Redemptive Idealism

Throughout the ages materialists have been wont to scoff at what they term idealism, regarding it as vague, Utopian, and eminently unpractical. This would indeed be the case if one were to attempt to idealize materiality, which must forever be regarded as unideal. Christian Science reveals the foundation of true idealism as laid in divine Mind, and spiritual ideas as the medium through which God, good, is revealed and expressed. On page 115 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy writes of "idea" as "an image in Mind; the immediate object of understanding.—Webster." Without spiritual ideas, which reveal the power and presence of God, good, no one could resist temptation; nor could he even distinguish right from wrong. Christ Jesus was an idealist. He alleviated human suffering, destroyed sin, conquered "the last enemy," and taught his followers to do likewise. Christ, Truth, manifested through true ideas, is the Messiah, of which Christ Jesus declared, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

Speaking of man, Mrs. Eddy states on page 475 of Science and Health that he is "the compound idea of God, including all right ideas." To spiritual man there is, therefore, never any lack of inspiration, never any mental penury, never any sense of desolation or loneliness, for Mind is always with each one of its ideas, cherishing, maintaining, each one's purity, joy, and immortality. What is the effect of this redemptive idealism upon the student of Christian Science who had formerly believed himself to be the slave of sickness, the unwilling prey of sin, the victim of an inharmonious environment, the sport of circumstance? The practical reply to this question is found in the regenerated lives of unnumbered students of Christian Science who are learning to utilize the power of spiritual ideas in overcoming false beliefs and their consequences.

What is humanity's greatest need? Surely it is the expression of true qualities, such as courage, joy, purity, vision, loving-kindness. If one has fallen into discouragement, Christian Science shows him that there is no such thought in man, God's image. Discouragement is a false mortal belief which is allied only to materiality. Discouragement betrays faith in evil. It is not a divine "image in Mind." Sickness, hatred, poverty, envy—none of these are spiritual ideas, for they are not in Mind; and Paul points out that "in him we live, and move, and have our being." Hence they are false concepts, which must be cast out. How encouraging it is to the student of Christian Science to find that true ideas are gradually freeing him from his former fears; are supplanting the belief in physical infirmity and undesirable traits of character. True ideas reveal the fact that spiritual man is an inhabitant of Mind, not matter.

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February 2, 1929

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