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The Gateway of Understanding by Carl August Wickland M.D. - 1861 - 1945

 

CHAPTER X
Christian Science

 

NATURE'S processes are evolutionary and progressive; our minds, likewise, should beresilient at all times, open to new truths and ready to accept what seems most reasonable. It behooves us to constantly scrutinize various premises of faith instead of adopting fixed, dogmatic mental attitudes as final. Truth, to be of value, must be self-evident.

 

"Truth" was the subject of a recent Christian Science Lesson-Sermon in which the following excerpt from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, was given:

 

"Truth has no consciousness of error. Love has no sense of hatred. Life has no partnership with death. Truth, Life and Love are a law of annihilation to everything unlike themselves, because they declare nothing except God."

 

That the above assertions are absorbed as undeniable truths by Christian Science devotees goes without saying, but after all, are they actually scientific statements, as the Church assumes them to be?

 

The question arises, if truth has no consciousness of error how is one to know that the implied truth is not in itself an error?

 

Why is not the soul at its first awakening into consciousness aware of its divine nature, of its oneness with the Source of its being and fully conscious of the state of perfection alluded to in the citation?

 

If an inexperienced human entity were born into this perfect state, now only vaguely sensed, would it not be unable to fathom the meaning of such a condition? Hence the need of the mortal.

 

Since God is all-in-all why are we in this transient plane of travail? Is not the attainment of truth the very key


 

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note of the purpose of our physical mortal journey of the spirit?

 

Why do Christian Scientists talk about error when they do not recognize the existence of such? If "hatred" is nonexistent, why use the expression? If there is no "death," why use the term?

 

If "Truth, Life and Love are a law of annihilation to everything unlike themselves" and "error, hatred and death" do not exist, what is there to annihilate?

 

To affirm "God is good; God is love; all will be provided," does not obviate physical necessities and will not fill an empty stomach. We must apply ourselves to fulfilling physical needs for which the Creator has provided means of sustenance.

 

Even Christian Scientists pass through the genetic state of what they term "error" and occupy a physical form, which is only "error," they depend upon air, food, clothing and money—all "errors"—and remain in these physical errors until the objective form (error) is disposed of in the grave or goes up in smoke, steam and ashes in the crematory—mortal errors.

 

Seriously, why the need of closing our eyes to the facts of life? We are born into a vehicle or house—the transient, mortal form—having five windows (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch) through which the occupant, or indwelling spirit, contacts the external expression of nature.

 

When first entering the physical, the indwelling spirit is unconscious of itself, but through the means of the "windows" the spirit reaches out and thereby enters the rough school of mortal existence.* Slowly the inherent qualities of consciousness, intelligence and the faculty of reasoning are unfolded and gradually Truth is discerned and Love is developed.

 

Paul's definition of Love (I Corinthians 13:4-6) is clearly elucidated by Henry Drummond:

***

"'Love suffereth long ---------------------------- Patience.

'And is kind ----------------------------------- Kindness.

'Love envieth not! ---------------------------- Generosity.

 

* See "Adam and Eve," Chapter VII, "Dogma Spiritualized," Page 153.


 

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'Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up - Humility. 'Doth not behave itself unseemly --------------------------------------------- Courtesy.

'Seeketh not her own ------------------ Unselfishness.

'Is not easily provoked ----------------- Good Temper.

'Thinketh no evil ------------------------- Guilelessness. 'Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in

the truth ----------------------------- Sincerity."

 

Let us analyze what these Ingredients of Love—Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Humility, Courtesy, Unselfishness, Good Temper, Guilelessness and Sincerity— represent; let us make a practice of emulating them in every-day life. It will soon be discovered that this is no easy task but requires time, perseverance and constant self-examination to make each a living reality in our daily life.

 

Through experience in this school of right and wrong is unfolded the analytical principle—Wisdom, which discerns the meaning of the Divine Comedy, namely, the necessity of the journey through the transient mortal, a mere Passing Through State.

 

The spirit having entered the Visible unconsciously, re-enters the Invisible consciously, stepping out of the physical through the Gateway of Transition ("Death" being only a releasing of the indwelling Intelligence from the physical tabernacle) into a Higher School of Attainment.

 

Christian Science teaches the Allness of God, Spirit, and the consequent unreality or nothingness of matter. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy says: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-All."

 

In this advanced stage of scientific research such statements are meaningless affirmations, a mere play of words. Who knows the ultimate reality of matter? Just as no one can define the nature of life, so no one knows the kinship of life and matter.

 

After all, what is matter? To say that objective forms and all manifestations that reach our senses are not real


 

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facts and not substantial, as the senses perceive these facts, is neither logic nor science.

That many fail to use reason but accept fiction for fact was illustrated by a woman, a Christian Scientist, who claimed that the latest discovery was that the brain is not necessary and related the story of a man who was undergoing a brain operation at a hospital in New York.

 

The physician had temporarily removed the brain when a fire broke out, the patient ran away and the brain was placed in alcohol. Some years later the doctor met this patient on the street and said to him, "You had better come back to the hospital to get your brain." The man replied, "I don't need any brain now; I am working for the Government!"

 

"But that is only a story," the woman was told.

 

"Oh, no," she said, "this actually happened and it proves that we do not need any brain; it is only imagination."

 

If it were a fact that objective forms are only an illusion of mind, how explain that physical, tangible objects, such as a tree,* or a house, appear alike to all minds? If they are only illusions, why should all these minds have the same illusions?

 

What, after all, is the physical plane, with its untold avenues for research, but a vast laboratory? What intelligence or understanding was there in the cave-man state? Although brute force prevailed, the understanding faculty was latent and gradually, through the necessity for self-preservation, crude implements were made, both for self-protection and for obtaining food.

 

Through the ages, little by little, new discoveries were made. From stage to stage, through evolutionary processes, mind expanded and discovered more and more truths in this laboratory of matter until the highly developed civilization of the present was developed.

 

In observing the various discoveries which have made life more endurable and more intelligible we see that each discovery has played its part in broadening the mind. Let Us imagine that all modern improvements were swept away,

 

* See "Non-reality of a tree," Chapter XII, "Dangers of Occult Practices," Page 230.


 

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that we were back in the cave life, and assume the point that all objective things were delusions and deceptions—what would become of humanity and all the present advantages of civilization which material discoveries have made possible? Why not be reasonable and recognize facts as they are?

 

A Christian Science lecturer, in illustrating the infinite beneficence of Love, uses the following simile: "Did anyone ever hear of a conflict arising because of the use of the multiplication table? Why not? Because one can use it or a thousand can use it, and still it is available to all."

 

Originally the law of multiplication, as a principle in nature, was unknown to primitive man until mental evolutionary processes evolved the thinking mind of the mathematician which discovered the underlying principles and transposed them into objectivity by means of a text-book which is available to all.

 

Herein we see the need of objective manifestation through which invisible principles are worked out in classified objective form, and of actual visible symbols and characters whereby others may learn the meaning of the invisible principle.

 

The same holds true of all of nature's activities. The objective is a vehicle through which nature's higher principles are revealed from stage to stage and made understandable. "The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (II Corinthians 4:18.)

 

If there were no substance or matter could anyone imagine a child being born into this life and being perceived by the parents? If there were no physical material form how would they know there was a child? Suppose it were possible that a spirit, an emanation from God, could be born, come into this conscious existence, without a physical form, would the parents know it was there? Would they be conscious of its existence at all, or would the child itself be conscious of its own existence?

 

Is it not evident that the material form of the child is a necessity, both for the parents' appreciation of the presence of the indwelling consciousness and because that indwelling consciousness needs the material form and faculties in order


 

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that through experience it may ultimately discern its real self as intelligent consciousness, an intangible being with unlimited faculties for expanding in understanding.

 

In the wonderful laboratory of the physical are all manner of possibilities for object lessons which broaden the intellect. As the ox-cart was superseded by the horse and buggy, and the latter by the automobile, so, from crude beginnings, step by step, through persistent experimentation and determination to discover nature's hidden secrets, the innate laws of nature were revealed.

 

Were not these laws pre-existent to their discovery? Were they not intended to be discovered by mind in order that mind might be educated?

 

In analyzing matter we find the law of relativity, or changeability, of material substance. The form is real in its present state, yet the substance from which it is formed is subject to changes in appearance and manifestation.*

 

While it is true that the substance of matter is not what it appears to be, the law of relativity must be recognized. For instance, wood is real as wood, water is real as water, but if we ask, "What is wood?" the answer is, chiefly carbon, which manifests both visibly and invisibly; or we ask, "What is water?" and the answer is, the combination of two invisible gases.

 

Science today knows that all visible things can be transposed into invisibility, into atoms and electrons. In other words, there is a constant play between the visible and the invisible, and through this material play mind is exercised and unfolded.

 

Who can say what matter really is? A wound is inflicted upon the body and it heals; through cell activity new tissue is formed, dead cells are discarded and wonderful repairs are made—who knows by what process?

 

Christian Science claims to be of scriptural origin and accepts without reservation all of the teachings and works of Jesus Christ. "And Jesus went about... healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people... And they brought unto him all sick people that

 

* See "Inter-play of visible and invisible nature," Chapter IX. "Is there a God?" Page 181.


 

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were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy, and he healed them" (Matthew 4:23, 24), was quoted in a Christian Science Lesson­Sermon. If there were no body, and there were no disease, what was it that Jesus healed?

 

In another Lesson-Sermon on "Love" presented in all branches of The Mother Church, the following scriptural verse was quoted: "When the even was come, they brought unto him (Jesus) many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick." (Matthew 8:16.)

 

Yet Christian Scientists hold that there is nothing in common between Christian Science and spirit phenomena, and they have no interest in intercourse with discarnate spirits.

 

Casting out of "unclean spirits" was a particular part of the instructions which Jesus gave to his disciples. Not only was this a common practice of Jesus himself but this ability was required as proof of discipleship.

 

"And he (Jesus) called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases." (Luke 9:1.) "And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us in thy name." (Luke 10:17.)

 

If spirit obsession was a thoroughly recognized condition demonstrated by Jesus, why do Christian Scientists, as well as other Christian bodies, deny or disregard so important a factor? Jesus said: "Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:31.)

 

Interference by discarnated spirit entities was a recognized fact in the time of Christ; such conditions have always existed and exist today, a statement easily verified by research in normal as well as abnormal psychology.*

 

That Mrs. Eddy herself was interfered with by discarnated spirits is clearly discernible if the facts of her early years of invalidism and later sufferings are studied by earnest researchers in the abnormal phase of psychology.

 

* See "Thirty Years Among the Dead," Carl A. Wickland, M.D.; "The Demonism of the Ages and Spirit obsession," J. M. Peebles, M.D.; "Demon Possession and Allied Themes," Rev. John L. Nevius.


 

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The records of Mrs. Eddy's early years, of her tantrums and abnormal actions, clearly indicate that she was a natural psychic sensitive, for these tantrums and "spells" were undoubtedly due to the impingement of discarnated entities.

 

Georgine Milmine writes in "Life of Mary Baker Eddy and History of Christian Science": "Mary Baker was extremely nervous and hysterical, and, as child and woman, subject to certain violent seizures. These 'fits' frequently came on without the slightest warning. At times the attack resembled a convulsion. Mary pitched headlong on the floor, and rolled and kicked, writhing and screaming in apparent agony. Again she dropped limp and lay motionless. At other times, like a cataleptic, she lay rigid, almost in a state of suspended animation."

 

"As a precautionary measure the family gave in to all the girl's whims. Outside the Baker home, Mary's spells did not inspire the same sympathy. The uncharitable called them 'tantrums.' They even said that Mary took advantage of them to enforce her own way. Mary repeatedly used her nerves, they noted, against her father. Nervous as she was, she found the quiet, blue-law Sunday especially irksome. Sunday, it happened, was the great day for these fits."...

 

"Mrs. Glover's (Mrs. Eddy's) hysterical spells became more violent as she grew older. For months at a time she lived in an almost continuous state of collapse. She was given to long and lonely wanderings, especially at night. During her many illnesses her family would leave her in bed, apparently helpless, and returning a moment later find that she had disappeared. One manifestation of her pathological condition was a mania for being rocked and swung."...

 

"Mrs. Glover (Mrs. Eddy) now dabbled in mesmerism on her own account. She started as an amateur clairvoyant; the superstitious country folk frequently sought her advice. Occasionally, in the course of a social call, she would go into a trance. She closed her eyes, sank backwards, apparently lost consciousness, and, while in this state, described scenes and events. A mesmerist of some local fame used her to trace lost or stolen articles. Like the Fox sisters, she heard rappings at night."...


 

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"At the home of Mrs. Sarah G. Crosby, of Albion, Maine, Mrs. Patterson (Mary B. Eddy) spent several months in 1864 where she acted as medium in their spiritualistic seances... Several times in the course of this visit Mrs. Patterson went into trances... talking in a sepulchral, mannish voice. The voice said that 'he' was Albert Baker, Mrs. Patterson's brother.... After leaving Albion, Mrs. Patterson continued to receive messages from Albert."...

 

"Yet Mrs. Eddy herself was not always well, was not always happy. She used first to account for this seeming inconsistency by explaining that she bore in her person the ills from which she released others."...

 

"In 1863 Mrs. Eddy wrote Dr. Quimby that while treating her nephew, to rid him of the habit of smoking, she herself felt a desire to smoke..."

 

"Mrs. Eddy told her students that she had a congenital susceptibility to assume the mental and physical ills of others."

 

In the biography, "Mrs. Eddy," Edwin Franden Dakin states: "When Mr. Eddy first died... Mrs. Eddy was in a nervous and exhausted condition, and there were many nights when Mr. Buswell was called upon to treat her for the same hysterical attacks with which all of her students who were near her for any length of time had to deal. Whatever the horrors of the frantic night, Mrs. Eddy usually managed to gather herself together during the day."

 

"In her worst moments (Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy) secluded herself in her room... and when she again came down the stairs... none knew about those terrible moments she had spent in the fights against herself and her physical torture... When in the middle of the night the alarm was called and the students gathered at her bedside to see a Mrs. Eddy who was utterly unknown, who writhed and twisted like a tortured victim of the Inquisition, it was not difficult for them to believe that in this state she was indeed possessed."

 

When religious bodies will seriously recognize the importance of the works of Jesus as they relate to the casting out of "unclean spirits" they will realize that the same natural laws prevail today as in ancient times.

 

By setting aside bias and skeptical attitudes and giving


 

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intelligent attention to research in normal and abnormal psychology, it will be discovered that many of the reported instantaneous cures of invalidism and mental aberrations are chiefly due to the dislodgment of ignorant or mischievous earthbound spirits from the sufferer.

 

When any group of students assumes to be scientific one expects their tenets to be consistent and logical, which is not the case with our friends, the Christian Scientists, when, among other assertions, they repeatedly proclaim that there is no death (obviously an affirmation), yet, paradoxically, refuse to acknowledge or include in their doctrine the verifiable evidence, easily obtained through Psychic Research I of the survival of the ego, and of communication between the two worlds as a scientific reality.

 

Christian Science asserts there is no spirit communication and yet teaches there is no death. How can Christian Scientists know there is no death without evidence from those who have passed through the gateway of death, who alone can verify continued existence?

 

Why should the Christian Science Church search heaven and earth for all evidence that Mrs. Eddy at one time practiced mediumship, in order that they may destroy the same?

 

The fact that Mrs. Eddy was a medium has been abundantly proven and there are still persons living who affirm that they not only witnessed, but also assisted in, Mrs. Eddy's psychic work as a medium. Among our correspondents is a man who attended Mrs. Eddy's mediumistic work for the period of some three years. Many others have informed us that they had personally known Mrs. Eddy as a medium. We ourselves have seen a clipping from a Boston paper wherein Mrs. Eddy advertised herself as a medium, giving readings at fifty cents a sitting.

 

How did Mrs. Eddy obtain her assurance that there is no death but by contact with the invisible world through her own mediumship? Discarnated spirits spoke through her as they do through other trance mediums, making the declaration that there is no death, and by proving their identity gave evidence that there is no death of personality.

 

The assertion that there is no matter could also easily have emanated from discarnated spirits who were impressing


 

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Mrs. Eddy. Since spirits exist in an inner or higher state of vibration they are in position from their vantage ground to know that the physical substances, as we recognize them in form and solidarity, are, on our objective plane, in reality due to the combination of invisible substances or elements.

 

To be a psychic sensitive, or what is usually termed mediumistic, is in no sense a discredit to anyone but rather a very important and desirable faculty, offering as it does the only definite knowledge of a continued existence.

 

Had Mrs. Eddy been courageous enough to include in her Science the knowledge she had of spirit communication she would then indeed have had a verifiable science and the usefulness of the Christian Science Church would have been increased manifold. (So likewise would all other denominations or religious bodies enhance their usefulness by adding the verifiable knowledge of survival to their teachings.)

 

The spirit of Mary Baker Eddy recently spoke as follows through Mrs. Wickland:

 

"I have come back to say that on earth I hid the real truth; I gave out just a little of it and some which I gave out was not the truth at all. I said there is no such thing as matter—that is not true. We DO have matter."

 

"I should have taught my people to overcome trouble and fear by using the will, but not that sickness is only imagination. When there is a disease we must use some of the wonders of nature that God has provided for the use of humanity."

 

"When people do not get the proper elements in food which the system needs, they should use what God has provided for that purpose and not deny their sickness. God furnished these things for us to use. Everything in nature is for the use of mankind."

 

"Do not deny and condemn as I did. I was self-centered and at one time I hypnotized myself into the belief that I would not die; I thought I could keep my spirit in my physical body forever. I thought I had the will to conquer and when I found I did not it was a great disappointment."

 

"When I awoke from the sleep of death I was very weak and had no power to progress until I learned to become hum


 

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and serve. In the last days of my life I was waited upon and regarded as a little God; I am sorry to say that my people worship me even more than God, our Maker. All that I had to conquer; my lesson was a very bitter one. I had my pride to conquer."

 

"Now I have to serve and teach my followers to serve, when they come to this side. I am humble now and strive to help the unfortunate spirits who are earthbound and Buffering."

"You will hear of me through other mediums,* and you will know I have been there to help waken somebody and so do all I can to help myself."

 

"If any of you can say just a little word to any of my followers regarding spirit existence, please do so. It might not do much good now; they might not receive it at the time but they will later. When the sleep of death comes, the words you have spoken will be a little light to them and they will follow it and learn the way to progress to the higher life."

 

."Say a word here and there about the higher life in the spirit world and that there is no death; give them a few thoughts of the real truth."

 

"Many of my followers will know that these statements really came from me; they will know it intuitively. Those who do not recognize it will do so later; they may deny it now but they will realize it is the truth when they come to the spirit side of life."

 

"There is no death for the spirit, but there is disintegration and change for matter, and when the body can no longer function, then what?"

 

"Many of my people will not believe I have said this because I did not teach it while here. I taught that there is no matter; that was a great mistake. I should have taught liberation of the mind. Spirit, or mind, cannot manifest without matter; I did not know that when I taught my theories on earth."

"I should have explained that there is a physical body but we can live above the conditions of fear and gloom."

 

* Reports of such communications through other psychics come to us from various sources, all coinciding with Mrs. Eddy's statements given through Mrs. Wickland.


 

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"There is no sickness in the mind" (per se), "but of course there is physical sickness; that is where many misunderstand."

 

"As I told you once before,*. I had a vision and saw a hospital in the spirit world and the method of treating patients. Many spirits retain their thoughts of a diseased body; they have not overcome their mental habits and think they are still sick. They are there taught that they have discarded their physical bodies and how to overcome old habits of thinking."

 

"Christian Scientists accomplish wonderful things because they make many forget themselves. When they have learned the lesson of concentration a great number overcome the conditions about them and are cured; otherwise my people could not go on. There is much that is true in Christian Science and my people do many wonderful things."

 

"Some persons have imaginary sickness; fear brings sickness. Mind can poison the system and can cure it by the proper thinking. Learn right thinking; learn to think of health, strength and power. Learn to concentrate and you will have power over your body. Concentration has a great power."

 

"If you will read my early history you will see that I gave readings in Boston, but I wanted a church of my own; I concentrated and I accomplished this."

 

"I wish I had retained my mediumship; I would be far happier in the spirit world. I have to struggle with my followers who come here; when I teach them the truth they say, 'You are not Mrs. Eddy because that is not what she taught on earth.' I have to try to wake them up and find a home for them where they can be enlightened as to their true condition."

 

"When I talk to them they do not recognize me because my thoughts have changed. I learned my mistakes a long time ago. There is truth in all things but we must not add falsehood to the truth. I did, because I wanted to have a religion of my own."

 

"I felt that if it were known I was a psychic and that I received my inspirations from the spirit side of life, I would

 

* See spirit communication from Mrs. Eddy in our book, "Thirty Years Among the Dead." Chapter 14, "Christian Science."


 

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not have as many followers. Now I surely wish that I did not have so many."

 

"I wish they would change their way of thinking but I am sorry to say many will not; they cling together. On earth they are taught they must read and think about my books, and in that lies their strength; this belief is so set in their minds that when they come to the other side of life and I try to get them to change their minds, they will not believe me."

 

"It is hard to undo my work. I told my people they should read nothing but my books and follow only my teachings and that they should read my books over and over. Christian Scientists still teach that and remain in a mental circle, hypnotizing themselves with their concentration, and when they pass to the spirit side of life they still remain in that circle of thought—in what they call 'the understanding.'"

 

"But how much do they understand of the real life? When my followers come to the spirit world and I endeavor to teach them regarding spirit life and spirit return, many refuse to listen. I have a great deal to contend with. I should have given out this truth on earth; now I have to do all I can to help my people progress when they come here, and to give them understanding."

 

"But they have their own gatherings just as they had on earth and remain together; they do not advance because they are hypnotized in my former theories and cannot get away from them. They all join together—Within, within, within'—and are not aware of anything outside themselves."

 

"The love they should give out to help others is not developed; I killed that. I taught that you must be firm and overcome self; you must be master of self. But I killed the better love for mankind, the better nature."

 

This has been proven to us many times. Individuals who had been our friends for years, upon becoming Christian Scientists invariably explained that the friendship must be discontinued, stating, "You are broadminded and will readily realize that we cannot continue our friendship any longer, as that would cause cross currents."

 

Such ideas are contrary to the teachings of Jesus who stressed particularly that we should love one another. The


 

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keynote of his message was the inculcating of love among mortals—and surely friendship is an element in love and above theories and creeds.

 

(On the other hand, many Christian Scientists, as well as followers of other doctrines, not satisfied with the narrow interpretation of the Science of Life, attend our research work desirous of adding more knowledge to their faith.)

 

Mrs. Eddy said in conclusion: "I let intellect be the ruling power over my people; I killed sympathy. Oh, if only I could make them understand that Life is made up of sympathy and love for others!"

 

"Some day they will be more liberal and will work along a different channel. The truth of spirit life should be taught and understood. The spirit world is the Real World!"

 

A. Hervey-Bathurst, C.S.B., of London, England, a member of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., quoted from the first chapter of Genesis, verse 26, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," adding, "But one might ask, what makes it possible for men to have a true concept of God? The answer to this question is—the fact that man really is spiritual—the image and likeness of God. On page 465 of 'Science and Health,' Mrs. Eddy gives us the following definition of God: 'God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.'"

 

"This God is the only creator and He created all that was made, as the Bible states. Must it not follow then that, since God's creation is the only creation and it is good, we have a very erroneous concept of that creation, including man, so long as we believe that the creation of God includes evil, sickness, destruction, fear, vice or death? Can man, the image and likeness or reflection of God, be subject to what God does not include? The answer is emphatically—No."

 

The above delineation of the nature and qualities of the Architect of the Universe is beautifully stated and analytical minds can come to no other conclusion than that the essence of the Creator is incorporeal and everywhere present. But this lecturer makes no distinction between the spiritual or soul factors which are beyond death and the mortal, physical aspect.


 

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How can sickness or disease be denied? Physiologically considered our bodies are made up of simple chemical elements. Biologically or metabolically analyzing our bodily functions, metabolism consists of two processes—anabolism, "the process by which matter is transformed into the tissues of a living organism," and catabolism, "the process by which protoplasm within a cell or organism is broken down into less complex, waste substances." When these activities are in perfect balance there is ease; when there is imbalance there is disease.

 

How many individuals maintain the balance which nature provides? This law is constantly sinned against by improper diet and faulty respiration (which latter means insufficient oxygen for oxidation in the metabolic process; few persons know why they breathe or how to breathe).

 

Anxieties, fears, vices and all manner of destructive habits and erroneous thinking dominate the majority of mankind, interfering with the normal nervous activity, which again reacts unfavorably upon the life processes.

 

What are the above conditions but, in a sense, "evil" and destructive? As for "death," nothing is more evident since all organized life ceases to be apparent with the dissolution of the physical form. But there is no death of the spirit.

 

Why close the eyes of the mind to the necessary and yet transient phase of the physical side of our nature which is so necessary for the expression and unfoldment of the ego?

 

Did not God create the earth, the firmament, our physical tabernacles and objective phenomena—all real, though transient—for a very definite purpose? As in vegetation a living force struggles with adverse conditions yet produces wonderful growth (physical development) ultimating in flowers, with their invisible aroma, fruit which will sustain physical life, and seeds for procreation, so also in human life the living entities clothe themselves in physical bodies which have organs and functions necessary for acquiring experience in this material school.

 

In the struggle with nature's obstacles under adverse conditions, the soul attains consciousness of itself and a perception of its independence of the physical, of the dual principle of mind and body.


 

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Those who deny the existence of objective phenomena and so-called "evils" fail to make a distinction between objective phenomena and the inner spiritual life principle and activities. We have herein two phases, the invisible nature of God and man on one hand, and on the other, the objective universe of manifestation.

 

God's many-sided qualities are admittedly all invisible; likewise are the soul and the mental qualities of man, who is the image or reflection of the Creator, invisible. Who has seen Harmony, Love, Thoughts or Emotions?

 

Since the Creator endowed our souls with his own qualities why are we not directly conscious of our oneness with our Source until after we have been born into the physical form? The Creator in his wisdom saw the need for his creatures passing through a mortal objective experience such as can only be obtained in the physical objective manifestation.

 

The soul, born into the physical form, is left to its own resources with what is presumed to be free will; tribulations, sorrows and griefs in this transitory existence cause pain, pain causes thinking, and thought plus difficulties compels questioning regarding life's purpose. Thus ultimately we reach conscious discernment of our oneness with the Source of our being—revealed Intelligence, Love, Harmony.

 

God did not create "evil." Man, self-seeking, blind in the beginning to his true nature, stumbles about seeking happiness, which can never be fully attained while he is sojourning in this transient physical, discovering himself, until so-called "death" is experienced. But this is merely the freeing of the spirit from the bonds of material attractions and illusions and man is destined ultimately to progress from sphere to sphere, recognizing with greater fullness his oneness with the All.

 

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