From Collected Writings by Bicknell Young
How could I know anything, any substance, mind, thing, or consciousness, other than my own consciousness, and its creator? It is clearly evident to me, that I can know only what appears to my consciousness, in the form of ideas or thoughts. It would be impossible for me to affirm that creation, man and the universe, is made up of matter. I cannot be aware of matter’s presence, for what is there to inform me that matter exists?
Matter, a supposititious opposite of thought, cannot think, or speak, act, or even appear, because thought does all these things. Thought is self-sufficient. It is subject and object. Mind is both noumenon and phenomenon, the inside and the outside, the center and the circumference.
It is evident to me, that all I can ever know, or be conscious of, is what I can think, what is in and of my thinking, that which is my consciousness. I am the star, rose, landscape, men, and women. To the extent that I see (believe) sickness, I am sick; as long as I see hatred, I am suffering from this belief. (S&H 71:10-20) “Close your eyes, and you may dream that you see a flower,—that you touch and smell it. Thus you learn that the flower is a product of the so-called mind, a formation of thought rather than of matter. Close your eyes again, and you may see landscapes, men and women. Thus you learn that these also are images, which mortal mind holds and evolves, and which simulate mind, life, and intelligence. From dreams also you learn that neither mortal mind, nor matter, is the image or likeness of God, and that immortal Mind is not in matter.”
(Prov. 23:7 to :) “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
(S&H 497:11-12) “But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.”
(Romans 14:14) “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”
(S&H 421:25-26) “It is no more Christianly scientific to see disease than it is to experience it.”
(Titus 1:15) “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Shakespeare. (Message for 1901, 20:8-9): “The Christian Scientist is alone with his own being and with the reality of things.”
Mrs. Eddy refers to “Egoism” on page 27 of “Unity of Good” and says, “God is egoistic, knowing only His own all-presence, all-knowledge, all-power.” Webster defines “Egoism” as “the doctrine that the individual consciousness alone is knowable.” This is in accord with Mrs. Eddy’s definition, and my present concept of Christian Science treatment is based on this idea of Egoism. I am finding my true self to be egoistic, and my false sense of self, which is egotistic, is yielding.
(Miscellany 241:19-14 next page) “‘Last evening I was catechized by a Christian Science practitioner because I referred to myself as an immortal idea of the one divine Mind. The practitioner said that my statement was wrong, because I still lived in my flesh. I replied that I did not live in my flesh, that my flesh lived or died according to the beliefs I entertained about it; but that, after coming to the light of Truth, I had found that I lived and moved and had my being in God, and to obey Christ was not to know as real the beliefs of an earthly mortal. Please give the truth in the Sentinel, so that all may know it.’”
Mrs. Eddy’s Reply
“You are scientifically correct in your statement about yourself. You can never demonstrate spirituality until you declare yourself to be immortal and understand that you are so. Christian Science is absolute; it is neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing towards it; it is at this point and must be practised therefrom. Unless you fully perceive that you are the child of God, hence perfect, you have no Principle to demonstrate and no rule for its demonstration. By this I do not mean that mortals are the children of God,—far from it. In practising Christian Science you must state its Principle correctly, or you forfeit your ability to demonstrate it.”
I am now living in the absolute; I am not always aware of this, however. My salvation is not only a process of restoration, but also a condition, the condition or state of perfect being and doing, wherein man exercises his unlimited capacities.
There is only one I, one Ego or consciousness, only one thinking agent, and its manifestation. Generic man is what I am. I am not a single man, “an isolated, solitary idea.” Nor am I one of a million, or a mortal, material man. I am that consciousness which includes all men and women, not as mortal people, or minds many, but as individual ideas of Mind.
(S&H 588:11-15) “There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence; man and woman unchanged forever in their individual characters, even as numbers which never blend with each other, though they are governed by one Principle.”
(S&H 267:6-7) “Generically man is one, and specifically man means all men.”
(S&H 336:19-24) “God is indivisible. A portion of God could not enter man; neither could God’s fulness be reflected by a single man, else God would be manifestly finite, lose the deific character, and become less than God. Allness is the measure of the infinite, and nothing less can express God.”
(S&H 257:32) “Finite man cannot be the image and likeness of the infinite God. A mortal, corporeal, or finite conception of God cannot embrace the glories of limitless, incorporeal Life and Love. Hence the unsatisfied human craving for something better, higher, holier, than is afforded by a material belief in a physical God and man. The insufficiency of this belief to supply the true idea proves the falsity of material belief.”
(John 17:21 to :) “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.”
My prayer is like this: “That I may see all men are one in Christ-consciousness; that I may not only believe this, but know (realize) it, that I may behold that I am Thy infinite manifestation.”
This consciousness which I call “me” includes the thought of all men and the universe, and is individually, and collectively, the son of God, NOW.
(My. 164:20-29) “What is this something, this phoenix fire, this pillar by day, kindling, guiding, and guarding your way? It is unity, the bond of perfectness, the thousandfold expansion that will engirdle the world, —unity, which unfolds the thought most within us into the greater and better, the sum of all reality and good.”
“This unity is reserved wisdom and strength. It builds upon the rock, against which envy, enmity, or malice beat in vain.”
This is true Egoism.
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
When I believe that somebody hates me, or hates anyone, or that somebody is sick, or that I am sick because somebody hates me, I have lost my idea or egoism, and must convince myself of the facts of Egoism, the fact that I am experiencing only what I am thinking, believing, or knowing. If I see or experience any inharmony, it is because I am believing in more than one Mind, or substance, and for no other reason.
(S&H 86:29-31) “Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts.”
(S&H 243:31-3) “Perfection does not animate imperfection. Inasmuch as God is good and the fount of all being, He does not produce moral or physical deformity; therefore such deformity is not real, but is illusion, the mirage of error.”
Humanly and divinely I am egoistic. I might believe that there are such things as mortal mind, malpractice, matter, etc., and could see my beliefs about them operate in my experience; but the only thing I would see operating, would be my belief, for there is in reality no mortal mind, malpractice or matter.
My purpose in treatment is to be convinced of the fact of Egoism. We must be “thoroughly persuaded.” (S&H 412:4-9) “Mentally and silently plead the case scientifically for Truth. You may vary the arguments to meet the peculiar or general symptoms of the case you treat, but be thoroughly persuaded in your own mind concerning the truth which you think or speak, and you will be the victor.”
When I reach this realization, that I experience only what I believe or know, this enables me to detect the false belief that some external cause is operating. It also enables me, when this false belief is detected, to relinquish it, and to realize that I can actually know only my true self, God’s infinite perfection manifested.
I can never see anything perfect, if I believe it is imperfect. I can never see anybody perfect, if I believe he is entertaining lies.“Jesus beheld in Science (in divine Egoism) the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals (to mortal sense).” (S&H 476:32-2)
(S&H 411:13-19) “It is recorded that once Jesus asked the name of a disease,—a disease which moderns would call dementia. The demon, or evil, replied that his name was Legion. Thereupon Jesus cast out the evil, and the insane man was changed and straightway became whole. The Scripture seems to import that Jesus caused the evil to be self-seen and so destroyed.”
(S&H 218:32-5) “When we wake to the truth of being, all disease, pain, weakness, weariness, sorrow, sin, death, will be unknown, and the mortal dream will forever cease. My method of treating fatigue applies to all bodily ailments, since Mind should be, and is, supreme, absolute, and final.”
The only pure language is in the first person: and the subject of true thought is always the Ego—I, Me, Us, We, and the derivatives of these. When I think “you” “they” “that” “those”—that is, when I think of many minds, other persons, separate substance, or independent objects other than the one consciousness, I am believing in mythology, spiritualism, poison, substance, polarity, etc. Regardless of such beliefs, the inharmony I may experience, or see, is due solely to self-deception.
I pattern Jesus’ method, and strive to see man (all men and the universe collectively) as God’s image, as my egoistic self.
I am learning that there are not other people who are hateful, sinning, entertaining lies; they are not sick, sinning, dying, dead or ignorant of God; they do not behold or experience evil or inharmony of any kind; I have been entertaining a false sense; I have believed that they do, and have seen my belief.
(S&H 220:18-21) “Mortal mind produces its own phenomena, and then charges them to something else, like a kitten glancing into the mirror at itself and thinking it sees another kitten.” Jesus said that the publican who declared himself a sinner, was more justified than the Pharisee who thanked God, that he was not as other men are. When I recognize that I am a false believer, that I suffer, or see suffering, on account of entertaining some false belief, I am enabled to relinquish the false belief. On the other hand, if I believe with the blind Pharisee, that anyone else, other than this egoistic consciousness, is entertaining some false belief, it makes me powerless to correct the false belief, and I seem to be unable to heal it. (S&H 376:6-7) “Just so is it with the greatest sin. It is the most subtle, and does its work almost self-deceived.”
(S&H 403:14-16, 27-30) “You command the situation if you understand that mortal existence is a state of self-deception and not the truth of being.” “The human mind determines the nature of a case, and the practitioner improves or injures the case in proportion to the truth or error which influences his conclusions.”
My entire environment and experience (home, textbooks, church, church members, friends, enemies, etc.), are either beliefs I entertain, or the truths I understand. I either theorize (believe) about Truth, or I understand it, and it is my concept of Truth which I see. As I detect which of my thoughts are human beliefs, and which thoughts are divine understanding, I am able to improve my experience. This process is spiritual anatomy.
(S&H 462:20-1) “Anatomy, when conceived of spiritually, is mental self-knowledge, and consists in the dissection of thoughts to discover their quality, quantity, and origin. Are thoughts divine or human? That is the important question. This branch of study is indispensable to the excision of error. The anatomy of Christian Science teaches when and how to probe the self-inflicted wounds of selfishness, malice, envy, and hate. It teaches the control of mad ambition. It unfolds the hallowed influences of unselfishness, philanthropy, spiritual love. It urges the government of the body both in health and in sickness. The Christian Scientist, through understanding mental anatomy, discerns and deals with the real cause of disease.”
There is no external evil agent, called mortal mind, operating even temporarily. It is not acting through, or as, mortals and matter; it is not causing inharmony, sin, disease, or death. My egotism, or false concept of self (the unillumined human consciousness), has only believed lies, and has seen what it believed. The truth of the situation is, that what the unillumined thought has believed to be mortal mind, is really the full manifestation of the God-consciousness, “seen through a glass darkly,” as Paul says. The human consciousness has unwittingly lied, and believed its lie, thinking it to be fact, and seeing it as fact.
Can I ever see another person’s false thinking? Do we ever see another person’s dreams? No. Neither do I see another person’s beliefs. My consciousness is egoistic, and beholds only itself, and what it thinks. Can I know anybody is sick or sinful? No. But I can know that God’s ideas are healthy, perfect, and this enables me to see them so. The knowing and the seeing take place simultaneously, not one before the other.
The false selfhood evil has, is what I theorize about it, and believe as a fact. We speak of people as Catholics, Baptists, doctors, ministers, etc., but all there is to any of these (including the one I believe hates me), is a Christian Scientist, and a scientific one. Theories, which (I believe) thousands cherish, pass like clouds that sweep the skies. I must refuse to believe the conclusions of my false theories, and correct these theories with the facts, as rapidly as possible. I believe Jesus suffered. Did he? Did the true Jesus really suffer? If I believe he suffered, he only suffered according to my belief. I have a mental conception of Jesus, and of Mrs. Eddy; they are included in my consciousness, in this Egoistic self, which I am. Any suffering, which I believe they endured, is my belief only, and I suffer from this belief as long as I believe it.
(S&H 314:19-24) “This materialism lost sight of the true Jesus; but the faithful Mary saw him, and he presented to her, more than ever before, the true idea of Life and substance. Because of mortals’ material and sinful belief, the spiritual Jesus was imperceptible to them.”
(Unity of Good 59:13-3) “To mortal thought Jesus appeared as a child, and grew to manhood, to suffer before Pilate and on Calvary, because he could reach and teach mankind only through this conformity to mortal conditions; but Soul never saw the Saviour come and go, because the divine idea is always present.” “Jesus came to rescue men from these very illusions to which he seemed to conform; from the illusion which calls sin real, and man a sinner, needing a Saviour; the illusion which calls sickness real, and man an invalid, needing a physician; the illusion that death is as real as Life. From such thoughts, mortal inventions, one and all, Christ Jesus came to save men, through ever-present and eternal good.”
(No and Yes 22:24-2) “Jesus defined devil as a mortal who is full of evil. ‘Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?’ His definition of evil indicated his ability to cast it out. An incorrect concept of the nature of evil hinders the destruction of evil.”
Were there any hating Pharisees who crucified Jesus? No. If I believed such a lie, my belief would constitute the hating Pharisees. I can know there never was any hatred, suffering, or death, and I can know this now; therefore, I cannot suffer, or see suffering; I cannot die, or see death. The fact is, that God is His own infinite Mind; and there is no other consciousness. This Mind includes noumenon and phenomenon, God and His thoughts. (Maker and I).
(Romans 1:22-25) “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.”
(2nd Thes. 2:11) “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
Salvation is individual. I must seek first this egoistic consciousness, and all good will be mine and all.
“This egoistic consciousness is within you.” This is my highest concept of treatment.