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One perfect God and perfect man—a present reality

From the July 17, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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My husband and I were enjoying a leisurely hike around a nearby lake. When we reached an inlet, which was feeding the lake with running water, I saw a most unusual phenomenon—a stunning, double reflection of the sun. One reflection sparkled on the surface of the lake, and one reflection sparkled on the surface of the inlet. This exquisite phenomenon appeared to occur as a result of the uneven level of the water between the lake and the inlet. 

Intuitively, I looked up to the sky and felt reassured that our blue planet was still rotating around only one radiant sun. I was not tricked by the illusion! And looking up to the original sun rather than its double reflection reminded me of a simple rule in Christian Science: We look to the one and only cause, God, divine Truth, for a correct sense of reality, and not to what we might perceive with the material senses.

The Lord’s Prayer, given to us by Christ Jesus, begins with the perfection of the one and only cause and creator, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). The word hallowed means holy, and holy is related to wholeness. In giving her “spiritual sense” of this verse, Mary Baker Eddy penned, “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 16). Clearly the absolute and perfect nature of God is indicated in this first line of the Lord’s Prayer. 

Governed by Mind, the unchanging divine Principle, Love, we see the reality of all creation as spiritual and good.

Acknowledging the wholeness of God must also include acknowledging the wholeness of man—the biblical term for all men, women, and children. As the image and likeness of God, who is Spirit, man must be spiritual, pure, perfect, and complete. This understanding enables us to correct our thought when we see just the opposite—man as sick or sinful. 

Just as I saw through the illusion of the sun’s double reflection by turning to the indisputable truth that there is only one sun, we can see through the illusion of man as material and imperfect by turning to the truth about man. This understanding is what enabled Jesus to see past the claim of disease, sin, and death, recognize the unreality of the claim, and thereby heal effectively. Jesus declared that man’s independence depends on knowing Truth. He stated, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

Mary Baker Eddy understood that God is the one divine Mind, and that man is the reflection of that Mind. In Christian Science, we view everything from the standpoint of the one Mind—from the standpoint of what God knows. In the divine Mind, there is no error, no imperfection or evil. The infinitude of Mind destroys even the remotest possibility of any other mind or power. In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy 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” (p. 275).

It is incumbent upon us to yield to the oneness and perfection of Mind. Governed by Mind, the unchanging divine Principle, Love, we see the reality of all creation as spiritual and good. When we unite with divine Mind—recognize Mind as our Mind—we see man as God sees him. Man is what Mind sees, what Mind knows. Governed by Mind, or Soul, the real man expresses dominion. He is poised, peaceful, unique. Just as the sun never actually rises and never sets, we grasp the unchanging nature of the oneness and infinitude of Soul.

Imagine for a moment that we could sit at the center of the sun. If this were possible, we could not know darkness, the absence of light. When we reason from the standpoint of Mind’s allness, we are dwelling (or reasoning) within the light—the kingdom of heaven, where harmony reigns, not discord. In Truth, there is no inharmony. “To Truth there is no error,—all is Truth. To infinite Spirit there is no matter,—all is Spirit, divine Principle and its idea” (Science and Health, p. 475).

As we draw closer to God and better understand His allness as our source, the better we realize how close we are to each other. 

Quiet, prayerful contemplation is necessary to keep one’s thought awake to Truth and undeceived by mortal illusions. When the water of a lake is still, the surrounding scenery is clearly defined in the water. But when the water is stirred up, ripples form, and the reflection is distorted. What are the ripples of mortal thought that obscure our spiritual sense of reality? Fear, worry, opinionatedness, hatred, jealousy, etc., all stem from material sense, or the belief of mind in matter. This belief clouds our spiritual sense of the allness of God and the perfection of man. Science and Health informs us: “In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses” (p. 15).

At one point in my experience, the suggestion of a cause other than God felt overwhelming. Our family had moved to a different location twice in a few months, and some neighborhood boys had started to bully our young daughter. Through prayer and taking appropriate practical steps, the bullying stopped.

However, my daughter felt unsettled and irritated, and a large skin rash had developed on one of her thighs. The problem persisted—until I realized our daughter’s indestructible relationship to God, good.

I remembered the definition of sun in Science and Health: “The symbol of Soul governing man,—of Truth, Life, and Love” (p. 595). On our way to an activity in the area in which we were living, I explained to my daughter the analogy of the relation of the sun to its rays. Each ray’s qualities are determined by its source, the sun. I explained that her joy and vibrancy were divine qualities, forever intact because they had their source in the one Mind that governs all.

Taking the analogy of the sun a bit further, we know that its rays are inseparable from the sun, and also inseparably united to each other. As we draw closer to God and better understand His allness as our source, the better we realize how close we are to each other. 

I knew right then and there that in Truth, all was harmonious, because just as the sun’s rays don’t depend upon each other to shine, no one could separate my daughter from her source of good any more than the sun and its rays could be separated from their source. That’s when I was convinced she was healed. By the time we arrived at our destination, the rash had disappeared.

With our attention focused on Truth, cherishing it, drawing closer to it, Truth reveals itself. In the measure that we dwell on Truth as the present reality, healing will be irresistible, and the illusion of the senses—be it sin, sickness, or death—will no longer deceive us.

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