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CONQUERING FEAR

From the September 1934 issue of The Christian Science Journal


In the light of Christian Science, fear, which St. John says "hath torment," might be defined as the supposed absence of Love, or a mental condition which is ignorant of Love's presence. But when through the teachings of Christian Science there dawns in thought the great fact that Love fills immensity and constitutes omnipresence and omniscience, the nature of fear as a lie or nothingness begins to appear.

Our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 520), "The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space." Therefore it follows that throughout the whole spiritual universe Love, with all its joy, peace, and perfection, is present and operating. It is ever true and active; and it is humanly available at all times, under all circumstances, as well as in all places. Love is God; the one and only Mind; all Truth, all Life; the omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omniactive. Consequently, absence of Love is scientifically unthinkable and unknowable.

Love embraces the divine fatherhood and motherhood—the highest concept that is spiritually conceivable—wisely and with infinite tenderness guiding, guarding, governing, and giving to its offspring all good. This necessarily means that every real need is met, every contingency provided for; that no good is ever withheld or withdrawn; that nothing is missing or forgotten; and that every moment abundance, perfection, completeness are bestowed on all.

God, Love, is reflected by His image and likeness, man. This real man forever expresses the loving and lovely nature of God; for Love being all, there is nothing else to express, or of which to be the outcome or reflection. Man eternally inherits or naturally possesses, through reflection, the consciousness of Love, its infinite loveliness, its ceaseless activity, operation, and being. Some of the qualities of this real man are tenderness, compassion, wisdom, joy, immortal courage, and eternal confidence—freedom from fear.

Fear is not within the scope or range of infinite Love; it appears to exist only in the realm of unreality, dreams, or ignorance. In Truth it is eternally absent or nonexistent. Humanity mistakenly believes in and clings to fear. Fear cannot cling to a person; it has no clinging power. Fear has no shadow or fragment of power, reality, or life. It is a lie, an illusion, a nonentity, or that which is not. It is submission to an imaginary god, unlike good, and its indulgence breaks the First Commandment.

Nevertheless, it must be recognized that the mortal sense of fear appears to work havoc in human experience. It is at the back of every problem, including all sin, disease, and death, apparently presenting itself in regard to the slightest sign of lack, loss, change, fresh responsibilities and opportunities, or the taking of any progressive step; and it tempts one to believe that it is a legitimate part of the mental makeup of every human being. Yet the Bible reiterates the commands, "Fear not," "Be not afraid;" and Paul clearly states, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

The rules for the demonstrating of Christian Science healing, including the healing of fear, are plain. Our Leader has provided us with endless ways and means of enlarging, developing, and increasing our comprehension of Truth and Love. Study of the Bible, and her works, the daily study of the Lesson-Sermon in the Christian Science Quarterly, reading the authorized Christian Science literature, and regular attendance at services and lectures, all are indispensable. To these must be added the continual putting into practice of what we read and hear, the applying of these truths to everyday affairs; also, the challenging of every thought and influence to ascertain whether it proceeds from God, Love, or from erroneous material sense, the continual turning of one's thoughts Godward—these means afford substantial help towards the ultimate complete purification of human consciousness.

Real selfhood must be brought to light. How much do we realize of the great truth that man is the child of God; that his origin is Life; that the source of his life, therefore, lies in perfection and completeness? A clearer vision that God, good, is the one and only Father and Mother, and that man is like Him, uncovers the lying suggestions of another creation or parenthood, and assists in unfolding to our consciousness the facts of creation. The true selfhood is the living and eternal manifestation of divine Mind, of Love itself, and there is no other man or being. A material concept of man is not man, but merely a false concept. The real selfhood contains no erroneous element, and this must be understood, realized, and demonstrated.

The expression of pure, unselfed love towards everyone with whom we come in touch is likewise a sure deterrent of fear. When we realize that the real selfhood of every individual is the image or reflection of divine Love, we can see through and beyond the perhaps unattractive and fearsome exterior, or the unloving and unlovely mistaken thoughts of one who is mesmerized with erroneous beliefs. We can then behold something of that individual's real nature, the nature that God originates, and knows, and maintains in His likeness.

If we seem to have been wronged, this experience enables us to say, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Compassion for the ignorant then takes the place of personal dislike, fear, or even repulsion. This calls forth obedience to the rule of loving one's neighbor as one's self: "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God." This more active sense of love brings with it the harmony and rhythm of right thinking, the irresistible desire to bless, and the effortless giving emanating from spiritual-mindedness, in which mortal selfhood and fear play no part. So one becomes conscious of the perpetual presence of all blessings and blessedness. So is Love-filled consciousness seen to be infinite and eternally established, and the activity of loving and blessing the only activity there is. For, again, Love being All-in-all, there is nothing else to be active.

Anyone suffering from an acute sense of fear should not delay conquering this difficulty by means of patient, earnest, and thorough work. Let such a one face and honestly answer these questions: Are you acknowledging Love as God? or are you bowing down to another supposed and unreal power? Do you realize that man is the image and likeness of Love, and that "there is no fear in love"? Let us see where we stand mentally, and what we are spiritually, and rise above the lying suggestion and mesmerism of fear. The mesmerism, the mesmerized, and the mesmerizer are one—the false belief in a mind or power apart from Love, God. Let us identify ourselves with Love's image and likeness! Then fear is seen to be without cause or reality, having no authority, law, activity, truth, entity, or being. The eternal All, Love, reigns. "Perfect love casteth out fear."

Daily conscientious work, and the conviction that comes from one's unfolding vision of the Christ, gradually weaken the false claims of fear and enable us to rise into greater heights of spiritual understanding and consequent dominion, for we grow spiritually to discern the fact stated in Science and Health (p. 568), "The accuser is not there, and Love sends forth her primal and everlasting strain."

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