Our spiritual heritage
When one of our daughters was quite young, we often found her sleepwalking. Some nights she would simply come down to kiss me goodnight; other times we found she had moved to the stairs and fallen asleep there. But the night I saw her descend the stairs and reach for the knob on the front door to go outside, I knew this problem needed to be healed, and quickly!
She began sleepwalking three or four times a night, and our fear increased when she spent nights away with us in different surroundings—staying in a hotel or visiting a friend. While we took the normal safety measures of locking doors and windows and keeping a close eye on her, we also took the spiritual measure of providing healing prayer through Christian Science treatment.
We prayed for divine guidance on how to heal this situation, and to get a clear understanding of our daughter’s normality and God-given peacefulness. During this time a relative reminded me of my own sleepwalking as a child, which I had forgotten about, and this alerted me to pray about our daughter’s spiritual heritage. As my husband and I learned more about God being the only creator and cause, we also learned to lean more on God and to let Him show us His control and government. We gained a clearer understanding of how God always watches over us, protecting us.
We also realized that this recurrence of something that was not good or safe was simply untrue, because it did not originate in God, good. We saw that it didn’t have a reality in the past in my experience, and it couldn’t have a reality in the present in our daughter’s experience. To us, this meant that the sleepwalking was baseless, a false belief, and could not continue, because all true heredity is strictly from God, divine Life. We understood that it was inaccurate, a lie about our daughter, so it could and would be proven unreal. This sequence of events was just something based in matter and its so-called history, rather than in the spiritual reality of her true selfhood as God’s beloved child. It wasn’t long before our daughter was completely healed, and she had no further instances of sleepwalking.
God’s child does not inherit anything that is not perfect.
Our true nature, our spiritual heritage, is to be the expression of God, Spirit, the source of all that is real. He gives us all good. Whatever is not good and right is foundationless. This means, then, that our true heritage is not only spiritual, it is perfect, eternal, and continuous, because God is perfect, eternal, and continuously expressing His perfection in His creation. As God’s reflection, we each mirror all that God is and does, and this includes uninterrupted, perfect health and action. This spiritual reflection is never touched by matter, never altered or deformed.
As these truths permeate our consciousness, strengthening our spiritual sense, we find our identity as God’s beloved, cared-for child. We feel God’s presence and know His power. This naturally turns our thought from fear to trust, from anxiety to peace, from abnormality to normality. We find God’s presence filling all space in thought and in experience, because He is omnipresent. We learn that there is no room for any abnormality in God’s, divine Life’s, infinitude. This is because Life’s infinitude is all-inclusive good, which precludes anything God didn’t or couldn’t create. As we learn to discredit and dismiss matter-based deceptions, and embrace Spirit-based truths, we find false beliefs fading from thought and experience, and so find healing.
A clear perception of our spiritual heritage includes the understanding that God’s child does not inherit anything that is not perfect, because God’s child can inherit only good. All true heritage is in Spirit and is sustained and maintained by divine Life. This means, then, that God’s child is free from all errors—from evil, impurity, discord. God’s children—you and I—are heirs of divine Life only, never heirs of material heredity. When faced with a belief of ill health, we can recognize it as not a physical problem, but as a misstatement of our true selves and of our spiritual heritage, and so amenable to correction by divine Love.
And how do we pray scientifically when faced with conditions considered to be hereditary? Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, answers this question in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them” (p. 392 ).
God’s children—you and I—are heirs of divine Life only.
Performing our “office as porter” means taking a prayerful position that keeps our thought open only to our perfection in God. Holding to the truth of our God-given exemption from evil, we are able to stand guard over our thinking, watching to see what we’re accepting in thought, and then we can correct false beliefs with what is scientifically true, spiritual, and God-given. To stand porter means to prayerfully exclude, through quiet communion with God, all that is not God-ordained. The result is thought filled with truth—with all that is real and good—and simultaneously emptied of all that is false, unreal, and unscientific.
This is seeking and finding our spiritual heritage, our true and only self, and it results in healing. In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy confirms that, “Heredity is a prolific subject for mortal belief to pin theories upon; but if we learn that nothing is real but the right, we shall have no dangerous inheritances, and fleshly ills will disappear” (p. 228 ).
Christ Jesus showed us how he dealt with the claims of heredity when he proved the powerlessness of congenital blindness, lameness, and deafness. He understood God as the source of man’s being, the originator of man’s spiritual heritage. He also understood that you and I, in reality, have “no dangerous inheritances,” because these are simply false beliefs that are always at the mercy of scientific truths that heal. Isn’t this what he taught us when he healed the man “born blind” (see John 9:1–7 )? Here, Jesus proved the powerlessness of material heredity and the absolute spiritual fact of man’s spiritual heritage. He didn’t overturn a law of God, but rather saw God’s law of perfection enforced right there where the blindness seemed to be. He declared, “The works of God should be made manifest in him.” And they were, at that very moment.
The works of God should be made manifest in you and me, too, under the law of Life. And so they are, as we prove the powerlessness of material heredity in the face of the absolute fact of man’s spiritual heritage.