The goal of a Christian Scientist is to abide in a healing consciousness. The Psalmist thus expresses this aspiration (Ps. 51:10, 13): "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. ... Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee."

To attain this consciousness sought by the Psalmist one must refrain from destructive criticism, which does not heal. True criticism, however, discovers excellences as well as defects. The verb criticize means to judge, to examine, or to review. Thus one of the functions of criticism is to evaluate events, and this should lead to correction and healing. Consequently one does not need to forgo criticism. It is only destructive criticism from which he should abstain. Judging or examining in Christian Science is founded upon the basic truth that the divine Mind beholds all things as perfect as it conceived them. And because the one wholly good Mind is the only Mind of man, there is in reality no mind with the desire to criticize destructively.

Our motive in discerning thought is always to heal. Truly to recognize error is to see its unreal nature so clearly that one puts it out of thought. Criticism that is synonymous with true judgment impersonalizes evil, always reducing it to a false belief. It acknowledges that everything which has presence is good and refuses to let error hide good. On the other hand, destructive criticism inflates error. It tends to make real to us what we dislike. One given to such criticism needs enlightenment. Then the unreal will no longer seem real to him. How cogently Mary Baker Eddy explains this in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." "You command the situation," she says (p. 403), "if you understand that mortal existence is a state of self-deception and not the truth of being." Only as we are willing to admit that whatever appears annoying is a state of self-deception— mesmeric suggestion individually accepted—are we in a position to "command the situation."

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December 13, 1952

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