Right Practice

When Shakespeare wrote, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so," he directed the searchlight of genius upon human experience. Now what is called human genius is alertness consciously directed to some specific subject, but actually piercing the human and reaching toward some divine reality. Shakespeare's genius advanced him from the belief that things were necessarily as he saw them, to the perception that human experience is governed by the human mind; but he did not consciously emerge from material belief. The genius of Mrs. Eddy was more than human genius because it was divine inspiration; she consciously reached the true idea of being in its relation to God when she perceived and could declare (Science and Health, p. 468), "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all."

Jesus was constantly presenting this same idea, as, for instance, when he said to the rich young man, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." Even though it may be true that "there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so," the attempt to be materially optimistic, to accept sense testimony, and then try to "think" things good, is not the practice of Christian Science. The practice of Christian Science involves the recognition that both the bad experience and its seeming cause, wrong thinking, are illusive and unreal. This recognition must be based on the reality and allness of God, in order to have the illusion disappear. To reduce this to practice in daily life is the work of the Christian Scientist.

Suppose one is faced with an aggressive material suggestion of sin or sickness, what is the mode of procedure? Clearly, since God, divine Mind, is good, the manifestation of infinite Mind must express good. Evil is not a creator; evil is the denial or attempted destruction of good,—a thing which is impossible since good is infinite. The appearance of evil in sense testimony, therefore, is the illusion of material sense, which is capable of being proved unreal by the spiritual sense of infinite good. This sense of infinite good must be lived, not reached spasmodically, and the Christian Scientist may not have a clear enough perception of it to dissipate immediately the illusive sense. If this is the case, then he must, by a process of argument, reasoning, study, and growth in understanding based on the allness of God as divine Principle, and of His manifestation as spiritual and divine, convince himself of the unreality of both the bad effect and its supposititious cause, the suggestion of so-called mortal mind.

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Children and Liberty
April 24, 1920

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