The One Primal Cause

From the Christian Science Journal, May 1922, by

There are few topics of greater importance than that pertaining to primal cause; and certainly an understanding of none of them can exceed in value for humanity a knowledge of the source or origin of all reality. The so-called human mind is constantly dealing with what are known as secondary causes and their effects. Thus, for example, it is said that an apple falls to the ground from the tree on which it grew because of the pull of gravity upon it toward the center of the earth, thereby making gravity the cause of the phenomenon. But as to’ the why and the wherefore of gravity there is only theorizing. Assuming that gravity has acted as in the case cited, gravity itself must be presumed to be the effect of an antecedent cause. Examples innumerable of a similar nature could be given to show that mortal thought is continually associating effects with what are certainly not primary causes, but phenomena which are themselves dependent upon some precedent condition.

Everywhere and in all generations, the question has been asked by inquiring men whether it will ever be possible to know anything at all absolutely certain about primal cause. Is it possible, they have asked, to know something of the Being who has originated or caused the universe with all its activities? The question has been solved neither by natural science nor by human philosophy. Natural science leads thought to the atom or the molecule or the electron, hypothesizing all the while; and leaves the inquirer there, wondering whither the next step will lead him. It is true that each step in the reasoning of the natural scientist appears to be less material than the preceding one, in that his latest theory renders matter apparently less tangible to the corporeal senses. But that is about the utmost that can be said for his position. Human philosophy, likewise, has never been able, definitely, to establish primal cause as self-existent, self-creative, understandable, demonstrable being. It has failed to distinguish between primordial divine Mind’s creation of spiritual ideas and the phenomena of the so-called human mind. That is to say, human philosophy has failed to distinguish between secondary cause (so called) and its phenomena and primal cause with its spiritual effects.

As soon as one commences the study of Christian Science he is carried straight to the beginning of things. He is not asked to contemplate the latest electronic theory of matter or to speculate on its possible relationship to the material senses; neither is he asked to follow the speculations of the various philosophical schools from or before Plato to the revolutionary teaching of Einstein as applied to modern philosophy today; rather is he brought at once face to face with the facts of real being, face to face with the primal cause of all reality, presented with statements of absolute Truth relating thereto. In other words, those who enter upon the study of Christian Science begin to learn the truth about divine Principle, which is at once the circumference and the center of being.

On page 275 of the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mrs. Eddy writes: “To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is;” adding thereafter, “All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God.” In these words the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science proclaims God to be the divine Principle of all real being, and that divine Principle includes in itself all cause and effect. Thus, Christian Science presents God in a different way to that in which He has been generally contemplated. It shows Him to be an undivided and complete unit, the Being who is in Himself all substance and all intelligence, who is eternal in that He never had a beginning and can never have an ending, the divine Principle who is everlastingly united with His own perfect creation of spiritual ideas, which are the only real effects in actual existence.

As the truth about divine Principle comes to be understood, the perfection of creation is discerned. Primal cause is perfect; the effect of perfect primal cause must likewise be perfect. And then there begins to dawn upon the student something of the nature of the marvelous beauty of creation, those perfect spiritual ideas which reflect the Mind from which they emanate. The earth-clouds of material sense begin to dissolve, and he looks forth upon “a new heaven and a new earth” over which is dawning the radiant light of spiritual understanding. As he continues to study, it is borne in upon him that much that had passed as truth to him before was nothing but the illusion of material sense, nothing but temporal, fleeting, false beliefs which were the inevitable result of reasoning from false premises about God. Mrs. Eddy sums up the position on page 286 of Science and Health in the words: “God’s thoughts are perfect and eternal, are substance and Life. Material and temporal thoughts are human, involving error, and since God, Spirit, is the only cause, they lack a divine cause. The temporal and material are not then creations of Spirit. They are but counterfeits of the spiritual and eternal.” Or, as John states it in the third verse of his gospel: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John, like the great Master who taught him, had penetrated the mist of material sense to primal cause.

To know the truth about God as cause, and as the only real cause, is of inestimable value to suffering humanity, because it is only by knowing the truth about primal cause that one can distinguish between true effect and the counterfeit of true effect. The world is suffering grievously today from the false beliefs of disease and sin. Sufferers from these often put themselves under some one of the many and varied systems which are endeavoring to overcome these maladies. And each and all of the systems of healing in the world, with the exception of Christian Science, are acting upon the assumption that disease is a real effect of a real material cause, and that material cause is linked up to material effect by what is called material law. So long as such remains the mode of reasoning, just so long will the claims of disease persist in seizing and holding their victims. It cannot be otherwise; for, as Christian Science shows, every disease is the result of erroneous thinking, is indeed inseparable from that false thinking.

How, then, is the vicious spell to be broken? By turning to Truth. By the obtaining of an understanding of divine Principle as revealed by Christian Science. As this knowledge grows, men become better able to perceive the total difference between God’s perfect spiritual ideas and those false beliefs of the human mind which are called disease and sin. Our Leader writes: “There is but one primal cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause” (Science and Health, p. 207). Does evil or disease proceed from the one perfect, primal cause? Impossible! Then evil or disease can have no reality. It is, as Christian Science terms it, a false belief, an illusion, an unreal sense. The very fact that evil or disease can be healed or destroyed is proof of its unreality; for, surely, that only can be real, in the absolute sense, which is indestructible.

Every healing which takes place in Christian Science comes about through some understanding of the truth that primal cause is perfect Mind, that Mind’s creation, the spiritual universe of ideas, is as perfect as Mind itself, and that nothing imperfect, nothing inharmonious, nothing sinful, has any real being. Jeremiah apostrophized God in the words: “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” Nothing too hard for Truth! Let the sufferer from the belief of sickness or sin turn to Truth, letting go his hold on the illusions of material sense, and he can prove for himself that nothing is too hard for Truth to heal.

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