THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF LOVE

The beginner in Christian Science sometimes takes groping and uncertain footsteps in the direction of divine Love, and doubt may seem to envelop his consciousness. Where and what is Love? Bereft of the familiar conception of personal love, he drifts in an open sea where no coastline appears to his weary vision. What is it that he must love? Divine Love seems intangible, it makes no impression upon the consciousness; personal love is pronounced unreal, and he is instructed to turn to Principle. But Principle seems to bring no warmth, no love-light to his lately awakened faculties. Principle, as employed in mathematical problems and the calm working out of eternal justice upon the earth, seems a thing to be respected rather than loved.

Mrs. Eddy tells us that "Mind ... must be understood through the idea which expresses it" (Science and Health, p. 467). This gives us at once a working basis. We know that the one Mind, the Principle which we are bidden to understand and to love, is divine Love, and since this Principle must be understood through the idea which expresses it, where is this idea? We are also told in Science and Health that "the highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God" (p. 503). Let us examine our thought in the light of eternal Truth, and ask ourselves what it is that we love in the man, woman, or child in whom we are interested? Is it his bodily appearance? Is it his face, his form? The answer is an emphatic "No;" and the clearest proof of its truth lies in the fact that were the material body to be absolutely destroyed, we would go on loving him just the same. No, in the last analysis it is the good in the individual that we love; it is the divine idea manifested through human sense.

Recognizing this great truth, one is at once released from bondage. He is moved, not by a personal, selfish affection, but by love for divine Principle, as it is manifested by the individual to his consciousness. Furthermore, it is the spiritual sense in one which recognizes and responds to that love. Now, if one can see and recognize good in one of God's ideas, he can in others. He can find another who manifests good, and can again identify this good as universal and divine, hence pertaining in no sense to the person from whom it appears to emanate. This is a distinct gain. Having seen and become acquainted with it in two instances, one will readily find a third and a fourth. Indeed, once started, he will discern and respond to divine Love in all mankind, and he will thus come into the knowledge and understanding of the Principle Mrs. Eddy declares to be the basis of all that is real. This higher affection will open out like a fair flower to the sun.

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THE AWAKENING
March 16, 1912
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