"WHICH ONE?"

All is Mind and its ideas. Nothing can exist outside of the one all-inclusive Mind. All that divine Mind can possibly be cognizant of is itself and its own ideas.

Correspondingly, mortal mind can have only its own concepts. It cannot perceive anything external to itself. It should be understood, however, that the individual's concept of sin is not the whole of sin. If the suggestions termed sickness, lack, or unemployment were realities, existing apart from one's thought, then one would be faced with the difficulty of trying to control forces and events existing outside of himself. But since they are within consciousness, one is in a position to control them, because he can always exercise dominion over his own thinking.

No activity extraneous to human consciousness can be transferred to it. Every so-called discordant condition, including disease, must be mental, for it could not appear to human consciousness as a thing, but only as a thought. Although mortals claim otherwise, human consciousness need not be impressed by incidents that are going on in a material universe external to it. On the contrary, the phenomenon it sees as the world is occurring only within the seeming human consciousness itself, for it sees its own thoughts.

Consequently one can change what appears as an outward manifestation by changing his thinking. This accounts for Jesus' dominion, not only over lack, sickness, sin, and death, but also over wind and wave. Reducing all such manifestations to thought, he replaced them with right ideas and in this way expressed man's God-given dominion over all the earth.

"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits," Mark Twain facetiously remarked. But Christian Science reveals that inasmuch as the error one sees in another is but his own sense of that one, it is only this sense—never the person—that needs to be reformed. This is always true, for whether a problem involves one's business, his human relationships, or his body, the solution lies within the realm of one's own thought. Paul pointed this out when he said (Phil. 2:12, 13): "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

No number of unreceptive individuals surrounding him can prevent one from improving his own thought. A young man who was not liked by his co-workers said confidentially to an older friend one day: "There are a lot of people down at the plant who don't appreciate my work; they're not fair, and I won't stand for it. I am going to straighten them all out, every one of them." There was a long silence, and heaving a deep sigh, he continued: "You know, that's a big job. There are so many of them."

Then his friend replied, "Bob, I'll tell you how you can do that job by straightening out just one worker in your plant."

Bob did not grasp the point, but asked eagerly, "Which one?"

So his friend had to tell him, "Yourself."

An individual working for an organization where injustice seems rife does not need to change several people to obtain harmony. Nor should he acquiesce in the belief that he can rectify the situation through getting someone out of the way or moving himself. That would not indicate spiritual progress. It would be an admission of his inability to correct his own thinking. To realize harmony one must demonstrate spiritual-mindedness; he must recognize that the inharmony is not going on anywhere except in deluded mortal consciousness. If believed in or indulged, error seems real to us; but credence cannot bring it into being. Disbelief in evil destroys it. The consciousness illumined with the Christ, Truth, is an unfailing remedy, for enlightenment precludes the acceptance of erring belief. It is seldom another person or an organization that needs to be put right. The right idea or alterative truth entertained by the individual destroys the one belief in evil endeavoring to use many and makes harmony manifest.

To those seemingly involved in problems of family relationships, Christian Science also reveals "which one" needs to spiritualize his thought. Animal magnetism would attempt to cloud the issue, having one accept the difficulty as a condition external to his thinking or as a person at fault, who must be changed in order that the solution may appear. Yet the Apostle Paul's words are unmistakable (Rom. 2:1), "Wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself." And how pertinent is the statement of Mary Baker Eddy on page 240 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "The divine method of paying sin's wages involves unwinding one's snarls, and learning from experience how to divide between sense and Soul."

Why must one unwind his snarls and "divide between sense and Soul"? In reality there is no wrong present. Duality does not exist. There is but one creator, God, whose creation is good and perfect, like Himself. His children do not and cannot lapse into imperfection. They eternally reflect divine Mind. The apparent difficulty is not actually taking place, but seems to exist only in one's false sense of things. It is animal magnetism attempting through material-mindedness to draw thought away from spirituality and present perfection.

In Christian Science we do not seek release from an untoward situation through censuring others, nor do we allow self-condemnation to hold us back because of any mistake that has seemed to occur in our experience. Rather do we set about to correct it through our demonstration of Truth. Error is not man, but always an impersonal false belief. How lucidly Mrs. Eddy explains this truth in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 8): "Who is thine enemy that thou shouldst love him? Is it a creature or a thing outside thine own creation? Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception?"

One can never be confronted with anything but his own concept of persons and circumstances. Others do not form our concept of them for us. We alone are responsible for it. What they do or think does not and cannot change it unless we acquiesce. It is comforting, too, to know that their wrong concept of us cannot reach or touch us. Evil is not communicable; real love is. It does not lose sight of the inherent perfection in anyone. It loves on in spite of seeming mistakes of family or friends.

Jesus said (Matt. 7:3), "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Commenting on this passage, our beloved Leader states (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 355), "Learn what in thine own mentality is unlike 'the anointed,' and cast it out." Because one cannot be conscious of something outside of his own mentality, a practitioner, when healing the sick, sees the whole difficulty not as a person, place, or thing, but as a suggestion of animal magnetism to be first met in his own thought. When he has reduced it to a suggestion arguing to his thought, he has it right where he can remove it, for he always has dominion over his own thinking.

The practitioner is never dealing with anything outside of his own consciousness. His own perfect concept of man, being ascendant in consciousness, prevails in his own thought over the mesmeric suggestion, and healing occurs. The practitioner does not limit his treatment by thinking that a patient or someone else can limit it. He knows, rather, that inasmuch as Christian Science treatment is the divine consciousness reflected, this consciousness heals and is unopposable.

Christian Science points out that we can indeed heal problems involving business, family relationships, or illness by changing our concepts. Failure to acknowledge this basic truth is a prevalent error. Evil, no matter what form it takes, is not a business condition, a relative, our patient; nor is it ourselves. The error is impersonal belief. It belongs to no one, but each individual meets its mesmeric claim in his own consciousness. How does he do this? He begins with God, the one all-inclusive Mind, the Mind of every man. The inviolate perfection of Deity and His creation, man, is always the basis of thought.

There is no question as to "which one" needs correcting. One makes the necessary clarification in his own thought with the truth of perfect God and perfect man that has been revealed to him. As he goes on expressing the Christ, he handles more easily the mesmeric suggestions of animal magnetism, specifically and by name. And why does he deny them? Because they deny God.

God has always been God. Nothing but what He creates has ever possessed reality or existence. There has never been a moment when all has not been Mind and its perfect, harmonious ideas. These truths are evidenced here in the peace and harmony which inevitably result from an increased awareness of the unassailable perfection of Deity and His perfect universe, in which neither something nor someone needs to be set straight.

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DEMARCATION
March 10, 1951
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