By Jon Benson, C.S.
“The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals,” (Science and Health 484:12). Human experience is then more within thought than outside of thought.
Divine Science teaches that, as the supposition called a mortal, we live out our interpretation, or our thought of things, whether wrong or right, from below or from above. Perhaps this is why Mrs. Eddy advises: “… it is wise, earnestly to consider, whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one,” (SH 82:32). And, “The universe, like man is to be interpreted by Science from its divine Principle, God, and then it can be understood;” (SH 124:14, emphasis added).
Couldn’t we conclude that the purpose of the spiritual education system Mrs. Eddy founded – the purpose of our Bible Lesson study, our daily prayer, the purpose of class instruction, association, church services and testimony meetings, of the attention we give our periodicals — and the purpose of Christian Science itself, is threefold: to humble mortal-minded misinterpretation; to lift the student to acknowledge only divine Mind’s interpretation as true; and so, begin to live sent/born “from above, of the Spirit”, in the light of Mind’s own understanding, (see John 3:3.5)?
In other words, doesn’t Science aim at getting us to think and live radically out from divine Mind, to speak and live righteously, as someone who “rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle,” divine Mind, (SH 583:12)? If you answer ‘yes’, then you’re admitting that Science aims at getting us to live as Jesus did, born of Spirit in thought, word, aim, action. Doesn’t Science ask us to experience living more and more as sent from the Divine, living the oneness with our Father that Jesus modeled as “the way”?
Even more off-putting to the misinterpreter we refer to as the human mind, doesn’t divine Science ask us to admit that all that really happens occurs only in the Oneness of Eternal Being?
Jesus’ first command to us in his public ministry, often translated ‘repent’, in the early Greek according to Strong’s Concordance is more properly “think differently.” Christian Science teaches Jesus was encouraging us all to stop thinking out from material existence as the real, and instead to think out from the Perfect and Eternal – out from divine Mind’s interpretation of the universe, spiritual existence as the real. And this is to have one God.
To advance this holy purpose – living and thinking in a way that accepts as true only Mind’s point of view — should be our aim as scientific Christians. In Science, how many points of view can there really be? Only one. Mind’s divine point of view is the only standpoint really, reflected universally. This admission humbles human mind misinterpretations, silences human conjecture, and stills its speculation.
Question: From Mind’s point of view, does man – Mind’s spiritual idea, Its full reflection of Its own understanding – need to learn? No! Listen to Mrs. Eddy describing man: “(man) possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker,” (SH 475:20). And, paradoxically, the more we admit this to be our truth now, the more it will appear humanly as increasingly spiritualized thought, as our fuller reflection of the divine Understanding, but never truthfully as “our” larger personal understanding! Why not? Because then we would be believing we are more than the one Mind, infinite and supreme. “The divine understanding reigns, is all, and there is no other consciousness,” (SH 536; 8). No other consciousness. So, it seems Science won’t be done with us until we surrender the belief we have our own imperfect consciousness additional to God’s, one seemingly needing to ‘grow’.
So again, question: Seen clearly, from Spirit’s point of view, do we have a human mind needing to be educated spiritually? No. Divine Mind is All, reflecting Itself as man and the universe (SH 466:1), including all ideas within Its own infinitude. Divine Mind is forever manifesting Itself, and man is Its forever manifestation, Its reflection of Itself. So, the nature of man, your real nature as Mind’s divine idea, is synonymous with revelation, Truth’s utterance of Itself, the Word’s self-disclosing manifestation. This means, from God’s point of view, that ideas don’t come to you and me from outside, (the human mind’s point of view), although it certainly seems that way to the degree we mistakenly identify with material selfhood.
Question: To divine Mind, can we be another human mind receiving more of Truth? No. So, should we admit now that, from Divinity’s point of view, we are not persons receiving Truth, but Truth’s own self-revealing, Its reflection or immortal idea? Would God approve? I think so. Shouldn’t you and I begin to realize that from Mind’s point of view, rather than being persons receiving truth, in our spiritual selfhood we are the very activity of Truth unfolding Itself in perfect idea? That admission lived would, paradoxically, look like an increase in our spiritual understanding and an improved healing practice – a more buoyant life.
Eternally, Truth is unfolding itself, is All-in-all. Real receptivity then shouldn’t be seen as earnest religious earthlings with minds of their own, being open to Truth coming from outside. Receptivity is Mind revealing Itself, Its own understanding, the only consciousness, in and as the spiritual ideas we actually are according to divine Science — ideas that are Mind’s reflection of Itself. Mind’s own self-revealing activity is individualized as you and me, the divine Understanding reflecting Itself in individual spiritual ideas, in our actual selfhood – immortal, complete, all divine.
Perhaps this is why Mrs. Eddy argues that the “infinite range” of Mind’s understanding is reflected in the spiritual man, in the you and me Mind knows, always one with its own infinitude, (SH 258: 25-26).
Question: From Mind’s point of view, can we be insufficiently spiritual, have inadequate understanding? No. There is truthfully no limited understanding, since Mind is infinite in its every manifestation of Itself. Listen to Mrs. Eddy, writing from Spirit’s standpoint: “I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness. [Man] reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity,” (SH 253:1). Reflecting infinite understanding, we can’t be personal understanding machines or brains, and “our” supposed understanding isn’t really growing. But what appears as our larger realization of Mind’s own point of view, of ourselves as reflecting Mind’s infinite understanding, will also appear as a fuller human understanding of the divine with increased dominion over matter and material sense — over misinterpretation.
Healing is the clearing away of misinterpretations. As God’s idea, reflecting infinite Mind, you already include the right idea that corrects any material misinterpretation. Christ, the divine messaging, brings what you already are, and already reflect, more and more to light. Christ sweeps away the befogging misinterpretations of real Being, forever supreme and infinite. This dissolving of false standpoints never Mind’s appears humanly as what mortals call healing. However, from Mind’s point of view, it’s revealing —disclosing from within Itself more and more of what you’ve always been.
There really isn’t any material viewpoint. That would be impossible to the only Mind, Spirit. This suppositional material point of view seems to exist only to the degree we believe in it and admit it to be true, either for ourselves or others. In truth, there is only one “I” or Ego, and that is God. The only true, perfect concept must belong to “all-knowing, all-seeing” Mind, beholding Its universe including man from Its own point of view. Consequently, sooner or later, “Every human thought must turn instinctively to the divine Mind as its sole centre and intelligence,” (Mis. 307:30).
This must mean that we would be better off not studying as if we’re a human person acquiring knowledge from our Pastor1, but instead hear and accept that from divine Mind’s point of view, as God’s man, we’re the divine idea itself. Every divine truth imparted by Mind in our Pastor is a confirmation of what we already are as God’s man, His reflection. Paradoxically, the more we admit this, the more our Pastor seems to reveal to us.
Our prayer and study shouldn’t be an attempt to bring the Christ into our lives as if it wasn’t already there. Instead, let’s aim at clearing away the suggestion that the Christ isn’t eternally, universally operative, at hand. The Christ ensures every bit of divine understanding is already reflected in our true being—Mind’s immortal idea. Man is now, not will be, Truth’s own manifestation. Every statement of Truth is one with our real identity already as Truth’s own manifestation. Paradoxically, our absolute acknowledgment that this is our eternally true condition will always appear humanly as a fuller understanding of Truth and an improved healing practice.
Ideally, we’re not trying to bring God down to earth, since our textbook reminds us that “… Mind, God is the source and condition of all existence…” (SH 181:1); but our realization of a spiritual fact as our pre-existing reality will always appear to be an improved human condition.
Question: From Mind’s point of view, can we be sinful mortals reaching out to God? No. So, let’s not live out that world-imposed misinterpretation. Instead, let’s practice thinking and living out from divine Mind, as Its very manifestation, a portion of Its divine and perfect presence here and now. And let’s admit more wholeheartedly that divine Mind’s point of view is all that’s ever been real, ever been truthfully man’s, ever been ours really.
Isaiah: “Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth,” (40:21)?
“It is the purpose of divine Love to resurrect the understanding, and the kingdom of God, the reign of harmony already within us,” (Mis. 154:16, emphasis added).
There is only one Understanding, one Kingdom – Mind’s. Our loving Father-Mother reflects the understanding that Mind is individually in and as each of us, His/Her spiritual, immortal idea. Already!
- Footnote: The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesby Mary Baker Eddy are the ordained, dual and impersonal world-wide Pastor of Christian Science churches.