Mortal Dream

When I first read the text-book, the statement that "mortal existence is a dream of pain and pleasure in matter, ... like the dream we have in sleep" (Science and Health, p. 188), seemed difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, as I gained a clearer understanding of Christian Science the truth of this statement dawned upon my consciousness, and I realized that unless we are fully awake to this fact, and know that God made man in His image and likeness,—of like kind or like nature, spiritual and not material,—our progress heavenward will be retarded.

One of the definitions for dream is "to think idly," and the definitions for sleep are "to think thoughtlessly ... to rest in the grave." When one accepts the belief that he lives in his body and is controlled by it, is he not resting in the grave of material beliefs, resting in the thoughtless acceptance of that which has no foundation in fact? Is he not believing in the incongruous theory that both good and evil dwell together, and that if there be a preponderance of power at all, it is on the side of matter and evil? St. Paul's clarion call, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light," must arouse the slumbering senses, and should be sufficient to turn us from thinking idly and resting in the grave of material sense to a right rule of thinking and consequent acting that will effectually keep us from dreaming, or thinking thoughtlessly, whether we are asleep or awake.

Right thinking is always harmonious, alert, always expressing the presence and power of good. It is the reflection of the one Mind, "a divine influence ever present in human consciousness" (Science and Health, Pref., p. xi), and is always responsive when called upon, whether the senses say we are asleep or awake. To illustrate: One night I dreamed that I entered a motor car driven by an inexperienced chauffeur, and my first thought upon entering seemed to be one of fear, which was checked until we came to a steep hill, when it returned with redoubled force, for I seemed to feel certain that under the control of a novice the car would not ascend such a precipitous slope. However, the car climbed the hill quickly and smoothly until we neared the summit, when it first showed signs of stopping, then apparently began to run backward. I seemed to become terrified, feeling sure we would be thrown over the embankment.

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Ability versus Distrust
January 27, 1917

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