You Can Never Deteriorate

You—in your true selfhood as divine Life's expression—will never deteriorate. Man, Life's creation, is no more open to decline and disintegration than is immortal Life.

No matter how persuaded one may be that his health and wellbeing are declining, this can never be true of his actual being. All that can deteriorate and fade out is the false sense of man as corporeal. The deterioration of misconceptions of real being is inevitable, for they never had any validity. Christian Science quickens the disappearing of misconceptions in individual experience. It explains how we can rouse ourselves from the stupor of believing we live in a physical framework and a material universe to the realization of man's infinite being as Life's idea. Though the awakening seems to be a progressive process, this does not justify a moment's delay in our beginning to awaken.

Deterioration of vigor and faculties is sometimes associated with the passing of years. This claim can be challenged with the Science of Life. We can begin with the immortality—the timelessness—and infinity of Life. Divine Life includes or knows neither moments of time nor endless aeons. You, as the idea of Life, live in eternity and not in time, and your real identity cannot deteriorate because of apparent elapsing of years. Life and its idea, man, are inseparably one—they are distinct as cause and effect but are never existent in different places. Life and its expression coexist throughout all reality.

We can go further. It is true not only that God and man cannot deteriorate but also that all the good, the infinitude of spiritual ideas, that man includes cannot deteriorate. Although familiar to Christian Scientists, the following passage by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, describing Life's man, cannot be pondered and assimilated too much: "He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God's image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker." Science and Health, p. 475 ;

The right ideas of intelligence, health, substance, supply, dominion, which man includes, cannot be eroded by claims of disease, aging, national economic weakness, or whatever other unreality material consciousness would seem to impose or believe in. Spiritual, right ideas do not deteriorate, because everlasting Spirit is their substance and cause. Should we seem to be suffering such deterioration, we can marshal our Life-given spiritual energies and resist until the impotence of such claims is clear and demonstrated. Nothing can actually stop us from getting on with this work right now.

We'll be encouraged in doing this as we understand that whatever would appear to resist or delay the proof of divine Life's allness is doomed from the very moment of its bogus conception. Life cannot deteriorate. Man cannot deteriorate. All that can seem to deteriorate is material belief, and it is destined to do so. It inevitably decays, disappears, for it never really was; it was always as mythical as Adam and Eve. The revealer of the Science of Life, Mrs. Eddy, explains in relation to Genesis 3:11, 12: "Materiality, so obnoxious to God, is already found in the rapid deterioration of the bone and flesh which came from Adam to form Eve. The belief in material life and intelligence is growing worse at every step, but error has its suppositional day and multiplies until the end thereof." ibid., p. 533 ;

Fear of suffering, disease, lack, and death may seem to nurture the deterioration of our health or faculties. Mortal fear both comes from and would induce the admission that man is finite and mortal, fragile and dispensable. The demonstrable truth is that man is not and cannot be mortal, and that every spiritual idea of Life is indispensable to Life, a necessity for Life's full expression. No fears about the past, present, or future exist in the divine consciousness, which is Life itself, and therefore there are no such fears anywhere to objectify themselves as physical difficulties or decline.

It could be said that a main theme of the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—is the indestructibility and permanence of divine Life and man, and the inescapable deterioration, the utter forever nothingness of lies about Life and its idea. This is preeminently clear in the experiences and words of Christ Jesus. His life never evidenced deterioration but rather accumulating spiritual strength, culminating in his resurrection and ascension. Though he recognized troubles associated with the worldly, material sense of being, he fully understood the permanent nature of divine Life, man, and the universe. And he encouraged us, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 .

Geoffrey J. Barratt
Should We Follow Fashion?
January 24, 1976

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