What Is Your Potential?
Jane O. Robbins, C.S., of Boulder, Colorado
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Deep in the Sahara Desert there's a small oasis called Sokna. For hundreds of years the inhabitants of this village laboriously carried all their drinking water from a well twenty miles away. The villagers were unaware that a few feet beneath them lay a vast reservoir of sweet, clear water, and they struggled to eke out a marginal existence. They lived in constant fear that even their stagnant irrigation water might vanish.
Not long ago life was completely changed for the people of this desert community. Engineers from the Libyan Ministry of Agriculture had an idea that water might be found at a two-thousand-foot level. A drilling team was put on the job. At a depth of only six hundred fifty feet the drillers unexpectedly struck fresh water which immediately began gushing forth at more than a million gallons a day.
Can you imagine what a freer sense of living this discovery has offered to the people of Sokna! How did this come about? Enlightened thought knew something more about that village than was apparent to the physical senses. Someone understood and applied scientific engineering to the situation. As a result, the pattern of lack and limitation and fear that had been blindly accepted for so long was broken. The good that had always been just at hand was found. This parched and impoverished village came into its own and found itself with abundant means to fulfill its larger possibilities.
Even though human thought may be unaware of it, there is just at hand for each one of us an inexhaustible source of good. There's a fountainhead ready to pour forth its blessings without measure to every individual, wherever and whoever he may be. But just where is this well-spring of good to be found? How can we reach it? How can we keep open the channels through which it flows?
There's a deep longing for a satisfying answer to these questions. Human thought today faces not only its familiar fears of disease, accident, lack, and loneliness ‒ it also faces an increasingly disturbed sense of individual nonidentity and meaninglessness. Some people feel that there's no place for them, no opportunity, no health, happiness, or security ‒ no real sense of home. Some individuals, feeling themselves to be without purpose or value, attempt a subtle form of self-destruction through the use of narcotics and alcohol, through immorality and crime. To some, the past seems dark with bitterness and regret. To others, the present is uncertain or dreary. And to still others, it's the future that seems empty or frightening.
But such a bleak destiny needn't be accepted by anyone. At this moment every individual has the opportunity to realize all that he truly is and can be, to fulfill his greatest potential.
Are there any valid grounds on which we can dispute the premise that man is the helpless victim of age, chance, material heredity, and environment? Is it possible to challenge successfully what appear to be established facts?
Christian Science answers with an emphatic "Yes!" It strongly affirms that there are in reality no laws or forces hostile to our true being. It shows us how to prove this in our daily lives. It makes clear that the source of individual fulfillment and the means for finding it are spiritual, not material. The unlimited possibilities of being aren't external to man's true consciousness ‒ the possibilities of perfect health, satisfying and meaningful activity, a sense of completeness, and the richness of love. These are found forever within the consciousness of every individual. And they're realized now, as they always have been, through individual awakening and in spiritualization of thought.
Spiritual Understanding ‒ the Way
People are becoming more aware of the extent to which thought determines experience. Positive, constructive human thinking certainly helps to solve many problems. However, to the degree of our faith in matter or our fear of its self-constituted laws, our thought and experience are subject to sickness and anxiety, to disappointment, limitation, and unfulfilled longing. Spiritual understanding, spiritual perception, alone penetrates the solid convictions of human thought concerning physical cause and effect; it alone reveals the true nature and essence and the unlimited possibilities of man. This spiritual understanding is inherent in every individual. To discover it is to discover the freedom to be yourself in the most complete and satisfying sense.
What we know about man affects every area of our experience. It relates to our health, our opportunities, and our achievements. It has a very direct and dynamic effect on what we see and experience.
We are constantly choosing our thoughts. Each one of us has some basis on which he decides what he will think and what he will believe, thus determining his experience. This is encouraging to realize that in any situation we can do something about our thinking and therefore about our experience. We can know the right ideas, the spiritual facts, that supersede and transform the material evidences.
The Nature of God and Man
What are the facts about man? What can we learn about man that will enable us to free ourselves and others from the injustices, the frustrations, and the sufferings that too often appear as part of the human picture? How can we find out more about man in his true nature?
To understand man, we need to understand something of the source from which man's nature is derived. God is the primal and only cause, the divine Principle, the continuing source and substance of all existence. The Bible emphasizes the profound fact that man exists as the image and likeness of God. And the spiritual import of the Bible is the foundation of the teachings and healing methods of Christian Science. Because man is God's likeness, he perpetually and spontaneously expresses the qualities and the condition of God. So to learn more about God is to learn more about the true nature and essence of man and to understand man's limitless potentialities for good. Our concept of God is basic to our experience.
How we define God must be adequate to the expanding thought of this scientific age. A conception of God that attributes to Him material or finite qualities can neither comprehend nor acknowledge His all-power, His ever-presence, and His intelligent government of the entire universe.
Some people feel that God is obsolete. They feel that mankind, with its increasing dominion over the forces of matter, has outgrown any need for God. But such conclusions are based on a misconception of God.
Few of us would agree that intelligence is obsolete; yet God is infinite Mind, the source of all intelligence. Most of us feel that law and order, stability and justice, are still of considerable importance; yet God is divine Truth and divine Principle from which these qualities emanate. We learn from the Bible and from the teachings of Christian Science that God is Life and Spirit and Soul. I don't think any of us is ready to relinquish vitality, health, individuality, and the essential faculties of being. Yet these are expressions of Life and Spirit and Soul.
And who among us would say that the influence of love is obsolete or powerless? Yet God is Love. He is divine Love, impartial, universal, and omnipotent.
Meeting the Human Need
Our concern for these descriptive terms or names for God isn't merely academic. They reveal to us the nature and power of God and they have a very practical application. "Ye shall know the truth," Christ Jesus said, "and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). The understanding of God and of man's indestructible relation to God has the same vital significance in our human experience today as it did in Jesus' time. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes about the healing effect of knowing God: "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony" (p. 390).
The things that appear to separate us from good, from health and happiness and adequate resources, are not material. Regardless of how physically substantial they may appear to be, they are mental misconceptions. They're mistaken beliefs or errors of human thought arising from ignorance of God. There's no reason, then, for any one of us to helplessly submit to or to fear apparent conditions of lack or disease or inadequacy. There's always a right spiritual idea, a spiritual fact, to displace every sick or sinful, every ignorant, limited, or fearful thought of the human mind and to nullify the effects of such thoughts. These right ideas are always present. They're always effective and they're instantly available in any circumstance.
A Christian Scientist I know suddenly became very sick with the rapidly developing symptoms of pneumonia. It was extremely difficult for her to breathe and almost impossible to stay awake. The Christian Scientist who lived with her was unable to rouse her for more than a few minutes at a time, so she began to pray for her. This prayer took the form of knowing, with scientific certainty, that right where there appeared to be a very sick mortal, there was, in reality, the spiritual, perfect man of God's creating. Although the symptoms didn't change, the persistent affirmation of the presence of God and of His perfect likeness, man, served to awaken the woman's thought. The next day she was able mentally and spiritually to work for herself, that is, to correct and govern her thinking through the prayer of spiritual understanding.
She found herself faced with an aggressive and alarming fear that this sickness might well prove to be fatal. About a month before, she had heard of an acquaintance who had passed on within just a few hours after first coming down with this same disease. She realized now that she had apparently allowed this picture to impress itself on her thought, and she was now seeing it expressed in her body. It was necessary for her to firmly acknowledge to herself that God is Life and that He is the only Life of man and of all existence. Her life, then, wasn't in nor of nor dependent upon matter. It couldn't be endangered nor could it be robbed of its vitality.
She had learned that God is divine Mind and, since He is infinite, He must be and is the only Mind. Therefore, she reasoned, she couldn't have a mind or any consciousness apart from God. And so she didn't have a private mortal or material mind that could be impressed or deluded or influenced by the mesmeric pictures of disease and death.
She knew it wasn't a diseased body that needed to be healed but a mistaken belief, a misconception of herself as material and subject to material conditions. She called a practitioner in another city to give her additional help through spiritually scientific prayer or Christian Science treatment. Very shortly she became aware of a definite change in her thinking. She began to see that because she was in fact the likeness of divine Principle, there could be no lawless action taking place within her. There could be no disorder, no destructive or disobedient substance, in origin or development of disease. As the likeness of divine Truth, she could embody and express only the spiritual facts of being. She couldn't be used to express the delusions or errors of material belief.
These spiritual truths were confidently and persistently acknowledged by all concerned. Inevitably they began to destroy the physical and mental evidence of disease and to restore a sense of strength and well-being. At the end of a week the woman was able to resume all her normal activities, even including some skiing. A lingering pain in her chest required of her some further realization of her true spiritual substance and nature. But all fear regarding the situation had been healed. And it wasn't long before this condition, too, was corrected and she was perfectly free.
Sometime later she came across this verse from the Bible: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Prov. 18:10). She realized with gratitude how true this had been for her. Just to learn the names for God had led her to their significance concerning man. This spiritual understanding had certainly provided her with a place of safety in this experience.
Jesus Demonstrates the Christ
No one in all history has understood the nature of God and of His creation more clearly than Christ Jesus. In every kind of situation, he proved the presence and the power of the Christ; he demonstrated the true idea of God and man and of man's indestructible relationship to God.
Jesus was a human being whose work was carried on in the material world, but his thought rested at the point of spiritual perception. The discordant physical evidence that was often presented to him was certainly as aggressive and hopeless to human sense as it could possibly be. Incurable disease, deafness, insanity, physical deformity, lifetime blindness, long-established sin, even death itself ‒ all the desolate affliction of mankind ‒ were placed in Jesus' path. But he was imbued with the Christ, Truth. To his Christly thought, not one of these conditions was established or hopeless or incurable ‒ or even aggressive. In fact, to his clear consciousness of the ever-present Christ, there was no disease, no deformity, no insanity, sin, or death.
Jesus exposed the illusory, unsubstantial nature of material existence. He demonstrated the present actuality of the universe of Spirit, where all existence is harmoniously governed and maintained by spiritual law. He recognized man as neither a sick nor a well mortal, but as the spiritual, eternal likeness of God. He showed that the Christ, the spiritual understanding of God that comes to the human thought, reveals this real and perfect man right where an opposite picture of man appears to be. It reveals health right where disease seems to exist, goodness and love in place of sin, and abundance and ability right where material belief sees only lack and disability.
Jesus made it clear that the Christ-healing he demonstrated is possible to every individual at any time. He said: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12). He that believeth on the Christ, Truth. Like Jesus, we can discern and accept with full conviction the spiritual, Godlike nature of man and the universe. As Christian Science leads us to these eternal facts of being, our thought becomes more Christ-like. It becomes pure, spiritually alert, scientific, and loving. Then we can heal the sick and the sinning. Then we are able, in the words of Isaiah, to "bind up the brokenhearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to comfort all that mourn" (61:1,2).
Mrs. Eddy's Discovery of Man's Freedom
Mary Baker Eddy's discovery of the Science of being, which she named Christian Science, didn't just happen. From childhood she had glimpsed the healing power of the Christ and sought to understand it. She grew up with a deep and sensitive concern for the problems of mankind. For many years she herself was faced with personal grief, poverty, and invalidism. During this time she searched for the laws that governed the healing work of Christ Jesus. She studied, pondered, and tested any ideas that promised greater freedom, health, and fulfillment for mankind. During this search, it was natural for her to turn constantly to the Bible. Throughout her life, it had already proved to be a source of enlightenment and healing.
Mrs. Eddy was prepared for her discovery through her prayerful study of the Bible, through reason, and through her own healing of severe injuries sustained in an accident. But the discovery itself came as direct revelation from God, transcending human means and methods. In the light of this revelation, she saw that it's not only right for every individual to be free and whole but that, in scientific fact, he is so already. She understood how this spiritual truth relates to the human need ‒ how it heals the ills of humanity and solves its problems. It became clear to her that sickness, sin, lack, and fear can be destroyed now, just as they were in Jesus' time and in the same way that Jesus destroyed them. The healings Mrs. Eddy accomplished through spiritual understanding alone confirmed what she had learned from Jesus' example and what revelation had unfolded to her.
This revelation didn't come to Mrs. Eddy merely for her own personal benefit, and she recognized this. She was inspired to write the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, giving to the world the complete explanation of this scientific system of spiritual healing.
Although Christian Science directly challenged the material thought of the world, as it still does, Mrs. Eddy knew that its purpose was to bless all mankind. And she was impelled to state its premises and conclusions without reservation or compromise. She knew that this exposition of the divine laws of being was not a transitory or parochial philosophy, but universal, demonstrable Science. She realized that it must be presented as such and made readily available to all. It was for this same reason that Mrs. Eddy established the Church of Christ, Scientist, and its worldwide activities ‒ all designed to freely give this practical understanding of Truth to mankind.
Claiming and Demonstrating Man's Possibilities
Christ Jesus understood and made evident man's health and harmony and innocence. He also explained exactly where these conditions would always be found. Speaking of the children of God, our real identity, he said: "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20,21). The kingdom of God, the reign of Truth and Love, is within us! It isn't something we have to try to get from somewhere else. It's something we need only to recognize already established within. Why, then, do so many of us fail to claim and enjoy this unlimited good that is our spiritual heritage?
For one thing, we often feel undeserving, unworthy. This may be simply because we have never before been aware of man's true and rightful heritage. Perhaps we need only to be awakened to the full import of John's words as given in the Bible: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God" (I John 3:2).
Or it may be that we feel we have ignorantly or willfully relinquished our sonship with God through sin and evil. Now, no one can actually lose, or even relinquish temporarily, his true identity as a son of God. However, in arithmetic, for example, we know that ignorance or disregard of the rules prevents us from seeing the right answer to a problem. Just so does ignorance or disregard of the divine Principle, Love, hide from our understanding and perception the true nature of man and the universe.
Now the word sin may mean to us only the most flagrant and visible wrongdoing, or it may also include the more subtle errors of thought and feeling such as self-righteousness, self-pity, destructive criticism, pride, and indifference. In any case, sin is that which is not in accord with the divine Principle of being, not in accord with divine Love. We need to consider this question because the effect of indulging in sin, like the effect of submitting to fear or ignorance, is to shut us off from the kingdom of God, from the reservoir of good, that is within us. Obviously, to free ourselves from the effects of sin we must free ourselves from the thoughts that produce these effects ‒ and this we can always do. We can reject jealousy, hatred, fear, resentment, lust, dishonesty, and so forth. These destructive influences are neither in nor of God. Consequently, they have no origin, no place, substance, or power, no real existence at all. It's on this basis that Christian Science heals sin, never ignoring it but exposing and destroying the false claim that evil can govern man or destroy his divine nature.
There is in reality no finite, mortal mind opposed to the infinite, divine Mind and able to conceive of sin. The sin, ignorance, and fear that operate so harmfully in human affairs can always be challenged and destroyed because they have no basis in scientific fact. Divine Mind, God, knows nothing of them. And they are no more an element of man's true being than a mistake in arithmetic is an element of mathematics. But of course just to say this is not enough. Each one of us must and can demonstrate or prove this fact by thinking and acting rightly.
If every one of us would gain a clear sense of the real man as the likeness of God, divine Principle, there would be no place for sin or for sickness to occur. Both sin and sickness must have the concept of a mortal, material man to work on.
This understanding or perception of the real man has a healing and alterative effect on our sense of the past as well as of the present. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." This is what we always have been. This is the only true history you or I or anyone else has.
Another reason we fail to recognize man's freedom and perfection is that the contrary picture presented by the physical evidence seems so convincing, so real, and so irrefutable. Mrs. Eddy discerningly points out that this evidence, physically tangible though it may appear to be, is entirely mental. She writes in Science and Health: "Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts" (p. 86). As these mortal thoughts are exchanged for more spiritual concepts, the evidence of better health, more abundant supply, happier relationships, and increased abilities becomes apparent to us.
There's one more reason why we're sometimes robbed of our heritage. We let the very subtle but aggressive influence of materialistic thinking convince us that we don't want good. Selfishness; cynicism, and sensuality, which are incapable of even recognizing good, would try to make it sound unnatural, unsatisfying, and extremely dull. Such thinking insists that dishonesty, infidelity, immorality, indifference, self-will, and the like, are to be expected. It says this is a world where each one has to look out for his own selfish interests and pleasures regardless of the effect on his neighbor.
What a colorless sense of good this is! What a weak and impoverished sense of manhood and womanhood, of life and of love! The true adventure of being lies in the richness, the freedom, and the deep satisfaction that accompany spiritual thinking and living. Once we begin to experience this, we won't settle for so much less.
The Nature of Scientific Prayer
How do we go about practically demonstrating this freedom and fullness of being? Through scientific prayer. Let's get clear right away that there is nothing complicated about such prayer.
A young boy came home from school one day feeling extremely ill. His mother took his temperature and found it very high. She immediately called a doctor. After a complete examination of the child, the doctor said that his diagnosis would be typhoid fever, but that, he would like to have this confirmed by a laboratory in a nearby city. He took a blood specimen and said that he should have a report from the laboratory the next afternoon. He advised that the boy be kept in bed and said he would see him again the next morning.
That evening, while thinking of the situation, the mother felt that she couldn't endure seeing her child suffer from typhoid fever. Fear overwhelmed her, and, in desperation, her thought turned to God. Earlier in her life, it had been her task to read from the Bible and Science and Health to an aunt who was studying Christian Science. Now she tried to remember what she had learned from these teachings. Three things came to her very clearly: that God is Love, that God is always present with us, and that God heals. These thoughts stayed with her the rest of the evening. Fear left her completely. So much so, that during the night, although she awoke several times and thought of these truths, it never even occurred to her to go in and look at her son.
The next morning the boy felt fine and got up. When the doctor arrived he was amazed to find nothing wrong. He made the mother promise not to let the boy go outside or come in contact with other people. That afternoon the doctor telephoned and said he had a telegram from the laboratory confirming his diagnosis of typhoid. He came to the house immediately, made another examination, and again found nothing wrong. Puzzled, he asked the mother to keep the child indoors for three days, after which he would examine him again. This was done. When, three days later, the doctor's examination still showed nothing but perfection, the boy was allowed to go back to school.
The simplest acknowledgment of the nature, the presence, and the healing power of God had been enough to destroy both fear and fever and to restore a right sense of being. This was effectual, scientific prayer. Since this experience, the mother has become an earnest student of Christian Science and has found that she can rely on it entirely in every need.
Prayer and Independent Thought
An important aspect of scientific prayer is the realization of true individuality and its unlimited spiritual resources. To gain this realization we must learn how to protect our God-given ability to think independently and spiritually. The world is becoming somewhat more aware of the mental nature of the universe. But we don't always recognize the demoralizing influence of "hidden persuaders" and "brainwashing" in many areas of human experience.
There's a great need today for each one of us to take a strong and confident stand against every subtle or obvious attack on the integrity and independence of his thinking. Christian Science gives us a base on which we can consistently claim and exercise the ability to think rightly. We discover then, the powerlessness, the nothingness, of anything opposed to God, to divine Truth. We find that no destructive mental suggestion, no person, no material condition can mesmerize us, dictate or control or influence our thoughts, our actions, or our feelings. We find that we are in truth a law unto ourselves, God-governed and God-directed. Any physical or mental propaganda to the contrary should be challenged instantly, no matter what its source and no matter how convincing or how beguiling it may seem to be.
It's so important to argue on the right side of our case, to argue for our health and freedom, our integrity and goodness and spirituality, rather than to argue against them. It's never too late for such right arguing or spiritual reasoning to be effective. Regardless of what our physical or psychological history may be, we can begin at this moment and at every moment to understand and to live the full measure of our true being.
To argue on the right side, the side of Spirit and of Truth, is to pray scientifically. It isn't the purpose of prayer to change the thought of God. Its purpose is to replace a mistaken belief held in human thought with a right, spiritual fact. This spiritualization of thought makes apparent in our daily experience the unfailing health, intelligence, love, and happiness that are forever inherent in man. Mrs. Eddy explains the purpose of prayer so clearly in Science and Health: "Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it" (p.2).
This is more than the prayer merely of confession or petition. Scientific prayer is a dynamic, effective application of divine law. When you or I challenge the evidence of lack, of sickness, or of sin by acknowledging the allness and presence of God, we're praying. To affirm that we are in reality God's image and likeness and to deny that we are capable of expressing anything unlike Him, is intelligent, effective prayer.
Love That Brings Freedom
Now scientific prayer, or Christian Science treatment, is more than just right arguing. It's right desire and right spiritual knowing. It heals. But in order to heal, this prayer must transform the affections as well as the thought. It can do this because the basis and substance of scientific prayer is love.
Love is the answer to every human need. This isn't mere human affection we're talking about but the expression of divine Love that discerns man's perfect selfhood, his spiritual nature, and his present capacity for all good. Such love reflects divine Love, and is the practice of Christian Science. It heals poverty and discord, sickness, sorrow, and fear.
This scientific sense of love isn't cold or abstract. It's expressed humanly in deep and lasting affection, in consistent kindness and thoughtfulness, in amusing and intelligent humor that neither hurts nor offends. It is expressed in warmth and self-forgetfulness, in strength and maturity, in joy and spontaneity, and in a universal humanitarianism.
Christian Science treatment isn't a mentally mechanical nor an indifferent intellectual process. It's the action of the same Love that motivated and empowered Christ Jesus. The experience of a friend of mine illustrates the all-powerful action of Love.
Early in his business experience he was placed in a department with an older man who proved to be almost impossible to work with. This man had a well-earned reputation for being unpleasant, antagonistic, and unfair, and he seemed to take real delight in making the young man's time at the office unbearable. The situation reached a breaking point, and the young man started home that night filled with bitter resentment and concern. On the bus he overheard two women discussing Christian Science and mentioning, in passing, the name of a Christian Science practitioner. He knew nothing about this healing religion, but anything that might help seemed worth investigating. That evening he called the practitioner for an appointment.
When he kept the appointment, he explained the problem carefully to the practitioner. He made clear the distressing injustice and persecution to which he was being subjected, and asked her what to do about it. The practitioner's answer was brief ‒ and startling. She said simply, "You must love that man." Now this was certainly not what the young man expected to hear; neither was it what he wanted to hear, since nothing was further from his thought! He thanked her rather abruptly, reimbursed her for her time and left, regretting that he had been foolish enough to come.
About two weeks later he and his associate had another unpleasant experience. But this time, during the rest of the day, the young man frequently found himself repeating the words: "You must love that man." The following day, he called the practitioner for another appointment and, to her amusement, arrived, on, her doorstep with an apologetic offering of red roses. He told her he needed to know just why and how he was supposed to love this other man. She explained something to him of divine Love as revealed in Christian Science. She pointed out to him the necessity and the opportunity of seeing the perfect man of God's creating right where the picture of an unpleasant mortal was being presented. She assured him that as he rejected the false material picture of his co-worker and acknowledged his spiritual nature in the likeness of God, the man's true being and lovable qualities would become apparent.
This time the young man listened willingly. He bought and studied Science and Health and had further talks with the practitioner. Each day he earnestly tried to see his associate as God's spiritual likeness, and he began to really love the man he saw. He no longer responded to the unpleasant characteristics that had seemed so aggressive before, and they soon ceased to appear to him in any way. It wasn't long before the two men became very good friends. In a few months, the younger man was promoted to a position where he could have revenged himself on the older man, but, of course, there wasn't the slightest desire to do so. A real affection had developed between them that proved to be permanent. .
Jesus said that there are no greater commandments than to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, . . . with all thy soul, . . . and mind, . . . and strength," and to "love thy neighbour as thyself" (Mark 12:30, 31). To understand God is to love Him with all our heart. And if we love God, we shall love His likeness, man.
To love in this way, on a Christianly scientific basis, requires something of us ‒ in fact, it requires a great deal of us, but the rewards are worth it! To love in this purest sense means to acknowledge for ourselves and for every other individual the right and the ability to express the divine nature. It means to refuse to think or act in any way that isn't in accord with our highest selfhood or in a way that could harm our neighbor in any fashion. It means to heal by knowing that every individual's health and happiness, his value and his right place, are dependent only on his relationship to God, not on race or age or sex or chance or any other material consideration. It means to fearlessly challenge whatever would claim to enslave or degrade or corrupt, to hurt or to destroy.
What will happen, when everyone makes a persistent effort to see the divine nature of each individual with whom he comes in contact and to know him as in reality a son of God? How many of the world's problems will be solved on that day?
Our little desert village had to drill through a mass of solid rock to reach the clear, sweet water. Similarly, each one of us will find that it often takes patience and perseverance to penetrate the apparently solid conditions and convictions of mortal thought and find the spiritual reality. But every individual has this gift of spiritual perception, of spiritual understanding, this tool of purity and love. It needs only to be employed, and Christian Science shows us how to do this. Its light will then dissipate and dissolve every shadow or obstruction that would seem to separate us from our clear sense of dominion and godliness.
The fullness of your being as a son of God is right at hand. It's never been lost. It's never depleted nor has it wasted away. It hasn't been contaminated nor has it become stagnant. It is always fresh and pure and inexhaustible. This is the kingdom of God, the reservoir of good that is forever within you. This is your potential. It waits only for you to discover it, claim it, and to use it.
©1965 Jane O. Robbins
All rights reserved
[Published in The Evening Chronicle of Marshall, Michigan, Feb. 21, 1966.]