What happens prior to a Christian Science lecture? How do church members prepare themselves? Their community? Human consciousness, left to itself, may present more of an obstacle than a transparency for Christ, Truth. Thought may be congested with fear, self-righteousness, or self-love; temporarily walled in by willful sin; or asleep in satisfaction with matter. The author of Isaiah 40 knew the need to be ready: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Isa. 40:3. And later in Isaiah we read, "Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people." '57:14.
Lecture preparation involves prayer. Not merely a mental rehearsal of truths, in which we tiptoe around obtrusive error, but a sincere perception of Truth, in which we remove whatever obstructs our acceptance of spiritual reality.
Specific treatment—purposeful spiritual reasoning that establishes the truth of being in consciousness—is generally necessary. Treatment forwards our discernment of God's allness, man's likeness to God, the irresistibility of the Christ, and the utter powerlessness and insubstantiality of evil. Christian Scientists might be well acquainted with these and other spiritual concepts. But treatment lifts thought above mere human familiarity with truth. We might do well to stop for a moment and consider how wonderfully alert, peaceful, and receptive we would be at the lecture if we came actually knowing the truth, rather than just agreeing with it.