THE MENTAL LENS

Many years ago, while studying at a large engineering college, one of my fellow-students passed much of his leisure time in making a telescope. It is a well known fact that the lens plays the most important part in a telescope, and that unless this part is perfect the instrument is practically valueless. When the young student first obtained the glass out of which the lens was to be made, it was pitted all over with small dents and flaws, and in order to remove these he devoted nearly the whole of his spare time to polishing the glass. The process was excessively slow, and the work was kept up for days, weeks, and even months, the result of even a day's work being quite invisible to the casual observer. When after several weeks' labor there were still a great number of flaws in evidence, many of his fellow-students began to chaff him, telling him that he would never be able to remove them all; but the lad was not disheartened. He would reply that the same process which had removed the smaller flaws would also remove those which were deeper, if he only had sufficient patience and perseverance. This boy realized that the lens, to be of any value, must be without blemish; if it was to give a true and accurate image it must be free from any defect.

This incident offers a parallel to the process which is needed in our study of Christian Science. It is evident that we can know nothing except through our individual consciousness, and although this consciousness can never affect or change the truth, any more than the lens in a telescope can alter the landscape, it does affect its appearance to ourselves and others. Thus every flaw in the shape of evil thoughts—selfishness, malice, sensualism, greed—will distort our sense of God and His creation. It therefore behooves, us, above all things, to spend all the time that we can in eradicating completely these flaws from our consciousness. Our Master said, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light;" so that not even the smallest defect must be countenanced. It is hardly to be expected that all flaws of character and wrong thoughts that have been deeply rooted for years can be eradicated all at once, but we can know for a certainly, as did the boy with the lens, that the same process which has already removed the lesser defects will with patience also eradicate all the others.

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ASPIRATION
May 2, 1908
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