PUTTING OFF THE OLD MAN

No moment in the life of a crawfish is more significant than that in which, with a seemingly tremendous effort and possibly some suffering, he breaks away from his encasing shell, the limitations of his old self, and finds the possibility of a larger life. The experience is absolutely necessary, he must go through it at whatever cost of pain and patient effort; and he who is so fortunate as to find the little crustacean at the interesting moment when he is about to unclothe, that he may be "clothed upon," will doubtless be reminded of St. Paul's insistence that our spiritual growth demands the putting off of the old man before the new man can be put on.

This phrase, to put off, presses home the thought of necessary separation; that the things of the past which are a hindrance to our larger living are really to be parted from, not consented to and retained with a view to their betterment, but recognized and dealt with as an unqualified disability which is to be given up without regard to any present sense of struggle or loss involved in the experience. Three things are manifest as we face this Christian requirement: first, that to separate ourselves from materiality, it must be seen for what it is—an enemy and not a friend, a source of pain and not pleasure; second, that "gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,—this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony" (Science and Health, p. 324); and third, that this enabling willingness to give up error, this readiness to part company with spiritual hindrances, is the result of and measured by the clearness of our perception of the unideality and offensiveness of all that pertains to the old man.

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Editorial
INTUITIONS
July 6, 1912
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