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'Those are not your thoughts'

From the January 2015 issue of The Christian Science Journal

This article was originally published on October 30, 2014 on

As I was growing up, if a family member voiced fear, frustration, or even symptoms of sickness, my dad would say, “Those are not your thoughts.” He wasn’t dismissing our valid concerns—certainly we were expressing things that felt very real to us; rather, he was helping us recognize that when an inharmonious thought or experience comes to us, we have a right to question its origin. 

The basis for examining our thoughts comes from the study of Christian Science, which rests squarely on the teachings of the Bible. For example, the Apostle Paul expressed the need to examine the origin of thoughts when he declared: “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:5, 6). And Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote of the importance of thought-examination in order to increasingly achieve what Paul termed “spiritual mindedness”: “Anatomy, when conceived of spiritually, is mental self-knowledge, and consists in the dissection of thoughts to discover their quality, quantity, and origin. Are thoughts divine or human? That is the important question” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 462).

This is the important question because the truth in any situation is what is expressed by divine Mind, God, and when we are mentally in accord with Mind’s knowing, we are being, as Paul calls it, spiritually minded. This is crucial because there is a direct relationship between knowing as God knows and our human experience, as explained clearly by Mrs. Eddy: “If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (Science and Health, pp. 260–261). 

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