The Remedy for Illusion

"When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought," writes Mary Baker Eddy on page 495 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures;" and she continues, "Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious—as Life eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not."

Viewed from the standpoint of ordinary human experience, and judged according to the testimony of the material senses, sickness may appear to be far from illusory. Indeed, one uninstructed in Christian Science, if asked whether sickness is real, would be very likely to reply, "Indeed it is, and judging by my experience, I should say it is not only real, but very difficult to deal with." However, Christian Science helps one to see that if disease were real, in the absolute sense, it would be eternal and indestructible. And Mrs. Eddy says (ibid., p. 230), "If sickness is real, it belongs to immortality; if true, it is a part of Truth;" and she very pertinently asks the question, "Would you attempt with drugs, or without, to destroy a quality or condition of Truth?" Then she continues, "But if sickness and sin are illusions, the awakening from this mortal dream, or illusion, will bring us into health, holiness, and immortality."

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From the foregoing it will be understood that while sickness may seem real to one who believes the testimony of the material sense, it nevertheless exists only as illusion to one who through spiritual sense has discerned that the only reality is divine Mind and its idea, expression, or manifestation. That which appears real, but which is in fact illusion, is temporal; but that which is actually real, because created by God, divine Mind, is eternal and indestructible. So-called mortal existence, with all that pertains thereto, including matter, sin, disease, and death, exists only as a mesmeric illusion of the carnal mind, of which the Apostle Paul wrote, in his epistle to the Romans, "The carnal mind is enmity against God."

As Mrs. Eddy has pointed out in one of the passages from the Christian Science textbook quoted above, there would be little use to contend with sickness if one were to accept it as reality—as the expression of immutable Truth; but when one is able, in spite of its seeming reality, to view sickness as an insubstantial illusion of the carnal or mortal mind, the disposition of it is assured. And the way to dispose of it thoroughly and permanently is to "Cling steadfastly to God and His idea;" for, since God is infinite good, it is obvious that sickness and sin, being evil, are not a part of His good and perfect creation.

Therefore, those who are tempted to believe in the reality of and necessity for either sickness or sin need only turn in thought from their supposed reality to the divine, ever present, and always demonstrable fact that nothing exists as absolute reality but "God and His idea." Through thus holding steadfastly to the divine fact of spiritual reality one can free oneself from the illusion of sickness and sin and from the misery which such erroneous believing entails.

One meaning of the verb to sin is to err, or "to miss the mark." The word translated "sin" in some places in Paul's writings had this meaning in the original Greek. So it may be said that, in this sense, one who is tempted to believe in or indulge sin is missing the mark, through making the mistake of believing in the reality of that which exists only as illusion. On the other hand, when one is able to see sin as an illusion of mortal mind, as a deceptive lie of animal magnetism, having no part in man's true selfhood or real experience, one can demonstrate that sin has no real attraction and no actual power.

The whole process of saving oneself from the suffering which results from belief in the reality of sickness and sin consists in turning resolutely and persistently from these false beliefs or illusions to the forever fact that man, God's perfect likeness, is now and has always been of the same nature as his Principle or creator. Therefore man—the real man—is sinless, sickless, deathless. He is coexistent with God and is, in quality, as good and as perfect as his heavenly Father, divine Mind. Our Leader, on page 316 of Science and Health, says, "The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship."

George Shaw Cook

The Man of Integrity
March 2, 1940

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