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From the April 1956 issue of The Christian Science Journal

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Rev. 3:20). Is not this the Christ knocking at the door of human consciousness, asking for admission? The thought that is receptive to this appeal is ready and willing to open the door and to let in the Christ, Truth. The door here referred to may be likened to any obstruction or resistance to spiritual progress. To receive the Christly blessing, we must be willing to eliminate material obstructions.

We need to examine our thoughts often to ascertain if we are unintentionally tolerating or permitting an obstacle to the unfoldment of our true being. We must be willing to relinquish all cherished concepts which are contrary to the divine understanding of God's allness. One of the most common of these is the false belief that existence, past, present, or future, is dependent upon matter instead of Spirit. Down through the ages many theories have been propounded as to prior and future existence. Most of these have been based primarily upon the belief of material evolution alone. If we have been believing in life as mortal and as contingent on matter for expression, we can understandingly deny the reality of life in matter and begin to grasp a fuller comprehension of life in Spirit.

Most of us at one time or another have desired to know life as a more permanent existence than the human concept embracing sin, disease, and death. We have probably pondered the question, "How can we get rid of the inharmonies of mortal existence?" We might ask ourselves, "Where, how, and why am I at this moment?" It is well to often ask ourselves this arresting question, for by knowing the answer we may gain the recognition that Life is ever spiritual and eternal. The answer is to be found in looking above and beyond the fading and finite material evidence of the mortal senses to the spiritual facts as set forth in the first chapter of Genesis. There we find spiritual man, conceived in God's image and likeness, as the full representation of God, the one I, or Us.

Through Christian Science we awaken to the realization that the spiritual universe, including man, is, always has been, and ever will be perfect and eternal. Mary Baker Eddy states in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 267): "The offspring of God start not from matter or ephemeral dust. They are in and of Spirit, divine Mind, and so forever continue." The recognition and acceptance of our true, immortal identity dispel the image evolved by material sense testimony and reveal our present at-one-ment with our Father-Mother God. This illumined consciousness pertains exclusively to spiritual evolution and unfoldment and evidences the recognition of the fullness of our heritage as the sons of God.

The mortal dream sense diminishes in proportion as the realization of man's original existence as the perfect child of God is gained. Through this revelation we recognize that our real individuality is untouched by any phase of mortality, such as birth, maturity, or decay. Mrs. Eddy tells us in "Miscellaneous Writings" what an understanding of spiritual pre-existence will do for mortals. She says (p. 181), "Mortals will lose their sense of mortality—disease, sickness, sin, and death—in the proportion that they gain the sense of man's spiritual pre-existence as God's child; as the offspring of good, and not of God's opposite,—evil, or a fallen man."

Human opinion can never change the fact of our spiritual identity, which always has been, is now, and ever will be perfect and eternal. Man's identity is as much under the control of the one Mind as is the solar system. The spiritual, real man, created in the image and likeness of his Maker, never goes through a process of change, nor does God. It is only the human concept which appears to be subject to change. By being ever conscious of our present spiritual existence as the expression of God's being, we realize man's complete exemption from every phase of mortality.

Christ Jesus fully understood this spiritual concept of man's pre-existence and his relation to the Father. His correct view of man enabled him to heal the sick, cleanse the sinner, and raise the dead. Mrs. Eddy states (ibid., p. 189): "The meek Nazarene's steadfast and true knowledge of pre-existence, of the nature and the inseparability of God and man,—made him mighty. Spiritual insight of Truth and Love antidotes and destroys the errors of flesh, and brings to light the true reflection: man as God's image, or 'the first man,' for Christ plainly declared, through Jesus, 'Before Abraham was, I am.' "

Jesus was ever mindful of his spiritual pre-existence and of the eternal continuity of his existence as the expression of God's being. He said (John 17:5), "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." He also said (John 16:28), "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." He knew that a knowledge of man's pre-existence and future existence carries with it the understanding of his unalterable relation to God.

How important it is for us also to keep our thoughts filled with pure knowledge regarding our spiritual existence through the discernment of the real substance of Spirit, which is eternal. By doing so, we are defending ourselves from the mesmeric suggestions of human will, lack and limitation, sickness, unemployment, loneliness, and any one of the myriad illusions which constitute the material sense of selfhood. These illusions are the result of believing in an existence separate from God. We shall be conscious of truth, health, and happiness in proportion to our recognition of our spiritual individuality as the perfect son of God, and we shall no longer be mesmerized into believing in the possibility of a life or existence apart from Him.

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