Self-Consciousness

Christian Science is teaching us how to think metaphysically. This is being accomplished by pointing the way to a spiritual interpretation of the Bible, without which it could lay no claim to being the Book of Life. As the apostle to the Gentiles so clearly put it in his second letter to the church at Corinth, in alluding to all being made ministers of the new testament, "not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." Between the acceptance of the Scriptures literally and the imbibing of their spiritual significance, there is, indeed, a great gulf fixed. Spiritual understanding lifts the veil of doubt and mystery, and reveals the Bible's true metaphysical power and practicality. This awakening constitutes the putting off of the old man "of the earth, earthy," and putting on the new man, changeless and incorruptible. This is the re-formation, the new birth. Thus we find our old misconceptions of the Bible record replaced by the joyous realization of spiritual reality, of apprehending, in part at least, that man is eternally in unity with God, and awake to his at-one-ment with divine Principle. Now, it is axiomatic that in order to gain a metaphysical concept of the Scriptures, which Christian Science demands, we must acquire a metaphysical meaning of its language. But this is not altogether easy, as Mary Baker Eddy has plainly pointed out. "The chief difficulty in conveying the teachings of divine Science accurately to human thought lies in this, that like all other languages, English is inadequate to the expression of spiritual conceptions and propositions, because one is obliged to use material terms in dealing with spiritual ideas," she writes under "Language inadequate" in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 349), and then adds, "The elucidation of Christian Science lies in its spiritual sense, and this sense must be gained by its disciples in order to grasp the meaning of this Science."

For example, let us consider that famous declaration of Christ Jesus, "I and my Father are one," which forms the basis of his teaching and his ministry of healing. This very simple statement of truth, though supported by the irrefutable and abundant testimony of good works, was itself advanced by the Jews in support of their contention that the Master claimed himself equal with God, the divine Mind. While deeply imbued with the immortality of his words, Jesus appealed to the Jews to accept him, at least for the very works' sake, even if they persisted in refuting his words. But all this was of no avail. The Jews, because of their materiality, rejected their best friend, and failed to understand the import of Jesus' life purpose, not did they understand his selflessness and his love for humanity, for which he labored incessantly. He always gave God the entire glory. Before Lazarus had arisen from the grave, Jesus thanked the Father, knowing that, in truth, he had not died, and that his restoration was God's work alone, and therefore already complete. Likewise, when he healed the Syrophœnician woman's daughter of the unclean spirit, and directly afterwards, when he made the deaf man hear and his speech became normal, Jesus urged them to tell no man, showing, beyond doubt, that he wanted to dissociate his personality from them, in order to insure their turning unreservedly to divine Principle. As he himself insisted, "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." He was also ever conscious of man's true selfhood, declaring his heritage as the Son of God, meaning that he saw that man, God's likeness, is at one with Him, in conformity with the record in the first chapter of Genesis, equal in quality though never in quantity. The carnal mind, which is always enmity against God, could not even grasp this simple, spiritual truth. Having eyes it saw not, and having ears it heard not. It failed of spiritual discernment. Darkness never could see light.

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"How forcible are right words"
November 13, 1920
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