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OVERCOMING LATENT ERROR

From the January 1919 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Without doubt the best time to heal sickness is before it appears on the body. That this method is not more generally practiced is due largely to human ignorance of the mental nature of disease, and to an indifference to spirituality so long as physical ease and pleasure satisfy the consciousness. The Christian Scientist, however, is aware of the effect of wrong thought upon the body, and the beneficent effect of right thought in neutralizing the wrong; therefore the work of destroying undeveloped beliefs of sickness, and of correcting the mental states that would otherwise, sooner or later, ultimate in suffering, should be recognized as an essential part of his daily activity.

Man is not a helpless lump of sentient matter, at the mercy of every passing circumstance or chance condition. He is a thinking being; and because of this, one's experiences are more apt to be expressions of his thoughts than vice versa. Since all our consciousness is mental, it is obvious that nothing could enter one's thought except from a mental source; hence the logical conclusion that mortals would not be sick unless they maintained mental breeding grounds for sickness, nor would they be sinners unless they accepted a mental capacity to express evil purposes and desires, and the will to fulfill them. Human salvation, therefore, is a mental problem, which must be worked out by the continuous transforming of the so-called human mind until the nothingness of all error is recognized, and God, good, is eventually seen to be the only Mind.

Now the individual human mind, as every one knows, includes more than is immediately present to the thought. A trifling incident will vividly recall scenes and occurrences long since apparently forgotten. In like manner some unexpected circumstance may recall mental pictures of disease, educated beliefs in health laws, climate, accident, contagion, and the like, which have accumulated and been held in consciousness from childhood; and if the fear is persistent enough, these pictures may outline themselves upon the body, unless one rises through an understanding of Christian Science to see their unreality. The same holds true of the various forms of what are known as "original sin," supposedly inborn and racial tendencies toward moral depravity, and temperamental infirmities. These mental states go to make up the mortal personality, and while they remain in thought are a constant menace to safety and happiness; hence the force of the warning recorded on page 234 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "If mortals would keep proper ward over mortal mind, the brood of evils which infest it would be cleared out. We must begin with this so-called mind and empty it of sin and sickness, or sin and sickness will never cease. ... Sin and disease must be thought before they can be manifested. You must control evil thoughts in the first instance, or they will control you in the second."

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