Christian Science: The Science of True Accomplishment

 

Paul Stark Seeley, C.S.B., of Portland, Oregon

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Paul Stark Seeley, C. S. B., of Portland, Ore., lectured Tuesday evening, January 20, at Third Church of Christ Scientist, Washington Boulevard and 34th street on the subject, "Christian Science: The Science of True Accomplishment." Mr. Seeley is a member of The Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. He was introduced by Lewis G. Ferguson. The lecture follows in full:

Every individual is trying to accomplish something. Boys and girls are getting an education so that they may accomplish their life work. Men in business are striving to accomplish success. Housewives seek accomplishment in the making of happy homes. Along whatever line our effort is directed we are aiming at some form of accomplishment. We think, we plan, we come, we go, all to accomplish some end.

Much human effort, however, is barren of accomplishment. We all know this. How often our labors have been unrewarded. Failure has sometimes followed most earnest efforts to succeed. Oftentimes our own mistakes, or the mistakes of others, have appeared to stand in the way of accomplishment. Sometimes, we have had a mistaken idea of what accomplishment is. Mere physical activity does not produce accomplishment. A bucking bronco is a busy creature. He attracts attention, stirs up the dust, manifests much action, but he accomplishes little. His stubbornness limits his accomplishment. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has well said, "Rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 230).

In the realm of invention much has been accomplished in the last fifty years. Even greater marvels are promised for the future. Yet these useful wonders have their limitations. A philosopher of the Orient was being told of the rapid development of the aeroplane in the United States. His informer related that a man may fly from New York to San Francisco in less than a day. "That is interesting," he replied, "but what will he do when he gets there?" Material inventions such as the aeroplane may be used to accomplish an evil or a good intent. A man might fly across a continent to rob and destroy or to aid a brother in need. We see then that constructive thought is necessary to produce true accomplishment.

 

Essentials for Accomplishment

The fact is that in order to accomplish anything worth while the individual must possess and utilize two things, intelligence and power. Even to accomplish his purpose to go from one place to another he must have an intelligent sense of direction and power to transport him. The housewife, in order to accomplish the baking of a good cake, must intelligently mix the ingredients and bake them with some heat power. There can be no worthy accomplishment without the use of both intelligence and power.

From what source do we get intelligence and power? Christian Science replies, From God. God is Mind and Mind is God; this Science teaches. Mind is the one source of intelligence, and gradually men are recognizing that the one dependable and permanent power is Mind power. Electric power moves machinery and drives darkness from our homes, but it is powerless to move us to think intelligently, or to drive the darkness of fear, hatred, despair, from our hearts. The constructive power of true Mind, working through right ideas, is the only power that can do that. The spiritual power of Mind is not noisy, destructive, or harmful.  Through ideas of wisdom, justice, love, Mind works gently but irresistibly to establish harmony, health, peace, among men.

 

Gentleness of Divine Power

The sun and the wind once argued, according to fable, as to which one had the more power.  The wind claimed the distinction and said he would prove it by compelling a certain man to remove his coat forthwith. So the wind blew his hardest this way and that trying to force the coat off the man. But the man drew his coat tighter about him. Then came the sun's turn. Quietly but persistently the sun shone down with his warm rays. There was no fuss or bluster. Soon the man loosened his coat. Ere long he took it off. The sun’s gentle persuasiveness won. So in our daily lives the gentle power of Mind working through ideas of love and kindness will bring accomplishment where the driving force of human will, personal domineering, and personal control will fail.

 

Mind Power Causes Peace

The Paris Peace Pact signed by the leading nations of the world in 1928, outlawing war, evidences the working of Mind power in men. Though much remains to be done to make practical its provisions, this treaty is a mighty step toward world peace. What power caused more than three-fourths of the human race, through their representatives, to renounce war in this pact? Was it any physical power? It was the irresistible power of Mind working through right ideas. This is the one universal Mind that imparts to men of every race and nation the ideas of peace and unity, and guides the steps of those willing to entertain these ideas to their accomplishment. The world is made up of nearly two thousand million men and women very much like you and me. As we accept in our thinking the ideas of peace, love, and justice, and put war out of our hearts, our homes, and our business, we are contributing our part to the world's peace.

 

Mind the Foe of Alcohol

Competent observers in Great Britain state that before 1918 there were two million abstainers from alcohol in their country. Today they say there are ten million. What power has made the change? What has become of the desire for strong drink in the minds of that eight million? What has driven that desire from thought? It is the power of universal Mind, God, working quietly but irresistibly to silence the mindless appetites of the flesh. As surely as God is, the power of true Mind is operating through right ideas to eliminate the desire for alcohol from human consciousness. Alcohol is an evil, because it stimulates the material sense of life, the opposite of true Life, God. It cannot abide, because it opposes the sovereignty of Mind, God.

Charles P. Steinmetz, whose lifetime of accomplishment in adapting electric power to human needs brought him preeminence accorded few men, recognized the superiority of spiritual power, or Mind power, in the advancement of the race. Referring to the future he said, "I think the greatest discovery will be along spiritual lines. Here is a force which history clearly teaches has been the greatest power in the development of men. . . Some day people will learn that material things do not bring happiness and are of little use in making men and women creative and powerful. . . When that day comes the world will see more advancement in one generation that it has seen in the past four."

 

Utilizing Divine Power

How are you and I to lay hold of  and utilize divine power, the power of eternal Mind? There must be continuing contact with the source of divine power, God. An electric generating station may develop vast power, but of what use is it to you if you can find no transmission lines to establish contact with it? How do men establish relation with divine Mind? Through lines of thought. The contact is found in the thought-unity which exists between Mind and the real man. Every time you express a good and unselfish thought you are in unity with divine Mind and receiving its power. Every heartfelt, "Good morning," every genuine, "Thank you," evidences thought-unity with divine Mind.

Most of us like to feel we have some contact with intelligence and express some measure of Mind. Trouble has come to us, however, because we have believed our unity with divine Mind and its life-giving and health-giving power could be broken. Fear thoughts, sick thoughts, sin thoughts have seemed to deprive us of our unity with God and Mind's sustaining power. Jesus did not accept these negative thoughts. He maintained constant contact with the Father Mind. In describing his point of view Mrs. Eddy says, "He claimed no intelligence, action, nor life separate from God" (Science and Health, p. 136). He accepted only the intelligence, action, and life that is God, expressed by man. Mrs. Eddy has defined Christian Science in terms of power when she says, "To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 160).

Give the electric-light bulb contact with the electric current and it radiates equal light in cottage or castle. So man, maintaining his consciousness in unity with divine Mind, radiates the enlightening power of God. Abiding in spiritual consciousness one brings light to his environment rather than being made gloomy by it.

 

Man and Mind Inseparable

We establish contact with God and divine power as we realize the unity of our true self with God.  Unity means being indivisibly one with. My friends, if you should take nothing from this lecture but the idea that your true selfhood is inseparably united with God, eternal Mind, you would have the corner stone of the Science of Life. This spiritual fact we must all come to understand and to demonstrate.

Someone perhaps is asking, Just how can I be united to God? What are you, do you know? Whatever one may ever accomplish must of course be of and in his conscious identity, so we will do well to find out what the “you" is. If you believe you are nothing more than a temporary material creature made up of a medley of material sensations, eating, sleeping, acting, then Christian Science disagrees with your concept of man. It teaches that God is Mind and His universe and His man are of the substance of Mind, not mindless matter, the opposite of Mind. The mortal sense of man born of the flesh is not the man that Mind, God, is responsible for. Said Job, "Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble." Can this be the image of God, which is the Bible's definition of God's man? Says Paul, "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God." Thought, not thoughtless matter, is the essence of man. Man's true being is the expression of true Mind, God.

Begin to think of yourself as something more permanent than a bundle of muscles, bones, and nerves. Regard yourself as an expression of Mind, and you will discover something of the unitedness between your selfhood and God.  The substance of every true and good thought which man entertains is God, man's Mind. That is how near God is to you and me.                               

 

What Is Sin?

It is sin that would break our unity with God. And just what is sin? It is false thinking. It is the thinking which regards matter, the opposite of Mind, as substance, man as mortal, evil as a veritable power. "All unrighteousness is sin," said John. That is, all wrong-mindedness is sin. Transgression is another word for sin. It means a stepping out of, over, or beyond.  Sinful thinking would, if it could, cause men to mentally step outside their real selfhood, beyond real-mindedness, true thinking.

The harmfulness of sin is not in being found out. That is an incident. The harmfulness is that sinful thinking links thought to a misconception of existence and would break our unity with divine intelligence and power. Sin is not sin because some person has called it that, but because it is a wrong concept of life and manhood which would cut us off from the true.

 

Opposing Evil's Claims

The Christian Scientist is striving to think of himself as God, Mind, would have him think. He asks himself, What does creative Mind, God, know me to be and how does Mind give me to think of myself? He affirms that his only real individuality is of and in God, not matter, that God, eternal Mind, is expressed through and by him, and is the substance of his every true thought, word, and act. He realizes that he thinks because God is his Mind, that he lives because God is his Life. Here is thinking prolific with divine power. Every time you or I realize our unity with God there comes into thought a health-giving power.  Such thinking accomplishes two things. First, it contradicts the material lie that man is of and in matter and separated from God. Second, it tends to establish in our thought the health and happiness that is naturally ours.

Christian Scientists realize how little they have yet demonstrated of spiritual manhood.  They are still finding many problems to solve and dispositions to be repaired. But this they know -they have come in contact with divine power. They have proved in some good measure the usability of that power by men to happify and to make more healthy their human experience. It is not well to judge Christian Science by the unsolved problems of Christian Scientists. They are but beginners in the application of this Science of divine accomplishment.

 

Jesus' Point of View

We have said that the fact of man's unity with God is the corner stone of the Science of Life.  Only through the understanding of this fact can we come into the possession of the intelligence and power essential to true accomplishment. Ever in the foreground of Jesus' thinking was his unity with God, his conscious blending with real Mind, which thinks, sees, feels, only good. "I am in the Father, and the Father in me" was his statement of this vital truth. Can you reason out how man can be in God, and God in man, except on the basis that God is Mind, and man is an idea of Mind, mentally dwelling in this Mind, and having this Mind abiding in him?

Sometime we all shall learn that the religion of Christ Jesus can be found only in the mental processes of Christ Jesus. He showed men how to think. We have his religion and its benefits when we think as he thought. He revealed divine Mind power to be the Messiah and kept foremost in his thinking the idea of man's unity with Mind, God.

 

Sonship With God

The source of intelligence and power, the two essentials for true accomplishment, we have seen to be true Mind, God. Intelligence and power become ours in the measure that we realize our true selfhood's living unity with God. Now for what may we use this intelligence and power? What can we accomplish with this God power?

John may have had some such question in mind when he said of the Master that to "as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God." Power to become the sons of God! No amount of physical power, military, political, or electrical, will give us any aid in becoming the sons of God. But, to those who receive, that is, grasp with the mind, the true idea of God and man which Christ Jesus presented, this power is given. That is, to those who grasp the idea of God and man, and their unity, as taught by him, to them power flows naturally, to be the sons, that is the representatives, of true Mind. We become the sons of God as we realize with John that "now are we the sons of God," regardless of what mindless matter claims to the contrary. Becoming the sons of God is becoming conscious of our only true selfhood.

Accomplishment must be attained within our selfhood. That selfhood is sonship with God. So to become the sons of God is to find true accomplishment. To realize that one is the son of God is, indeed, the summit of all enduring accomplishment,

A mortal may accumulate great wealth and yet have little true substance. He may be learned in human law and know little of the law of God. He may be prominent as a physician and ignorant of divine healing power. He may gain preeminence as a musician and know little of the harmony of God's universe. A great artist may have little recognition of the beauty of holiness.  Human attainment is less than true accomplishment. We really accomplish only as we realize or prove that we are the sons of God, become conscious of our divine qualities. In this consciousness success is natural - health and harmony perpetual. Herein is enduring satisfaction and true accomplishment.

 

Present Opportunities

We can begin where we are to express something of the qualities that characterize the son of God. We can be merciful in our daily thought and conversation. Mercy belongs to the son of God. We can be just, honest, kind. These belong to the thinking of the son of God. Whatever our daily duty, be it keeping a home or managing a business, we can be striving to let divine qualities characterize our thinking and thus open our thought to the naturalness of the perfection which expresses the son of God.

A well-known instrumental quartet was at one time in need of a cellist. Two representatives were sent to Europe to hear applicants for the place. Many of those applying tried to impress the judges by indulging in unnatural postures and gestures as they rendered their pieces.  Finally one came who was different. He played a simple scale from the bottom to the top of the gamut and back. He did it so perfectly, so simply, so naturally there was nothing left to ask for. He gave a flawless performance of an essentially simple thing.  His judges recognized at once that he was the man they were looking for.

Life is made up of a multitude of simple things. If we play the scale of our simple daily routine without discord, free from fear, bad temper, criticism, we shall find ourselves expressing more and more of our son-ship with God.

 

Man Possesses Understanding

Sometimes students of Christian Science are tempted to think, Oh, if I could but understand more clearly the spiritual facts of my true selfhood I could accomplish so much more. Well, what is understanding and where is it? It is the gift of Mind to Mind's expression, man.  Understanding is native to man's true being. Is it conceivable that God, eternal Mind, would make man ignorant of himself and his creative cause? Yet material sense argues just that. As we look to Mind, reason and inspiration says, The true man is no more ignorant of himself and his God than he is sick. God has endowed him eternally - and eternity includes now - with a full measure of understanding, that flows to him from creative Mind. God can never have an ignorant idea. Such a creature would encumber the universe.

We have a right to know that man as God's idea, naturally and eternally, radiates intelligence and understanding. Know then that you have the power of God-given understanding to nullify every lie of evil. You cannot get understanding as something outside yourself. You must find it within your true self, discover it to be your true consciousness, given of God to His son. Repudiate every negative argument of doubt, ignorance, confusion. Know that such negative suggestions have no substance or power. They cannot rob man of his God-given, God-knowing consciousness. The commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," surely includes the meaning that no false ignorant sense of selfhood shall steal from you and me the understanding which God has given His son. Let us be bold to claim our own and find within us the understanding heart which Solomon prized more than great riches.

 

Joy Is Natural to Man

Joy, like understanding, is natural to man. Joy comes with understanding that God is all the Life, Mind, and power there is. Is that not cause for joy, to really know, as the Master did, that despite all the negation of materiality there is only one real power, God, and His power constructive and good? "These things have I spoken unto you," said the Master, "that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." The consciousness he had brings with it the joy he had. He further said, "Your joy no man taketh from you." Perhaps some of us have been tempted to think, "My joy someone has taken from me."  But the statement of Jesus stands without qualification or exception, "Your joy no man taketh from you." He realized that nothing can separate joy from the consciousness that knows its unitedness with the living God. Claim joy, as you claim health and understanding. You have it as you think it. Joy is the smile of God expressed through man.

A woman once complained to John Burroughs, the naturalist, that no birds frequented her garden.  Said Mr. Burroughs, "You must have birds in your heart, madam, before you can find them in the bushes," and even while she voiced her complaint he counted a score of birds near them which she had not seen. What of our mental gardens?  Are the exalted thoughts of joy, purity, humility, abiding there? They are surely present, but do we see and enjoy them? All there is to us is our thinking. What we see without us is what we think within us. Our "without" is our "within." Christian Science helps us to find and enjoy the exalted thoughts which declare the love and beauty of God.

 

A Personal Experience

In order to benefit by the spiritual facts of existence one must make an earnest effort to realize them. We sometimes seem slow about making this effort. I recall how slow I was putting forth really earnest effort to lay hold of the spiritual verities as my own. It seemed so much easier to let the practitioner do the work. Certain important duties were given to me about that time and I found that my thought was confused as to how to fulfill them. In trying to see what I should do to correct this condition there came the thought that what I most needed was to draw nearer to the source of true thought, divine Mind, and to realize with daily regularity my oneness with this Mind. I determined to make the effort. Time was set aside in the morning and evening for prayerful thought. Then I found I was rather ignorant as to how to pray. The question would come, What are you going to think about?

My mentality seemed very rusty when it came to thinking of spiritual things although ready to run at high speed on other lines. Then the thought came, You can think about God. I agreed that would be a good beginning.  I proceeded to contemplate the nature of God more thoroughly than before. I questioned myself, What is God? Where is God? Why is God? I took the seven synonyms for God as given by Mrs. Eddy on page 465 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and tried to realize their import and power. After a time the thought came, You can think about man. Yes, I agreed, I can do that. Christian Science had answered the question, long in my thought, Why does man exist, by showing me that he exists to express and make evident God, Life, Mind. So I could go over that ground more fully, could consider man's capacities, qualities and divine nature.

On page 475 of Science and Health is the most complete statement defining man that has been phrased in modern times. It declares him to be spiritual, the idea of God, and more than flesh, blood, and bones. I took the whole statement and used it in my thinking. I began to see that my only real individuality is the one God gives me, and is spiritual, intelligent, everlasting, wise.  One idea led to another until my thought-processes were working along right lines, and I was finding that this daily mental work to realize my sonship and unity with God was bringing true accomplishment. It was lifting my thought to a higher and truer sense of manhood. Fear lessened, assurance increased, judgment became more stable. Even the flinty rock yields to the dropping of the water. So the stone-like material consciousness yields to the constant inpouring of the ideas of spiritual manhood.

Henry Ford is quoted as saying that thinking is the hardest work in the world and that is the reason why so few people engage in it. But once break through the sluggish indifference of material thought to spiritual things and we find true thinking is not laborious for it is Life's natural activity. The unlabored activity of Mind's power working in us through right ideas produces dominion over the inharmonies of earth and unites thought with the harmonies of heaven.

The slothful human mind, always opposed to God, resists regular prayer on the part of the student, for prayer is that negative mind's destroyer. It suggests, and the student often repeats and goes on repeating, I have not the time. We seem to have ample time to think of the things of mindless matter, but little time to think of our enduring riches as the sons of God. Is that the order of activity for which God is responsible? It is a myth. We need to see it as such and to know that man has time and opportunity now and eternally to comprehend and to know his God and the laws of his being.

 

The Ways of Wisdom

Accomplishment through divine power is sometimes delayed by our trying to outline just how and when God is to work. We say, as it were, God, here is my little plan, please approve it and bring it to pass. We want God's power to work in our way. That way may be selfish, unjust, inopportune. Ignorant mortals cannot outline for God. Such thinking breaks our contact with divine power and delays accomplishment.

Naaman's healing of leprosy illustrates the point. He was an officer in the Syrian army when he became afflicted with this malady. Through his wife's Jewish maid he heard of Elisha's ability to heal through divine power. With a retinue of servants and much gold he journeyed to Elisha's abiding-place.  Elisha did not even come out to see him, but sent a messenger to tell him to go and wash seven times in the river Jordan and he would be healed.

That way of being healed Naaman did not like. He had expected Elisha to come out and greet him, and with some show, heal him. The way it was to be done he had all pictured out in his mind's eye. So, angered and resentful, he started to go away. But his servants encouraged him to do as Elisha had advised, and he reconsidered and did so and was healed. Fortunately he was humble enough to give ear to his servants and to reconsider. It was not the water of Jordan that healed him. It was the spiritual thinking of Elisha who knew Naaman's true self to be immune from leprosy, for that true self is Godlike - like God in quality.

Elisha’s divinely potent thinking became effective when Naaman's thought was humble enough to lay aside his human will and fanciful outlining and indicate his self-surrender to divine power in the simple manner prescribed by the prophet. The strands of a rope will never convey electric power for one's use. No more will outlining bring you into contact with divine power. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."

 

False Knowing, and True

Those unacquainted with Christian Science sometimes say, "Christian Science may be all right for nervous troubles, but when I am sick I know I am sick," with emphasis on the "know." The idea that the testimony of matter might become erroneous they repudiate, although they try with pills, plasters, and prescriptions to drive out what they "know" is so real, as though reality could be displaced.

When Jesus came to heal Jairus' daughter he was told that she was dead. Friends and relatives filled the house, and were weeping and wailing with grief. Jesus was unmoved by their point of view and gave the startling command, "Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth." He would have them reverse the testimony of matter, as he was doing. Instead of heeding his command they laughed him to scorn, "knowing that she was dead," to use the words of Luke. Like prestent-day critics they "knew" she was dead, "knew" that the testimony of matter was more reliable than the spiritual facts of being. Jesus proved their knowing to be false knowing. He put them all out with the command, "Give place." It was Truth's command to the modes of mortal thinking that they expressed. Give place to the true idea, the spiritual idea of being which the Christ demonstrates. When he had caused them to give place, physically and mentally, he raised the child, and proved their so-called knowing to be false and his knowing to be the true knowing that accomplishes the healing of the sick and raising of the dead with the infinite power of God.

Give place, give place, is the command that you and I must utter day after day to every argument of sin, sickness, and death. Every thought that denies the immortality, health, and holiness of man must give place to the divine idea of man as the son of God, imbued with Mind's supreme intelligent power.

 

The Way of Healing

Accomplishment through divine power comes as we realize the falsity of evil's claim to be power. It seems absurd for men to believe that ignorance has power, and yet that is what we do when we believe that the products of ignorance, such as fear, sin, and sickness, can subject us to their conditions. And the way evil appears to have power is by claiming to have some personal identity through which to work. It claims to have a sick man, a bad man, a poor man to express its negative conditions. Christian Science shows the importance of our mentally refusing evil identity or power. If we do not believe it has an identity to work through we deprive it of power; and in the degree we believe evil has identity to work through we give it power.

Every trouble you ever seemed to have came to you by way of your belief in some trouble-producing person. That evil identity may have been your misconception of yourself as a bad man or a sick man. It may have been a mortal called a friend, or an enemy. But however much evil claims identity as a thinking, walking, talking mortal it never can take to itself real identity which is the individual expression of God. There is no more real selfhood in evil personality than in a walking, talking mechanical doll. How can there be if true selfhood is the image of God?

Said the Master, "If any man will come after me [that is, follow in the way of my thinking], let him deny himself."  Persistent repudiation of the mortal, material selfhood, representative of evil's claim to power, is requisite if we are ever to find true manhood. God, divine Mind, posesses all the real power there is, and all the agencies through which power can be exercised.

Paul made it plain that the personification of evil is "the god of this world." We worship at the shrine of this false god if we believe our real self is or can be sick, mortal, downtrodden, or if we believe our brother is of that sort, or can impose such conditions on us.

Blaming our troubles on others is personifying evil. We accept the lie that there is a trouble-making man and proceed to express disapproval of him. Where does God come in? Does He make such a man, and if not, who does? Is there another cause besides God? Destructive criticism is naught but yielding to the god of this world and condemning what we believe this god has made. Such criticism is usually the voice of egotism. If we think of ourselves and of our brothers as God would have us think we realize there is really nothing to criticize in God's perfect universe and man. Evil criticizes itself. How little we know of those we come in contact with. Like two balls that only touch at one small point, so mortals' contact with one another leaves much that is never known of the other fellow. If we did know him better there might be found little basis for our criticism.

 

Foreign Accents

Christian Science teaches that all our troubles are products of a wrong concept of creation and man mentally entertained, and that freedom from trouble comes as the true and spiritual idea of creation and man fills consciousness. The Master frequently indicated that disease is mental. He spoke of one patient as having a deaf and dumb spirit, or condition of thought; another had a spirit of infirmity; another, Satan, the evil sense of mind, had bound.

A family in a certain European country had some very trying human experiences and their thought turned to the United States as a land of promise.  Here certain members of the family came expecting quick solution of their troubles. But the solution did not come as expected. One of the women became hateful in her feeling toward the United States because she believed it was in some way to blame for their continuing hardships. She became very ill and turned to Christian Science when other methods failed. She told, with her foreign accent, her troubles to a practitioner, who soon discovered her intense hatred for this country. The damaging influence of such thinking was pointed out to her. Hatred, it has been said, is like a bursting gun. It does the most damage to the one who holds it.

Gradually as the woman came to understand God as universal Love and all true individuality as His ideas she saw there was nothing true to hate. When love for God and man drove hatred out of her heart the disease disappeared and with it there went from her speech every trace of a foreign accent. The accent was a condition of thought. It disappeared as Love filled her heart, for there is nothing foreign in Love's consciousness.

What of our foreign accents, the quick temper, the biting criticism, the doleful complaining, the egotism of self-righteousness? How foreign they are to true speech, the Word of God! Each one uttered or thought makes friendly and helpful contact with our fellow-man more difficult. If we seem not to be understood by others perhaps it is our foreign accents that need correcting.

 

Evil Is Mesmerism

Most of us object to being mesmerized. We recognize that mesmerism means a loss of control over our consciousness and the substitution of someone else's will and thoughts for our own. Mesmerism is an invasion of our right of self-control.

But every time we experience illness or unhappiness we have been mesmerized. A state of thought foreign to our true consciousness has been substituted for that consciousness and we think and act as though it were our own. Christian Science is disclosing evil and all human discord as a mesmeric mental influence of erring mortal mind which the power of true Mind can and will destroy, as man unites his thinking with divine intelligence.

Mesmerism is sometimes ignorant, sometimes fraudulent, sometimes malicious in its aspect. Ignorant mesmerism is illustrated by the man who rises in the morning and reads in the newspaper of an epidemic that is prevalent in the community. The symptoms are pictured rather graphically and he is impressed. A member of his family, after the morning greeting, asks as to his health and says that he is not looking very well. Later in the day a business associate suggests that the prevailing disease seems to attack persons of about his age. He becomes fearful, looks for the symptoms he read about, finds one or two. His fear grows and shortly he decides that he has the malady. He has been ignorantly mesmerized.

He surrenders his thought to what a scriptural writer terms "the expectation of the people." The sickly suggestions were made with no intent to mesmerize him, but they have done just that. He accepts a state of thought the very opposite of his true manhood which knows health as forever natural. Ignorant mesmerism operates through the newspapers, theaters, radio, billboards, and in ordinary daily conversation. Wherever sickness, sin, and evil is written about, pictured, acted, or talked the one evil is active, substituting its lies for the true consciousness of men.

Fraudulent mesmerism is illustrated in some forms of what is often called "high-powered" salesmanship. You go to a store to buy a coat. An unscrupulous salesman shows you a garment. He is very insistent and tells you you should take it. In his thinking he may try to know that you will buy it, that you must buy it, that you cannot think of refusing to buy it. He would take both your money and your judgment. His motive is not hateful but it is fraudulent. He aims to defraud you by substituting his will for your own.

Malicious mesmerism appears where one mortal directs thoughts of hatred at another mortal with the desire to injure him mentally, morally, or physically. He believes that hate is power and that he can use it to harm another.

Is there any reason why one should fear any form of evil mesmerism? There most certainly is not. Evil has no more power than we give it by consenting to it. Did not the Master say, "Behold, I give unto you power . . . over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you"? Do you think he knew what he was talking about? Christian Science teaches that he knew so certainly the power of divine Mind to master every phase of evil that its claim to power gave him not the slightest fear. He found good's supremacy in realizing the unitedness of his being with God.

A mental stream of ignorant, fraudulent, or malicious mesmeric suggestion voiced by some mortal or group of mortals has no more influence on the right thinking man than it has on God. Mesmeric mortal thinking operates only in its suppositional realm of material-mindedness. It ignorantly mesmerizes its own, defrauds its own, hates its own. But it can never reach the consciousness that is united to God. It has no way of approach to God or the man who is thinking in unity with God.

In her work "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 224) Mrs. Eddy relates that a courtier once came to the Roman Emperor Constantine and told him that outside the palace a mob was stoning his statue. Constantine put his hands to his head, and said, "It is very surprising, but I don't feel hurt in the least." The mob stoned the statue which they saw. They did not see Constantine. He was in a different place. The mesmerist throws his mental stones at his own false image of man. He believes man to be a mortal personality subject to mesmeric suggestions. The true selfhood of man he has not come to know. Our protection from every form of mesmeric suggestion is found in knowing that there is no Mind power but that of divine Mind. This power is forever sovereign in the thoughts of all true individuality. Evil's lie that it is mind, and has a mortal man through whom to work is its own empty supposition which crumbles before the power of God and His divine ideas operating in the consciousness of men. Man is never the object of an evil curse. He is forever the object of God's love and blessing. Never believe you are a target for any form of mesmeric suggestion.

In the last analysis there is but one form of mesmerism - self-mesmerism. Perhaps you have not thought that you mesmerize yourself, but you do if you consent to any phase of evil as real. We consent to substitute for the true idea of God and man a negative evil sense of existence.  Sometimes we consent ignorantly, but there is always the element of consent present. We accomplish our defense from self-mesmerism as we gain the understanding of our true self as the son of God, united to God and forever controlled by God. It is God, divine Mind, who "declareth unto man what is his thought," the Scriptures tell us, not some ignorant, fraudulent, hateful mortal. No evil suggestions can lodge in our thought unless we leave ajar the door of consent, have some fear of or belief in evil as power. Arrows do not lodge in sunbeams. No projected mesmeric evil can usurp God's prerogative and assume control of man's thinking. Man's thinking is the continuing expression of deific Mind.

 

A Woman's Accomplishment

No reference to true accomplishment would be complete without reference to that noble woman, Mary Baker Eddy, through whom Christian Science was revealed to men. When the Israelites pitched their tents over against the Philistines centuries ago not one of them realized that the only man among them capable of defeating the giant Goliath was an obscure shepherd-boy, by the name of David. But David was responsive to the impelling power of divine Mind and came forward without fear when others quailed.  He destroyed the foe with a sling and a few stones, stones from the brook which mighty warriors had passed over as unworthy of notice. The lad wrought his great accomplishment because he leaned on God.  Divine power was to him a mighty reality. He was willing to be used of God in God's own way.

Like David, Mrs. Eddy, a comparatively unknown gentle woman, from the hill country of New Hampshire, went forth in the middle of the last century, at an early age, to do battle with the Goliath of materialistic thinking. Here was a conquest not wrought in a short time. Indeed it is even now but well under way. For years she searched for that understanding of divine power wherewith to accomplish her purpose, God's purpose. In the rivers of pure thought that coursed through her consciousness during years of spiritual research she found the spiritual ideas of being with which to do battle with materiality. She perceived God to be the only Mind, man to be Mind's expression, united to Mind, and she saw that this was the Christ-idea which the Master came to reveal.

Her fuller discovery of God's nature and available power came when she was forty-five.  For the next forty-five years she was the active Leader of the greatest religious movement instituted in modern times. Through her written works her leadership goes on.  Radical as are her teachings in their bold denial of material premises and conclusions vast numbers have come to recognize their unanswerable logic and to benefit by their health-giving beneficence.

In 1876 Mrs. Eddy with a small band of six followers, formed the beginning of the present Christian Science movement. Since then this movement has become world-wide in its scope, revealing to ready minds the way to true accomplishment through the utilizing of spiritual power in the demonstration of man's present sonship with God.

Her desire was never for personal acclaim. She knew so well that true accomplishment can never be found save in the measure that the individual expresses in thought and act his sonship with the living God, divine Love. Study her life and you will find a continuing outpouring of unselfish effort to benefit the race, to bring the healing power of our Father-Mother God into the thoughts and lives of men. A poem by Katherine Collins expresses that selfless sense of accomplishment which characterizes Mrs. Eddy's life. These are the lines:

 

Others may be art glass

Of rainbow hue,

I choose to be a window-pane

For the sun to shine through;

 

A clear pane,

A clean pane,

Is what I would be

Unconcerned with temperament and personality.

 

I would have Love shine through me,

So that my friends would say

Not, "What a lovely pane of glass!"

But, "What a lovely day!"

 

And how abundantly the eternal love of God did shine through her spiritual thought bringing into her writings the light of eternal Truth that turned the darkness of doubt, ignorance, and fear into the noon of spiritual reality for multitudes. She has given to you and to me the wherewithal for true accomplishment, even an open way of access to our eternal Mind and God, the source of all intelligence and power. She has shown us in her writings how we may begin even now to put off the mask of materiality and lay hold of our true identity, our sonship with our God. Therein is the fullness of success, health that is permanent, joy that is endless, activity that is only useful, and the summit of true accomplishment.

Her own pen, dipped deep in the modesty of unselfishness, tells us the way of her unparalleled accomplishment. I quote her words from "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 247), "The little that I have accomplished has all been done through love - self-forgetful, patient, unfaltering tenderness."

 

 

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