Immortality Brought to Light
by Dorothy Rieke
I shall never forget the illumination and joy which flooded my consciousness when it was first revealed to me that I was an immortal child of God, and not a mortal, material creature. This revelation took place during a Christian Science lecture when I was very new in Christian Science. Allow me to share with you the story which first brought immortality to light in my experience.
The story is told of a young prince who when a small child became separated from his nurse and wandered into some woods where roamed a gypsy band. The gypsies carried the little fellow away with them and brought him up as one of their own. Living in the great outdoors with his captors, before many years he became nearly as swarthy and brown as the gypsies. He wore gypsy clothes, spoke the gypsy tongue, and was given a gypsy name. To all intents and purposes he was a gypsy. He certainly looked like one, and thought he was one. When he arrived at manhood’s estate the gypsy band again roved to the woods near the palace. A dear friend of the King, who had never ceased seeking for the prince, saw him. He was struck by the youth’s strong resemblance to the king. And in spite of the gypsy appearance the old courtier was immediately convinced that here was the king’s son. Knowing some of the gypsy tongue he said to the young man, “Do you know who you are?” The other regarded him with a puzzled look. “Do I know who I am?” he answered. “Of course I do.” And he gave a gypsy name. “Ah” said the friend, “but that is not your real name. The truth about you is that you are the son of the king.” The young man shook his head, “You are mistaken. I am not the king’s son, I am a gypsy.” “I know that you seem to be,” said the friend, “but the fact is that you are not. You are really the son of the king.” “If what you say is true,” replied the other, “there must be two of me, this gypsy here and the son of the king. I don’t know where the son of the king is.” “No,” persisted the friend, — “There is only one of you and I am telling you about that one. That is the son of our king;” “Then,” said the young man, (and he confidently expected that his question would settle the matter) “If I really am the son of the king, where did the gypsy come from?” The friend replied that there really was no gypsy, there only appeared to be. He further explained that all the evidence that the young man was a gypsy was a lie about him, and could never change the fact that he was truly the son of the king. In fact, the only place the gypsy seemed to exist was in his ignorance, his misconception as to his origin; for all the time he had been the son of the king.
At this point the lecturer rejoiced, “Isn’t it wonderful that all the time this boy never really was a gypsy, but always the son of the king?” He emphasized that regardless of all the lying, material sense evidence — the speech, clothes, mannerism, swarthy complexion, and so on — the boy was not a gypsy but actually the kings son. Then he pointed to the audience and said, “You, too, are the sons and daughters of the King. You are the children of God. It makes no difference that lying, material sense piles up the evidence that you are a mortal, material creature, a child of material parents, with aches and pains, lack and limitations, you are really the immortal children of God, and that is what you have been all the time.”
But it was not enough for the old courtier just to convince the boy that he was the king’s son, the young man had to go with his friend to the king himself, identify himself, and claim his heritage. The prince did so. This time he did not say, “Look at me, I look like a gypsy.” Rather he said, “Look at my strong resemblance to the king. I am the image and likeness of my father. I am the king’s son, and all that my Father has is mine.” Of course the prince was recognized as the true son and heir, and he came into his inheritance. The lecturer pointed out that we too must come boldly to the throne of grace, identify ourselves as the children of God, His exact image and likeness, and claim our inheritance. Claim health, success, happiness, employment. As we steadfastly maintain our true identity and claim our heritage, we too come into our inheritance of all that is wonderful and good.
I left that lecture rejoicing that there was not two of me — that I’d never really been a gypsy, never really a mortal, but always the daughter of the King, the immortal child of God. I determined to claim my true heritage consistently. I shall never cease to be grateful that immortality was brought to light so early in my study of Christian Science.
I have selected the subject of “Immortality” for this association because I feel that all Christian Scientists should be more aware of their immortality, have a clear understanding of it, and do far more rejoicing concerning it…”