Idea

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An idea of God is universal; it is independent of human presentation and therefore is unlimited in its scope and action. It operates ceaselessly; it is the one Mind’s unfoldment of itself infinitely. This idea is independent of external phenomena, because it includes as its being all that could appear externally. This idea is what Mind is — what Mind sees, hears, feels, senses. “Through spiritual sense you can discern the heart of divinity, and thus begin to comprehend in Science the generic term man. Man is not absorbed in Deity, and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance.” (S&H 258:31) Man is Mind’s consciousness of itself — being the self-consciousness of itself — being the self-consciousness of God.

Our ability to reject matter as substance is based upon our ability to accept the fact that awareness, which we call seeing, hearing, feeling, is a spiritual sense or conscious Mind. Mrs. Eddy says “this spiritual consciousness can form nothing unlike itself, Spirit, and Spirit is the only creator.” (Un.35:24-26) Be fully alert to the fact that every divine idea you entertain is the presence of Mind, God, unfolding as your consciousness, present as your mind and appearing as power, presence, law, (achievement), intelligence, in the measure of your understanding.

The moment our thought becomes objective; the moment one looks to objective; the moment one looks to objects of sense, away from the ideas of Soul; the moment one thinks things are transpiring in our world externally or independent of our consciousness of God — Mind’s awareness of itself — that moment our “sense” of world ceases to be Mind’s or Spirit’s world of infinite ideas. It lacks substance, continuity, eternality and possesses the limitations of the self-destructive elements of mortal mind. What one apparently sees is what actually is, in spite of one’s present sense which gives it a finite, limited appearance. Absolute good appears as relative good; but is still good — one good. Mrs. Eddy says, “Material sense defines all things materially, and has a finite sense of the infinite.” (S&H 208:2)

As our spiritual discernment approximates the awareness of Mind, the so-called human objects of sense, which are the divine or the ideas of Soul imperfectly seen, will appear more substantial, more tangible, more beautiful, more contributive. Even with our present dim discernment which appears as “crude forms,” fleeting concepts,” we have some sense of substance and tangibility to our world. Mrs. Eddy says, “The fading forms of matter, the mortal body and material earth, are the fleeting concepts of the human mind. They have their day before the permanent facts and their perfection in Spirit appear.” (S&H 263:32 to 264:3) And also, “Even thus the crude forms of human thought take on higher symbols and significations, when scientifically Christian views of the universe appear.” (S&H 502:14) As this discernment becomes understanding, our sense of substance, the eternality of these ideas, will appear more and more with no sense of deterioration or decay. As this understanding unfolds, we will not lose loveliness, goodness, bounty, blessedness, because we are the demonstration, we are the consciousness which is Mind, God, and thus conscious forever and forever of the infinite ideas which are itself.

These divine ideas which Mind, our Mind, is conscious of unfolding as our understanding, give us a sense of health, wholeness, joy, freedom, and dominion in our world, or as our world or body, with no sense of limitation, disease or disaster. When understood — God’s boundless bliss — we are being boundless bliss. When we understand His immortality, we are being His immortality, regardless of our appearance as a human. When we know Truth — we are being Truth to every situation that could arise and this is reflection or oneness. When we know Love, we are being Love, and this wipes out any belief of human need. These impersonal ideas of God present as our understanding, are that Mind present, giving one a “sense” of ability, intelligence, wisdom, judgment, generosity, kindness, courage, honesty, tolerance. We possess or reflect all these qualities instinctively.

However, these imperishable ideas of Soul cannot appear tangible and substantial with form and activity as being or character, if there is in our sense of things any recognition of the material and human, any desire or wish to make something over. Matter-man, the dying belief, the law of which is disappearance. The human cannot be tangible — unless we see that it is the divine imperfectly seen — then then it is no longer human to us: it is divine.

We lose the conscious possession or sense of health, wealth and happiness; they vanish when we seek for them, because they do not exist as such. In seeking for them, we are conscious of the true ideas of Mind, which they are. All phenomenon, all the objects of sense, all things of which we are conscious, are in reality, Mind aware of its own substance and perfect being.

The phenomena of Mind being ideas, perfect, eternal, beautiful, any attempt to outline humanly, calling things good or bad, some things right and some things wrong, praying for things, trying to rid oneself of other things — will interfere with demonstration; because demonstration is Mind’s demonstration of itself as infinite ideas. Things are not things, they are ideas — and we have the evidence of things in proportion to our apprehension of the ideas. When we understand substance, form and tangibility as Spirit or Mind expressed as ideas — without dimension or measure — we will never lose the sense of substance, the sense of possessing all that makes for a harmonious, beautiful, complete experience. It is helpful to see that possession is reflection — but never possessive of things or ideas. We do not possess understanding; understanding is us.

Mrs. Eddy says: (S&H 505:26-28), “This understanding is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought to light.” A table, an automobile, a house and all things which appear to meet the needs of humanity today, are really only a material, limited sense of what is actually present as ideas of completeness, wholeness, satisfaction, ease, that which is contributing to a perfect state of being. When understood as Love manifested as ideas and not as the material things they appear to be, they will always bless us, always add to our comfort, happiness and well-being, and always dignify us. As reflection, man reflects infinitely, which means he possesses infinitely, which means he is infinite. Accordingly every idea of God is ours, contributing to our well-being, (Suppose a yacht would be contributing to our freedom, the demand for the yacht would reveal that we had it. We possessed it before, but until there was a demand for it, it could not appear.)

Human idealism always makes suffering. In idealizing the human, we make a lesser god with feet of clay. A person has degrees of good and evil and is thereby always in trouble. What appears as the diseases of things and people, the limitations, inaction, overaction, all that is hurtful or perishable, are illusions, animal magnetism, ignorance, of what is actually occurring and have nothing to do with the ideas of Soul, unfolding as our consciousness, they have only to do with the mortal mind concept. Disease, accident, anything hurtful never has anything to do with man, even in belief, but only with mortal mind. (Whatever is occurring is good or it is not occurring.) This explains the healing of disease without the destruction of things or the human being.

When we understand that the substantiality and tangibility of the health, wealth, and happiness of every day living depends upon our conscious use of true ideas revealing Mind — that this is the only omnipresence — we will be more alert, more pure in our thinking. We will ask ourselves more frequently, “Consciousness where art thou?” Mrs. Eddy says: (S&H 307:31 to 308:4) “Above error’s awful din, blackness, and chaos, the voice of Truth still calls: ‘Adam, where art thou? Consciousness where are thou? Art thou dwelling in the belief that mind is in matter, and that evil is mind, or art thou in the living faith that there is and can be but one God, and keeping His commandments?’”

Are thoughts divine or human? This is the important question. We will not have human opinions of right or wrong, we will not think about Truth, or think truth about objects of sense, for this kind of thinking keeps us in the realm of dimensional and measurable things with their limitations and diseases, rather than in the realm of Mind with its ideas of Soul. We are just as substantial, tangible as our thoughts. We are our thoughts. The mind we manifest determines, whether we shall experience accidents, war, hurricane, floods and draughts. Mrs. Eddy says: “Every material belief hints the existence of spiritual reality; and if mortals are instructed in spiritual things, it will be seen that material belief in all its manifestations, reversed, will be found the type and representative of verities priceless, eternal, and just at hand.” (Misc. 60:28-3) All is infinite Mind infinitely manifested, regardless of what appears.

When we see that the improved belief is really a divine fact more perfectly understood, and not an improved belief, we will meet the claim that an improved belief can retrograde . . . . When one is healed, nothing has really happened to that one; there is just less of the mist of mortal mind and more reality revealed. There can be no improved mortal mind, no better mortal mind, here or there — there can only be less mortal mind, because less ignorance or less absence of Mind. Mortal mind does not disappear until understanding appears. In this connection it is important to study Science and Health, p, 115:19-5:


“SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF MORTAL MIND


“First Degree: Depravity.

“PHYSICAL. Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.

Unreality


“Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing.

“MORAL. Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance.

Transitional qualities


“Third Degree: Understanding.

“SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.

Reality


“In the third degree mortal mind disappears, and man as God’s image appears.”


We cannot be comfortable in the realm of the unreal. It is good that is going on, not evil or error; but unless one sees it as good, suffering continues. Suffering is not a necessity of awaking, but it is a better belief than not awaking at all. Sometimes we will learn through suffering what we refuse to learn through education, and these experiences are not to be regretted but apprehended for what they are. Science and Health, p. 196:6-9 says: “Better the suffering which awakens mortal mind from its fleshly dream, than the false pleasures which tend to perpetuate this dream.” The destruction of error is painful only, because we give reality or identity to the error, only because we struggle with it . . . the only reason that destruction appears as “famine and pestilence, want and woe,” is because of our apparent inability to accept Spirit as Mind. Mrs. Eddy says: “the breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.” (S&H 96:15)

Mind, conscious of its infinitude, reveals or discloses itself as infinite ideas which are identity or body, and this is its creation, man including the universe.

Truth is the isness; it is absolute — it is law. Truth is never doing anything to anything, but is itself infinitely being. Let the errors of belief which are uncovered give you a sense of satisfaction, instead of the dismay and condemnation which mortal mind usually experiences when some phase of error is revealed. The error then disappears for lack of a witness; we reject it and let it destroy itself.

Awakening from a false sense, from the illusion of life in matter, is a blessing, not an affliction — even if it may be painful. It is always a blessing to be undeceived. The belief that one can suffer is there, before one suffers; but one does not do much about that belief, until the suffering comes (also a belief of age, etc.) as a result of the uncovering — then we get busy; our awakening goes on and the suffering ceases. The seeming reality of human suffering makes one appear to suffer until he knows (learns) better.

Evil, disease, sin are never destroyed in the usual meaning of that word, because evil, disease, sin are never something. They appear to be destroyed by the scientific perception that good is the only entity and error — whatever its name or nature — is a false sense or ignorance of good. To deny evil as evil, to make statements of truth which one thinks will do something to an error, is to build it up. We deny evil, because there is no evil.

Denial

Evil is a false sense, animal magnetism. All is good imperfectly apprehended. Denial is not an argument between Truth and error. It is analysis, reason, logic. It is in its true nature and accurate thinking: “Begone, I never knew you.” It is wearisome and futile to try to get rid of something, because there is nothing to get rid of, and the effort gives identity to error.

What appears as a change in conditions or things, is simply that we are perceiving more of Truth and reality — the only something that was anywhere at any time.

Healing

Healing is the increasing awareness of perfection rather than the eradication of disease. It is Christ, or the spiritual idea of sonship, oneness, unfolding as our consciousness. Recognizing spiritual unfoldment as the healing process will result in more instantaneous healings. There is an old saying that “a watched pot never boils.” Thinking of health as the eradication of disease only perpetuates disease. There may be a so-called cure, ease and comfort in matter may appear; but there can be no permanency to health unless divine ideas are unfolding as our consciousness. We learn in Christian Science that we do not restore health by the eradication of disease; we restore health by the apprehension of Truth. To heal means to give a wholeness, or purity; to cause a cure. So Christian Science heals, it does not cure, except as it heals. Healing is the curing, but curing is not healing. Mrs. Eddy says: “Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew. You will never fear again except to offend God, and you will never believe that heart or any portion of the body can destroy you.” (S&H 425:24) With a cure, the last state of man might be worse than the first, the patient might be buried beneath the love of ease in matter, and not question but what this is the ultimate.

The practitioner or patient who wants an instantaneous healing, will never think of results in the usual meaning of that term. The results have nothing to do with either practitioner or patient. To acknowledge Truth or God, is to consciously be, and this is the result or effect, which the world calls healing. Expectancy is not expecting something to come to pass; it is acknowledging everything to be what it is. Mrs. Eddy speaks of the “correct view,” the one Mind present beholding the infinite expression of itself. “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.” (S&H 475:32-6) This is omnipresence — this Mind, present as the Mind of both practitioner and patient. This Mind has nothing to do with the phenomena of personal sense. It could not be conscious of healing a claim. See No 37:27-9, “predestinates.” Here Mrs. Eddy says: “What God knows, he also predestinates; and it must be fulfilled. Jesus proved to perfection, so far as this could be done in that age, what Christian Science is today proving in a small degree, — the falsity of the evidence of the material senses that sin, sickness, and death are sensible claims, and that God substantiates their evidence by knowing their claim. He established the only true idealism on the basis that God is all, and He is good, and good is Spirit; hence there is no intelligent sin, evil mind or matter; and this is the only true philosophy and realism.”

Human Footsteps

We hear much about human footsteps; this one scientific or that one unscientific. Yet Jesus said: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” (Matt. 6:25) Do no human thinking. A human footstep is humanity’ s highest concept of what is true or best to do at a given moment. It is never scientific or unscientific as a human footstep. As Truth unfolds — becomes clearer — as divine ideas take the place of human consciousness, our so-called human means and methods improve. When we work from the altitude of Mind or Principle, the oneness of Mind appears as guidance and direction in human affairs — termed improved human footsteps.

An improved human footstep or belief is not the demonstration — yet, divine ideas unfolding as consciousness demonstrate their presence as improved beliefs. If we recognized that divine ideas appearing as improved beliefs are divine ideas and not improved beliefs, there could be no relapse, nor would we question in any way the form or outline of the improved belief. When through better apprehension of Truth, certain means and methods are outgrown, one no longer uses them. This is not human abstention, or repression, or prohibition, or human will, it is growth spiritward, it is unfoldment, the reformation which comes as the inevitable result of Truth unfolding as the one and only consciousness.

The Human Mind

It is impossible for the human mind to correct itself or to rid itself of self-imposed bondage. All that is wrong, is the belief that there is a human mind that can hate, that can fear, that can be unhappy, or that can lack.

Let affirmations and denials be an intelligent procedure, ultimating in understanding and realization. The actual treatment is Truth or Mind, itself, affirming its own presence, excluding practitioner and patient and claim. A treatment in which the practitioner is seeking a cause (mental or otherwise), for a claim, or one who is reviving the error periodically in order to deny it, is not the treatment of Mind. One cannot be “I Am” and at the same time think there is something to be done. In the process of so-called treatment, we must beware that we do not think of Mind over matter or Mind controlling matter. There may be statements in Science and Health that would give one the impression, unless intelligently read, that this is the case. Long ago when universal thought called matter something, it was important that humanity be shown that Mind was supreme. And the only way in which it could be shown, was along the line of Mind controlling matter. As thought unfolded, universal belief regarding matter has changed to agree with what Mrs. Eddy has said “There is no matter,” so the method of Christian Science practice has basically improved. The basic error is mortal mind’s ignorance, the belief of a mind other than God.

Mortal mind does not control its body; mortal mind and its body are one: therefore the so-called human body cannot be treated. The only body there is and ever will be is the co-ordination and activity of the ideas of Soul. Body is not a thing; it is being, activity, it is identity. It is not something controlled by Soul, but it is the identity of Soul. Man does not possess a body; it is his identity. An improved belief is not the result of correct thinking — It is the true idea of itself, appearing through the mist.

Malpractice

If everything is transpiring as consciousness, then all malpractice, as far as each individual is concerned, is at the point of his consciousness. Malpractice is wrong practice. Because Christian Science is the Science of one Mind, malpractice as understood in Christian Science is the acceptance of the belief of two minds and thus a belief of matter-universe and matter body. This is the malpractice which is common to all. We are not a law unto ourselves and thus exempt from this universal malpractice, until we “leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind,” (S&H 424:6-7) realizing that man is spiritual, not material. Arguments against arguments themselves constitute malpractice; constituting the beliefs of two minds is the malpractice; acquiescing with suggestion, agreeing with this belief, but accepting or consenting to it is the malpractice.

There is nothing external to consciousness. If one seems to be ill, that one has consented, consciously or unconsciously to the belief that he has a mind apart from God, He may not have consciously accepted the beliefs going with a mortal sense of existence, but if he has not consciously assumed, or is not consciously assuming the attitude of the one omnipotent, omniscient Mind, maintaining that attitude of Mind through accurate scientific thought, he is not a law to his own experience, and everything which mortal mind believes may claim to be his belief.

There is no outside world; everything exists in our experience or to us as our sense or consciousness of what is true. Our understanding of God is man to us, and our world. An evildoer is no more the evil-doer than the one consenting to or cognizant of the evil. If we are to handle malpractice effectively, we cannot malpractice. We must not personalize mortal mind. When we say to ourselves “O Lord, how long,” the answer will come back “Just as long as you deny my omnipresence.” To whine or complain as if something were doing something to us, unbidden or unbeknown to us, is only to add to the confusion. We are victims of our mistaken sense or of the mistaken sense which we accept as ours.

The power and presence of God are humanly evident only as they are divinely realized; and spiritual ideas, they are the only substance and tangibility, appear humanly as the experience or things we need. Right and wrong are relative terms and do not really belong in the vocabulary of a Christian Scientist.

Material self-indulgence in any form is a denial of our God-being and while human discipline and human will are not Christian Science, they are a lesser evil resulting from a degree of spiritual wakening to the unreality of the matter-man. The only sin is the illusion of life in matter, and if we continually indulge this sin by catering to it, we delay our demonstration of dominion. There is never dominion in matter. It is always subjection. Looking to matter for anything takes away our dominion and freedom and self-respect, which discipline returns to us. In Misc. 161:14-18, Mrs. Eddy says: “He who gains self-knowledge, self-control, and the kingdom of heaven within himself, within his own consciousness, is saved through Christ, Truth. Mortals must drink sufficiently of the cup of the Lord and Master, to unself mortality and to destroy its erroneous claims.” If through mental discipline, human effort, will power, blind faith and emotional or religious ecstasy, one overcomes apparent hate, envy, worry the basic error has not been touched and a sense of health has been obtained only because of change in emotional balance.” (See S&H 242:1 to 243:3)

We want a thing because we already have it. We could not want what we do not have, and we do not have what we do not want. Mortal mind alone suffers, never man. All suffering, all inharmony is a state of belief.

Rejoice

Rejoice in the ever-present Love that will not allow you to remain separated from itself; then the claim and suffering will cease. The Christ-consciousness unfolding as the consciousness of the prophets — to their vision a Jesus, “the Word made flesh” — the Christ consciousness unfolding as our consciousness, has produced for us a Science. This is Christian Science.

Christian Science shows us that an abstract truth is concrete evidence as Mind, expressed as Idea. We sit in judgment on our neighbor, forgetting that our neighbor is our own sense of God and forgetting that Mind can demonstrate its presence only as ideas or thoughts.

Church

No church in the world can give proof of its utility as long as there is no scientific Christianity. As an idea of Truth it is eternal, unshakable, steadfast, pure. As an idea of Love it is all-embracing, all-sustaining, all-protecting, all-guiding. This is our Church!

Business

What we call business is always contributing to our joy, our ease, our freedom. It is never labored, never burdened, never hampering. Man being a mental spiritual being (man being the thoughts he thinks) can no longer labor by the sweat of his brow. If we are not realizing our spiritual, mental selfhood living as Mind, Spirit, we come under the disintegrating beliefs of matter and our business fails. Man is activity, is reflection, his presence is reflection. Mind could find no delay in itself; therefore man as reflection or what Mind is knowing could not express or manifest fear, inactivity, reversal, delay. The whole secret of a perfect, joyous occupation is to let the one Mind be our mind, unfolding as our understanding, or its ideas as our occupation — settled, arranged, remunerative, ever satisfied. But unless we see that this is so, our task whatever it seems to be, will be labored and unprofitable.

If we want a thing, the moment we stop wanting it, we prove we have it, because we have stopped denying its presence. Our very being includes the right idea of all we could wish for or want. As the Truth unfolds, there is no more wanting or seeking. We realize that wanting and seeking deny having. There must be no human desire, no wanting, no outlining, no planning. The moment there is voluntary desire on our part, we deny omnipresence — the voluntary action of Mind. The path of non-pursuit is the scientific path; remember Truth is always active, bringing to light improved concepts. The more we can rest in inevitableness of what is appearing in consciousness as what we are rather we shall experience “thy kingdom come.”

There must be a respect for our present perception of activity, no matter how dim. We must remember that it is the divine imperfectly seen through the lens of personal or material sense, and that as this material sense, this animal magnetism, is dissolved, more and more of the divine is revealed. This dissolving process is continually going on when we disregard the human appearance, the testimony of sense and turn solely to the evidence of Mind — which is evident to us ceaselessly by ideas or thoughts. This is our business. The only business is Mind unfolding its infinite nature. This unfolding or omniaction is the ceaseless, universal, uninterrupted, unlabored flow of ideas, which appear to us relatively as things we seem to need and which come to us through what we call a profession, employment, vocation.

In the measure that we let this Mind be our Mind, regardless of what we call our business, it is Mind’s business of being itself — so our business, the only business we could possibly have is Mind’s (our Mind’s) business of being aware of the perfection of its ideas. And thus, what we call our profession, our business, is always joyous; it contributes to our freedom, dominion, our ease; it is never labored, never burdening, no delay in itself, no inaction in itself.

Supply

The problem of supply instead of being unimportant to those who seem to have plenty, is most important, because at this stage of our experience no one is exempt from the subtle arguments of materiality, the law of which is “dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.”

We can never rest on the appearance of matter-substance as being substance; it may seem to be, but our only surety that it is real substance and not an illusion lies in the abundance of ideas of God which we are including in our consciousness. Our sense of substance must be Spirit or it could be replaced at any instant by a sense of loss. He whose resources appear the greatest, has the most need to be alert. This is also true of health, happiness and all that works for perfect being. It is so easy to rest in the realm of what appears as an improved belief and thus be fooled.

Substance

Substance therefore is not a crowd of hard particles, but substance is the aliveness, omniaction, omnibeingness which we call Spirit, Mind. In the degree that our awareness approximates the Mind which is Spirit, what we call our “senses” will make us more and more aware of the “creation” which “is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source.” (S&H 507:28-29) More and more we will have the “sense” of a visible, tangible, spiritual universe with no sense of deterioration and decay, no sense of disease. Mrs. Eddy says: “When it is learned that spiritual sense and not the material senses convey all impressions to man, man will naturally seek the Science of his spiritual nature, and finding it, be God-endowed for discipleship.” (Misc. 188:26) Therefore, we turn from the temptation to pay attention to the so-called material senses which we have become accustomed to think of as making us aware of our world, because we are learning that awareness is spiritual and that our “sense” of things in not materially seeing, hearing, and feeling things. All sense testimony is our perception of Truth and is a materially mental concept.

Limited in our education, visible has meant to us what the eyes see and tangible that which the hand feels. So when we are told “There is no substance in matter,” we have an uncertain sense of what is going on as our world. Spirit has been something vague to us, shadowy, without form, outline, color, solidity and tangibility; and yet we have a sense of substance, form, order, outline and beauty in our world which we cannot deny. If awareness is spiritual and mental, then what our eyes apparently see, our ears hear, our fingers feel, must be a limited vision or perception of Truth — the dim discernment of something with substance, form, identity, or we have no sense of seeing or feeling anything.




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