The practice of Christian Science starts with the facts of true being: the truth of God, which is His allness; the truth of man, which is his perfection as God's idea; and the truth about evil, which is its nothingness. Thought based on these facts is not easily swayed by suggestions of the presence of something besides the allness of God, the perfection of man, and the nothingness of evil.
In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says, "For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence."Science and Health, p. 492; Any problem which presents itself to us is a temptation to turn from right reasoning to the illusion that there is a power apart from God. A problem is just our own belief that there is evil plus our consent to the world's belief that there is evil. Then our work of dealing with the problem is not to examine the symptoms or to stay on the same mental plane with the evil beliefs and try to outargue them but to rise to the true facts of being and hold steadfastly to them. Our scientific work is to keep these facts before us and to realize that the evidence of discord is merely an illusion.
In Revelation we read, "I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: and he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth."Rev. 10:1, 2;
In explanation of this Bible reference our Leader writes: "This angel had in his hand 'a little book,' open for all to read and understand. Did this same book contain the revelation of divine Science, the 'right foot' or dominant power of which was upon the sea,—upon elementary, latent error, the source of all error's visible forms? The angel's left foot was upon the earth; that is, a secondary power was exercised upon visible error and audible sin."Science and Health, p. 559;
This explanation is definite instruction on how to do the right kind of scientific mental practice. The angel's "right foot" was upon mortal mind, with its latent, universal claim that there is reality in evil. Does not this general belief in evil include medical theories, theological restrictions, hypnotism, spiritualism—all of the false beliefs that have grown up because of interest in and curiosity about the illusion of an opposite to God's spiritual creation? All material beliefs compose the latent sea, and these demand the major part of our corrective work.
The angel's secondary power was on "visible error and audible sin." Are we not tempted at times to become so interested in the visible errors and audible sins which present themselves as particular problems of our own experience that we neglect the source from which they originate—the latent sea of so-called evil?
Christ Jesus said, "From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man."Mark 7:21-23;
Our treatment must be twofold. Of course we should do good work on the particular problem that thrusts itself on our attention. We must do "left foot" work on the visible and audible presentation of the illusion. But let us not be so engrossed in this secondary work that we are made to forget the necessity of doing our "right foot" work of disentangling our thought from the "elementary, latent error." Both kinds of work are needed.
To do both "right foot" and "left foot" work well, we must use what has been given—The Bible, Mrs. Eddy's writings— for our instruction. Our periodicals, church activities, class instruction, and association meetings are ways by which we can replenish spiritual understanding. Let us be faithful in using every means at hand; for our Leader says in the textbook, "Earth's preparatory school must be improved to the utmost."Science and Health, p. 486.
In handling any claim of ill health, we have to unsee the general belief as well as the personal belief in it. The material body must be released from general education as well as from personal fear. And it can be released, for systematic application of the truth in a Christian Science treatment acts as an eraser to rub out the mistaken beliefs in human consciousness and to set thought free.
In all our work, we need to see evil as illusion, to keep it as illusion, and to live above it on the plateau of right reasoning. No matter what the difficulty seems to be, it is only a mistaken way of thinking and can never touch the real man. Christian Science practice consists of holding to the spiritual fact and of seeing the problem as nothing until it melts entirely away. "For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence."
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