Our true home, our true health
As you can glean from the first two articles in this Sentinel, help is at hand if our home is threatened. Whether rent is due without money to pay it or soaring costs hinder us from setting up home, God is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). In describing how they overcame these challenges, authors Diane Williamson and Nancy Case both cite an idea in Mary Baker Eddy’s writings that explains how we experience such aid: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 307).
This is no less true when the needed “supply” is good health. The Bible points out that the body’s clamor and claims are the very opposite of God-given spiritual ideas, which reveal God’s nature and our expression of divinity’s goodness. For instance, the Apostle Paul said, “Whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord,” adding that we’re “willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:6, 8).
This might appear counterintuitive, given today’s hunger for bodily data. Yet, our well-being benefits from our being absent from the body through consciously being “with” divine Soul, which is a synonym for God. The harmonizing impact of Soul is actually seen on the body itself, as author Nancy L. Martin found. Writing in this issue’s “Healings’’ section, she recounts being told she would suffer with eczema for life. But the symptoms permanently disappeared from her thought and body as she focused on nurturing qualities that express Soul, such as “patience, confidence, perseverance, and courage” (see “Spiritual growth brings freedom from eczema”).
Paul’s contrast between being at home in the body and being present with God expresses more than a desire to be freed from the body and reunited with God in an afterlife, as many believe. His words mean that we can experience God’s deliverance from our woes here and now. In several places in her writings on Christian Science, which consistently bring to light the spiritual meaning and healing power of scriptural texts, Mrs. Eddy quotes Paul’s words. In her Miscellaneous Writings she contrasts the Apostle’s words with “ancient and modern philosophies” that incorrectly “place Soul wholly inside of body” (p. 344). And her primary work on Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, uses Paul’s words in addressing the common belief that man’s body is material (see p. 216).
God gives us His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they lead us to our home in Soul, our true existence.
In seeking healing of physical ailments, then, we can affirm that, far from being at home in a material body, we live in Soul, our true abode, which is outside of a mortal mind or body. Christian Science further reveals that Soul, God, is All, and this allness of divine Spirit contradicts matter’s claims that it defines our condition. Our true nature—our sole residence and true consciousness—is unconscious of any existence apart from purely harmonious, spiritual life in and of Soul.
To feel as “present with the Lord’’ as this implies we are means affirming, grasping, and acting on the basis of our true incorporeal—unconfined to matter—nature. We must “live above corporeal sense and correct it,” Science and Health says (p. 167).
Living above corporeal sense isn’t pursuing out-of-body experiences, either spiritually inspired or chemically induced. Rather, it’s a moment-by-moment mental shift, letting Christ, spiritual Truth, continually lift us beyond the mistaken conviction that we’re ever actually “in” a material body. Christ is the pure idea of our forever-intact relation to God. It conveys to human consciousness a spiritual sense of our true selfhood as God’s offspring, the spiritual reflection of the infinite Unseen. And this recognition of our true identity displaces the misperceptions of corporeal sense, which cannot comprehend that reality.
This correcting of false sense includes moments of vividly grasping our true spiritual at-home-ness in God. Becoming clear that our true nature is neither in a material body nor subject to a material mentality quiets the complaints of the human mind that would otherwise play out in the body. In this way, Christ displaces the sufferings of material belief with the freedom of understanding and experiencing God’s all-good governance “in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Correcting corporeal sense also means overcoming resistance to the truth that Soul, not body, is our real and permanent abode by yielding to Christ’s transforming influence. As we heed Christ’s leading, it displaces any sense of our own helplessness with confidence in God’s control; it moves us from willfulness to trusting “[God’s] will be done” (Luke 11:2); and it subdues the siren call of sensual self-indulgence through shining a light on our forever-satisfied, spiritual self-worth.
We could say God gives us His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they lead us to our home in Soul, our true existence. Anyone anywhere in the world is inherently able to experience this—is able to glimpse this truth of our spiritual existence and feel Soul’s influence bringing harmony to light in our mind, body, health, and home.
Tony Lobl, Associate Editor