"And Saul arose from the earth"

The sequence of events pertaining to the conversion of Saul, as related in the ninth chapter of Acts, is of deep spiritual significance. The immediate result of a light from heaven shining round about Saul was the cessation of his journey toward a mistaken goal, "and he fell to the earth." Here is a Biblical example of the great fact set forth on page 97 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: "The nearer a false belief approaches truth without passing the boundary where, having been destroyed by divine Love, it ceases to be even an illusion, the riper it becomes for destruction."

He was, of course, astounded at this experience, and because the basis of all previous action had been swept away, leaving him with no foundation or motive, he asked, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" The first command came forth at once, "Arise." And we are told that "Saul arose from the earth." This was the great turning point in his life. He "arose from the earth." from a material sense of life, from the carnal belief that Christliness was something to be condemned, from the illusion that anger, self-will, or self-imposed authority could accomplish anything, good or evil. The change at first was too great for him to accept and left him without vision, so that he had to be led forward to Damascus. There he waited, undoubtedly turning over in his thoughts the wonderful thing that had been revealed to him. After he had waited three days—a period sometimes associated with the fuller unfoldment of spiritual truth—a messenger, named Ananias, came to him and enlarged his vision of Truth until the scales dropped from his eyes and he so clearly beheld the Christ-idea that from that time forward he never ceased to preach the necessity of following the Christ-ideal in all things.

Do we not see in this Biblical event the path that must be taken by all mankind, the necessity to arise from the earth, to rise first above the petty things of material and personal sense, so evident in anger, self-will envy, selfishness, inordinate ambition? At first the casting away of these illusions may leave one without a sense of direction but if the question. "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do," humbly and prayerfully asked, spiritual discernment will come to correct the vision, lay down the line of direction, and guide the rising consciousness into a spiritual sense of things. Then, and only then, can it become apparent that disease, poverty, sin, and war are simply the outgrowth of unchecked indulgence of lesser errors. As thought rises higher than the carnality of earthly thinking, these errors may be seen for what they really are—simply unchallenged, unchecked illusions of mortal thought.

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Jesus Denied Matter
May 13, 1944

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