As the understanding of divine Love unfolds itself in the purified consciousness, it becomes apparent that the love of personality must cease and the contracted human affections give place to all-inclusive devotion. "The bliss of loving unselfishly" (Science and Health, p. 262) can never be won while mortal sense or self is allowed to assert itself, but it can never hinder the irradiance of Love from falling upon its lawful object, man made in God's own likeness. Mortal sense is constantly reaching out for sympathy, and it would divert, if it could, the course of divine affection, bestowed on the manifestation of good alone. It clamors for recognition, and would monopolize every thought. Its so-called affections are crafty hypocrisies, deceiving and self-deceived, thrust out for what they can gain. By every subtle art it would hypnotize and seduce the unwary.

Our affection needs very careful and searching analysis in order to find out if it is a reflection of the divine essence, pure, invigorating, and unselfish, or the counterfeit, which all the time is seeking some return. Are we manifesting the generous devotion that joyfully witnesses the popularity of others, or the self-love that watches with greedy eyes and unworthy pangs when favor is elsewhere bestowed? Our suffering sense may claim to have been hurt and slighted, but what is it that has been hurt? Not the true idea of man, which is "hid with Christ in God," where suffering is not. The suffering sense must necessarily be a false sense, for whatever has real being is harmonious, reflecting Love only. It therefore follows that both that which suffers and that which would inflict suffering are without entity. Selfish suffering never accompanies a true sense of love. If our affections ever occasion us any other feeling than joy, they are not genuine and should be replaced by that which is true.

April 18, 1908

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