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This article immediately follows the Christian Science Journal’s introduction of
Science and Health – 50th edition.
It is believed to be written by Mrs. Eddy under the intial “G”.
Christian Science Journal
April 1891 p. 11.
“Be Ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”—Rom. xii:2.
God’s work in epitome is given in the above extract. The understanding thereof proves the fulcrum, over which, the lever of deed, born of Christ’s presence in the consciousness, raises mortals from stage to stage in the scale of being. Doubtless this exchange of the finite for the infinite sense of life is perpetually going on in all the multifarious forms of man’s expression—often imperceptible, yet occasionally assuming definite, emphasized form to our beholding; whereupon it occasions profound interest and consideration: like the river flowing noiselessly through broad meadows, its possible transformation into the manifestation of the majestic power, and beauty of the cataract, seems the legitimate result.
To be “transformed by the renewing of the mind,” to be “born again,” often signifies to pass through afflictions, or “the refiner’s fire.” This, most surely, is to be welcomed, since it must, in some form and degree, precede all advance from the darkness of corporeal sense to the Light of Life. To have scientific knowledge of this necessity, to recognize that all real growth is the turning from the finite, material sense of life, to the infinite, immortal sense that is “changeless, permanent being,” “eternal in the heavens,” is to be ready for the travail which attends spiritual birth of larger and deeper sense of being; an obedience which mitigates the baseless claim of the sense of suffering.
In illustration, the experience of a scientist, young in practice, is given that possibly others may gain a profitable lesson therefrom.
This experience came from one whom Christ (Truth), through spiritual sense, is helping to a sense of real Being. The claim of mortal mind was a malignant form of a common disorder (violent cold belief) which, during two or three days previous, had been persistently treated, according to the
letter of Science, but without success. The leading into this experience was largely occasioned by a resolute desire to gain this actual sense of Christ-power, lacking which, left the human sense in a discouraging consciousness of a limited understanding of the healing power of Truth.
It is well to state, here, that the desire to gain this sense of Truth’s freedom, until changed by subsequent spiritual strivings, or new birth struggles, was a selfish desire, as I doubt not it is in all cases, in the beginning.
The first efforts were in the usual way of mental treatment, but without success, so far as could be discerned in the early stages of the treatment. Examination of the motive disclosed the fact that ease in the place of dis-ease, and consciousness of power, were being sought instead of Goodness, Truth and Love, for Truth’s sake. An effort was now made to renounce the selfish purpose, and to seek Truth and Love alone, for their perfect Goodness and purity. But soon it appeared that this, through strivings of the finite sense, could not be accomplished. The more strenuously this task was persisted in, the more it failed, and it became more apparent that this selfishness, grown more subtle than ever, was the striver, in which it really sought, under cover of worthy purpose, to deceive Truth, the Almighty, in its claim of really desiring to submit to destruction, a claim which, manifestly, must be, to it, an utter impossibility.
As fast as the erring, finite thought came to light, as such, it was resolutely ruled out of mind. It was finally definitely declared that the most cunning subtlety of mortal sense claim was open as the day to Truth, and could avail nothing in its interference to prevent the sense of real being from coming to the light, and its real supremacy appearing clear as the day. But this earnest declaration seemed to bring no relief, or light. It was whispered that this was but another, still more subtle, effort of personal sense to gain the kingdom by its own fancied might of persistent seeking. This was the climax of darkness, and humiliation to the striving finite sense; its culminating point. Its utter emptiness, impotence, and pretentions were all exposed. Its awful, impotent nothingness was so apparent that the sense of it was, seemingly,
becoming unbearable. The effort, in this darkness, was instinctively made to reach out, to grope for something as a support. Like Paul, the human sense was really saying, “O, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Personal sense whispered: “We can give up this effort for light, and go back into the way from which we came, and wait. God must indeed be very hard and exacting, or He would reveal Himself, and not permit us to bear such trials without hope or light.” “But no” said the scientist, “There must be no going back, or giving up of this seeking. ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,’ for He is the only hope; where else can I look? although this bitterness last forever, as it now seems likely to do; and doubtless is the constant attendant of true living in Christian Science, yet I will rather have it as my constant portion, with the divine sense of Life, than empty materiality which calls itself life apart from God, and is Godless.”
It will now be seen that the scientist had reached the point of resignation to the death of corporeal sense; and also, that he had touched a foundation that was immovable. Here was the course of progress; the painful disabilities had, in the beginning, led, and spurred on to this seeking, until the struggle had changed, apparently, from a contest between painful disability belief, and selfishness, to destroy it through Christian Science, to a contest between personal sense and Truth, in an effort of the finite sense to save itself from death and destruction through Truth.
At this juncture the painful disabilities took on a new aspect. In this contest they had been forgotten, in a large measure, owing to their relegation to a secondary place in the thought, to the other, seemingly, painful mental experiences that had developed so rapidly. As soon as consciously thought of again the spontaneous response was: “O, well, they are nothing besides this other trial of the finite sense. All material claims seem to sink, now, into insignificance, as unworthy of serious concern; as having no real power for evil; in fact evil appears not to be except in its illusion of subtlety, to claim to be real being apart from Christ—Divine Mind.” When the decision was made, to patiently accept
the burden of the nothingness of personal sense as the constant portion in life; and also, this without hope of attainment to anything except what this Spirit of Truth and Love saw fit to bestow; that instant the resurrection of the real man had taken place, for the finite sense of suffering had disappeared.
This was the spontaneous thought of the newly risen man, who was not recognized as such, yet; consequently this thought was not an intended treatment. Still, it will be seen that the appearance of the nothingness of mortal sense claim of painfulness as real, was just what had been striven for in the outset, but this was not yet recognized. And Why? Because the human sense, like Jesus’ disciples, had been looking for a material appearance of demonstration; and that was why the eyes were holden that the risen Christ was not recognized, until other circumstances, later, opened them. In a short time after the decision of the scientist not to flee from this painful sense of humiliation, and death of personal senses (selfishness), but to accept it patiently as his due portion, he fell asleep (it was about midnight). In the morning, upon awakening, he felt a little as a school-boy feels after suffering merited rebuke. He still felt the humiliation, but with it was a clean and wholesome sense that was full of promise. Moreover, he had a sense of having passed through a sacred experience, not to be thought of lightly, much less spoken of thus; that a new birth of Spiritual Life had taken place.
Something of the painful sense of disability that occasioned the leading into the trial remained; but, in a marked degree, less than on the day previous. After one or two hours, even the remaining illusionary sense had disappeared entirely, leaving an unusually sound and sweet sense of health and buoyancy. Usually the same type of belief had clung tenaciously ten days or more. It now dawned upon him that a new and purer sense of life had arisen, which was so much better than the old; that the treatments that had seemed to result so disastrously the night previous had not failed after all; they simply had succeeded; but not indeed as personal sense had picture, in which it was to be saved alive, to its belief to feast on heaven’s sweets. This would indeed have
been the disastrous result, had such been possible. How infinitely better the sequel, than what had in the beginning been selfishly striven for!
One thing gained need not be passed without a word. There now appeared no second death to be borne in this particular line of corporeal sense claims of life, and power in subtility to gain heaven’s citadel in the livery of Christian Science. This corporeal sense has to die but once in each of its particular claims to Life, Substance, and Intelligence in matter; but as they do not all come to the surface at once, the true scientist doubtless has many Gethsemanes to pass through to the highest demonstration over corporeal sense.
In this was gained a new and infinite sense of Love and Truth’s supremacy over all erroneous thinking; but it is in erroneous thinking only that all evil, or sense of evil resides.
A number of lessons are to be drawn from the experience herein given. One is: Spirituality, as viewed in the first unfolding of the demonstration seems very bitter to the mortal, perverted sense of taste: but becomes, as the taste becomes corrected by Spirit’s action, first tolerable, then agreeable, and finally very sweet indeed—a natural, healthy sweetness that does not satiate. No change however takes place in the Spirituality, as Spirit never changes, but “is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever,” but the bitter taste was due only to the stirring up (chemicalization) of personal sense, and disappeared, as bitterness, when the transformation became complete. Thus humility, which at first seemed very hard, does not disappear; and the nothingness of corporeal sense is seen, whereby a higher consciousness of Truth appears. This causes no pain; on the contrary, we rejoice that we are nothing when separated from Principle—Christ—Divine Mind, and that we know it; for this knowledge assures us we are one with the Omnipotent Good. All we ask, in our new and healthy joy, is the sweet privilege of demonstrating, that is,—living, and reflecting God’s pure Love and Truth thus sharing with others this wondrous Love light.
Another important lesson to those who are young in experience, but who are earnestly seeking this understanding,
is this: We may be sure we are gaining this Infinite sense when, by this seeking, we find much that is very bitter to the finite sense of taste. We need not wait to be assured of this, until the normal sense of Truth’s sweetness is gained, before we take fresh courage. When the requirements of Spirituality begin to seem very heavy burdens; and we find that we are, nevertheless, becoming willing to bear them for the sake, and in the strength of the Christ, then remember, O striver for the Light! Christ has arisen from the tomb of materiality to divine and real consciousness which is thine, and which stands very near, waiting to be recognized by thee.