Beliefs Cannot Fasten on Man
Barnacles have in the past fastened themselves in great numbers to the hulls of ocean-going ships and, if they have not from time to time been removed, they have considerably retarded the ships' movements. Chemical research has now provided a paint for ships' hulls which, by its chemical properties, prevents barnacles from fastening themselves to the bottoms of the ships.
Many mortals are unhappy because they believe that some form of sin, sickness, impairment, unpleasant relationship, or untoward circumstance has fastened itself barnacle-like on their lives, and they see no way to gain their freedom. They believe that evil can fasten and attach itself to them in some form, and that they have little hope of successfully disputing its aggressive claim. If what mortals see, hear, and feel materially is accepted as final evidence of the condition of man, this sad conclusion is justified.
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Christian Science, however, is awakening thought to discover a better and truer sense of existence, the spiritual sense. This concept of being shows God, the one cause, to be boundless Spirit, Mind, the source and substance of all that really is, and man, individually and collectively, to be the evidence, or expression, of God; therefore Mind-like and spiritual, not mortal and matter-like.
Radical as this teaching is in its unqualified denial of the substantiality of matter, and in its assertion of the unreliability of material sense testimony, it is gaining the respect and adherence of thinkers who find no hope for enduring health, happiness, peace, and continuing progress on any but a spiritual basis—the infinitude of Mind, constituting, containing, and conditioning all identities.
This concept of Life and its representative, man, Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated. He said that as we know or understand what is spiritually true, we find our freedom from all that is afflictive and untrue. He said nothing about evil being able to fasten its conditions on us, but he showed that a clear apprehension of the spiritual idea of God and man demonstrates man's continuous superiority to evil's claim that it can fasten forms of discord on him. His healing works graphically illustrate this.
Daily let us realize and declare that our individuality is not what the material mind says it is—a composite of cells and chemicals subject to enigmatical forces of chance and circumstance—and see that this is but the misconception of man, whose being is really eternal Mind's representative and idea, spiritual, harmonious, and Godlike. As we begin to realize this, we see how we can prove that no sin, disease, or discord can ever fasten itself to our manhood. We see that the only "I" or "Us" is God, in whom all true individuality eternally is. Shadows cannot fasten themselves to sunbeams. No more can the ignorant, darkish beliefs and conditions of evil attach themselves to your individuality or to mine, forever living in and by God.
Apropos of this is the following statement by Mary Baker Eddy: "Evil seeks to fasten all error upon God, and so make the lie seem part of eternal Truth" (Unity of Good, p. 17). God as Life is evidenced only by the identities manifesting this Life; so evil, seeking, as it seems to human sense, to fasten all error on God, seeks to fasten it on God's manifestation, on man, beast, flower, shrub, tree, whose only true identity is in and of God.
Science reveals the impossibility of suppositional mortal mind, the basic error, ever reaching beyond its own realm of supposition. It has no leverage by which to lift itself above its own dead level, no power by which it can project its lies of sin, sickness, impairment, and discord out of its fictional realm into infinite Mind, there to fasten them on God's ideas.
The student of Christian Science, realizing something of man's God-given spiritual individuality, is able to prove in daily experience for himself and others that man's identity is never in the clutches of evil. Evil has nothing with which to fasten its negativeness to the positive substance that is God, Mind, individualized in man.
What is mindless cannot affix itself to Mind; what is evil cannot fasten itself on good; what is error cannot annex itself to Truth; what is matter cannot join itself to Spirit. The Christian Scientist knows that there is nothing in God's image and expression to which evil can attach itself. God and every one of His ideas are forever safe and secure. The evil and suppositional can never even touch, let alone fasten themselves to, the good and the actual.
When Paul was shipwrecked on the island of Melita, we are told that after he had built a fire "there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. . . . And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm" (Acts 28:3,5). Paul must have known that evil cannot fasten any error upon God. Therefore it cannot fasten any of its lies, including a poison-exuding reptile, on the identity of God's expression, man.
A poisonous beast fastening itself to a mortal's physical body is but one form of animated error attaching itself to another. The scene is in the suppositional realm of mortal mind, a realm in which God's man never appears. He remains forever in his perpetual oneness with God, the All-in-all, never disengaged from omnipresent good, and eternally superior to error's claim that it can fasten its lies on God and His son.
In the degree these truths are understood, men find their freedom from, and dominion over, the false phenomena called sins, diseases, and other forms of affliction which evil says it can fasten on God and His man. Against evil's lying claim, man is fully protected by the Christ, the spiritual idea of God and man.
Paul Stark Seeley