From our very birth into this human realm, we are taught that we have a mortal existence – that we are born into a material body, that we grow up, that we and that body mature, that we live a life as children, then adults, and that we eventually become decrepit, less useful, and ultimately useless, and die, leaving that material body behind, forced to depart this experience under the influence of forces which are and always have been beyond our own control, and without our consent.
Christian Science teaches us that existence is not what it appears to be as presented upon the surface of human sense. It teaches us how to lift our poor and false sense of ourselves as mortals, apparently subject to the laws of materiality and death, to a higher level, in which we learn to recognize our eternal and God-granted consciousness. This consciousness of being which has its origin in God, was perfectly demonstrated by Christ Jesus. It is the real validity of life. This consciousness is not at all human. Our perfect status as spiritual man in the exact image and likeness of a perfect and consistently loving God, resides in a mental realm completely separate from our conscious life in material existence, which in the final analysis will be understood to have been a belief and a dream. In the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy writes on page 14: “Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man’s dominion over the whole earth.”
It is through effective prayer and communion with God that we learn to become aware of the infinite power of the Christ with which God has endowed each and every one of us. Though we are educated as human beings to immerse ourselves in this materialistic concept of mortal existence, we can learn to understand our way out of every one of the limitations that seem to rule our mortal lives. Such action was the life of Christ so perfectly lived by our exemplar, Christ Jesus, who appeared to man on earth as the perfect representative of the Sonship of God. We benefit most from this appearance of Christ through a new understanding that the Christ which Jesus lived and demonstrated has always been, is now, and ever will be a present influence on our human lives. We benefit the most by following the leadings of Christ and striving to understand the practical application of the Love of God which Jesus so perfectly lived and breathed. Our gratitude for all that Jesus did is glorified more highly than we can imagine, when we learn to begin to exercise the power of the Christ nature which is inherent in the identity of each of us as God’s children.
A deep examination of Jesus’ loving healing work, which he painstakingly taught to his disciples and which he literally lived and breathed every moment of his healing ministry, reveals the need to overhaul our understanding of the role of God in our human lives, just as Jesus dedicated his entire human life to doing. Perceiving a true and purified understanding of ourselves requires a willingness to re evaluate the meaning of human life. Putting off the old man and putting on the new man, as St. Paul described the elevation of consciousness, requires that we transform our minds. Paul said in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. “
What did Paul mean by this, to be transformed? Christian Science searches the Scriptures for the original meaning in Paul’s words, supported by the words and works of Christ Jesus and the Apostles, and concludes that Paul was telling us to transform our idea of what really comprises our identity. Our valid and God-given identity is spiritual, and the real identity of every other representative of man, of every man, woman, and child, is also spiritual, and excludes any contemplation or interpretation of life being based upon a mortal identity at all . This spiritual fact, consciously applied, brings what the human consciousness experiences as healing.
Paul understood this, and was able, through the transformation of his own mind, not only to heal the sick, the sinning and the dying just as Jesus had done a generation earlier, but to spread the good news to the rest of the civilized world by healing and preaching Christianity everywhere he went, even when he was in captivity and under the direct control of the Romans. Paul knew, as did his exemplar Christ Jesus, whom he once had vehemently opposed, that there is only one true and real consciousness – the divine consciousness of God. He knew that it is impossible for our infinite God, pure goodness, to partake of anything unlike Himself in His own self awareness, and that the portion of man’s consciousness which apparently includes a conviction of the power and presence of evil, must therefore be invalid. Paul mentally separated the carnal man’s consciousness from the spiritual and immortal God-created man’s consciousness. That pure and real consciousness is infinitely expressed as generic spiritual man. Paul, like Jesus, learned to understand how to see his fellow man, even his enemies, stripped of the lying characteristics of evil. And that spiritual perception was the basis of his healing power, and was the basis of his protection from all kinds of harm and hardships during his journeys.
Now, if any one of those representatives of generic man, you or I, will also lift up our awareness above the perception of all which appears as opposite in nature to God, in other words, in opposition to all evil, sin, disease, death, we consequently lift all of the sense of generic man’s consciousness at the same time. A sense of consciousness so elevated , excludes from the present conscious experience any and all sense of limitation – any and all influences upon experience which have not a divine origin, but an evil origin. We can learn to act as Paul acted, as Jesus acted, as the Apostles acted. But in order to be effective and to gain a firm and repeatable grasp on this natural healing power, we must move beyond the realm of blind faith and thoroughly understand the nature of God and man’s relationship to Him.
There will always be, to human sense, a stumbling block to healing. Our material laws insist that we must subscribe to their rules. But who grants these rules? Does God grant rules contrary to His own nature? Common opinion falsely ascribes all material law to God. But that which is granted and enforced by God must be, and forever is, consistently loving, harmonious, and all-powerful. If we are to overcome what appears to be the power of evil, we must do so by exposing its claim of power and so, to use a common phraseology, pull the rug out from under it. The consciously claimed powers of disease, sin, sickness, death, most assuredly oppose the omnipotence of an ever present and harmonious loving God. This is our very proof that such laws are not sanctioned by God, but are sanctioned by a belief in evil powers. To honor such law as sanctioned by God is to dishonor God. And to honor such law as belonging to a secondary power named evil, devil, or Satan, is to honor a power which claims to usurp the unquestionable authority of God. Does a power exist which opposes omnipotent God? If we truly believe in the omnipotence of Love, the answer is an emphatic“NO”. And if we honor such a power, do we not unwittingly admit that omnipotence is not omnipotent after all, and so violate the First Commandment, “This shalt have no other Gods before me.”, by honoring the power of evil?
So, the self-imposed stumbling block that would present itself to the healer is either a false sense of God and a false sense of the source of all power, or a false sense of the identity of either the healer or the one being healed – or both. The opponent, be it a human, a sickness, a disease, or death, must be viewed as both “a liar and the father of it” as Jesus himself referred to the devil in John 8:44 when he said to his opponents “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
We must take care then not to view our opponent as substantial, but rather, as a powerless lie. Evil’s most successful deception is its apparent ability to fool us into believing its validity instead of acknowledging the omnipotence of God. If the human perception sees itself as faced with a substantial opponent, the human mind will be engaged in a battle against its own misconceptions which confirm the validity of a false power . And that same human is attempting to eradicate this false power which he unwittingly endorses, with omnipotent Love. Love must be seen and understood as omnipotent, dominant, and in full control, without any opposition.
A subtle and common mistake in spiritual healing is the exercise of attempting to improve the perception of the carnal man’s consciousness. Instead of trying to improve the unimporveable, the healer must strive to lift consciousness completely out of a sense of a carnal or mortal nature. When the healer perceives difficulty in trying to see above the clouds of confusion, and rising above them feels difficult, he needs to realize that he is thinking of those clouds as “something” that must get out of the way. Who is this so-called man who sees difficulty in elevating understanding, but the carnal or mortal man himself? In order to lift man’s consciousness, the healer must first realize and abide only in the divine consciousness.
Here is the key to the transformation that must take place in thought: The healer must realize that there exists NO identity of himself who is able to perceive clouds of misperception at all. ONLY this understanding of feeling the present validity of divine consciousness will TRULY lift human consciousness out of itself. We are not actually human beings who needs to raise their consciousness above some invalid hypnotically produced “thing”, namely , the opponent. It is only the exercise of a false sense of consciousness based on a false foundation, which perceives even the need of being lifted up. Spiritual mans is lifted, you are lifted, I am lifted. I AM, WE ARE, THEY ARE, the perfect image and likeness of the perfect identity of God! Now! That perfect identity is incapable of entertaining falsehoods., and that is our true identity!
It is a common and prolific error among even good Christian Scientists to practice the erroneous line of thought which imagines that it can and must elevate mortal thought to reach the divine. Mortal thought is baseless and cannot be elevated. It resides in that separate realm which Mrs. Eddy discussed on page 14:29 (ibid). Carnal thought is not to be improved upon – but is to be eradicated and disposed of.
A lot of so-called healing actually appears to take place on this basis. The human mind imagines that it can replace one false belief with another improved false belief. And so it replaces the suffering sense with another mortal sense of not suffering, and in such a process does not lift itself up and out of itself. It continues thinking as the carnal man. Such healing will be found with experience to be only pseudo- healing. To dispose of the mortal or carnal we must BE the immortal, live the immortal, breathe the immortal. We cannot even think of ourselves as ceasing to be the mortal, for we are not and never can be and never were mortal, except within the massive delusion that we call mortal consciousness, which is completely invalid.
It is this transformation of self perception, from the personal and human, to the divine which is so subtle. We have to live, move, and have our being in the divine and BE, in the “I AM” sense of consciousness. It’s that old and actually invalid sense of yourself which holds false beliefs No such beliefs can be entertained by the spiritual sense of yourself.