Chapter 4 — Christian Science versus Spiritualism | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Chapter 4 — Christian Science versus Spiritualism

From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by

Click here to play the audio as you read:

  • Pages 70 to 86
  • Pages 86 to 97

Also available on YouTube or SoundCloud

Page 70

         And when they shall say unto you,
         Seek unto them that have familiar spirits,
         And unto wizards that peep and that mutter;
         Should not a people seek unto their God?

         Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he
         shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we
         know that thou hast a devil.

The infinite one Spirit

1      MORTAL existence is an enigma. Every day is a
         mystery. The testimony of the corporeal senses
3      cannot inform us what is real and what is delusive, but
         the revelations of Christian Science unlock the treasures
         of Truth. Whatever is false or sinful can
6      never enter the atmosphere of Spirit. There
         is but one Spirit. Man is never God, but spiritual man,
         made in God’s likeness, reflects God. In this scientific
9      reflection the Ego and the Father are inseparable. The
         supposition that corporeal beings are spirits, or that there
         are good and evil spirits, is a mistake.

Real and unreal identity

12    The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade
         of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal. The
         questions are: What are God’s identities?
15    What is Soul? Does life or soul exist in the thing

Page 71

1      Nothing is real and eternal, — nothing is Spirit, — but
         God and His idea. Evil has no reality. It is neither
3      person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion
         of material sense.

         The identity, or idea, of all reality continues forever;
6      but Spirit, or the divine Principle of all, is not in Spirit’s
         formations. Soul is synonymous with Spirit, God, the
         creative, governing, infinite Principle outside of finite form,
9      which forms only reflect.


         Close your eyes, and you may dream that you see a
         flower, — that you touch and smell it. Thus you learn
12    that the flower is a product of the so-called
         mind, a formation of thought rather than of
         matter. Close your eyes again, and you may see land-
15    scapes, men, and women. Thus you learn that these
         also are images, which mortal mind holds and evolves
         and which simulate mind, life, and intelligence. From
18    dreams also you learn that neither mortal mind nor
         matter is the image or likeness of God, and that im-
         mortal Mind is not in matter.

Found wanting

21    When the Science of Mind is understood, spiritualism
         will be found mainly erroneous, having no scientific basis
         nor origin, no proof nor power outside of
24    human testimony. It is the offspring of the
         physical senses. There is no sensuality in Spirit. I never
         could believe in spiritualism.

27    The basis and structure of spiritualism are alike ma-
         terial and physical. Its spirits are so many corporealities,
         limited and finite in character and quality. Spiritualism
30    therefore presupposes Spirit, which is ever infinite, to be
         a corporeal being, a finite form, — a theory contrary to
         Christian Science.

Page 72

1      There is but one spiritual existence, — the Life of
         which corporeal sense can take no cognizance. The
3      divine Principle of man speaks through immortal sense.
         If a material body — in other words, mortal, material
         sense — were permeated by Spirit, that body would
6      disappear to mortal sense, would be deathless. A con-
         dition precedent to communion with Spirit is the gain of
         spiritual life.

Spirits obsolete

9      So-called spirits are but corporeal communicators. As
         light destroys darkness and in the place of darkness all
         is light, so (in absolute Science) Soul, or God,
12    is the only truth-giver to man. Truth de-
         stroys mortality, and brings to light immortality. Mortal
         belief (the material sense of life) and immortal Truth
15    (the spiritual sense) are the tares and the wheat, which
         are not united by progress, but separated.

         Perfection is not expressed through imperfection.
18    Spirit is not made manifest through matter, the anti-
         pode of Spirit. Error is not a convenient sieve through
         which truth can be strained.

Scientific phenomena

21    God, good, being ever present, it follows in divine
         logic that evil, the suppositional opposite of good, is never
         present. In Science, individual good derived
24    from God, the infinite All-in-all, may flow
         from the departed to mortals; but evil is neither com-
         municable nor scientific. A sinning, earthly mortal is
27    not the reality of Life nor the medium through which
         truth passes to earth. The joy of intercourse becomes
         the jest of sin, when evil and suffering are communicable.
30    Not personal intercommunion but divine law is the com-
         municator of truth, health, and harmony to earth and
         humanity. As readily can you mingle fire and frost as

Page 73

1      Spirit and matter. In either case, one does not support
         the other.

3      Spiritualism calls one person, living in this world, ma-
, but another, who has died to-day a sinner and sup-
         posedly will return to earth to-morrow, it terms a spirit.
6      The fact is that neither the one nor the other is infinite
         Spirit, for Spirit is God, and man is His likeness.

One government

         The belief that one man, as spirit, can control an-
9      other man, as matter, upsets both the individuality and
         the Science of man, for man is image. God
         controls man, and God is the only Spirit. Any
12    other control or attraction of so-called spirit is a mortal
         belief, which ought to be known by its fruit, — the repe-
         tition of evil.

15    If Spirit, or God, communed with mortals or controlled
         them through electricity or any other form of matter, the
         divine order and the Science of omnipotent, omnipresent
18    Spirit would be destroyed.

Incorrect theories

         The belief that material bodies return to dust, hereafter
         to rise up as spiritual bodies with material sensations and
21    desires, is incorrect. Equally incorrect is the
         belief that spirit is confined in a finite, ma-
         terial body, from which it is freed by death, and that, when
24    it is freed from the material body, spirit retains the sensa-
         tions belonging to that body.

No mediumship

         It is a grave mistake to suppose that matter is any part
27    of the reality of intelligent existence, or that Spirit and
         matter, intelligence and non-intelligence, can
         commune together. This error Science will
30    destroy. The sensual cannot be made the mouthpiece of
         the spiritual, nor can the finite become the channel of
         the infinite. There is no communication between so-

Page 74

1      called material existence and spiritual life which is not
         subject to death.

Opposing conditions

3      To be on communicable terms with Spirit, persons must
         be free from organic bodies; and their return to a mate-
         rial condition, after having once left it, would
6      be as impossible as would be the restoration
         to its original condition of the acorn, already absorbed
         into a sprout which has risen above the soil. The seed
9      which has germinated has a new form and state of exist-
         ence. When here or hereafter the belief of life in matter
         is extinct, the error which has held the belief dissolves
12    with the belief, and never returns to the old condition.
         No correspondence nor communion can exist between
         persons in such opposite dreams as the belief of having
15    died and left a material body and the belief of still living
         in an organic, material body.

Bridgeless division

         The caterpillar, transformed into a beautiful insect,
18    is no longer a worm, nor does the insect return to
         fraternize with or control the worm. Such
         a backward transformation is impossible in
21    Science. Darkness and light, infancy and manhood,
         sickness and health, are opposites, — different beliefs,
         which never blend. Who will say that infancy can utter
24    the ideas of manhood, that darkness can represent light,
         that we are in Europe when we are in the opposite hemi-
         sphere? There is no bridge across the gulf which divides
27    two such opposite conditions as the spiritual, or incor-
         poreal, and the physical, or corporeal.

         In Christian Science there is never a retrograde step,
30    never a return to positions outgrown. The so-called dead
         and living cannot commune together, for they are in
         separate states of existence, or consciousness.

Page 75

Unscientific investiture

1      This simple truth lays bare the mistaken assumption
         that man dies as matter but comes to life as spirit. The
3      so-called dead, in order to reappear to those
         still in the existence cognized by the physical
         senses, would need to be tangible and material, — to have
6      a material investiture, — or the material senses could take
         no cognizance of the so-called dead.

         Spiritualism would transfer men from the spiritual sense
9      of existence back into its material sense. This gross mate-
         rialism is scientifically impossible, since to infinite Spirit
         there can be no matter.

Raising the dead

12    Jesus said of Lazarus: “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth;
         but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” Jesus
         restored Lazarus by the understanding that
15    Lazarus had never died, not by an admis-
         sion that his body had died and then lived again. Had
         Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his
18    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.

21    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
24    they died, — but not otherwise.

Vision of the dying

         There is one possible moment, when those living on the
         earth and those called dead, can commune together, and
27    that is the moment previous to the transition,
         – the moment when the link between their op-
         posite beliefs is being sundered. In the vestibule through
30    which we pass from one dream to another dream, or
         when we awake from earth’s sleep to the grand verities
         of Life, the departing may hear the glad welcome of those

Page 76

1      who have gone before. The ones departing may whisper
         this vision, name the face that smiles on them and the
3      hand which beckons them, as one at Niagara, with eyes
         open only to that wonder, forgets all else and breathes
         aloud his rapture.

Real Life is God

6      When being is understood, Life will be recognized as
         neither material nor finite, but as infinite, — as God,
         universal good; and the belief that life, or
9      mind, was ever in a finite form, or good in
         evil, will be destroyed. Then it will be understood that
         Spirit never entered matter and was therefore never
12    raised from matter. When advanced to spiritual being
         and the understanding of God, man can no longer com-
         mune with matter; neither can he return to it, any more
15    than a tree can return to its seed. Neither will man seem
         to be corporeal, but he will be an individual conscious-
         ness, characterized by the divine Spirit as idea, not matter.

18    Suffering, sinning, dying beliefs are unreal. When
         divine Science is universally understood, they will have
         no power over man, for man is immortal and lives by
21    divine authority.

Immaterial pleasure

         The sinless joy, — the perfect harmony and immortality
         of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness
24    without a single bodily pleasure or pain, –
         constitutes the only veritable, indestructible
         man, whose being is spiritual. This state of existence
27    is scientific and intact, — a perfection discernible only
         by those who have the final understanding of Christ in
         divine Science. Death can never hasten this state of
30    existence, for death must be overcome, not submitted to,
         before immortality appears.

         The recognition of Spirit and of infinity comes not

Page 77

1      suddenly here or hereafter. The pious Polycarp said:
         “I cannot turn at once from good to evil.” Neither do
3      other mortals accomplish the change from error to truth
         at a single bound.

Second death

         Existence continues to be a belief of corporeal sense
6      until the Science of being is reached. Error brings its
         own self-destruction both here and hereafter,
         for mortal mind creates its own physical con-
9      ditions. Death will occur on the next plane of existence
         as on this, until the spiritual understanding of Life is
         reached. Then, and not until then, will it be demon-
12    strated that “the second death hath no power.”

A dream vanishing

         The period required for this dream of material life,
         embracing its so-called pleasures and pains, to vanish
15    from consciousness, “knoweth no man . . .
         neither the Son, but the Father.” This period
         will be of longer or shorter duration according to the
18    tenacity of error. Of what advantage, then, would it be
         to us, or to the departed, to prolong the material state and
         so prolong the illusion either of a soul inert or of a sinning,
21    suffering sense, — a so-called mind fettered to matter.

Progress and purgatory

         Even if communications from spirits to mortal con-
         sciousness were possible, such communications would
24    grow beautifully less with every advanced stage
         of existence. The departed would gradually
         rise above ignorance and materiality, and Spiritualists
27    would outgrow their beliefs in material spiritualism.
         Spiritism consigns the so-called dead to a state resembling
         that of blighted buds, — to a wretched purgatory, where
30    the chances of the departed for improvement narrow
         into nothing and they return to their old standpoints of

Page 78

Unnatural deflections

1      The decaying flower, the blighted bud, the gnarled oak,
         the ferocious beast, — like the discords of disease, sin,
3      and death, — are unnatural. They are the fal-
         sities of sense, the changing deflections of mor-
         tal mind; they are not the eternal realities of Mind.

Absurd oracles

6      How unreasonable is the belief that we are wearing
         out life and hastening to death, and that at the same
         time we are communing with immortality!
9      If the departed are in rapport with mor-
         tality, or matter, they are not spiritual, but must still
         be mortal, sinning, suffering, and dying. Then why
12    look to them — even were communication possible — for
         proofs of immortality, and accept them as oracles? Com-
         munications gathered from ignorance are pernicious in
15    tendency.

         Spiritualism with its material accompaniments would
         destroy the supremacy of Spirit. If Spirit pervades all
18    space, it needs no material method for the transmission
         of messages. Spirit needs no wires nor electricity in order
         to be omnipresent.

Spirit intangible

21    Spirit is not materially tangible. How then can it
         communicate with man through electric, material effects?
         How can the majesty and omnipotence of
24    Spirit be lost? God is not in the medley
         where matter cares for matter, where spiritism makes
         many gods, and hypnotism and electricity are claimed
27    to be the agents of God’s government.

         Spirit blesses man, but man cannot “tell whence
         it cometh.” By it the sick are healed, the sorrowing are
30    comforted, and the sinning are reformed. These are the
         effects of one universal God, the invisible good dwelling
         in eternal Science.

Page 79

Thought regarding death

1      The act of describing disease — its symptoms, locality,
         and fatality — is not scientific. Warning people against
3      death is an error that tends to frighten into
         death those who are ignorant of Life as God.
         Thousands of instances could be cited of health restored
6      by changing the patient’s thoughts regarding death.

Fallacious hypotheses

         A scientific mental method is more sanitary than the
         use of drugs, and such a mental method produces perma-
9      nent health. Science must go over the whole
         ground, and dig up every seed of error’s sow-
         ing. Spiritualism relies upon human beliefs and hy-
12    potheses. Christian Science removes these beliefs and
         hypotheses through the higher understanding of God, for
         Christian Science, resting on divine Principle, not on ma-
15    terial personalities, in its revelation of immortality, intro-
         duces the harmony of being.

         Jesus cast out evil spirits, or false beliefs. The Apostle
18    Paul bade men have the Mind that was in the Christ.
         Jesus did his own work by the one Spirit. He said: “My
         Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” He never de-
21    scribed disease, so far as can be learned from the Gospels,
         but he healed disease.

Mistaken methods

         The unscientific practitioner says: “You are ill. Your
24    brain is overtaxed, and you must rest. Your body is
         weak, and it must be strengthened. You have
         nervous prostration, and must be treated for it.”
27    Science objects to all this, contending for the rights of in-
         telligence and asserting that Mind controls body and brain.

Divine strength

         Mind-science teaches that mortals need “not be weary
30    in well doing.” It dissipates fatigue in doing
         good. Giving does not impoverish us in the
         service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us.

Page 80

1      We have strength in proportion to our apprehension of
         the truth, and our strength is not lessened by giving
3      utterance to truth. A cup of coffee or tea is not the equal
         of truth, whether for the inspiration of a sermon or for
         the support of bodily endurance.

A denial of immortality

6      A communication purporting to come from the late
         Theodore Parker reads as follows: “There never was,
         and there never will be, an immortal spirit.”
9      Yet the very periodical containing this sen-
         tence repeats weekly the assertion that spirit-communica-
         tions are our only proofs of immortality.

Mysticism unscientific

12    I entertain no doubt of the humanity and philanthropy
         of many Spiritualists, but I cannot coincide with their
         views. It is mysticism which gives spiritual-
15    ism its force. Science dispels mystery and
         explains extraordinary phenomena; but Science never
         removes phenomena from the domain of reason into the
18    realm of mysticism.

Physical falsities

         It should not seem mysterious that mind, without the
         aid of hands, can move a table, when we already know
21    that it is mind-power which moves both table
         and hand. Even planchette — the French toy
         which years ago pleased so many people — attested the con-
24    trol of mortal mind over its substratum, called matter.

         It is mortal mind which convulses its substratum, matter.
         These movements arise from the volition of human belief,
27    but they are neither scientific nor rational. Mortal mind
         produces table-tipping as certainly as table-setting, and
         believes that this wonder emanates from spirits and elec-
30    tricity. This belief rests on the common conviction that
         mind and matter cooperate both visibly and invisibly,
         hence that matter is intelligent.

Page 81

Poor post-mortem evidence

1      There is not so much evidence to prove intercommuni-
         cation between the so-called dead and the living, as there
3      is to show the sick that matter suffers and has
         sensation; yet this latter evidence is destroyed by
         the Mind-science. If Spiritualists understood the
6      Science of being, their belief in mediumship would vanish.

No proof of immortality

         At the very best and on its own theories, spiritualism
         can only prove that certain individuals have a continued
9      existence after death and maintain their affili-
         ation with mortal flesh; but this fact affords
         no certainty of everlasting life. A man’s assertion that
12    he is immortal no more proves him to be so, than the op-
         posite assertion, that he is mortal, would prove immor-
         tality a lie. Nor is the case improved when alleged spirits
15    teach immortality. Life, Love, Truth, is the only proof
         of immortality.

Mind’s manifestations immortal

         Man in the likeness of God as revealed in Science can-
18    not help being immortal. Though the grass seemeth to
         wither and the flower to fade, they reappear.
         Erase the figures which express number, silence
21    the tones of music, give to the worms the body
         called man, and yet the producing, governing, divine
         Principle lives on, — in the case of man as truly as in
24    the case of numbers and of music, — despite the so-called
         laws of matter, which define man as mortal. Though
         the inharmony resulting from material sense hides the
27    harmony of Science, inharmony cannot destroy the divine
         Principle of Science. In Science, man’s immortality de-
         pends upon that of God, good, and follows as a necessary
30    consequence of the immortality of good.

Reading thoughts

         That somebody, somewhere, must have known the
         deceased person, supposed to be the communicator, is

Page 82

1      evident, and it is as easy to read distant thoughts as near.
         We think of an absent friend as easily as we do of one
3      present. It is no more difficult to read the
         absent mind than it is to read the present.
         Chaucer wrote centuries ago, yet we still read his thought
6      in his verse. What is classic study, but discernment of
         the minds of Homer and Virgil, of whose personal exist-
         ence we may be in doubt?

Impossible intercommunion

9      If spiritual life has been won by the departed, they
         cannot return to material existence, because different
         states of consciousness are involved, and one
12    person cannot exist in two different states of
         consciousness at the same time. In sleep we
         do not communicate with the dreamer by our side despite
15    his physical proximity, because both of us are either un-
         conscious or are wandering in our dreams through differ-
         ent mazes of consciousness.

18    In like manner it would follow, even if our departed
         friends were near us and were in as conscious a state of
         existence as before the change we call death, that their
21    state of consciousness must be different from ours. We
         are not in their state, nor are they in the mental realm
         in which we dwell. Communion between them and
24    ourselves would be prevented by this difference. The
         mental states are so unlike, that intercommunion is as
         impossible as it would be between a mole and a human
27    being. Different dreams and different awakenings be-
         token a differing consciousness. When wandering in
         Australia, do we look for help to the Esquimaux in their
30    snow huts?

         In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a
         greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to

Page 83

1      consider whether it is the human mind or the divine
         Mind which is influencing one. What the prophets of
3      Jehovah did, the worshippers of Baal failed to do; yet
         artifice and delusion claimed that they could equal the
         work of wisdom.

6      Science only can explain the incredible good and evil
         elements now coming to the surface. Mortals must find
         refuge in Truth in order to escape the error of these latter
9      days. Nothing is more antagonistic to Christian Science
         than a blind belief without understanding, for such a
         belief hides Truth and builds on error.

Natural wonders

12    Miracles are impossible in Science, and here Science
         takes issue with popular religions. The scientific mani-
         festation of power is from the divine nature
15    and is not supernatural, since Science is an
         explication of nature. The belief that the universe, in-
         cluding man, is governed in general by material laws, but
18    that occasionally Spirit sets aside these laws, — this be-
         lief belittles omnipotent wisdom, and gives to matter the
         precedence over Spirit.

Conflicting standpoints

21    It is contrary to Christian Science to suppose that life
         is either material or organically spiritual. Between
         Christian Science and all forms of superstition
24    a great gulf is fixed, as impassable as that be-
         tween Dives and Lazarus. There is mortal mind-reading
         and immortal Mind-reading. The latter is a revelation
27    of divine purpose through spiritual understanding, by
         which man gains the divine Principle and explanation of
         all things. Mortal mind-reading and immortal Mind-
30    reading are distinctly opposite standpoints, from which
         cause and effect are interpreted. The act of reading
         mortal mind investigates and touches only human beliefs.

Page 84

1      Science is immortal and coordinate neither with the
         premises nor with the conclusions of mortal beliefs.

Scientific foreseeing

3      The ancient prophets gained their foresight from a
         spiritual, incorporeal standpoint, not by foreshadowing
         evil and mistaking fact for fiction, — predict-
6      ing the future from a groundwork of corpo-
         reality and human belief. When sufficiently advanced
         in Science to be in harmony with the truth of being, men
9      become seers and prophets involuntarily, controlled not
         by demons, spirits, or demigods, but by the one Spirit.
         It is the prerogative of the ever-present, divine Mind, and
12    of thought which is in rapport with this Mind, to know
         the past, the present, and the future.

         Acquaintance with the Science of being enables us to
15    commune more largely with the divine Mind, to foresee
         and foretell events which concern the universal welfare,
         to be divinely inspired, — yea, to reach the range of fetter-
18    less Mind.

The Mind unbounded

         To understand that Mind is infinite, not bounded by
         corporeality, not dependent upon the ear and eye for
21    sound or sight nor upon muscles and bones
         for locomotion, is a step towards the Mind-
         science by which we discern man’s nature and existence.
24    This true conception of being destroys the belief of spirit-
         ualism at its very inception, for without the concession of
         material personalities called spirits, spiritualism has no
27    basis upon which to build.

Scientific foreknowing

         All we correctly know of Spirit comes from God, divine
         Principle, and is learned through Christ and Christian
30    Science. If this Science has been thoroughly
         learned and properly digested, we can know
         the truth more accurately than the astronomer can read

Page 85

1      the stars or calculate an eclipse. This Mind-reading
         is the opposite of clairvoyance. It is the illumination of
3      the spiritual understanding which demonstrates the ca-
         pacity of Soul, not of material sense. This Soul-sense
         comes to the human mind when the latter yields to the
6      divine Mind.

Value of intuition

         Such intuitions reveal whatever constitutes and per-
         petuates harmony, enabling one to do good, but not
9      evil. You will reach the perfect Science of
         healing when you are able to read the human
         mind after this manner and discern the error you would
12    destroy. The Samaritan woman said: “Come, see a
         man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this
         the Christ?”

15    It is recorded that Jesus, as he once journeyed with his
         students, “knew their thoughts,” — read them scientifi-
         cally. In like manner he discerned disease and healed
18    the sick. After the same method, events of great mo-
         ment were foretold by the Hebrew prophets. Our
         Master rebuked the lack of this power when he said:
21    “O ye hypocrites! ye can discern the face of the sky;
         but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”

Hypocrisy condemned

         Both Jew and Gentile may have had acute corporeal
24    senses, but mortals need spiritual sense. Jesus knew the
         generation to be wicked and adulterous, seek-
         ing the material more than the spiritual. His
27    thrusts at materialism were sharp, but needed. He never
         spared hypocrisy the sternest condemnation.. He said:
         “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other
30    undone.” The great Teacher knew both cause and
         effect, knew that truth communicates itself but never
         imparts error.

Page 86

Mental contact

1      Jesus once asked, “Who touched me?” Supposing
         this inquiry to be occasioned by physical contact alone,
3      his disciples answered, “The multitude throng
         thee.” Jesus knew, as others did not, that
         it was not matter, but mortal mind, whose touch called
6      for aid. Repeating his inquiry, he was answered by the
         faith of a sick woman. His quick apprehension of this
         mental call illustrated his spirituality. The disciples’
9      misconception of it uncovered their materiality. Jesus
         possessed more spiritual susceptibility than the disciples.
         Opposites come from contrary directions, and produce
12    unlike results.

Images of thought

         Mortals evolve images of thought. These may appear
         to the ignorant to be apparitions; but they are myste-
15    rious only because it is unusual to see
         thoughts, though we can always feel their
         influence. Haunted houses, ghostly voices, unusual
18    noises, and apparitions brought out in dark seances
         either involve feats by tricksters, or they are images and
         sounds evolved involuntarily by mortal mind. Seeing
21    is no less a quality of physical sense than feeling. Then
         why is it more difficult to see a thought than to feel one?
         Education alone determines the difference. In reality
24    there is none.

Phenomena explained

         Portraits, landscape-paintings, fac-similes of penman-
         ship, peculiarities of expression, recollected sentences,
27    can all be taken from pictorial thought and
         memory as readily as from objects cognizable
         by the senses. Mortal mind sees what it believes as
30    certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and
         sees its own thoughts. Pictures are mentally formed
         before the artist can convey them to canvas. So is it

Page 87

1      with all material conceptions. Mind-readers perceive
         these pictures of thought. They copy or reproduce
3      them, even when they are lost to the memory of the mind
         in which they are discoverable.

Mental environment

         It is needless for the thought or for the person hold-
6      ing the transferred picture to be individually and con-
         sciously present. Though individuals have
         passed away, their mental environment re-
9      mains to be discerned, described, and transmitted. Though
         bodies are leagues apart and their associations forgotten,
         their associations float in the general atmosphere of human
12    mind.

Second sight

         The Scotch call such vision “second sight”, when
         really it is first sight instead of second, for it presents
15    primal facts to mortal mind. Science enables
         one to read the human mind, but not as a
         clairvoyant. It enables one to heal through Mind, but
18    not as a mesmerist.

Buried secrets

         The mine knows naught of the emeralds within its
         rocks; the sea is ignorant of the gems within its caverns,
21    of the corals, of its sharp reefs, of the tall ships
         that float on its bosom, or of the bodies which
         lie buried in its sands: yet these are all there. Do not
24    suppose that any mental concept is gone because you do
         not think of it. The true concept is never lost. The
         strong impressions produced on mortal mind by friend-
27    ship or by any intense feeling are lasting, and mind-
         readers can perceive and reproduce these impressions.

Recollected friends

         Memory may reproduce voices long ago silent. We
30    have but to close the eyes, and forms rise
         before us, which are thousands of miles away
         or altogether gone from physical sight and sense, and

Page 88

1      this not in dreamy sleep. In our day-dreams we can
         recall that for which the poet Tennyson expressed the
3      heart’s desire, –
              the touch of a vanished hand,
              And the sound of a voice that is still.

6      The mind may even be cognizant of a present flavor and
         odor, when no viand touches the palate and no scent
         salutes the nostrils.

Illusions not ideas

9      How are veritable ideas to be distinguished from il-
         lusions? By learning the origin of each. Ideas are
         emanations from the divine Mind. Thoughts,
12    proceeding from the brain or from matter, are
         offshoots of mortal mind; they are mortal material be-
         liefs. Ideas are spiritual, harmonious, and eternal. Beliefs
15    proceed from the so-called material senses, which at one
         time are supposed to be substance-matter and at another
         are called spirits.

18    To love one’s neighbor as one’s self, is a divine idea;
         but this idea can never be seen, felt, nor understood
         through the physical senses. Excite the organ of ven-
21    eration or religious faith, and the individual manifests
         profound adoration. Excite the opposite development,
         and he blasphemes. These effects, however, do not pro-
24    ceed from Christianity, nor are they spiritual phenomena,
         for both arise from mortal belief.

Trance speaking illusion

         Eloquence re-echoes the strains of Truth and Love.
27    It is due to inspiration rather than to erudition. It shows
         the possibilities derived from divine Mind,
         though it is said to be a gift whose endowment
30    is obtained from books or received from the
         impulsion of departed spirits. When eloquence proceeds
         from the belief that a departed spirit is speaking, who

Page 89

1      can tell what the unaided medium is incapable of know-
         ing or uttering? This phenomenon only shows that the
3      beliefs of mortal mind are loosed. Forgetting her igno-
         rance in the belief that another mind is speaking through
         her, the devotee may become unwontedly eloquent. Hav-
6      ing more faith in others than in herself, and believing
         that somebody else possesses her tongue and mind, she
         talks freely.

9      Destroy her belief in outside aid, and her eloquence
         disappears. The former limits of her belief return. She
         says, ” I am incapable of words that glow, for I am un-
12    educated.” This familiar instance reaffirms the Scrip-
         tural word concerning a man, “As he thinketh in his heart,
         so is he.” If one believes that he cannot be an orator with-
15    out study or a superinduced condition, the body responds
         to this belief, and the tongue grows mute which before
         was eloquent.

Scientific improvisation

18    Mind is not necessarily dependent upon educational
         processes. It possesses of itself all beauty and poetry,
         and the power of expressing them. Spirit,
21    God, is heard when the senses are silent. We
         are all capable of more than we do. The influence or
         action of Soul confers a freedom, which explains the phe-
24    nomena of improvisation and the fervor of untutored lips.

Divine origination

         Matter is neither intelligent nor creative. The tree is
         not the author of itself. Sound is not the originator of
27    music, and man is not the father of man. Cain
         very naturally concluded that if life was in the
         body, and man gave it, man had the right to take it away.
30    This incident shows that the belief of life in matter was
         “a murderer from the beginning.”

         If seed is necessary to produce wheat, and wheat to

Page 90

1      produce flour, or if one animal can originate another,
         how then can we account for their primal origin? How
3      were the loaves and fishes multiplied on the shores of
         Galilee, — and that, too, without meal or monad from
         which loaf or fish could come?

Mind is substance

6      The earth’s orbit and the imaginary line called the
         equator are not substance. The earth’s motion and
         position are sustained by Mind alone. Divest
9      yourself of the thought that there can be sub-
         stance in matter, and the movements and transitions now
         possible for mortal mind will be found to be equally
12    possible for the body. Then being will be recognized
         as spiritual, and death will be obsolete, though now
         some insist that death is the necessary prelude to
15    immortality.

Mortal delusions

         In dreams we fly to Europe and meet a far-off friend.
         The looker-on sees the body in bed, but the supposed
18    inhabitant of that body carries it through
         the air and over the ocean. This shows the
         possibilities of thought. Opium and hashish eaters men-
21    tally travel far and work wonders, yet their bodies stay
         in one place. This shows what mortal mentality and
         knowledge are.

Scientific finalities

24    The admission to one’s self that man is God’s own like-
         ness sets man free to master the infinite idea. This con-
         viction shuts the door on death, and opens it
27    wide towards immortality. The understanding
         and recognition of Spirit must finally come, and we may
         as well improve our time in solving the mysteries of being
30    through an apprehension of divine Principle. At present
         we know not what man is, but we certainly shall know
         this when man reflects God.

Page 91

1      The Revelator tells us of “a new heaven and a
         new earth.” Have you ever pictured this heaven and
3      earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme

         Let us rid ourselves of the belief that man is separated
6      from God, and obey only the divine principle, Life and
         Love. Here is the great point of departure for all true
         spiritual growth.

Man’s genuine being

9      It is difficult for the sinner to accept divine Science,
         because Science exposes his nothingness; but the sooner
         error is reduced to its native nothingness, the
12    sooner man’s great reality will appear and his
         genuine being will be understood. The destruction of
         error is by no means the destruction of Truth or Life, but
15    is the acknowledgment of them.

         Absorbed in material selfhood we discern and reflect
         but faintly the substance of Life or Mind. The denial of
18    material selfhood aids the discernment of man’s spirit-
         ual and eternal individuality, and destroys the erroneous
         knowledge gained from matter or through what are termed
21    the material senses.

Erroneous postulates

         Certain erroneous postulates should be here considered
         in order that the spiritual facts may be better
24    apprehended.

         The first erroneous postulate of belief is, that substance,
         life, and intelligence are something apart from God.
27    The second erroneous postulate is, that man is both
         mental and material.

         The third erroneous postulate is, that mind is both evil
30    and good; whereas the real Mind cannot be evil nor the
         medium of evil, for Mind is God.

         The fourth erroneous postulate is, that matter is in-

Page 92

1      telligent, and that man has a material body which is part
         of himself.

3      The fifth erroneous postulate is, that matter holds in
         itself the issues of life and death, — that matter is not
         only capable of experiencing pleasure and pain, but also
6      capable of imparting these sensations. From the illusion
         implied in this last postulate arises the decomposition of
         mortal bodies in what is termed death.
9      Mind is not an entity within the cranium with the power
         of sinning now and forever.

Knowledge of good and evil

         In old Scriptural pictures we see a serpent coiled around
12    the tree of knowledge and speaking to Adam and Eve.
         This represents the serpent in the act of
         commending to our first parents the knowl-
15    edge of good and evil, a knowledge gained from matter,
         or evil, instead of from Spirit. The portrayal is still
         graphically accurate, for the common conception of mor-
18    tal man — a burlesque of God’s man — is an outgrowth
         of human knowledge or sensuality, a mere offshoot of
         material sense.

Opposing power

21    Uncover error, and it turns the lie upon you. Until
         the fact concerning error — namely, its nothingness –
         appears, the moral demand will not be met,
24    and the ability to make nothing of error will
         be wanting. We should blush to call that real which is
         only a mistake. The foundation of evil is laid on a belief
27    in something besides God. This belief tends to support
         two opposite powers, instead of urging the claims of Truth
         alone. The mistake of thinking that error can be real,
30    when it is merely the absence of truth, leads to belief in
         the superiority of error.

The age’s privilege

         Do you say the time has not yet come in which to

Page 93

1      recognize Soul as substantial and able to control the
         body? Remember Jesus, who nearly nineteen centuries
3      ago demonstrated the power of Spirit and said,
         “He that believeth on me, the works that I
         do shall he do also,” and who also said, “But the hour
6      cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall
         worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” “Behold,
         now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of sal-
9      vation,” said Paul.

Logic and revelation

         Divine logic and revelation coincide. If we believe
         otherwise, we may be sure that either our
12    logic is at fault or that we have misinterpreted
         revelation. Good never causes evil, nor creates aught
         that can cause evil.

15    Good does not create a mind susceptible of causing
         evil, for evil is the opposing error and not the truth of
         creation. Destructive electricity is not the offspring of in-
18    finite good. Whatever contradicts the real nature of the
         divine Esse, though human faith may clothe it with angelic
         vestments, is without foundation.

Derivatives of spirit

21    The belief that Spirit is finite as well as infinite has
         darkened all history. In Christian Science, Spirit, as a
         proper noun, is the name of the Supreme Being.
24    It means quantity and quality, and applies ex-
         clusively to God. The modifying derivatives of the word
         spirit refer only to quality, not to God. Man is spiritual.
27    He is not God, Spirit. If man were Spirit, then men
         would be spirits, gods. Finite spirit would be mortal,
         and this is the error embodied in the belief that the infi-
30    nite can be contained in the finite. This belief tends to
         becloud our apprehension of the kingdom of heaven and
         of the reign of harmony in the Science of being.

Page 94

Scientific man

1      Jesus taught but one God, one Spirit, who makes man
         in the image and likeness of Himself, — of Spirit, not of
3      matter. Man reflects infinite Truth, Life, and
         Love. The nature of man, thus understood,
         includes all that is implied by the terms “image” and
6      “likeness” as used in Scripture. The truly Christian
         and scientific statement of personality and of the relation
         of man to God, with the demonstration which accompa-
9      nied it, incensed the rabbis, and they said: “Crucify him,
         crucify him . . . by our law he ought to die, because he
         made himself the Son of God.”

12    The eastern empires and nations owe their false gov-
         ernment to the misconceptions of Deity there prevalent.
         Tyranny, intolerance, and bloodshed, wherever found,
15    arise from the belief that the infinite is formed after the
         pattern of mortal personality, passion, and impulse.

Ingratitude and denial

         The progress of truth confirms its claims, and our
18    Master confirmed his words by his works. His healing-
         power evoked denial, ingratitude, and be-
         trayal, arising from sensuality. Of the ten
21    lepers whom Jesus healed, but one returned to give God
         thanks, — that is, to acknowledge the divine Principle
         which had healed him.

Spiritual insight

24    Our Master easily read the thoughts of mankind, and
         this insight better enabled him to direct those thoughts
         aright; but what would be said at this period of an in-
27    fidel blasphemer who should hint that Jesus used his in-
         cisive power injuriously? Our Master read mortal mind
         on a scientific basis, that of the omnipresence of Mind.
30    An approximation of this discernment indicates spiritual
         growth and union with the infinite capacities of the one
         Mind. Jesus could injure no one by his Mind-reading.

Page 95

1      The effect of his Mind was always to heal and to save,
         and this is the only genuine Science of reading mortal
3      mind. His holy motives and aims were tra-
         duced by the sinners of that period, as they
         would be to-day if Jesus were personally present. Paul
6      said, “To be spiritually minded is life.” We approach
         God, or Life, in proportion to our spirituality, our fidel-
         ity to Truth and Love; and in that ratio we know all
9      human need and are able to discern the thought of the
         sick and the sinning for the purpose of healing them.
         Error of any kind cannot hide from the law of God.

12    Whoever reaches this point of moral culture and good-
         ness cannot injure others, and must do them good. The
         greater or lesser ability of a Christian Scientist to discern
15    thought scientifically, depends upon his genuine spirit-
         uality. This kind of mind-reading is not clairvoyance,
         but it is important to success in healing, and is one of the
18    special characteristics thereof.

Christ’s reappearance

         We welcome the increase of knowledge and the end
         of error, because even human invention must have its
21    day, and we want that day to be succeeded
         by Christian Science, by divine reality. Mid-
         night foretells the dawn. Led by a solitary star amid
24    the darkness, the Magi of old foretold the Messiahship
         of Truth. Is the wise man of to-day believed, when he
         beholds the light which heralds Christ’s eternal dawn
27    and describes its effulgence?

Spiritual awakening

         Lulled by stupefying illusions, the world is asleep
         in the cradle of infancy, dreaming away the hours.
30    Material sense does not unfold the facts of
         existence; but spiritual sense lifts human
         consciousness into eternal Truth. Humanity advances

Page 96

1      slowly out of sinning sense into spiritual understanding;
         unwillingness to learn all things rightly, binds Christen-
3      dom with chains.

The darkest hours of all

         Love will finally mark the hour of harmony, and spir-
         itualization will follow, for Love is Spirit. Before error
6      is wholly destroyed, there will be interrup-
         tions of the general material routine. Earth
         will become dreary and desolate, but summer and winter,
9      seedtime and harvest (though in changed forms), will
         continue unto the end, — until the final spiritualization of
         all things. “The darkest hour precedes the dawn.”

Arena of contest

12    This material world is even now becoming the arena
         for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord
         and dismay; on the other side there will be
15    Science and peace. The breaking up of mate-
         rial beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want
         and woe, sin, sickness, and death, which assume new
18    phases until their nothingness appears. These disturb-
         ances will continue until the end of error, when all
         discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.
21    Mortal error will vanish in a moral chemicalization.
         This mental fermentation has begun, and will continue
         until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is
24    changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.

Millennial glory

         As this consummation draws nearer, he who has
         shaped his course in accordance with divine Science
27    will endure to the end. As material knowl-
         edge diminishes and spiritual understanding
         increases, real objects will be apprehended mentally
30    instead of materially.

         During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor
         to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but

Page 97

1      those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in
         check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They
3      will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the
         certainty of ultimate perfection.

Dangerous resemblances

         In reality, the more closely error simulates truth and
6      so-called matter resembles its essence, mortal mind, the
         more impotent error becomes as a belief. Ac-
         cording to human belief, the lightning is fierce
9      and the electric current swift, yet in Christian Science
         the flight of one and the blow of the other will become
         harmless. The more destructive matter becomes, the
12    more its nothingness will appear, until matter reaches
         its mortal zenith in illusion and forever disappears. The
         nearer a false belief approaches truth without passing
15    the boundary where, having been destroyed by divine
         Love, it ceases to be even an illusion, the riper it becomes
         for destruction. The more material the belief, the more
18    obvious its error, until divine Spirit, supreme in its do-
         main, dominates all matter, and man is found in the like-
         ness of Spirit, his original being.

21    The broadest facts array the most falsities against
         themselves, for they bring error from under cover. It
         requires courage to utter truth; for the higher Truth
24    lifts her voice, the louder will error scream, until its in-
         articulate sound is forever silenced in oblivion.

         “He uttered His voice, the earth melted.” This Scrip-
27    ture indicates that all matter will disappear before the
         supremacy of Spirit.

Christianity still rejected

         Christianity is again demonstrating the Life that is
30    Truth, and the Truth that is Life, by the apos-
         tolic work of casting out error and healing the
         sick. Earth has no repayment for the persecutions which

Page 98

1      attend a new step in Christianity; but the spiritual recom-
         pense of the persecuted is assured in the elevation of ex-
3      istence above mortal discord and in the gift of divine Love.

Spiritual foreshadowings

         The prophet of to-day beholds in the mental horizon
         the signs of these times, the reappearance of the Chris-
6      tianity which heals the sick and destroys error,
         and no other sign shall be given. Body can-
         not be saved except through Mind. The Science of Chris-
9      tianity is misinterpreted by a material age, for it is the
         healing influence of Spirit (not spirits) which the material
         senses cannot comprehend, which can only be spiritu-
12    ally discerned. Creeds, doctrines, and human hypotheses
         do not express Christian Science; much less can they
         demonstrate it.

Revelation of Science

15    Beyond the frail premises of human beliefs, above the
         loosening grasp of creeds, the demonstration of Christian
         Mind-healing stands a revealed and practical
18    Science. It is imperious throughout all ages
         as Christ’s revelation of Truth, of Life, and of Love, which
         remains inviolate for every man to understand and to
21    practise.

Science as foreign to all religion

         For centuries — yea, always — natural science has not
         been considered a part of any religion, Christianity not
24    excepted. Even now multitudes consider that
         which they call science has no proper con-
         nection with faith and piety. Mystery does
27    not enshroud Christ’s teachings, and they are not theo-
         retical and fragmentary, but practical and complete; and
         being practical and complete, they are not deprived of
30    their essential vitality.

Key to the kingdom

         The way through which immortality and life are learned
         is not ecclesiastical but Christian, not human but divine,

Page 99

1      not physical but metaphysical, not material but scien-
         tifically spiritual. Human philosophy, ethics, and super-
3      stition afford no demonstrable divine Principle
         by which mortals can escape from sin; yet
         to escape from sin, is what the Bible demands. “Work
6      out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” says
         the apostle, and he straightway adds: “for it is God
         which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good
9      pleasure” (Philippians ii. 12, 13). Truth has furnished
         the key to the kingdom, and with this key Christian Sci-
         ence has opened the door of the human understanding.
12    None may pick the lock nor enter by some other door.
         The ordinary teachings are material and not spiritual.
         Christian Science teaches only that which is spiritual and
15    divine, and not human. Christian Science is unerring
         and Divine; the human sense of things errs because it
         is human.

18    Those individuals, who adopt theosophy, spiritualism,
         or hypnotism, may possess natures above some others
         who eschew their false beliefs. Therefore my contest is
21    not with the individual, but with the false system. I
         love mankind, and shall continue to labor and to endure.

         The calm, strong currents of true spirituality, the
24    manifestations of which are health, purity, and self-
         immolation, must deepen human experience, until the
         beliefs of material existence are seen to be a bald imposi-
27    tion, and sin, disease, and death give everlasting place
         to the scientific demonstration of divine Spirit and to
         God’s spiritual, perfect man.

Print this page

Share via email