REMAINING ON OUR MOUNTAIN
We never need to leave the mount of vision, the spiritual revelation of God and man. Christ Jesus never left it.
This mount is not some geographical locality in some distant island or wilderness. It is not just some quiet room where we can read and think about God undisturbed, some quiet hour when we can pray in solitude. We are on it whenever we behold the spiritual idea, man in the image and likeness of God, the perfect universe declaring its perfect Maker. In speaking of John's experience on Patmos, Mary Baker Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 561 ), "The Revelator beheld the spiritual idea from the mount of vision." By steadfastly entertaining in consciousness the fact that God, being perfect, created man and the universe perfect, we remain, wherever we may be, on the mount of revelation.
We read in Matthew's Gospel that as a final temptation the devil took Jesus up into a mountain and offered him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory if he would bow down and worship him. But Jesus was not impressed by this material view of the world's glory. How could he be when all his days he viewed from the mount of vision the illimitable kingdom of his heavenly Father and its true and far greater glory? Whether he was alone under the stars in prayer or in busy streets healing and teaching, his thought remained in high spiritual altitudes, from which he always saw the ordered reality of perfect man and perfect universe, harmoniously governed by the divine Principle of all, Love.
It is recorded in the Bible that on one occasion Jesus took three of his disciples up into a high mountain apart and was transfigured before them. They saw the supposed barriers of time and death and material limitation swept aside as their Master spoke with Moses and Elias. After this moment of wonder and glory, Jesus came down from the mountain and was approached by the father of a boy who was violently possessed and whom some of the disciples had been vainly trying to heal. Although Jesus had descended from the earthly mountain, his thought never left the mount of spiritual vision. Seeing only man's perfect sonship with his divine Father, seeing only the spiritual idea, forever under the control of divine Mind, the Master instantly healed the boy.
Jesus, who never commanded the impossible, said (Matt. 5:48 ), "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." And Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, pp. 476, 477 ): "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." It was this persistent beholding of the perfect man which enabled Jesus to be the master of every situation.
We are sometimes tempted to think that in order to be practical we have to come down from the mount of vision. This is not so. There was never a more practical man than Jesus. He healed the sick, reformed the sinner, provided food and money as necessary, and met all other demands made on him by remaining always in the exalted altitude of spiritual understanding.
The most practical individual is he who, like Jesus, resolutely maintains his thought in the realm of Mind, wherever he happens to be geographically. Spirit is the source of all power, ability, and effectiveness. Whatever the demands, whatever the problems, we shall be divinely guided to take the right steps if we abide in the realm of God, the spiritual universe, where there is no failure or frustration, but where, to use homely metaphors, all ships reach harbor, all harvests are safely gathered in.
The Psalmist said (Ps. 30:7 ), "Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong." Many of us start the day with a quiet period of metaphysical work and study; then we turn to our daily tasks in the home, the office, the factory, or wherever we may be. If in turning to these tasks we think of ourselves as coming down from our mountain and serving material taskmasters in a material world, we are not obeying the injunction to serve God only. When Satan offered him the kingdoms of the world in return for worship, Jesus replied (Matt. 4:10 ), "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Throughout the day, and whatever our activity, our mountain stands strong when we keep our vision clear and serve God by knowing only His perfect creation, man and the universe.
Such knowing is based upon absolute Science; it is not abstract or ineffectual. Jesus' constant beholding of the perfect man, inseparable from God, redeemed and healed. As we gain this knowledge based on the solid substance of Spirit, it makes us more skillful, more thorough, more thoughtful workers, ever more eager and able to give the fullest value for the reward we receive. Moreover, it enables us to make continual contribution towards healing and liberating mankind from the false material beliefs of sin, sickness, lack, and every form of limitation.
Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 271 ), "Those, who are willing to leave their nets or to cast them on the right side for Truth, have the opportunity now, as aforetime, to learn and to practise Christian healing." Whether we are quietly watching and praying in a place apart or are pursuing our ordinary occupation from the standpoint that God is the source of all activity and that in reflecting Him we are about our Father's business, we shall be rewarded by spiritual growth and achievement. In the degree that we remain on our mountain and steadfastly discern God's glorious creation, we shall successfully perform our duties, find the fullest satisfaction in them, and at the same time practice Christian healing.