Premise and Application

Indulging in theory without tracing the human correlatives not only fails to explain divine Principle, but it brings confusion and culminates in the most fallacious attitudes and actions (My 218:15-20). There is something very insidious about a false sense of Christian Science, for it would sweep away natural practicality, and every humane consideration as well, leaving nothing in their place but sterile academic precepts. A disregard of mankind's requirements is a dead give-away of the smug theorist and must always be regarded as a danger signal (S&H 365:7-14, 366:12-21). Jesus did not feed the hungry throng on platitudes but upon fish and bread.

Very well, then, let us see how we can apply the ontological principles discussed to the outward-appearing circumstances. Without attempting to reduce the practice of infinity to finite mechanics, we can indicate in a general way, through concrete examples of actual treatment, the manner of turning to divine Principle in the solution of mundane problems.

Supposing we start with a case selected at random. Here is a young man just entering military service, who dreads the physical exposure entailed because the doctor tells him he has "glandular atrophy, due to mumps, not disqualifying for active duty." While metaphysical work was taken up in his behalf, his anxiety was allayed and his poise restored with this summary of the salient features involved:

"Because everything about man, about you, is constituted of Spirit, through the scientific discernment of whatever the material senses behold, you are enabled to establish that there is no atrophy, in belief or at all. The thing to do is to translate everything through Soul, so finding it unimpaired, intact, thriving. Of course you are not doing this when you leave it in the realm of intellectual gymnastics – and, as you well know, the tendency of everyday thinking is to yield to the palliative of emotionally charged words, rather than to fight through to reality. Whenever we are assailed by error in belief, our reasoning in accord with Principle must be vigorous enough to offset the error in belief.

"Holding substance to be Spirit does away not with a substantial sense of being, but only with the insubstantial, decadent, frail and unbeautiful characteristics inherent in the finite concept. With substance understood as spiritual, there is nothing wrong with anything. The adequacy, vitality, efficiency of substance are the already-facts, to be momentarily demonstrated. As Spirit, the reality of all things is vividly tangible, palpably apprehensible, substantially and practically present. Rest in that knowledge, where no blighting slant on things can corrupt, disrupt, arrest, destroy or despoil.

"To be specific in this instance, remember that what you are seeing, no matter how you are seeing it, is never anything static. It is Living Mind actively unfolding. There is no inanimate idea. Because it is unfettered in its irrepressible unfoldment, Mind exhibits no atrophy or arrested development in any direction; and your practical realization of this fact corrects or clarifies your present sense of it, so that the appearing must be that of symmetry, concord, unblemished contour, right functioning.

"Maintain steadfastly that the only substance to a seed, or a thought, or a flower – or a gland, to be consistent – is the Mind manifest in it. When you admit that God is literally All, He is all there is to all. Then you will see there is nothing wrong with any thing, since God is the only thing in existence and there is nothing wrong with that. 'God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power,' your book tells you (S&H 473:8-10). What exactly do you know about whatever confronts you? In its true nature, it is spiritual, good omnipresent in all of its integrity, so that it is uninhibited, immortal, living, loving, happily accomplishing.

"If you were knowing this, you could not for a single moment entertain any embarrassment over anticipated exposure, since you would see that there is nothing to be revealed but infinite perfection, in every aspect of being. It is your business to find that everything about you is normal, virile, comely beyond all misconception, for it is no less than Soul in expression, Truth disclosing itself, God manifest. This is your primary step.

"Your sense of dominion slips from you when you grant that anything could be outside of what you call your consciousness. You cannot afford to harbor the fancy that someone else or others 'out there' could be observing your assets or your defects, in belief or at all ('In belief' means you're believing it). All experiences are subjective. Cognizance constitutes all evidence; so rather than being objective – as it certainly appears to be – everything is always and wholly within the confines of awareness. In this lies your dominion over what you consider yourself and everyone else. What you describe as 'someone else observing you,' is necessarily Mind seeing itself, since Mind is indivisibly One and All. The understanding of this promptly does away with every last trace of self-consciousness, timidity or undue diffidence, of a surety.

"The law of the divine Mind to the divine body becomes, through your understanding, the law to any sense of body that you may entertain. That is why 'the perfectibility of man' is within your province (S&H 110:9-12). The law of perfection is not the law to the case, however, unless it is humanly apprehended. The recognition of perfection as the nature of all being embodies the power of enforcement, and our declarations – if made with any degree of realization – constitute the enforcement of the divine law right where we are at the moment, in belief or otherwise. If you cannot see this immediately, say it. And keep saying it, until you break the mesmerism – for words, if they have any meaning for you at all, give impulse to thought, and you cannot ever declare the truth of Being without having something happen."

The mental argument utilized in Christian Science is admittedly a human auxiliary, but many practitioners consider it indispensable in treating (S&H 454:31-2). The difficulty with this position is that all metaphysicians analyze cases differently – as you will very quickly learn if you consult a number of practitioners in any given case. All argument is predicated on correct diagnosis and how can you be sure of "the type and name of the ailment" when other metaphysicians disagree and doctors of material medicine are uncertain? (S&H 412:18-20). Analysis may be necessary in teaching Christian Science, but it does not follow that argument is an essential part of treatment. "Destroy the foe" is no more than a figure of speech if your goal is to establish God as literally All-in-all (S&H 419:4-7).

Moreover, you may know the essentials intuitively, with a conviction that brooks no challenge, but you still require the confirmation of their soundness, by way of reason, for them to be of any practical value. This is what we mean by "the spirit and the letter." In everyday practice, neither is enough in itself, but one must fortify the other (Mis 195:5-12). The confidence partaken of pure spirituality must be supported by logic irrefutable, for it is necessary we see that the facts of being are susceptible of scientific analysis and effective application. Your understanding must be implemented, if it is to do anything outside the sphere of theory. As a human being, you positively have to have something concrete that you can lay hold upon in your hour of trial.

What we ordinarily call "treatment" must lie within the scope of human mentation – even though it is designed to achieve that divine realization which lies beyond such finite thinking. Where metaphysical argument, or reasoning with Principle, is found desirable or requisite, it must be specific. There is no magic about Christian Science treatment. There isn't a thing to a treatment that is not specifically included in that treatment. And since the argument is concerned with the finite sense of things, it must be appropriate and applicable to the particular situation in which it is used. Your method or approach may alter apace with your growing understanding, but from moment to moment it must take such solid form as you can confidently work with.

For instance, when confronted by paralysis, you may find it essential to establish that locomotion, if it exists at all, exists forever as the uninterrupted, unlabored, direct action of pure Mind. Tic? You might have to see that there can be no involuntary motion, since the only movement is by the conscious volition of living Principle. Allergy? Spirit is not allergic to itself and there isn't anything else. Vitamin deficiency? The only substance is completely itself and so is never deficient in any element natural to completeness. The thyroid? Its substance is Spirit, its condition is perfect, its action is harmonious. Hypopituitarism? You may be told that the pituitary gland affects the stature and proportions. What controls growth, really? Prolific Principle does, of course – whether called Principle or pituitary, and however seen ('01, 9:4-5, Mis 206:17-19).

You may find it expedient with certain syndromes to pursue a more elaborate analysis. What about pyorrhea? If you always thought of teeth and gums together, they could never separate. But you don't handle separation; you handle mesmerism – the mesmerism of misinterpretation, inversion, negation. If you handle separation as anything but mesmerism, you will be as helpless as if you were trying to kill the beasts in a child's nightmare instead of awakening him to the nature of the illusion. Is gum infection involved? The substance of gums would have to be incontaminable Spirit.

As for bacteria, the only thing that is doing anything is the germ of infinite Truth, forever about its Father's business (S&H 361:25-26). So seen, it no longer appears as something preying upon something else, but as prompted by Love. Asked if there were no germs, Mrs. Eddy answered pointedly that there were no disease germs (Sentinel, Vol 7, p.671). A better sense of microbes might find them working legitimately in the production of cheese and butter, in the counteraction of decay, in bodily immunization, or some other wholesome function undreamed of before. Because you occasionally see a bad man, this does not mean that men are innately bad. So it is with all God's creatures (S&H 514:28-30). The fact must be brought out that they are, not shall be, perfect and eternal. Speaking of microbes, Mr. Kimball said we must get them to stop eating and go to Sunday School!

Insanity? There's nothing wrong with Mind, surely. The claim is that the thing that thinks is imperfect or impaired. You may call it brain, but the thing that thinks is divine Mind as cause, or Principle, and there's nothing wrong with that. It is no play upon words to say that Principle is head. Understanding this, you will not be entangled with finite appearances. While on the subject, note Mrs. Eddy's statement that dementia is a constitutional claim, a tendency latent with the patient which is brought into play by environmental pressures (Journal, Vol 13, p.133). Which is another way of saying that, if insanity arises, the claim is that the thinking apparatus is defective or inadequate to the demands upon it.

Following this line of reasoning in another direction: can head be stopped up with a cold? There is no congestion in Mind nor possible to Mind. Does mucus accumulate obstructively? With Spirit the reality of all things, whatever there is to secretion or excretion must be natural, normal harmonious. Absolutely speaking, substance does not increase nor decrease, but is omnipresent good, whatever its language. All that could be meant by quality and quantity must be maintained in perfect equipoise by Principle, which in expression is commensurate with itself. This explains concord, balance, symmetry (S&H 512:21-24, 110:9-12, 304:16-17).

Do not infer from what has been said that you can handle cases more efficiently by delving into medical lore, time-honored or contemporary. It is not a question of what the world thinks about your case, but a question of what you think the world thinks. Which is to say that you are obliged to handle precisely what the belief is to you as it looms on the threshold of your thought. Whether you seek a medical diagnosis in any instance is determined entirely by your sense of need in that direction. If you establish a right perspective, medical pronouncements can neither aid nor retard your metaphysical work. No belief can take hold in your experience unless you entertain it (Mis 83:12-17).

Besides functional disorders, we are of course called upon to handle an endless variety of organic difficulties and pathological conditions quite unlike those we have enumerated, but we need not become lost in the ramifications of belief. Our basic approach remains the same all the way through our work. Reasoning out from Principle, we dispose of any particular imperfection, so leaving the mental horizon unobstructed. It is neither necessary nor desirable to classify errors or to try to set up fixed arguments to cover them all individually, and no attempt will be made here to do so. However, it may be profitable to cite a few more variations of error handled scientifically, for the sake of orientation in the practice. The ape of God mimics every phase of divinity, but these arguments seem to prompt the most questions:

What is tumor but an abnormal growth – activity on a tangent? Confronted with tumor, we do not deny growth, but abnormal growth. "Growth is governed by intelligence; by the active, all-wise, law-creating, law-disciplining, law-abiding Principle, God." (Mis 206:17-19). The current medical opinion is that cancer is a rebellious cell reproducing, but it is up to us to demonstrate that the only reproduction is of Principle and by reflection. That this rebellion could be started by irritation of either a physical or chemical nature, as is sometimes said, is precluded by the understanding that Soul is not in conflict with itself and that there is nothing apart from or in addition to its infinity. That there is no such thing as incurability is proven daily in the practice of Christian Science, and this knowledge breaks the mesmerism which would block you.

There are other ailments and functions which may not at first glance lend themselves to like analysis. The divine character of certain functions is not so readily ascertainable. In appendicitis, does the appendix have a function – or is there an appendix? You may not know the purpose of appendix or tonsils, but you cannot consistently deny their existence or utility. What you do deny, when necessary, is appendicitis or tonsillitis. You deny any deleterious purpose or results. You do not have to speculate on their relationship to the bodily economy in order to establish that inflammation and infection are impossible to the divine functioner.

Simple constipation illustrates the point. Obviously, it isn't enough to say that God never made constipation. But one may wonder how there could be any such thing as "elimination" about Spirit, Soul, Principle. What has perfect Being to eliminate? Is there any place outside its own infinity to eliminate to? Elimination, as such, may not have any validity in the Godly scheme of things, but that does not do away with the necessity for what we are calling elimination. Whatever we humanly behold must have a divine reality (S&H 585:10-11). We certainly do behold something called "elimination" – and we had better continue to behold it, if we expect to stay around!

Then let us acknowledge that elimination, so-called, is a divine activity and therefore unimpeded, unobstructed, useful – yes, and even beautiful. Not in the way we have been thinking of it perhaps, but in the way that we must find it eventually. You cannot say there is no elimination. That is constipation, and it is the very thing that error (in the guise of spirituality) would have you accept. Similarly, digestion is maligned in the name of good. True, spiritual Being is not engaged in any process of absorption and rejection – which is the process that digestion seems to be. Nevertheless, digestive difficulties can only be rectified through the understanding that digestion is the unrestricted, right action of pure Mind, instead of the physical function it seems to be.

This principle applies to all the functions, if to any. But say you, there is no nerve in Mind. What about nervous disorders, diseases and disseverances? Well, as Mr. Young has indicated, Mrs. Eddy is speaking from the human standpoint when she says there is no nerve in Mind (S&H 113:29-30). The ordinary concept of nerve is that of a telegraphic system of communication, and it is plain enough there could be no such thing to Mind. Mind, acting directly, is at once communicator and communication, with no inbetweenness. Yet there must be a truth about nerve. What is it? What is the "connection" or "connecting link" between Mind and its manifestation of itself as idea? Is it not Mind's indivisible unity?

When you discover that what you have been calling "nerve" is the divine inseparability, you will see that it is efficient, immune to accident or disease, painless. Nerve as a finite conductor, reaching connective or interposing medium does not exist (S&H 85:31 only). But nerve as the right idea, the divine fact of infinite oneness or presence, is now and forever achieving its purpose, gloriously, joyously, serenely. Remember that all sensation and perception belong to Mind, and it is because of Mind's omnipresence that it is able to sense or perceive all that is. Presence precludes transmission, as ordinarily thought of, and the senses are explained as omniscience.

Sleeplessness poses a like problem. Where do we stand on insomnia, if Mind neither slumbers nor sleeps? (S&H 249:21-22). Simple insomnia is brought about by fear of sleeplessness, and this is handled by recognizing that Mind rests in action, so that there is neither need nor desire for sleep, absolutely speaking (S&H 519:25 only). This lifts the tension so that normal sleep ensues, paradoxically. Why? Harmony can be demonstrated in human experience only as "what is nearest right under the circumstances," which is possible because humanity inadvertently translates perfection into its own terms of thought (S&H 210:1-4). That Mind rests in action must appear humanly in the only way we can see rest. So consciousness appears as sleep when that is the best sense of things for us.

You may be momentarily disconcerted by many of the things which confront you in the practice, but if you will just revert to Principle, your analysis of any phase of error will be found scientific and effective. The mesmeric misrepresentation of divine verities automatically appears in any form which is likely to deceive you. Your acceptance determines the appearance. That is why Mr. Young has said, with grim humor, "You can choose the kind of trouble you want!" That is an over-simplification, but his purpose was to place the onus where it belongs. You must begin right where you are thinking to correct that which is appearing there. And you must make your beginning with the scientific recognition that the appearances would deceive you.

These few illustrations have indicated in the briefest possible manner the way of analysis, the preliminary clearing of thought for the divine unfoldment. It is no mental hocus pocus, but the simple consideration of any object of attention from the standpoint of immaculate Soul, perfect Principle, infallible Mind. An endless diversity of angles will engage you as you go along, but the problems all remain the same in essence. A dislocation? Just mesmerism – for nothing is out of line with omnipotent Principle which maintains all motion, position, relationship. Corns? Action is mental and so devoid of injurious friction, and mental circulation cannot be impaired or opposed, insufficient or stagnant, congested or depleted, interrupted or reversed, violent or sluggish.

So we could go on and on, but we have surely made our point. The important thing at this stage of learning is that we appreciate the practical necessity for appropriate reasoning in accord with Truth. If we are clear and poised, we are calm in our appraisal and specific in our application of what we know to the particular situation at hand. Principle is not nebulous, nor Science hap-hazard (My 235:1-13).