“Hold perpetually this thought,—that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 496).
Spiritual healing in some form is as old as the hills. The Bible chronicles God as saying, “I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26). And the prophet Elijah raised to life a child who had died (see I Kings 17:17–24). For centuries spiritual healing took place—but not with “scientific certainty.” It was looked on with awe and often seen as a miracle, rather than a common, predictable occurrence.
Things changed radically with the appearing of Christ Jesus. With predictable assurance, he healed countless multitudes. The focus of his unique God-ordained mission was to discredit and destroy the entire belief that life and mind are in matter, the belief that lies at the heart of every human ill, because it asserts man to be separate from God, Spirit.
Jesus’ virgin conception fully discredited the basic belief that man originates in matter. It revealed the true origin and nature of man in God’s image and likeness, forever inseparable from his creator. The Christ—the idea and ideal of spiritual sonship, or unity with God—that he illustrated was his spiritual selfhood. It was evidenced in the vitality of his healing power.
Very early on, I accepted Jesus’ teaching of the perfection of man as the reality of my own true being. However, at the same time I was accepting the fulfillment of that teaching as a goal to be reached in the future. But one morning when I was deep in prayerful thought, it became clearer to me than ever that my freedom and perfection were not in the future, but were a present spiritual fact to be experienced right now.
And that was actually Jesus’ seminal message. His flawless healing mission proved that spiritual being, this sonship with God, was the reality for each one of us. It showed that this eternal spiritual fact coincides perfectly with present human experience. The Gospel of John confirms this: “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (1:12). That gave me a whole new sense of the “nowness” of my spiritual freedom that has never left me.
Jesus required his disciples and others to go out and prove the impersonality—the scientific nature—of his teaching through their own ability to demonstrate the divine healing power. And Christian healing, including raising the dead, continued with remarkable success for some 300 years after his resurrection and ascension.
It was inevitable that consistent Christian healing of all manner of evil couldn’t forever be lost.
But gradually materialism, scholastic theological education, and worldly diversion began to make inroads into the Christian community, and these elements, unchallenged, increased until they took a heavy toll on spiritual fervor. As a result, the practical immediacy of destroying disease and all manner of evil—which is the hallmark of true Christian healing—withered. It was replaced by the lesser mission to bring only comfort to the sick and sorrowing, rather than the proofs of healing.
I asked myself: “Could this be happening today? Are we as susceptible to that tendency as they were? Have we allowed inroads of materialism to divert our own spiritual fervor, our alertness to challenge those very inroads?”
Christian healing demands a spiritualized consciousness, and establishing and maintaining that consciousness is clearly not automatic. It requires what I call “loving, mental preventive maintenance” in order to allow one to develop, and continue to grow, in the spiritual understanding and demonstration of the divine Principle, Love. Spiritualization of thought requires self-examination and self-knowledge. It requires a willingness to turn over the rancid soil of sinful thinking that fosters materialism with the purifying moral and spiritual requirements outlined in Jesus’ timeless Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew, chaps. 5–7).
The daily practice of such divinely inspired qualities as unconditional faith, goodness, honesty, courage, great humility—and of prime importance, deep spiritual love, the demonstrated reflection of divine Love itself—defends our thought from the onslaught of materialism. It stops those inroads that would undermine Christian healing and hide our oneness with divine Love.
It was inevitable that consistent Christian healing of all manner of evil couldn’t forever be lost. It would have to eventually resurface in accord with Jesus’ prophetic words: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16). And it has resurfaced as a divine Science, the law of eternal good, the action of divine Principle.
The timeless Comforter, the Holy Ghost, has been made practical, relevant, and readily accessible today through the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Its author, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes in that book: “I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration” (p. 109). Christian Science, the law of God, good, has fully restored the consistent healing practice of primitive Christianity.
Today we have the assurance that comes from knowing that the infinitude and absolute omnipotence of God, Spirit, are not theory but operative law; and we have proof, through the operation of this law, of the perfection of God’s self-expression—man and woman with their eternal scientific relation to Spirit, their oneness with God. Jesus declared, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). And he prayed that others would see their own oneness with the Father, which is actually each one’s precious birthright (see John 17:20–22).
In the passage quoted at the beginning of this article, Mrs. Eddy gives a powerful, unequivocal directive for demonstrating “with scientific certainty, the rule of healing ….” I was deeply pondering that directive a while ago, when I caught a fresh glimpse of the one complete spiritual idea dwelling in, and emanating from, divine Mind as that Mind’s full-orbed expression of itself.
I caught a fresh glimpse of the one complete spiritual idea dwelling in, and emanating from, divine Mind as that Mind’s full-orbed expression of itself.
I could see that spiritual idea being expressed in two distinct and specific aspects: the Holy Ghost, divine Science, the law of Love—the operation of divine Principle—and Christ, the ideal and eternal truth of divine sonship, the unity of Father and son. These two specific aspects—the Holy Ghost and Christ—are not the same. They never amalgamate. They never lose their individual identity, their unique activity, within the completeness of the spiritual idea. That idea is what enables us to demonstrate the rule and law of healing, which is universal, uncompromising, and eternal.
Then what else could there be in the entire infinite universe of Mind? Nothing else! This totality includes the everywhere-present, impersonal divine Principle of being; it includes the impersonal and infinite law of being; and the impersonal Christ, the true idea of individual selfhood.
I could see that this passage was calling on me for a total, uncompromising acceptance of every aspect of spiritual being as the means of healing with scientific certainty. Shortly after that, the outcome of realizing this spiritual idea enabled me to free a man quickly from painful knee joints that had been inhibiting his activity for several weeks.
I also saw that this same dynamic spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, not only reveals the magnitude and glory of the allness and onlyness of God, Spirit; it simultaneously exposes and obliterates the illusion of an opposite presence expressed as a material law and creation. The Apostle Paul saw this so clearly when he declared, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). And that realization enabled him to heal with certainty and spontaneity (see Acts 28:8, 9).
This same law is operating today in and as divine Science, and I have found the beauty and practicality of it to be a dynamic force for healing. The complete spiritual idea—the Holy Ghost, the law of God; and Christ, the idea of divine sonship—is bringing certain freedom from all the ills of the flesh. And it is available to everyone.
James Spencer is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Brookline, Massachusetts.
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