Spiritualizing Self

It is not unusual for a student of Christian Science to find himself stubbornly rejecting metaphysical conclusions that are essential if he would prove the unreality of matter. Very early in the study of the Bible together with the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the student is convinced that true individuality, identity, manhood and womanhood exist entirely in the spiritual realm, and he faces the fact that this must be demonstrated. And because he has an incorrect sense of spirituality, and perhaps a natural aversion to exploring realms of thought entirely unfamiliar to him, he may temporarily abandon his study at this point. One's concept of spiritual things, to begin with, is usually illusive or intangible, much the same as his earlier training taught him concerning ghosts and angels; and is it to be wondered at that he has little desire to become spiritual if such is to be his nature, coupled with the possibility of losing his identity somewhere in the ether?

The writer labored with this wrong concept of spiritual things until sufficient suffering forced him to desire to be good more than all else, and then there was revealed to him the true concept of spirituality and the practicability and necessity of demonstrating spiritual existence completely, and here. When he learned that to become spiritual necessarily means to become more like Spirit,—and how else could he identify himself with Spirit other than to embrace in his thought what Paul terms "the fruit of the Spirit," "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance"?—he gained his first glimpse of Life as it really is, and it gave him a new lease on existence.

To become more unselfish, kind, and charitable toward one's fellow-men, more honest, moral, and courageous, is to spiritualize self; and this transformation cannot be accomplished through any course of mental gymnastics or any ethereal transition. On the contrary, it is the awakening to true selfhood which forces this mortal counterfeit of man to put off its carnal-mindedness, become less unkind, less selfish, less dishonest, and less disobedient to the highest sense of right. Man's true selfhood, created in God's own image and likeness as the Scriptures teach us, must be complete and perfect now and forever; but this must be realized and demonstrated in order that the transformation of the mortal may become apparent. And where can this transformation take place but right here?

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"Yea, yea; Nay, nay"
September 6, 1924

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