The Law of Right Feeling
by Rev. G. A. Kratzer
“They should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him.” — Acts 17:27.
“Science declares that Mind, not matter, sees, hears, feels, speaks.” — Science and Health, page 485.
The writer has observed that many students of Christian Science pay less attention to the government of the mental feelings than to the government of the thoughts; and this, notwithstanding that the satisfaction of daily living is more directly a matter of the feelings than of the thoughts, and that conditions of bodily health are almost wholly determined for good or ill by the right or wrong activity of the feelings, though, of course, right understanding is necessary to right feeling. Many mistaken mental processes which are merely intellectual do not, on our present plane of experience, adversely affect the feelings, and so do not occasion suffering, either mental or physical; but wrong emotional processes constitute mental suffering or unhappiness, and, if persisted in, beget what is called physical disease. Right activity of the feelings, activity in accord with the nature of God, constitutes, in large measure, the riches of the kingdom of heaven, which are the only true riches.
Since God is the creator and governor of the universe, and is all-powerful and omnipresent, the various manifestations of God constitute the law of the universe, the law of being, the law of every man’s mentality. Part of the changeless manifestations of God consist in love, joy, peace, and confidence in good; hence, these manifestations constitute the law governing the feelings, and any manifestation of human feeling at variance with these divine manifestations is false emotional activity. Fear, anxiety, worry, grief, doubt, anger, jealousy, envy, revenge, all are forms of false emotion.
On reflection, it is easy to perceive, that there is absolutely no connection between opposites,—no connection between falsehood and truth, or between evil and good. Consequently, there is absolutely no connection between love, joy, peace and confidence in good, on the one hand, and fear, grief, anger, or doubt, or anything that can seem to occasion them, on the other. For instance, the loss of a pocketbook containing money does not occur in the changeless realm of God, or Truth; it only occurs in the false, phenomenal realm of error. Hence, there is absolutely no legitimate connection be-tween such a loss and joy and peace, as states of mind. Joy and peace are not properties or manifestations of a full pocketbook; hence, they cannot possibly proceed from such a pocketbook. They are properties or manifestations of Spirit, God, and proceed from Him alone. The argument or seeming that there is a connection between a pocketbook and the joy and peace of the mind is one of the deceptions of false sense, satan.
The loss of a pocketbook would not tempt one to break the law of numbers in his thinking; it would not tempt one, for instance, to think that five times six are twenty-six. There is no connection between the loss of a pocketbook and one’s thought about five times six; and as one attains to the Mind that was in Christ Jesus there can be no more connection between the loss of a pocketbook and the state of his feelings than there is between such loss and his thought about five times six. Man’s feelings can act only in accord with their Source and Principle, God, and they are not affected by that which is not their Source or Principle of being.
Yellowness, hardness, and opacity, are changeless manifestations of gold. Wherever gold is, there yellowness, hardness, and opacity are always found. The loss of a pocketbook could not in the slightest degree change the color of gold, or cause yellowness to depart from gold,—either gold in the pocketbook or anywhere else in the world,—since the yellowness depends not on what happens to the pocketbook, but on the nature of gold. Likewise, the loss of a pocketbook cannot change man’s joy and peace in the slightest degree, or cause them to depart from God, since they depend solely on the nature of God; neither can such loss cause joy and peace to depart in the slightest degree from the mentality of a human being, if that mentality is stayed on God, and so is governed by the only law or truth of being.
Likewise, unfair or insulting human conduct has ab-solutely no relation to the love, joy, and peace, which St. Paul speaks of as “fruits of the Spirit.” These have neither their Source nor their Principle in unjust or discordant human conduct; as before remarked, their Source and Principle is God, and human mentality must learn to consent to the government of its feelings by God alone, and not by human behavior,—otherwise, its government and its action are both false and afflictive.
All the misery of the human race is attributable to the fact that the human mind allows ignorance and false sense to enforce their claim that a connection exists between true feelings and material circumstance and human behavior, whereas no such connection exists. The only legitimate connection of feeling is with God. This is the truth, a part of that truth which Christ Jesus declared would make those who know it free from the ills of life.
If we but learn to say to ourselves, many times per day perchance, as occasion arises, “No connection” (applying the phrase as a reminder that there is no necessary or reasonable relation) “exists between seeming material loss, or unjust or unkind behavior on the part of human beings, and the love, joy, and peace which belong to us as children of God,” then we will be protecting ourselves from the loss of the only riches which are real; we will live more happily, healthfully and prosperously even in a worldly sense, and more fully obey the command: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven (in daily spiritualized consciousness) where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.” Doing this, we shall “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and what we need to eat, drink and wear will infallibly be added unto us, not-withstanding any temporary seeming to the contrary. This is the promise of Christ, whose word cannot fail.
In fact, there is no legitimate connection between the activity of love, joy, peace and confidence in good, and weakness or pain of the body; but this is sometimes a little more difficult to demonstrate. What is called disease of the body is usually the result of one having entertained some false feeling masquerading as a mental state; and, if what may be termed the mental discord is first eliminated, the bodily ill will usually soon vanish. On the basis of the understanding and practice of the truth above set forth, it ought to be possible quickly to eliminate from consciousness lust, fear, worry, anxiety, grief, doubt, anger, jealousy, envy, revenge, and the like. These are purely mental discords. In some cases it may not be humanly possible to have a very full sense of joy and peace while suffering from weakness or pain, but if the mental discords above mentioned are thoroughly eliminated, the sense of weakness and pain will soon disappear. Then there will be nothing to interfere with a full realization of love, joy, peace and confidence in good.
Suppose that a boy, who was just commencing to study arithmetic, had an enemy, older than himself, who pretended to be his friend, and whom he believed to be his friend. If this pseudo-friend could persuade the boy that he ought to begin his study of arithmetic with fractions, and that, if he did so, he would, in this way, most readily learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, he could prevent the boy from gaining a knowledge of arithmetic at all, or, at least, make it extremely difficult for him to do so. Likewise, if satan, mortal belief, can persuade us that we should seek happiness, or harmonious consciousness, by commencing with the attainment of material prosperity, agreeable social recognition and bodily health, and that, if we do so, we shall, in this way, most readily attain joy, peace, and a loving attitude of mind, he will prevent us from attaining harmonious consciousness altogether, or at least make it exceedingly difficult for us to do so. In this way, we should be as badly misled as the boy would be, if he were persuaded to commence the study of arithmetic with fractions.
As before intimated, pain, weakness, and poverty are as unlike God, and so as untrue and unreal, as are fear, doubt, worry, grief, lust, jealousy, anger, and the like. But the writer has discovered from experience, that if he starts a patient working against pain, weakness, or poverty, both the patient’s effort and his own work in behalf of the patient often fail of quick results, as is often true in the experience of all practitioners; and, as a consequence, the patient gets discouraged. But, when the patient is shown how to begin work for himself by combating purely mental discords, in the manner already indicated in this article, he finds himself winning victories from the start, and he is greatly encouraged, and is much more responsive to the practitioner’s work. There is great wisdom in giving a beginner something to do that he can be sure to accomplish if he is diligent, rather than to set him a task at which, as a beginner, he is quite likely to fail. Since the writer definitely began to use this method of procedure, he has healed quite a large number of patients who have had treatment for considerable time by various practitioners, and have been studying and working for themselves, and all without much success. The healing was accomplished by starting them to work at demonstrating right feeling, rather than at demonstrating health or outward harmony. They had failed for so long because they had never started right. Beginning at the right point in their work, the health and outward harmony were soon attained.
In the “Father-Mother God” (S. & H., p. 16), Truth or Intelligence is the divine Father, and Love is the divine Mother. “White-robed purity will unite in one person masculine wisdom and feminine love” (S. & H., p. 64). As the child in the early stages of its human life has, and needs to have, much more to do with its mother than with its father, so the “babe in Christ,” the beginner in Christian Science, has need to work even more in Love, through demonstrating right feeling, than in Truth, through demonstrating right thinking, though as he attains spiritual manhood, he must come into the full recognition and demonstration of both Truth and Love.
Let one of our watchwords be, “No connection” between the good of the mind and discordant human or material circumstances. We can always say to ourselves that God is a sufficient reason for not fearing, not doubting, not worrying, not grieving.
At our present stage of development we cannot wholly, or even largely, withdraw our thoughts from the consideration of discords and difficulties, but, here and now, we can learn to keep our feelings with God, harmony, all the time. The oft quoted motto, “Let nothing disturb the harmony of your thoughts,” might be revised to our profit, so that it shall read, “Let nothing disturb the harmony of your feelings.”
Having mediatorial intelligence, so that we can not only know and declare Truth, but can also consider and uncover error and reverse it in favor of the truth, and having divine love with which to dissolve error, we are perfectly equipped for the service of God on the human plane, and for the true service of ourselves; but if we allow the feelings to be engaged with and ruled by discord, we can serve nothing but satan.
We should not allow our feelings to be governed by the evidence before the senses, however much our thoughts must rest upon outward circumstances while engaged in overcoming human discords and difficulties.
“Jesus’ life, outwardly, was one of the most troubled lives that was ever lived. Tempest and tumult, tumult and tempest,—the waves breaking over it all the time. But the inner life was a sea of glass. The great calm was always there. At any moment you might have gone to Him and found rest.” — Henry Drummond.
We should, and can, attain this “sea of glass” for ourselves. — G. A. K.