Self-knowledge: An Essential

Our self-identification as a mortal, as a more or less fragile physical entity, can be progressively shed. How? By understanding and more and more living our true self, our perfect individuality made in the likeness of infinite Deity. Until this process is completed, and a mortal sense of self has fully surrendered to the divine, a just recognition of what seems to be our self—knowledge of our apparently personal selfhood—is essential for spiritual growth. It's essential for our optimum demonstration of Christian Science in overcoming whatever ails human beings. If we're deficient in self-knowledge, we may tend to self-righteousness or, at the other extreme, self-condemnation. Self-knowledge, in addition, is a fundamental shield against self-delusion.

Christ Jesus attained the ultimate of spiritual demonstration. He had unequaled insight into the real nature of man. He achieved this because he loved good and categorically rejected all that is evil. What he knew of himself was largely what God knew of him. He was the Son of God. He said, "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." John 14:10; And what extraordinary insight he had into others! After the Samaritan woman's encounter with Jesus in which he discerned her moral lack, she said in the town, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" 4:29;

As we grow in understanding of our true flawless spiritual self, a result is that we gain keener insight into the mortal personality, which claims to be our identity. Our clear consciousness of real being throws into higher relief whatever in our nature does not evidence the ideal man, God's manifestation. Then, through prayer —acknowledging God, good, as everywhere active—and the deeper spiritual understanding prayer leads to, we discard piece by piece all that is inconsistent with our genuine being.

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October 5, 1974

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