It is of vital importance to every one that he gain a clear understanding of man's immortal identity and relationship to his Maker. "Identity," writes Mrs. Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 477), "is the reflection of Spirit, the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love." Spirit, then, is the source of all identities; and the invisible, spiritual man and the universe are the sum total of these innumerable identities, reflecting the existence, power, and reality of Spirit. By following Paul's instruction to look at the things that are unseen and not at the things that are seen, one may gain a right concept of these eternal verities. The spiritual universe can be cognized by the spiritual, but not by the material, senses. Each identity, from the least to the greatest, has its own niche in the spiritual universe; and as this truth becomes apparent, one grasps something of the eternal harmony of God's creation, which has existed, and will exist, everlastingly. Just as each ray of light from the sun is itself and is not some other ray of light, so is individual identity. This identity is like Spirit, but is not Spirit.
There is no connection between the identity of the real man, who is spiritual, and a mortal, who seems to be material. The belief that God's likeness is both spiritual and material contradicts reason, and beclouds the concept of man's identity. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." That like produces like is an accepted truism. Paul wrote to the members of the church at Rome, "The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." The various supposititious manifestations of matter, or mortal mind, which are seen, felt, or distinguished as so-called material form, color, beauty, quality, quantity, substance, action, and law are only false concepts. By spiritual understanding one may reverse these false notions and perceive the true identities of the spiritual universe. "Every material belief," writes Mrs. Eddy in "Miscellaneous Writings" (pp. 60, 61), "hints the existence of spiritual reality; and if mortals are instructed in spiritual things, it will be seen that material belief, in all its manifestations, reversed, will be found the type and representative of verities priceless, eternal, and just at hand."
The heart of humanity gives almost universal consent to the Scriptural statement, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Although this consent may not always be made openly, its acknowledgment is proved often in times of great peril, when the thought of the mortal turns instinctively to God and exclaims: God help me, or I perish! This recognition of dependence upon the Supreme Being, this longing for spiritual help in time of need, is the saving light of Truth shining through the darkness of materiality. The prodigal son—and who at times is not a prodigal son? —has turned when in trouble to his Father. Indeed, he has awakened to know something of his true selfhood as God's child. This awakening is the coming to light of the understanding of man's identity. It is the Spirit bearing witness to man's eternal oneness with God. Not only has this recognition of God's oneness come to individual mortals, but, as history records, it has been a recurring revelation of God to collective humanity.