Jeremiah 10:2 “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.”
Why is mankind astounded at natural good, at the occurrence of the healing of a supposed deadly disease, or at a horrific accident in which no person is injured? Why are these and similar phenomena called miracles, and exceptions to the rule, if God, good is admitted to be truly all powerful? Why should we need to pray to God to break His own principled rules? Only the heathen should be astounded at these things, for the heathen does not recognize God’s omnipotence. Why do those who profess to be believers in omnipotent God and pure goodness as the only factors with the authority to govern us, accept the circumstances of sin, sickness, and death as unavoidable and normal, when the very character of those circumstances is in direct opposition to the concept of a loving and caring God? Because, this is how we are educated to think, from the moment we are born.
Over 150 years ago, a devout Christian woman in New England was quickly, permanently, and unexpectedly healed through her own prayer of what had been determined by observers and an attending physician to be a fatal accident. “Standing already in the valley of the shadow of the death valley” as she described her experience, she asked to be left alone for a few minutes with her Bible. Following deep spiritual insight from the contemplation of a healing performed by Jesus, she found herself suddenly and inexplicably well. She had been independently working twenty years prior to this event to discover a link between physical effect and mental cause, having lived during that period a quite sickly, feeble, and frail existence. This single healing event initiated a close to her struggles. She set out with a newfound purpose in life. She would discover and explain the scientific basis behind what have been traditionally called miracles. This woman, Mary Baker Eddy, eventually became the founder of Christian Science, a way of thought and of living which, since its inception, has brought the awareness of harmony and healing to countless searching hearts, and has healed countless infirmities and calamities.
The essentials of Christian Science thought are best summarized in her own words. In her autobiography, “Retrospection and Introspection” can be found a summary of how Mrs. Eddys’ new spiritual journey began, which eventually culminated in the establishment of a brand new denomination, commemorating the works and words of the Master Christian, Christ Jesus, through the action of healing as he taught – by means of feeling and scientifically understanding the nature of God’s love for man. The following excerpt from “Retrospection and Introspection”, pp 24-25, describes her life following her immediate recovery from a near fatal accident:
“ I then withdrew from society about three years, to ponder my mission, to search the Scriptures, to find the Science of Mind that should take the things of God and show them to the creature, and reveal the great curative Principle, Deity.
The Bible was my textbook. It answered my questions as to how I was healed, but the Scriptures had to me a new meaning, a new tongue. Their spiritual significance appeared; and I apprehended for the first time, in their spiritual meaning, Jesus’ teaching and demonstration, and the Principle and rule of spiritual Science and metaphysical healing, – in a word, Christian Science.
I named it Christian, because it is compassionate, helpful, and spiritual. God I called immortal Mind. That which sins, suffers, and dies, I named mortal mind. The physical senses, or sensuous nature, I called error and shadow. Soul I denominated substance, because Soul alone is truly substantial. God I characterized as individual entity, but His corporeality I denied. The real I claimed as eternal; and its antipodes, or the temporal, I described as unreal. Spirit I called the reality; and matter, the unreality.
I knew the human conception of God to be that He was a physically personal being, like unto man; and that the five physical senses are so many witnesses to the physical personality of mind and the real existence of matter; but I learned that these senses testify falsely, that matter neither sees, hears, nor feels Spirit, and is therefore inadequate to form any proper conception of the infinite Mind. “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” (John v. 31)…..
…..Our great Way-shower, steadfast to the end in his obedience to God’s laws, demonstrated for all time and peoples the supremacy of good over evil, and the superiority of Spirit over matter.
The miracles recorded in the Bible, which had before seemed to me supernatural, grew divinely natural and apprehensible; though uninspired interpreters ignorantly pronounce Christ’s healing miraculous, instead of seeing therein the operation of divine law.”
Christian Science, then, is less a denomination than it is a way of life and a way of interpreting the world and understanding the mission of our Savior, Christ Jesus. It is the realization, the manifestation that in our human experience, we are what we think, and hence, that in order to be happy and well in a natural way, we must ensure that God is the guidance of our thought – the guidance of our perception of our world and surroundings.
Returning to the opening question of this article – why is, then, mankind astounded and surprised to witness the superiority of good? – It must be concluded from the perspective of Christian Science that we have been educated to honor the physical senses above the spiritual senses, above almighty God and spiritual reasoning. As a result of this ignorant honor, the world bends its definitions of God and its interpretations of the character of evil to suit educated human preconceptions – preconceptions which falsely presume material law to be absolute and self governed. To Christian Science, physical sense and physical experience are in fact products of human thought, not at all sanctioned by God. They have only the authority which we unwittingly assign to them in our ignorance of their unauthorized origin, the human mind. Physical sense and physical experience operate in a supposed material realm. God operates in an infinite and purely spiritual realm, and we are His highest ideas, His image and likeness. Our apparent material realm is the product of our conviction of and belief in a counterfeit universe, comprised of matter. The material realm, in which we feel that we live, is an unreal but thoroughly convincing distorted representation of the real and eternal spiritual universe of God, which comprises all that exists in reality, spiritually, and not materially.
On page 130:26 of the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy writes:
“If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the supremacy of good, ought we not, contrariwise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it unnatural to love sin and unnatural to forsake it, – no longer imagine evil to be ever present and good absent? Truth should not seem so surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem so real as truth. Sickness should not seem so real as health. There is no error in Science, and our lives must be governed by reality in order to be in harmony with God, the divine Principle of all being.”
Adoption of this view of spiritual reality into every avenue of human consciousness will gradually bring us each into a more spiritual consciousness; into awareness of the one single divine consciousness in which all of mankind resides spiritually; in which we will see and experience renewed life; a life in which existence is more constantly perceived as good, harmonious, and continually under the control of God’s infinite Love. Of course, these changes in human experience can never be never immediate or complete. We each can take steps towards such positive realizations only in proportion as we accomplish the task of re-educating ourselves as to the nature of our real being; dismissing the evil and the negative, while accepting and affirming the God-like and positive. If we would make progress with this line of thinking, we must seriously adopt it, live it, and breathe it. We must strive to live and breathe conviction in the superiority of Spirit and almighty God over every event that comes our way. Humanly, this will seem a struggle, sometimes even ridiculous at the outset. The world is already opposed to this view, and continues to justify itself with the insistence that its historically established preconceptions are in conformance to divine will. The world will, therefore, call you ridiculous for denying what is, to its sense, reality. Every conquering of a negative situation through the realization of God’s control, replaced with a renewed and wholesome experience, is healing. We begin with the small things. As our understanding of our natural dominion over all evil increases, we will be enabled to handle and conquer increasingly larger negative claims and fears in our lives. In proportion to the deepening of the understanding of our real spiritual nature, sicknesses, all sins, emotional difficulties, deadly diseases, and even death will be found to be subject to defeat. The more radical the reliance on Spirit, the more naturally will we drop our educated habits.
Let us change our perspective – turn around 180 degrees mentally. Let us strive to affirm these facts: From God’s perspective, and hence from our perspective as His image and likeness, sickness, disease, and all forms of abnormality are impotent, nothing, unreal, unknown, – excluded from real (spiritual) experience! To witness healing in human experience, it is our perspective of a human situation which needs to become aligned with God, and not a human situation which needs to be changed by God (as is affirmed by the general human consent). Horrible circumstances are not God’s realities which we need to ask Him to change. In God’s subjective eyes, which see reality, nothing exists outside of His infinite spiritual universe; but false objective human views would render our consciousness subject to self-perceived outside influences. Horrible situations are but the unfortunate result of our ignorance of His ever present protection and power. Sinful behavior and sickly or horrendous conditions are alien to man’s real spiritual nature. In God’s eyes, evil loses every time, because it is non-existent within the infinite realm of His perfect spiritual Allness. Spiritual man, recognizing himself as only the image and likeness of that perfect loving God, must necessarily also witness the defeat of evil. This is by virtue of the fact that the real man’s consciousness can only be only aware of that which God knows; no more and no less.
The immortality of Life has already begun, and death will also ultimately be realized to also be “the last enemy that shall be overcome”, as Jesus clearly and finally demonstrated by his resurrection and ascension to a state of being elevated completely above the perception of the human mind.