On Claiming One's Own

Most of mankind is more or less concerned about claiming its own; indeed, men have been largely educated to believe that they could be sure of possessing what really belonged to them only as they claimed it. Because human belief bases everything on a personal material sense of things, it has looked upon all possessions from this standpoint. When, therefore, Christian Science reveals the mighty truth that man can really possess only the spiritual things of God, and that such possession can be realized only through reflection, an entirely new viewpoint is presented. Instead of spending one's time and effort in struggling for personal accumulations, instead of reaching out to claim one's own material so-called rights and properties, one begins to see that real good can be claimed only as that which is false and ephemeral is relinquished.

To claim one's own, therefore, in accordance with the teaching of Christian Science one immediately begins to seek and express only that which belongs to man as the image and likeness of God. This brings into his experience all sorts of opportunities to divide between error and truth, between that which human belief would insist belongs to man and that which spiritual sense proclaims as his inheritance from God. Human belief is constantly affirming that man is sick and sinning, that he is the expression of self-will and self-love, that he desires and should have personal advancement in every direction; while Christian Science reveals beyond all question that so long as anyone is concerned in claiming these shadows as his own, it is quite impossible for him to realize the glories which belong to him as the child of infinite good.

In her address read at the laying of the corner stone of The Mother Church edifice in 1894, Mrs. Eddy speaks of having called upon certain of her students to contribute large sums to its building fund and having their names put with hers into the corner stone. She must have understood the temptation which might present itself to the thought of each member thus privileged, to claim as his own personal virtue the impelling force through which each individual self-sacrifice in this giving was brought about. Each might have been tempted to think himself a little more faithful than others who were not thus called upon by their teacher and Leader. Then she illustrates this point (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 145): "Does a single bosom burn for fame and power? Then when that person shall possess these, let him ask himself, and answer to his name in this corner-stone of our temple: Am I greater for them? And if he thinks that he is, then is he less than man to whom God gave 'dominion over all the earth,' less than the meek who 'inherit the earth.' " And then she adds, "Even vanity forbids man to be vain; and pride is a hooded hawk which flies in darkness."

"Ye are all the children of light"
January 7, 1928

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