Seeing Man Aright

The two following instances of mental self-examination and correction have been of great benefit to the writer. They present typical cases of self-imposed suffering, and may serve to bring to light the seeming cause of many a disturbed state of consciousness.

A mining engineer, traveling to a point where work awaited him, found himself, at the end of a day of no special exertion, so unreasonably wearied that he began analyzing his thoughts to discover where the trouble lay. He then realized that all day long he had been mentally quarreling with a person some hundreds of miles away, with whom he had previously had a difference of opinion. He had been outlining an interview, formulating statements, questions, and replies, going over and over the grievance, his anger and resentment flaring afresh with each repetition. Nothing had been gained; the question was no nearer adjustment, as the other one had had no representation in the fictitious dialogue. Being a student of Christian Science, as soon as he realized how he had worse than wasted the day, the engineer turned to the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, with a deep sense of remorse, and soon gained a clear vision of man in God's image and likeness. Resentment and self-justification were silenced, and a calm, exalted mental state was attained. The next day the demands of his work required this student to walk and climb a great distance in the mountains, exposed to storms and extreme cold, yet he finished an exceptionally strenuous day with a feeling of undiminished strength and refreshment, because his thoughts had been at peace.

A young woman, also a student of Christian Science, once felt a great sense of discord in her home relations. Between herself and her mother there existed a deep bond of affection; yet, in common parlance, they continually rubbed each other the wrong way. There was the mutual desire to be good comrades, but each seemed incapable of living up to the other's expectations and demands. One day a sweet friend and fellow student visited them. She knew both mother and daughter well, and she had opportunity during the hours spent with them to say to the daughter, "You are trying to make your mother over, aren't you?" This direct and simple mental diagnosis was of great value to the young woman. She saw that this was the case exactly. She had felt, and deeply resented, that her mother had never been satisfied with her, that she had always expected something more or something different of her daughter than the latter was able to give. Now, as in a looking-glass, she saw herself exacting the same impossible conditions of her mother. Each had been, as it were, trying to remodel the other, instead of making loving allowance for their differences. Thus clarified by scientific analysis, the situation greatly improved. There were no longer hurt feelings; and the bond of affectionate understanding grew ever stronger.

The Traveler and the Road
May 14, 1927

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