The Place We Occupy

On page 367 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy writes: "A Christian Scientist occupies the place at this period of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said: 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' 'Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.'" This passage came to the thought of one student as he pondered the subject of place, and it revealed to him the nature of his place in the world, and how to demonstrate the true light. These words indicate that a Christian Scientist occupies a mental place, a concept of place different from that held by anyone who believes in matter as real. This place has its basis in the spiritual sense of being, of which the world is largely unaware. The Scientist is striving to maintain the mental attitude which rises from the understanding that God is the one and only power, the sole creator, the infinite cause. Thus, for the Christian Scientist, reality is wholly spiritual; it is eternal, and utterly removed from all suggestions of birth, maturity, decay, and death. From this correct understanding of the truth of being the Christian Scientist draws scientific conclusions as to the spiritual and perfect nature of man, and with similar logic he sees matter as only a false sense, a seeming, a lie. The Christian Scientist knows, then, that his wrestling is not "against flesh and blood," but "against the rulers of the darkness of this world," wrong thinking; and he conquers error by being "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

Because man's real place is in Mind, the Christian Scientist's work is to be a veritable "light of the world" midst the darkness of materialism. Because his consciousness is not yet altogether free from the materiality which dims spiritual reflection, his light may seem at times to be dimmed. Still, what he knows of the truth is in a degree the "light of the world." This light shines forth with its inherent brightness and glory as the student polishes the lens of his thinking. Mortal qualities such as fear, hatred, self-will, self-love, doubt, distrust, and so on, hide the clear light, even as tarnish dulls a metal reflector; but these false traits disappear before the sincere endeavor to cling to his understanding of God, expressed in confidence, love, meekness, unselfishness, faith, and gratitude. Because God imparts such qualities as these, the student has divine support as he learns to prove the beauty of his real character; and he progresses toward victory with the assurance that opposite traits have no real origin, no sanction, and no permanency.

A Christian Scientist's place, then, is his realization of true being, which includes a realization of the perfect universe wherein love is brotherly. How does this spiritual understanding manifest itself in what is known humanly as a place, work, or situation? The answer to this question will be found in considering what the world needs, what the world asks of the individual who would have a place in its activity. The world stands in continuous need of such divine qualities as wisdom, discernment, alertness, devotion, zeal, and all similar blessings which come to man from God, divine Mind. It needs these qualities as they are embodied individually and expressed actively in usefulness of some sort. Fundamentally speaking, the need is not for home-makers, stenographers, writers, manufacturers; the real need is for each to bring to bear upon his appointed task the influence of God-inspired thinking. For this reason a Christian Scientist is in his right place when he practices his religion with regard for the work at hand. His right place is "set on an hill" of spiritual thinking. To such a one there can be no phenomenon of mortal sense called unemployment or displacement. A Christian Scientist has enlisted on the side of the truth about God, the universe, and man, and this truth has to be known and lived continuously. So he constantly employs Godlike qualities. Through prayer and growth in grace he shows forth a growing understanding of what Christianity means. This activity is his work.

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True Power
September 2, 1933

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