Some months ago, I spent a very full day doing outdoor spring cleanup activities—raking, pruning, planting, and so forth. The next morning I felt so stiff and sore I could hardly move. My first thought was that I’d done too much and was now paying the price. But instead of spending the rest of the day hobbled by pain and fatigue, I decided to pray.
Christian Science teaches that man is not a material being made up of muscles and bones that can be overworked. He is actually the spiritual creation of God, who is unlimited and inexhaustible. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, man “is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; …” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475).
Staying conscious of what God, the divine Mind, knows about us isn’t always easy, however. Suggestions that man is a limited mortal tend to pull thought away from God’s perfect spiritual creation toward the material belief that reality is a combination of good and evil. Christian Science calls this adverse influence animal magnetism. The term appears more than fifty times in Mrs. Eddy’s writings, and she shows that animal magnetism needs to be denied.
She makes it clear in her writings on Christian Science, however, that regardless of how persuasive the mortal, carnal mind’s assertions might seem, they are baseless illusions. We need to be alert to these lies and realize the nothingness of any claim that matter has reality and power.
I saw that the discomfort I was feeling wasn’t truly a fact about me.
Prayerfully affirming that I was in reality God’s child, a perfect and indestructible idea of the divine Mind, I saw that the discomfort I was feeling wasn’t truly a fact about me. It was an aggressive mental suggestion that I was matter-based and vulnerable to discord. I refused to accept this false suggestion. Banishing all thought of the symptoms as unreal and not part of me, I trusted myself to God’s loving care and went to work on a second day of strenuous activity with no pain or sense of limitation. I continued with my spring cleanup for several more days, acknowledging that my strength and movement were expressions of God and could never be limited or impaired.
Let discord of every name and nature be heard no more, and let the harmonious and true sense of Life and being take possession of human consciousness.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 355
This decisive healing was clear proof to me that “all that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal” (Science and Health, p. 151). When we understand that the outcome of divine Mind, or God, alone is real and is altogether good and harmonious, we can be sure that discord is nothing more than supposition. And replacing material suppositions of the carnal, mortal mind with spiritual truth from the divine Mind brings healing.
Science and Health explains: “Matter and Mind are opposites. One is contrary to the other in its very nature and essence; hence both cannot be real. If one is real, the other must be unreal. Only by understanding that there is but one power,—not two powers, matter and Mind,—are scientific and logical conclusions reached” (p. 270).
The Apostle Paul refers to these contrary modes of thought when he says, “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). By recognizing that there is no mind apart from God, the impositions of thought that would tie us to pain, disease, and sin can be quickly and decisively rejected.
It is important to remember that Christian Science describes the truth of being, and that the facts of Science are true for everyone, always. Though it may be tempting to believe that those who do not understand God as omnipotent good are governed by material laws, it is essential that we see the spiritual facts of Science as the only reality for all.
Recently, for instance, I sensed that there was estrangement between another individual and me. Though I wanted to make peace, my feelings were hurt. Only when I refused to accept the belief that one of God’s children could possibly treat another unfairly did I yield to divine Love, and a reconciliation between us unfolded naturally.
Inharmony is always a lie, not the truth of being.
I have found that when my thinking is being influenced by fear, doubt, or darkness in any form, it is because I am listening to the suggestions of animal magnetism, not to divine Mind. Such material thinking would have us believe that we are products of genetics, susceptible to poor health, and merely flawed human personalities. But knowing that all of creation, including man, is the perfect expression of God, good, enables us to see that evil, in whatever form it appears to take, is a mental imposition, not the reality of being. This understanding lifts us to behold the spiritual facts of being and demonstrate them in our experience.
Christian Science makes it clear that divine law—the law of harmony—is always in force. And inharmony is always a lie, not the truth of being. To see things rightly is to understand God’s absolute power and goodness in every situation. It is the ultimate change of thought that Science and Health describes on page 162: “The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind.” And with this yielding the result is healing.
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