The Practice of Christian Science
by Bicknell Young
The first part of our practice is going to be, waking up in the morning in the conscious realization of our oneness with God. “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:…” (Ps.127:1) If you do not bring God consciously into your experience right with your first waking moment, you may have lost the opportunity for quite a while, to have God with you on every occasion. Right here, someone is thinking — “Oh, but God is omnipresent, God is always with us.” That is one of the clichés, one of those “quotations.” That is true but only in proportion to our conscious awareness of the presence of God as God available in every instance.
God is present certainly. Electricity was present through the ages when people were using kerosene oil, and whale oil — of what benefit was electricity to them? None! There was no conscious realization of the presence of electricity. Our task is .the unfoldment and revelation of spiritual Being — God appearing as individual being and the universe.
We do not seek health in what Jesus called “this world” because, “…My kingdom is not of this world:…” (Jn.18:36); that is, the Christ world is not in the realm of human concepts. We understand health as a quality and activity of Soul that is always expressed as perfect and immortal body. Even a harmonious human body is not necessarily expressing health. Health is more than the absence of disease. Health is the eternal state of spiritual being. Human goodness is but the opposite state of human badness, and is not the spiritual state of being we must realize and achieve in our approach to life.
Please remember that God is clearly defined in your thought; that is, you do not make the mistake of believing that a patient comes to a practitioner — who goes to God — Who then comes to do the releasing; or that the patient comes to the practitioner, and the practitioner sends “something” over to the patient — that is all wrong! God and the practitioner and the patient are all really ONE INDIVIDUAL. They are not three nor two. They are but ONE and the more clearly we realize that I AM is God, and I AM is Life, and the Soul and the Mind and the Spirit of every individual, the sooner will you realize that we are not dealing with a lot of people, but with God, infinitely and individually expressed as people. But still the one and only God. When we have that understanding, we have the teaching, the pedagogy. We are practitioners and we have a discipline to impart. It is not original, but certainly it is true, and it is only an individual approach to an age-old truth that GOD IS ALL.
God literally is All. God constitutes the individual being and body. Now the next question comes, “What is God?” When we think of God as a creative Principle, infinite, eternal, omnipresent without beginning and without ending, then we can see without question, that a cause must be a cause to something, and that “something” we call “an effect.” CAUSE and EFFECT IS ONE — co-eternal and co-existent, and of the same substance.
Now we arrive at the Truth, that God, as creative Principle, is the cause of Its manifested Being, appearing as effect. A cause and effect that bind together — like 2×2=4, not separate from each other, but always in one place. Wherever the problem is, the answer is, and if the problem is in your thought, the answer is there also. They never get separated from each other — no problem here, and an answer somewhere else. Always they are ONE — NOW — back to God.
All we know, we know because we are a state of consciousness. Take away the state of consciousness, and we would have no awareness, no knowledge. We would not know that we exist. In philosophy Descartes said, “I think — therefore I am.” In the same way we say, “Only because I am consciousness itself, do I know that I exist, and do I know there is a universe existing.” If we can understand ourselves, understand God as Consciousness, we can understand this universe as consciousness formed. We can understand this universe, including our body, as a formation of consciousness, incorporeal, spiritual, eternal, co-existent, self-sustained, as 2×2=4 maintains itself into eternity!
Thus, when we can see that consciousness is the reality of our being, that is causative Principle, then we can say that consciousness forms, or becomes evident to us, as infinite variety of forms, and is therefore eternal as ourselves. Let us, as far as we can, dwell on the idea — “What is God?” — because only in the realization of what God is, do we know that to which God is God to, and that is the effect or the universe. The importance of that is this: we have taken up the thought — “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, (the awareness, THE CONSCIOUSNESS of God), and His righteousness; and all these other things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)
Try to get silent in the center of your being, and FEEL THE CHRIST. That is taking part in the ONE HEART of GOD, which is the heart of you and me. That is why we must feel conscious oneness with God. Why? Because God is all-inclusive. You must be included in that God-Being, so that when I am at one with God, I am at one with you. My oneness with God constitutes my oneness with you, and with the form with which we translate. Just as your body is a spiritual body in God, neither a male body nor a female body; when you are the center of your being, touching that Christ, and that Christ is the individual, there is only pure Love, pure Spirit. We, because of our human sense, interpret the qualities of God into both male and female.
We translate the idea of transportation into a donkey or an airplane or a streetcar or an automobile. These represent only our false concepts of the idea of transportation. The truth about transportation is in one word – SPONTANEITY. I am everywhere, here, there, and everywhere. That is the truth of transportation. That is why it is just as easy to sit here in San Francisco and heal someone in Chile as it is to heal someone right here.
The moment we touch within our own being the center — the divine essence of being — we have contacted not only with God, but the Life of individual man. We have contacted the Life of the one calling himself, for the moment, a patient. It is not necessary for us, in our treatment, to send our thought out to a person “out there.” On the contrary, that is enough to prevent the healing, and in some cases make it impossible. Where healing does occur with thought-healing, it is because the spiritual consciousness of the individual is so much greater than the ability of that false treatment to stop it.
The CORRECT TREATMENT from the standpoint of Spirit or Soul, is to go within, touch the center of one’s own being. Never take the name of the patient there. Never take the so-called disease, the claim, whether it be unemployment,
insanity or sin. Take nothing there but God, and God is there already. FIND GOD. And then when that little “click” comes, that little release, you will soon get word from the patient that he, or she, is healed! That is my word to you after years and years of practice. Do NOT take the name or the identity, or the picture, or the thought of the patient into your treatment! Leave these completely outside. You have nothing to do with them. They are illusion to begin with, and if you take them into the picture, you do not believe they are illusion but think they are something that you must do something about.
It is true perhaps, that because you have a patient, you are fooled for a moment that there is a presence or power apart from God, and so you go within for the illumination — for the light that will dispel the illusion. Let’s leave the problem outside! It does not concern you whether it is mental, physical, moral or financial. It has nothing to do with you. This treatment is your relationship to God, and when you have become “One with God,” you have found it. You will find the release. The presence and power of God will dispel the illusion!
Where do your patients come in? Because of the fact that they were brought into your consciousness; in-as-much as the universal Mind, God, is the mind of the practitioner and the mind of the patient; therefore, there is no transfer of thought from the practitioner to the patient. There is no need for the transfer of thought, no need of getting the idea across. It is the word of God, which is already in your consciousness. All that is happening then is that this Truth, that is already your own mind or consciousness, is being consciously unveiled to you, within you.
Please remember the practical application of the Truth is when you are called upon for help — that is, do not feel that it is necessary to convey a statement of truth to your patient. Any “truth” that reveals itself within your consciousness of the person appearing as your patient — and you have all seen this in the treatment of cats, dogs, birds and the like — this metaphysical truth does not have to be repeated audibly. The fact that you know it within your own consciousness makes it evident and manifest instantaneously in the experience of animals, plants, crops, and of course, your patient.
Become aware of the Truth that God, which is the individual Mind of this universe, is the one and only Mind. All that is necessary for the Truth to express
Itself is to be received in the consciousness of one individual, and it immediately takes effect in the consciousness of all who are attuned! Even if they are not directly your patients — somewhere persons in a hospital, prison, on a desert island, individuals who are reaching out to their highest concept of God, reaching out for help, are healed! Though they do not know how or why, and you do not know who they are, — still it is true, since God is the Mind of me, and God is the Mind of you — because there is only that ONE MIND!
None of our work includes the transfer of thought from one individual to another. None of our work depends on whether or not the patient understands. None of our work has anything to do with mental suggestion. It has to do with only one thing — and that is REALIZATION, in the consciousness of the one calling himself, or herself, the teacher or the practitioner.
Most practitioners at some time or another are so lifted up in consciousness that when people come to them, the error drops away, and without their having any conscious thought about anything. The practitioner elevates himself to such a state of spiritual consciousness that he is no longer conscious of what is presented to him. It is not necessary for you to always make the statement, “Oh, this is hypnotism, and it is neither person, place, or thing,” or some similar remark. Get it into your consciousness that any form of error is only a suggestion — and stop giving treatments to people and conditions. Then it does not make any difference if you never think of it again. But train yourself that you will never have a “sick” or “sinning” person to deal with. You will never have a “disease” to deal with. All you may have are the universal beliefs to “deal with.”
For that reason, you need never worry about malpractice, suffering from other people’s thoughts. There is only one Mind, and that Mind is Spirit or God. Mortal thinking never goes further than the person in whose thought it takes place. If I were sitting here saying 2×2=5, your mathematical sense would be a protection to you, and you would not get my erroneous thought. I could say, “You are dead, you are dead,” but your sense of life would be a protection, and you would not be bothered by my illusory thinking. Why? Even in some experimental forms of mental practice that have been performed, it has been found that they cannot make an individual do anything that violates his own integrity. When you do wrong, it is because you yourself are violating your own sense of right. It lies within your own being.
Do not try to reform the outer picture. With your inner God-given Spiritual sense, look at the heart and see the Christ. You will find the Christ. You will find the most wonderful healing force there is in the world. Look not at drunkenness, thievery, violence, et cetera, but through it. Do not look with the eyes. Close the eyes physically, or at least turn away. Then let your feeling guide you. Get a feeling of Christ sitting right there in the center of individual being. You will have an instantaneous healing when you reach that Christ feeling and awareness.
Healings are not brought about by the power of thought, or through suggestions, affirmations and denials. Healings on that basis are like healings with medicines or surgery, as mental and physical power are the same. Mental power is not spiritual. That will come later. Right now let us remember that to bring healing about, of sin or disease, do not try to set up a human being or body. Get silent within your being. Find the presence of God — the presence of Good. Feel some sort of divine or inner sense; then you will have had a healing. Then you will not think of some individual. You don’t have to think of his name or his form or his claim. The all-knowing Mind knows. You feel a sense of Soul which takes him in.
To try to go to God with some finite problem would be against the teachings of the Christ: “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matt. 6:27) When you sit down to take thought of adding something to your supply, or your health, you will fail.
We must believe in doing right thinking, holding the right thought, sending out the right thought will do something for us. All this time we are working against the very teaching that we claim to be following when we quote, “…Take no thought for your life.” (Matt. 6:25) Thoughts are things. Thoughts are on the level of things — just two different strata of the same belief — one a little more coarse than the other. It is only when we get away from “thought,” that we get away from things and come into the realm of “idea,” and idea is not a thing. IDEA IS THE ACTIVITY AND QUALITY OF MIND — but of the divine Mind and not the human mind.
As long as you have a sense of money as supply, you are not going to demonstrate spiritual freedom or supply. YOU ARE SUPPLY. Your consciousness, your life, your mind, is supply; and that is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient.
Every evil circumstance in your life can be prevented. Nobody is a victim of anything but his ignorance of the laws of life. God never intended we should know old-age, or any of these related errors we are seeing. God never intended that we have cripples, or drunkards, or dope fiends; and there is no reason in the world why we do, except that we have never learned how to meet them in human belief. We have laws of heredity — all the ills of the fathers visited upon the children — but we must rise higher than that. We can make a beginning by understanding that there is a law of God in operation in individual and collective being — in us as individuals; as groups, races and nations. This is a law of God, but we have to begin to bring that law into operation first, by giving up egotistical beliefs that any kind of thinking we can do is power, or taking a statement and drilling it in, so to speak, will finally make it come true. This may be hard work, but it is not permanent, it is not spiritual, and it leaves something missing in the mentality — first, because it permits others to dominate our thoughts; and then because it takes away from us our realization of the only one real power there is, which is God, whose kingdom is within us, within All.
Reciting that 2×2=4 won’t make it true, though it may help us to remember that it is so. An affirmation repeated in thought will help to impress us with the truth that is true, but in doing so you really give up a good deal of freedom. It would be much better to hear a truth, or read a truth, and let the truth do the work, since Jesus said, “…I am…the truth…,” and Truth is a synonym for God. (Jn.14:6) Why let your manipulation of the truth be the agency? Why not let the truth do it alone? The reliance you will build up, is the confidence that truth IS!
How many really and truly believe that God is? We accept it and talk about it, but how many still cling to a medicine, or to a thought? In reality neither the medicine or the thought can ever be God. God is not thought. Thought is not Godpower, but thought is an avenue of awareness. You can memorize that statement, not to make it come true, but when you are attempting to manipulate thoughts. Remembering that may give you a good laugh.
Let us forget that heaven and earth are two different places, they are the same place. Earth is our mortal concept of heaven. Heaven is our real awareness of the earth; in other words, HEAVEN IS THE EARTH CORRECTLY UNDERSTOOD.
Never forget that this life of yours is God, and if it appears to be young or old, sick or well, evil or good, that is just God appearing falsely to you — and you are the one who must reinterpret the scene. Now we get to “things.” RIGHT IDENTIFICATION, which means God appearing as individual life. Sin, disease and death are nothing more or less than God being wrongly interpreted by us. So the next word right after the word “Identification” is RE-INTERPRETATION. Right identification means the One appearing as many — or God, Life, appearing as individual being; and then Re-interpretation, which means looking right at sick, sinning, human, dying men, and re-interpreting that to see how, in-asmuch as God is All, this is part — a phase or aspect — of the Allness of God which is being mis-seen, coming to you as false suggestion, and that you must re-interpret.
Now two things you must carry with you from morning to night, and night to morning, are the words; RIGHT IDENTIFICATION and RE-INTERPRETATION. Re-interpret everything you see, hear, taste, or touch and smell. Reinterpret it all back to its original state, that is Godhood. Be sure that you practice right identification, knowing that all that appears to you is God appearing — God appearing as the individual man, woman or child, God appearing as the plant, animal, crops, and then knowing what the human eye sees, what the human ear hears, is the false picture presented by this thing I call “hypnotism or suggestion.” The same that presents the two train or car tracks coming together, or presents the sky as hitting the mountains. Be sure you realize and are willing not to go so absolute that you won’t reinterpret what is appearing to you on the scene.
The disciples knew little of Jesus’mission. Jesus had been predicted and prophesied for centuries. But the Jews thought that the Messiah, when he came — and remember they expected it to be a man, not a teaching or a divine idea — would lead them into freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from bondage to the Roman Caesar, freedom probably from some of the wrong practices imposed in their own religion. No doubt they were looking for a physical freedom — a temporal freedom. They thought the Messiah would be kind probably, but of course they were disappointed. The whole of Jesus’ mission was not of this world.
Thus the disciples were not ready for it. No! They were looking for a human emancipator, and they failed to understand the mission of the Christ. For that reason only a few in that day caught the vision, and were benefited by it. The rest, regardless of the tribe to which they belonged, have been wanderers on the face of the earth ever since, still seeking economic and political freedom.
Jesus came with the divine idea of spiritual freedom. He hoped that by setting them free in their consciousness from the slavery to person and thing, they would be free in fact. But alas, they did not catch the vision.
We must not mistake the mission of this message. This has nothing to do with a human person called a teacher, but only with the teaching of Revelation. It is not primarily concerned with the healing of human bodies, so that we can have a host of testimonies. That is not its purpose. Its purpose is not to add ten or a hundred dollars a week to our income. It has nothing to do with temporal improvement. It has to do with the mission of the Christ which is to set you free, to set you free spiritually — from what? — from your belief in your bondage to person, place or thing, circumstance and condition!
Preaching without practice is the most deadly of sins, for we must practice what we teach. The first thing that we, as metaphysicians, preach is that without God there is nothing, and we exemplify that with; “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:…” (ibid.)
We do not use quotations in this work as “quotations,” and we now break the habit of using them as such. You have heard at times someone say, “I do not feel well”, then another replies, “Oh, now you know there is no illness.” This individual, usually a Christian Scientist, did not mean that he or she did not know it, which indicates that we should be more careful what we say in such matters. The one who made the statement was “sick” in-so-far as his sense and yours were concerned. If you had had the consciousness of the truth that he, or she, was not sick, you wouldn’t have said a word — but you would have just smiled. He, or she, would have said, “I am well, and I know it.”
The same with the aforesaid quotation, “Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:…” — a beautiful quotation, but it remains a quotation until you understand it. Here is what I mean by using quotations with understanding. Unless God is the Mind of us, there will be no Truth expressing Itself through or as me. Unless God is the Mind of you, you will not understand the Truth that is being voiced. Since God is the universal Mind — since God is my only Mind, — the only thing that will be voiced in this room is Truth expressing Itself — God expressing and revealing Itself.
Since God is the Mind of you, God will be revealing Itself unto Itself. Mind will be expressing Its Truth unto Itself. Truth will not pass from me to you — it will pass from God to you. The entire activity of Truth will take place in the One Mind — the Mind of us, which is the Mind of you.
There is not a “new” truth in all the world. In the kingdom of God there are no such things as newborn babies, or elderly people. “The mortality of man is a myth,…” wrote Mrs. Eddy. (S&H 545:32-1) Every one of us must express the fullness of our Father-Mother God. All that the Father has, is ours. When we are dealing with cases, we are not dealing with persons, places or things. On the positive side, we are dealing with God appearing as individual being, and it is just as much God at one-hundred years of age, as it is at twenty-two years of age. God appearing as individual being. And on the negative side, we are dealing with appearance — with mortality, with a myth, with a suggestion of a selfhood apart from God.
Therefore, do not let yourself be trapped into treating a person, or a so-called disease, and then watch the “miracle” that happens to your healing work! Heretofore, we have believed that we were dealing with sick people, or sinful people. Now look! Stop that, and watch the results. Remember, this must prove itself in your practice because it is a universal truth.
There is no such thing as error, and there is no use of trying to account for error, as it is a temptation coming to you to believe in a selfhood apart from God. But whether you choose to say, “Oh well, this is just a suggestion, or this is hypnotism, suggesting what appears to be a white poodle, or this is a temptation to believe in a selfhood apart from God,” — whether you find other terms that you like better — so long as you get the essence of what I am saying, and that is, never will you be called upon to heal a sick or sinning person. There is no such thing in the kingdom of God.
Error isn’t a thing but an appearance, when it appears as person, place or thing, or condition, and should be so understood. If only error would appear as error we’d all be free. If it would only say to us, “Let’s steal a diamond ring!” Oh! we would then be safe from it. We’d never give in to that kind of suggestion! If it would only say to us, “Let’s commit adultery.” Again we’d be so safe from it. But it doesn’t “appear” that way. It appears as a beautiful diamond attracting us, or a handsome man, or a beautiful woman, tempting us. All that we see is that beautiful form that it appears to be, and presents itself as. In the same way, disease appears to us as some kind of localized condition, and that is what fools us. We go to work on that “condition,” and thereby we almost become one with it. At the least, we make it a reality. The very thing we should not do.
The metaphysician who is really alert, will recognize every time he sees a form of good, like a person, or as a generous person; and the wise metaphysician will instantly declare, “You can’t fool me! That is God.” He, or she, knows these are the qualities of God appearing in or through this person. And so you will not get tangled up in attraction for a person so completely, that the loss of that person, or the disappearance of him, will cause you much grief or unnecessary distress. Or, that individual’s failure to measure up to expectations, his or her fall from grace, might so disappoint you, it could cause undue heartbreak. The wise metaphysician, even while appreciating a “good” person, will at the same time look behind the form, and say, “Oh yes! But I happen to know that it is God appearing as you. It is really the presence of divine Mind — the presence of Love — expressed as you.” You don’t of course, say this out loud, but that is your thought, and that is the consciousness you live in. Saying it in another way: that everything of a good nature, appearing to you, you should immediately translate and declare, “I recognize you. It is God appearing to me as GOOD.”
But on the other hand, we must be equally alert when error does seem to appear. Now, error is not a person. Error is never a person, as you know well. So to immediately work on an “evil person,” so-called, is to get yourself so mixed up in it, that you will have a hard time bringing about a healing. In the same way, error is never a “diseased person.” It appears that way, but it is not that, and if you work on the so-called “disease,” or that person, ultimately you are going to find your healing “work” is not very good. It isn’t instantaneous — it isn’t even quick. In fact, it is not satisfactory at all.
When you are confronted with a seemingly evil person, a sick person, or any kind of an untoward situation, you must learn that just as you translated the good person back to God, you must translate the evil person or condition back into impersonal error in this manner: Think ILLUSTRATION — STREETCAR TRACK. You see in your mind, the tracks coming together, but you immediately translate that, knowing there is no such evil condition, but just merely the appearance due to finite eyesight. And so you have wiped out the fear of the wrong condition of the tracks, and you have wiped out any sense of danger that there might be because they seem to come together.
Once you have seen that God is the substance, the law, and the form of ALL being, then you must agree that sin, disease, and death, lack and limitation, unemployment, homelessness, et cetera, all that, is illusion.
When you see a person in sin or disease, immediately lift your thought and declare, “I can not be fooled!” That is the appearance, but actually it is nothing but a hypnotic suggestion, or a universal belief that is appearing to you as a “sick” person or condition. When you can understand this for what it is, “see” through the seeming picture presenting itself, then you will have an instantaneous healing!
In conclusion, I reiterate the importance of carrying with you constantly, the words RIGHT IDENTIFICATION and RE-INTERPRETATION; and urge you to make good use of them in your practice of Christian Science.