A young student of Christian Science in talking with an older and more experienced worker asked the latter to give her some advice that would help her to become a more efficient practitioner. The older worker took up the copy of the Bible and of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy lying on his desk and said with loving firmness: "You have these books. Study them. Prove for yourself as well as for others. Above all else, keep your treatments simple—the simpler the better. Just know that you know what you know."
This sound advice has proved efficacious to the student in her practice. Many times when mortal mind would argue for more intensive treatments and attempt to burden her with the letter of Christian Science she has recalled the above words and silently and calmly known that she knew the truth of God and man, as well as the falsity of error, and that this truth was doing the work.
Here someone may ask, "But just what is the truth that you know, and how do you know it?" In other words, a new student of Christian Science might reasonably say, "Please explain to me the fundamentals, purpose, and efficacy of what you say." The answer is quite simple and may be obtained through the study of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health. On page 275 of this book the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science writes: "The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,—that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle."
Thus we must begin our work with the truth concerning God, Spirit. He is the one primal cause, the only origin and substance, the one Father-Mother, infinite Life, Soul, Truth. Spirit alone being substance, its opposite, matter, must be illusion; also from an all good cause there can be only an entirely good effect.
The truth of man is that he is spiritual, since he is the image and likeness of God, as stated in Genesis 1:26, 27. He is therefore always at the point of perfection. Because God is Mind, the source of all real intelligence, man is intelligent; in other words, he is the complete compound idea of Mind, embracing and embodying all the Godlike qualities, such as wisdom, purity, love, health, activity, satisfaction, strength, gentleness, joy.
We know that the solar rays reflect the sun both collectively and individually. So man as the reflection of Soul, God, individually and collectively expresses this one and only central Being. Each idea is in its right place and is governed and controlled by divine law.
Now if someone asks, "Does this scientific knowing enter into a Christian Science treatment?" the answer is, "Yes, but there is more to know." We must continue our treatment by denying the error and thus prove its nothingness and powerlessness.
Our Leader defines error as mortal mind, and on pages 513 and 514 of Science and Health she writes, "So-called mortal mind—being non-existent and consequently not within the range of immortal existence—could not by simulating deific power invert the divine creation, and afterwards recreate persons or things upon its own plane, since nothing exists beyond the range of all-inclusive infinity, in which and of which God is the sole creator." Thus the truth concerning any claim of error is that it is a false belief, a supposition of life and intelligence apart from God, with no actual foundation or origin, an aggressive mental suggestion.
Whether an error appears as universal or specific wrong thinking, it has in reality no identity as a person, place, or thing. It is always the offspring of the so-called carnal mind, or devil. Christ Jesus said of evil (John 8:44): "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
The Scriptures inform us that Jesus healed sin and sickness and overcame death by spiritual power, and he instructed his disciples to do the same. The Master lived and worked in conformity with the one divine law of Love. He spoke and acted with authority because he was always conscious of the divine law eternally operating in behalf of man and the universe.
In our study and practice of Christian Science we find that we must turn our thought away from the false evidence of material sense and listen to the voice of Truth and Love. Thus through self-immolation and faith we become clearer transparencies through which the light of Truth may shine.
The writer remembers an instance when the silent realization of the power and presence of the all-knowing Mind, God, without any mental argument, brought an instantaneous healing. After an especially busy day, including several calls for help in the night, she was herself confronted by a sense of acute illness. During this time one in great distress called for help, and she felt a great sense of compassion and love for this dear one. Although she was unable to sit up, she turned her thought completely away from the clamor of mortal mind to spiritual reality and silently and humbly said, "Dear Father-Mother, Mind, undertake for me in this, for Thine."
She felt Love's nearness and powerfulness in the gentle, strong reminders and assurances of God's goodness and allness from the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings. The next thing she knew it was daylight and the telephone was ringing. The glad voice that spoke to her said a complete healing had taken place. The practitioner too was free. She had proved that she knew what she knew of God and man.
What actually took place? Since man, the image and likeness of God, is already perfect, certainly he does not need healing. Since matter is illusion and does not exist at all, it cannot be sick and cannot be treated. What really did take place was that the spiritually scientific truth concerning God and man permeated human thinking and manifested itself as a healing effect on the body, the subjective state of human thought. When the student looks entirely to God, Spirit, for the answer to every seeming problem and knows that Truth alone does the healing, thus putting out all sense of self or personal responsibility, the answer appears.
Christ Jesus knew at an early age, when he amazed the doctors and lawyers in the temple at Jerusalem with his understanding of spiritual truths, that he was destined to serve his Father. Years later, in the synagogue at Nazareth, he read Isaiah's prophecy concerning himself (Luke 4:18, 19), "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." He knew the nature of his mission; also that he possessed, by reflection, the understanding which would enable him to fulfill it.
Mrs. Eddy too knew that she had been empowered to give mankind the full revelation of the Christ, Truth, and she wrote in Science and Health (p. 107): "In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science. God had been graciously preparing me during many years for the reception of this final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing."
Every student of Christian Science who adheres to the precepts laid down by these two faithful demonstrators of the Christ knows that he or she is also a demonstrator of the Christ and here and now is empowered to prove in increasing measure that God's promises are universal and eternal.
Let us accept and demonstrate that what the prophets, Christ Jesus, and his followers knew and proved to be true in their times is just as true now in our time; that the light which dispelled in some degree the darkness of mortal thought in their time is still shining throughout the world, dispelling the dark beliefs of war, sin, sickness, disease, and death and revealing God's universe of freedom, health, and harmony.