The Healing Power of True Consciousness
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
This lecture deals with something that is of first importance to each of us — our consciousness. What could you do without consciousness? Could a woman bake a cake or a man earn a living without consciousness? Is it not in our human consciousness that we form and develop the pattern of our life? Our consciousness is our mental workshop. It is the sum of our thoughts. But we cannot create a single one of these thoughts. Some cause causes them; we discover and use them. Bell, Edison, Marconi did not make the ideas which resulted in the telephone, light bulb, and wireless. Their consciousness was open to discover these useful things and use them. Two questions we shall consider are: What causes the thoughts that make up our human consciousness? How can we improve this consciousness?
Each individual may choose what thoughts he will or will not accept as his consciousness. He chooses either honesty or dishonesty, unselfishness or selfishness, kindness or cruelty, the ways of the flesh or the things of God. By choosing good and constructive ideas he improves his lot; by neglecting to do so he dwarfs his experience. Centuries ago Solomon evaluated correctly the individual when he said, "As he thinketh in his heart (his consciousness), so is he" (Prov. 23:7). One's human selfhood is the total of thoughts he consents to accept as his human consciousness.
Fortunately, no one has to accept as his consciousness today what he accepted yesterday. Human progress is possible because men can, and do, improve their consciousness by accepting better thoughts, so displacing inferior ones. Lincoln became a great humanitarian leader because he set himself to improve his consciousness and he prepared for a life of great usefulness.
Christ Jesus accomplished his great mission, first subjugating and ultimately destroying matter, sin, disease, and death, because from boyhood he steadily entertained, understood, and used the true or spiritual ideas of being which were given of God and which constituted his true consciousness.
Human consciousness, as we all know, is made up of a variety of thoughts and concepts resulting largely from one's upbringing, education, and personal interests. The consciousness of most mortals includes some good thoughts and many of a quality they would not care to have shown on a movie screen where their friends could have a good look at them. What a commotion would result if a movie could be made entitled, "The Surprise of Your Life — Your Neighbor's Hidden Thoughts Brought to Light!"
All really good thoughts and qualities, such as truthfulness, justice, good will, have the same
substance — good. This is so whether they appear in the consciousness of Asians, Africans, or Americans, or perhaps in the consciousness of the people of a world a million light years away. Incidentally, Dr. Shapley, the distinguished Harvard University astronomer, says, "there must be at least 100 million other planets with a long history of high-life forms." (See The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 16, 1954.) Where do these good thoughts originate? The source and substance of all good ideas is single and universal. It is equally as present at the farthest star as it is here. It is the immaterial, universal Mind, God. This good and true Mind originates all the thoughts that constitute your true consciousness or mind.
Where do evil thoughts originate? Take for example, discouragement, worry, animosity, selfishness? Are they not all made of the same cloth — evil? This is so whether they appear in the consciousness of Englishmen, Frenchmen, Chinese, or in the consciousness of an, as yet, unknown people far out in space. Regardless of where evil thoughts appear, they have one source. Jesus spoke of "the evil one" which might be called "the one evil." There are not many sources of evil anymore than there are many sources of good. God, the good Mind, is the source of all good thoughts. Evil, the bad, so-called mind, is the source of all erroneous thoughts and so of every wrong thought in human consciousness.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and wrote its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," saw clearly the nature of God, and of evil. In Science and Health, page 469, she says: "Mind is God. The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind — called devil or evil — is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality." Elsewhere Mrs. Eddy calls evil, mortal mind. This mortal sense of mind, when it fears, hates, deceives, simulates mental activity, but it is never real Mind because it is devoid of the absolute intelligence which characterizes true Mind. The difficulty we encounter with our human consciousness is that it seems to be a mixture of good and evil thoughts. It is the field Jesus told of where tares and wheat grow side by side, the tares threatening to crowd out the wheat. His remedy was to separate the tares — all the thoughts and concepts that come from the evil mortal mind — from the wheat — the thoughts and ideas that express the one altogether good and constructive Mind — and burn the tares, destroy the negative through understanding the reality of the positive.
A little boy was busy one day pulling weeds out of a strawberry patch in his father's garden. A passer-by noticed how industriously he was working and questioned him, "What are you doing there?" The little fellow replied, "I am getting the weeds out of the strawberry patch." Said the man. "But do you know all the weeds?" "No, sir," said the boy. "But I know the strawberries." Christian Science is helping us to become better acquainted with the ideas that derive from the only true Mind, God. Doing so, we are better and better equipped to recognize the tares or wrong thoughts and concepts which have no place in our true consciousness.
In order to separate the tares from the wheat and burn the tares we must realize that our true consciousness is constituted only by the ideas of God, good. Is not this the meaning of the First Commandment (Ex. 20:3), "Thou shalt have no other gods before me?" Recognize no source for our consciousness but the one true Mind, God.
"The point for each one to decide is," writes Mrs. Eddy on page 195 of Science and Health, "whether it is mortal mind or immortal Mind that is causative" — whether it is the negative, mortal mind or the positive, good Mind that is the source and substance of our true consciousness. Have you made your decision on this vital point and are you habitually striving to accept as your consciousness only the thoughts of your true Mind, God? The Master stated the first great commandment in these words: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matt. 22:37). Does not this mean that the individual must love and honor God as his only true Mind, accepting as his consciousness only the ideas that express this loving, intelligent, and good Mind?
Christian Science uses, in addition to the word Mind, other definitive terms for God. Among these are Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love. All are synonymous, though each emphasizes some important quality of God.
Before we can truly love God we must understand God. A blind faith is not a firm foundation on which to love God with our whole heart or consciousness. To understand God we must begin to understand something of our oneness with God. Mortals generally believe they are separated by space and differing natures from God. A mortal believes he is on his own and that God is somewhere outside of man — His whereabouts a question. But many statements in the Bible say that God and man are inseparable. Christian Science accepts as true and understandable the statement of Paul, "In him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28), and Zephaniah says, "The Lord is in the midst of thee" (Zeph. 3:15). Jesus thus stated the unity of God and man, "I am in the Father, and the Father in me" (John 14:11). In this scientifically accurate statement of the relationship of God and man Jesus did not mean that God, who is infinite Spirit, or Mind, was within a human selfhood. His meaning, in the light of Christian Science, was, and is, that God is naturally expressed in and by the only true selfhood of man, defined by the Scriptures as God's likeness, the individual spiritual witness of deific Mind.
Parents teach their children a good character is the most important thing to acquire. Of what is character made? Is it not made of right ideas and ideals such as integrity, mercy, love, humility, patience? Is not the good Mind their source and substance, and can these ideas be torn away from Mind and packaged in a material body? They cannot be. They live in Mind and nowhere else. They forever remain one with their intelligent source. An individual discovers that they are his true consciousness of which Mind is the only substance. So what we think of as one's character lives by and in the good Mind that is God, its cause, and man lives there too, for man and his character are forever together, are one.
Man's real nature, the Bible says, is like God. How much like God? Ten, fifty, eighty per cent? No, one hundred per cent like God. The effect of a Cause must be entirely like its cause in nature. God's man is therefore spiritual, which means that he is of the substance of Spirit, intelligent Mind. He is the individual manifestation of pure and perfect Mind. He is made, not of mindless material cells, but is an individual consciousness made of intelligent, good ideas. Indwelling oneness with Mind is necessary to man's continuing intelligent existence. All manifestations of Mind, including the true consciousness of man, cannot live apart from Mind. They cannot survive if severed from the Mind that is their Life and substance. Could justice and freedom have any vitality if cut off from Mind? "In him" — not in godless matter — "we live." As this basic truth is progressively realized we find our true consciousness ever to be the individual expression of the Mind that is God, impervious as is its source to all thoughts of evil.
No Place for Man Outside God's Infinity
Again, Mind is infinite; it fills infinity. It cannot be walled in; it is forever everywhere. Where then are you and I going to live unless we live in this infinite Mind? Can we live outside Mind's infinitude and have consciousness? Fortunately our true individuality is the idea of Mind, forever embraced, contained, and included in Mind. This spiritual fact cannot be physically seen, but it can be consciously felt and understood.
A little boy in a home where Christian Science was the family's religion was told by his older sister, when their baby sister had been slightly hurt, that they must know God was there and could take care of her need. Said little Bobby, "But I can't see God, where is He?" Said the older sister, "Why, Bobby, no one can see God. God is a feel." Yes, God is, in a sense, "a feel." We do not see God physically, but we find and feel Him in our consciousness, in His ideas and qualities. As we love and live them we demonstrate the Life that is Love.
Probably all of us have felt God, perhaps some times without realizing it. Every genuine desire to be and do good, to live a wholesome life; every heartfelt "thank you"; every well-meant "good morning"; every act of true courtesy and unselfish consideration, expresses something of the good that is God. Every good thought loved and lived is God's activity reflected by us. What is it that is providing the true ideas in this lecture, ideas declaring the nature of God, His power, and love? What is giving the lecture but the divine Mind expressing its ideas? And what enables you to hear and understand these ideas but the Mind that is your true consciousness? We do live in God here and now.
To succeed in improving our consciousness by burning the tares and garnering the wheat of right ideas we must know something of the false nature of all that is evil. Christ Jesus gave us the most accurate estimate of evil — the source of all wrong consciousness. He was, one day, facing the Pharisees, who hated him and his teachings and were planning to kill him. He uncovered to them, and to us all, the nature of the one evil, which they were accepting as the source of their consciousness. Said he: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). Note the highly descriptive words he chose to define all evil — murderer and liar. Evil's procedure is first to say it can make something, then to murder or destroy what it says it has made. Is not this what it does with the whole race of mortals? But because its basic nature is a lie, no matter what evil argues for, be it power to create, to sin, to be sick, or to die, its every statement is a lie. Its effects are all as false as their false cause.
Further, evil never abides in Truth, but it claims Truth's omnipresence, claims to be where Truth is. Jesus said the devil was the father of the Pharisees because they had accepted as their consciousness thoughts fathered by the one devil or evil mind, thoughts of hate, pride, hypocrisy, self-will. Our mortal consciousness is fathered by this same evil mind whenever we accept thoughts which deny the presence of good, Love, God. Evil claims for itself everything that belongs to God, including man's consciousness. It is a big liar, not a modest one. It claims supreme power; but claiming power and having power are two different things. Remember that. Evil claims universality, but there cannot be two infinites. God fills infinity; there is no room there for God's opposite. Evil has no base from which to work. It is outside of God's infinitude and can never get in. Its only seeming realm is its own realm, of supposition and falsity. Mrs. Eddy says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 60), "Evil in the beginning claimed the power, wisdom, and utility of good; and every creation or idea of Spirit has its counterfeit in some matter belief." The counterfeit of God's true man is fleeting, mortal selfhood. All the lesser manifestations of Mind, the flowers, birds, animals, are all likewise counterfeited by the material mind in its perishable forms. Their true originals are as permanent as the Mind that conceives them.
Because Jesus had gained such a full measure of man's true, God-given consciousness, filled with the spiritual ideas of Life and manhood, he instantly rejected the tares of material concepts such as sin and disease, that were presented to his thought, and nullified them. He proved the power of true consciousness to demonstrate the falsity of evil and the reality of health and holiness.
Christian Science makes an important distinction between the human Jesus and the Christ. Jesus was the human messenger who came to bring the message of the Christ, the spiritual idea of God and man, which, as it is understood, illumines consciousness with the spiritual sense of Life wherein man is forever at-one with God.
When material evidence presented to his consciousness ten mortals afflicted with leprosy, he did not say, "These men are in a sad plight. I am sorry for them, but there is nothing I can do." What did he do? He healed them forthwith. How? With his Mind-constituted spiritual consciousness he realized that what physical sight saw as ten hopeless lepers was an outlined falsity of the one liar, mortal mind. He understood that this picture of mortal mind was as false as the lying mind from which it derived.
He knew that the only true individuality of man, and so of these men, was not made of perishable flesh, subject to affliction, corruption, and death. Their individuality was fathered by the one loving intelligent cause whom he called "My Father, and your Father" (John 20:17). This cause he knew was spiritual and perfect, and its identities reflected its own perfect character, for they lived to evidence their God. Because there was no disease conceived by perfect Mind, God, there could be no disease in the individualized manifestation of God, man. God is eternally maintaining His own children diseaseless, pure, unafflictable and free. Jesus' thoughts were prayerful protests of Truth. They were God's thoughts active in His manifestation, man. With these true ideas the divine Mind was counteracting the lie of disease, and it fled before them. As the Psalmist said, "He sent his word, and healed them" (Ps. 107:20).
The Christ method of healing, using the ideas that constitute man's true consciousness, is for all time. If the evil, disease, was overcome by the God-given ideas that make up Jesus' consciousness, has anything happened to make these ideas useless to us today? Paul says, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). This Christian Science helps us increasingly to do — to find and use the same ideas which our Way-shower used.
Here is the healing of a friend of mine, a student of Christian Science. No one, I suppose, except Jesus and a few of his followers, knew that the lepers could be healed forthwith by the power of God. All others believed they were condemned by material law to die. My friend's case was much the same.
He was employed by an organization with strict medical supervision of its employees. He had been away from his desk for a week with what appeared to be influenza. Upon returning he was sent to a physician for a checkup. The latter, alarmed at his physical appearance, made a prolonged examination. He stated that the man had extreme enlargement of the heart, virus pneumonia, and infection of various parts of the body. The doctor said there was no hope of recovery, and ordered the patient to the hospital. My friend told the doctor he was a Christian Scientist and would return home and rely upon God. The physician urged him not to "fool around with this." The patient stood his ground and called a relative to take him home.
On returning home a Christian Science practitioner was called and prayerful work begun, the man's wife giving full co-operation. The practitioner utilized in her prayers the ideas which belong to man's true consciousness — the true idea of God as infinite and eternal Mind and Love, and man ever of and in God, conditioned by God with His health-giving, harmony-producing laws or spiritual forces. For a time he grew worse, and a dropsical condition and partial paralysis added complications. Discouragement and desperation had to be driven out of his consciousness many times by realizing they were no part of his true consciousness and individuality. He, his wife, and the practitioner never wavered in reliance on divine Love and the ability of God, man's only true cause and Father, to overcome this medley of lies, suggested by the one liar, the one evil, the material mind.
One morning, after what seemed an extreme crisis, he began to improve a little, and although the going was often rough, progress continued. Seven weeks after the doctor's verdict of incurability he was able to go fishing. Later he returned to have the medical check-up required by the employer before he would be allowed to return to work. After numerous X-rays he was given a complete clearance. A year later a second examination showed the healing was permanent. The physician who said he was fatally afflicted, and later pronounced him whole, said to him with a friendly smile, "You did a good job taking care of yourself." The patient knew that the healing had been done wholly by the power of God acting through true consciousness and canceling out the lies of false material consciousness branded by Jesus a liar. This healing is an example of the truth of Jesus' statement, ''Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Does this not mean that the individual must simply be conscious of what is spiritually true — use his God-given true consciousness and so be free from what is material falsity, or untrue?
In 1821, on a farm near Bow, New Hampshire, a child named Mary was born to devoutly religious parents, who believed that serving God is the most important thing in life. The Bible was read in this home in the family circle every morning and every evening; grace was said before and after every meal. In this atmosphere, alive with devotion to God and His Word, Mrs. Eddy's childhood was lived. By the time she was twelve, her Bible was much worn, and she could repeat many of the Psalms and whole chapters of the New Testament. To her the Bible was the Book of Life. Love for God and His Word filled her consciousness.
The child Mary early questioned some of the orthodox teachings of her elders because she felt they did not agree with the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures. She came to realize that the healing works of Jesus were intended by him for proofs of God's ever-present ability to heal sickness as well as sin and were not a sensational exhibition of some unnatural power. As a child Mrs. Eddy displayed, on occasion, unusual courage against overwhelming odds. Fearlessly she faced in the schoolyard an escaped lunatic, threatening her schoolmates, and quieted him. Another quality that early appeared in her thought was eagerness to help those in need. At school she sometimes gave her mittens and coat to others who lacked them (Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, by Irving C. Tomlinson, p. 13).
Mrs. Eddy's father, Mark Baker, stood high in the community and was often sought out to settle disputes between others in the neighborhood. On one occasion when he had given his decision, the party against whom the decision was made protested loudly. Mary, then a little girl, with a big vocabulary for her years, was a shy spectator. But she came forward with courage and said, "Mr. Bartlett, why do you articulate so vociferously?" (The Life of Mary Baker Eddy, by Sibyl Wilbur, p. 22). This unexpected question from the child brought laughter and an amicable feeling resulted.
The discovery of Christian Science came gradually and as the result of many human trials and afflictions which her deep faith in God enabled her to overcome. She completed the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in 1875, when she was fifty-four. Its ideas in their radical challenge to materialism and their pronouncement that the spiritual and eternal idea of creation and man is alone real caused her to be hated and maligned. The God-given courage of her childhood was still hers, and she possessed a great love for her fellow men. She desired to bring to all the healing message of Christ Jesus and its practical application as revealed in Christian Science.
Mrs. Eddy never thought of herself as originating the ideas in Science and Health. "I have written," she once said, "as moved by the Spirit" (Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, by Irving C. Tomlinson, p. 95). To her Spirit was the one true Mind of man. The humility which was so essential to her wise leadership of the movement, raised up to reinstate primitive Christianity, is indicated in a statement once made to her household: "I have not sought leadership. Before the great problems that have been given to me, I have felt myself nothing. There has been a voice saying to me, 'Mary, take yourself out of the way and let God act through you'" (ibid., p. 124). That she listened to that voice and let the Mind that is God fill her consciousness with its ideas of wisdom is shown by the world-wide movement she so firmly established.
Of her work one of her contemporaries, Mark Twain, has said: "She has organized and made available a healing principle that for two thousand years has never been employed except as the merest kind of guesswork. She is the benefactor of the age" (ibid., p. 1).
The telephone of a Christian Science practitioner rang late one night. When he answered, a woman said, "I need some help, and right away." He asked the nature of her trouble. "Oh, don't you know? Everybody is getting it." "Are they?" he asked. "I haven't got it." "Well, almost everyone has it." "Has what?" he inquired. "This thing that is going all around." "Going all around what?" he continued. "Oh, it's the flu; haven't you seen in the papers how it's the thing most everybody has?" No, he hadn't. Then he calmed her fear and pointed out to her that it would be hard for her to get reliable information as to her one true selfhood and consciousness from the newspapers or from listening to the conversations of mortals bent on believing that what the liar, mortal mind, says, through its false material sense testimony, is a state of man's being.
She agreed to turn her thought away, as much as she could, from the bodily symptoms and open her consciousness to what was going on in Truth's kingdom, to remember that God is always good and that man's life is in God, for God is infinite. She knew Jesus had said all evil was a liar, and the flu certainly was evil and must then be one of evil's lies. She would not bow down to the devil and his lies, she said, but would use the ideas which constituted her true consciousness to destroy the lie.
She saw that God only was her cause and she could depend upon His law to protect her health from every lie of evil, including this one. God was infinitely more to her than mortal mind hysteria, claiming it had the world on the run with its suggestions of fear and affliction. Her consciousness was definitely improved, changed from fear of evil to understanding trust in God. Within twelve hours all symptoms of what the liar said everyone was getting had gone. Jesus' estimate of evil as a liar was proven correct, and Mrs. Eddy's statement that "the true consciousness is the true health" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 298) was here demonstrated.
Your worst enemy and mine is as near as thought. It is the mortal, material consciousness or selfhood which the liar, mortal mind, says is our selfhood or consciousness. Sometimes mortals are slow to recognize their worst enemy, perhaps because they have become so intimate with it.
The story is told of Jane, a little girl who was rapidly growing up. A friend of the family had been away from the town where Jane lived for some time, and when she returned she met Jane on the street. She was impressed by the child's rapid growth and said to her: "My dear, how you have grown since I last saw you. Why, you are almost a young lady." Said Jane, "Yes, that is what almost everyone says, but you see I am with me so much that I do not notice it." Mortals are mentally so much with their false sense of selfhood that they do not see it in its correct light or evaluate it properly as an enemy that must be put down and overcome through the accepting of a higher concept of man as the child of God.
The one evil, mortal mind, claims to assert itself in and through a material state of consciousness — called a mortal person. It persistently argues to us that this is our self. In the degree we believe the lie we are in trouble. We lose sight of the consciousness, or selfhood, God gives us. Mortal mind would darken our thought with a false material sense of origin, with its false qualities of self-will, self-love, self-justification, pride, egotism, animality. We become swayed by fear, animosity, impulse, human emotions and in general seem pretty much to be the puppet of the mortal, evil mind. The consciousness of material selfhood is the stage where the puppeteer, mortal mind, stages its variety acts of sin, disease, and death. Said the Master, "A man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Matt. 10:36). It is in the household of our human consciousness we find our foes. The chief one is the false sense of self.
What can we do about it? Discover and accept our true consciousness, which includes the spiritual concept of our selfhood as God's child, and so begin to silence the lying suggestion of evil that we have another self or consciousness of its making. Part of us cannot be the child of God and part the offspring of God's opposite, the one evil; yet this is what mortals in general are trying to believe.
I remember what a joyous experience it was when after studying Christian Science for a time, it dawned on me one day that the only selfhood I could really have was the one God conceived, for He was the only cause; that it must in all logic be like Him, as the Bible says. It made no difference, I saw, how much mortal mind and its material sense testimony argued to the contrary. A lie could never argue its way into becoming a fact, and the spiritual fact in regard to my being could never be changed, for God was the cause of it. I began to see that no matter how many mistakes I had humanly made, no matter how severe some of the experiences of mortal life had been, that all of that was never any part of my real selfhood. God holds man safe and inviolable in oneness with Him, eternal Mind, the only Father. Lying mortal mind was, by reason of its total falsity, utterly outside of God's infinitude, and there was no door by which it could enter, no avenue of access by which it could find my true being, forever dwelling "in the secret place of the most High" (Ps. 91:1) — in unity with eternal good. The spiritual fact as to my real selfhood, it was God's eternal responsibility to maintain intact. In the degree that I was sincere and honest in endeavoring to improve my consciousness by accepting the true idea of God, my cause, and bring my thoughts and life into oneness with true Mind, I saw that my true selfhood would increasingly appear as the only selfhood I had ever really had. Evil's fleeting fiction of identified evil, seen as the belief of life in matter and limitation, would progressively give way.
Every day we can improve our human consciousness by prayerfully affirming, in our own individual way, the true idea of God and man, the Christ-idea of Life. A very important signpost on the way is our Way-shower's meaningful statement, "If any man will come after me (improve his consciousness so as to think as I think), let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matt. 16:24). How willing are you and I daily to deny, grapple with, overcome what the devil falsely says is our self by knowing and expressing more and more of our genuine selfhood and consciousness, God's model of excellence?
One might prayerfully and daily declare, for instance, that he is not what mortal mind and matter says he is — a temporary embodiment of flesh and bones, with a mortal sense of life and consciousness. What he is is what God, the all-knowing Mind, causes him to be and knows he is, even His perfect son, or individual expression. He lives in God, not in mindless matter. His nature, life, and destiny are ever in God's safe keeping. He is ever causing him to be, to know what he should know, to do what he should do, to have what he should have, to see what he should see, to hear as he should hear, as the evidence of the only Mind, Life, and Love that is. As we are increasingly willing just to let the Mind that was in Christ Jesus be our Mind it will feed us with unlimited ideas that enlighten, inspire, and free us from the material ignorance that darkens human consciousness, and will reveal our only true consciousness, which is always of and in God.
Billy Graham recently said in his newspaper column: "Never forget that the only real you is not your body. It is your heart. It is your mind." Dr. Toynbee, the distinguished historian, was quoted not long ago as saying, "Eventually man will experience an entirely spiritual existence" (Monitor, December 7, 1954). Human consciousness increasingly recognizes, in varying degrees, that material selfhood or consciousness is not the real identity of man. Christian Science helps us to bring to light what is our real consciousness or spiritual selfhood.
The ideas with which true Mind makes our true consciousness can be used to overcome all forms of strife. What causes strife is conflicting minds. What heals it is the acceptance of God as the only Mind of man and using the ideas of good will and justice that true Mind includes in the only true consciousness of all men. Here is an example. An executive, who was a Christian Scientist, had been delegated to represent the management of a large corporation to negotiate with labor union representatives on eleven grievances presented by the union. The latter were taking, what seemed to the management, an adamant stand that was unreasonable. If the demands were not fully met, much trouble was threatened. There was no inclination to compromise on any of the points in dispute.
The evening before the conference the executive spent much time in study and prayer to improve his consciousness, to free it of the evil suggestions that his was an impossible task and that the men he was to confer with were unreasonable. He turned his thought to God and knew He was the one true Mind, the true consciousness of one and all. He refuted the false suggestion of evil that there were many minds with differing viewpoints. Instead he realized the scientific fact that because real Mind is One, its children think thoughts of unity, understanding, good will — not thoughts of division, dissension, and strife.
He saw that man is created by God to express justice to his brother and that the one evil, mortal mind, cannot usurp control over the consciousness of man or set him at variance with his brother. Antagonism, suspicion, fear, he realized have no rightful place in true consciousness, for they are evil, trouble-making thoughts which have no part in positive Mind or in the consciousness of its witness, man.
To counteract the aggressive suggestions of unreasonableness he pondered Mrs. Eddy's statement, "God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience." (Science and Health, Page 106). Reason, not unreasonableness, he saw was a gift of the Father, Mind, to every individual.
When the labor representatives and the executive met there was a fine spirit of cooperation, and within two hours the eleven grievances were all settled in a manner satisfactory to both sides. The Lord had been in the midst of them, as the prophet said. God's fatherhood realized brings to light man's present brotherhood. The executive was willing to accept the ideas that derive from the one God, and with them cancel out the false thoughts that stemmed from the one evil mind — always a liar. The peace of the world is coming nearer as men become more willing to accept their true consciousness, the consciousness of which the good, loving, and just Mind, that is God, is the source and substance.
Human consciousness includes many mistaken beliefs which the evil mortal mind, would have men accept as laws. For instance, it argues that if a mortal's father had a bald head his son is likely to have one too, or if the mother died with a particular disease the child may sometime have that too. It says that if a child in school has measles an epidemic is probable. It says that with changes in the temperature of the material atmosphere it is time for many mortals to cough and sniffle.
It is not the baldness of the father that makes the son bald. The head and hair of the son do not take notice of the father's head and decide to pattern after it. It is mortal thinking, accepted as a law by the son, whereby he believes that because one mortal had scant hair, his crop must be a poor one. The mistaken belief in his human consciousness governs his body. Of course he may refuse to accept that belief and claim his right, under God's law, to have a wholly normal head of hair. Loss of hair, or anything else, that is normal to harmonious being is never the result of the law of God.
The belief of heredity is mastered as the individual discerns the spiritual fact, inherent in his God-given consciousness, that he has one real Parent, God. From Him all individualities derive their only true life and its harmonious continuance. The human concept of material origins and hereditary affliction is unknown to divine Mind. Never have its children ever been afflicted, for all remain eternally superior to the would-be afflictive forces of the lying material beliefs. The individual needs to know that he is subordinate to no false laws of heredity because he is forever subordinate only to the constructive forces, or laws, of the causative Mind in whom he forever lives. He is not made by God to be a believer in, and sufferer from, erroneous mortal mind beliefs. He is made by God conscious of the nature of God and the laws by which God governs man.
Briefly let us review some of the points covered in this hour. We have seen that human consciousness is made up of a variety of thoughts, some good, many evil. Good thoughts originate with the one good and universal Mind called God. Evil thoughts originate with the evil or mortal sense of mind, the devil. Each of us can choose what thoughts he will accept.
The most important thing for the one desiring to improve his consciousness is to accept true and perfect Mind as his God and acquaint himself with the ideas and qualities of this Mind. The issue he has daily to face between what might be called the BIG LIE — mortal mind claiming to be a second god and to have made a second creation and a second kind of man, mortal and material — and the ETERNAL FACT — immortal, intelligent Mind and its universal kingdom of spiritually-minded individualities.
Using daily the true ideas of life which causative Mind gives him as his true consciousness the individual prays effectively and so overcomes step by step his worst enemy, the false sense of self which the evil mind says is himself. It is actually but a counterfeit of his true being, the likeness of God. In the consciousness of false selfhood — his worst enemy — is the stage on which evil stages its variety acts. But it can be deprived of that stage and all the actors, as the individual increasingly realizes, through study of God's Word and prayer, that all reality is now infinite Mind and its intelligent, harmonious manifestation. Jesus put the "liar" brand on all the various forms of evil, and the brand is still there for you and me to recognize, if we will.
God and man, we have seen, are inseparable. Because God is infinite, man must, and does, live in Him. There is no other place for man to live. He cannot exist outside infinity. In Him we live is a scientific, and so a demonstrable fact. It states the living unity of man with the only Life and Mind that really is. As human consciousness yields to the thoughts derived from God it loses its fear of, and blind submission to, evil. Health appears in place of sickness, happiness in place of discord, because false mortal material consciousness is yielding to true consciousness, the Mind and Life that is God.
Jesus brought to human consciousness the message of the Christ, the true idea of God and man. Jesus was the messenger. The Christ was his God-given message. By it men awaken to see that they can individually use their God-given consciousness to reject every negative suggestion of the devil-mind and accept the ideas of God as their divinely natural and only true consciousness. Thus they progressively discover the simple but great fact that God is the only real Mind of man, is his true consciousness. "Man and his Maker," writes Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health (p. 276), "are correlated in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God."