In an article entitled "Christian Science" in "Miscellaneous Writings" Mary Baker Eddy says (p.235): "By this system, too, man has a changed recognition of his relation to God. He is no longer obliged to sin, be sick, and die to reach heaven, but is required and empowered to conquer sin, sickness, and death; thus, as image and likeness, to reflect Him who destroys death and hell. By this reflection, man becomes the partaker of that Mind whence sprang the universe."
The basis of healing in Christian Science is an understanding of perfect God and of man as His reflection. Jesus referred to true identity thus (John 5:19): "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." And what is true of Jesus' Christlike nature is equally true of the real selfhood of each one of us. Indeed, as reflection, individual man has no choice but to show forth all the qualities and attributes of his divine Principle, "for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."
There is one Being, even God. God and His idea coexist; they are inseparable. They express the infinity and unity of being in divine Science. God reflects or expresses Himself, and the emanation of His being, His reflection or expression, is termed man. There is no God without man, and man does not act apart from God. It follows that, as reflection, man must do everything his source does.
On the other hand, because man expresses God, good, he can never be a medium for any phase of evil. To associate error with man is to attempt to make God responsible for it. Individuals have been healed through realizing that it is a sin against God to believe that man is sick. Man, in reality, is not committing the errors of mind and body that animal magnetism falsely attributes to him. Moreover, he does not actually believe that he is sick, sinful, or separated from God. God's man has no ability to believe such lies. Animal magnetism lies when it claims that man is accepting sin and sickness. Contrariwise, at that very moment man is awake to the truth of his being, for he reflects the divine consciousness, which cannot be invaded.
There is one Mind, God; one voice, the voice of God. God is the only communicator to man. Error cannot, in reality, talk to man. It talks to itself, but what it appears to say is all a mesmeric claim of animal magnetism and never reaches man's consciousness. There is in reality no evil mind with a desire to do wrong or to mesmerize man. Since there is one Mind, man, Mind's idea, has no mind that can be made to accept or manifest evil, and there is no means by which error's lying suggestions can be transferred to man.
The angels, or spiritual ideas, of Mind unfold with man, who is ever at one with God. They reveal to him his present perfect being, in which every function and action is eternally harmonious. They assure him that no evil power exists that can undo man's God-decreed perfection, which is all that can be known, felt, or expressed. Man is the very evidence or witness that God is present and that His power and ability are being fully represented. As Isaiah expressed it (43:12, 21): "I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.... This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.'
The crux of the whole matter, then, is that reflection cannot stop or be stopped, because there is nothing outside of God to stop God. This was demonstrated in the case of a young man whom doctors had failed to heal of tuberculosis and who in his extremity turned to Christian Science. The practitioner explained that although the erection of a skyscraper may seem to cut off the sun's ray, what really occurs is that at the point of contact light energy is converted into heat energy. Yet the light and intensity of the ray are not affected, because its source, the sun, from which it derives all its activity, has not been altered. In fact, the individual ray or reflection of the sun not only remains unimpaired, but may even warm and light homes and territory a hundred miles distant. The only possible way to change the ray's intensity would be to travel out to and alter its source, the sun. In a similar way, the practitioner pointed out, man is the unimpairable reflection of his unchanging divine Principle, God.
Then the teachings of Christian Science concerning matter were discussed. As the patient grasped the truth that matter is merely the externalization of mortal thought, he realized that the apparent difficulty was not a material condition but wholly a mental error, defective thought externalized. Thus the understanding of the truth regarding spiritual reflection and the unreal nature of matter brought a change in his consciousness—an enlightened sense before which the image of mortal thought termed tuberculosis disappeared. In a short time the young man was again at work. This healing has remained permanent.
Healings like this help us to see that the harmony and perfection of man, who is the expression of God, are always present to be demonstrated. In our prayers we do not ask God to be God. God is the immutable, inviolable Principle of all being. It is impossible for God not to be God. But one may ask, "How does that help me?" The answer is that just as it is impossible for God not to be God, so it is impossible for man not to be man—the immutable, perfect man God made him to be. Man and all the ideas and functions he includes are always Godlike. Mrs. Eddy explains this in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where she writes (p. 393), "Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government." We should always understand that the divine Mind governs, but a complete apprehension of this truth must include the fact that man reflects God's government.
It is important to recognize that there is always a perfect effect because the perfect cause is God. This line of thought may be further enlarged. The result of God's being Mind is that man is alert and intelligent. The activity of infinite Spirit keeps man spiritual and pure. The effect of God's being Soul is that man forever manifests the attributes and faculties of the one indestructible consciousness. The effect of God's being Principle is that man is undeviatingly perfect. The effect of God's being the one and only Life is that man, its expression, is vigorous and well. The activity of Truth signifies that man is righteous and infallible. The effect of God's being Love is that man is fearless in the understanding of his oneness with perfect Love.
There is also a perfect effect because of God's being the one all-seeing Mind. Accordingly, there is no vision but the immaculate, permanent vision of Soul, divine Mind. God's vision is forever manifested through man. Therefore man, His reflection, sees as God causes him to see, and sees all that God sees. And what has been said of man's sight applies equally to his hearing as the reflection of the all-hearing Mind.
It also applies to man's substance as the expression of the one all-inclusive Mind. God, Mind, being cognizant only of His own all-encompassing infinity cannot know meagerness and lack; so man, His reflection, cannot know them. It follows that the affluence of man is independent of so-called material laws or conditions. His supply does not need to be acquired, but is as infinite and ever present as is God, his source. Hence there can be no interruption, no coming or going, to man's supply. It consists of the ideas of Deity Himself. These, entertained and understood, are ever manifested humanly in all that is needful, for man is Deity's evidence of His limitless good.
Similarly, man's health is not something outside of him that he needs to gain. Neither can matter give it to him or deprive him of it. Health is a condition of divine Mind, not of matter. Hence man, Mind's reflection, must abide continuously in a state of health and harmony. Even when the deceitful senses falsely claim he is ill, man is well in Science and conscious of that fact. He ever exists harmoniously in divine Mind, God, untouched by erring human beliefs. Health, harmony, perfection of mind and body, are the eternal facts of his being.
James wrote (1:23-25): "If any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." Are not James's words an exhortation to recognize the present perfection of our being so clearly that we keep it eternally before our thought in an earnest effort to demonstrate it? Perfection can be demonstrated because it is true. The one who really grasps his present perfection as God's own likeness is apt to talk little about it. But there will be within him an active, eager desire to live it. Furthermore, practicing man's perfection will help one to understand it better and to express more fully the fact that "in Science man reflects God's government."
How enlightenedly our beloved Leader in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 183) describes man's infinite ability: "Man is God's image and likeness; whatever is possible to God, is possible to man as God's reflection. Through the transparency of Science we learn this, and receive it: learn that man can fulfil the Scriptures in every instance." Thus in Science the Word is made flesh, for man's perfect harmony and limitless capacity for good, which were so gloriously proved by Jesus, can be demonstrated by us here and now. And each one is greatly aided in achieving this high goal through his joyous, wholehearted acceptance of the Master's perfect statement concerning reflection.
Jesus ever recognized God as the only creator, as the All-in-all. He made it clear that man is not a creator but reflection, and that as reflection he cannot be a medium of any sort of limitation or disease. But he also revealed to humanity for all time the heartening demonstrable fact that "what things soever he [God] doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."