Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, pages 390 to 394 – without line numbers
From Chapter 12: Christian Science Practice in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
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- Pages 390 to 394
We cannot deny that Life is self-sustained, and we should never deny the everlasting harmony of Soul, simply because, to the mortal senses, there is seeming discord. It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony. Truth will at length compel us all to exchange the pleasures and pains of sense for the joys of Soul.
When the first symptoms of disease appear, dispute the testimony of the material senses with divine Science. Let your higher sense of justice destroy the false process of mortal opinions which you name law, and then you will not be confined to a sick-room nor laid upon a bed of suffering in payment of the last farthing, the last penalty demanded by error. “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him.” Suffer no claim of sin or of sickness to grow upon the thought. Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin. You have no law of His to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the sick.
Treatment of disease
“Agree to disagree” with approaching symptoms of chronic or acute disease, whether it is cancer, consumption, or smallpox. Meet the incipient stages of disease with as powerful mental opposition as a legislator would employ to defeat the passage of an inhuman law. Rise in the conscious strength of the
spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit. Blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin. Then, when thou art delivered to the judgment of Truth, Christ, the judge will say, “Thou art whole!”
Instead of blind and calm submission to the incipient or advanced stages of disease, rise in rebellion against them. Banish the belief that you can possibly entertain a single intruding pain which cannot be ruled out by the might of Mind, and in this way you can prevent the development of pain in the body. No law of God hinders this result. It is error to suffer for aught but your own sins. Christ, or Truth, will destroy all other supposed suffering, and real suffering for your own sins will cease in proportion as the sin ceases.
Justice is the moral signification of law. Injustice declares the absence of law. When the body is supposed to say, “I am sick,” never plead guilty. Since matter cannot talk, it must be mortal mind which speaks; therefore meet the intimation with a protest. If you say, “I am sick,” you plead guilty. Then your adversary will deliver you to the judge (mortal mind), and the judge will sentence you. Disease has no intelligence to declare itself something and announce its name. Mortal mind alone sentences itself. Therefore make your own terms with sickness, and be just to yourself and to others.
Sin to be overcome
Mentally contradict every complaint from the body, and rise to the true consciousness of Life as Love, — as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit. Fear is the fountain of sickness,
and you master fear and sin through divine Mind; hence it is through divine Mind that you overcome disease. Only while fear or sin remains can it bring forth death. To cure a bodily ailment, every broken moral law should be taken into account and the error be rebuked. Fear, which is an element of all disease, must be cast out to readjust the balance for God. Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God’s image.
Illusions about nerves
The physical affirmation of disease should always be met with the mental negation. Whatever benefit is produced on the body, must be expressed mentally, and thought should be held fast to this ideal. If you believe in inflamed and weak nerves, you are liable to an attack from that source. You will call it neuralgia, but we call it a belief. If you think that consumption is hereditary in your family, you are liable to the development of that thought in the form of what is termed pulmonary disease, unless Science shows you otherwise. If you decide that climate or atmosphere is unhealthy, it will be so to you. Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take.
Guarding the door
Reverse the case. Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them. The issues of pain or
pleasure must come through mind, and like a watchman forsaking his post, we admit the intruding belief, forgetting that through divine help we can forbid this entrance.
The strength of Spirit
The body seems to be self-acting, only because mortal mind is ignorant of itself, of its own actions, and of their results, — ignorant that the predisposing, remote, and exciting cause of all bad effects is a law of so-called mortal mind, not of matter. Mind is the master of the corporeal senses, and can conquer sickness, sin, and death. Exercise this God-given authority. Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.
No pain in matter
Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God’s government. Have no fear that matter can ache, swell, and be inflamed as the result of a law of any kind, when it is self-evident that matter can have no pain nor inflammation. Your body would suffer no more from tension or wounds than the trunk of a tree which you gash or the electric wire which you stretch, were it not for mortal mind.
When Jesus declares that “the light of the body is the eye,” he certainly means that light depends upon Mind, not upon the complex humors, lenses, muscles, the iris and pupil, constituting the visual organism.
No real disease
Man is never sick, for Mind is not sick and matter cannot be. A false belief is both the tempter and the tempted, the sin and the sinner, the disease and its cause. It is well to be calm in sickness;
to be hopeful is still better; but to understand that sickness is not real and that Truth can destroy its seeming reality, is best of all, for this understanding is the universal and perfect remedy.