Immortality — 1949 Association Address
by Herbert E. Rieke
How old are you, Mr. --?
What year were you born into a state of mortality? When were you born into matter?
When were you made a mortal?
Mrs. --, how would you like to live under the rule of a despotic dictatorship, such as Russia? You wouldn’t like it?
If you do not want to be governed by Russian laws, rules, and regulations, what should you be sure not to do?
If you claim citizenship in Russia, you will be governed by their laws whether you like it or not. You may be able to hide out in the hills for awhile and avoid those laws, but eventually the secret police will catch up with you.
Just so, if you claim citizenship in a state of mortality, you are then in that state and are governed by the laws of mortality which include sickness, sin, and death. You may hide out in the hills for awhile as the result of your metaphysical work or the prayers of a practitioner, but if you accept the lie that on a certain day of a certain month of a certain year, you moved into a state of mortality, then you are in that state and you will be governed by its laws which ultimate in death.
Mr. --, suppose that a foreigner came to your home next week and told you he had come to collect from you a hundred dollars as tax to the Russian government, what would you do? Would you pay it? Why not?
Mrs. --, suppose that you had been living in the Russian section of New York City, and all your neighbors were paying a tax of one hundred dollars a year to the Russian government, because they were ignorant of the fact that they were American citizens rather than Russian citizens, would you follow suit and pay that one hundred dollar tax also? Why not?
Mr. --, suppose that you had been paying a hundred dollars a year to the Russian government for ten years through ignorance that you were a Russian rather than an American, and then someone should come along and awaken you to the fact that you did not have to pay such a tax to the Russian government because you were an American citizen rather than a Russian, would you not be grateful to such a friend? Would you go on paying the tax?
Now, every religion and philosophy on earth, except for Christian Science, teaches that you and I — everyone — live in a state of mortality. They teach that everyone is born into matter or mortality on a certain day of a certain month of a certain year. The world has accepted this lie as though it were true and has paid the taxes of suffering as a consequence.
Then Christian Science came along and exclaimed: “No, folks, this is all a lie. You are not mortals living in a state of mortality. You are all immortal living in a state of immortality, subject only to the laws and rules of immortality which produce health, holiness, and life eternal.” Is it any wonder that we are all profoundly grateful for this Comforter that has awakened us to the fact that we do not have to pay the taxes of suffering?
Last spring when we were studying the lesson on “Mortals and Immortals,” I asked my boys in Sunday School class whether they were mortals or immortals. Although they have attended our Sunday School for some time, they all answered that they were mortal. I did not correct them but proceeded to define the word mortal as “of or pertaining to death, subject to death, destined to die.” I showed them that the word came from the Latin noun “moro-mortis” which means “death.” I explained that mortality included all morbid things, such as sin, sickness, unhappiness, lack, limitation, poverty, suffering, etc. At this point one of the boys wanted to change his answer — he said he was immortal rather than mortal. I guess the state of mortality did not look to attractive to him. The other boys followed suit and changed their answers. I did not comment but turned to the first boy and asked him how old he was. He answered, “Seventeen.” The others said they were eighteen. I asked them what years they were born into matter. They answered “1932” and “1931.” “That was the time you were made into mortals?” I inquired. They replied that it was.
Then I said, “Well, listen fellows, let’s make up our mind. First you said you were mortals, then that you were immortal, and now you are telling me when you were made into mortals.” We had a thorough discussion of the subject and by the time we began the study of the lesson they all discovered that the lesson on “Mortals and Immortals” was very interesting and vital and that there was a lot they could learn on the subject. And when I asked them the next week whether they were mortal or immortal, there was no hesitation. “We are immortal,” they cried with one accord.
You may feel that this is an isolated case, that well-informed Christian Scientists would not be caught up on the subject of mortality and immortality. Well, let me tell you of an experience that happened during the past year. A prominent practitioner came up to me one day and said, “Congratulations.”
I replied, “Thanks! But what for?” “Isn’t this your birthday?” he inquired.
“No, it isn’t,” I replied. “I was never born into matter and mortality. I’m not in a state of mortality and so I do not have birthdays celebrating the day when I moved into mortality when I never moved in.” With a twinkle in my eye I asked him, “By the way, when were you born into matter and mortality? When were you made a mortal? How old are you?”
He answered meekly, “I’m ageless too.”
But something like this could not come from a member of this Association! Don’t be too sure.
A student of mine came up and congratulated me on what he thought was my birthday. You should have heard me lay him out!
Exceptions? Well, let’s have an honest confession. How many of you celebrated your birthdays during the past year? Hands, please. How many celebrated someone else’s birthday?
May I read from page 235 of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, beginning line 15 to page 236:2:
“Is God infinite? Yes. Did God make man? Yes. Did God make all that was made? He did. Is God Spirit? He is. Did infinite Spirit make that which is not spiritual? No. Who or what made matter? Matter as substance or intelligence never was made. Is mortal man a creator, is he matter or spirit? Neither one. Why? Because Spirit is God and infinite; hence there can be no other creator and no other creation. Man is but His image and likeness.
“Are you a Christian Scientist? I am. Do you adopt as truth the above statements? I do. Then why this meaningless commemoration of birthdays, since there are none.
“Had I known what was being done in time to have prevented it, that which commemorated in deed or in word what is not true, would never have entered into the history of our church buildings. Let us have no more of echoing dreams.”
Some students at a college Organization asked John Randall Dunn what he thought of birthday presents. He replied that he was very much in favor of presents. “But why,” he asked, “should you celebrate something that did not happen — a lie that we are all trying to forget?”
Now, I would like to read from page 246 of our textbook, lines 10 to 31:
“The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age. The radiant sun of virtue and truth coexists with being. Manhood is its eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun. As the physical and material, the transient sense of beauty fades, the radiance of Spirit should dawn upon the enraptured sense with bright and imperishable glories.
“Never record ages. Chronological data are no part of the vast forever. Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise. Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness.
“Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.”
Am I making too much of this point of birthdays? Let me tell you, there are thousands of Christian Scientists who are digging their own graves each day by celebrating silly old birthdays, and then they wonder why their own work or the work of some consecrated practitioner cannot lift them out of some illness.
Are you going to celebrate the day you moved into Russia, Mr. -- Why not? If you do, before long you will believe you are in the state of Russia governed by Russian laws.
Mrs. --, are you going to celebrate the day you moved into a state of mortality? If you do, before long you will be mesmerized into believing that you actually are mortal and subject to all evil; and then Christian Science won’t work for you because you are starting from a wrong premise.
Sometimes Christian Scientists are heard to say, “I don’t want to be queer; everyone is celebrating birthdays, why should not I?” Mr. --, would you be queer if you refused to claim membership in the Communist Party? Of course not! You would be queer if you claimed allegiance to a dictatorship government. Just so, it is the most sensible thing you ever did to refuse henceforth to celebrate birthdays.
Are there any questions?
Here I would like to say something in regard to having children. Mrs. -
-, would you, on the day a little one arrived in your home, give that little one over to the Russian government? Would you push it into the Russian state? Would you dedicate it to the Russian cause? Of course not!
Then when a little one comes to your home or the home of your children make certain that you do not join the crowd in seeking to push it into a state of mortality. Help it on the other hand to claim its citizenship in the state of immortality where it really abides. You remember what was brought out in class, that you could have as many children as you want, but don’t you dare have material, mortal children – in other words, don’t you dare think of the children as mortal, material creatures or you are helping to dig their graves. May I here read from page 463, lines five to twenty, of our textbook:
“Teacher and student should also be familiar with the obstetrics taught by this Science. To attend properly the birth of the new child, or divine idea, you should so detach mortal thought from its material conceptions, that the birth will be natural and safe. Though gathering new energy, this idea cannot injure its useful surroundings in the travail of spiritual birth. A spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive. The new idea, conceived and born of Truth and Love, is clad in white garments. Its beginning will be meek, its growth sturdy, and its maturity undecaying. When this new birth takes place, the Christian Science infant is born of the Spirit, born of God, and can cause the mother no more suffering. By this we know that Truth is here and has fulfilled its perfect work.”
That is the way our Leader thought. Let us do the same. Let there be no condemnation of those who have children. Nothing is more malicious. Do not go in the damning business, pushing people into a state of mortality. Be in the blessing business helping everyone to see that he lives, moves, and has his being in God, immortality.
Mr. --, what were you like in the year 1870? Did you exist at that time? Were you alive? What were you like in 1600? 30 A.D.? 2000 B.C.? Oh, you were just like God? What were you like the day you were born? What happened? What were you like the day after you were born? What were you like in 1916? What will you be like in 1955, 1975, 2075, 5000 A.D.?
When you are thinking this way you are opening the doors for the Christ to come in and sup with you, and you with him, for the Christ is the spiritual, the immortal idea of being. When you celebrate birthdays, count ages and remember the day you were born into matter and mortality, you are slamming the door of your thought on the Christ, the immortal idea of existence, your Saviour; and you are opening the door of your thought for the experience of sin, disease, and eventually, death.
You never find Jesus celebrating the day he was born into matter and mortality, but you find him denying everything that would suggest he was a mortal. When his mother and brothers were without and were calling for him, possibly seeking to dissuade him from his radical stand for Truth, you remember his comment: “Who is my mother, and who are my brethren, but they that do the will of my heavenly Father.” Again, he said that we should call no man on earth our father for one is our Father which is in heaven.
When Mary Magdalene wanted to touch him as a mortal, he said, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father which is in heaven; but go and tell my brethren that I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
You remember Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus when he brought out that the only true birth is the spiritual birth. But do you remember how he wound up that discussion? “And no man hath ascended up into heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven.”
Mr. --, do you want to ascend up into heaven, that is, find eternal harmony? Then you must see yourself already and always as the perfect child of God in eternal harmony. To succeed along this line you must deny material birth.
The Bible says that Jesus was a priest after the order of Melchisedec and not after the order of Levi. Hear what the book of Hebrews has to say on this; “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; - first being by interpretation King of righteousness and after that also King of Salem, which is King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life; but made like unto the son of God, abideth a priest continually.”
If we hope to accomplish very much in Christian Science, we, too, must realize that we are not mortals, priests after the order of Levi, but priests after the order of Melchisedec — “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life; but made like unto the son of God.”
If you see yourself as a mortal, having begun a few years ago, you cannot do very good healing work in Christian Science. But if you identify yourself with the Eternal, if you are a “priest after the order of Melchisedec,” there is no limit to your accomplishment.
On page 189 of Miscellaneous Writings Mrs. Eddy writes: “The meek Nazarene’s steadfast and true knowledge of pre-existence, of the nature and inseparability of God and man, made him mighty.”
Mrs. --, do you want to be mighty as Jesus was mighty? Then what must you do? You, too, must claim “true knowledge of pre-existence.” You must stop thinking of yourself as having started at mortal birth.
One of the questions asked this year is “Why can’t we remember what went on before birth? How would you answer that Mr. -- There is only one answer: “We can!” And we must stop mesmerizing ourselves with the hypnotism of mortality by saying “I can’t remember anything prior to 1890.” If we indulge in such self-hypnosis, ignorance of pre-existence will seem to prevail. But if we declare for our immortality, we shall have “true knowledge of pre-existence.”
On page 181 of Miscellaneous Writings our Leader points out that “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.”
Mrs. --, how does Mrs. Eddy say here that we can lose a sense of mortality?
(Aside about staying awake)
Mr. --, have you done very much in the way of getting acquainted with your spiritual pre-existence as God’s child? Have you ever thought much about pre-existence? Well, we are going to open the doors and peer into pre-existence this afternoon. We must do it in order to work out our full salvation.
Mrs. --, do you believe, or does Christian Science teach that there was a material state of existence before that which is called birth?
Of course not! On page 173 of Miscellaneous Writings, Mrs. Eddy writes: “And must not man have pre-existed in the All and Only?” Before that which is called birth, man lived, moved, and had his being in the perfect Mind. He lived in a state of immortality — but for the same reason that he lives in this state of immortality now and forever.
On page 47 of Miscellaneous Writings we read: “This great Truth does not destroy but substantiates man’s identity, — together with his immortality and preexistence, or his spiritual coexistence with his Maker.” I like that word coexistence better than pre-existence, don’t you? Pre-existence rather indicates that there might be an event called human birth. Pre-existence would then be that which took place before birth. But if there is no human birth then there really cannot be any pre-existence. There can only be coexistence with God.
In the book of Job the question is asked: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Mr. --, will you please answer that question? Where were you when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Mrs. --, where were you when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Mr. --, where were you when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
You can see that if you answer that you were not there, you are virtually declaring that you began at so-called birth, and you are thus claiming citizenship in that dictatorial state of mortality. Don’t you do it!
Mrs. --, where were you when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Is such teaching radical? Yes, but remember that our Leader says (S&H 167:30): “Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized.” It is only as you are radical in the realization that you were never born into matter and mortality and that you have existed forever in and of God that you can realize the full healing power of Truth.
Mr. --, where were you when “all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
Were you there? Were you there as a mortal?
Of course not! For you are not a mortal now and never were mortal. The whole experience of the children of Israel was really a mental unfoldment. The divine Mind was manifesting itself in power, love, and omnipresence. Were you with and in that divine Mind at that time? If not, where were you?
You can see that the so-called limited mortal mind would cry “No, No,” but the immortal Mind, divine Truth, declares that you are forever coexistent with God. Where God was, is, and will be, you are right there. If God, divine Love, was with the children of Israel, you, the idea of God, were there too.
Was it not thinking along this line that enabled Jesus to realize “Before Abraham was, I am?”
Mrs. --, did Jesus as a mortal exist prior to Abraham? Of course not, for Jesus never existed in a state of mortality at any time. Our Leader says, “He never left heaven for earth.” Jesus as the Son of God was right there when all the sons of God shouted for joy. You, too, each and every one of you, were there, for please note that word “all.” The Bible says that “all” the sons of God shouted for joy.”
Mr. --, where were you when Moses led the children of Israel through the Red Sea?
Or look at it this way — you can read the story of the experience of the children of Israel, how they were led triumphantly through the Red Sea, how they were fed with manna from heaven, how the water flowed from the rock, and you can become so absorbed in the mental unfoldment of these wonderful events that it seems as though you were right there experiencing these things with the children of Israel. You can even feel the spray of water as you walk through the Red Sea. You can hear the clank of chariot wheels. You can taste the manna from heaven. As you read and enjoy the unfoldment of these events, you see that it is all just a mental experience. Well, what do you suppose it was centuries ago? Only a mental experience for them. It was not a material event for there never was any matter. It was just an unfoldment of Mind.
On page 492 of the textbook our Leader says: “For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence. In reality there is no other existence, since Life cannot be united to its unlikeness, mortality.” Make sure that you do not think in terms of two kinds of existence, mental and physical. The children of Israel lived in Mind. You live in Mind. It is the only place anyone ever lived; and since Mind is eternal, it knows no time.
If when you read these beautiful experiences in the Bible you think of them as material events of long ago, you will have a very detached sense in regard to the whole unfoldment. It could not be very real to you. But if you see the event as mental unfoldment and see yourself as right there in that unfoldment, the whole experience will be very vivid and substantial to you and you too will learn the rich spiritual lessons that were learned by Moses, the prophets, and the children of Israel.
How about the so-called events of evil? Mrs. --, were you there too? No, because God, Mind, is not in them. We read that God was not in the whirlwind, and since you are coexistent with God you can only be where God, divine perfection, is forever manifested.
Are there any questions?
You remember that kindly old captain of Caesar’s band up at Capernaum, in charge of the troops of Capernaum? You recall how generously he contributed to the building of the synagogue? Remember that hot summer day when his top-sergeant had some kind of a stroke, and how we all urged him to see the Master? I can still hear him talking to Jesus, can’t you?
Remember how the captain told the Master about discipline in the Roman Army? How when he told a certain soldier to come, he came, and when he told another to go how he went? Remember how he explained to Jesus the construction of the organization of the Roman Army? How when he gave orders to his men, he knew he had the full support of the whole Roman government in back of him? Then you remember how he told Jesus he thought it must be somewhat the same with him? He saw Jesus as an officer serving under God so that when he told sickness to go it would have to go. And when he told health to be present, it would have to be there because he had the complete authority of God in back of all his orders? You remember, don’t you? We can still see Jesus’ smile of satisfaction when he said, “I have not seen so great a faith, no not in Israel.” Remember how we all just knew with absolute assurance that the top-sergeant would be O.K.? And he was, too!
Mrs. --, do you remember that wonderful day?
Or do you remember the time we all had been listening to Jesus for three days. How he could hold his audience! None of us wanted to leave. We knew we would miss something wonderful if we did. Recall all those wonderful healings that took place during those three days. Is it any wonder that the multitude came to him?
Then do you remember when he was through speaking he told his disciples to feed us before we went home because he did not want us to faint on the way? How considerate and compassionate he was about everything! I can still see Thomas all worked up about Jesus’ request that we be fed. Remember how the disciples told him they had only seven loaves and a few small fishes. But Jesus was so grateful for the good already at hand that he looked up to heaven and thanked God. Then how lovingly he blessed the food at hand. We all knew that we would be fed. Remember how the disciples began to divide the food and the more they divided, the more they seemed to have? We could not help but think about the Shunammite woman of long ago whose barrel of meal did not waste away as she used it to feed Elijah and herself and her son. We all realized that something wonderful was happening, but we did not know how wonderful it was until we took up the twelve basketsful of food left over. Remember how Jesus told us not to waste it but rather go down to the village and share it with others? Oh, what a day that was!
Mrs. --, were you there that day?
Is there something within you, in all of you, that rebels at the idea of having been with Jesus on the shore of Galilee? I will tell you what that is. It is mortality arguing for itself. It is what Mrs. Eddy calls animal magnetism, a belief in a mind apart from God. On page 39 of Unity of Good Mrs. Eddy writes; “That selfhood is false which opposes itself to God, claims another father, and denies spiritual sonship . . .”
Mrs. --, where wast thou when all the sons of God shouted for joy? Were you there? You remember the day Jesus took us up into the mountain? He had been talking to us along the lines of immortality, that there is no birth and no death, that man lives in a state of eternal Life. (Luke 9:1) Remember how light and free and happy we all felt? And then suddenly Jesus was transfigured before us. We did not see him as a material, mortal creature at all. We could see him truly in that state of eternity. And, behold, it was so real to us that there was Moses and Elias too talking with Jesus. As material creatures? Of course not! The whole argument of matter and mortality slipped away for a few moments and we saw them all three in that one eternal state of Life which knows no birth and no death. Remember how impressed we were? So much so that we wanted to build three temples for them. How clearly we had glimpsed the fact that man is co-existent with the Eternal! Remember how we came down from the mountain and Jesus told us to be wise in relating the event for some people might not understand.
Were you along that day, Mrs. --?
Don’t be a mortal living in a state of mortality. Be an immortal living in this glorious state of immortality, enjoying everything immortal, beautiful, good, and true. Live in that eternal Mind that knows no beginning and no end, no birth and no death. Live in that perfect Life that exists through all time. It is eternity itself. In no other way can you demonstrate the infinite capacities of healing in Christian Science.
Reading the Bible intelligently with the true imagination and with a sincere desire for all of the spiritual interpretation inspiration and lessons to be learned therefrom, will extend your atmosphere of thought. You will learn to see yourself not as a mortal living a few decades in the twentieth century, but as an immortal living in an eternal universe with every idea that is beautiful, good and true. Such a correct spiritual, eternal, immortal sense of things will eliminate from your thought any fear of death — yea, every belief in death and the accompanying experience of sickness and sin. Truly, be “a priest after the order of Melchisedec without father or mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God.”
Mr. --, do you remember in 1903 when Mrs. Eddy addressed us from her balcony? It was a memorable occasion, wasn’t it? Think of that great crowd on her lawn. I can still see her coming out on the balcony, looking down at all of us with such compassion and love. Do you remember the moment of silence before she spoke?
And then when she stretched out her hands to us she seemed to say, “All that I have I give unto thee.” As she spoke all of us could hear her beautiful voice without effort: “Welcome home! To your home in my heart! Welcome to Pleasant View, but not to varying views. I would present a gift to you today, only that this gift is already yours. God hath given it to all mankind. It is His coin, His currency; it has His image and superscription. This gift is a passage of Scripture; it is my sacred motto, and it reads thus (then you will remember how beautifully she read from the Scriptures):
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and he shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”
Then you remember how she looked over that great crowd as she continued: “Beloved, some of you have come long distances to kneel with us in sacred silence in blest communion — unity of faith, understanding, prayer, and praise – and return in joy, bearing your sheaves with you. In parting I repeat to these dear members of my church: Trust in Truth and have no other trusts.”
Today is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.’”
Do you remember Mrs. --, how we each felt that she was talking directly to us, individually?
Were you there, Mr. --?
We ought to read one biography of Mrs. Eddy each year. There are six authorized volumes: Sibyl Wilbur’s, Powell’s, Ramsey’s, Julia Johnston’s, Tomlinson’s, and Mrs. Eddy’s own autobiography in Retrospection and Introspection. The next time you read one of these biographies, be right there throughout the story. It will then mean much more to you. Be a companion in Mrs. Eddy’s mental household. Ride in her carriage with her and see the things she saw. Speak to those she spoke to. Sit with her on Red Rock while the poem “O’er Waiting Harpstrings” unfolds. Attend her last class in 1898. You know you almost can for many things have been written about that class both in her biographies and in recent articles in the Journal. It is not necessary for you to be excluded from anything good that happened in the spiritual unfoldments of our Leader.
Many great thinkers of the past have thought about what we have been discussing during the past half hour — pre-existence or the immortal co- existence of man with God. No doubt some of you will remember the poem written by William Wordsworth, an Ode — “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” I would like to read certain portions of that poem: ////////// signifies omitted portions (ed.)
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem Appareled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;-
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day.
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The Rainbow comes and goes, And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare, Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair; The sunshine is a glorious birth; But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting, And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,
And by the vision splendid Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day.
And no unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can
To make her Foster-child, her inmate Man, Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.
Hence in a season of calm weather Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young Lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound!
We in thought will join your throng, Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day Feel the gladness of the May!
What through the radiance which was once so bright Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be.
Mrs. --, where were you two thousand years ago?
Mr. --, how old are you? When were you born? When did you move into the state of mortality? Where were you two thousand years ago? Where are you now? What were you like two thousand years ago? What are you like now?
Are there any questions?
Now let us take us take a look in the other direction — the future. Death is just as much a substanceless bubble as is that which is called birth. Mr. Seeley once told us never to wait for that which will never come. You are never going to die. You just don’t know how. You might just as well get used to the idea of living forever because that is what you are going to do.
Mr. --, when are you going to move out of Russia? Why are you not going to move out? If you go around talking about the time when you are going to move out of Russia, what would it show about your belief about where you now live?
Mr. --, when are you going to move out of a state of mortality? In other words, when are you going to die? If you think or talk about dying, what state of being are you identifying yourself with?
Mrs. --, when are you going to die? Why?
Mrs. --, when are you going to move out of Russia? Why?
Mrs. --, when are you going to move out of a state of mortality? Never, you say? You mean you are going to remain in a state of mortality forever? Of course not!
Now, what is true about you is true about all. No one ever died. Will you tell us why, Mrs. --? Did God ever create a mortal? Is there any such thing as a state of mortality? Can anyone then move out of such a state when no one was ever in it?
Some of you have possibly seen the play or movie called “Death Takes a Holiday.” The central idea of the play is that for several months death takes a holiday and no one can die. There are accidents, attempts at suicide, and murder, but everyone miraculously recovers.
Let us accept this basic truth which Christian Science teaches that death is on an eternal holiday. It has no presence, no power, no existence.
Death is spoken of in the Bible as the last enemy to be overcome. It therefore is not an eternal reality. Death is an error, a mistake, and it is never natural. Remember this, that you cannot demonstrate error.
Mrs. --, will you please demonstrate the mathematical error that two plus two is five? It cannot be done. Death is just as much an error as two plus two equal five.
Mr. --, will you please demonstrate death for the class? You cannot demonstrate it. It is absolutely impossible. You can demonstrate Truth. You can demonstrate Life, but never death. It is not something to be manifested or experienced. It is only a lie to be denied and explained away with the truth that God is Life and God is All-in-all, so all is Life and there is no death.
Birth and death are wrapped up in the same bundle. If you believe in birth you believe in death, and vice versa. If you moved into a state of mortality on a certain day of a certain month of a certain year then you can be quite certain that you will move out of the state of mortality on a certain day of a certain month of a certain year. But what a lie this all is, for man is, was, and forever will be a resident of the state of immortality.
Mr. --, are you afraid of death? Why not?
Mrs. --, do you think that death will improve your experience or that of anyone else?
Mrs. --, would you like to stay in this vale of tears forever? Thank you, I am glad to know that you are not in a vale of tears.
Mrs. --, when are you going to move out of this state of mortality? Mrs. --, when are you going to move out of this state of mortality? May I here read from Unity of Good, page 37, lines 6 to 15:
“Our Master said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Then God and heaven, or Life, are present, and death is not the real stepping-stone to Life and happiness. They are now and here; and a change in human consciousness, from sin to holiness, would reveal this wonder of being. Because God is ever present, no boundary of time can separate us from Him and the heaven of His presence; and because God is Life, all Life is eternal.
Is it unchristian to believe there is no death? Not unless it be a sin to believe that God is Life and All-in-all.”
You can see from these statements of our Leader that she regarded death as nothingness because she honored God, Life, as infinite, All-in-all.
Here let us give consideration to an alias “passing on.” Some people think they are being quite scientific in the use of this phrase. They do not believe in death but they believe in passing on. To all intents and purposes these words mean the same thing.
Possibly you have heard the story of the two Christian Science boys who were ten minutes late to Sunday School. The teacher inquired as to why they were late. They replied that they had stopped to see a “passed on” dog.
Mrs. --, when are you going to pass on?
Mr. --, when are you going to pass on out of this state of Russia? Are any of you going to pass on? Why not?
This year there were several questions sent in on the subject of life insurance. In Powell’s “Life of Mrs. Eddy,” page 217, we read: “Seldom could death have been in Mrs. Eddy’s thought. When, on August 14, 1907, the ‘Next Friends’ suit precipitated upon Pleasant View a group of unwelcome visitors as ill at ease as they were glad to last to bring their curious visit to a close, one of them referred to life insurance, Mrs. Eddy promptly answered, ‘God insures my life.’”
God is Life, the one and only Life. Could you insure God? What sort of a policy do you suppose we ought to take out on God, Life eternal? How many thousands should we spend on it? No, you cannot insure Life, but eternal Life insures you as its idea; assures you that you will forever manifest Life eternal; that you will live forever.
I do not believe Enoch would ever have ascended if he had been carrying Life insurance policies. Neither would Elijah or Christ Jesus. They would have indicated by their very action that they thought of death as an actuality, that they expected to die sometime. By such action they would have indicated that they lived in a state of mortality; and while entertaining such thoughts it would be difficult to see completely that life eternal which knows no death.
Mrs. --, if you knew of a surety that you were never going to die or pass on, would you pay out $300.00 each year on an insurance policy?
But if you believe you are mortal, if you bless the day you were born into matter, if you are celebrating birthdays, I have a suggestion to make. Please take out as much life insurance as you can afford for it is a good gamble. Your family will be able to make good use of it because in belief you are digging your own grave…….and while you are at it, I would suggest that you buy a good cemetery plot and plan your own funeral service.
Here let me interpose a word of caution. Don’t argue with other Christian Scientists on the subject of life insurance, and especially with new students of Science. Many have not grasped the facts of immortality as we are discussing them today. Let them work out their own salvation while you work out yours. Until people have grasped the fact of immortality, it might be a better belief for a father of four or five children to carry life insurance — at least until he has thoroughly awakened to the facts of immortality as taught in Christian Science.
But you remember this simple fact that neither your security nor the security of your family is to be found in anything material. It will not be found in life insurance, accident policies, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, or government social security. Your security and the security of your wife and family is to be found only in the divine Mind and the productive ideas that proceed from this Mind. Be sure that both you and your family are regularly thinking along these lines.
Now we come to the subject of the hereafter. What is it like there? Can we know with any certainty about the state of affairs in the hereafter? We certainly can! Thanks to Christian Science, the hereafter is no longer a mystery. You can describe it with more certainty than a little boy can describe an apple or a kite.
Mrs. --, will you please describe the hereafter?
You know exactly what hereafter is like. It is like a state of eternal bliss where Love reigns supreme. In the hereafter no one ever makes any mistakes. There are no lies, no error, all is Truth and the manifestation thereof. In the hereafter everything is beautiful, harmonious, happy and free, full of the radiance of Soul. In the hereafter divine law, or Principle reigns supreme and everyone is joyously obedient to this Principle. In the hereafter people live, and life abundantly, with never any fear of death or the cessation of right activity. In the hereafter no one ever grows old, they only grow Godlike. In the hereafter divine Mind is supreme and there is no mortal mind to harass, disturb, or even tempt the individuals who reside therein. The hereafter is certainly a perfect spiritual state of being wherein there is no matter nor even an argument of limitation.
I love the hereafter and the thought of the hereafter, and we know exactly what it is like. On page 374 of the textbook Mrs. Eddy has written: “You confess to ignorance of the future and incapacity to preserve your own existence, and this belief helps rather than hinders disease.” But we are not going to confess ignorance of the future, are we? We know exactly what the hereafter is like.
Mrs. --, how do we know that the hereafter is such a glorious, beautiful, harmonious state of being?
Of course, because that is just the way existence is here, and just the way it was a million years ago for all of us. May I again quote our Leader, page 492 of the textbook? “For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence. In reality there is no other existence, since Life cannot be united to its unlikeness, mortality.” For “right reasoning” about yesterday, the here or hereafter, you can only think of it as spiritual existence. Any other reasoning is false.
Your great grandmother, your mother, your father, your loved ones, your sweetheart, your child, are definitely and positively in heaven, that perfect, harmonious state of being. They are not in a sort of purgatory where they are working out of error into Truth, out of sickness into health. Christian Science will have none of false theology’s purgatory. The kingdom of heaven is at hand and the kingdom of God is within you here and now. That same kingdom of heaven is at hand for all your loved ones here or there. And that kingdom of infinite good is within their experience now and forever. Any other reasoning is false or wrong reasoning, as Mrs. Eddy has indicated from the quotation just given you.
Mrs. --, are these statements in conflict with our Leader’s statement on page 290 and 201 of the textbook? For instance, “‘In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.’ So we read in Ecclesiastes. This text has been transformed into the popular proverb, ‘As the tree falls, so it must lie.’ As man falleth asleep, so shall he awake. As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change.” What our Leader is saying is that death does not change anything. It neither makes things better or worse, for all is in reality perfect now and forever.
On page 290 she writes: “If the change called death destroyed the belief in sin, sickness, and death, happiness would be won at the moment of dissolution, and be forever permanent; but this is not so. Perfection is gained only by perfection.” The only way to find heaven is to embrace the perfect Principle of being, God. You can never find heaven, harmony, by embracing death, the illusion.
Let us take an example. Mrs. --, you have a patient. Will you be seeing this patient as a mortal working out of a mortal claim of sin and sickness? How will you be seeing this patient? In what state of being? Now supposing the report should come to you that the patient has passed on. How would you think then of the patient? In what state of being is he?
Mrs. Eddy writes (S&H 290:20)” “They who are unrighteous shall be unrighteous still, until in divine Science Christ, Truth, removes all ignorance and sin.”
Mrs. --, if you have an unrighteous patient and he should pass on, what will he be like over there?
Your treatment is the operation of the Christ, Truth, in divine Science and it is the task of your prayer to remove all ignorance and sin now and forever by recognizing God as All-in-all.
Mrs. --, a member of your church suffers a great deal from cancer and finally passes on. Will death relieve him of his pain and suffering?
Be sure you put it right. Christ, Truth, removes all suffering and sin and death do not have any power to do anything.
Mrs. --, would it be correct to comment: “Now he is peaceful and at rest”? What would you mean?
On page 2 of Unity of Good our Leader says: “According to this same rule, in divine Science, the dying — if they die in the Lord — awake from a sense of death to a sense of Life in Christ, with a knowledge of Truth and Love beyond what they possessed before; because their lives have grown so far toward the stature of manhood in Christ Jesus, that they are ready for a spiritual transfiguration, through their affections and understanding.” Don’t you dare see your patient here or there as anywhere except as “in the Lord.”
Mr. --, when someone passes on, what happens?
Mrs. --, they say that Mrs. Eddy passed on December 3, 1910. What was she like on December 2, 1910? What was she like December 4, 1910? Where did she go? What happened to her?
That is the way to do it. Do not give death a leg to stand on. Do not honor it as something. See death as powerless, absent, nothingness. You will have to do this sometime, you might just as well do a good job of it today.
Mrs. --, do you believe in ghosts? How much power do they have? What do they do to people? Where are they?
Mrs. --, do you believe in death? How much power does it have? What does death do to people? What does death do to those who are left behind? Where is death?
Let us here face another fact that death is not real to the one whom we say has passed on. On page 297 of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany our Leader says: “. . . the Christian Scientist who believes that he dies, gains a rich blessing of disbelief in death, and a higher realization of heaven.”
In a line previous she called death a “bauble of belief.” Now a bauble is a worthless showy trinket and I would not be surprised if it does not have the same root as the word “bubble.” Death has less substance, less reality than an empty soap bubble.
On page 58 of Miscellaneous Writings our Leader says: “Waking from a dream, one learns its unreality; then it has no power over one. Waking from the dream of death, proves to him who thought he died that it was a dream, and that he did not die; then he learns that consumption did not kill him.” Death is not in the consciousness of the one who we say has passed on and it is our joyous privilege through the application of Christian Science to prove by scientific reasoning that death is not in our consciousness, for God, eternal Life, is the one and only Mind.
On page 297 of The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany our Leader says: “My beloved Edward A. Kimball, whose clear, correct teaching of Christian Science has been and is an inspiration to the whole field, is here now as veritably as when he visited me a year ago.” Mr. Kimball had not gone anywhere. Then she goes on to say: “If we would awaken to this recognition, we should see him here and realize that he never died; thus demonstrating the fundamental truth of Christian Science.”
Mrs. --, does Mrs. Eddy mean that we would awaken to the recognition of Mr. Kimball as a mortal? By no means! Recognizing him as a mortal is the sentence of death itself. She certainly means that if we would awaken to the recognition of Mr. Kimball as an immortal, we should see him here. As a mortal? God forbid! But as an immortal. And we would then see clearly that he did not die, for he is, was, and forever will be in that state of immortality. Remember this fact — that the belief in death is not to be found in the consciousness of one who passes on. It is only in our limited material thinking.
Great thinkers have discerned the fact that death only seems real to those left behind, and is not in the experience of those whom we say have passed on. Here I would like to read a few passages from a poem entitled “The Sensitive Plant.” In this poem Shelley describes a beautiful garden full of every kind of lovely flowers. In symbolic language he brings out that there is a divine motivating principle behind all this beauty called “the Spirit of Love;”
“A Sensitive Plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew, And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light, And closed them beneath the kisses of Night.
“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
Shelly goes on telling about all the beauty, fragrance and loveliness in this garden. Here is a lovely portion:
“Broad water-lilies lay tremulously, And starry river-buds glimmered by,
And around them the soft stream did glide and dance With a motion of sweet sound and radiance.”
After a beautiful description of the garden, Shelley, in his symbolic way, seeks to explain the cause or reason for all of this beauty and harmony:
“She lifted their heads with her tender hands, And sustained them with rods and osierbands; If the flowers had been her own infants, she Could never have nursed them more tenderly.”
In seeking to explain autumn and the passing away of the lovely things in the garden, Shelley has the lady pass on. In his symbolic way he shows us what happens when we forget that the motivating power of the universe is Love. One by one the plants die as autumn comes on and the cold of winter covers the ground. But hear this beautiful conclusion:
“Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that Which within its boughs like a spirit sat, Ere its outward form had known decay, Now felt this change, I cannot say.
“Whether that lady’s gentle mind,
No longer with the form combined Which scattered love as stars do light, Found sadness, where it left delight,
“I dare not guess; but in this life
Of error ignorance, and strife,
Where nothing is, but all things seem, And we the shadows of the dream,
“It is a modest creed, and yet
Pleasant if one considers it,
To own that death itself must be, Like all the rest, a mockery.
“That garden sweet, that lady fair, And all sweet shapes and odors there, In truth have never passed away:
‘Tis we, ‘tis ours, are changed; not they,
“For love, and beauty, and delight,
There is no death nor change: their might Exceeds our organs, which endure
No light, being themselves obscure.”
The divine motivating Principle of Being, Spirit or Life, and its idea, never pass away. They never change. It is only a false material sense, which does not behold reality, where this would seem to take place. Thanks to Christian Science the world is beginning to put off the teaching of false theology of the reality of evil, sickness, sin and death, and is beginning to entertain that spiritual sense of things which sees reality as changeless, forever present and perfect.
Sometimes the false human sense would say that a loved one or a patient has passed on. In such a case Mr. --, what would you do?
That is correct; we must vigorously deny it. Remember that nothing has happened. Your loved one has not gone anywhere. All you are faced with is a belief that he has no control over his body — that is, your concept of his body. It is not true. Man is forever given dominion over all things. Don’t give up just because false sense would say he has stopped breathing, and the heart has stopped beating. They can start up again just as easily as they stopped. Just because a man falls asleep and closes his eyes and does not move a muscle, you do not get scared that he will not awaken again, open his eyes and move about. In the same way, you must not be afraid of death; it has no power over your loved one or patient.
You probably remember the experience Mrs. Eddy had when Calvin Fry passed on. She shook him, called him and told him that he must awaken because his work was not finished. I’m sure Mrs. Eddy expected him to respond. She was not trying to raise Calvin Fry from the dead; she was doing it by realizing that Calvin Fry had not died because he did not know how. You remember her statement on page 75 of the textbook: “Jesus restored Lazarus by the understanding that Lazarus had never died, not by an admission that his body and died and then lived again. Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body and he could not have resuscitated it.”
Remember that it is no harder to raise the dead than it is to heal a cold, or stop smoking. The very same Principle is involved. As soon as you stop believing that it is necessary or natural to have a cold, you will no longer have one. As soon as you take your stand that you don’t believe in smoking because man has been given dominion, you won’t smoke anymore. As soon as you stop believing in the necessity of death, it will have no dominion over you and you can raise the dead. Don’t think of it as a difficult task. Paul said: “Why should it be thought a thing incredible among you that God should raise the dead?” (Acts 26:8)
Mrs. --, could you raise the dead? What would you have to know?
Our Leader says further on page 75: “When you can waken yourself or others out of the belief that all must die, you can then exercise Jesus’ spiritual power to reproduce the presence of those who have thought they died, — but not otherwise.”
Mrs. --, do you think all of us are going to have to die sometime? Mrs. --, do you have power to raise the dead?
When confronted with such a case, do not personalize the situation, repudiate death, — specifically the belief that everyone has to die sometime. Know that your patient can’t move out of the state of mortality for he was never in it — and then it is easy.
Remember also that you often have to uplift the thought of the family and friends. You remember that Jesus began to break the mesmerism by saying, “The maid is not dead but sleepeth.” He did not care whether they laughed at him. He knew there was no death there, because eternal Life fills all space. You recall at the grave of Lazarus he said, “Loose him and let him go.”
What did he mean Mrs. --?
Remember also that the dead have been raised many times through Christian Science. Even the medical profession is learning that it does not need to give up when the pulse stops. Possibly some of you will recall reading during the past year about the doctor in California who brought back his patient, who had been out fifteen minutes, by breaking his arm. Rather rough treatment, but the news story said it worked. You see, the doctor did not believe the patient had gone anywhere. The possibility of Life had not departed.
Recently I heard of an outstanding demonstration in Science along this line. A practitioner was away from her city addressing an association. Word came to her that a companion had passed on in her home. She told them to do nothing, not to call the undertaker until she got there. It was some four or five hours before she arrived. Her companion lived again.
So do not give up easily. Remember that one simple calm realization that God is Life and God is all will do the work.
If your realization of the truth does not appear to be equal to breaking the mesmerism that death is a powerful force that does something, do not be discouraged. Be grateful that through your work you are able to break some of the mesmerism.
Columbus and other thinkers did not break in a day all the mesmerism that the earth was flat. But as the result of their pioneer work, the lie about the shape of the earth was finally destroyed in the thought of the masses.
Because we are faithful in denying sin, sickness and death, the time will finally come when all men will acknowledge the allness of God, eternal Life.
Though you may not have been able to reproduce the presence of those who have thought they died, remember you can do a lot of good through your right thinking. You can help others to see that nothing evil has happened. The loved one was a manifestation of intelligence, kindness, friendliness. You can know that neither God nor his manifestation has changed one iota.
If we identify our loved one as a mortal material creature, we will have a deep sense of loss and grief; but if we stay with the truth that he is the perfect reflection of the one eternal Life, we can courageously and intelligently see that nothing has happened. Our loved one has not gone anywhere; he has just learned a rich lesson of disbelief in death, that is all. Good can never come to an end, just as it can have no beginning. Good is eternal because it is God.
Remember that our loved one has not gone anywhere, neither to a far off planet nor into a mysterious state of being called the hereafter. Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had traveled far in time or space, or consciousness, he would not have cried out to him, “Lazarus come forth.” Lazarus must have been around in hearing distance.
Mrs. --, do you think that those who pass on sit down in a sort of eternal rest?
For a busy mother and housewife, that may sometime almost seem like heaven. But it would not be. Only through divine activity do we really find heaven or eternal harmony. Remember that your loved one is going on rendering service to others. He has found new opportunities of helpfulness, not because of the experience of death but because of the Christ consciousness which is ever with man.
Mrs. --, do you have difficulty in seeing that your loved ones have not gone anywhere?
This illustration has been helpful to me. Right in this room there are thousands of radio messages. You cannot see, feel, smell, taste, or even hear them. But you do not doubt their presence. All that is needed is a sensitive instrument with which to tune in on the proper wave length. When we tune from one wave length to another, the messages of the first setting no longer come to us even though the possibility is always right there. And so when our loved ones pass from our sight and we long for the voice that is still, we can see that they and we are just tuned in on different wave lengths — that is all. And you cannot successfully be tuned in on two wavelengths at the same time.
To become a little more modern, right here in this room are a number of television possibilities. You cannot see anything, but you know that right here in this very space there could be a picture if we brought in a television set. In fact, right in this space there are a number of picture possibilities, but we can only tune in on one of them at a time.
You know you do not have to go to the ball park anymore to see the ball game. The game is brought right into your living room, with no danger of breaking windows either.
What takes place at the ball park? There is a series of images, patterns of light and dark; there is also a series of sounds of different frequency. And these patterns of light and sound are brought instantly into your home. But you can get only one game at a time. You cannot see the Giants and the Yanks play at the same time, for they are on different wave lengths.
Now when a loved one passes on, he has not gone anywhere. The mental dial of belief has been turned a trifle, and he is on another wave length from ours — that is all. It is as though Joe DiMaggio of the Yanks left that ball club to go over and play with the Giants. While we are tuned in to watch the Yanks, we would say, “He is gone.” But he is just on another wavelength — that’s all. He is still playing ball.
You and I, this entire Association, are to be found on a certain wave length. Our loved one is on another screening. This Association could be televised and be everywhere. The activity of our loved one could be televised and be everywhere. We could not see them, and neither could they recognize us although we filled the same space, because we are on different mental wavelengths.
The spiritual fact is this: that since they are divine ideas, they live in divine Mind, and since we are divine ideas, we too live in this same Mind which is omnipresent.
The practical nature of these facts of Christian Science is to be illustrated in the following experience: A husband passed on leaving a wife and two children. They were good Scientists and immediately responded to the Truth and realized that nothing had happened. They saw that all the compassion and kindness of their loved one was still with them. All the spiritual qualities he had ever reflected were right there to comfort and reassure them. Our Leader says on page 72 of Science and Health: “In Science, individual good derived from God, the infinite All-in-all, may flow from the departed to mortals . . .” The mother said, “Yes, I can see that all his good thoughts can flow to us, but how about the fine support he has always given me and the children? That is gone.” We helped her to see that support is not a personal thing. None of the husband qualities of the heavenly Father has passed away. God, divine Love, supports each and every idea of Mind in a bountiful manner. Death could not change this divine fact. It was only several days later that a source of supply came to this woman which was exactly equal to her husband’s former income. God was truly manifesting His love and support, and this woman was keeping her windows and doors wide open to make sure that the false belief of the power of death could not shut her out from the divine possibilities of harmony and supply.
In one of her poems Mrs. Eddy brings out very clearly that those who have passed on are vitally interested in the welfare of us here. She has her mother say to her husband as they meet in the hereafter:
“Bearest thou no tidings from our loved on earth?”
And Mrs. Eddy did bear good tidings; he had many happy memories of her “loyal life.” Throughout this poem Mrs. Eddy indicates that those who pass on meet those who have passed on before, and they carry with them the fondest of memories and affections.
In Miscellaneous Writings, page 42, the question is asked: “After the change called death takes place, do we meet those gone before — or does life continue in thought only as in a dream?”
“Man is not annihilated, nor does he lose his identity, by passing through the belief called death. After the momentary belief of dying passes from mortal mind, this mind is still in a conscious state of existence; and the individual has but passed through a moment of extreme mortal fear, to waken with thoughts, and being, as material as before. Science and Health clearly states that spiritualization of thought is not attained by the death of the body, but by a conscious union with God. When we shall have passed the ordeal called death, or destroyed this last enemy, and shall have come upon the same plane of conscious existence with those gone before, then we shall be able to communicate with and to recognize them.”
(If time permits read part of section 4 of article on “Life,” Sentinel 1918)
Here I would like to ask an important question. Mrs. --, why are there these different “planes of consciousness,” these different mental wavelengths?
I am sure that you all can see that there really are not different states of consciousness and Life. One of our hymns reads:
“I known no life divided, O Lord of life, from Thee.”
Such a belief is bound up in the concept of minds many and lives many. Through Christian Science we are awakening to the fact of one Life and one Mind, God. In proportion as we wholeheartedly accept this truth, we realize one divine state of consciousness where all ideas are forever cognizant of all other ideas; where there is no coming or going; where there are never any farewells.
May I read a portion of Mrs. Eddy’s poem about the meeting of her mother and husband in the hereafter:
By the remembrance of her loyal life
And parting prayer, I know my wife,
Thy child, shall come —
Where farewells cloud not
O’er our ransomed rest.”
Mrs. Eddy indicates that in true heavenly consciousness there are never any farewells. Someday we shall all recognize all of God’s ideas in that one perfect eternal state of Mind which is called heaven.
On page 75 of the textbook Mrs. Eddy speaks about the time “when we awake from earth’s sleep to the grand verities of Life.” This awakening is transfiguration or ascension. I am sure that is what Mrs. Eddy experienced when we thought she passed on. I am sure it is also the experience of many fine Scientists. May I again read from page 2 of Unity of Good:
“According to this same rule, in divine Science, the dying — if they die in the Lord — awake from a sense of death to a sense of Life in Christ, with a knowledge of Truth and Love beyond what they possessed before; because their lives have grown so far toward the stature of manhood in Christ Jesus, that they are ready for a spiritual transfiguration, through their affections and understanding.”
That clear spiritual affection and understanding can and must come to all of us at some time. We do not have to wait for it. It can come here and now. Enoch walked with God and was not for God took him. He saw clearly that he was never born into a state of matter or mortality and that therefore he was not in a material state of being. His realization of the truth of being was so vivid that the physical sense of man disappeared not through death but through his ascension or transfiguration.
Elijah also recognized and demonstrated the spiritual status of man. Just a short time before at the brook Cherith he had prayed for death, but divine Mind revealed to him that death was not the way of salvation. He spiritualized his concept of man and all things, and then when he and Elisha went up into the mountain, Elijah disappeared into heaven, his natural spiritual state of being.
I have stood at the top of the Mount of Olives overlooking Bethany on the one side, and Jerusalem on the other, at the very spot where tradition says that Jesus stood when he ascended. You remember it was forty days after the resurrection. He had just told all of us that we should bear witness unto the truth unto the uttermost part of the earth. After he had spoken these things a cloud received him out of our sight. You know what that cloud was? It was a beclouded sense of God, the universe and man, a material sense of things, the inability to see and appreciate pure spiritual being, the divine nature of man.
Jesus did not take the material body with him nor did he leave it behind. He so fully appreciated his true spiritual identity, the spiritual somebody he was, that the physical sense of identity disappeared. Did Jesus go anywhere?
No, decidedly not, for he said, “Lo I am with you alway even to the end of the world.
The ascension of Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus was not a miraculous event of a moment. It was the result of their sincere refusal to accept the lies of mortality, birth, material life and death.
Now, we must all ascend someday. We too must be transfigured or translated. We must accept immortality as the only reality. It will not be an event of a moment. You have been ascending this afternoon. Ascension is the result of your refusal to identify yourself and others with a state of mortality. Ascension comes as we stop celebrating birthdays, as we see clearly that we never moved into a state of materiality or mortality. It will come as we stand steadfast in the Spirit of Christ as we acknowledge God as All-in-all, as we accept and demonstrate the simple truth that there is only one Mind, one Life and one Creator.
This kingdom of heaven, this divine reality, this perfect, spiritual state of being is not far off in time or space. It is at hand. It is within you, within your possibility of demonstration.
Do you remember when Jesus said to all of us: “Verily I say unto you, that there be some of them that stand here which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” (Luke 9:1) He was talking to you.
- When were you born into mortality?
- How old are you?
- Where were you when the foundations of the world were laid and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
- When are you going to die?
- What will you be like 1,000 years from now?
- When does your ascension take place?
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job.” His biography which is thought by many scholars to be the oldest book of the Bible, has had a universal appeal century after century, because this biography is not a story of long age at all; it is a very modern story — so recent, in fact, that it is not as yet finished. It is the biography of you and me in our journey from sense to Soul. Some people have been playing around in chapters one to three. Some seem to be stuck around fourteen or fifteen. Many have gotten acquainted with Elihu in chapter thirty-two and have recognized his admonitions as those of good scientific Christianity. Some have arrived at chapter thirty-eight and have truly heard the voice of God. A few have come to chapter forty-five where their captivity also has turned and they are getting that new lease on life which brings unlimited unfoldment of health, harmony, supply and satisfaction. But even those who have come to the final chapter in some respects find that in other ways they have lessons to learn in order to find complete freedom.
It makes no difference where you think you are today. We are all going to start at the beginning and see whether we can hasten a bit our progress from sense to Soul so that we can really enjoy the kind of things which are found in chapter forty-two.
But possibly I should read a few passages from this chapter that you might see how attractive the goal is. “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10) “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning . . . He had also seven sons and three daughters . . . And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job . . . After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations.” (Job 12, 13, 15, 16) Things certainly ran smoothly for this great, great grandfather.
Would you like to have a history like this? What will bring it about? A better knowledge of God? That will help but will not entirely do it. Getting rid of self-pity? Not this alone. Listening to the voice of God? That will help. But job’s captivity did not turn until he prayed intelligently for his friends. Do you know what he did? Job went into the Christian Science practice in earnest, and he started on three of the toughest cases — Eliphaz, who some feel symbolizes the philosophical scholar or college professor; Bildad, or should I say Reverend Bildad, the famous preacher; Dr. Zophar, the eminent physician and psychiatrist.
I am not sure whether Job put “C.S.” after his name, acquired a special tent called a practitioner’s office, bought two Daniel pictures and a fern, and registered his name in the Journal. But we do know that he rolled up his sleeves and went into the metaphysical business wholeheartedly and had one hundred forty years of satisfying Christian Science practice.
Would you like to experience the kingdom of heaven on earth? Then you too must get busy really praying for your fellowman. This is the most wonderful business in the world — the Christian Science practice.
Now let us go back and pick up some of the threads of human experience to see what we must do in order to have the most inspiring, happy finish.
Possibly some of you smiled at Job’s foolish concepts in regard to God. Well, don’t laugh too loud lest you be caught laughing at yourself. We read in Job 1:6: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.” Now let us get this straight. That never happened. It was just a false theological concept entertained by the people in the day of Job, and I am sorry to say, by most religious people today who believe that Satan is a fallen angel and that he can present himself before God.
The devil, or Satan, has always been symbolized as darkness; and God is spoken of as the light. When darkness presents itself before light, what happens, Mr. --? Why? Of course, darkness is ausgespielt.
Your Christian Science treatment is the very presence and power of God, divine Mind, in action. When sickness, sin or death come into the presence of your treatment, what has to happen, Mr. --? Mr. --, when someone calls you up over the telephone to give you a tale of woe, what immediately begins to happen even before you have said a word?
Mr. --, has mortal mind talked to you during the past year? Of course not! You can see that if you believe that mortal mind comes into the presence of the Son of God and talks with him, you are entertaining as paganistic a concept as the one Job did.
Mr. --, does error ever tempt you to think or do wrong? If you say “Yes,” then you are believing that Satan comes into the presence of God; for God is your Mind, the one and only Mind; and if you believe that error comes into your Mind, you are believing that Satan talks to God. Such a concept leads to hell, even the same kind of hell that Job experienced.
If you want heaven, understand that Satan cannot come into the presence of your Mind, for God is your Mind. Sin cannot come into the presence of your Mind; neither can sickness, lack, nor death. If any phase of evil should attempt to come into the presence of your Mind, what would it immediately become? That’s right — nothing.
The next false theological belief that the people of Job’s day accepted and the people of today still believe in is this: that God had a conversation with Satan. If you want hell, just believe that foolish lie. Could light and darkness comingle, commune, or converse? Of course not. God and Satan speak altogether different languages. If God understood Satan, there would be evil in the Mind of God. If Satan could understand God, well then there just would not be any Satan left would there? For our Leader says, “. . . the right understanding of Him restores harmony.” (S&H 390:9), and therefore destroys error. Get this straight — Divine Mind, your Mind, never talked to Satan, evil, mortal mind or error about anything.
Who in this Association is a son of God? May I have a volunteer? Did Satan ever talk to you? Did evil thought ever come to you and tempt you? Did you ever talk back to error and mortal mind, which is really just another name for Satan? (Pause) And here is a good one: Did you ever ask evil where it came from, sort of like this: Where is all of my trouble coming from? Why am I sick? Why do I have lack?
This is the way it is put in the Bible (Job 1:7): “And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Don’t you believe a word of it. Satan never came into the presence of your Mind, God. There never was any conversation going on between the forces of evil and good. Mind, your Mind, God, never asked evil where it came from, for God, your Mind, knows that evil is nothing and does not come from anywhere. And furthermore, no phase of evil ever told your Mind, God, that it was going to and fro in the world and walking up and down in it. Just paganistic theology — nothing more!
But wait a minute. Did you ever hear something like this? We must all watch out for the False Theology thought. This evil influence is going to and fro in the world and walking up and down in it almost everywhere, tempting people, hurting them, harming them, and even killing them. Don’t you believe a word of it. God, good, alone, is universal and ever-present. “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the water covers the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) God, divine Mind, alone walks to and fro in the world, and up and down in it and knows there is no evil there.
Let us be honest. Is there a Satan, a mortal mind an evil force going to and from in your universe, and walking up and down in it? If you want hell, just believe that miserable lie. If you want heaven, realize with no reservations that there is a perfect God who has created a perfect universe, of which you and all are an integral part.
Now the false theology of Job would say that God and Satan had an argument about the perfection and uprightness of Job. Don’t you believe it. No such argument ever went on in regard to Job, to you, or to anyone. God knew that Job was perfect, for He made him that way. And God knows that you are perfect too. And furthermore, the omniscient Mind would certainly tolerate no argument on the subject.
But wait a minute. Let us get down to your biography. Does an argument ever go on in your consciousness in regard to your perfection? You remember, you read in the textbook and in the Bible that you were perfect and then there was something that argued with your Mind that you were not perfect, that you were sick or unhappy or poor. Divine Mind and mortal mind had an argument about you and for a while you were not quite sure which was going to win out. In fact, you felt like a rope in a tug of war with Satan on one end and God on the other. It is a lie, a paganistic lie, which never happened in your experience, because it could not happen in a universe filled with intelligence and perfection.
If you want hell, — and how many want hell? — just imagine that God is wasting His time talking with Satan. Your Mind is God — how could that be? If you want a double dose of hell, just imagine they are talking about you.
And if you want a triple shot, just imagine that God is not sure of your perfection, and that He permits a force opposite to Himself, to try you out. But it is all a like a dream. It never happened to Job. It did not happen to you. It does not happen to you. It does not happen to anyone. It could not or shouldn’t happen to a dog.
It is now suggested that Job is a perfect man and loves God because God has been continually blessing him. Satan is supposed to have suggested that God withdrew His blessings for a time and then see what would happen. Such tommyrot! Such paganistic trash! How could God do anything else but bless Job! God is in the blessing business. It is the only business He knows anything about. He could not withhold his blessings from any of His children.
Just suppose that a human father or mother stopped feeding or clothing their children. Suppose the mother and father willingly and knowingly permitted a stranger to come into the home and destroy every toy, everything that was dear to the heart of the child. Suppose further that the parents knowingly permitted a tramp to come in and poison the food of the children until they suffered untold agony. What would you think of such parents? Why, of course, they should be locked up in a penitentiary. Could you expect children to love such parents? Never! How inconceivable it is to think of God doing what a human parent could not do! Jesus said (Matt. 7:11): “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall you Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” But this is all a lie, a false theological concept. God never talked with Satan, and at Satan’s request He never withdrew His blessings from Job or any of His children.
But have any of you ever believed that God was withholding some blessings from you — possibly a healing, abundant supply, or substantial happiness? Oh, pagan, pagan, pagan that you are if you believe such trash! Don’t you accept one iota of it. God could not withhold His blessings from anyone, and you know it.
Sometimes we hear it said, “I am being tried by God.” Theological rubbish! A perfect manufacturer does not have to try out his product. He knows it is perfect. God knows you are perfect and would not think of trying you out. Mr. --, do you think God tries you out? Someone here may say, “Yes, but Mrs. Eddy says ‘Trials are proofs of God’s care.’” (S&H 6:10) Take that passage out of its context, accept it, believe it, and I assure you, you will find yourself going back to the old theological concepts that got Job into his trouble. Looked at in its right light, you can get much inspiration from that paragraph. You must realize that Mrs. Eddy said, “Trials teach mortals not to lean on a material staff . . .” (S&H 66:6) If you depend upon materiality, material medicine, dollars and cents, material sensation, the very opposite of God, you will have trials until you wake up. But if you don’t lean on a material staff — she goes on to say, “We do not half remember this in the sunshine of joy and prosperity.” That is, some people think of their joy and prosperity in material terms and forget God. If you do that, you are in for a bump. She goes on: “Sorrow is salutary;” that is, if we have been leaning on a material staff, we shall find it taken out from beneath us so that we may learn to build our house upon the rock of Principle. She says, “Through great tribulation we enter the kingdom;” that is, if we have been dependent upon matter, materiality, dishonesty, and evil for our happiness and comfort, we will go through tribulations. “Trials are proofs of God’s care;” that is, through trials we learn to turn from the material staff to God. Mr. --, do you want trials? expect them?
But we do not have to have trials to stay at one with divine Love. On page 296 of the textbook our Leader says: “Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must destroy all illusions regarding life and mind, and regenerate material sense and self.” We can learn by Science and avoid suffering and trials. That is the whole teaching of Christian Science. Most of us learned not to put our hand on a hot stove by the instruction of our mother, not by the trial and error method. I never had to go out and get intoxicated to learn that intoxication was not good for me. We have all learned a great deal more by science than by suffering, even those who know nothing of the teachings of Christian Science. I have been able to help many people find health and happiness in the practice of Christian Science by correcting their thought on this one passage from our textbook — “Trials are proofs of God’s care.”
Now God is supposed to have said to Satan (Job 1:12): “. . .all that he (Job) hath is in thy power . . “ and then Job’s oxen, camels, and donkeys were all stolen. His sheep were killed by lightening, his servants murdered by the sword, and his sons and daughters wiped out by a cyclone. Pretty rough eh? But don’t you believe a word of it. God never turned job’s possessions over to Satan; and God does not turn over your possessions, your family, your home, your car, your business, or your church to the destructive forces of evil. A God who is Love could not do that. And if He could not do it, He has not done it.
Lastly, God is supposed to have permitted Satan to afflict Job with boils from the sole of his feet to his crown. Rubbish! God, the divine Mind, the Mind of Job, did not permit a force called matter, mortal mind, false belief, or fear to afflict Job with disease. And God, your Mind, does not permit any so-called evil force to afflict you with disease, imperfection, or discomfiture of any name or nature. You forever have mental dominion over your body. This is the whole basis of Christian Science treatment. Our Leader says on page 378 of the textbook: “Disease is not an intelligence to dispute the empire of Mind or to dethrone Mind and take the government into its own hands.” Can you see how she is refuting this paganistic concept from the book of Job? Again she says: “Sickness is not a God-given nor a self-constituted material power, which copes astutely with Mind and finally conquers it.” On page 390 of the textbook she says, “Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit . . . . Banish the belief that you can possibly entertain a single intruding pain which cannot be ruled out by the might of Mind, and in this way you can prevent the development of pain in the body.”
Let me go over this fact again. God, your Mind, your patient’s Mind, does not permit an evil force to tempt, harass, or harm man. Mind forever stands “porter at the door of thought,” excluding all that is unlike good. (Repeat)
Now when you give Job a treatment, do not fuss around with some of the unimportant effects. Go to the bottom (foot) of the matter. It is false theology that needs to be handled. And when I say this (false theology), I do not mean some malpracticing monks. It is just ignorance of God which Mrs. Eddy says produces “apparent discord.” Here is the basis of your denials for Job, for yourself, and for most patients who come to you for help:
- Evil cannot come into the presence of my Mind or his Mind for our Mind is God, infinite good. If evil should attempt to come into Mind it will immediately be nothing, just as darkness is nothing in the presence of light.
- Evil does not converse with my Mind or his Mind for God is our Mind. You remember Mrs. Eddy’s statement on page 415 of the textbook: “Mind in every case is the eternal God, good.”
- Since God is our Mind and intelligence, it is not inquiring as to where evil comes from, for our Mind knows that evil is nothing — nonexistent.
- There is nothing to tell my Mind or his Mind — our Mind — that there is a thing called evil going to and fro in the world, and walking up and down in it.
- Our Mind, since it is God, does not act up, misbehave itself, or become confused in such a manner as to withhold from us the blessings of intelligence, of health, freedom, security, and holiness.
- Our Mind, God, does not turn our family, our possessions, our wonderful thoughts, and the effects of them, over to so-called destructive, evil forces.
- My Mind, his Mind, our Mind, “Our Father which art in heaven,” does not permit evil, mortal mind, false belief, matter, or false theology to take over and afflict us with sickness or disease. Our Mind, God, is supreme. If a belief of sickness or disease should attempt to come into the presence of our Mind that would happen to it? It would immediately become nothing.
Part II — THE PRACTITIONERS
Some commentaries on the Book of Job liken Job’s three friends unto philosophy, theology and psychology or medical science. But you will get a lot more out of the book if you think of these three friends as the kind of Christian Science practitioners you are not going to be like. And why aren’t you going to be like them? Well, maybe because they did not get any good results.
They came to Job to “mourn and comfort.” Now remember this — you cannot mourn with and comfort your patients at the same time. These practitioners wept and sprinkled dust upon their heads and sat down with Job to lament — “. . . they saw that his grief was very great.” (Job 2:13) Long-faced, serious, unhappy practitioners do not heal. If you are going down into the depths with your patient; if you are going to admit that his trouble is very great; if you are going to magnify evil, you will do little good. You must keep yourself up on the spiritual highway of God with a thought full of joy and gladness if you expect to bring proper spiritual lubrication to the experience of your fellowmen that things may run smoothly for him.
Well, Job starts pouring out his grief to the practitioners. In your practice you will hear some of the same tales of woe. Some of you have already taken hours of the practitioner’s time to pour out your troubles.
“I wish that I had never been born,” said Job.
Practitioner Eliphaz should have replied joyfully and confidently, “Wish granted. You never were born into matter or mortality. You are not in it nor subject to its laws, rules, or regulations. You are the immortal perfect child of God.”
Indeed, this long-faced, long-winded practitioner jabbers on and on. He philosophizes. Some practitioners talk their patients out of a healing with words — empty words. Mrs. Eddy says (Mis. 59:26): “That individual is the best healer who asserts himself the least, and thus becomes a transparency for the divine Mind, who is the only physician . . .”
Eliphaz happens to get off a few gems of truth but most of his treatment is a magnification of evil and an attempted explanation thereof. He tells Job that all of his trouble is the result of sin, possibly some hidden sin. He tells Job that he is just a mortal. He tells him that he is born into trouble. He informs him that “He (God) maketh sore, and bindeth up. . .” (Job 5:18)
Please don’t be a practitioner like that — long-faced, long-winded, and negative. Here is the way it sounds in modern language: It is just wrong thinking that is your trouble. Your trouble is not in your body; it is in your mind, mortal mind, and then it is manifested on your body. We must uncover all of this wrong thinking. You would not be sick if there were not some error somewhere. After all, we are just mortals working out of mortality. We have got a long way to go before we arrive at perfection. It is too bad you were born into this state of mortality.
If you talk like that, if you think like that, and work like that, I would suggest that you re-read chapters four and five of Job. You will find there a good object lesson as to what you should not do.
Now Job wants to die. After such treatment, I would too. But Job somehow knows that such teaching was not true, scientific Christianity, and so he takes on another practitioner — this one not quite so long-winded. He prides himself on being brutally frank with his human opinions. He says, “So your children were all killed. Well, they must have been very wicked children. That’s all I can say about it.” Think of that! He tells Job (Job 8:6): “If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he (God) would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.” By implication he is asserting that Job is an impure creature.
Hear the modern Bildad: “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7) This corruption all over your body indicates that there is a lot of corruption in your mind. You must get rid of it. You must overcome it for you will continue to suffer until you are thoroughly chastened.” And then to give such a rotten treatment some authority, he quotes (S&H 66:10): “Trials are proofs of God’s care.”
And so Job goes down lower and lower. Now he is frustrated and confused. He says, (Job 10:15): “I am full of confusion . . .” He says a lot of things he doesn’t mean. Any decent practitioner should handle confusion and frustration and should quiet his thought. No so, Zophar. He argues with Job. He berates him for claiming he is innocent of evil. He makes the things of God very mysterious. He accuses Job of wickedness.
But let us look at the Zophar of 1949: “Yes, man is perfect but you have to realize it, and it is a very difficult job. God is All, but you must demonstrate it; and I am telling you, you are doing a very poor job of demonstrating God.” You will hear him say “You ought to go to such and such a lecture; it is very deep. Or have you read this book or this lecture? It is awfully deep. Christian Science is one of the deepest subjects in the world; you can never understand it all. Error is very subtle. There are seven forms of animal magnetism; you have to be careful so that you are not handled by one of them. That is your trouble — animal magnetism. You are guilty of it.
If Job was confused before, now he is even more so; and he told the practitioners what he thought of them.
This might happen to you too if you do not give the right sort of treatments. In fact, I hope it does happen to you if you do not stay with the simplicity of Truth — perfect God, perfect universe, and perfect man.
Job said, (Job 12:3): “I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?” An intelligent practitioner would rejoice at such an admission. May I tell you a little secret of my practice? I never have a new student of Christian Science, never a poor student, an ignorant student. My patient is always a perfect Christian Scientist. When he leaves my office I say to myself, “There goes a perfect Christian Scientist.” You see, that makes my work easy; for if I am seeing my patient as a perfect Christian Scientist, he certainly will do his part in studying and applying the Truth.
But Job’s practitioners were hurt and resentful because Job told them what he thought of them. He said, “Ye are forgers of lies, ye are physicians of no value.” (Job 13.4) Mrs. Eddy says on page 417 of the textbook: “Give sick people credit for sometimes knowing more than their doctors.” She might also have said, “more than their practitioners.” Remember that you never want to depreciate the understanding of your patient. Your job is to help your patient realize that he knows the law of God and how to apply it. Your job is to help him appreciate the omnipresence of the one divine Mind.
Well, Job comes back for two more treatments from Eliphaz, two from Bildad, and one from Zophar. Why he kept taking more when he realized how inadequate were the first three treatments, I do not know unless he had a hard time to get away from them. Sad to say, this often happens in our experiences today. An individual will realize that he is not getting what he should have, but the practitioner holds on to him and he has a hard time getting up courage enough to say, “I do not want any more help.” I would suggest to you if you are ever put in such a position, if you are not getting help the way you should, be courageous enough to ask the practitioner to discontinue treatments.
I am not going to go into these five treatments in detail but will give you a few of the highlights. I am suggesting, however, that it would be profitable for all of you to read these treatments in detail sometime. Put them in modern language and take them as an object lesson as to what you are not going to do.
Job laments that he is a mortal born of woman full of trouble. Eliphaz agrees (Job 15:14-16): “What is man, that he should be clean? And he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold he (God) putteth no trust in his saints . . . How much more abominable and filthy is man . . .?” Isn’t that just about the most terrible stuff you ever heard?
In chapter sixteen, verse eleven, Job reveals the basic error to be corrected in his thinking. But the practitioners did not discern it at all. Job says, “God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over unto the hands of the wicked.” Bildad makes no correction of this but preaches some more hellfire and brimstone. Really, he does. And it is real brimstone he preached — “. . . brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.” (Job 18:15)
In his last treatment Eliphaz is beside himself. He is going to get at the error even if it kills the patient. He lets his imagination run wild and accuses Job of all sorts of sin in the hope that somewhere along the line he might hit the mark. Hear this one: “Is not thy wickedness great? And thine iniquities infinite?” (Job 22:5) He accuses Job of stripping the naked of their clothing; that he has failed to give drink to the weary; that he has withholden bread from the hungry and sent sick widows away empty; that he has broken the arms of the fatherless. I think he meant to indicate that Job’s sins are sins of omission.
Job denies such sins and goes to Bildad for one more treatment. Bildad tells him that nothing is pure in God’s sight. And he ends up with this: “How much less man, that is a worm? And the sons of man, which is a worm?” (Job 25:6)
Hideous isn’t it? Man, just a worm of the earth! Well, make sure that you never say or think anything that would make someone else feel like a worm. Husbands, remember never to do anything that would embarrass your wife and make her feel so unnecessary like a worm looking for a hole to crawl into. And wives, oh, they never would be guilty of thinking of hubby as “the worm,” would they? Of course you would not. But maybe you might have a patient sometime that needed to be freed from the false worm theology of Bildad.
You remember that man who gave you that awful raw deal — the worm! Joe Stalin, the worm; or maybe even Roosevelt, the worm; your boss, the worm; maybe your competitor, the worm! Sometimes the patient who doesn’t pay his bill, the worm! The ungrateful worm. Sometimes in thought many of us have not been very far from the unscientific treatment of Bildad. Yes, the treatments from these three practitioners end up not only on the note but even the word “worm.”
Now Job prays for wisdom and understanding. He is beginning to discern that his trouble is not to be found in sin but rather in ignorance or God. He says (Job 28:12): “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” He finally arrives at this conclusion (Job 28:28): “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” He is certainly beginning to grasp the pathway out of trouble.
Then Job does an intelligent thing. He begins to think with gratitude about the good he has experienced in the past. He recounts the good he has been able to do for others. He acknowledges that he has not been guilty of sins of omission. He then goes on to rejoice that he also has not been guilty of sins of commission. He has been faithful to his wife; he has been charitable, kind, just to all. He has not worshipped material wealth; he has not rejoiced in the misfortune or destruction of those that disliked him; he has been hospitable to all, especially to strangers. He declares (Job 27:5, 6): “Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.”
You see, Job was a righteous, decent, fine man. In fact, God said he was perfect. And Job knew it. And he was not going to let any Freudian psychoanalysis, doctors, ministers, or even so-called Christian Science practitioners convince him that he was a miserable sinner, a worm of the earth.
The words of Job were ended, and we read (Job 32:1): “So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.” They had tried to break him down and make him accept an unrighteous concept of himself, of man, but they had failed. Job believed in the spiritual and moral perfection of man. He had demonstrated it throughout his human experience, and nothing would move him from this eternal truth that man is perfect.
Part III — A GOOD CHRISTIAN SCIENCE TREATMENT
A young man by the name of Elihu had been listening to the treatments Job received, and had observed that the results were not satisfactory. He at first hesitated to say anything because he was much younger than Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. After all, they were very experienced practitioners with their names in the Journal for many years. One had been taught by Edward Kimball, another by Bicknell Young, and a third by Mrs. Eddy herself. (Of course, I do not mean that Mr. Kimball, Mr. Young, or Mrs. Eddy taught any such stuff). After all, Elihu had just had class. You could not expect very much from him. He had not had very much experience. Hear his own words (Job 32:6): “I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.” But finally he realized something had to be done or Job was a goner. He had studied carefully these eight treatments, as I have asked you to do, and he had learned what a Christian Science treatment should not include. He is full of enthusiasm. He cannot hold back any longer. These are his words (Job 32:18-20): “Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed.” There is none of the long-faced, serious sour-us here. He says (Job 32:8): “There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” Isn’t that refreshing? He knows there is an answer to the problem and that the answer comes from God, divine Mind. Furthermore, he knows that this Mind is right there with man, with himself, and with his patient. Isn’t that an excellent manner to approach your work as a practitioner? Let me quote it again: “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them (and notice he said them) understanding.”
Here is another wonderful thing about Elihu’s approach (Job 32:21): “Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.” He is saying: “I am not going to approach this problem from a personal standpoint. I know that evil is never a person, place, nor thing. I am going to plead the case scientifically for Truth and not for person or personalities. And he was not going to say just a lot of sweet things that might please Job’s ears — flattering titles, as it were. On the other hand, he is not going to talk about the wickedness of man. Instead, (Job 33:3): “My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart,” your heart, our heart.
He gives himself a good treatment before he starts on Job. Hear this one (Job 33:4): “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” I hope you will offer such a prayer of affirmation before you go about your work. “The Spirit of God hath made (us), and the breath of the Almighty hath given (us) life.”
Here is another good point for every practitioner (Job 33:6): “Behold, I am according to thy wish in God’s stead . . .” A good Christian Science treatment is the very Word of God expressed. Elihu realized his oneness with this divine Mind and knew that he could only express the ideas which proceed from this one and only Mind.
Next he assured Job that he was not going to try to scare the hell out of him as the other practitioners had tried to do (Job 33:7): “Behold, my terror shall not make the afraid . . .” You see, he was going to do as our Leader admonishes us in Science and Health, page 411: “Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of patients.” Elihu goes on to say: “. . . neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.” Oh, how we need to deal compassionately with our patients and help to make Christian Science easy for them rather than difficult and a burden!
Finally Elihu proceeds and goes right to the root of the difficulty: “You have been blaming God for your troubles, Job . . .” (Job 33:12): “Behold, in this thou are not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.” And just a little later Elihu puts his finger more definitely on the solution for Job’s problem (Job 35:2): “Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidest, My righteousness is more than God’s?” There was no place where Job had used these words, but this was the basis of all his complaints. All of his trouble came from rotten theological beliefs about God. You remember how he complained (Job 16:11): “God hath delivered me to the ungodly and turned me over into the hands of the wicked.”
In substance, this is Elihu’s presentation: “Job, would you poison your children’s good? Of course not! You forever did everything you could to make it comfortable for them. And Job, would you stand by and knowingly permit an outside force to come in and poison your children’s food? Of course not; you are too righteous for that. But yet you have been believing that God is withholding His blessings from you and has turned you over to evil forces — that he has turned you over to Satan. Can you not see, Job, that you are therefore believing that you, yourself are more righteous than God? The fact is that any righteousness you have is but a reflection of the righteousness and glory of God.”
Elihu continues (Job 34:10): “Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding:” (don’t you like it that he called Job a man of understanding and not a worm?) “far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.” Note this carefully that Elihu did not object to Job thinking of himself as a righteous man. That is the way we should all think of ourselves. What Elihu insisted upon was that Job should recognize God as a million times more righteous, and that his perfection was but a reflection of God’s perfection. You see, Job was clear on the subject of the perfection of man, but he had not been acknowledging God as perfect, nor had he been seeing a perfect universe. The other practitioners had been trying to get him to acknowledge the imperfection of man. Elihu was helping him to acknowledge the perfection of God and the universe that he might be every whit whole.
Elihu goes on to inform Job that his trouble is just a bad foolish dream for which God is not responsible. Divine Mind is right there seeking to wake him up (Job 33:14, 15): “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not” because he is “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men . . .” In the next verse Elihu goes on to say that divine Mind is right there to waken us — “Then he openeth the ears of men .
I love this next statement of Elihu (Job 33:23, 24): “If there be a messenger . . . an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto men his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit.” That was Elihu’s job, and that is you job as a practitioner. You are a messenger from God, an interpreter of Truth, one among a thousand; and it is always your job to show a man his uprightness and not to convince him of his sins. You must be gracious unto your patients and prevent them from going down into the pit, from becoming depressed, discouraged, disappointed and unhappy, if you would deliver them and help them to find “a ransom.”
In helping Job uplift his concept of God Elihu continues (Job 34:18): “Is it fit to say to a king Thou are wicked? And to princes, Ye are ungodly?” Then how much more should we never think of our creator as ungodly; for if the creator is wicked, unjust, unkind, that is the way one would expect his creation to be; for creation is like the Creator; and it is this imperfection of creation which we are seeking to avoid. Elihu points out that to attribute injustice and wickedness unto God is to lead your thought into a state of mental rebellion.
We hear much these days over the air and through newspapers on the subject of cancer. Medical science has been seeking to find a cure. Some day humanity will awaken to see clearly that cancer is a state of mental rebellion. In proportion as men indulge in such mental rebellion against God, it will externalize itself in a rebellious, riotous disease called cancer. Some people are always crabbing about things, about their lot in life, about the government, about their family, even about themselves and about the powers that be — God Himself. You know, the word “cancer” means crab. You will remember that I included crabbed-ness as one of the sins to be avoided by scientific reasoning as to the perfection of man. Dissatisfaction, discontent, unhappiness, discouragement, blues, grief — all such rotten stuff is outside the experience of man. We will have none of it. Make sure that you help every patient to prove that he is one of the happiest, most satisfied, contented, encouraged, cheerful creatures in the universe. If you help him along that line, causing him to see that there is a happy, perfect God who has created a happy, perfect universe, of which he is a part, you will win at least ninety-nine out of one hundred cases.
“Elihu also proceeded, and said Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.” (Job 36:1, 2) That’s our work too. We must speak on God’s behalf to our patients. You see, Elihu was emphasizing the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name,” as you were taught in class to begin your treatment. He says further (36:3): I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.” Can’t you just hear the “Hallowed be Thy name” in that? Remember that many of your patients only need an improved concept of God. Help them acquire that and the healing will follow without effort. On page 275 of the textbook Mrs. Eddy writes “The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, — that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle. To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is.” Elihu puts it this way (Job 36:4): “. . . he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.” Oh, what a wonderful scientific statement, what a marvelous treatment in Christian Science! “He that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.” You must declare that idea often that infinite good may unfold for you and your patient.
Then Elihu goes on to tell of all the wonderful things that God does (Job 36:10, 15): “He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity . . . He delivereth the poor in his affliction.”
Here is another good treatment (Job 36:22): “God exalteth by his power.” You can use that one often. Let us all use that truth together here collectively. Will you repeat with me “God exalteth by his power.”
After Elihu has discerned spiritually that Job has responded to the idea of a perfect God, he goes immediately forward into the subject of a perfect universe. He is now dealing with the second part of the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” He talks about the drops of rain which God causes to “drop and distil upon man abundantly.” (Job 36:28) He points out what a wonderful thing the sun is. He speaks of the authority and the command that God has over the clouds. Then he makes this important suggestion to Job (Job 37:14): “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.”
You will help your patients a great deal if you will cause them to stop, stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God. You can see how Elihu is now helping Job to uplift his concept of the universe in which he lives. Job needs a little more of this good medicine: (Job 37:16) “Dost thou know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?” He speaks of the sky as a beautiful molten looking glass.
After very effectively uplifting Job’s concept of God and the universe, Elihu does something that every intelligent practitioner should do. He gets himself out of the way out of the picture, so that God, divine Mind, has a chance to express Himself through the thought and activity of the patient. Elihu says (Job 37:20): “Shall it be told him that I speak? If a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.” What he is saying is that it is not his personal opinion that counts, it is the truth he is speaking which will heal the sick. He is uttering the same fact, the same idea that our Master expressed centuries later when he said (John 16:7): “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you . . .” Jesus knew that it is the impersonal spiritual Christ-Truth that heals the sick and comforts the sorrowing. Jesus knew that God communicates directly with man not through person but through the divine Mind. Elihu had discerned the same spiritual fact. Hear his parting remarks — a wonderful benediction for every Christian Science treatment you give (Job 37:23): “Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict. Men do therefore fear him . . .” that is, stand in praiseful, prayerful awe of Him. You see, Elihu went to the root of the matter in the beginning of the treatment and when he winds up his treatment he permits no doubt as to the error that was corrected — “God will not afflict.”
What happened to Elihu we do not know. We only realize that he got himself out of the way so that divine Mind could express Itself through Job. I like to feel that he went to work on his next case. He had uttered a wonderful “amen” on this one and could certainly bring many blessings to others. Someone asked me why Elihu did not go on and prove the perfection of man after he had straightened out Job on the subject of perfect God and perfect universe. He did not need to. Job was already clear on that point, the righteousness and perfection of man.
Part IV — FACING REALITY
It is now recorded that God answered Job out of a whirlwind. Now it wasn’t a cyclone; it wasn’t even a voice from without. It was the divine voice within uttering itself. It was perfect intelligence expressing itself to and through Job. It was a whirlwind of thoughts that swept his consciousness clear of the old theological beliefs and brought him to the new realization of perfect God perfect universe, and perfect man.
You know how we think by association, a chain reaction, as it were. Well, that is the kind of whirlwind chain reaction that Job experienced. One of the first thoughts that came was this (Job 38:3): “Gird up now thy loins like a man . . .” In other words, stop acting like a cry-baby. Think this thing through. It would be a good thing for all of us to listen quite occasionally to this admonition from divine Mind: “Gird up now thy loins like a man,” stop whining — this inquiring as to the why of evil.
Next we find the question (Job 38:4): “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Of course, Job was there because Mind was there, and Job was the eternal expression of that one perfect Mind. He was never born of a woman into matter or mortality. Remember to start right is to end right. To start with mortality, with so-called human birth, is not to start right. I would say that at least ninety-nine out of a hundred people misinterpret this passage. Most Christian Scientists answer it in the negative that of course they were not there.
Mrs. --, where were you “when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7)
Now Mind begins to unfold to Job that there is a beautiful, harmonious balance in the universe. It is recounted how Mind says to the proud waves “thus far and no farther.” The wonderful nature of light is described. It is emphasized how darkness and the works of darkness flee before the light.
The mysteries of snowflakes and hail are described. Mind truly appreciates the way in which the clouds carry the water over the earth and send down rain even where people do not dwell. Mind unfolds the marvelous manner in which the stars and planets are held in their courses. You, of course, remember the passage: “Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?” (Job 38:32) In poetical language many of the wonders of the sun, the earth, and the sea are described. Mind reveals to Job how marvelously the animals, such as the deer provide for their young; how even the wild donkeys are cared for and how the unicorn finds its freedom. Job thinks further on the marvelous beauty of the peacock and the ostrich and realizes that there must be a divine plan and power in back of all creation Job marvels at the strength of horses, and stands aghast at the wisdom of the birds and the way they are able to provide for their young and be guided by a keen sense of direction.
As Job meditates for a considerable time on the perfection of God and the universe, he is awakened to see how wrong he was to criticize God and His creation. In fact, he is so impressed by the perfection of God and the universe and sees how wrong he was that we find him uttering (Job 40:4): “Behold, I am vile . . .” but divine Mind does not let him get away with such old theology. Immediately there comes into his consciousness the answer from the Lord (verse 6): “Gird up thy loins now like a man.” It will never heal any situation to acknowledge that God and the universe is perfect, but that man is imperfect, vile, a worm, etc. This forceful command immediately comes from divine Mind (Job 40:10): “Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.” Since God is perfect and He has created a perfect universe, it follows necessarily that man, a part of that universe, is beautiful, wonderful, and perfect. Job is here admonished vigorously to deny every quality of thought that would deny God, whether it be “rage, wrath, pride, wickedness, or hypocrisy.” He was told to do this just like we are told in the Lord’s Prayer to deny any quality of thought which would deny God: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil .
. .” Mind then tells Job this: “Then will I confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.” (Job 40:14) In other words, it is Job’s right thinking about God, the universe and man which shall save him from all trouble.
Job now goes on to admire further the wonders of the earth, the sky and sea. He is made to see that man is not a mortal born of woman, but rather an immortal idea forever living in the eternal God. Hear these lines (Job 38:28): “Hath the rain a father? Or who hath begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?” There is only one answer of course. God is the Father and Mother of all these wonderful things, and so the lesson is brought home clearly to Job that just so man is not a mortal, born of woman, but an immortal never born into matter, never dying, forever living in God, divine Mind, the source of all being.
Now Job’s thought is thoroughly uplifted and he can say (Job 42:2): “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” He is determined henceforth not to talk unless he knows what he is talking about. He sees that ideas which do not proceed from Principle are not ideas at all but illusions. He is determined to follow the instruction given later by our Leader, page 467: “Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.” Then comes this famous passage (Job 42:5): “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.” God is no longer a theological mystery to him. The perfection of God the universe and man has become a solid reality to him which can be demonstrated.
You would think that this would be the end of Job’s spiritual awakening, but, as I mentioned in the beginning of the paper, Job’s captivity was not turned until he prayed for his friends. You see, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were a part of Job’s universe, and he could not be entirely free and happy until he was seeing them aright. Possibly you will remember the statement I gave you in class from Mr. Seeley that you cannot get into heaven until you see your brother there also. We must uplift our concept of all the practitioners we have called on even the doctors, ministers, the Christian Scientists with whom we have talked, out neighbors, our friends, our relatives. We too must truly pray for them in order to find that peace of mind which God has ordained for us.
Job has learned the significance of our Leader’s admonition on page 343 of Miscellaneous Writings: “Too soon we cannot turn from disease in the body to find disease in the mortal mind, and its cure, in working for God.” Too soon you also cannot turn from disease in the body to find disease in the mortal mind and its cure in working for God, divine Mind.
Have we been considering the biography of Job? No, we have been studying your human experience. I would not be surprised if during the past year some of you had not been found complaining in one way or another: “Why does this error hang on? I study my lesson and try to be as decent as I can. Then why am I not healed? Why don’t I have normal abundance? What is wrong with the powers that be?” That is the symptom of Jobitis. Shake yourself loose from such dust. Awaken from the paganistic concept that your righteousness can exceed God’s righteousness.
Would you, Mr. --, withhold any normal good from your daughter?
Then why do you believe that God is withholding some good from you?
Mr. --, would you stand in the door and knowingly permit a tramp to come in and harm your children? Then how could you believe that God might permit some evil force to interfere with your healthy, happy, normal unfoldment of activity. That’s it! Turn on this lie as baseless as it is base. If you are decent, God is much more so, and your righteousness is but the reflection of the perfection of God. If you do not want a whirlwind to come and destroy your home, your family, your business, your health and happiness; if you do not want robbers to come and carry your goods away, I would suggest that you make certain you permit the whirlwind of rejuvenated thought to blow through your consciousness, your sense of values, to literally whirl away the ashes of false theology, lies about God, the universe and man. Don’t let it be just a little soft South wind. Let it truly be a cyclone. Be content with no concepts less than perfect God, perfect universe, and perfect man. Remember that Mrs. Eddy says (S&H 167:30): “Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized.” If you will do this you will be able to heal your friends. You will have a good practice in Christian Science, and you will find the four following important things:
- Everlasting health
- Abundant supply
- A wonderful family
- A long life of useful activity