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Heredity: A Delusion

From the November 25, 1972 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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As one progresses in the study of Christian Science, it becomes clear to him that man, the image and likeness of God, inherits good, and good alone, from his creator. The teachings of this religion make clear that heredity is not a law. "Heredity is a prolific subject for mortal belief to pin theories upon; but if we learn that nothing is real but the right, we shall have no dangerous inheritances, and fleshly ills will disappear." Science and Health, p. 228; God is the only lawmaker and His law is good.

Good health, a compatible disposition, intelligence, and other good qualities never have been possessed by an ancestor, but have been expressed by him. All good in human experience is expression, not possession. The good expressed by parents and followed by their children is the mutual heritage of both parent and child as His dear offspring and comes from their Father-Mother God. An individual may express talents and fine capabilities, not because his parents are talented and capable, but because both he and his parents are God's image and likeness. Their good qualities are not their private possessions but expressions of the divine.

The teachings of Christian Science reveal certain descriptive terms for man: idea, image, likeness, reflection, expression, and so forth. They all refer to man's relationship to God, divine Spirit. Just as a little darkness cannot penetrate the light, no hint of material, false assumptions can penetrate the eternal relationship of God and man. Man is the expression, not expresser—the reflection, not reflector. This is the wonderful heritage of man.

Mrs. Eddy has devoted a chapter of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, to a spiritual interpretation of Genesis. The inspiring account of the spiritual creation is found in the first chapter of Genesis and the first five verses of the second. Then there follows the mortal false concept of creation, an erroneous picture throughout.

The belief that mortal man can reproduce man, can form blood, flesh, and bones, is but part of the Adam-dream wherein mortal man believes himself to be a creator. The offspring of Adam is not the real man. Mrs. Eddy tells us, "The multiplication of a human and mortal sense of persons and things is not creation." p. 263; Spiritual man is the image and likeness of God, eternal and without human origin. This is the real man.

Just as an heir must take steps to claim his inheritance, so must we reach out and claim our heritage. Early in the study of Christian Science one learns a profound statement of truth found in the textbook and known as "the scientific statement of being," beginning, "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter." p. 468; It is read as part of every Sunday church service and closes with the basic truth that man is not material but spiritual.

One might realize each day that he is an immortal idea in divine Mind. He is the image and likeness of God. He is not material, but spiritual. As he prays along these lines, he begins to lay claim to his blessed heritage.

A young boy whose mother had passed on with a so-called hereditary disease during his infancy, and whose aunt had passed on with the same malady, was told that he probably would inherit this disease and perhaps would fail to reach maturity. Several years later the boy and his father and new stepmother moved to another city where no one knew that she was not his human mother. Remarks were often made to them about the boy's strong resemblance to his stepmother in appearance and mannerisms.

The young lad continued in fear of the disease and its dire consequences that had been suggested to him by others who believed in a physical law of heredity. This black cloud of fear seemed to envelop him. Then a kind neighbor invited him to attend the Christian Science Sunday School. His teacher there very lovingly explained to him the complete parenthood of God. She worked patiently with him to eradicate the fear of human heredity and to show him his wonderful heritage as a child of his Father-Mother God. As his understanding grew, he learned to accept Science and to reject the bondage of fear. Through the lens of truth he glimpsed his real selfhood, separate from matter and mortal origins, spiritual and Godlike.

The comments about his resemblance to his stepmother had been amusing. Now he saw that the belief in blood relationship, and the transmission of good or evil through it, was no more real than his presumed inheritance from his stepmother.

The lad learned to claim his glorious birthright and his God-given freedom. As a young man he was found to be physically fit for military service. Today he is a successful businessman with a fine family, and all of them are studying and demonstrating Christian Science.

Christian Science heals so-called hereditary diseases and inclinations—refutes the false belief of heredity and ratifies man's relationship to God.

Our true heritage is beautifully stated in Christ Jesus' parable of the prodigal son: "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." Luke 15:31.


We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

II Corinthians 3:18

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