Gossamer Webs

One beautiful August day, as I was walking on the slope of a Colorado mountain in one of nature's own gardens, the profusion, variety, and beauty of the flowers were a joy and an inspiration to me. Blue harebells, the gaillardia, the Indian paint-brush, and many varieties of gentians covered the ground as thickly as if sown by a gardener; but the particular flower for which I was searching, the beautiful Mariposa lily, was rare and most difficult to find. Presently in a little grove of aspens I saw a partly opened bud, but when I picked the dainty thing, instead of the beautiful promise of the lily bud I found a misshapen flower with the petals drawn and crumpled together. On looking closer to discover the cause of the malformation, I found that when it was only a bud a spider had spun his web so closely about it that the flower had not been able to unfold in its perfection.

Gently I broke the gossamer bands, and the pearly silken petals rolled back, revealing the painted throat of the lily and its feathery golden stamens. As I looked at the beautiful, perfect flower and the fragments of the spider's web which had bound it, I recalled the well known passage in Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy tells us that "mortal mind is constantly producing on mortal body the results of false opinions; and it will continue to do so, until mortal error is deprived of its imaginary powers by Truth, which sweeps away the gossamer web of mortal illusion" (p. 403). The spider's web had been no part of the flower, but seemed to make it misshapen, thus obscuring and deforming its perfection. So also the webs which are spun by false mortal belief are no part of the divine creation, even though they may seem to deform and deface the perfect manifestation.

Mankind has for ages accepted the binding claims of false belief as an inevitable part of human existence, and has helplessly allowed the weaving of the gossamer webs until there has seemed to be no hope of freedom; but to this generation has come the call of Truth, showing us how to break the web of illusion and thus obtain our freedom. On page 227 of Science and Health we read: "Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right." As this gossamer web which seems to bind and entangle is woven by wrong belief, so our emancipation comes by knowing that the bonds of one's enslavement are not real and enduring, but are merely the illusion of material sense and can be swept away by the touch of Truth. When we learn that sickness is no part of man's true being, this very understanding sets us free to overcome the enslaving sins and fears which seem to make this bondage possible.

"Whence comest thou?"
March 24, 1917

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