Dwelling Places

Most of us bestow much thought upon our dwelling places, our homes, as we call them. We adorn them with things of beauty and comfort; we spend time and money in molding them according to our individual tastes and desires. Many people, however, do not realize that a dwelling place is primarily mental: it represents the thoughts we entertain. That is why we may have the experience of entering some homes where, outwardly, there is abundance of warmth, luxury, and art, yet of being conscious of emptiness, coldness, and dissatisfaction. The mental atmosphere speaks more loudly than the physical environment.

The word "environment" is an interesting one. It means that with which we are surrounded. A dictionary defines "environ" as "to encompass, to completely enclose," and as being synonymous with the word "embrace." It is well to gain the right meaning of environment, and to consider where our thoughts habitually dwell. Are we dwelling constantly, for example, with what Mrs. Eddy calls "the first and fundamental rule" of Christian Science, which is "that God is good; hence, good is omnipotent and omnipresent" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 172); in the understanding of "the final fact" (ibid., p. 63), which is "that God is omnipotent and omnipresent; yea, 'that the Lord He is God; there is none else beside Him'"?

The striking similarity of these two important statements is interesting and worthy of some attention. If we are dwelling with such facts as these, we are gaining some sense of the great truth that man's environment is Spirit, which Mrs. Eddy defines in part in the Glossary in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 594) as "all that is good." Such thinking will bring to us a right human environment. Why? Because all that is ever needed for improvement or demonstration in any direction is a change of human consciousness. When, through prayerful meditation and faithful affirmation, we ponder the simple fact, running contrary to sense testimony, that good only is real, that good is the only power and the only presence, then our thoughts become imbued with this true view of existence, and the mesmeric appearance of evil, with its suppositional activities, begins to fade out. In this measure we are approaching true consciousness, the consciousness of the infinitude of good, which naturally manifests itself in our experience.

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Church Building and Healing
March 23, 1935

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