's divine source, for inspiration and guidance. She emphasized that it is God who relates and associates all His spiritual ideas according to His law of infinite harmony. As we listen for His guidance and trust His decisions, we find true happiness. When she had finished speaking all agreed that prayer was the most important factor in discovering and maintaining harmonious relationships.

 

Prayer Involves Listening, Too

Through our study of Christian Science we are learning that prayer is not a process of asking God to get behind our pet projects to bring them to pass. Prayer is a divine means of bringing our thought into harmony with God's plans and purposes. Prayer is communion with God. But we must make sure that we do not do all the talking. We must listen to what the heavenly Father-Mother God says to His beloved child. Then we must resolve to be obedient to His directions.

As we truly listen to divine Mind, we can eliminate mistakes of human relationships. A girl once told me that the young man she was dating insisted that they be married. I asked her what God had told her to do. She said she hadn't talked to God about it. I pointed out that it was dangerous to take such important steps without listening for God's guidance. She humbly turned to God with the sincere desire to do what was best for all. She gave prayerful consideration to man's spiritual relationship with God and the harmonious relationship of all of God's spiritual ideas with each other. Her thought was soon far above the many human considerations. It then became very clear to her that she should not marry this young man. As she further recognized man's oneness with God, infinite good, a much more ideal relationship came into her experience which resulted in a very happy marriage.

As we realize that the divine Mind relates and associates all its spiritual ideas harmoniously, the result can only be joyous. As we see man's happiness as originating in divine Mind and its divinely inspired relationships, we discern its substantial nature. True happiness is not built on a personal sense of things; it comes from the spiritual understanding of man's oneness with divine Life. Real happiness is the spiritual awareness that all is well because God is good and He is infinite, All.

 

Joy Is Independent of Matter

The Bible speaks of the oil of gladness, the balm of Gilead, that heals. We are told that Jesus was anointed with this oil of gladness. Our Master was a joyous man. He told us that his joy he gave unto us and that we should let no one take it from us. We must claim and use this spiritual oil of gladness in order to find true happiness in our relationships.

Sometimes people postpone their heaven, or happiness, by thinking: "I'll be happy when this human event takes place" or, "I would be happy if this circumstance were changed." This would indicate that they believed their happiness to be dependent on human, material circumstances. It is like telling the filling station attendant that we will put oil in our car when it runs smoothly, or if it no longer gets hot and makes unpleasant noises. How foolish! The oil must be put in first, and then the car will run smoothly. Just so in our daily experience. We must first pour in the oil of gladness by realizing the allness and goodness of God; then our human affairs will be properly lubricated so as to run smoothly. The world truly needs this spiritual oil of gladness which our Master exemplified through his life.

The people of the Old Testament did not find the freedom, contentment, health, and happiness they knew was right for them to experience. They foresaw the coming of the Christ or Messiah who would bring them everlasting freedom and happiness. Some expected a great king like David. Others looked for a prophet who would teach them all truth.

Jesus of Nazareth saw clearly what the real Saviour of the world is. He knew that true freedom and peace do not come from war, that righteousness is not found through religious rites and ceremonies, that health is not gained by material means, and that happiness is not to be found in the accumulation of material things. He knew that Christ, Truth, is the Saviour, is the spiritual idea of God, including the universe and man.

The Christ is the recognition of man's oneness with God, infinite good. Jesus said: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63). He turned people away from their material ways to the worship of God in Spirit and in Truth.

The Word of God was outwardly manifested in the life and teachings of Christ Jesus. Through this Word, the divine idea expressed, the sick were healed, the sinners reformed, and the dead were restored to life. Speaking of the Christ, his eternal spiritual nature, Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31). His spiritual message has not been forgotten. Year by year humanity sees more clearly its true import.

 

The Christ Brings Salvation

In his day there were many who rejected Christ Jesus as the Messiah. There are still many who fail to grasp the great significance of his teachings and the spiritual inspiration he brought to the world. Many are still looking for salvation through material means, health through medicine, and happiness through material things. In order to find true freedom and complete salvation we need to acknowledge that the Christ, our Saviour, has come; and we need to solve human problems the way he taught.

I would encourage you to read the Bible regularly, especially the four Gospels, that you might understand the true meaning of the Christ as demonstrated in the life of Jesus. As you appreciate his teachings and love his example, you find your companionship with the Christ - you feel the healing influence of Truth and Love.

Our Master saw the importance of not thinking that the Saviour is a human personality. He said (John 16:7), "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you." He said further (John 14:26) "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

This Comforter has come to the world as the Science of Christianity. It was discovered by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866. This scientific Christianity has brought to the remembrance of the world what Jesus taught and how he eliminated sin, disease, and death through the power of prayer. The students of this Science are learning how to accomplish the same kind of works through prayer. Christian Science has brought comfort to millions, not just ease and security in matter, but that higher spiritual comfort that comes through our understanding of man's oneness with God, divine Spirit.

 

Equality of Man Vital to Progress

You can understand that when the Science of Christianity was discovered there would be resistance from medical and theological circles, just as there was resistance to the teachings of Jesus by the doctors and priests of his day. There often seems to be resistance to new and progressive ideas. Copernicus was persecuted when he insisted that the world was round. Einstein and his theory of relativity were ridiculed at first by many physical scientists. You will remember when Robert Fulton invented the steamboat how people lined up on the Hudson River to laugh at his "folly." Just a few years ago many were saying that if God wanted us to fly He would have given us wings.

Mrs. Eddy was also maligned and ridiculed; and her teachings were often mistakenly or willfully misrepresented. Remember in 1866 this was very much a man's world. Women were considered as secondary citizens. They didn't even have the right to vote. There is a tendency among some men not to want to let a woman teach or show them anything. This might account for some of the early resistance to Christian Science.

But the world has changed a great deal during the past one hundred years. Women today are filling many positions of responsibility and leadership. But, you know, I have a feeling that there are still a few men who think they are superior to women. Might not this be one of the reasons why the Holy Comforter was discovered by a woman? For true spiritual progress the world needs to awaken to the fact that God creates all men equal. In the first chapter of the Bible we read: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." When you think of the Saviour, or rescuer, are you not inclined to think of a strong man? But when you think of the Comforter, do you not instinctively think of a mother who brings comfort to her children? I believe it was inevitable that the Holy Comforter be discovered by a woman.

 

The Comforter Is Here

Many individuals are still looking for the second coming of the Christ, this Comforter promised by the Master. They fail to recognize that it has already come through the discovery of Christian Science. They are like those who fail to recognize that the Messiah has already come. In order to find the unlimited spiritual comfort of peace, health, and happiness, promised by the Master, we need to recognize that the Comforter is here. In our textbook we read (p. 174): "Truth is revealed. It needs only to be practised.''

Irreverence toward Christ Jesus never helped anyone to grow in spiritual stature. We need to love and respect Jesus and the Christ he presented to the world. Likewise, we need to reverence Mrs. Eddy and to acknowledge the Comforter that has come through her discovery, in order to experience the rich benefits available to us through the practice of Christian Science. I would encourage you to read one of the biographies of Mrs. Eddy, available in any Christian Science Reading Room. Here you will find an interesting and authentic account of how her love for humanity has brought comfort to mankind in so many ways. Mrs. Eddy provided for our church services and the Sunday School. She established the Christian Science periodicals through which comfort is being brought to the world.

Now let us turn our thought for a few moments to the application of God's law to the solution of world problems. How can we help to establish and maintain world peace? We can pray, and through our prayers help to find harmonious solutions. Christian Science teaches us not to maintain a monastic aloofness from the world and its problems. On the other hand it shows that we cannot solve these problems by standing in awe of them. No engineer will contribute to the solution of engineering problems by standing aloof from the problems. On the other hand he must not be overwhelmed by the great challenge of these problems. Instead he turns to the principle of engineering and applies its laws and rules until the problems are solved.

 

'I am All' Rebukes Evil's Claim

Just so in Christian Science, we do not stand aloof from the problems of the world that are crying for solution - racial, political, economic, religious, and social problems. Neither do we stand in awe of these problems as though they were too great to be solved. Instead we turn to the one divine Principle of all being, God, and then we apply the divine law to the solution of each specific problem, whether it is individual, national, or international. In "No and Yes" (p. 30), Mrs. Eddy says: "God's law is in three words, 'I am All;' and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law."

In applying the law of God, the Christian Scientist recognizes that anything unlike God or good is certainly a lie about God and His perfect spiritual creation, a lie to be denounced, denied, and replaced with the truth.

Instead of seeing the universe as material, inhabited by erring mortal creatures, we find divine inspiration from this statement in our textbook (p. 503); "Divine Science, the Word of God, saith to the darkness upon the face of error, 'God is All-in-all,' and the light of ever-present Love illumines the universe. Hence the eternal wonder, - that infinite space is peopled with God's ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms." We do not try to see God's idea in a mortal sense of manhood. Neither are we trying to see God's perfect idea in spite of material testimony that man is a mortal creature. The practice of Christian Science is to see God's idea instead of a mortal sense of man.

Two thousand years ago our Master said that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. God's spiritual government of the universe was much more real to Jesus than a discordant sense of humanity. That is why he could so readily dispel the dreams of sin, disease and death and demonstrate the perfection of man wherever he went. Let us rejoice in the allness of God and the reality of His heavenly kingdom, and then we too shall have the spiritual conviction which enables us to see the unreality of evil, and we too shall be doing our part in the solution of human problems.

 

Oneness of Spiritual Creation

Christian Science shows that to work effectively for unity among men and nations we must begin by appreciating the fact that our God is one God. A few centuries ago people believed in many gods and goddesses with conflicting interests and purposes. They even believed in a god of war. Through the influence of the Bible a large portion of mankind has accepted the truth, in theory at least, that there is one God or creator.

Christian Science reasons logically that since there is only one God, His spiritual universe must have unity of plan and purpose. To be consistent we must give up false beliefs in the reality of conflicting minds and interests. There cannot be duality or duplicity in a universe created by a God who is One. The very word universe indicates the thought of oneness and unitedness. There cannot be two universes - one material and imperfect and the other spiritual and perfect. As we understand the nature of the God who is One, we begin to see the unified spiritual creation wherein the divine Mind holds all its spiritual ideas in unity of purpose and accomplishment. In Science and Health (p. 467) we read: "It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established."

There is never a problem, individual or world-wide, so great but that the one divine Mind has a harmonious and unifying solution. As we listen for Mind's guidance through our prayers the sense of divisiveness disappears and we find all of God's spiritual ideas knit together in Love.

 

Two Simple Commandments

Our Master summarized the law of relationships in these two simple commandments. He said that we should love God with all our heart and soul and mind; and that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. To love God supremely is to see Him as infinite and supreme. It means to see man as at one with Him. It means to let His divine nature be expressed through our every thought and deed. It means to respond to His eternal truth and nothing else, to recognize man's harmonious relationship with God.

Our Master said the second commandment is like unto the first - we should love our neighbor as ourselves. It is just like the first because we are really loving the spiritual qualities of God as expressed by man, and we are seeing this perfect expression as the truth in regard to our self and our neighbor. Herein is found the law of relationships that brings harmony, peace, health, and freedom to all mankind. Our Master said that on these two laws hang all the law and the prophets.

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 29, 1961. This is essentially the same lecture as "Discovering Peaceful Relationships" given at the New York World’s Fair on July 26, 1964.]

 

 

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