The Denial of Self

Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Through the long dark ages of materialism, self has meant all that we are conscious of as material life, and the words of the Master have come to signify to mankind in general something almost impossible—the giving up of all that seemed desirable and pleasant. Such a conception has often led to asceticism and self-righteousness. This was of course the result of endeavoring to interpret spiritual verity through the medium of the material senses, for the material point of view is always the exact opposite of divine reality. That which to material sense may seem painful and distressing oft-times becomes from the spiritual standpoint a wellspring of delight, joy, and satisfaction.

Nowhere did Jesus teach that we should give up anything that is real, for that would be impossible. He did say that we should deny the seeming material selfhood of ourselves and others; in other words, that we should not conform in any way to the belief of an existence apart from God. The prophet Isaiah voiced this when he said, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils," and the unreality of this seeming mortal man has been clearly pointed out by our Leader in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where she says (p. 478), "From beginning to end, whatever is mortal is composed of material human beliefs and of nothing else."

In no word or action of his did Jesus ever acknowledge any opposite to God, or recognize a material mind and its so-called material creation; he was conscious always and only of the one God, one Mind, and His reflection. As we commence to shape our lives more nearly in accordance with that of the Master, truth in consciousness gradually replaces the seeming reality of evil, and we find that all we ever have to deny is that age-long and self-evident illusion, the testimony of the material senses.

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Supply Spiritual
October 5, 1918

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