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REGARDING THE BELIEF IN MATTER (Physical)

SAMUEL GREENWOOD. From the August 1906 The Christian Science Journal

Scientifically speaking, there is no matter, because man has no body, or that there are no
trees, flowers, stars, sea, or sky, or any of the other things that make up the phenomena
of the universe, is to assume regarding Christian Science teaching what is altogether
foreign to it, and what no Christian Scientist believes.

When Christian Science declares the nonentity of matter it does not figuratively take a
sponge and wipe the slate of the universe clean, leaving only a blank where before had
been the lovely forms of nature, and the difficulty in perceiving this point pertains to
one's mental education or process of reasoning. To the thought that conceives of
nothing as substantial except as it is material, the suggestion that there is no matter at
all seems to take away the very foundations of the universe and plunge creation into
chaos, while in fact the teaching of Christian Science reveals the harmony, consistency,
and permanence of real being, the knowledge of which has ever eluded the search of the
materialist.

The statement that matter is unreal because God is Spirit and constitutes the all of
being, is a correlative of the statement that darkness is unreal because God is light.

Matter is not God's medium for the manifestation of beauty, for it does not have the
permanence needed to sustain it. The decaying flower is not the perfect idea, however
beautiful it temporarily is, for beauty is the expression of the perfect and cannot
therefore lapse into ugliness. When the material flower dies and decays, material sense
says that its beauty has gone, but this decay indicates that the human concept, though
partially true and beautiful, was incomplete, and that it was incomplete through
ignorance of what the perfect idea is. The flower that decayed and lapsed into dust was
not the real, else it would have remained permanently in its place, to be "a joy forever."
It is the same with all that is called the material universe; matter is everywhere doomed
by its own law to decay and is unable to present any idea of perfection. It is represented
in Scripture as that which must pass away entirely before the new heaven and new
earth appear. Is it not, then, a state of human ignorance regarding the real earth and
heaven and man, and is it not this ignorance and not material substance which must
pass away upon the recognition of Truth, the true God and His eternal works?

Matter does not reveal the Godlike perfection of a person, nor the beauty and
permanence of creation, but hides them. It does not bring out the good qualities of
people, but conceals them with bad ones. It makes people selfish instead of loving,
hateful instead of kind, enemies instead of brothers/sisters, sick instead of well, mortal
instead of immortal. One might know all there is to be known concerning matter, she
might know all that all the scientists of all the ages have ever discovered concerning it,
and yet be in complete ignorance of the first fact concerning Spirit, God.
Is not, then, the truth of Christian Science teaching clearly evident, that matter and Spirit
are not two realities occupying infinity, and both entering into the nature of man, but
that the condition represented by matter is a condition of mental ignorance or lack of
knowledge concerning the things of Spirit? And does it not necessarily follow that the
more spiritual our thoughts become, or the more we understand of Spirit, the more
spiritual and less material will all creation appear to us?

The practice of Christian Science demonstrates that human salvation is characterized


and accomplished by a change of thought and not by a change in matter. The healing of
disease by Christian Science shows how a transformation is effected in what is called a
physical condition by changing the sufferer's thought, when there has been no material
application whatsoever.

The basic principle of Christian Science establishes that error—anything unlike God,
good—is an absence of Truth, and therefore unreal. So we don’t deal with conflicting
forces; rather, we refute the lie that conflicting forces could possibly be real. The
absence of light, called darkness, cannot oppose light. The absence of truth, called error,
can no more oppose truth than darkness can oppose light. That which is not cannot
oppose that which IS.

Christ Jesus came to separate the human concept of man from these errors, and to
present him in his original, immortal, perfect state as the child of God, Spirit. He did not
come to save mortals from real things but from delusions, from their wrong knowledge,
from the things which God did not make. He came to teach them the things which they
did not know; that is, the knowledge of spiritual life and truth.

If you would know yourself truly, it must be as God knows you; that is, as God made you,
and not as material sense would picture you, in sin and disease and mortality.

God, Spirit, is All; then there is no belief in matter.

Put God first in your consciousness and no evil shall befall you. Do so, and you will
demonstrate that you are dependent on God alone and hence are independent of matter.

This is the belief that we have been born into matter, that we have a past history, a
present history, and we will have a future history as a mortal. Man has never been born
into matter—never became a mortal. It’s never been part of man, and that, to me, is one
of the most helpful things to take away something that seems to have happened in the
past that somehow is trying to corrupt the present. If we can see that we have never
been born into matter, that we can never die out of matter, and that we don’t live in
matter, then that false sense of history, which really needs to be expunged, will not
plague us or cause us problems in the present.
We can be grateful that all error is subject to Truth because error is only a misstatement
about Truth, a material hypothesis whose only destiny is to be destroyed by the very
Truth it is a distortion of. We can, therefore, expect that whatever would allege either
God's absence or inability, or man's lack of completeness and harmony, will ultimately
be eliminated from our experience through spiritualization of thought.

An increased consciousness of spiritual reality and a lessened belief in the reality of


matter or evil

The man of God's creating is always at one with her Maker. As divine Mind's spiritual
idea she exists in Spirit, not in matter, and is completely Godlike.

Mrs. Eddy says, "As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun,
even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being.

We do need to face aggressive mortal mind squarely—and see it for what it truly is:
utterly powerless. Nevertheless, when this has been adequately done, we need the
humility to admit that we have yielded—even if the arrogant material senses resist. A
timely admission breaks the persistence of evil's boast. We read in Science and Health,
"If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then
submitting to Spirit."

As spiritual, not material. As harmonious, whole, perfect. Godlike. As sinless, free from
illness and, yes, even death. And, because the laws of God are always in effect, they
impel us to mentally assert our built-in immunity from opposing, matter-based concepts
that knock for entrance at the door of our thinking.

When we pray, and expect to see results, we may need to remind ourselves that Truth is
simple, not complicated. But have you ever prayed for a solution, listened, and heard
what appeared as the answer, then ignored it? Perhaps it wasn't the outcome you were
looking for, or wanted. I know I have. Our hearts and minds must be willing to yield to
the divine will, which always provides the appropriate answer to any situation; that
takes us where God leads, and is never mistaken.

Responsiveness to God brings about complete healing, because Christian Science


includes precision—and tangible evidence of the demonstration of Truth and Love. Like
the early disciples, we become witnesses to the healing results of effective, spiritually
scientific prayer.

Every challenge, whether physical or otherwise, relates primarily to the belief that God
is somewhere far off and that man is alone, or isolated from God. Affirming and knowing
man's unity and oneness with God, however, corrects this false belief and healing
follows.

Because man is "the reflex image of God" (Science and Health, p. 259), we can in reality
only respond to good. This is the truth. It disposes of the beliefs that matter has power
to do anything, to cause a reaction in the body, or to subject God's man to
contamination, contagion, deterioration, or disintegration.

We can trust that healing is inevitable. We already include God's endowments of health,
wisdom, integrity, joy, agelessness, perfect functioning, balance, spontaneity, purity,
completeness. And man, God's perfect likeness, cannot express something unlike, or
different from his origin. We always have been, always will be, perfect spiritual ideas
within the one Mind.

Whatever Mind knows of us is all we can know about ourselves and others. With this
understanding, we can expect to demonstrate Life, Truth, and Love daily, hourly,
moment by moment. We can fine-tune our heal-ability and accept the blessings.

At one point, a paraphrase of a statement in Science and Health with Key to the
Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy came to me: “That which affirms pain, made that pain.”
(The actual statement is, “Mortal mind does the false talking, and that which affirms
weariness, made that weariness” [p. 218].) I had been praying to see beyond the
physical claim to hear God’s message for me, and this statement helped me see that
when it came to the pain, mortal mind—the counterfeit of the one divine Mind—was
doing the talking, not God. It was mortal mind suggesting that I could be harmed,
making the difficulty seem like a part of my real identity.

So often those in great need will resist, oppose, the very truth of spiritual reality that
will free them. Why? One reason may be that some people believe the errors apparently
dominating them are a permanent part of them, not just a false imposition of the carnal
mind.

During rugged encounters with errors to be healed, our aim is to identify man correctly
as God's likeness, completely governed by divine Love. This detaches evil from our
concept of man. Without an acknowledged identity, place, or creator, evil cannot exist.
Its claim to existence must be self-destroyed. In this way, suffering is proved to be a lie
about man.

"Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual,—
neither in nor of matter,—and the body will then utter no complaints." Even a split-
second realization that Divine Life and intelligence are spiritual, not subject to legions of
material ills, helps us see that suffering is a dream from which Christ awakens us.

Even though mortal belief cries out, "Torment me not," the Christianly scientific healer
continues in this kind of prayer —in lovingly, patiently, persistently loosening the
chains that bind the sufferer, bringing freedom.
Although Christian healing is again occurring today, the motive or "why" behind it, now
as then, is not merely to improve human health. The motive is to glorify God (bear
witness to the truth), by erasing the false sense of a condition unlike God and replacing it
with the proof that God, good, is all-present and all-powerful. Spiritual facts such as
these, when grasped, improve health. This erasing and replacing, then, is what results in
healing. The motive in all true healing is to gain ever more clearly the conviction that
demonstrates God as the governing Principle of man and the universe.

Since there is no real source, no real power, causing sin, sickness, or death, Jesus' task
was not to heal a real something, but to destroy nothing appearing as something—to
destroy a lying (because not from God) belief—and replace it with the spiritual
understanding of the presence and perfection of God in ‘you’. In this way Jesus fulfilled
God's law, and this law manifested itself on the body in what mortals call healing. But it
is clear that healing the human body wasn't Jesus' primary aim. Demonstrating and
praising God was.

Relating this thought to the work of healing, we might say, "Take both good and bad
experiences as opportunities to prove the total inadequacy and powerlessness of any
suggestion of a power opposed to God. Don't be fearful of supposed consequences, of
symptoms, of evil suggestions." As Christ Jesus showed through his healing works, the
reality is that God is omnipresent; He fills all space. So there is no place where God isn't!
Then, what room is left in which another supposed power can manoeuvre? Since God is
All, there isn't any place left for anything unlike God to exist, no matter what
appearances tell us. We're able to prove this as we come truly to understand that God
created each of us to express God in all Its perfection.

In reality we were never conceived in matter, born into it, nor can we be crucified by it.
When we draw more consistently on the sustaining power of divine Love, we react less
and less to material conditions. This drawing near to God enables each one of us to
prove increasingly that being is innocent of and free from the lying material senses,
which previously we may have thought were tormenting, depleting, or overpowering.
We stop looking to matter for security. We stop being annoyed by others or by human
circumstances.

Indeed, we no longer permit human events—past, present, or future—to determine


happiness or fulfilment. Instead the reflected kingdom of heaven within consciousness
becomes the foundation for daily living. When we're undisturbed, unmoved, and
unimpressed by the lying material mind and its make-believe creation, the storms of
mortality only serve to lift us higher.

Human circumstances, material conditions, and so-called laws of heredity don't


determine our well-being. True being is maintained by God alone and is equipped with
the equipoise of divine Mind. As we understand this Mind, we are increasingly enabled
to prove that spiritual being exists independent of so-called matter. The demonstration
of this enables us to make consistent progress Godward and to enjoy the fruits of
dedication.

Mortal belief supposes that ever-present, infinite Spirit can be opposed. Limitation,
ignorance, finiteness, darkness, are presumed to exist as elements of materiality.
Material sense—so-called material consciousness—claims that infinite Spirit permits
such an opposite. But this supposition, dubbed the "carnal mind" by the Bible, is itself
totally ignorant. The brightness of Spirit lifts the darkness of discouragement. It chases
away our nights of materialism and awakens us to feel the joy and inspiration that come
with the light of the Christ. The darkened mortal belief that Spirit is not all—that it has
an opposite, matter—is fear. What we call various discordant conditions of matter are
actually the qualms and doubts of a supposed mentality that would question the allness
of Spirit. The only radiation that ever has existed or ever will exist comes directly from
Spirit. Its purpose is always to heal and bless.

And we do our jobs well—because God is working in us. And that gets to the real
purpose for taking a job anyway: to work with God, and for God, and because of God.

Healings and restorations are the natural outcome of understanding the Science behind
God's creation—divine Science. At their best, the so-called natural sciences hint at the
divine Science that underlies them. They also show how easily the material senses are
fooled. It appears to the eye that a book resting on a table is touching it. But according to
modern physics, the book never quite touches the table. Both the book and the table are
mostly empty space. (Mostly, in this case, means 99.9999999999 percent empty!) The
downward pull of gravity is balanced by the repelling force between the electrons of the
book and the electrons of the table. The book actually rests on an electric field. Put
another way, we literally "tread on forces".

God's image, being spiritual, not material, is incapable of being caught within the pull of
opposing forces. Why is this? It's because in truth there is no material power opposed
to God, Spirit—no power able to exercise such a pull.

Yet it is the turning that can often prove the most challenging, especially in times of
acute stress. But Mary Baker Eddy offers us aid. She writes in Science and Health, "Be
firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man
reflects God's government." A couple of paragraphs before this statement she urges,
"Stand porter at the door of thought." Each one of us can accept the divine fact that we
are surrounded by and are at one with God's omnipotent love. That His love is ever
present and envelops us at all times. Not just on Sundays in church. Not just tomorrow.
Not merely in five minutes or five seconds. But right here and now.

Christ Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount said: "Therefore take no thought, saying, What
shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? . . . But seek
ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added
unto you." He overcame lack and proved the present abundance of what is needful when
he fed the five thousand in the desert, when there were at hand only "five loaves, and
two fishes." He turned away from the evidence of the material senses and perceived that
substance is Spirit and abundantly expressed in God's universe. He knew that God is the
loving Father of all, and that man reflects all that the Father expresses.

Jesus was able to meet the human need of those who followed him into the wilderness,
although to the senses the supply at hand was meager. So we must turn from the
material evidence before us, and claim the ever-present abundance of good. Measuring
our supply materially may bring a sense of limitation, and then what we have may seem
to be insufficient. But it has been proved many times that when we cease to measure
matter, and, instead, gratefully acknowledge and realize the abundance of ever-present
good, our supply is sufficient for the day. Nothing real can be taken from us, and through
spiritual understanding our human needs are met.

God, Mind, knows the answer to every human problem. According to Christian Science,
the answer is always Mind's recognition of its own perfection—perfection expressed by
man and by the universe, by your true being and mine. Our part is to acknowledge this
perfection. God will take care of results and open our eyes to see what He has already
done.

Our Leader encourages us thus in her book "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 158): "Let us
be faithful and obedient, and God will do the rest."

What a sense of peace and confidence comes to us when, having realized the spiritual
truth regarding a situation, we leave the human outcome to God! God is responsible for
all good, and good inevitably results if we put into Gods hands our affairs and leave
them there.

The thought that came to me was that I did not need to struggle to make Truth true. It
already was true. I did not even have to make the truth of my being true. The truth of all
being is forever completely true. Surely it would be presumptuous to attempt to make
God be God. ‘God is already God and forever will be God, and nothing has the slightest
power to change this eternal fact.

I saw that it would be unnecessary and indeed foolish to attempt to make divine Love
loving. It already is loving. I did not have to make divine Life express itself as the
harmonious activity of all being and of my being. It already does this and forever does it
as the operation of the divine Principle that constitutes and governs all being.

The answer must be that we have an active part to play, but it is not the presumptuous
effort to do God's work, which He has already done, or to try to improve on His work.
Then it burst upon my thought that our part must be the joyous recognition, acceptance,
acknowledgment, practice, and demonstration of what God has already established.

It is not the nature of God, divine Love, to withhold any good from His beloved child.
Knowing this truth, we need not suffer and strive, labour and sweat, before receiving
the beauty, peace, and abundance of all good that God has already prepared for us.

Since God is Truth, the Truth is always good. We do not make it good. The Truth is
always true; nothing can ever make Truth untrue. No lie or mistake about us, no matter
who believes it, how many believe it, or even if we believe it ourselves, can ever make
the truth of our being any less true.

Let resistance be resistance to wrong thinking and let yielding be yielding to good.
Follow the biblical advice: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he
will flee from you."

Be quiet and listen to God. Then, yielding to and following the leadings of truth, you will
find healing.

carnal mind by its nature, is always in opposition, it is the resistance to spiritual growth.

Since God, the creator, is the source of all true life, the divine Life is All-in-all. And
because Life is Spirit, spirituality is our constant point of reference in understanding our
relationship to this infinite Life. Man, then, is not a material being filled with forms of
ungodliness and sin but a spiritual idea, which adores and obeys God. We learn that
what we actually are to surrender is wrong beliefs—the mistaken view that we are
separated from God, that our affection for worldly pursuits is greater than our love for
God, and that our bodies and egos rule us.

In the light of Christian Science, everything which denies the allness and goodness of
God, — of Life, of Love, of Mind, of Spirit, of the Mother-Father and Its perfect creation,
— is error. In other words, Christian Science teaches that while discord seems real to
the physical senses, God and all which God creates and governs, — and God creates and
governs all things, — are all harmonious and have only to be seen and acknowledged as
such to cause all discords to disappear, even to the senses. In like manner it teaches that
while there seems to be death. God is Life, and all reality is the reflection of God; that
nothing which lives ever dies: that while there seems to be much evil, the good is all
which really exists.

Isn't it apparent, then, that any condition which can't be reconciled with what God
knows must be an illusion? God knows health, order, and harmony and manifests such
conditions in you. But any appearance of discord, disorder, sin, sickness, death, is
unknown to Mind. So such errors cannot be represented in you.

Does God know a mortal mind with power to oppose It? Does God know man as having
lost his immortality and as having been transformed into a sinning mortal? Does God
know man as living in a material body that has ascendancy over its spirituality? Of
course not! Since Mind doesn't know or create such errors, they don't really exist. Then,
whatever appears in the body, but conflicts with what Mind makes manifest, is but a
visible form of a mental error.

"Stick to the Truth of being”.

Mortal mind, the counterfeit sense of mind, can never pain, fetter, or fool us unless we
are yielding to its temptation to believe its lies are true.

The truth is that there is no resistance to God, the one infinite Mind.

Fear to take patients or unwillingness to do so, lack of inspiration, spiritual laziness, and
refusal to forgive offenses— all are warning signs that should be heeded, inasmuch as
they disclose the enemy's effort to prevent God's revealed truth from reaching all
mankind.

"Mind is the master of the corporeal senses, and can conquer sickness, sin, and death.
Exercise this God-given authority. Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling
and action. Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made
man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on
man"

They affirmed that God made us in His image and likeness—good, spiritual, whole, and
perfect—and maintains us this way. That He has created everything and fills all space,
so there's no place where we can be exposed to something unlike God.

The Bible says, "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor
any thing taken from it" (Eccl. 3:14). Disease can't be added to us because we are God's
creation. Nothing can be taken from our spiritual identity as His idea. God has given us
strength and health and the ability to maintain them.
David then got on the phone and told her about what had happened with his finger, and
how this lump on the knuckle moved to the forefinger while at school that day. She said,
"Let's pray and just move this thing right off you because it doesn't belong to you. You're
God's child, and God never created it."

That night David asked a lot of questions about praying, and what the practitioner
meant when she said we must move it off the body. We got his copy of Science and
Health and looked on page 419 where it says: "Disease has no intelligence with which to
move itself about or to change itself from one form to another. If disease moves, mind,
not matter, moves it; therefore be sure that you move it off. Meet every adverse
circumstance as its master."

I told David, "Now, it's important that you keep your thought orderly and that you see
your thought is formed by God." And then I gave him a Christian Science treatment.
"David, you are God's expression of the precise form of being." I looked up the word
precise because I thought, well, this was a word he probably wouldn't know, and I felt I
needed a clearer understanding of it. It said "minutely detailed, never wavering from
truth." I really believe that that night David caught a wonderful glimpse of how he was
formed by God to be perfect and spiritual, not material, and of how his precise form had
never wavered from being the expression of what was good and true.

Believing that health is merely physical well-being to be preserved by material


procedures is an unhealthy mistake. In the infiniteness of God there is no disease. The
underlying error is to think in terms of being mortal, and then to picture ourselves
catching illnesses from one another. An ailment-prone mortal misrepresents God's man.
They are finding that the truly scientific and safe answer lies in understanding better
the reality that man is entirely spiritual—that man is God's image and likeness. And
therefore man cannot evidence anything not good. Man is invulnerable to the not-good.
For God's image, or reflection, disease is unknown, unreal, and would be unnatural,
impossible.

Part of what we may do is to acknowledge for the whole family that good is their normal
state of being, claiming the naturalness of Truth in their life. It is natural, since Truth,
God, is All-in-all. Never absent from consciousness, even from where there seems to be
fearful thought. Eternal Truth is the substance of all the consciousness there really is.
For man, as God's image, illness is utterly unnatural, and eternally impossible.

Jesus regarded good as the normal state of man, and evil as the abnormal.

The provable scientific fact is that in the allness of Spirit there are no bacteria, no
viruses—and no beliefs of them, or fears of them, or even claims of them.
Under God's law there is always abundance—enough to supply every legitimate need
completely and exactly. If there is an excess of supply over the current demand, the
extra should be cherished for the meeting of a later or another's need. The intelligent
use of what one has ensures that one's affairs will flourish and that one will always have
the ability to share with others and to make them gifts as wisdom directs.

Waste reflects an imbalance in the creation of goods. But, on a more fundamental level,
the notion of waste stems from the mortal perception that substance is material,
limited, short-lived, imbalanced, and sometimes dangerous. This human misperception
leads to fearful hoarding or careless use of resources, depending on whether they seem
scarce or abundant, valuable or extraneous. To God, however, there is no waste, misuse,
or other inharmony; there is only eternal good.

In the kingdom of heaven—the divine environment and economy in which we really


dwell—substance is spiritual, and supply always equals demand. No good is left outside
this perfect equation, and there is no useless or unwanted idea in the infinite Mind. It is
possible to see this if one looks at creation from the standpoint of divine Mind, and
recognizes it as spiritual, perfect, and complete. Taking time to be grateful for the good
at hand also opens our eyes to divine Love's infinite resources. In the kingdom of
heaven, there is no landfill of leftover ideas or floating junkyard of unwanted creations.
Neither is there any unmet need. Every idea is purposefully created and perfectly
sustained in Mind, without want and without waste.

But what about the problems of hazardous waste—the heavy metals from obsolete
electronic equipment, radioactive nuclear waste, or ubiquitous plastic litter? Like the
problem of waste in general, this issue stems from the faulty mortal sense of substance
as not spiritual but ultimately material, with a dual nature of good and bad, useful and
purposeless, inert and toxic.

It also results from an educated selfishness that has people wanting more for less and
throwing away the obsolete or no-longer-desired, with little thought as to whose
"backyard" it lands in. So again, a first step to finding healing solutions is to bring our
thoughts into alignment with divine Love, beyond the apparent mortal duality. Then our
decisions will be increasingly in harmony with Love's equation of supply meeting every
need without waste (toxic or otherwise).

From this higher standpoint, it's also possible to see that there can be no harmful or
contrary idea in the divine Mind, just as there is no shadow in light. We can then expect
to avail ourselves of Mind's ideas and eliminate selfish, fearful, and wasteful thinking;
safely treat and dispose of existing wastes; and reduce further waste generation.
As people come to dwell more consciously in the kingdom of heaven, where Love's
supply perfectly meets the needs of all creation, everyone will experience that harmony
right here "on earth" and find themselves living a more abundant, purposeful, harmless,
and waste-free life.

Each one of us, as God's idea, exists forever at the point of spiritual perfection. This
means that we can never be separated from our God-given innocence, harmony, health,
usefulness. They are a perpetual presence, and through spiritual sense we are forever
conscious of them.

There is no reason for spiritual healing to be long and drawn out. We must hold to
Truth until the reality of spiritual being begins to outweigh the mesmeric sense of
mortal selfhood. And be patient with yourself. The important thing is that we are
working and praying to be increasingly obedient to the divine Mind, day by day. When
we begin to understand the timelessness of real being, we find the necessary patience
and fortitude to exercise dominion over everyday challenges. Feeling God's presence,
we stop reacting to problems with frustration, impatience, or fear. To realize that time is
no part of divine reality helps us to stop feeling dominated by deadlines or any
restriction that mortal time would impose on us.

This Science points out that man, the image of God as he is described in the Scriptures, is
Godlike and hence must be perfect, intelligent, unchangeable. She cannot be victimized
by evil, for she is controlled by the one God, or Mind, the only cause and creator. God
never created evil and therefore evil is unreal. As one recognizes that his real selfhood is
God's likeness and is constituted of His qualities, he ceases to yield to the suggestion to
give up or stop trying. He knows that his ability to carry on is from his Father and that
nothing can make him falter from his God-appointed course.

In the mortal realm, where evil seems real, the carnal, or mortal, mind opposes good in
every instance, for it knows that good is its destroyer. Hence it continually attempts to
resist all our efforts to persist on the side of good. It slyly suggests that we have done
enough, that we should stop our work and seek some diversion, such as watching
television or attending to some trivia, or, worst of all, that we should give up.

How do we handle these lies? Simply by detecting their baseless source and rejecting
them as false suggestions intended to delay or stop our progress. The importance of
remaining steadfast in our work is emphasized by Mrs. Eddy when she says, "Only by
persistent, unremitting, straightforward toil; by turning neither to the right nor to the
left, seeking no other pursuit or pleasure than that which cometh from God, can you win
and wear the crown of the faithful."
The quality of persistence is indispensable in demonstrating the healing power of
Christian Science. Sometimes the light of Truth which dispels the error does not readily
appear, and continuing effort is needed to effect the final healing. In such cases one must
vigorously reject the arguments of fear, discouragement, doubt, and failure and
steadfastly strive to go higher and higher in the understanding of Love's allness and
willingness to care for its own. Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health, the textbook of
Christian Science, "By lifting thought above error, or disease, and contending
persistently for truth, you destroy error."

We can never afford to give up, for in so doing we would be admitting the power of evil
and denying God's love for Its creation. God is always God; God never abdicates Its
sovereign power. God never ceases to hold each idea safe in Its loving presence, intact
and whole, immune from every false belief. The dream of mortal mind, claiming that
man can be beset with affliction too severe to be reached by the potency of Truth and
that it is useless to strive any longer, is pure fabrication without one iota of reality. Let
us wake up! Let us take deep draughts of understanding from the divine source, claim
our sonship with our Father, and resolve to press on, heartened by the realization that
omnipotent and omnipresent God alone reigns.

A Christian Scientist should never give up, no matter what the battleground. She knows
the necessity of taking her stand against the arguments of mortal belief and human
conjecture, and of holding fast. With persistence she will gather courage and conviction.
Her God-given ability to follow through to success will gather momentum as she
continues to claim her birthright as the perfect child of his Father-Mother God.

one should let the good work continue until she feels that conviction which enables her
to say, "I am healed, and I know it!"

Whether the problem is of long or short duration, one should persist until she feels that
the strength of the error has been broken through the realization of its powerlessness.

When we are ready to yield up our own will, acknowledge God as the only Life, and
recognize the nothingness of everything and anything unlike God, good, then healing
has taken place and we know it, often before the outer evidences manifest themselves.

Mortal mind talks whenever there is a listener. But mortal mind is silent when there is
no one to hear its tale of sense testimony.

Mrs. Eddy writes (ibid., pp. 260, 261): "If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain;
for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter.
Now reverse this action. Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of
all happiness, harmony, and immortality."
No attempt was made to localize the injury. The parents refused to ask what was wrong
with the little body and instead turned wholeheartedly to see the child of God, never
fallen, never in or of matter. The healing came by morning and was complete.

The consistent turning to Mind, God, for every answer will annul the mesmerism of
signs, symptoms, and superstitions.

If we would gain dominion over our lives, we must persistently subdue mortal mind, the
claim of intelligence or action apart from God. We must persistently discipline ourselves
to express the healing qualities and action of the one unopposed Mind, God. We must
follow the exhortation of the Christian Apostle Paul, "Be not overcome of evil, but
overcome evil with good."

The impressive fortification of Jericho might serve to remind us that mortal mind may
present the illusion of impregnability, calling itself an insurmountable or incurable
material condition.

Christian Science healing isn't Mind magically pushing aside obstructions. Nor is the
healing application of this Science a siege in which immortal Mind outwits mortal mind.
Infinite Mind is self-evidently unopposed. Christ-healing is a spiritual awakening
attained through persistent prayer—prayer that brings to light the eternal, omniactive
allness of Mind or Life, including man's perfection.

When our persistence is magnified by increased obedience and gratitude, timid hope
that God can help develops into absolute conviction that God is All-in-all.

Calm, enduring prayer fits us to accept that truth is true.

When we have prayerfully, persistently pressed on to demonstration, our gratitude


shouts that our work is well done. Then error flatly collapses—from seeming something
to being nothing. Man's perfection begins to emerge unopposed because the divine will
has won out. By persistence we possess fulfilment of God's promises. We are healed.

There is no life apart from God, and the sooner we are divinely driven to this realization
the better. Does this mean that our difficulties are God-sent for our advancement? No!
But until disappointments and sufferings near the point of their self-destruction, we
may not have opened our hearts sufficiently to experience the deliverance inherent in
Truth and Love. Perhaps the reason many of our problems seem long-drawn-out is that
we are still desiring ease in matter rather than rejoicing in the opportunity of proving
Truth.

When faced with a problem that seems aggravated, we may sometimes be mesmerically
tempted into passively contemplating it instead of instantly, vigorously denying its
verity and persistently claiming the truth of its opposite. Without steadfastness there
can be no progress. Trust, like patience, is not a passive waiting for something to
happen. When there is active, watchful, and certain trust in the effectiveness of our
declarations of Truth, there is no such thing as unanswered prayer.

The individual ceases to measure substance by material possessions or achievements by


worldly approval.

Today is God's eternal day of promise. In it are here and now present all the glorious
opportunities for the children of divine Love. Why doubt and so rob ourselves of this
certain and joyous fruitage? If each day is lived in joyous expectation of unfolding
spiritual good, that expectation will be fulfilled.

Procrastination is not just a putting off until tomorrow; it is permitting a belief of


incompleteness today. It appears to diminish opportunity when, in reality, we are
always at the point of expressing infinite good. From a spiritual perspective,
circumstances are always favourable, never a moment too early or too late.

Jesus' healings were never conditional. He did not need time to aid his effectiveness. Nor
did he tell the sick or sorrowing that time would heal or that circumstances would be
brighter tomorrow. Look at Jesus' instantaneous healing of the leper.3 There is no
record that Jesus spent time considering the man a leper. He beheld right there the
perfect, pure reflection of God, of divine Life. He knew that God—Life, Truth, Love—
was always revealing Itself. And man is the reflection of God.

Any suggestion that sin or sickness has reality, tenacity, or continuity should be
challenged, because it is a phase of the belief that matter contains life or intelligence.
But this belief is destroyed by the truth that there is one God, one Life, and this Life is
never in matter. This truth is true now; it never has to wait to be truth.

Worldly interests, human ways and means, and time would keep our attention focused
everywhere but on God. They would postpone or waste precious moments that we are
able to notice God. But as we patiently spiritualize our view of ourselves and the world,
we are better able to see through these subtle decoys and learn that God's demands are
the only demands and that they are always supplying good.

What could divine Life demand? Health, well-being, eternality! And what a blessing to
know that if Life is doing the demanding, it is also doing the supplying, for they are one
as cause and effect. One cannot be present without the other. With Life demanding
eternality, we cannot be waging a battle with time and its concomitants decrepitude and
disease. Instead we are supplied with the qualities of Life necessary to meet the
demands of eternality, well-being, and health.
Man has always reflected all good. There has never been a time when postponement
was even possible in God's allness. Our good is already here. There is no need to wait for
tomorrow.

In absolute Christian Science, man is seen as the image and likeness of God. He reflects
continuously God's completeness and perfection. In this perfect reflection there can be
no deviation, distortion, or inconsistency. Spiritual man is forever consistent because he
is always the expression of indivisible Life, immutable Truth, eternal Love. As these
spiritual facts are maintained and demonstrated, irregularities of thought and conduct
are eliminated from human experience and the orderly unfoldment of true being is seen.

True consistency reflects Mind's infinite variety and brings originality and vitality to
each opportunity, sweeping away the cobwebs of boredom. Spiritual consistency
demands absolute, uncompromising loyalty to God in thought, word, and deed.

Constant vigilance must be maintained lest inconsistencies of thought be entertained


unintentionally. For example, worry of any kind is inconsistent with the Christian
Scientist's understanding of Love's complete and perfect provision for man.
Wastefulness is a subtle inconsistency which claims to rob one of dominion over matter
and to prevent the orderly utilization of spiritual resources. Gossip is incompatible with
the earnest desire to obey Jesus' command to "love thy neighbour as thyself"

consistency is necessary to the expression of any spiritual quality.

Our task is to prove this already existing state of being - Perfection in our daily lives. To
continuously demonstrate this true sense of ourselves and our neighbour requires
persistence. What has to be guarded against is the temptation to surrender when the
way seems hard, for if we will only continue in the right direction, we will have our
reward.

Our Leader counsels us: "Beloved students, you have entered the path. Press patiently
on; God is good, and good is the reward of all who diligently seek God for God alone.
Your growth will be rapid, when you love good supremely..’’

divine Love does not separate Its children, but rather that the immutable law of God,
good, operates to weld together His beloved ones into an indissoluble, harmonious
family. and the student found that the firm stand taken for Principle right where the
problem had presented itself, had at the same time served to promote the family bonds
of unity and mutual respect.
"Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of," contains the scientific reason for
the joy every Christian Scientist may experience by facing his problem, knowing it as an
opportunity to prove the all-power of Truth.

The kingdom of heaven appears on earth proportionately as it is understood as a


heavenly or harmonious permanency. It is manifest on earth in a healthy body, happy
and harmonious surroundings, stable national and international relationships, and
above all in a more spiritual concept of life.

Mrs. Eddy writes (ibid., p. 468), "Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and
time is no part of eternity."

it is always important to have our thought grounded in the understanding that we were
made spiritual and never material.

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis
1:31) is a complete statement. There are no ifs or buts. The acknowledgment that we
are made very good, by God and God alone, has always been a helpful guide to my
prayers. We are the reflection of God right here and now, and always have been in
divine Love.

I was beginning to understand that God is the true source of everything—including joy
and happiness. This goodness could never go away or be lost. God also gives us
dominion, and to me that means rising to meet every challenge and circumstance.

When our happiness is spiritual, it is clear and consistent. Science and Health tells us,
“Man is not a pendulum, swinging between evil and good, joy and sorrow, sickness and
health, life and death”

Cannot truth be likened to light? Light ever destroys darkness, truth always annihilates
error. Light is power; darkness, impotence. The metaphysical soldier knows that his
only enemy is ignorance, darkness, which is a supposed absence of something, not a
presence of something. The very word "disease" indicates the absence of ease or
harmony. A lie is a denial of truth. With what calm assurance does one proceed to deal
with darkness, the absence of light! He does not anticipate any struggle, any resistance,
any long-drawn-out process of wiping it out. He knows what will happen when the light
goes on.

Has the suggestion of disease assumed for you the proportions of a Goliath? Has some
ugly medical name caused your heart to quail? Does some well-intentioned Saul bid you
arm yourself with medical remedies, and fight matter with matter? Then follow David's
example, and recall quickly some of the experiences wherein you have had proofs of
God's care, and step boldly from reliance on material methods into the light of a firm
trust in Truth.

God is conscious of expressing Itself. God has already provided all good for all of Its
ideas. God is not, therefore, conscious of healing or of the need of healing. However,
God’s law of spiritual perfection, recognized and accepted in human consciousness,
brings about healing to human sense. God has chosen all of us to demonstrate God.

With ascension, when we have healed all that has need of healing and consciously
attained our true status as perfectly spiritual and spiritually perfect, healing will no
longer be needed as proof of the power of God.

a new student of Science, she utilized her understanding of God's presence and power,
declaring, "God is not in the earthquake, but in the still, small voice." Realizing that she
was safe in His love, she actually was free from harm, and there was no damage in the
particular place where she was.

The Christ in its healing, purifying effect is constantly knocking at the door of
consciousness; and as we respond thoughtfully, we experience God's sacred message,
revealing our true nature to be the eternal emanation of divine Being.

The light of Christ, Truth is unrivaled. Error does flee before it. There is good reason
why fear or ignorance, disease or discouragement, can dissipate instantly; it is because
Truth is true and evil is false. Truth is perpetual, and evil is temporal. Truth brings light;
and evil's darkness, its pretense to place and substance, dissolves when we are so
imbued with the Christ that we face error fearlessly.

But if an individual has been struggling with some disease or fear or sin for a time—
even a long time—they can still be healed in an instant. We never need to concede a
long-drawn-out battle with any error. We can so continue reaching out for the Christ,
opening thought to its presence.

As Christian Scientists we are under the necessity of rejecting the subtle suggestion that
we must always grow through difficult experiences, through suffering, even through
occasional failure. Such a suggestion implies that without encountering discord one
cannot grow spiritually; yet growth is in accord with the law of eternal Mind and the
mandate of infinite, unopposed good. Density, disobedience, and discord do not
promote spiritual growth: they oppose it. We grow through mental clarity, obedience,
and harmony.
God is the way of light always and only, for "in him is no darkness at all." "The grand
necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven
in man."

Christian Science discloses that there is but one evil and that to overcome it we must see
it as a sinful, intruding sense and not as sinful individuals. Physical ills, personal sins,
and even death disappeared in Jesus presence because he saw them as belonging to no
individual and hence as having no conscious support.

As the mortal sense, or dream, is separated from an individual, God's image, the real
man, gradually becomes apparent. If we boil with anger over what we consider an evil
individual, we are supporting rather than destroying the dream that dreams all evil
beliefs. When we look beyond the dream to true individuality, we prove that God's
children are perfect and dwell in peace.

What is needed is the childlikeness that recognizes and trusts God as All. A little child
accepts the reign of good, the kingdom of God, as perfectly natural. Paul says in
Ephesians that our divine Parent, God, is "above all, and through all, and in you all.

The childlike thought accepts God's allness and one's own imaging of God. It never frets
over what to do. It doesn't question man's God-given ability or capacity. For a little
child, accepting truth is not a complex process or a long-drawn-out procedure. Those
are adult limitations. A little child just accepts good. When we humbly admit and submit
to the absolute fact of God's allness and our imaging of God, we are transformed by
Truth.

Much of mankind has held an image of Jesus as a "super being," a deity, and thus as able
to act in ways beyond the capacities of humans. Yet he never said that. Certainly he
merits our reverence as Saviour, Master, the anointed of God. But he laid no claim to
possessing special personal power or capacity originating in himself. He declared, "The
Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do." And at another time he
said: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

When we can let go of the faulty sense that we personally have to "pull it off," "make it
work," then we will find our true selves and reflect our God-given capacities. Anguish,
dismay, frustration, fear, would have been the opposite of what God knows—It’s own
peace, dominion, power.

Hindu philosophy bases its promise of progress and eventual freedom from
materiality on a theory of reincarnation. Freedom from the cycle of birth, maturity,
decay, and death theoretically would take as much as a few thousand years. It is hard
to convey the tremendous feeling of relief, of comfort, joy, and love I felt as I realized
the error of this theory and glimpsed the meaning of Mrs. Eddy's liberating words
(Science and Health, p. 527), "Man is God's reflection, needing no cultivation, but
ever beautiful and complete." I saw for the first time that there was no force apart
from God, no force which could create matter, put me in matter and then make me
spend lifetime upon lifetime trying to get out! The biggest philosophical hoax was to
consider ourselves material to begin with.

I slowly grew in confidence that God's care for me included protection from
anything harmful, whether it appeared to be solid matter or mental matter. This
understanding left me fearless and free to express joy for God's complete control
over the entire universe.

When I realized the grand significance of Jesus' teaching "Take no thought for . .
what ye shall eat" (Matt. 6:25) I was freed from dietary theories.

In the most natural way, the saving Christ, Truth, destroys whatever evils may be
troubling us, by revealing our spiritual integrity.

Christ reveals that such regeneration isn't so much the result of a mortal trying to
climb back into perfection as it is a discovery that man is truly immortal and that
perfection is always the reality.

But really the Bible, is a story about today—a story about how many people believe
they are living their lives. They see themselves as tainted mortals having to discover
and cope with various evils or errors that define them as a person.

……………………………………………………………….

If there is no sickness and this is only a false belief, why am I lying here? I
immediately arose and went into the adjoining room. When the children came in
they were surprised to find me so much improved.

When we understand that God is the ultimate source of power, there's no sense of
time. Because in reality—in the eternal, spiritual now—time doesn't actually exist.

The way we record time is by calendars and clocks—all based on days and years and
hours and minutes. And what is a day based on? An illusion. Is anything based on an
illusion ever real or true? The illusion, of course, is that the sun rises and sets every
24 hours. But the sun doesn't rise and set. The sun doesn't move—the earth does.

We need to find that conviction—and to me that's what the word patience means:
Conviction. If I'm baking a meatloaf and I'm really famished, I put it in the oven and
think, Oh, but I'm hungry now. But if I pull it out in ten minutes—yuck. Having
conviction is knowing that when I go back there in 45 minutes, the meal will be
ready. The expectation for completeness is there because the idea was complete
before I put the meatloaf in the oven. Actually, it's the same with a physical
healing—the healing is complete before the individual ever turns to prayer.

So how can you say, "This illness, lack, limitation has gone on for two years now."
Two years what? The illness, poverty has never gone on, because it never started.
Since disease, poverty, suffering is an illusion, it has no real substance—it's a lie. OK,
you've worked for two years, yet the condition hasn't been overcome. People tend to
feel challenged by this, but what an opportunity for consistent prayer—to challenge
this lie. When you go to school as a child, you're encouraged to think—to discover.
You may bumble through in order to separate right answers from wrong ones, but
the minute you see that 2 + 2 = 4, you'll never accept any other conclusion, because
you've proved what's true.

Time is never a factor in healing, because in reality, there is no past and no future.
And that's true regardless of how you look at the concept of time. You cannot
retrieve one moment of the past and tomorrow is always out of reach.

The seed is complete—a complete idea within itself, just like a carrot. It starts as a
little brown seed, but when you plant it you don't say, "I'll go get some orange paint
and some green paint. Let's see, the orange goes on first and then the green on top."
The seed already has that color within itself, in that little brown seed. It just needs
cultivating, cherishing. And that's how every right idea comes to us and then comes
to fruition.

Say you've just painted your living room wall in a lovely, soft, mellow yellow. You
put everything back in place that night and go to bed with a wonderful sense of
satisfaction. The next morning, you go to admire your handiwork and there's a long
grey streak to one side of the bookcase—just above it. You're devastated! Your first
thought is to go to find the paint can and paint that portion again. But then you
decide maybe you can get a bucket of gentle suds and wash it off, since the paint is
supposed to be washable.

Then you examine that gray streak and suddenly you realize something: It's just a
shadow, and it had never touched the wall. The shadow had no substance, even
though it appeared to. You feel a little foolish but ever so relieved! That shadow had
no power to anything, to mar anything, to ruin anything. And there's one way and
only one way it can be removed. With more light. Because in full light, there is no
shadow.