Christian Science: The Science of Existence

 

Dr. Hendrik J. de Lange, C.S.B., of New York, New York

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Dr. Hendrik J. de Lange, C.S.B., of New York City, lectured on "Christian Science: The Science of Existence," Tuesday night in the Murat Temple. Dr. de Lange, who is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., was introduced by Omer C. Woods. His lecture follows substantially as it was given:

 

According to Christian Science the Biblical declaration that God is One and All reveals the basic truth of existence. Thus Christian Science challenges the increasing complexities and complications of material sense testimony. The understanding of Christian Science as the Science of Existence has practical value in daily life. Mary Baker Eddy's discovery shows forth the necessity of being willing to reject erroneous modes of thinking. Simultaneously one has to be conscious of the true or spiritual sense of existence. In this manner, the healthy and happifying simplicity of Life as it really is becomes one's natural experience.

 

Existence of Mental Activity

The possibility of such a radical change is understood when one recognizes that existence is primarily a mental activity. This may be considered self-evident. Nobody exists without mentality. Therefore, mentality includes everything, even that which argues that there is something outside of mentality - the material world, so called.

Early in human history, the mental nature of existence has been glimpsed. Plato with his idealism was somewhat aware of it. In the seventeenth century, Descartes epitomized this truth in his well-known "cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am). In modern days, Eddington with his "selective subjectivism" is coming ever closer to the same conclusion.

Mrs. Eddy describes the basic truth of existence in the following words (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 275): "Divine metaphysics, as revealed to spiritual understanding, shows clearly that all is Mind, and that Mind is God, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, - that is, all power, all presence, all Science. Hence all is in reality the manifestation of Mind."

 

Mrs. Eddy Divinely Inspired

The author of the textbook here quoted came to these fundamental conclusions in a truly spiritual fashion - by pure inspiration, not by mere human reasoning. There never existed a more genuinely intuitive woman than Mrs. Eddy. She embodied spiritual intuition and trustingly followed it up with penetrating perspicacity and loving thoroughness. This accounts for her being so inspirational to Christian Scientists and progressive in her scientific conclusions and demonstration. Her healing was the result of spiritually perceiving the true nature of existence, regardless of material appearances.

Her unselfish character evidenced itself in discovering that spiritual healing was not exceptionally her good fortune, but in accordance with divine law and thereby available for all. In order to establish among mankind this healing and saving knowledge of existence as it really is, Mrs. Eddy founded and became the Leader of a great movement with a Church built on the Rock, Christ, that might serve the purpose for which she intended it. She wrote and revised her foremost work giving the complete system of Christian Science, and called her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." This textbook together with the Bible she ordained as the impersonal pastor of the Christian Science churches throughout the world. By her tireless efforts and persistent work, humanity is now in a position to relinquish its false beliefs and to comprehend existence as Science or divine knowledge. In this progressive understanding Mrs. Eddy has advanced the standard of living so effectively that those who abide by the rules of Christian Science are naturally healthy, prosperous, and in possession of that happiness which cannot fluctuate.

Thinking of existence as personal in the ordinary ways of the world, one ascribes reality to millions of human minds with all the ensuing contradictions, fears, and enmities. Mrs. Eddy's divine discernment revealed that God is the source of all power, which one can understand and utilize regardless of what appear as persons or personal minds. This revelation came about because she saw the impersonal and scientific nature of existence. She understood God as divine Principle, Love, perpetuating itself as self-manifestation.

 

Reasoning From Cause to Effect

In Christian Science one thinks from cause to effect. The nature of the one primal cause determines what is true and real as effect. Whatever appears as contrary to the nature of the one cause must be classified as untrue and unreal, however true and real it may seem to be from within its own misconception. Hence the conclusion in Science and Health (p. 127) that "everything entitled to a classification as truth, or Science, must be comprised in a knowledge or understanding of God."

One's faculty to discern the ideas of infinity, eternality, oneness, perfection, allness - however dim and restricted this perception may seem to be - shows that these ideas exist. And their existence points to the fact that they must have a source.

The nature of this source must be infinity, eternality, oneness, perfection, allness - in other words, this source is God. It is impossible to assume that infinity contains matter; that eternality contains time; that oneness contains duality; that perfection contains imperfection; that allness contains lack. For this reason, matter, time, duality, imperfection, lack - and thereby sin, sickness, and death - are necessarily to be classified as unreal and untrue.

For the one who has been habitually thinking about himself as a material person, the dawning understanding of the unreality of material sense testimony has a revolutionary effect. He begins to discern that the only correct way to think of himself must be in terms of divine ideas expressing divine Principle. Otherwise, he ascribes to himself something unreal and untrue. Divine Principle is always expressing itself in direct accordance with its own divine and perfect character - that which divinely or truly exists. This leads to the conclusion that whatever is real and true concerning oneself is to be found exclusively in divine knowledge or Science.

 

Man's Real Selfhood

Christian Science refutes material sense testimony with its belief about man as being equipped with a sinful human mind imprisoned in a destructible material body. To man is assigned the exalted status of direct, divine manifestation or idea. In this sense, the textbook (Science and Health, p. 475) defines man as "the compound idea of God, including all right ideas." God, divine Mind, the one and All-Being, is conscious of itself only. In this self-consciousness, Mind expresses itself as man.

Understanding the divine reality of one's selfhood or existence, one can be freed from everything which does not belong to divine reality. This is done by consistently, directly, subjectively living - that is, being conscious of the true definition of oneself. The liberating effect is the result of this identification with divine power. Christ Jesus furnishes the example. His words and works indicate the method. Although sometimes too casually quoted, his declaration, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," has lost nothing of its practical value and pungency. He did not belittle Truth's allness and directness of effect by advising one to merely know about the Truth. To know merely about the Truth would involve the use of a mortal or human mind. The specific function of Truth's illumination is such a clarifying, dynamic presence that no darkening and interfering falsehood can suggest or maintain itself.

The belief of a personal or human mind is seen to be the basic disturbing factor. Instead of being a help, the belief that this so-called mind is indispensable for human improvement becomes "the middle wall of partition," spoken of by St. Paul - that is to say, an impediment to the directness of experiencing one's real, divine existence.

 

The Messiah's Mission

Christ Jesus' nature and mission were better understood by Mary Baker Eddy than by anyone else. She comprehended that his mission consisted in breaking down that "middle wall of partition." The revelation of God as divine Principle made her aware of the fact that the works of the Master were natural and scientific in the highest sense of those words, although miraculous to human comprehension.

Before Mrs. Eddy's day, God had been mainly considered as a mighty Person, bestowing upon Jesus and a few others the exceptional gift of healing. The understanding of God as divine Principle means that the primal cause never could bestow a personal munificence. Consequently whatever takes place in accordance with the nature of God is fundamental, impersonal, and scientific. It must be the utilization of divine power on the part of the one who has awakened to that possibility. It is not divine power stooping down to a person in order to impart itself. Rather is it that which humanly appears as a person availing itself of divine power.

As a result of this, it is evident that the works of the Master are to be renewedly shown forth wherever Christ-knowledge prevails and to the extent it is emulated. Christ Jesus' uniqueness is apparent in that he has been unsurpassed in his healing works.  Accordingly, Science and Health states (p. 473): "Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death." The textbook (p.332) defines Christ as "the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and casting out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death."

The indisputable fact of divine reality as infinite Truth and perpetual Life, comes to humanity or the human sense of existence as the way of progressive discernment. At first it seems to be merely a promise of good to come, heralded by the prophets as the Messiah. Then it appears as a person who comforts and heals. Finally, in full-orbed glory, it is promulgated as the Christ Science or Science of Christianity. But all the while the Messiah's mission remains the same: the redemption of humanity. Thus the Messiah appeared first as a promise, then as a person, and finally as Science, the Science of Existence.

According to the Old Testament, salvation looked like a far-off future possibility. According to the New Testament, salvation was often interpreted as a belief in a personal Jesus. In terms of Christian Science, salvation is "Life, Truth and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed" (Science and Health, p. 593). Thus humanity is now being provided with a scientific system which is freeing it from all ills, sins, discords, fears, and limitations. This entails the discernment of existence as it really is. It means the refusal to accept a false sense of self, consequently the recognition of true selfhood as the impersonal, ever-present Christ.

You and I are able to acknowledge this Christ and are capable of showing it forth. This takes place by ceasing from "man, whose breath is in his nostrils" - that is, by refusing to think of oneself from a personal point of view. Instead of such superficiality, we must behold existence from out its cause, and we must identify ourselves with the divine ideas thus revealed. We have to affirm as true for ourselves whatever is true of the nature of God or Truth, and we have to deny as untrue whatever is not in accordance with the divine nature.

 

No Identity for Mortal Suggestions

It does not make the least difference whether the false suggestion comes as "I have a problem," or as "his difficulty," or as "humanity is in trouble." In no case must the suggestions be accepted. As long as I think that I know the Truth, but at the same time continue to admit that "he" or "they," or "humanity at large" has difficulties, I have indirectly admitted a very undesirable error, impeding my own progress. When one becomes less discriminative between what seems to be one's own problems and those of others, the oft-repeated complaint that it is so much easier to help somebody else in Christian Science than oneself will not be any more heard. It is never one's own problem; it is always a problem of the erroneous human concept - the human concept being a problem in itself.

On the basis of the allness, oneness, and reality of divine Mind, error or mortal mind, so called, has no presence, power, reality, entity, or identity. This leads to the conclusion that all there is to error is its admission and the admission a mistake. When I stop admitting error to the extent that I do not even any more accept the belief that someone else admits it, in that ratio this is the end of that error. There is encouragement in knowing that since error or evil never really started - evil having no origin, since it is wholly fictitious and negative - its end is always now.

 

Treatment Utilization of Truth

The thought activity here indicated is the Christian Science prayer or treatment. Briefly, it may be defined as the utilization of divine power, eliminating whatever suggestions may seem to have placed themselves between oneself and his primal source, or preventing such erroneous occurrences.

Affirmation of the truth and denial of error constitute the treatment. Although humanly appearing as the declaration or thought of a person, the affirmation of the truth is really Truth expressing itself. Error is always self-denied. In "Miscellaneous Writings" by Mary Baker Eddy, this illuminating statement appears (p. 259), "The consciousness of good has no consciousness or knowledge of evil and evil is not a quality to be known or eliminated by good." The fact of the allness of Truth makes possible the nothingness of error. If Truth were not all, error would have entity and reality; consequently it could not be regarded as nothing. Christian Science treatment fulfills the function of divesting error of the possibility of perpetuating itself.

The affirmation of the truth should have immediate healing effect. And it has this effect when it takes place in the way it is so incomparably set forth in Science and Health (p. 411), "If Spirit or the power of divine Love bear witness to the truth, this is the ultimatum, the scientific way, and the healing is instantaneous."

In this affirmation of the truth, one has the right basis for denying whatsoever is not true - whenever the situation requires it - that is to say, if the healing should not be instantaneous. Nevertheless, the affirmation constitutes in itself the most potent denial. The denial or argument is always a human auxiliary. It serves a purpose in order that the treatment may arrive at the point where it is clearly understood and felt that in the infinitude of real Being all is well.

 

Healing Explained

All real Being is Mind; therefore the healing in Christian Science effects a removal of false beliefs which, externalized, evidence themselves either as diseases of the human body or as discordant conditions by the way of family relations, business difficulties, and world problems. Should the healing not readily follow the treatment it might be well to ponder a statement made by Mrs. Eddy in "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 54), "Millions are believing in God or good, without bearing the fruits of goodness, not having reached its Science."

Let us take a case of disease. For the sake of simplification, the false beliefs assumed to be the source of disease may be divided into three groups. The first group pertains to life, the second to body, and the third to health.

As far as human sense is concerned, life belongs to the material body and is dependent upon it. Life is supposed to start with the birth of a material man and to end with his death. In Christian Science, this is recognized to be a misapprehension.  In accordance with Christ Jesus' declaration that to know God aright is life eternal, life is identified with God. Indeed, the Christian Science textbook states (p. 465) that Life is a synonym for God. God being All, there is but one Life, inevitably the only Life expressed as man. Let us then, think of life, not any more as pertaining to the finite frailties of a material entity, but as the infinite perpetuation of divine Principle itself.

Again, body is humanly regarded as connected with matter, which is nothing but objectified limitation - the expression or embodiment of mortal, so-called, mind. Obviously this is the false concept about that which body divinely is as Principle's expression or embodiment of itself. St. Paul's statement coincides with this when he wrote his fellow Christians in Corinth that they were "the temple of the living God." This temple or body is immune to disease, disintegration, death. It consists in knowing oneself as divine idea. Being aware of this divine knowledge as real existence, as body, is health, strength, and thereby regeneration to what is humanly considered to be body. Why? Because it lessens fear, the most disintegrating of all evil influences. Also because it removes the limitations attached to a false concept, thus making it possible for one to experience more and more tangibly the spiritual knowledge or embodiment of right ideas which one really is.

According to human estimation health is a state of the material body, and for that reason ill-health is believed to be just as natural as good health. What a mistake, when one observes the origin of this word so closely related to wholeness! Christian Science extends to us the real sense of wholeness in the definition of man, who, as the textbook (p. 475) explains, "reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker." Let me be permitted to stress the word "all," because the understanding of oneself as including the entirety of right ideas has much to do with the discernment of one's true Being - its oneness and wholeness - therefore the real sense or practical spiritual fact of one's enduring, unchanging health.

 

Mortal Mind Myth

The tendency to materialize spiritual facts is the product of that which Christian Science calls mortal mind. "That which neither exists in Science nor can be recognized by the spiritual senses" is the textbook's disposal of mortal mind (p. 592), which appears to interfere with the logical unfoldment of real existence. While the term "divine Mind" refers to the actual and existent, the term "mortal mind" refers to "nothing claiming to be something" (ibid. p. 591). Then, all that there is to mortal mind is the term and the term is a solecism at that! Its claim is a claim of sheer negation.  Its supposed activity has been designated in Christian Science as animal magnetism or hypnotism.

Animal magnetism or hypnotism attempts to operate through thought transference. Thought transference postulates the belief in two or more minds. In order to counteract animal magnetism, the first thing to be done is to refrain from believing that one has a mortal or human mind. A human mind implies mental manipulation. The recognition in Christian Science that one's true selfhood is the expression of the one infinite, all-inclusive divine Mind, is the basic understanding and declaration for proving the nothingness of animal magnetism.

The one divine Mind need not be transferred. Its infinite perfection, power, and permanence are already ever present. This has to be acknowledged by way of identifying oneself with this Mind as the idea of Mind. Notwithstanding the claim that it is personal according to human appearance, all that is truly good is the divine good which constitutes the one and only man "the full representation of Mind" (ibid., p. 591). Whatever seems objectionable, and according to human appearance as vested in oneself or in others, is no person, no thing at all. It is nothing.

 

Fear Analyzed

Whenever a suggestion of fear claims to whisper or scream that it is your experience, remind yourself of the great liberating fact that the threats of fear are never directed against your real and only self. They are directed against an erroneous, mortal, personal concept of man. If you have unthinkingly identified yourself with that erroneous concept, believing that it was you, you have sovereign divine power to annul this wrong identification. Moreover, you have scientific ability to forestall a false suggestion, in case it attempts to insinuate a wrong identification. Fear is so objectionable because, by giving in to it, you identify yourself with the very thing of which you are afraid. Hence, Job's well-known saying, "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me."

Of course, that which presents itself as a fearful outward condition - suggesting that it includes and engulfs you - is nothing but a false, spurious, baseless, substanceless, lawless, powerless, mindless, dream-picture.  It can only assert its supposed influence by claiming that it includes you. In accepting this suggestion, you would lose the domination divinely bestowed upon you as divine idea. By permitting your mentality to be encompassed by a mortal concept of existence, you would have first to think about yourself as a person: Know, therefore, that this is all wrong. Know that you have the ability, through the understanding of Christian Science, to exclude this falsity, or, better still, to preclude it on the basis of its nothingness. All there is to man is all-inclusive infinite Mind manifesting itself. Outside of Mind, no reality exists. Evil claims to be now and here, but it always is nowhere.

The mortal sense of existence, being merely a suggested absence of divine good, the consequent belief in the reality of evil is continually scourged by fear in different disguises. Sometimes it has been the fear that the world would come to an end. Particularly around the year 1000 A. D. this suggestion prevailed. A mistaken sense of millennium had the Christian world in jitters. All earthly existence was expected to end. People sold, gave away, and squandered their possessions.

Everything being mental, the millennium is a state of consciousness wherein there is no more identification with any form of error, and wherein there is complete identification with the divine - absolute scientific existence. The millennium, contrary to its name has really no connection with time. It is the understanding of Truth; divine Love; the "kingdom of heaven" which Christ Jesus proclaimed "is within you." It is always now and here for those who know enough to realize it. And, by its very nature, real existence has to be eternal. It has nothing inside of itself that could stop it, and there is nothing outside of it.

At other periods of human history fear seemed to prevail in the form of certain diseases, such as plague and smallpox. It appeared to overwhelm vast sections of mankind with disastrous results. Nowadays, the same mortal fear has assumed a different disguise, far from unfamiliar to mankind but more gruesome and destructive than ever. War is the name of this senseless belief. It not only claims to take a heavy toll of human life and property, but also threatens to wipe out civilization with its rightful human liberties laboriously won in previous centuries.

 

Mass Hypnotism Exposed

Hypnotism of the masses seems to be the medium through which certain nations are made the tool for conquering and subjugating other nations. Speech, writing, radio are marshaled to impress these masses with special slogans repeated ad nauseam. Hereby, freedom of thought is impaired and many become victims, surrendering their mental independence and liberty.

One of the methods used by those who believe in this mesmeric influence is propaganda. It may be remarked as an interesting instance of her prophetic and intuitive wisdom, that Mrs. Eddy stayed away from the use of propaganda altogether. The word "propaganda" is mentioned only once in all of her published writings. The sentence in which this word occurs is worth while quoting: “to demonstrate Science and its pure monotheism - one God, one Christ, no idolatry, no human propaganda - it is essential to understand the spiritual idea" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 303).

One misunderstands grossly the spiritual idea by thinking of oneself as a human person realizing the truth among millions of other persons. One has hereby opened his mentality for propaganda and its mass hypnotism. It is evident that a merely human method for obliterating the belief of mass hypnotism is insufficient from the start. The only thing it can do is to offer a counter suggestion. Naturally that is not a lasting and dependable remedy. It does not eradicate the false claim.

 

Science Protective and Preventive

The scientific way of eradication - on the basis of evil's nothingness - has been explained by Mrs. Eddy in the following statement (No and Yes, p. 36): "The human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being, - holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real." On the same page is further explained how "this retreat from material to spiritual selfhood" enabled the Master to triumph over every form of evil, death included.

The understanding that one's true selfhood is divine idea, here and now, instead of dwelling in the attitude of trying and hoping to realize this fact in the future, makes Christian Science operative as the mighty preventive of everything ungodlike. One sees that the divine consciousness, which seemed formerly to be a spiritual retreat in which a human sense of self found shelter, is really one's direct, spiritual, and only selfhood or existence. "Existence, separate from divinity, Science explains as impossible" (Science and Health, p. 522).

In this way of thinking, false suggestions are prevented from asserting themselves as one's experience. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews declared that Jesus was in all points tempted, yet without sin. Does not this mean that although mortal mind suggestions came to Jesus as to others, his immediate detection of such suggestions as being neither his body nor his thoughts prevented them from having any physical or moral effect? His spiritual integrity remained intact.

 

Church the Consciousness of Truth and Love

Spiritual integrity make its possible to understand more clearly the mental nature of all existence. Thus it is discerned that church primarily is a spiritual idea, although humanly seen as a material building and organization. When Peter recognized Christ Jesus' real nature, by declaring that he was "the Christ, the Son [consciousness] of the living God," the Master inferred that this right idea which Peter had voiced was the Rock, or spiritual foundation, whereon Jesus would build his church (see Matthew 16:16-18).

Mrs. Eddy defines "Church" in Science and Health (p. 583) as "the structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle." This structure evidently is the Rock of which the Master spoke, and for that reason we can elucidate our spiritual sense of church by thinking of it as the consciousness of Truth and Love. This consciousness has necessarily to rest upon and to proceed from divine Principle. And why is this so?  Because it is not human thought groping up to God.

When thought begins to proceed naturally from divine, universal Principle, Love, it becomes possible to recognize that the whole array of mortal mind pictures - from a miserable, fearful person to the agony of nations in a deadly struggle - is the most preposterous dream ever dreamt. Indeed, all there is to it is a gigantic illusion staged by the father of all frauds - the devil, alias mortal mind.

The way to help the world and what claims to be one's human self is to stay out of the human, mortal, deceptive dream by living church in all its spontaneous power and loving tenderness. Refuse to think of this as arduous or time-requiring. The joy and Science of real Being is ever present. It is here and now for your instant acknowledgment and fruition. It means the satisfaction of spiritual inclusion - including not only those right ideas about which the material body, the person, and his personal relationships and conditions are the finite concept, but also those right ideas about which the nations and races of the world and their relationships are the mortal misconception.

The Movement's Universal Scope

The understanding and consequent embodying of the blessedness of universal Love constitutes a vital part of one's qualifications for membership in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and in one of its numerous branch churches or societies throughout the world. With such a well-prepared and well-equipped membership, the Christian Science movement is bound to fulfill its mission. This mission is nobly set forth in the second paragraph sub voce "Church," on page 583 of Science and Health. The spiritual attitude and altitude of thought on the part of the Christian Scientist is surely "elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science," however formidable mortal mind's opposition may assume to be. The mission of the church, and that means, of course, the mission of its members, consists in furthering this true understanding. It means the acknowledgment that all of the good qualities shown forth by nations and races are, in their real nature, divine, imperishable, right ideas, included in man, who "reflects all whereby we can know God" (Miscellaneous Writing, p. 79).

The United States of America has a specific task to fulfill in the regeneration of the world, which is inevitable as a result of the spiritual activity in Christian Science. Everything being mental, the United States of America is not just a territory occupied by millions of people. It is really a state of consciousness, and thereby a power. The fact that Christian Science was discovered here cannot be too strongly emphasized. It has a deep meaning which the world at large will better understand in the measure that Christian Scientists comprehend more fully their divine status.

The mission of Christian Science is not restricted. That is to say, its mission is not only for the healing of personal instances of disease or sin. "Christ's Christianity," the textbook declares (p. 271), "is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God."

 

Freedom Spiritual

It was in the United States of America that truth first found enough receptivity and expression to announce real freedom. Freedom is not primarily political, but a spiritual mode of life. Man divinely self-governed shows forth true freedom. Organized evil can never obliterate man's individually self-governed destiny. Our work is to maintain this fact of individual self-government, and to be alertly aware that this is an essential element for the welfare of the human race.

The one and only way to help the human race is to help the human yield to the divine. Christian Science encourages humanity to do this. Christian Science shows that there need not be any hesitation in this yielding to real existence, and no fear that something of value will be lost in so doing. Science and Health assures us (p. 302), "It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his." The human is not a precious and necessary entity of its own. There is nothing to it but a finite, imperfect, temporal, perverted sense of the divine. Whatever seems to be humanly commendable, desirable, enjoyable, and right, is not human but the divine appearing, however faintly, in spite of the human, not through the human. The possession and enjoyment of the divine itself, as a result of being identified with it, is undoubtedly far more thrilling, practical, and worth while.

Existence as it divinely, actually, is constitutes the most radiant, satisfying, and happifying experience one could ever have or be. When, in place of false belief - always considering itself as a person - the understanding of real, scientific existence appears, a mistaken, mesmeric belief will readily give itself up. Being but a materially mental belief, all that has to occur is a change of mentality, of concept. In this growth of understanding, it should become also possible for that which we have been calling nations to show forth this change of concept.

Mind's manifestation of itself as man - the compound idea including the universe of right ideas - is a universal thought activity, never localized, limited, dormant. It is dynamic, infinite, all-inclusive. When thought is poised as infinite consciousness, there is nothing too far-distant, too difficult, too worldwide to come within the limitless scope of this spiritual realization.

 

Summary

In summarizing this lecture on Christian Science as the Science of Existence, the following may give a general idea of its trend to thought:

In conformity with the Bible, the oneness and allness of God is accepted in Christian Science as the fundamental truth of existence, and thereby the nature of everything that really, scientifically exists. Mrs. Eddy's spirituality made her perceive that allness necessitates infinite self-perpetuity and therefore cannot contain an element contrary to its own infinity and eternality. Thus the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science discerned the entire goodness of God. Divine allness being basic and true, whatever appears as contrary to God's nature - presented by material sense testimony - must be classified as baseless and false.

God being All and thereby constituting all reality, the divine status of man is to be found, exclusively, as the knowledge or idea of God. The striking but unavoidable conclusion reached at this point is that man and real existence are virtually identical. In this understanding are infinite possibilities for redemption, health, prosperity, happiness. It enables one to be freed from everything, every belief unlike God or supreme good.

Divine power becomes available in the Christian Science treatment - the affirmation of Truth and the denial of error. It is divine activity, having nothing to do with human will power or suggestion. Christ Jesus was the great Exemplar of this divine activity, which is the eternal, ever-present Christ. His works, far from being miracles, were an exemplification of divine power. Nowadays these works of healing and redemption abound in the lives of Christian Scientists. Scientifically regarded, they are not human or material. They are the fuller appearance of that which man already divinely is as real existence.  

Human or mortal mind is the collective name used in Christian Science for beliefs - for whatever has no divine or substantial existence. Since the one and only Mind is divine, human or mortal mind is a nonentity, a deception, a negation.

The supposed activity of mortal mind is defined as animal magnetism or hypnotism, rampant in a material sense of existence. It assumes nowadays the disguise of aggressive nationalism, using mass hypnotism as one of its main weapons in subduing nations. The only system actually able to deal successfully with the "murderer from the beginning" is Christian Science.  Counter suggestion and mere religious faith can never accomplish it, since they both accept the reality of evil and the plurality of man.

As the cradle of Christian Science, the United States of America has an important part in the work of world regeneration. This country stands for the furtherance and protection of true freedom, exemplified by man divinely self-governed. The mission of Christian Science and the mission of the United States of America concur in this enlightened purpose.

 

Existence Is Science

By fundamentally living this Science of Existence, the Christian Scientist is experiencing his divine selfhood - existence as it really is. Hereby he is benefiting humanity by spiritually expressing in everyday life the beauty of existence, its liberty, nobility, joy; its bounty, blessedness, and progressive unfoldment. As the Christian Science textbook (p. 427) so lucidly informs us, "The belief that existence is contingent on matter must be met and mastered by Science, before Life can be understood and harmony obtained." Thus, we are evermore vividly aware that our existence is Science, a divinely loving power and logical activity. We are privileged to go forth and live this Science of Existence, which has no other purpose than to bless.

 

[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, October 16, 1942.]

 

 

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