One of the slowest of the processes of development that take place after one has accepted the Principle of Christian Science as his rule in life, is usually that of attaining a normal attitude. During his first flush of awakening to the splendid possibilities that are before him, the student's thought soars to idealistic heights. He sees, far below him, on the plane of belief, the blackness of sins and sicknesses turning to gray, and gradually fading from view. The world has taken on a hue of promise, flooded with the glory of spiritual enlightenment and of freedom from fear and care, and he can find nothing to discourage him, he sees only the splendor of his larger sense of Life.

Probably all those who have reached this new understanding have had such an experience. Fortunately for their own progress, most of them have had to come back to earth and get hold of new bearings, and they are now climbing upward step by step in the path of acquired wisdom. To such as these this article is not addressed, but to those who may still be clinging to their day-dreams, trying to realize through imagination, rather than through knowledge based on works, man's oneness with God. This early enthusiasm is well for the time being; for, when one first perceives something of the greatness of his new outlook, he is like a youth just out of college, who, full of confidence and enthusiasm, is about to attack the world. His serenity and confidence mercifully obscure life's problems, until be has gained the necessary experience to solve them; but if he should so blind himself to the relative importance of things on the mortal plane as to try to theorize and not work them away, there is sure to be trouble in store for him, which will increase just so long as he maintains this attitude.

It is not enough for us to try to realize mentally that God is All and that man is His perfect idea; we must prove this before it can become part of our actual consciousness. The apostle James warns us that "faith, if it hath not works, is dead." What would be thought of one who claimed to hold the right thought toward his fellow-man, and talked of man as God's idea, but never lent a hand to assist a brother toward that ideal; who was so blinded by his own self-rightness as to display no practical consideration of the rights of another? It is so easy to be influenced by the thoughts surrounding us; to judge on the basis of human sense, instead of from the point of view of divine Mind; but if we yield to these suggestions, we are not solving our problems, we are only laying up greater trouble for ourselves. Every problem must be met some time, and it should be worked out without bringing unhappiness or hardship to any one; and the longer we put it off, the more difficult its solution is sure to be.

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September 26, 1908

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