Life Understood

FROM the standpoint of general usage the word life implies action; it also implies a fleeting, temporal sense of existence. When considered metaphysically, we realize that because God is everlasting, "the same yesterday, and today, and forever," He is Life, a fact which is stated in the Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy. When asked what life is, the Christian Scientist has at once the thought of the great presence, God, which includes all perfect existence. The freer his consciousness is of the ups and downs of mortal experience, and the less he thinks of himself as he appears to be, the more able is he to contemplate Life as God.

Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 427), "There is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction." But to mortal sense there seems to be an intruding lying activity which the Bible calls the "adversary," "evil," "Satan," "devil," "lie," and "liar." This evil activity claims to counterfeit all true action, so that continuous normal being seems to be an almost unknown quantity. Innate consciousness longs for a steadfast manifestation of harmony, while error produces dissatisfaction and unrest in the mentality of nearly every person, creating a desire to change his occupation or environment, no matter what it is. The belief of evil sometimes shadows human thought as overwork and injustice,—dreary, irksome thoughts and a hard sense of duty. It hides the charm and delight of alert service which comes through the knowledge that one is the image and likeness of "exhaustless being" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 149). Because man is enfolded in true action it is the normal, legitimate thing for him to manifest it. The belief in evil produces lethargy and many excuses for sliding over the opportunities to give expression to the little niceties and kindnesses which so enrich human nature. Instead of rejoicing in the joys of others and giving expression thereto, error produces a phlegmatic disposition, robbing most of all the one who should be a channel for the "oil of gladness" but who does not guard against error's encroachments.

It is error that paralyzes with fear the transactions of the business world, producing the clogging and congestion which is the opposite of perfect harmony. Through the belief of inaction or sluggishness, evil would dampen the ardor of the church worker, of him who has been interested in establishing the fact of eternal life for the world. It may tell him that church work is not so interesting as it was when in the first few years of his experience he was becoming acquainted with the wonderful church organization which is described in the Manual of The Mother Church. It would make him dilatory in his committee work, in studying the Bible Lessons, and instead of finding fresh methods of acquiring understanding as furnished by the Bible, the Christian Science literature, and the dictionary, he might be tempted to think he does not need to study Science and Health or attend church services any longer; that because of the number of years he has devoted to this study his understanding is established without further effort.

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Spiritual Discernment
September 30, 1916

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