Chapter 7 — Physiology
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
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- Pages 165 to 185
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Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? — JESUS.
He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. — PSALMS.
PHYSIOLOGY is one of the apples from “the tree of knowledge.” Evil declared that eating this fruit would open man’s eyes and make him as a god. Instead of so doing, it closed the eyes of mortals to man’s Godgiven dominion over the earth.
Man not structural
To measure intellectual capacity by the size of the brain and strength by the exercise of muscle, is to subjugate intelligence, to make mind mortal, and to place this so-called mind at the mercy of material organization and non-intelligent matter.
Obedience to the so-called physical laws of health has not checked sickness. Diseases have multiplied, since man-made material theories took the place of spiritual truth.
Causes of sickness
You say that indigestion, fatigue, sleeplessness, cause distressed stomachs and aching heads. Then you consult your brain in order to remember what has hurt you, when your remedy lies in forgetting
the whole thing; for matter has no sensation of its own, and the human mind is all that can produce pain.
As a man thinketh, so is he. Mind is all that feels, acts, or impedes action. Ignorant of this, or shrinking from its implied responsibility, the healing effort is made on the wrong side, and thus the conscious control over the body is lost.
Delusions pagan and medical
The Mohammedan believes in a pilgrimage to Mecca for the salvation of his soul. The popular doctor believes in his prescription, and the pharmacist believes in the power of his drugs to save a man’s life. The Mohammedan’s belief is a religious delusion; the doctor’s and pharmacist’s is a medical mistake.
Health from reliance on spirituality
The erring human mind is inharmonious in itself. From it arises the inharmonious body. To ignore God as of little use in sickness is a mistake. Instead of thrusting Him aside in times of bodily trouble, and waiting for the hour of strength in which to acknowledge Him, we should learn that He can do all things for us in sickness as in health.
Failing to recover health through adherence to physiology and hygiene, the despairing invalid often drops them, and in his extremity and only as a last resort, turns to God. The invalid’s faith in the divine Mind is less than in drugs, air, and exercise, or he would have resorted to Mind first. The balance of power is conceded to be with matter by most of the medical systems; but when Mind at last asserts its mastery over sin, disease, and death, then is man found to be harmonious and immortal.
Should we implore a corporeal God to heal the sick out of His personal volition, or should we understand the infinite divine Principle which heals? If we rise no higher than blind faith, the Science of healing is not attained, and Soul-existence, in the place of sense-existence, is not comprehended. We apprehend Life in divine Science only as we live above corporeal sense and correct it. Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence, — our health, our longevity, and our Christianity.
The two masters
We cannot serve two masters nor perceive divine Science with the material senses. Drugs and hygiene cannot successfully usurp the place and power of the divine source of all health and perfection. If God made man both good and evil, man must remain thus. What can improve God’s work? Again, an error in the premise must appear in the conclusion. To have one God and avail yourself of the power of Spirit, you must love God supremely.
The “flesh lusteth against the Spirit.” The flesh and Spirit can no more unite in action, than good can coincide with evil. It is not wise to take a halting and half-way position or to expect to work equally with Spirit and matter, Truth and error. There is but one way — namely, God and His idea — which leads to spiritual being. The scientific government of the body must be attained through the divine Mind. It is impossible to gain control over the body in any other way. On this fundamental point, timid conservatism is absolutely inadmissible. Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized.
Substituting good words for a good life, fair seeming
for straightforward character, is a poor shift for the weak and worldly, who think the standard of Christian Science too high for them.
Belief on the wrong side
If the scales are evenly adjusted, the removal of a single weight from either scale gives preponderance to the opposite. Whatever influence you cast on the side of matter, you take away from Mind, which would otherwise outweigh all else. Your belief militates against your health, when it ought to be enlisted on the side of health. When sick (according to belief) you rush after drugs, search out the material so-called laws of health, and depend upon them to heal you, though you have already brought yourself into the slough of disease through just this false belief.
The divine authority
Because man-made systems insist that man becomes sick and useless, suffers and dies, all in consonance with the laws of God, are we to believe it? Are we to believe an authority which denies God’s spiritual command relating to perfection, — an authority which Jesus proved to be false? He did the will of the Father. He healed sickness in defiance of what is called material law, but in accordance with God’s law, the law of Mind.
I have discerned disease in the human mind, and recognized the patient’s fear of it, months before the so-called disease made its appearance in the body. Disease being a belief, a latent illusion of mortal mind, the sensation would not appear if the error of belief was met and destroyed by truth.
Here let a word be noticed which will be better understood hereafter, — chemicalization. By chemicalization I mean the process which mortal
mind and body undergo in the change of belief from a material to a spiritual basis.
Whenever an aggravation of symptoms has occurred through mental chemicalization, I have seen the mental signs, assuring me that danger was over, before the patient felt the change; and I have said to the patient, “You are healed,” — sometimes to his discomfiture, when he was incredulous. But it always came about as I had foretold.
I name these facts to show that disease has a mental, mortal origin, — that faith in rules of health or in drugs begets and fosters disease by attracting the mind to the subject of sickness, by exciting fear of disease, and by dosing the body in order to avoid it. The faith reposed in these things should find stronger supports and a higher home. If we understood the control of Mind over body, we should put no faith in material means.
Mind the only healer
Science not only reveals the origin of all disease as mental, but it also declares that all disease is cured by divine Mind. There can be no healing except by this Mind, however much we trust a drug or any other means towards which human faith or endeavor is directed. It is mortal mind, not matter, which brings to the sick whatever good they may seem to receive from materiality. But the sick are never really healed except by means of the divine power. Only the action of Truth, Life, and Love can give harmony.
Modes of matter
Whatever teaches man to have other laws and to acknowledge other powers than the divine Mind, is anti-Christian. The good that a poisonous drug seems to do is evil, for it robs man of
reliance on God, omnipotent Mind, and according to belief, poisons the human system. Truth is not the basis of theogony. Modes of matter form neither a moral nor a spiritual system. The discord which calls for material methods is the result of the exercise of faith in material modes, — faith in matter instead of in Spirit.
Did Jesus understand the economy of man less than Graham or Cutter? Christian ideas certainly present what human theories exclude — the Principle of man’s harmony. The text, “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die,” not only contradicts human systems, but points to the self-sustaining and eternal Truth.
The demands of Truth are spiritual, and reach the body through Mind. The best interpreter of man’s needs said: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink.”
If there are material laws which prevent disease, what then causes it? Not divine law, for Jesus healed the sick and cast out error, always in opposition, never in obedience, to physics.
Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress. The age seems ready to approach this subject, to ponder somewhat the supremacy of Spirit, and at least to touch the hem of Truth’s garment.
The description of man as purely physical, or as both material and spiritual, — but in either case dependent upon his physical organization, — is the Pandora box, from which all ills have gone forth, especially despair. Matter, which takes divine power into its own hands and
claims to be a creator, is a fiction, in which paganism and lust are so sanctioned by society that mankind has caught their moral contagion.
Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free, not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brainology to learn how much of a man he is.
A closed question
Mind’s control over the universe, including man, is no longer an open question, but is demonstrable Science. Jesus illustrated the divine Principle and the power of immortal Mind by healing sickness and sin and destroying the foundations of death.
Matter versus Spirit
Mistaking his origin and nature, man believes himself to be combined matter and Spirit. He believes that Spirit is sifted through matter, carried on a nerve, exposed to ejection by the operation of matter. The intellectual, the moral, the spiritual, — yea, the image of infinite Mind, — subject to non-intelligence!
No more sympathy exists between the flesh and Spirit than between Belial and Christ.
The so-called laws of matter are nothing but false beliefs that intelligence and life are present where Mind is not. These false beliefs are the procuring cause of all sin and disease. The opposite truth, that intelligence and life are spiritual, never material, destroys sin, sickness, and death.
The fundamental error lies in the supposition that man is a material outgrowth and that the cognizance of good
or evil, which he has through the bodily senses, constitutes his happiness or misery.
Theorizing about man’s development from mushrooms to monkeys and from monkeys into men amounts to nothing in the right direction and very much in the wrong.
Materialism grades the human species as rising from matter upward. How then is the material species maintained, if man passes through what we call death and death is the Rubicon of spirituality? Spirit can form no real link in this supposed chain of material being. But divine Science reveals the eternal chain of existence as uninterrupted and wholly spiritual; yet this can be realized only as the false sense of being disappears.
Degrees of development
If man was first a material being, he must have passed through all the forms of matter in order to become man. If the material body is man, he is a portion of matter, or dust. On the contrary, man is the image and likeness of Spirit; and the belief that there is Soul in sense or Life in matter obtains in mortals, alias mortal mind, to which the apostle refers when he says that we must “put off the old man.”
Identity not lost
What is man? Brain, heart, blood, bones, etc., the material structure? If the real man is in the material body, you take away a portion of the man when you amputate a limb; the surgeon destroys manhood, and worms annihilate it. But the loss of a limb or injury to a tissue is sometimes the quickener of manliness; and the unfortunate cripple may present more nobility than the statuesque athlete, — teaching us by his very deprivations, that “a man’s a man, for a’ that.”
When man is man
When we admit that matter (heart, blood, brain, acting
through the five physical senses) constitutes man, we fail to see how anatomy can distinguish between humanity and the brute, or determine when man is really man and has progressed farther than his animal progenitors.
When the supposition, that Spirit is within what it creates and the potter is subject to the clay, is individualized, Truth is reduced to the level of error, and the sensible is required to be made manifest through the insensible.
What is termed matter manifests nothing but a material mentality. Neither the substance nor the manifestation of Spirit is obtainable through matter. Spirit is positive. Matter is Spirit’s contrary, the absence of Spirit. For positive Spirit to pass through a negative condition would be Spirit’s destruction.
Man not structural
Anatomy declares man to be structural. Physiology continues this explanation, measuring human strength by bones and sinews, and human life by material law. Man is spiritual, individual, and eternal; material structure is mortal. Phrenology makes man knavish or honest according to the development of the cranium; but anatomy, physiology, phrenology, do not define the image of God, the real immortal man.
Human reason and religion come slowly to the recognition of spiritual facts, and so continue to call upon matter to remove the error which the human mind alone has created.
The idols of civilization are far more fatal to health and longevity than are the idols of barbarism. The idols of civilization call into action less faith than Buddhism
in a supreme governing intelligence. The Esquimaux restore health by incantations as consciously as do civilized practitioners by their more studied methods.
Is civilization only a higher form of idolatry, that man should bow down to a flesh-brush, to flannels, to baths, diet, exercise, and air? Nothing save divine power is capable of doing so much for man as he can do for himself.
Rise of thought
The footsteps of thought, rising above material standpoints, are slow, and portend a long night to the traveller; but the angels of His presence — the spiritual intuitions that tell us when “the night is far spent, the day is at hand” — are our guardians in the gloom. Whoever opens the way in Christian Science is a pilgrim and stranger, marking out the path for generations yet unborn.
The thunder of Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount are pursuing and will overtake the ages, rebuking in their course all error and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven on earth. Truth is revealed. It needs only to be practised.
Mortal belief is all that enables a drug to cure mortal ailments. Anatomy admits that mind is somewhere in man, though out of sight. Then, if an individual is sick, why treat the body alone and administer a dose of despair to the mind? Why declare that the body is diseased, and picture this disease to the mind, rolling it under the tongue as a sweet morsel and holding it before the thought of both physician and patient? We should understand that the cause of disease obtains in the mortal human mind, and its cure comes from the immortal divine Mind. We should prevent the
images of disease from taking form in thought, and we should efface the outlines of disease already formulated in the minds of mortals.
When there are fewer prescriptions, and less thought is given to sanitary subjects, there will be better constitutions and less disease. In old times who ever heard of dyspepsia, cerebro-spinal meningitis, hay-fever, and rose-cold?
What an abuse of natural beauty to say that a rose, the smile of God, can produce suffering! The joy of its presence, its beauty and fragrance, should uplift the thought, and dissuade any sense of fear or fever. It is profane to fancy that the perfume of clover and the breath of new-mown hay can cause glandular inflammation, sneezing, and nasal pangs.
No ancestral dyspepsia
If a random thought, calling itself dyspepsia, had tried to tyrannize over our forefathers, it would have been routed by their independence and industry. Then people had less time for selfishness, coddling, and sickly after-dinner talk. The exact amount of food the stomach could digest was not discussed according to Cutter nor referred to sanitary laws. A man’s belief in those days was not so severe upon the gastric juices. Beaumont’s “Medical Experiments” did not govern the digestion.
Damp atmosphere and freezing snow empurpled the plump cheeks of our ancestors, but they never indulged in the refinement of inflamed bronchial tubes. They were as innocent as Adam, before he ate the fruit of false knowledge, of the existence of tubercles and troches, lungs and lozenges.
Our modern Eves
“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise,” says
the English poet, and there is truth in his sentiment. The action of mortal mind on the body was not so injurious before inquisitive modern Eves took up the study of medical works and unmanly Adams attributed their own downfall and the fate of their offspring to the weakness of their wives.
The primitive custom of taking no thought about food left the stomach and bowels free to act in obedience to nature, and gave the gospel a chance to be seen in its glorious effects upon the body. A ghastly array of diseases was not paraded before the imagination. There were fewer books on digestion and more “sermons in stones, and good in everything.” When the mechanism of the human mind gives place to the divine Mind, selfishness and sin, disease and death, will lose their foothold.
Human fear of miasma would load with disease the air of Eden, and weigh down mankind with superimposed and conjectural evils. Mortal mind is the worst foe of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend.
Diseases not to be classified
Should all cases of organic disease be treated by a regular practitioner, and the Christian Scientist try truth only in cases of hysteria, hypochondria, and hallucination? One disease is no more real than another. All disease is the result of education, and disease can carry its ill-effects no farther than mortal mind maps out the way. The human mind, not matter, is supposed to feel, suffer, enjoy. Hence decided types of acute disease are quite as ready to yield to Truth as the less distinct type and chronic form of disease. Truth handles the most malignant contagion with perfect assurance.
One basis for all sickness
Human mind produces what is termed organic disease as certainly as it produces hysteria, and it must relinquish all its errors, sicknesses, and sins. I have demonstrated this beyond all cavil. The evidence of divine Mind’s healing power and absolute control is to me as certain as the evidence of my own existence.
Mental and physical oneness
Mortal mind and body are one. Neither exists without the other, and both must be destroyed by immortal Mind. Matter, or body, is but a false concept of mortal mind. This so-called mind builds its own superstructure, of which the material body is the grosser portion; but from first to last, the body is a sensuous, human concept.
The effect of names
In the Scriptural allegory of the material creation, Adam or error, which represents the erroneous theory of life and intelligence in matter, had the naming of all that was material. These names indicated matter’s properties, qualities, and forms. But a lie, the opposite of Truth, cannot name the qualities and effects of what is termed matter, and create the so-called laws of the flesh, nor can a lie hold the preponderance of power in any direction against God, Spirit and Truth.
Poison defined mentally
If a dose of poison is swallowed through mistake, and the patient dies even though physician and patient are expecting favorable results, does human belief, you ask, cause this death? Even so, and as directly as if the poison had been intentionally taken.
In such cases a few persons believe the potion swallowed by the patient to be harmless, but the vast ma-
jority of mankind, though they know nothing of this particular case and this special person, believe the arsenic, the strychnine, or whatever the drug used, to be poisonous, for it is set down as a poison by mortal mind. Consequently, the result is controlled by the majority of opinions, not by the infinitesimal minority of opinions in the sick-chamber.
Heredity is not a law. The remote cause or belief of disease is not dangerous because of its priority and the connection of past mortal thoughts with present. The predisposing cause and the exciting cause are mental.
Perhaps an adult has a deformity produced prior to his birth by the fright of his mother. When wrested from human belief and based on Science or the divine Mind, to which all things are possible, that chronic case is not difficult to cure.
Animal magnetism destroyed
Mortal mind, acting from the basis of sensation in matter, is animal magnetism; but this so-called mind, from which comes all evil, contradicts itself, and must finally yield to the eternal Truth, or the divine Mind, expressed in Science. In proportion to our understanding of Christian Science, we are freed from the belief of heredity, of mind in matter or animal magnetism; and we disarm sin of its imaginary power in proportion to our spiritual understanding of the status of immortal being.
Ignorant of the methods and the basis of metaphysical healing, you may attempt to unite with it hypnotism, spiritualism, electricity; but none of these methods can be mingled with metaphysical healing.
Whoever reaches the understanding of Christian Science
in its proper signification will perform the sudden cures of which it is capable; but this can be done only by taking up the cross and following Christ in the daily life.
Science can heal the sick, who are absent from their healers, as well as those present, since space is no obstacle to Mind. Immortal Mind heals what eye hath not seen; but the spiritual capacity to apprehend thought and to heal by the Truth-power, is won only as man is found, not in self-righteousness, but reflecting the divine nature.
Every medical method has its advocates. The preference of mortal mind for a certain method creates a demand for that method, and the body then seems to require such treatment. You can even educate a healthy horse so far in physiology that he will take cold without his blanket, whereas the wild animal, left to his instincts, sniffs the wind with delight. The epizoötic is a humanly evolved ailment, which a wild horse might never have.
Medical works objectionable
Treatises on anatomy, physiology, and health, sustained by what is termed material law, are the promoters of sickness and disease. It should not be proverbial, that so long as you read medical works you will be sick.
The sedulous matron — studying her Jahr with homoeopathic pellet and powder in hand, ready to put you into a sweat, to move the bowels, or to produce sleep — is unwittingly sowing the seeds of reliance on matter, and her household may erelong reap the effect of this mistake.
Descriptions of disease given by physicians and adver-
tisements of quackery are both prolific sources of sickness. As mortal mind is the husbandman of error, it should be taught to do the body no harm and to uproot its false sowing.
The invalid’s outlook
The patient sufferer tries to be satisfied when he sees his would-be healers busy, and his faith in their efforts is somewhat helpful to them and to himself; but in Science one must understand the resuscitating law of Life. This is the seed within itself bearing fruit after its kind, spoken of in Genesis.
Physicians should not deport themselves as if Mind were non-existent, nor take the ground that all causation is matter, instead of Mind. Ignorant that the human mind governs the body, its phenomenon, the invalid may unwittingly add more fear to the mental reservoir already overflowing with that emotion.
Wrong and right way
Doctors should not implant disease in the thoughts of their patients, as they so frequently do, by declaring disease to be a fixed fact, even before they go to work to eradicate the disease through the material faith which they inspire. Instead of furnishing thought with fear, they should try to correct this turbulent element of mortal mind by the influence of divine Love which casteth out fear.
When man is governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, man knows that with God all things are possible. The only way to this living Truth, which heals the sick, is found in the Science of divine Mind as taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus.
The important decision
To reduce inflammation, dissolve a tumor, or cure organic disease, I have found divine Truth more potent than
all lower remedies. And why not, since Mind, God, is the source and condition of all existence? Before deciding that the body, matter, is disordered, one should ask, “Who art thou that repliest to Spirit? Can matter speak for itself, or does it hold the issues of life?” Matter, which can neither suffer nor enjoy, has no partnership with pain and pleasure, but mortal belief has such a partnership.
When you manipulate patients, you trust in electricity and magnetism more than in Truth; and for that reason, you employ matter rather than Mind. You weaken or destroy your power when you resort to any except spiritual means.
It is foolish to declare that you manipulate patients but that you lay no stress on manipulation. If this be so, why manipulate? In reality you manipulate because you are ignorant of the baneful effects of magnetism, or are not sufficiently spiritual to depend on Spirit. In either case you must improve your mental condition till you finally attain the understanding of Christian Science.
Not words but deeds
If you are too material to love the Science of Mind and are satisfied with good words instead of effects, if you adhere to error and are afraid to trust Truth, the question then recurs, “Adam, where art thou?” It is unnecessary to resort to aught besides Mind in order to satisfy the sick that you are doing something for them, for if they are cured, they generally know it and are satisfied.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If you have more faith in drugs than in Truth, this faith will incline you to the side of matter and error. Any hypnotic power you may exercise will diminish your
ability to become a Scientist, and vice versa. The act of healing the sick through divine Mind alone, of casting out error with Truth, shows your position as a Christian Scientist.
Physiology or Spirit
The demands of God appeal to thought only; but the claims of mortality, and what are termed laws of nature, appertain to matter. Which, then, are we to accept as legitimate and capable of producing the highest human good? We cannot obey both physiology and Spirit, for one absolutely destroys the other, and one or the other must be supreme in the affections. It is impossible to work from two standpoints. If we attempt it, we shall presently “hold to the one, and despise the other.”
The hypotheses of mortals are antagonistic to Science and cannot mix with it. This is clear to those, who heal the sick on the basis of Science.
No material law
Mind’s government of the body must supersede the so-called laws of matter. Obedience to material law prevents full obedience to spiritual law, — the law which overcomes material conditions and puts matter under the feet of Mind. Mortals entreat the divine Mind to heal the sick, and forthwith shut out the aid of Mind by using material means, thus working against themselves and their prayers and denying man’s Godgiven ability to demonstrate Mind’s sacred power. Pleas for drugs and laws of health come from some sad incident, or else from ignorance of Christian Science and its transcendent power.
To admit that sickness is a condition over which God has no control, is to presuppose that omnipotent power is powerless on some occasions. The law of Christ, or
Truth, makes all things possible to Spirit; but the so-called laws of matter would render Spirit of no avail, and demand obedience to materialistic codes, thus departing from the basis of one God, one lawmaker. To suppose that God constitutes laws of inharmony is a mistake; discords have no support from nature or divine law, however much is said to the contrary.
Can the agriculturist, according to belief, produce a crop without sowing the seed and awaiting its germination according to the laws of nature? The answer is no, and yet the Scriptures inform us that sin, or error, first caused the condemnation of man to till the ground, and indicate that obedience to God will remove this necessity. Truth never made error necessary, nor devised a law to perpetuate error.
Laws of nature spiritual
The supposed laws which result in weariness and disease are not His laws, for the legitimate and only possible action of Truth is the production of harmony. Laws of nature are laws of Spirit; but mortals commonly recognize as law that which hides the power of Spirit. Divine Mind rightly demands man’s entire obedience, affection, and strength. No reservation is made for any lesser loyalty. Obedience to Truth gives man power and strength. Submission to error superinduces loss of power.
Belief and understanding
Truth casts out all evils and materialistic methods with the actual spiritual law, — the law which gives sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, voice to the dumb, feet to the lame. If Christian Science dishonors human belief, it honors spiritual understanding; and the one Mind only is entitled to honor.
The so-called laws of health are simply laws of mortal belief. The premises being erroneous, the conclusions are wrong. Truth makes no laws to regulate sickness, sin, and death, for these are unknown to Truth and should not be recognized as reality.
Belief produces the results of belief, and the penalties it affixes last so long as the belief and are inseparable from it. The remedy consists in probing the trouble to the bottom, in finding and casting out by denial the error of belief which produces a mortal disorder, never honoring erroneous belief with the title of law nor yielding obedience to it. Truth, Life, and Love are the only legitimate and eternal demands on man, and they are spiritual lawgivers, enforcing obedience through divine statutes.
Laws of human belief
Controlled by the divine intelligence, man is harmonious and eternal. Whatever is governed by a false belief is discordant and mortal. We say man suffers from the effects of cold, heat, fatigue. This is human belief, not the truth of being, for matter cannot suffer. Mortal mind alone suffers, — not because a law of matter has been transgressed, but because a law of this so-called mind has been disobeyed. I have demonstrated this as a rule of divine Science by destroying the delusion of suffering from what is termed a fatally broken physical law.
A woman, whom I cured of consumption, always breathed with great difficulty when the wind was from the east. I sat silently by her side a few moments. Her breath came gently. The inspirations were deep and natural. I then requested her to look at the weather-vane. She looked and saw that it pointed due east. The wind
had not changed, but her thought of it had and so her difficulty in breathing had gone. The wind had not produced the difficulty. My metaphysical treatment changed the action of her belief on the lungs, and she never suffered again from east winds, but was restored to health.
A so-called mind-cure
No system of hygiene but Christian Science is purely mental. Before this book was published, other books were in circulation, which discussed “mental medicine” and “mind-cure,” operating through the power of the earth’s magnetic currents to regulate life and health. Such theories and such systems of so-called mind-cure, which have sprung up, are as material as the prevailing systems of medicine. They have their birth in mortal mind, which puts forth a human conception in the name of Science to match the divine Science of immortal Mind, even as the necromancers of Egypt strove to emulate the wonders wrought by Moses. 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.
Jesus and hypnotism
Jesus cast out evil and healed the sick, not only without drugs, but without hypnotism, which is the reverse of ethical and pathological Truth-power.
Erroneous mental practice may seem for a time to benefit the sick, but the recovery is not permanent. This is because erroneous methods act on and through the material stratum of the human mind, called brain, which is but a mortal consolidation of material mentality and its suppositional activities.
A patient under the influence of mortal mind is healed
only by removing the influence on him of this mind, by emptying his thought of the false stimulus and reaction of will-power and filling it with the divine energies of Truth.
Christian Science destroys material beliefs through the understanding of Spirit, and the thoroughness of this work determines health. Erring human mind-forces can work only evil under whatever name or pretence they are employed; for Spirit and matter, good and evil, light and darkness, cannot mingle.
Evil negative and self-destructive
Evil is a negation, because it is the absence of truth. It is nothing, because it is the absence of something. It is unreal, because it presupposes the absence of God, the omnipotent and omnipresent. Every mortal must learn that there is neither power nor reality in evil.
Evil is self-assertive. It says: “I am a real entity, overmastering good.” This falsehood should strip evil of all pretensions. The only power of evil is to destroy itself. It can never destroy one iota of good. Every attempt of evil to destroy good is a failure, and only aids in peremptorily punishing the evil-doer. If we concede the same reality to discord as to harmony, discord has as lasting a claim upon us as has harmony. If evil is as real as good, evil is also as immortal. If death is as real as Life, immortality is a myth. If pain is as real as the absence of pain, both must be immortal; and if so, harmony cannot be the law of being.
Mortal mind is ignorant of self, or it could never be self-deceived. If mortal mind knew how to be better, it would be better. Since it must believe in something besides itself, it enthrones matter as deity. The human mind has been an idolater from the beginning,
having other gods and believing in more than the one Mind.
As mortals do not comprehend even mortal existence, how ignorant must they be of the all-knowing Mind and of His creations.
Here you may see how so-called material sense creates its own forms of thought, gives them material names, and then worships and fears them. With pagan blindness, it attributes to some material god or medicine an ability beyond itself. The beliefs of the human mind rob and enslave it, and then impute this result to another illusive personification, named Satan.
Action of mortal mind
The valves of the heart, opening and closing for the passage of the blood, obey the mandate of mortal mind as directly as does the hand, admittedly moved by the will. Anatomy allows the mental cause of the latter action, but not of the former.
We say, “My hand hath done it.” What is this my but mortal mind, the cause of all materialistic action? All voluntary, as well as miscalled involuntary, action of the mortal body is governed by this so-called mind, not by matter. There is no involuntary action. The divine Mind includes all action and volition, and man in Science is governed by this Mind. The human mind tries to classify action as voluntary and involuntary, and suffers from the attempt.
Death and the body
If you take away this erring mind, the mortal material body loses all appearance of life or action, and this so-called mind then calls itself dead; but the human mind still holds in belief a body, through which it acts and which appears to the human mind to live, — a body like the one it had before death. This body
is put off only as the mortal, erring mind yields to God, immortal Mind, and man is found in His image.
Embryonic sinful thoughts
What is termed disease does not exist. It is neither mind nor matter. The belief of sin, which has grown terrible in strength and influence, is an unconscious error in the beginning, — an embryonic thought without motive; but afterwards it governs the so-called man. Passion, depraved appetites, dishonesty, envy, hatred, revenge ripen into action, only to pass from shame and woe to their final punishment.
Disease a dream
Mortal existence is a dream of pain and pleasure in matter, a dream of sin, sickness, and death; and it is like the dream we have in sleep, in which every one recognizes his condition to be wholly a state of mind. In both the waking, and the sleeping dream, the dreamer thinks that his body is material and the suffering is in that body.
The smile of the sleeper indicates the sensation produced physically by the pleasure of a dream. In the same way pain and pleasure, sickness and care, are traced upon mortals by unmistakable signs.
Sickness is a growth of error, springing from mortal ignorance or fear. Error rehearses error. What causes disease cannot cure it. The soil of disease is mortal mind, and you have an abundant or scanty crop of disease, according to the seedlings of fear. Sin and the fear of disease must be uprooted and cast out.
Sense yields to understanding
When darkness comes over the earth, the physical senses have no immediate evidence of a sun. The human eye knows not where the orb of day is, nor if it exists. Astronomy gives the desired information regarding the sun. The human or
material senses yield to the authority of this science, and they are willing to leave with astronomy the explanation of the sun’s influence over the earth. If the eyes see no sun for a week, we still believe that there is solar light and heat. Science (in this instance named natural) raises the human thought above the cruder theories of the human mind, and casts out a fear.
In like manner mortals should no more deny the power of Christian Science to establish harmony and to explain the effect of mortal mind on the body, though the cause be unseen, than they should deny the existence of the sunlight when the orb of day disappears, or doubt that the sun will reappear. The sins of others should not make good men suffer.
Ascending the scale
We call the body material; but it is as truly mortal mind, according to its degree, as is the material brain which is supposed to furnish the evidence of all mortal thought or things. The human mortal mind, by an inevitable perversion, makes all things start from the lowest instead of from the highest mortal thought. The reverse is the case with all the formations of the immortal divine Mind. They proceed from the divine source; and so, in tracing them, we constantly ascend in infinite being.
From mortal mind comes the reproduction of the species, — first the belief of inanimate, and then of animate matter. According to mortal thought, the development of embryonic mortal mind commences in the lower, basal portion of the brain, and goes on in an ascending scale by evolution, keeping always in the direct line of matter, for matter is the subjective condition of mortal mind.
Next we have the formation of so-called embryonic mortal mind, afterwards mortal men or mortals, — all this while matter is a belief, ignorant of itself, ignorant of what it is supposed to produce. The mortal says that an inanimate unconscious seedling is producing mortals, both body and mind; and yet neither a mortal mind nor the immortal Mind is found in brain or elsewhere in matter or in mortals.
This embryonic and materialistic human belief called mortal man in turn fills itself with thoughts of pain and pleasure, of life and death, and arranges itself into five so-called senses, which presently measure mind by the size of a brain and the bulk of a body, called man.
Human birth, growth, maturity, and decay are as the grass springing from the soil with beautiful green blades, afterwards to wither and return to its native nothingness. This mortal seeming is temporal; it never merges into immortal being, but finally disappears, and immortal man, spiritual and eternal, is found to be the real man. The Hebrew bard, swayed by mortal thoughts, thus swept his lyre with saddening strains on human existence:
As for man, his days are as grass: As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;
And the place thereof shall know it no more.
When hope rose higher in the human heart, he sang:
As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.
. . . . .
For with Thee is the fountain of life;
In Thy light shall we see light.
The brain can give no idea of God’s man. It can take no cognizance of Mind. Matter is not the organ of infinite Mind.
As mortals give up the delusion that there is more than one Mind, more than one God, man in God’s likeness will appear, and this eternal man will include in that likeness no material element.
The immortal birth
As a material, theoretical life-basis is found to be a misapprehension of existence, the spiritual and divine Principle of man dawns upon human thought, and leads it to “where the young child was,” — even to the birth of a new-old idea, to the spiritual sense of being and of what Life includes. This the whole earth will be transformed by Truth on its pinions of light, chasing away the darkness of error.
The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage. It should no longer ask of the head, heart, or lungs: What are man’s prospects for life? Mind is not helpless. Intelligence is not mute before non-intelligence.
By its own volition, not a blade of grass springs up, not a spray buds within the vale, not a leaf unfolds its fair outlines, not a flower starts from its cloistered cell.
The Science of being reveals man and immortality as based on Spirit. Physical sense defines mortal man as based on matter, and from this premise infers the mortality of the body.
No physical affinity
The illusive senses may fancy affinities with their opposites; but in Christian Science, Truth never mingles with error. Mind has no affinity with matter, and therefore Truth is able to cast out the ills of the flesh. Mind, God, sends forth the aroma of Spirit,
the atmosphere of intelligence. The belief that a pulpy substance under the skull is mind is a mockery of intelligence, a mimicry of Mind.
We are Christian Scientists, only as we quit our reliance upon that which is false and grasp the true. We are not Christian Scientists until we leave all for Christ. Human opinions are not spiritual. They come from the hearing of the ear, from corporeality instead of from Principle, and from the mortal instead of from the immortal. Spirit is not separate from God. Spirit is God.
Human power a blind force
Erring power is a material belief, a blind miscalled force, the offspring of will and not of wisdom, of the mortal mind and not of the immortal. It is the headlong cataract, the devouring flame, the tempest’s breath. It is lightning and hurricane, all that is selfish, wicked, dishonest, and impure.
The one real power
Moral and spiritual might belong to Spirit, who holds the “wind in His fists;” and this teaching accords with Science and harmony. In Science, you can have no power opposed to God, and the physical senses must give up their false testimony. Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.
We walk in the footsteps of Truth and Love by following the example of our Master in the understanding of divine metaphysics. Christianity is the basis of true healing. Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power.
Mind cures hip-disease
I was called to visit Mr. Clark in Lynn, who had been
confined to his bed six months with hip-disease, caused by a fall upon a wooden spike when quite a boy. On entering the house I met his physician, who said that the patient was dying. The physician had just probed the ulcer on the hip, and said the bone was carious for several inches. He even showed me the probe, which had on it the evidence of this condition of the bone. The doctor went out. Mr. Clark lay with his eyes fixed and sightless. The dew of death was on his brow. I went to his bedside. In a few moments his face changed; its death-pallor gave place to a natural hue. The eyelids closed gently and the breathing became natural; he was asleep. In about ten minutes he opened his eyes and said: “I feel like a new man. My suffering is all gone.” It was between three and four o’clock in the afternoon when this took place.
I told him to rise, dress himself, and take supper with his family. He did so. The next day I saw him in the yard. Since then I have not seen him, but am informed that he went to work in two weeks. The discharge from the sore stopped, and the sore was healed. The diseased condition had continued there ever since the injury was received in boyhood. Since his recovery I have been informed that his physician claims to have cured him, and that his mother has been threatened with incarceration in an insane asylum for saying: “It was none other than God and that woman who healed him.” I cannot attest the truth of that report, but what I saw and did for that man, and what his physician said of the case, occurred just as I have narrated.
It has been demonstrated to me that Life is God
and that the might of omnipotent Spirit shares not its strength with matter or with human will. Reviewing this brief experience, I cannot fail to discern the coincidence of the spiritual idea of man with the divine Mind.
Change of belief
A change in human belief changes all the physical symptoms, and determines a case for better or for worse. When one’s false belief is corrected, Truth sends a report of health over the body.
Destruction of the auditory nerve and paralysis of the optic nerve are not necessary to ensure deafness and blindness; for if mortal mind says, “I am deaf and blind,” it will be so without an injured nerve. Every theory opposed to this fact (as I learned in metaphysics) would presuppose man, who is immortal in spiritual understanding, a mortal in material belief.
Power of habit
The authentic history of Kaspar Hauser is a useful hint as to the frailty and inadequacy of mortal mind. It proves beyond a doubt that education constitutes this so-called mind, and that, in turn, mortal mind manifests itself in the body by the false sense it imparts. Incarcerated in a dungeon, where neither sight nor sound could reach him, at the age of seventeen Kaspar was still a mental infant, crying and chattering with no more intelligence than a babe, and realizing Tennyson’s description:
An infant crying in the night,
An infant crying for the light,
And with no language but a cry.
His case proves material sense to be but a belief formed by education alone. The light which affords us joy gave
him a belief of intense pain. His eyes were inflamed by the light. After the babbling boy had been taught to speak a few words, he asked to be taken back to his dungeon, and said that he should never be happy elsewhere. Outside of dismal darkness and cold silence he found no peace. Every sound convulsed him with anguish. All that he ate, except his black crust, produced violent retchings. All that gives pleasure to our educated senses gave him pain through those very senses, trained in an opposite direction.
The point for each one to decide is, whether it is mortal mind or immortal Mind that is causative. We should forsake the basis of matter for metaphysical Science and its divine Principle.
Whatever furnishes the semblance of an idea governed by its Principle, furnishes food for thought. Through astronomy, natural history, chemistry, music, mathematics, thought passes naturally from effect back to cause.
Academics of the right sort are requisite. Observation, invention, study, and original thought are expansive and should promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself, out of all that is mortal.
It is the tangled barbarisms of learning which we deplore, — the mere dogma, the speculative theory, the nauseous fiction. Novels, remarkable only for their exaggerated pictures, impossible ideals, and specimens of depravity, fill our young readers with wrong tastes and sentiments. Literary commercialism is lowering the intellectual standard to accommodate the purse and to meet a frivolous demand for amusement instead of for improvement. Incorrect views lower the standard of truth.
If materialistic knowledge is power, it is not wisdom. It is but a blind force. Man has “sought out many inventions,” but he has not yet found it true that knowledge can save him from the dire effects of knowledge. The power of mortal mind over its own body is little understood.
Sin destroyed through suffering
Better the suffering which awakens mortal mind from its fleshly dream, than the false pleasures which tend to perpetuate this dream. Sin alone brings death, for sin is the only element of destruction.
“Fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,” said Jesus. A careful study of this text shows that here the word soul means a false sense or material consciousness. The command was a warning to beware, not of Rome, Satan, nor of God, but of sin. Sickness, sin, and death are not concomitants of Life or Truth. No law supports them. They have no relation to God wherewith to establish their power. Sin makes its own hell, and goodness its own heaven.
Dangerous shoals avoided
Such books as will rule disease out of mortal mind, and so efface the images and thoughts of disease, instead of impressing them with forcible descriptions and medical details, — will help to abate sickness and to destroy it.
Many a hopeless case of disease is induced by a single post mortem examination, — not from infection nor from contact with material virus, but from the fear of the disease and from the image brought before the mind; it is a mental state, which is afterwards outlined on the body.
Pangs caused by the press
The press unwittingly sends forth many sorrows and diseases among the human family. It does this by giv-
ing names to diseases and by printing long descriptions which mirror images of disease distinctly in thought. A new name for an ailment affects people like a Parisian name for a novel garment. Every one hastens to get it. A minutely described disease costs many a man his earthly days of comfort. What a price for human knowledge! But the price does not exceed the original cost. God said of the tree of knowledge, which bears the fruit of sin, disease, and death, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Higher standard for mortals
The less that is said of physical structure and laws, and the more that is thought and said about moral and spiritual law, the higher will be the standard of living and the farther mortals will be removed from imbecility or disease.
We should master fear, instead of cultivating it. It was the ignorance of our forefathers in the departments of knowledge now broadcast in the earth, that made them hardier than our trained physiologists, more honest than our sleek politicians.
Diet and dyspepsia
We are told that the simple food our forefathers ate helped to make them healthy, but that is a mistake. Their diet would not cure dyspepsia at this period. With rules of health in the head and the most digestible food in the stomach, there would still be dyspeptics. Many of the effeminate constitutions of our time will never grow robust until individual opinions improve and immortal belief loses some portion of its error.
Harm done by physicians
The doctor’s mind reaches that of his patient. The doctor should suppress his fear of disease, else his belief in its reality and fatality will harm his patients even more
than his calomel and morphine, for the higher stratum of mortal mind has in belief more power to harm man than the substratum, matter. A patient hears the doctor’s verdict as a criminal hears his deathsentence. The patient may seem calm under it, but he is not. His fortitude may sustain him, but his fear, which has already developed the disease that is gaining the mastery, is increased by the physician’s words.
The materialistic doctor, though humane, is an artist who outlines his thought relative to disease, and then fills in his delineations with sketches from textbooks. It is better to prevent disease from forming in mortal mind afterwards to appear on the body; but to do this requires attention. The thought of disease is formed before one sees a doctor and before the doctor undertakes to dispel it by a counter-irritant, — perhaps by a blister, by the application of caustic or croton oil, or by a surgical operation. Again, giving another direction to faith, the physician prescribes drugs, until the elasticity of mortal thought haply causes a vigorous reaction upon itself, and reproduces a picture of healthy and harmonious formations.
A patient’s belief is more or less moulded and formed by his doctor’s belief in the case, even though the doctor says nothing to support his theory. His thoughts and his patient’s commingle, and the stronger thoughts rule the weaker. Hence the importance that doctors be Christian Scientists.
Mind over matter
Because the muscles of the blacksmith’s arm are strongly developed, it does not follow that exercise has produced this result or that a less used arm must be weak. If matter were the cause
of action, and if muscles, without volition of mortal mind, could lift the hammer and strike the anvil, it might be thought true that hammering would enlarge the muscles. The trip-hammer is not increased in size by exercise. Why not, since muscles are as material as wood and iron? Because nobody believes that mind is producing such a result on the hammer.
Muscles are not self-acting. If mind does not move them, they are motionless. Hence the great fact that Mind alone enlarges and empowers man through its mandate, — by reason of its demand for and supply of power. Not because of muscular exercise, but by reason of the blacksmith’s faith in exercise, his arm becomes stronger.
Latent fear subdued
Mortals develop their own bodies or make them sick, according as they influence them through mortal mind. To know whether this development is produced consciously or unconsciously, is of less importance than a knowledge of the fact. The feats of the gymnast prove that latent mental fears are subdued by him. The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible. Exceptions only confirm this rule, proving that failure is occasioned by a too feeble faith.
Had Blondin believed it impossible to walk the rope over Niagara’s abyss of waters, he could never have done it. His belief that he could do it gave his thoughtforces, called muscles, their flexibility and power which the unscientific might attribute to a lubricating oil. His fear must have disappeared before his power of putting resolve into action could appear.
Homer and Moses
When Homer sang of the Grecian gods, Olympus was
dark, but through his verse the gods became alive in a nation’s belief. Pagan worship began with muscularity, but the law of Sinai lifted thought into the song of David. Moses advanced a nation to the worship of God in Spirit instead of matter, and illustrated the grand human capacities of being bestowed by immortal Mind.
A mortal not man
Whoever is incompetent to explain Soul would be wise not to undertake the explanation of body. Life is, always has been, and ever will be independent of matter; for life is God, and man is the idea of God, not formed materially but spiritually, and not subject to decay and dust. The Psalmist said: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet.”
The great truth in the Science of being, that the real man was, is, and ever shall be perfect, is incontrovertible; for if man is the image, reflection, of God, he is neither inverted nor subverted, but upright and Godlike.
The suppositional antipode of divine infinite Spirit is the so-called human soul or spirit, in other words the five senses, — the flesh that warreth against Spirit. These so called material senses must yield to the infinite Spirit, named God.
St. Paul said: “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (I Cor. ii. 2.) Christian Science says: I am determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him glorified.