From Addresses by Martha Wilcox
Several years ago while visiting with Mr. Young, he said to me, “You must learn to read Science and Health correctly in order to do good healing work.” And, if we as Christian Scientists understood the truths in our textbook in the light of Mrs. Eddy’s understanding, we should derive far greater benefits from our practice of Christian Science.
There are two fundamental points in our healing work which should be clarified. The first is that our thought should be especially clear as to the true meaning of healing. Healing is not healing in the usual sense of restoring something, but healing is a process of thinking which reveals that which is already whole and perfect. We might say to a patient, “I cannot heal you, that is restore you, but I can reveal you to yourself as you really are.”
The second fundamental point in our healing work is a true evaluation of the claims of mortal mind. All the claims of mortal mind, such as fear, doubt, worry, hate, anger, lack, and disease are sin. Sin, as used in our textbook is a name which designates that which is never active, never conscious, never presence, never existence. All sin is ignorant of the truth. All sin is the claim that there can be the absence of Mind or the absence of understanding.
In our practice work we do not heal, that is restore these claims of evil to good; neither do we destroy these claims. But through the analysis of the evil and through reason and logic as set forth for us in our textbook, we find that all sin or evil is neither cause nor effect, and is as powerless to harm us as is our ignorance of music or mathematics.
In our textbook Mrs. Eddy did not set out the claims of mortal mind to show us how to heal or destroy them, but through her analysis of the claims and through reason, revelation, and logic, she reduced the claims of mortal mind to their native nothingness. In other words, she took off the chariot wheels of the Egyptians for us. Mrs. Eddy saw the importance of evaluating all claims of mortal mind, not as something to be healed or destroyed, but to be understood as nothing.
The world in general and many Christian Scientists are of the opinion that the practice of Christian Science is for the express purpose of healing; that is, restoring the diseased body and demonstrating supply. But the fact is that healing, as revealed by Christian Science, has little to do with a diseased body or with lack.
Christian Science is the Science of ONE INFINITE MIND, a Mind that includes no evil. Christian Science teaches that the claims of so-called mortal mind are reduced to their nothingness and self-destroyed through analysis, reason, revelation, and logic, which we gain through a deep and intensive study of our textbook.
Mrs. Eddy says, “Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin.” (Rud. 2:23-27) But the healing of sin does not mean that the claim of sin exists as a fact. Mrs. Eddy, through her analysis of the claim of sin, reduced this claim to its nothingness just as she did the claim of sickness.
Losing the Requirements of Christian Science
Often in our healing work we fail to fulfill the requirements of Christian Science, the Science of ONE MIND. In our treatments, that is, in the use of affirmations of truth and the denials of error, we very often predicate our affirmations and denials on the assumption that there is disease to be eradicated. And when we do this, we let our treatment fall to the plane of materia medica, which always considers disease as an entity or condition to be disposed of.
Also when we use a treatment to eradicate sin or evil, we are placing Christian Science treatment on the same plane as Scholastic Theology, which considers sin and evil as entities, as something to be disposed of or eradicated from the minds of mortals.
The difficulty is that we fail to keep our treatment on the plane of divine Mind where thought operates as Omnipresence. Very often when arguing, we get away from the standpoint of divine Mind. But to keep our treatment Scientific, we must argue from the standpoint of the OMNIPRESENCE AND OMNISCIENCE OF GOD.
Mrs. Eddy says, “The letter and mental argument are only human auxiliaries to aid in bringing thought into accord with the spirit of Truth and Love, which heals the sick and the sinner.” (S&H 454:31)
It is the Christ, the living, conscious, irresistible understanding or true consciousness which heals, and heals by its very all-presence. It is not because of us or because of the human arguments that we employ, that the healing takes place, but it is the Christ, the Truth within that does the healing.
In our healing it does seem that a practitioner does something for someone else, but as practitioners we should always bear in mind that someone else is not someone else to God. We as practitioners realize that the one who appears to be a patient is now the son of God. What appears as a patient is the appearing of man, the coincidence of the human and the divine.
In belief, the dream and the dreamer are one. The practitioner is part of the dream; but when we, as a practitioner, rise out of the dream into true consciousness, we no longer see a patient as a patient, but we see “the perfect man.” The less we feel that we have a patient, the fewer failures we shall have in our practice work. A patient is always the divine Mind unfolding, and there is no place where divine Mind is not expressing Himself as perfect man. There is no patient to the “I AM THAT I AM.”
The Process of Healing
What is the process of healing? Healing is the increasing awareness of perfection, rather than the eradication of disease. We should recognize that the healing process takes place coincidentally with the individual spiritual unfoldment.
The Healing of a Tumor
A faithful student of Christian Science for many years found herself in bondage to what is called a fibroid tumor. For years the growth grew larger and although she had had several practitioners, the condition grew worse instead of better. She was led to ask another consecrated practitioner for help. This practitioner said to the afflicted woman, “Are you looking for ease in matter; are you looking for disease to be removed or eradicated from your body, or are you seeking to love God, Truth, with your whole heart and praying for the Mind of Christ?” The practitioner also said, “All that needs to be removed or dissolved is your belief that you are a self-hood apart from God, constituted of self-will, self-justification, and self-love; and this adamant of error, this belief of two minds, can only be removed or dissolved with the universal solvent of love.” Then she turned to Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy asks the question, “Dost thou ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind’?” (S&H 9:17)
The student glimpsed that as this love for the one God became supreme in her affections, it would displace or remove properly, first mentally, then physically, whatever was unlovely or unlike the Christ in her consciousness. For several weeks she spent every spare minute in the prayerful study of the Bible and our Leader’s writings, and she began to have such a mental freedom that she could say, “Even if there does seem to be a tumor attached to me, I am knowing and loving the one God supremely.”
Finally the fear of the growth began to disappear. Then came the joyous realization that since God is all Life, all substance, and all intelligence, surely matter could not make her believe that it was a living, intelligent, growing entity. A few days after this clear view of God’s allness, she saw the result of correct thinking. The tumor passed away painlessly and with no after effects.
This student had found the process for the healing of all diseases, the SPIRITUALIZATION OF THOUGHT. She learned through this experience, as we all have to learn, that we have to earn our understanding of God, just as we have to earn our understanding of mathematics or music. (See Mrs. Teorey’s testimony in the Sentinel, July 30, 1938) Healing does not mean the eradication of disease. If we think that we find health only as we eradicate disease, we perpetuate the disease. A knowledge of the one God is our health and is what banishes disease permanently. When the truth was revealed to us through Christian Science, that man is as perfect as God is perfect, there was also revealed to us the fact that spiritual unfoldment is the healing process.
Everything Exists Perfect Now
Through the science of healing, it is made evident that everything that exists is perfect now. We can all be healed because we are whole now. If we heal a case of so-called heart trouble, it is because the only heart there is needs no healing. The heart we now have indicates a divine fact. It is a divine fact, imperfectly conceived. What appears to us as a material heart is a divine idea, now, and it is perfect now. As this understanding is accepted in consciousness, it excludes the need of healing of so-called heart trouble.
Do Not Place Disease in the Body
Spirit alone constitutes Being. Spirit is substance, infinite substance. Then disease is no part of existence. This is a scientific fact and we can prove it through the science of healing.
Dr. Mayo says, “Disease is rebellion against fundamental law and order. Every abnormal growth is rebellion in a single cell which then multiplies.” From this statement Dr. Mayo thinks, and the world in general thinks, that disease has a mental cause. There is also the popular belief that Christian Science teaches that the human mind is the cause of all disease, and affects the material body for good or ill.
All these beliefs, which are the “isms” of the world, are, of course, untrue. And in contradistinction to these beliefs, Christian Science teaches the ALLNESS OF THE ONE MIND. There is the prevalent belief that fear, anger, disturb digestion; that hate is a deadly poison; that thought can generate lesions; and this has been mistakenly said to agree with the teachings of Christian Science. But all such beliefs are sin and are untrue.
Mrs. Eddy says, “Such theories have no relationship to Christian Science, which rests on the conception of God as the only Life, substance, and intelligence, and excludes the human mind as a spiritual factor in the healing work.” (S&H 185:17)
No Cause in Evil
If we accept the belief that all sin, disease, tragedies, and calamities are caused by rebellion, hate, resentment, worry, doubt, and fear, then we must accept the belief of a material creation governed by a mind capable of evil thinking. But this is all contrary to the teachings of Christian Science.
Emotional disturbances such as rebellion, resistance, worry, hate, or fear have no power in and of themselves, and cannot, therefore, cause bodily derangements or disease. Emotionalism belongs to mortal mind, which Mrs. Eddy teaches is never substantive, but is illusion; is ignorance only; is the false representation of man.
Quotations from our Textbook
It is most necessary to study our textbook with an understanding mind. On page 411 we read, “The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, and sin.” To the unenlightened thought this might imply that mortal mind does cause disease. But this reference from our textbook is not a statement of fact, but is the analysis of sickness as mental and physical.
On page 419 we find the opposite statement. “Neither disease itself, sin, nor fear has the power to cause disease or a relapse.” And on page 415 we read, “Immortal Mind is the only cause; therefore disease is neither a cause nor an effect.”
Evils must be disposed of scientifically. We do not experience sin and disease, we sense them in belief, the same as we sensed a green horse because of green glasses. Likewise, we sense perfect creation, man and the universe, as matter, deformed, diseased, insufficient, or dead because we see through the lens of material sense. The imperfections we sense are no more conditions to be eradicated or removed from perfect creation than greenness was a condition to be eradicated or removed from the white horse. Unless we perceive that creation is perfect and spiritual now, we “have no Principle to demonstrate, and no rule for demonstration.” (My. 242:9-10)
Do Not Place Disease in the Body
In our healing work, it is most necessary to understand that we never locate disease in the body. The body has absolutely nothing to do with the experience called disease.
A student in a distant city told her practitioner that she had had liver trouble for thirty-five years. The practitioner insisted that she must not locate the trouble in her body. This student sent a special delivery letter to me, asking if she were wrong in locating liver trouble in the liver.
I replied emphatically, that she was wrong in locating disease in her body; that if she had kept the trouble in her liver for thirty-five years, and continued to do so, she would likely keep it there thirty-five years longer; she could not do anything to it as long as it was in her body. I told her that Christian Science teaches us that all disease is an image in mortal thought, and then gave her the following references:
“Too soon we cannot turn from disease in the body to find disease in mortal mind, and its cure, in working for God.” (Mis. 343:5-7)
“Whatever is cherished in mortal mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body.” (S&H 411:24)
“So-called disease is a sensation of mind, not of matter.” (My. 228:4)
Then I tried to show her that after transposing the trouble from her body to her mind, if she left it in her mind as mental, she would be little better off than before. But if she clearly understood that disease was not a condition in her body, but was an image of mortal thought, then she had dominion over it.
I told her that she was greater than her thoughts and feelings, and could therefore deal with the sense of disease at the point of her own belief in it. Only at this mental point could she actually contact what she called liver trouble and what comprised that sense.
Human goodness does not work out the problem of Being. We must be scientific Christians. To accept Christianity without its Science, is to accept Scholastic Theology, which is a belief in two minds. Christian Science is the science of One Mind, and humanity’s only sin is believing in, and practicing from, the standpoint of two minds.
Mrs. Eddy clearly states the way of deliverance for all mankind, when she says, “There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality — to have no other consciousness of life — than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.” (S&H 242:9)