Understanding and Inspiration

If one's thought is material, if one is materially-minded, his spiritual sense is certain to be circumscribed. He will think of temporal things; his material thinking may tend to make him evilly disposed; and he may be unhappy and possibly unhealthy. On the other hand, if one's thought is spiritual, if one is spiritually-minded, he will think of spiritual things—of goodness, beauty, truth, and love; and the result will be happiness and health. Thought that is imbued with a material sense of things cannot but tend to be narrow, mean, selfish, and sinful. Thought that is based on a spiritual sense of being cannot fail to be considerate, pure, loving, good, and true.

Surely there are few who would not escape, if they could, from materiality and its debasing tendencies. And many will say, If only I might gain the inspiration which would bring this about, how happy I should be! They see what is wrong in their thinking, and they sense that their need is inspiration. They should know that inspiration is not something that comes to one in a mysterious way, but that it is the result of spiritual understanding; and that all may be inspired, because all can become spiritually enlightened. "There is a spirit in man," says Elihu in the book of Job; "and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." And as Mrs. Eddy writes in her Message to The Mother Church for 1902 (p. 8), "The spiritually minded are inspired with tenderness, Truth, and Love."

Spiritual understanding, then, is possible of attainment; and it should be cumulative. Mind is infinite. Man is the reflection of Mind. Therefore it is possible for us increasingly to understand the thoughts or ideas of God, divine Mind. Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 66), "Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love." Thus, we should expect our understanding of God's ideas or qualities to increase. Since they are infinite in number, there can be no end to the acquiring of a knowledge of them. This means that inspiration, which comes as the result of spiritual unfoldment, is progressive.

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"Where is your faith?"
July 23, 1932

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