Many of us have, as Christian Scientists, heard the following analysis before in a variety of words from a variety of writers inspired by Mrs. Eddy’s revelation in Science and Health. I find it beneficial to occasionally re- summarize my understanding of the operation of Christian Science. This morning I did just that. I mentally re-analyzed how and what Christian Science is and how the mental logic all fits together and made notes along the way. Every time I do this, some point of never before seen clarity comes to my understanding. This short summary analysis contains no specific Biblical references. However, credit for the inspiration of these conclusions must be given to the Bible and to an understanding gained of its correct practical application to life gained by studying Christian Science, in particular the writings of Mary Baker Eddy.
Contrary to human belief, we do not all have a separate mind or consciousness. There is just one divine Mind, and there is just one divine Consciousness. This one divine Consciousness is God’s awareness of Himself, and is the infinite, eternal, perfect effect of His pure spiritual, infinite, eternal, perfect causation. This Cause is the law of Love. It might also be called divine Principle. It is a universal and infinite cause, and it is the only cause, being infinite in presence and expression. Divine Consciousness is God’s awareness of Himself as generic spiritual man, and man is the infinitely individualized expression of the one divine Consciousness. This means that every man, woman, and child expresses eternal and timeless awareness of the same perfect Cause, God, the law of universal Love. All that exists, or is, is present within this infinite all-inclusive and boundless containment called the spiritual universe.
All that is, is eternal and is perfect by the following logic. If something is, if there could be a moment when it has not yet been created, or a time after which it no longer exists, then there could be a time when it is not. In such an imagined case of a lacking existence, this thing would be by definition of “eternal”, not eternal. But if a thing is in eternity, it always is. Therefore if a thing is not in eternity, there is a time when it has no being, and is not. Therefore a thing which is, is eternal and always exists without a sense of time. If a thing is eternal, is must also be perfect, because if a thing could be improved it would lose its eternal nature the moment its status of being were altered. Therefore that which is eternal must also be perfect.
This mental scenario describes the ideas thought and expressed within the realm of God, Love. Because of the mental nature of the perfect and only Cause, it can be also referred to as divine Mind. And because ideas expressed by this Mind are not material, we can say that they exist in the realm of Spirit. And because all eternal perfect ideas are true, we can say that the great Cause is Truth itself. Because the great Cause is infinitely expressed in individuality, we can call it the source of infinite Soul. And the very concept of conscious being is embraced in the word Life. The universal law of Life, Truth Love, Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit are words which define the completeness of this one universal cause, God. These are the synonyms for God given by Mrs. Eddy in the Christian Science textbook.
Because everything in the mental realm of the one divine Cause has so far been logically shown to be eternal and perfect, it follows that nothing finite or imperfect can be in this infinitude of Cause, God, or in God’s, Cause’s effect, generic spiritual man, who possesses all of the self awareness of the great and only Cause, God. It also must follow that finity and imperfection exist in a suppositional mental frame of reference. In Christian Science we call this mental realm mortal mind. It is a term meant to represent that which does not exist, but to which we can refer because it is the realm of the mental entertainment of impossible, lying concepts. God, the great and only Cause, expresses and contains all which is perfect and eternal. That which is opposite in nature to these characteristics can only be said to exist, and is said to exist in mortal mind, because an infinitude of eternal, perfect ideas necessarily excludes its own opposite. The opposite is left with no validity to reside anywhere except in imagination. Let us illustrate this more clearly.
There exists as a simple fact of being, a philosophical fact called the law of opposites. Every thing or condition can be imagined to have an opposite with an opposite nature. For every truth, the corresponding lie associated with that truth claims to exist. It claims. Of course it can only claim, for it is a lie by the very nature that it is the opposite of the truth. The truth is. Its opposite is not. The supposed realm of consciousness in which the claim is entertained is, once again, called mortal mind.
Consciousness of the eternal and perfect is the divine Consciousness. Divine Consciousness is God’s awareness of himself, in the same sense that human consciousness is the human’s awareness of himself. It is God’s effect expressed as generic spiritual man. Divine consciousness is man’s true consciousness and reveals the status of God’s perfect and eternal universe. So, the spiritual “I”, being conscious of all that is true, am God’s self awareness. For every thing or idea in the divine or absolute realm which is true, a corresponding insubstantial lie claims to exist. There is no falsity or claiming going on in the infinite absolute realm of Spirit. The claim of a lie can operate only in an imaginary and invalid realm. That is so-called mortal mind. At this point, any further logic will feel fuzzy from the perspective of the human mind, until it is understood that the human mind is the mental frame of reference from which both mortal mind and its associated false mortal consciousness are falsely presumed to operate alongside validity perceived through divine consciousness. More on that topic is presented later in the discussion.
From the perspective of divine Consciousness there simply is no mortal mind, hence no erroneous concepts of finity and imperfection. The claim is the lie operating in mortal mind, and is both the lie and the liar. Both lie and liar, one and the same, are invalid because necessarily excluded from the eternal and perfect realm which is infinite in scope and all inclusive, containing nothing unlike truth . Thus, from the pure divine perspective, “I” experience and am conscious only of the manifestations of spiritual, perfect, eternal ideas.
The perspective of mortal mind is completely erroneous and invalid. At the risk of repeating ideas, it is invalid because the supposed ideas it entertains are pure lies. They are the opposites of the truths they represent. They have been excluded by the infinite mental realm of Truth. The realm of truth entertains that which is perfect, spiritual, and eternal. Mortal mind entertains that which is opposite in nature to perfect, spiritual, and eternal. What are the opposites? The corresponding opposites are imperfect, material, and temporal. In mortal consciousness can only be entertained a false awareness of birth, growth, maturing, decaying, changing, sin, sickness, disease, and death. All of these factors falsely claim to comprise our identity in the human realm. These falsely claimed factors are the lies associated with their corresponding truths which reside eternally and perfectly and spiritually in the only valid arena, divine Consciousness. God’s eyes are not capable of seeing any of these opposites which mortal consciousness would witness. The only utility of the presentations of mortal mind is in the fact that its lies present the inverted opposite nature of the truths with which their claims are associated. Correctly interpreted, mortal mind reveals the inversion of the eternal, spiritual and perfect image and likeness of God, but never a reality in and of itself.
God did not and cannot create nor sanction mortal consciousness, because it is only a false existence of all of the non-existent lies about the corresponding truths which comprise God, man, and the spiritual universe. In the same way that mortal mind is the false counterfeit of divine Mind – mortal mind can only temporarily entertain lies about specific corresponding truths which are eternally entertained in divine Mind – similarly is mortal consciousness the false counterpart of divine Consciousness. Mortal consciousness is the supposed awareness of lies which to the human mind are disguised by belief as truths. Divine Consciousness is the valid awareness of Truth which the human mind rightly interprets as Truth.
So, supposed mortal mind and its supposed awareness of itself, mortal consciousness, possess a fictional existence. One is the residence of lies, the other the awareness of those lies falsely interpreted in human sense as truths. The mental conviction of the validity of all mortal claims to which the human mind so desperately clings, is pure hypnotic belief, animal magnetism, mesmerism, mental deception.
In the practice of human life, in the human consciousness where both divine Consciousness and mortal consciousness seem to commingle in a supposedly dualistic world of good and evil, we can learn to distinguish between the valid and the invalid, the real and the unreal, the good and the evil, by examination and consideration of the qualities of experiences which present themselves in consciousness. That which appears as eternal, perfect, spiritual in nature is truly the reflection of God’s perfect universe perceived by divine Consciousness. Any trouble you have in life falls into the opposite category. That which is temporal, is born and dies, and in between is subject to growth, maturity, decay, change, appears materially, and finally dies, is the picture of the supposed opposite of that which is perfect and eternal and spiritual.
How do we use this understanding to bring harmony to experience? The supposed lying claims can be robbed of their illusion of validity by the destruction of false hypnotic belief. How is this done? It is accomplished by the mental realization and contemplation of the corresponding valid Truth. By continually entertaining in consciousness the real, the eternal, the perfect, the spiritual, and by continually mentally rejecting and denying the corresponding suppositional lying opposites, a corresponding conscious experience results. This seems at first to be a human mind activity, but in the proportion that the quality of thought entertained in consciousness improves and rises above the false claims, as the false beliefs are rejected, the human consciousness gradually rises higher and higher out of itself, and more closely assimilates the nature of divine consciousness as mortal consciousness loses its falsely supposed entity.
It is also important to re emphasize the concept of the unity and Oneness of divine Consciousness. I do not possess a different consciousness than do you. We, generic man, are the consciousness of God perceived from an infinitude of individualized perspectives. In mortal sense this is seen as separation, for separation inverted in Oneness. When we reverse this presentation of separateness of consciousness and mind, and translate it from mortal mind back into its corresponding truth in immortal Mind, the result is the divine consciousness of Oneness. Bearing this in mind, it is vital to understand that our conscious experience is governed by the quality of human consciousness. Whatever mortal presentation we accept and allow as valid in our consciousness is imaged forth in our experience. Remember that there is really only One divine consciousness, which we each individually express. It can be seen then, that even the presentation of faults and erroneous conceptions in other human beings has its root in the quality of our own consciousness. Removal of the admitted validity of mortal consciousness in both ourselves and others, through the realization of one divine Consciousness, removes the recognition of mortal mind in an impersonal manner. The elevation of our consciousness to the divine is also the elevation of all of human consciousness! This is how Jesus “threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God” (259:6 Science and Health). We can through the study and repeated practice and application of the action of thought in Christian Science, repeat these works done by the Master.
Only general hypnotic belief, pure animal magnetism, plain and simple false belief, comprises the impression of the reality of evil seeming to go on in mortal mind. We must all learn how to handle animal magnetism and to properly dispose of it. The basic understanding that these terms, animal magnetism, mesmerism, hypnotism, are only words which define deeply entrenched invalid false belief, removes their supposed effects and brings healing to the human experience.