Watching Point 108
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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108 — WATCH lest you believe that, unless you go through certain scientific arguments, or study the lesson, every morning, some accident, or dreadful catastrophe might happen. Such a mistaken attitude shows an ignorance of the purpose of mental work. One does not fill his automobile with oil every morning. But he does watch the gauge, and replenish the oil when it is necessary to do so. Is divine power like an automobile which will run into something, if we are off guard for a moment?
The student should constantly strive to keep his thought balanced or adjusted on the spiritual side. Then that which emanates from his thought will be constructive and healing. If he finds that he has temporarily lost his balance on the right side, he must make a sincere effort to regain it.
The right way is to operate from an active mental standpoint of joy and trust, without fearing that unless one keeps studying, reading and repeating mental arguments all the time, until he has ground all freshness and spontaneity out of his thought, something dreadful or awful will happen. Such an erroneous conception is not very far from vain repetition, like the prayer-wheels of Tibet which the priests keep turning, with a superstitious faith that this is praying aright.
Our Leader forbids the use of formulas. When one uses a formula in his healing work, it means that he has more faith in the letter than in the Spirit. Part of our training and growth is to learn how to formulate through divine guidance, our own scientific tools, or statements, to fit each problem and then to put back of these declarations the expectancy and inspiration that makes them efficacious.
Those who use formulas not only lose the growth that comes of building their own tools, but they erroneously believe that it is the statements which they use that do the healing. In this way they neglect and overlook the need of the Spirit. A correct understanding of Christian Science rules out faith or belief in the efficacy of the letter without the Spirit. Such were vain repetition, such as the heathen use.