When I was a kid, I used to think there were two versions of me: the physical me that my parents had made, and the parallel, perfect, spiritual version God had created. I liked the idea that there was a spiritual me that I could tap into when needed.
Things sure changed a few years later, when my foot grew in an unnatural way and became deformed. Pain was a constant companion. I now had an incentive to understand that God’s offspring aren’t physical in any way. I prayed, and God told me He’d never known me as material.
It was a momentous change in the way I thought about myself. I accepted the great news that there is only one version of anyone—the perfect, divine identity.
Christian Science reveals that we, as God’s children, were never born into matter. That’s a startling idea, but it comes directly from the Bible. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, states “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
One of the Biblical names for God is Spirit. Therefore, man—that’s you, me, and everybody—was created by Spirit and this means man is spiritual.
Obviously, this spiritual understanding was in stark contrast to what I saw with my eyes and felt with my body. But after hearing this idea from God, I reasoned and came to the conclusion that no matter what the world believes, or what I had thought before, I simply can’t be two things at the same time. I can’t be—in the same moment—both a physical being and also a divinely mental, or spiritual, one. It would be like the number three also being the number two. That’s just not possible.
I lived with these ideas and a few days later, as I was putting on my socks, I noticed that my foot was perfectly normal.
More than halfway through her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy asked, “Dear reader, which mind-picture or externalized thought shall be real to you, — the material or the spiritual? Both you cannot have. You are bringing out your own ideal. This ideal is either temporal or eternal. Either Spirit or matter is your model. If you try to have two models, then you practically have none. Like a pendulum in a clock, you will be thrown back and forth, striking the ribs of matter and swinging between the real and the unreal.”
“Both you cannot have,” she wrote. And both you’ll never get. God has created only one man—the spiritual perfect man—and no matter what our gender, each of us is that man.
It feels good to accept this fundamental fact. “When, as little children, we are receptive, become willing to accept the divine Principle and rule of being, as unfolded in divine Science, the interpretation therein will be found to be the Comforter that leadeth into all truth,” Mrs. Eddy wrote in her Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896 (p. 189). Understanding the singular truth that man—every man, woman, and child—is wholly and completely spiritual, heals.
Whenever I consider the truth about man’s innate spirituality, I can’t help but humbly say (as a New Testament writer put it), “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” It’s worthwhile to make the shift from thinking about man as primarily material to understanding that he’s totally spiritual.
Whenever I consistently make space in my life to allow spiritual perfection to be not a far-off goal, but my present standpoint, good things happen. I’ve experienced lack, sickness, and sin—and I’ve seen them evaporate as spiritual reality comes gently and clearly into view. You can, too.
The spiritual, perfect man.
Science and Health
King James Bible
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