The Origin and Power of Thought
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
"Never believe that you are separated from God. God is as near to you as thought."
Paul Stark Seeley, C.S.B., member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship addressed these words to a large audience in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, on May 14.
He spoke of God as "the universal Mind, the intelligent source . . . continuously communicating thoughts to constitute our real consciousness and life."
"The once common belief that the material brain is the source of thought, is today being questioned," Mr. Seeley noted. "Some neurologists now declare that brain is brain, and mind is mind, and they do not know how they meet."
There is nothing in the nature of matter to indicate it can produce character, a concept such as justice, or even one intelligent thought, he observed.
"Something greater than the individual is involved."
"Self-importance in any of us must give way to a realization of Mind's, God's, importance, as the continuing source of our intelligent thoughts."
Mr. Seeley, who is a Christian Science practitioner, teacher, and lecturer of wide experience, was introduced to the audience by Mrs. Elizabeth Vera Gorringe, Second Reader of The Mother Church.
Title of the lecture was "The Origin and Power of Thought." The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Centuries of Ignorance Overcome
For many years prior to the last World War the fishing industry based at Hong Kong was in a depressed state. Ninety-five per cent of the Chinese fishermen and their families were illiterate, their fishing methods were antiquated. There was not a motorized junk in the large fishing fleet. Manpower, but mostly woman-power, worked the heavy capstans for lifting and lowering sails, and when the wind died propelled the boats with long paddles. The standard of living was at a bare subsistence level.
Then something happened. A prisoner of war, locally interned and familiar with the situation, had an idea. It was to motorize the fishing fleet, increase its range, and so its potential catch. At the war's end this idea was accepted by the authorities and funds made available to the fishermen on loan for motorizing their junks.
Stubborn resistance to a new method that demanded giving up the customs of centuries had to be overcome. In 1948 a fisherman caused much shaking of heads among his fellows by borrowing money to equip his two junks with engines. But the increase in his catch proved he was right; others followed. Today there are more than 3500 junks with engines. Three times as many fish are caught; thousands of children from the fishermen's families are in school, and some are even attending universities overseas. What produced the change? A thought, first found by the prisoner of war, then accepted by others. With its own intelligent power this thought overcame centuries of ignorant, limited thinking and changed for the better the lives and perspectives of thousands.
That is the way with worthy thoughts. Their innate power for destroying bonds of ignorant limitation and bringing a better life to those who accept them is mighty. But there has to be a willingness to recognize their potential for good before they can do their work. Gradually men are discovering there is no scarcity of thoughts which have the power to solve all human problems. To secure their acceptance often requires much patience.
In the Wall Street Journal there recently appeared an article under the heading, "Idea Factories, an Expanding Industry." The article related how our government and private corporations are expending hundreds of millions of dollars to provide plants with suitable environment to assist keen-minded men to discover ideas that may be used to improve the defense of our country or contribute to our industrial potential. The reader of this article was left to infer that the research staffs were making ideas. Actually ideas or thoughts were not being made but were being discovered. What the government or corporations had done was to define an objective and provide an environment free from interferences with the mental processes directed to accomplish the objective. All concerned depended on what originates thoughts to make available the thoughts needed.
We are here to consider the origin of thoughts, good and bad. How ignorant mankind is of the answer to the simple question, what originates thought? It is apparent, I think, that something greater than the individual is involved. How would you start to put together the thought of justice? After thinking over the assignment, you might conclude that men are not endowed with the know-how for making thought. And as for the idea of justice, you might recognize that something has already made it. All you can do is to accept and use it.
Bible Refers Often to Righteousness
Your conclusion, I believe, would be right. All worthy thoughts are made for, and available to man in his consciousness. Progress is what? The discovery and acceptance of already existing intelligent thoughts and utilizing their power. Jesus proved that thoughts already exist which will overcome all evil, even death. All he had to work with were the thoughts he found in his consciousness. They were enough. But who or what made them?
The first message sent over the telegraph by its inventor was, "What hath God wrought?" Samuel Morse realized his accomplishment was that of an intelligence greater than himself, which enabled him to perceive the thoughts essential to his invention.
When living in Switzerland, Einstein had been working on one of his now famous equations. He had come to the last step but was unable to complete it. He was nearly distraught with the problem and the fear of failure. One evening he sought a radical change of scene and plunged out into a downpour of rain and wind, and walked for miles. Late in the night he returned, drenched and chilled. He decided to take a hot bath, still groping for the thought he needed.
In the moments of relaxation in the bath, there quietly dawned on his consciousness the thought he was seeking. His equation was complete, his work was done. Later, in relating this experience to a friend, he said, "When the idea came, with no effort of mine, I realized that of myself I could do nothing." Like Morse, he intuitively felt it was the Mind that is greater than man which provides intelligence that impels right thoughts.
The humble conclusion of these great men that man does not create thoughts accords with the judgment of Christ Jesus when he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing" (do no thinking) (John 5:30). Jesus acknowledged no intelligence apart from the Mind that is God. Amos says of God that He "declareth unto man what is his thought" (Amos 4:13).
Lincoln said that man is tallest when he is on his knees. Self-importance in any of us must give way to a realization of Mind's, God's, importance, as the continuing source of our intelligent thoughts. Intelligent Mind is always articulate, never mute. It is continuously communicating thoughts to constitute our real consciousness and life. Because man is the effect of Mind he has no mind of his own but is the evidence of the one intelligent Mind than which there is no higher status.
Is not the causing, coordinating, blending of the tens of thousands of notes that constitute a symphony illustrative of the unifying presence and power of one Mind? May not the evolving of a European Common Market, ministering to the needs of millions, hint the active presence of one unifying Mind?
Through the Bible there are many references to righteousness. It means right-mindedness, no more, no less. The promises of the Bible are to the righteous, to those willing to think rightly. The First Commandment is, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). What does it mean? We believe it means that every individual shall accept no mind except the genuine Mind that is God and think the thoughts of this Mind.
Of Christian Science, its Discoverer, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, "The essence of this Science is right thinking and right acting," (No and Yes, p. 12). Mrs. Eddy refers to the First Commandment as her favorite text because it demands the acceptance of God as the only Mind.
God Governs All Right Thinking
Some mortals believe that a limited, material form is essential to identify a person. So when they seek to identify God some imagine God must be localized within a limited personality. Jesus used the word Spirit to identify God. Spirit is immaterial, universal, unlimited. How could a limited God evolve a boundless universe?
One way to free one's thought of a limited sense of God, as humanly outlined, is to think of God as the universal Principle, or basic intelligent source, of all that truly is. In mathematics we use the word principle and think of it as immaterial, without physical form. The principle of mathematics is universal, naturally defining and governing mathematical thinking wherever this thinking is taking place. To become a mathematician one must think in accord with this principle. He does not see it, but he can always find it as close to him as his thought. So in a more important sense, God is the universal Mind, Principle, the intelligent source and governor of all real thinking.
Another point. In everyday life the word "he" is used to refer to a physical person. But when the word "He," with a capital, is used for God, it does not apply to something with a human form. It refers to the one, infinite I AM, universal, all intelligent Mind.
There is nothing so indispensable to man as his continuing cause. Until we begin to understand what makes us think, we are going it blind. We know not whence we derive or whither we are bound. What is it you must continuously have to accomplish anything worthwhile? Thoughts. Then it is that which provides intelligent thoughts that is indispensable to man, and that is genuine Mind, God.
I have found it helpful in searching out the nature of God to ask myself, just what is God doing? Since He is universal Mind, He must be ever imparting all the true ideas that men ever have. Take a mental survey of a small part of the universe. On our planet are some three billion individuals. In the consciousness of most of these are active, at least some of the time, worthy thoughts of friendliness, honesty, kindness, justice, wisdom, and good will. Why is this? Because their real consciousness reflects the universal Mind that is the source and substance of all good thoughts. To constantly make available all the God-inspired thoughts that three billion individuals could use is an impressive commitment. Only universal Mind can do this.
That is not all. Some astronomers say there are at least ten billion planets where life similar to that on earth may well exist. Suppose half of these — five billion — have populations near the number on earth. There would then be three billion times five billion, or a total of fifteen quintillions of individuals in the total population. From where will these fifteen quintillions derive their worthy thoughts? From the same infinite Mind that supplies good thoughts to the three billion on our earth. Perhaps you will agree that continuously making available intelligent ideas for fifteen quintillions of people is something only infinite Mind can do.
All this I am presenting to help us let go of a limited sense of God and to see something of the unlabored work deific Mind must do as the intelligent source of all true consciousness. If this Mind stopped providing us with intelligence for an instant, we would stop thinking and being. Mind eternally expresses itself in intelligent ideas which form the true consciousness of all that lives.
Furthermore, God is not just an important something in the universe. "God," writes Mrs. Eddy, "is the sum total of the universe" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 105). God is the totality of reality. This totality is the one infinite, causative Mind, containing in its infinite allness all its ideas and identities. So, Christian Science teaches that God is All-in-all, meaning that God, the infinite Mind, or cause, is ever evidenced in its effect, its universe and man. This is thus stated in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all" (p. 468).
Man Is Never Apart From God
This sense of God as the sum of reality should not be confused with the material doctrine of pantheism which presupposes that God is something that sleeps in the mineral, dreams in the animal, and wakes in a mortal sense of man. Christian Science teaches that Spirit, God, is not in anything material, but is expressed by, though not confined in, all that is spiritual.
Never believe that you are separated from God. God is as near to you as thought for the reason that God is Mind, the source of intelligent thoughts. Every time you say a heartfelt thank you; every time you voice a genuine good morning; every time you do an act of unselfed kindness, you manifest something of the good Mind that is your Life and God. The you that is truly you is the constant individualized evidence of the action of the Mind that is God.
You may ask, "But what about the wrong, disturbing thoughts that make up such a large part of human thinking? Do they derive from the Mind that is God?" They do not. As James asks, "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" (James 3:11.) Where then do cruel, angry, sad, unjust, contentious thoughts and their results come from? Men have been hard put to explain evil. To most, evil remains an enigma — a grave reality, but a tragic contradiction of an intelligent, basic cause.
Like other points made clear by Jesus' teaching, but not yet generally recognized by his followers, the source and nature of evil has been fully disclosed by Christ Jesus. And by successfully overcoming all phases of evil, he proved that he had the correct evaluation of it and knew exactly how to destroy it. First let me quote his analysis of evil and then tell you what Christian Science gets from his words. In John (8:44) we read that he said to the Pharisees who were planning to crucify him, "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."
Note Jesus used three nouns in evaluating evil. First, father, source or cause. Second, murderer. The evil material sense of source always murders what it evolves. An example is found in the daily columns of births and deaths in the newspapers. Production and destruction characterize the whole material, evil sense of cause and effect.
The third noun is liar. Here the Master deflates the pretentious claim of evil that it is a true cause and that it actually murders something real. It is lying, Jesus said, when it says it creates, then destroys its work. How much we need to realize this scientific evaluation of the totality of evil and begin to be freed from the fatalistic belief that material production and destruction are the pattern of life designed by supreme intelligence.
No destructive forces inhere in intelligent Mind. What it evolves, it evolves for an intelligent purpose and perpetuates for that purpose. Of evil forces the Scriptures say, "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain" (Isa. 11:9).
The false evil mind claims the qualities of universality and power, but, because of its falsity, it is impotent to displace genuine Mind, its ideas and identities. No concept of the negative material mind abides in true Mind, for the good reason that there is no kinship between the mind that is material and the Mind that is Spirit, God. As genuine Mind is expressed or seen in its right-minded individualities, so the pseudo material mind is evidenced in its materially minded mortal personalities which it animates with its negative thought-forces and selfish human will.
'Except a Man Be Born Again . . .'
Do you think that Jesus evaluated evil rightly or wrongly? His works, we believe, proved his words. Evil in its totality is falsity because it is unrelated to true Mind and can be proven false with the true ideas supplied by real Mind to nullify its falsities.
We have seen that all worthy thoughts are from the intelligent Mind that is God; all unworthy thoughts from the pseudo material mind evaluated by Jesus as "a liar." How can we make our thinking more expressive of true Mind and less open to the thoughts of the liar mind? Jesus pointed the way to Nicodemus and to all of us. He said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). The kingdom of God was to Jesus Truth's universe and what everyone desired to find. He was stating the only way by which any individual can ever find it. That way was not the dying way. It was a living way. He called it being born again: not a second physical birth, but a great mental awakening to find the true sense of man's origin, God, man's only Mind, and of man as God's spiritual expression, forever united to Him. Of the new birth Mrs. Eddy writes, "The new birth is not the work of a moment. It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 15).
It is important for us to recognize that each individual is responsible for the thoughts that he accepts as his thinking. You and I have the responsibility to decide moment by moment whether we will accept the positive thoughts that are provided for us by the Mind that is our God, or consent to be governed by the negative thoughts of the godless material mind which always ends in trouble.
Most important of the ideas of Mind by which an individual is reborn is the idea that God is man's infinite Father, Mind, and that man is the evidence of this Mind. This true idea of cause and effect is revealed by the Christ and saves the one who grasps it from a wrong concept of God and man with all its disastrous results. Once the individual finds what God is he begins to recognize something of what man is, God's effect and expression. Then he has a scientific standard by which to judge all thoughts. Do they tell him of the true sense of God and His man, or do they not?
The Scriptures teach that the fleshly, material sense of life and the higher, or spiritual, sense of being are opposites. As understanding of God and man grows it subjugates the material and finally replaces it, as was done by Christ Jesus in what is called his ascension, when physical sense saw him no more.
Mrs. Eddy says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 21), "As the ages advance in spirituality, Christian Science will be seen to depart from the trend of other Christian denominations in no wise except by increase of spirituality." This Science shows the way for the individual to utilize the God-empowered ideas of intelligent Mind to improve human dispositions, produce healthy bodies, happy homes, and useful careers.
A native of New Hampshire, Mrs. Eddy attended the local schools when her health would permit. With the help of an older brother, a lawyer and graduate of Dartmouth, she added much to her education through wisely directed study and reading. Her works show a wide range of knowledge. Her vocabulary is impressive among English authors.
In childhood she came to realize that the healings done by Jesus should be repeated today since he said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12). Many human trials in her early twenties severely tested her faith in God, but through them she strove better to understand Him. Her thought was open to the ideas of God revealed in the Bible. For some twenty years her search lasted, seeking the answers concerning God, man and true healing. The search was rewarded in 1866 with an immediate healing of internal injuries from an accident which the physician said would be fatal.
With this indisputable healing through her clinging solely to the true idea of God as her only cause and Life, and to her true individuality as the constant object of God's love and intelligent care, she realized she had found the secret of Jesus' healing power. She perceived that it is the power of Mind reflected by its spiritual idea, man, which is the antidote for the false thoughts and beliefs of the material mind. Years of research into the Mind-inspired words of the Master and the prophets followed, resulting in the publication of Science and Health in 1875. When I was a student at Harvard the retiring President, Charles Eliot, evaluated Christian Science as "good Christianity."
It is the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures that is so vital. If one reads or listens simply to the letter, he bypasses the message. For example, said Jesus, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). The word "I" must be understood. Many believe this "I" refers to a very good person named Jesus who lived and died and by their so believing they can come to God.
Mrs. Eddy teaches that the "I" is more than a personal Saviour to be blindly believed in; it is the Mind-enlightened consciousness which was the very essence of Jesus' being. By his spiritual knowing the Master found his unity with the Father Mind, the source of his thoughts. He wanted all men to realize that only as each individual accepts as his consciousness God-expressing thoughts does he find his unity with this Mind, his Father, the source of these thoughts. The way to the Father is the thought way. Did not Jesus exemplify this?
Christian Science is radical, as radical as the teachings of Jesus, no more, no less. Its system of healing regards God as the great Physician whose remedies are in the Mind-provided ideas of being. Although deriving from a purely spiritual basis, the opposite of all material systems of medicine with their roots in the mythology of Greece, Christian Science has steadily grown. Its healing by understanding prayer is acknowledged by law in all states of the Union, and its practitioners are given equal recognition with physicians by the Federal government and by many states in the proving of certain claims.
Science and Health has recently been translated into Russian. Earlier translations have been in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Danish. The Herald of Christian Science, published quarterly, has recently been issued in the Japanese and Indonesian languages.
[Christian Science and One's Future
[Perhaps someone is wondering how this right thinking could be applied to aid a student with his future. There is much to be done to prepare himself, many decisions to make, perhaps examinations to be passed and a right place found and maintained in society.
[He would be encouraged to turn his thought to his intelligent cause, divine Mind, to recognize that this wise intelligence is ever mindful of him as its perfect idea, provides constantly for him all the constructive thoughts he needs to guide and direct his way toward his worthy objective. Fear, worry, and uncertainty, he would be helped to see, are not intelligent thoughts, do not derive from his true and positive Mind. They must be denied place or power in his consciousness for they are neither good nor true. They are the liar's voice.
[That which gives him life and intelligence is at hand to define his destiny and wisely to place him where he can contribute most to the good of all. The Mind that is intelligent enough to govern the universe naturally provides all he, as a witness of intelligent Mind, needs to take his part therein. He would need to trust the Mind forces of God rather than to fear the limiting and confusing forces of evil. This Bible statement might be a light on the way: "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me" (Ps. 138:8). To define and protect the destiny and usefulness of man, he would be helped to realize, is the natural prerogative of God. It is the function of causative Mind to govern with its positive thoughts its own manifestation, man. Any negative thoughts of chance would be seen as outlawed by God's unerring direction and control of His own.
[In the degree he used his ability to acquaint himself with these and other constructive ideas would he not be "born again," awakened to realize something of the presence of God, Spirit, Mind, and man's status as ever tributary thereto? He would be mentally awakening to discern something of God as his real Father, controlling his life and destiny.
[At the college age and before, young people are often confronted with the pressure of opinions around them that they should conform in their habits and conduct to what others about them are doing. It may seem easier to go with the crowd, to smoke, drink, and perhaps depart from moral standards, rather than to take a firm stand for high standards. The Master never went with the crowd. He described two ways of thinking and living. One was the narrow way, the other the broad way. Of the broad way which always leads to destruction, to the loss of true values, he said many go therein. The narrow way he said leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. But the narrow way, Christian Science reveals, broadens as we walk in it.
[Christian Science helps the individual to see the right standard that is right because it is most nearly in accord with God's nature. What mortal persons may choose to do or not do is no criterion for the individual who desires to align his thoughts and life with his intelligent cause. Intelligent Mind never impels anyone to poison his body and mind or to yield his thought to an immoral sense of being. Only the devil does that.
[When in college I remember Senator William Borah, a brilliant, independent thinker from Idaho, said one day in the Senate, "Alcohol makes wreckage of more lives, breaks up more homes, produces more crimes, than any one thing on earth. It is the world's worst criminal." Man exists for a truly intelligent, rewarding purpose. It is not to dull his sense of values with the poisons of alcohol and nicotine, nor to submerge his sense of being in the dregs of immorality. It is to express in thought and act the one immutable Mind, or substance, God.
[Many thousands have been freed through Christian Science from these evil practices, and many others have been protected from their truthless appeal that to conform to what others believe adds something to one's satisfaction. To one confronted with the pressure to conform, Christian Science points out that each individual is basically responsible to his Maker and to nothing else. Aught that would dull his spiritual sense of life, or tend to hold his thought in material indulgence separates him from his source and opens the mental door to the evil suggestions of the lying material mind, the enemy and never the friend of man.
[The true Mind of man — God — gives one the ability to separate between worthy and unworthy thoughts, to let his judgments conform to the former and deny the latter, thus to be born again to more clearly perceive the things of God and His kingdom.]
Several months ago there came to my office a woman seeking counsel for furthering her progress in Christian Science. She had had an impressive healing through her own application of the teachings of this Science, which she had been studying for several years.
Deep Consecration Heals Cancer
She had healed herself of cancer. This had required deep consecration of thought. She had had to be willing to be born again, to surrender a limited, material concept of God and man and find, in some fair measure, that true idea of God and man which Jesus proved saves from all evil.
Her humble story of the hopelessness, to human sense, of the situation that confronted her, of the courage, persistence and patience with which she faced it, turning to the divine Mind to give her the ideas that would dissipate fear, and increase her understanding of God's omnipotence, was impressive. She had put to work the ability inherent in her consciousness to know the truth as to God and man, His expression. This truth realized freed her from that godless thing tagged by evil a cancer. Why? Because this evil concept of the lying evil mind had no more truth in it than does that mind. She proved true the Bible verse, "He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Ps. 107:20).
The positive ideas that increased her faith and understanding and enabled her to realize something of man's unity with God were clothed with God's intelligent power. Their healing potential did not shrink before what the material senses said was a hopeless situation, but mastered and destroyed it. They proved it is God, the Mind of man, that provides one with the ideas that are the antidote of intelligence for the godless, mindless, falsity of malignancy. I thanked God that today, as in Jesus' time, the healing power of Mind was being proven to be at hand for each one who has the willingness to demonstrate it.
Accidents, we agree, are not good; they serve no good purpose. Therefore, we believe, they are not caused by the one basic and intelligent cause, God. Further, they can be outlawed by the intelligent forces of Mind. Here is an example.
A woman on a university staff was in a severe car crash. She was rushed to an emergency hospital. The doctors said if she lived she would be hopelessly paralyzed. All the nerves in her neck had been severed at the base of the skull and many bones broken. A Christian Science practitioner was immediately called by her friend who was driving the car. The woman knew something of Christian Science. For three months the practitioner went to the hospital almost daily to pray for the patient and help her better to understand God's control over her. No medication was given. The doctors thought her case was hopeless.
Near the end of this time X-rays showed all bones had been set and normal nerve conditions had been restored by the metaphysical work done. A class of medical students was allowed to visit her in her room and was told what had happened to her. After leaving, one of the students asked a professor, who was with them, how she could still be alive when their textbook said one could not live after such injuries. The professor said he could not explain it. Another professor who was with them was then asked to explain it. He said, "I cannot explain it, but my wife, if she were here, could. She is a Christian Scientist."
Labor-Management Split Solved
The woman was discharged and later took up her active duties on the staff of the university. The destructive forces of the material mind were forced to yield to the mightier forces of intelligent Mind demanding and enforcing man's harmony and useful activity. Would you not expect a supremely intelligent God to be able to do that? The practitioner had realized that no good thing is impossible to God.
One of the signs of progress in human thinking is the increased interest in the bettering of human relationships in industry and otherwise. It pays to have people get on well together. But there is much room for improvement. Have you ever thought of what makes relationship? Basically must it not be the basic cause that makes all that is real? The Bible and Christian Science teach that all real relationship is of God's making and is good and harmonious. The fatherhood of the one universal Mind must be and is evidenced in the brotherhood of all men.
This fact, as emphasized in Christian Science, is helping to bring to light solutions for labor and management differences. Here is an example. A four-man committee was appointed by a large corporation to bargain with a twelve-man committee from a union to arbitrate certain demands of the union. Some union members bragged that the union was out to get certain restrictive rules that would limit to narrow areas the kinds of work to be done by its members. A strike was threatened in order to gain their objective.
One of the four-man committee of the management was an active Christian Scientist. He saw that he had an opportunity to apply the facts in regard to true relationship, to bring to light what was for the good of all, not simply the management. To this end he worked daily on the matter, praying to realize that all were governed by the one Mind whose will was that only what was just and right could prevail for all. At times in the meetings which continued for some weeks ignorance, unreasonableness, self-will appeared. At the final meeting agreement on all matters was arrived at and instead of restrictive rules increased latitude as to the work the men were to do was accepted as right by both sides.
Man Lives to Manifest God
The Christian Scientist had refused to accept what material sense testimony offered as being the last word — a hopeless division. He knew such was not the work of God, intelligent Mind and that the thought forces of this one real Mind were ever at hand and active to bring to light intelligent judgment and just decisions in the thinking of all; that all were tributary to the one and only God whose law was that all should be justly related to one another and work harmoniously with one another, thus exemplifying their common source, the Principle that is the living and just God.
The same truths apply to the bringing out of harmonious relationships in homes, in churches, in our daily contacts with one another. God's forever fatherhood must be evidenced in man's indivisible brotherhood.
The once common belief that the material brain is the source of thought, is today being questioned. Some neurologists now declare that brain is brain, and mind is mind, and they do not know how they meet. It is progress for human thought to begin to discard the belief that from mindless matter intelligent thoughts can evolve.
Christian Science teaches that the material body is the material mind's destructible concept of identity, the opposite of the man called in the Bible the likeness of God, the witness, or son, of God. The false mortal self, which Jesus called the son of perdition, is gotten rid of little by little. Jesus showed us that one begins by using one's measurable understanding of God and man to subjugate matter and its claims, instead of being subjugated by them.
This is what occurred when the master healed the man who was born blind. Matter said, "I have made him and made him blind. There is no hope for him." And all the believers in the supremacy of matter agreed. Jesus understood that man really lives to manifest God and it is the will of God that man individualize unimpairable sight, a faculty of God, his cause.
This was the law of God to the case; and his sight was restored. There was no mystery. It was the knowing of the spiritual truth concerning the man's cause and concerning his true individuality as the effect of his cause which nullified the material sense-testimony. Evil was arguing there was a second cause besides God which made man mortal and afflictable. This mental error had to, and did, yield to the scientific fact.
Physicists say that if all the space were squeezed out of the physical body the residue would be a tiny speck of matter. A friend associated with Space Laboratories, Inc., tells me that they have a machine which magnifies a million times. When a piece of hard matter like steel is placed in it, the magnified picture is a vast field of empty space, with a minute speck in it here and there. Do you find anything in matter's specks or space that can produce character, or even one intelligent thought?
All-Inclusive Mind Underlies All
In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says (p. 269), "The theories I combat are these: (1) that all is matter; (2) that matter originates in Mind, and is as real as Mind, possessing intelligence and life. The first theory, that matter is everything, is quite as reasonable as the second, that Mind and matter coexist and co-operate. One only of the following statements can be true: (1) that everything is matter; (2) that everything is Mind. Which one is it?" Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Yang, says that theoretical physicists believe there is something simple underlying all. So do we. The great simple underlying fact is infinite, all-inclusive Mind.
So sensitive has all the world become to what is happening in all parts of it that the oneness of the human family is increasingly apparent. But what is the basic issue dividing the nations? Christian Science regards the issue to be between the thinking that is willing to let the constructive ideas of positive Mind control the motives and objectives of men, as opposed to the thinking that accepts the blind willfulness of the devilish material mind determined to bring under its sway the family of men. The first kind of thinking has plenty to do to improve its judgments, increase its wisdom, but its motives are less blind and willful. It is more willing to try to find the way that will be helpful to all. To each individual it would grant the right to live and act in freedom according to his light.
The second kind of thinking, as we see it, represents the determination of the false material mind to bring under its sway the thoughts and lives of all men. It would deprive the individual of his basic right to progress under the light within him and compel him to accept as the governing forces of his life the will of others, who would mold his destiny according to the pattern of the fanatical will, whose allegiance is to its own objective, human power.
The turmoil in the world with millions emerging from bondage to freedom Christian Science regards as evidence of progress toward human betterment. Despite present and future problems it sees an horizon of great hope. The ultimate government of mankind, it regards as already determined, for this government is in the intelligent ideas of the Mind that is Principle, God. The will of genuine intelligence is that all men shall enjoy, under God, equality, freedom, peace. The human steps toward these objectives are slow, often confused, but they are being taken and will succeed because they derive from the will of the just and loving intelligence that is the one God of all men. The fatherhood of God, the fathering Mind, and the brotherhood of man, the unified manifestation of the one Father, slowly and as yet imperfectly appear.
Jesus Foretold Final Struggle
The final struggle between the lying evil mind and the genuine Mind was foretold by Christ Jesus in Matthew 24. Of this struggle Mrs. Eddy wrote, "This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces." She says further on, "These disturbances will continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth" (Science and Health, p. 96).
In discussing the subject "The Origin and Power of Thought" we have seen how the power of a progressive thought changed the lives of thousands of Chinese fishermen. We have seen that Morse and Einstein recognized it was an intelligent power greater than themselves which provided the ideas essential to the success of their work. Thoughts are something men do not have the ability to make. True thoughts are made by the Mind they evidence and are reflected by man.
The transition of human consciousness from a material basis of thinking to the basis which accepts Spirit, God, as true Mind is accomplished gradually. Better and more useful human thoughts appear as selfishness and self-will give way to some recognition of man as the expression of genuine Mind. These better human thoughts are not to be confused with the spiritual ideas that express pure intelligence, God.
God, we have seen, is indispensable to man, even the Mind that is the source of all his intelligent thoughts. This Mind is universal and is the continuing source of worthy thoughts for men on all planets where men may be. God therefore has no limited form, is located in no place but, like the principle of mathematics, is everywhere. He is the Life-principle of all real being.
Wrong thoughts we saw do not derive from God, for the same source cannot produce opposites. We considered Jesus' analysis of evil. It brought out that evil is the opposite of God, true Mind. Evil is a negative sense of mind, claiming the power, prestige, and universality of true Mind. Its pattern is first to father, originate its mortal, ungodlike man, then to murder what it makes through accident, crime, war, disease. Production and destruction are its pattern. Jesus exposed its powerlessness with the term "liar" — a lying cause, murdering its false effect. This lying sense of cause and effect is destructible in the degree Jesus' words are followed, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). The truth is the true idea of cause and effect — Mind and its manifestation.
Man Expresses Intelligent Mind
To find the intactness of Mind's kingdom, Jesus told Nicodemus that we all must be born again, mentally awaken to the true sense of origin, the living God, as our Life and Father. Mrs. Eddy says that the new birth begins with moments and goes on with years, moments of surrender to God (see Miscellaneous Writings, p. 15). Little by little the individual changes his thinking from a divided allegiance to two minds and accepts as natural his constant conscious oneness with the Mind that is his God. He finds the all-important idea for him is the true idea of his source and of himself as the spiritual expression of his source. This true idea of the one cause and its effect is the saving Christ. It saves thought from a wrong concept of God and man and reveals man's oneness with God as the expression of the one intelligent Mind.
We have seen that the essence of the teachings of Christ Jesus and of Christian Science is right thinking and acting, accepting consistently as our thinking the thoughts of the one real Mind which unite us to that Mind and separate us from belief in, or fear of, the godless material mind.
In "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 160) Mrs. Eddy epitomizes the purpose of Christian Science thus: "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."
[Delivered May 14, 1964, in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and published in The Christian Science Monitor, May 15, 1964, under the headline "God, Divine Mind, Is as Near to Man as Thought". This is a revision of a lecture of the same title for which no source was listed. The portion in brackets has been supplied from the original lecture; it does not exist in the Monitor version. Also the section "Mary Baker Eddy" above is named as it appears in other copies of the lecture. In this transcript the heading originally read "Mrs. Baker Found Key to Healing".]