The Christian Scientist who is striving to prove the truth of the promises which Christ Jesus gave, finds himself under the constant necessity of guarding his thoughts against intruding errors, and of protecting his demonstrations of harmony from being marred by discordant influences. As he progresses he learns, both from his failures and from his successes, that these intruding errors have no power of their own and possess no initiative; and that if they seem to persist, it is only until some latent error on which they build, and which they really serve to disclose, has been discerned and cast out. One of these latent errors, the father of a large family of intruders, is the belief that God is at a distance, or that, while not admitted to be far off, He exists apart from individual consciousness.

Meditating once upon a failure to obey the By-Law in the Manual of The Mother Church (p. 42) which bids "every member of this Church to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion," the writer found himself, as it were instinctively, using the age-old imagery of running stream. It seemed, he said to himself, as if the pure and clear current of thought must in some manner have become tainted. How, he asked, could one guard against such an insidious danger? The inquiry, as so often happens to questions asked in prayer, found its answer even before it was fully formulated.

If one were camping by the bank of a stream known to spring from a pure fountain, and observed that the current which flowed past him was contaminated, would not the remedy be to remove his tent and pitch it nearer to the spring? Nearer? No! For that might still not be a sufficient safeguard; rather at the very fountainhead, where one could drink the pure water as it welled from the rock. And, similarly, if we have been regarding ourselves as at a distance from God, divine Mind, so that the thoughts which God gives us seem to us to have lost their perfection, we must do as the prodigal did when he declared, "I will arise and go to my father;" that is, we must annihilate the sense of intervening distance, and seek true thoughts directly and spontaneously at their divine source.

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Maintaining One's Position
November 10, 1928

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