Cobwebs

WHAT a picture the word "cobwebs" presents,—a fragile net stretched across an open space, at the first glance beautiful in its delicacy of workmanship, but on second thought undesirable because contaminating to its surroundings. And so if one speaks of cobwebs in a figurative sense, the intention is generally to indicate a condition of murky and indistinct thinking. From the point of view that cobwebs are evidence of a deteriorating influence, it might be supposed that they would be found only in the meaner kind of residence; but we all know that the spider is no respecter of mansions. The wise man observed, "The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces," implying that even the most exalted residences are convenient places for the spinning of cobwebs. Again, the great philosopher Francis Bacon wrote of "the cobwebs and clatterings of the schoolmen," indicating that intellectual proficiency is by no means a synonym for clear thinking. The cottage, the palace, the academy, are in themselves types, and those that inhabit them are dwellers in different mental conditions—nothing more.

The great Master, in his realization of fact, said of his own residence, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Surely he was not indicating or extolling a sense of poverty or lack, but pointing to man's true residence as in divine Mind. His consciousness of existence had no sense of separation from his Father, the one Mind. He knew that man as idea cannot be cut off from the Mind which created him. On the contrary, Mind and its idea must always be one. That which presents to mortals the argument of separation is a false, usurping belief, which, like the spider's web, clouds the correct view of existence, and spins out of itself an insnaring web calculated to catch the restless, unwary, and frivolous thought. "Cleanse your mind of the cobwebs which spurious 'compounds' engender," writes Mrs. Eddy on page 271 of "Miscellaneous Writings." The attempt to bring peace to mankind by material rather than spiritual means may lead to nothing more than the building of a palace—a mental condition—in which spiders may spin their webs. If, therefore, we find a condition of hesitation, doubt, or impurity taking possession of our thought, we must get busy. There are spiders about spinning cobwebs. There was a time, perhaps, when we thought we had our mental residence swept and garnished once for all. But that is not sufficient even in our material home; neither will it do in our thinking. There must be a daily searching after and sweeping out of every cobweb of materialism.

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The Divine Vistas
December 6, 1919
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