On Exploring the Present

One of the most common tendencies of mortals is to rest thought upon some past event in human experience or to anticipate some future happening, to look either forward or backward in the realm of time—backward, upon events unhappy as well as pleasurable, disastrous as well as successful, even finding a kind of morbid satisfaction in reviewing that which was evil and untoward in one's experience; forward, in anticipation of good or evil, of pleasure or pain, of joys to be shared and evils to be encountered. This tendency derives from the failure to find in the present that which satisfies the human heart—that something which brings a sense of lasting joy, that peace which passeth all understanding. Nothing could more completely prove the unreality of the so-called mortal mind than its proverbial restlessness.

Beneath this mental attitude lie certain fundamental errors, which are exposed through the spiritual understanding gained from the study of Christian Science. These errors spring from wrong concepts of Deity, of time and eternity, and from the personalizing of good and evil. That God is infinite Spirit, ever present and eternal, is a fact established firmly both in the teachings of the Bible and in Christian Science. That eternity is without beginning or end precludes the possibility that time has any existence apart from the erroneous concepts of mortal mind. Moreover, the infinite and eternal, considered in time or space, can have no standard of measurement. Therefore, the ever-present, the spiritual now, without past or future, is the eternal fact regarding all existence. Why, then, should mortals look either forward or backward, since both these tendencies connote that which has no existence apart from a false sense of experience? While past events may have had a place in human history, in reality, that is, with the real man, they have had no existence whatsoever. The real man, God's representative, coexistent and coeternal with Him, has no future and no past. He abides in the spiritual present, in the consciousness of the Father-Mother God.

Furthermore, since man's individuality and consciousness are reflections of the divine, as Mrs. Eddy assures us, man really possesses no state of consciousness apart from God, the source of all reality. And since infinite, eternal consciousness is conscious of all as eternally present, man, who as reflection has no consciousness unlike God, is conscious only of the eternal, the spiritual now. This presence of all reality in the eternal now was perfectly set forth by the Preacher. As rendered by a modern translator, the following verse reads (Ecclesiastes 3:15): "Whatever is, it has already been; whatever is to be, already is; and God is ever bringing back what disappears." This assurance of all good as existent in the spiritual present should stimulate mortals to explore the divine heritage of which man through reflection is ever in possession. In this way alone will one learn how rich he really is spiritually; what it means to be a child of God, a son of God, a joint heir with Christ.

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"Beloved Christian Scientists"
November 2, 1935

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