Body – First Article
From Addresses by Martha Wilcox
The student of Christian Science recognizes the supreme value of his body, because the body identifies or gives evidence to his mind. The individual’s mind would be unexpressed or unknown without his body.
The physical body, one’s physique, is simply one’s thought made manifest. The body, or the expression of the mind, is as mental as the mind and is coincidental with the mind.
Mrs. Eddy says, “all physical effects originate in mind before they can become manifest as matter.” (Hea. 12:10) She also says, “mortal mind creates its own physical conditions.” (S&H 77:8)
Many of the medical profession are convinced that physical inharmonies are largely the expression of mental inharmonies. It was the consensus of the delegates attending the Johns Hopkins Medical Association recently, that high blood pressure is purely mental, a hypertension that is brought on by repeated spells of mental, emotional, or nervous excitement or depression. They summarized the malady as a physical reaction or a bodily reaction to a mental or emotional state of mind, saying that anger, moral indignation and worry, no matter how justified, have a harmful effect on heart action and lead to chronic hypertension or high blood pressure.
Now we who are students of metaphysics, understand that the body is governed by mind, not partially but wholly, and that the only way one can improve the mind and thereby improve the body, is by knowing the truth about both mind and body.
When we understand body, we understand God or Mind. Body is the infinitude of God or Mind expressed. Body is the embodiment of the infinite spiritual ideas of Mind and its divine Science. Man is divine Science, therefore man is God’s or Mind’s body. Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, Love: the one Being, gives to Itself body by giving evidence to Itself as infinite idea.
There is one body, without parts. It is the one whole, just as the mind is without parts and is whole. There is just one body because there is just one Mind, and it is as important to know that there is one infinite body, as it is to know that there is one infinite Mind.
There is just one body, but this one body is enough for everyone. Just as the bark of the tree is enough for all the branches of the tree. This one body is reflected to human sense as an infinitude of body, and it is essential to understand that each individual’s mind and body is an individual expression or continuation of the one inseparable Mind and body, just as each individual branch of the tree is a continuation of the inseparable tree life and its bark or body.
Man does not have body, man is body. Each individual is mind and body as one, and is an individual expression of the one Mind expressed as body. The body I AM here and now, that I refer to as “my body,” is wholly good and spiritual, because it is the embodiment of the one Mind, a wholly good Mind.
In Christian Science we practice from the standpoint that everything is spiritual creation, so everything that comprises the so-called human or material body is, when correctly understood, spiritual creation.
Much of our work in the practice of Christian Science is the gaining of a true estimate of our human bodies. “We are bringing” every thought, that is, every member of the body, “into subjection to the Christ,” or we are finding the reality of what appears to us as human or material.
We are proving that there are not two groups of creation, the material and the spiritual; there is but one group, the spiritual. We are proving that what appears to us as human or material creation, is the one spiritual creation at hand, imperfectly known because seen through the lens of false material sense. When once we estimate the so-called human body as being the divine body, then our body ceases to be human to us, and is divine.
Many students of Christian Science, as yet, are far from dealing with their present bodies scientifically and intelligently, and according to the facts of spiritual creation. They do not, as yet, understand that any member or any function of their so-called body is something of divine creation, and should be seen in its reality.
Mrs. Eddy says, “Creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected.” (S&H 503:1-2) Therefore any member of my present body or any function of my present body, is the unfolding of the spiritual idea and its corresponding identity.
An infinite, conscious, spiritual idea is ever unfolding itself and its identity right here, in what I know humanly as my heart. This conscious unfolding idea is ever aware of itself as action, and this conscious action is what I experience humanly, as the beating of my heart. This conscious unfolding idea, because it is infinite, is also aware of itself as substance, form, permanency, and is what I know humanly as my heart. This is the heart that is here and it is God’s omnipresence, no matter how it appears to me.
As it is with heart, so it is with stomach, liver, lungs, kidneys, glands, membranes, nerves, blood, etc.; all are the unfolding of conscious, infinite, spiritual ideas and their corresponding identities. These are present here as Mind’s omnipresence, no matter how they appear to us.
Many students consider their present bodies material, and then declare there is no matter. This is a self-destructive thought; our present body is all right, just as God or Mind made it. It is our false material sense of body that is wrong and needs correction.
Many students believe their present bodies are material and that somehow they must get rid of them. This thought is also self-destructive, and is a claim of annihilation. Our body is the identity of Mind, and is as eternal as Mind. There can be no separation of Mind and body.
The so-called human body only seems to be material. When correctly understood it is the spiritual body, the only body, imperfectly known because seen through the lens of false material sense. We must understand that the so-called human body and all of its functions, are divine facts expressed, and they appear human or material to us because of our ignorance of the spiritual fact.
Right where body seems to be as matter, is the spiritual body, visible to our consciousness as outline, form, color, substance, function, and permanency. I want to repeat that we should never think of this body, the body we now have, as a material body, and then try to get rid of it or change it. This is a destructive influence. The only thing we want to get rid of is the belief that our bodies are material. It is only in belief that the so-called human body seems to be material, and it is this false belief that is objectified before the thought.
Matter, or the so-called material body, is just a false sense of the spiritual body at hand. It is through spiritualization, not of the body, but of our thought about the body, that we gain the fact of our so-called body and of all its functions. Body is never matter, but is always a state of consciousness.
Body is always an idea in the divine Mind, and is made visible before the divine Mind as a form or object. My present body is not matter but is a state of true consciousness. My present body is held in my thought in a subjective state and is made visible, or is objectified or identified before my thought as an image, or object, or as my body. My so-called material or human body is either so many ideas in the God-consciousness objectified, or is so many states of human beliefs objectified. Everything that I know is mental. Everything in its reality is some spiritual idea objectified, not as matter, but as thought objectified or identified.
An Organized Body
The false claim of material sense says that the human body is an organized body made up of material organs. And because of this claim that my body is organized, there is also a claim that my body can be disorganized in death. The false claim of material sense also says that the members of my body are dependent upon each other; so much so, that if one member suffers, all members suffer.
Now the truth is, that my so-called human body is not organized. It is not made up of material organs with each organ functioning in and of itself. Each member of my body is an infinite conscious idea of divine Mind and is dependent upon Mind alone, and not on some other idea. Mrs. Eddy says, “It is contrary to Christian Science to suppose that life is either material or organically spiritual.” (S&H 83:21)
It is the unfolding spiritual ideas and their identities, and not organs, which determine the outward and actual of my present so-called human body. These unfolding spiritual ideas act upon the false beliefs in my thought about body until these false beliefs yield to the truth of the unfolding ideas.
Conscious unfolding ideas is the substance of my heart, and my stomach and of every organ I know humanly; and is the outward and the actual of my human body, when determined by these unfolding ideas, and not by material beliefs.
As it is with the so-called human body, so it is that these conscious unfolding ideas determine the outward and actual of business, church, home, nation, human efficiency, or anything of which I am conscious. It is well to remember that spiritual ideas always “determine the outward and the actual,” and that the spiritual “dominates all matter.” (See S&H 254:22; 97:18)
Everything of which I am conscious is the spiritual fact of which the belief is about. The unfolding idea is phenomena and determines the human phenomena by acting upon human beliefs. As the right idea acts upon the human beliefs, it brings out better phenomena because of better beliefs.
Conscious unfoldment of right ideas is the vitalizing quality of my present body; unfoldment of spiritual ideas is the stimulus and substance of my present body. My present body is not a changeable body, because its substance is the substance of unchangeable spiritual ideas, and not the substance of matter. Discernment of spiritual ideas is the essence of my conscious at-one-ment with God, and is my body. The realization of the allness of Spirit is the energy, vitality, and virility of my so-called human body. My body is an immortal body because it is the conscious, eternal identity of divine Mind. Unfolding spiritual idea is the buoyancy, symmetry, strength, and vigor of my so-called human body.
God, or divine Mind, is always feeding and clothing my body in better garments of thought which are manifest as the outward and actual. Mrs. Eddy says, “The divine Mind, which forms the bud and blossom, will care for the human body, even as it clothes the lily.” (S&H 62:22)
My present body is the “Word made flesh.” The fact of the reality of flesh and bones exists in the divine Mind, so we have no antagonism to flesh and bones. We make flesh of the normal beliefs such as eating, sleeping, breathing, hearing, etc. until the spiritual ideas unfold to us in their fullness and completeness.
Our present state of consciousness is made up largely of God’s ideas and some false beliefs. And as more of God’s ideas unfold and are revealed to us, our present consciousness will have less of false beliefs in it until finally our present consciousness is the God consciousness.
In the God-body there are no false beliefs, no pain, or inflammation, or inaction, or overaction to be objectified. The God-body is complete; nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken from it.
The infinite consciousness, or God-body, does not lack any masculine or feminine qualities. It is every whit whole. It embodies within itself all life, joy, purity, satisfaction, and abundance.
The embodiment of the God-body is my individual body, or, the God-body is what I am as individual man.
As we have said before, according to belief the so-called human body is made up of many organs and each organ is supposed to perform some specific function in and of itself. We seem to have many organs because the one organ is reflected infinitely; the multiplicity of organs is only seen in the phenomenon.
Our so-called organs are not created but are reflections of the one organ, and this one organ is enough because it is infinite and is reflected infinitely. Every reflected organ is a sound organ because it is the reflection of the GodMind, which is the one organ.
This one infinite organ is never too large or too small, and never functions imperfectly. It cannot be diseased because it is not matter. All there is to a so-called human organ is the living, conscious, active, idea of Truth, and this Truth is the substance or being of all reflected organs.
To human sense, every organ appears to function or do some specific thing in and of itself, but we are learning in Christian Science, that the God-Mind is the one and only Organ, and performs all functions in and of Himself. The God-Mind is the Organ that functions as all-seeing, hearing, feeling, and thinking, in and of Himself, and not by means of anything.
Because God or Mind functions, that which I refer to as “My body,” which is the reflection or identity of Mind, functions coincidentally; but never in or of itself. Everything that goes on in “My body” is the reflection of what divine Mind is doing or being; even my present body is doing and being right now what God, my Mind, is doing and being.
Stomach, bowels, lungs, heart, kidneys, never do anything in and of themselves. What they seem to be doing in and of themselves is, instead, the conscious divine Mind functioning in that very place, which appears as the functioning of the God-Mind, reflected infinitely. It is the one sight, the one hearing, the one thinking, the one action, reflected or manifested infinitely.
We do not just happen to have so-called human bodies, and our so-called human bodies do not just happen to function in the manner they seem to function. We do not just happen to see, to hear, to breathe, to digest, eliminate, or generate humanly. We have, or rather are, these organs and functions, individually and humanly, because they are the DIVINE ORGAN, and the DIVINE FUNCTION “seen through a glass darkly.”
“Material sense defines all things materially, and has a finite sense of the infinite.” (S&H 208:2) (Mis. 359:11) When the student is convinced, through reason and revelation, that the body he now has, or rather is, is neither human nor material, but is divine and spiritual, and when he is convinced that his so-called bodily functions are neither in nor of material organs, but they are operations of divine Mind, or operations of spiritual, unfolding ideas objectified or identified, then he will give proof to harmonious, immortal body, here and now.
So, we need never fear that our present heart, or lungs, or kidneys will stop doing what they never have done; and we may rest assured that the divine Mind, the Enactor of all so-called human functions, will go on functioning eternally.
Kidneys, as ideas, must eliminate; brain, as idea, must manifest intelligence; bowels, as idea, must act; heart, as the divine idea that it is, must ever beat and circulate. Why? Because these functions forever reflect the one infinite and only ORGAN, the divine Mind and its functionings.
All so-called human organs do not function from any intelligence of their own, but function because they exist as the identity or manifestation of the divine Mind, and because they reflect some scientific activity of the divine Mind.
Many students are calling some functions good, and some functions bad. They want to stop, or suppress, or be indifferent to some functions, and want to perpetuate other functions; but they all agree that the beating of the heart and respiration should go on perpetually; and they will go on forever but in changed forms, as belief changes to understanding, and divine Mind is found to govern the organs and functions of the entire system. (See S&H 12432; 384:30)
Any organ or any function that is natural to the human body is needful. The heart, the lungs, the liver, and kidneys are needful; and the secretions of the glands, the secretions of the liver, and the secretions of the mucous membrane are likewise needful to our present state of existence.
Whatever is natural to our so-called human existence is the divine fact at hand, imperfectly known. What is it that says some parts of the body and their functionings are either common or comely? It is merely our ignorance of the divine fact at hand.
In I Cor. 12:23, we read, “those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.” When ignorance becomes understanding and we see the divine facts of creation, then every organ and function will be seen in its depict.
Do not fear anything that your present body seems to be doing. Every cell, fiber, tissue, gland, organ, or muscle of the human body exists right now in the one Mind as Idea, and each idea is proclaiming, “I am reflecting God, I am expressing God.” Every cell and fiber of my being is expressing the sovereignty of God, or proclaiming, “I AM.” (See S&H 162:12)
Mrs. Eddy says, “Immortal Mind, governing all, must be acknowledged as supreme in the physical realm, so-called, as well as in the spiritual.” (S&H 427:23)
All facts that we know humanly are summed up in the perception of the one fact that, when we see, know, or understand anything that pertains to our human body, or our present world, it is the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities.