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THE ETERNAL NOW

From the April 1921 issue of The Christian Science Journal


The difference between time and eternity is a question which constantly arises to puzzle mankind. The usual conception of time is that it consists of the passing of minutes, hours, days, months, and years, due to the revolutions of the earth on its axis and around the sun. Astronomy has connected so closely the idea of time and the movements of the solar system that we think that if the earth should cease to revolve on its axis and the stars and planets cease to move about the sun, a man would have the consciousness in which there would be no longer any sense of time. Christian Science shows us that the destruction of the sense of time is not dependent on the elimination of days and seasons. Time is a misconception of the human mind, and as each individual proves the consciousness of the true man and reflects the divine Mind he will lose his sense of time and be conscious of eternity. So long as a man believes himself to be controlled by the carnal mind, no seemingly outside circumstances can change his sense of time or bring eternity into manifestation. Time is not a condition of the material universe outside of man but is an individual problem and as such can be solved by each one of us. To others the sun may rise and set and time seem to continue, but to the one who has "put off the old man with his deeds" time will disappear. The reason for this lies in the fact that the material universe is only the expression of mortal thought, and therefore to the one whose consciousness is wholly spiritual there is no material universe.

Time, like all limiting beliefs, is a false concept of the carnal mind. The word "limitation" is practically a complete description of mortal mind. In all varied phases limitation is the mark of the beast which identifies erroneous beliefs. Error would have us limit God's creation by translating it into material forms. The difference between the true idea and the material concept is that the former is infinite, unlimited, while the latter is finite, limited. As matter is but the suppositional expression of mortal mind it is not primarily matter which limits but mortal mind. Mortal mind is that which would have us believe that God's ideas are expressed in material forms. Thus the material conception of man is that the physical body confines him. The true man is the image of God and reflects His infinitude. This man is conscious of God's idea as true spiritual form. He does not have to translate this into matter in order to be conscious of its manifestation. To him it is clear that, as Mrs. Eddy says, "God creates all forms of reality. His thoughts are spiritual realities" (Science and Health, p. 513). The human mind would have us believe that man's capabilities and possibilities are limited. Christian Science shows him to have unlimited capabilities and infinite possibilities. When we are conscious of the fact that man reflects the infinite Mind, we realize that man has infinite intelligence and is conscious of the true universe. When Paul said, "The carnal mind is enmity against God," he showed that just as the chief characteristic of God is infinitude, so the chief quality of the carnal mind, God's opposite, is limitation.

What is time but a sense of limitation applied to our conception of the universe? We think of limitation when applied to the human mind as the inability of this so-called mind to grasp a number of conceptions at once. As the saying is, "We can think of only one thing at a time." This is the essential nature of time. It is error's contention that man can have ideas only in rotation,—that he cannot grasp God's creation and be conscious of the true universe at once, but must be conscious of only one thing at a time.

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