Recognizing the essential perfection of being, we are yet confronted with the overwhelming evidence of grossest imperfection. What can deliver us from this dilemma? Who or what is the Deliverer promised aforetime? Where is this Redeemer to be found? How is the Savior to be invoked? This Christ must be at hand, even within. Truth in its healing aspect is the Christ. The Christ is the corrective appearing of Truth in human experience (S&H 230:6-8). Otherwise, how could it prove to be the Redemptive Presence of Bible prophecy? Practical, operative Christian Science is the Truth applied through understanding. The divine understanding, then, is the Christ consciousness, and it must be revered and exalted, whether considered as your own or another's.
"Christ Jesus" is the human appearing of the divine idea, the Immaculate Conception, and to belittle it or to mistrust it would be to crucify again the living Christ. This spiritual comprehension is never apologetic, for it is the I-and-my-Father-are-One (S&H 314:5-7). This is the foreseen Comforter, of ineffable gentleness but irresistible strength. Such understanding is not the do-er, but the conscious doing. In this precept is found the only genuine humility. To grant that you are the doing, not the do-er, is to dispose of all false sense of I or Ego in the confident realization of Mind as All (S&H 305:13-19).
Our Standard defines "Christ" as "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." (S&H 583:10-11). This is no idle figure of speech, but must be taken literally. It means just what it says. And just how does the Christ heal? The mere human assertion that "good governs" is powerless to alter the hard circumstances of the workaday world. To say that right must win is begging the question. Science makes it possible for right to prevail, but this requires Christian Scientists to demonstrate it (Mis 365:10-12). Right is not something that triumphs simply because it is right. It gains the ascendency only as it is established as the Truth in present living. And it obviously doesn't do that except as we demonstrate it (My 158:17-19). Man's perfection remains no more than a theory until we manifest it.
Without such demonstrators, the Christian Science movement must disappear from off the face of the globe (My 197:15-19; Sentinel, Vol 20, p.10). The "movement" is not a self-propelling entity; it is the demonstrable understanding of Christian Scientists in action. Our "work," of course, is to get ourselves out of the way metaphysically, so to speak, through the recognition that God is the only Mind, the only Ego, the only Do-er. And until we have gotten ourselves out of the way through this divine realization, we yet have work to do. But that is a foregone conclusion. It is generally acknowledged that Jesus was the Mediator in that he got himself out of the way in the realization and demonstration of God as All.
Jesus demanded a change of consciousness, and that means nothing less than a change of evidence, since the only evidence we ever have of anything is our mental cognition of it (Un 11:10-11). The divine facts must be established as the only facts before they can be spoken of as the facts of present experience. To demonstrate, of course, is to prove that which already is. While good already is and is all that is, absolutely or spiritually speaking, it remains for us to apprehend it so clearly that it is obscured by nothing at all. The coming of this divine sense is the sacred Christ consciousness, that pure realization which Christian Science enables us to seek, find, cherish and protect. And until this divine sense becomes the only sense, there is yet something left for us to do along the lines of study and application.
To simply say that disease is only a belief is to admit disease, because that is exactly what disease is, we are reminded (Un 54:3-5). The belief itself must be extinguished, the erroneous sense corrected or displaced, the negation rectified. The statement that good governs, made from the standpoint of the human being, is palpably false and misleading. Good does not govern because it is good; good governs because, if, when and where it is practically demonstrated to be the controlling power. While perfection may be the fundamental nature of being, the present and eternal fact of existence, it is not the fact in human experience and circumstances, except as it is humanly understood and made manifest in terms of present awareness. Hence the necessity for a process of analysis and reversal, through which the law is enforced (S&H 494:19-20).
True, what you are seeing as wrong is really right, but that does not imply that it is right in the way in which you are seeing it. And to juggle words – making a fine distinction between "seeing" and "perceiving" – is not going to extricate you. Something considerably more is needed. While a knowledge of evil is unnecessary to the understanding of good, to understand good if we are still cognizant of evil, it is first necessary to understand evil (Mis 299:2-5). Reducing everything to the mental, is the preliminary step only; finding it to be divinely mental, or spiritual, is the ultimate requirement. Only by understanding how error is Truth seen wrongly, can you come to see that it is Truth appearing and that there is no error per se.
If you really knew the truth and only the truth, the lie would be but another way of expressing the truth (Un 53:2-3). To one who knows that twice two is four, the assertion that it is five brings to thought the fact of its being four as clearly and emphatically as if the correct statement had been made; but as long as it comes up five for us, the mistake must be considered before the final solution or realization of mathematical truth is possible. We must not miss the point that such spiritual facts as the immortality of man and the perfection of the universe are not humanly true except insofar as they are humanly apprehended and experienced. The mere declaration of an absolute truth does not make it so in present circumstances; it must be practically understood and sufficiently to exclude any contradictory belief or sense, called evidence (Rud 11:13-24).
Treatment is a human process in which you reason things out so as to dispose of the many misapprehensions which would obscure the divine realities (S&H 454:31-2). The actual realization, or direct perception, is the demonstration and this is the object of your treatment or work. How you arrive at this is a matter of Science, not of hopeful speculation. We do not assume things in Christian Science. The unsupported statement of a fact does not constitute the realization of that fact, surely. Recitation is not realization. We are not engaged in exchanging words for solid realities, nor are we occupied with parroted formulas. True Christian Science does not permit of psittacism – the canting of words and phrases until they cease to have any significance or potentialities (Man 43:5-8). "When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking," our Master warns (Matthew 6:7).
The admission that a particular conclusion is the only logical one possible in a specific instance does not constitute healing realization. Realization, as the word is being used here, describes something far, far beyond intellectual recognition. It is even beyond deepest conviction. You may be convinced of God's presence and still entertain a sense of evil in your universe. Whatever your convictions, if you are aware of anything as being wrong, the Christ consciousness has not wholly displaced the claim of mortal mentation. Without vitiating your conviction, a lingering sense of error must be acknowledged an indication of incomplete realization (Mis 259:7-10 to semicolon).
That is not to say that true conviction must not precede realization, for it seems to be an indispensable footstep leading thereto. Nevertheless, the footsteps are not the goal and must not be allowed to usurp the attention. They will fall into the best order if the goal itself is kept in view rather than the intervening processes. Science cannot disentangle the interlaced ambiguities of being for him who persists in losing his gaze in them instead of turning to Truth alone (No 30:18-20).
The Christ is the deific awareness that is transforming. "Jesus" is the point of human enlightenment at which all error is disappearing in celestial Truth. This scientific understanding which analyzes the afflictive appearance as a wrong sense of a right something must reverse that wrong sense, thus maintaining the very presence of God as the only presence. The way may be that of affirmation and denial, but it is never a contest. The calm rejection of error, on the basis of dawning perception, is the Christ light in which illusion is seen as illusion and effortlessly dispelled, so annulling the curse on man. The unlabored translation of man back into his native spirituality leaves nothing that has to be either saved or destroyed. All this quite transcends the intellectual attitude -which is that of the spectator -so that you are the happy participant (S&H 536:1-9).
Leaving the intermediate steps and stages behind in the realization of Mind's perfect allness, there is no place for a sense of imperfection, so that this grand awakening to reality is the demonstration, or proof, excluding (rectifying) whatever worketh or maketh a lie. Again, let us emphasize the vital need for thinking Truth instead of thinking about Truth. Most of what we read or hear of Christian Science outside of our Leader's works is about Science instead of being Science, and it is time we grew up. God can heal the sick through man only as man is the knowing of God. This is not a person knowing the Truth, but the knowing, for the knowing includes whatever is true about the person (S&H 495:1-2).
You have to know something in order to demonstrate anything. Your understanding of God is what operates in treatment. But not as if you were operating it. When you get yourself out of the way, then it operates. It is in this that your work lies, and until you do get that sense of private selfhood out of the way, your work is not done. Insofar as you yourself seem to figure in treatment, you are not the possessor of understanding, but you are possessed of understanding. All that could be true about your treatment would have to proceed from Principle and act as Principle, and to the extent that it is just this, it is divine Mind uttering itself through Science, declaring its own law and enforcing its own power. Thus you are in no sense a channel for good, but the presence (and therefore the evidence) of good, God.
Understanding that omniscient Mind is healing the case, not withstanding that a Christian Scientist seems to be included in the situation, precludes any fear or lack of confidence, for it eliminates the personal element at once. No patient comes to you because you are a human being; as little as he may know about it, he comes to you because you are a Christian Scientist -which means to him that you can invoke the power of God. And you know that you can invoke the power of God. When you know this much, you know that God heals through Christian Science in spite of fear or anything else. If this were not so, it is unlikely that we would have healings in Science, for there is always fear on board when there is pain or when there are threatening symptoms.
To say aloud that there is no sick man is not enough (Mis 108:11-14, S&H 447:27-29, No 25:1-3). In fact, it is far more likely to be detrimental than helpful, for ordinarily a patient would be disturbed and irritated by such a heartless assertion. The requirement is that you know there is no sickness -and that is assuredly a silent procedure. The rebuke of evil is never the rebuke of the patient. Being the mental rejection of error, it is something that can take place nowhere but in the quietude of consciousness, where one is thinking. No human practitioner has the right or authority to reprimand people who come to him for help. He is a metaphysician, not a disciplinarian. Righteous indignation springs from bigotry, for true righteousness cannot be indignant. Luke says that Jesus rebuked the fever, not the victim of the fever (Luke:4:39).
If you are actually knowing that there is nothing to be healed, this knowing operates as a law of healing to whatever appears to be unhealed. This explains why you build up a practice not by looking to sick people, but by conscientious declaration within that there are no sick people. Paradoxically, this results in sick people coming to you and being healed, since the evidence of health can only appear as people being healed so long as there appear to be sick people in the world.
If Christian Science brings redemption of consciousness, then it provides for getting back to the true consciousness, or attaining the right Mind. In the identification with, or realization of, infinite Mind, the claim of mortal mind, or that Mind is mortal, is nullified. To recognize that man (you) must be God manifest, is to actualize divinity and so to find Mind operating as the Mind of its own idea, in the spiritualization of consciousness. Just to say that God is Mind, brings out no relationship between man and God; but to say that there is one Mind and that this Mind is infinite, breaks the sense of a limited mind; and to say that this Mind is your Mind, is bringing this Mind down to your very own experience as idea, and so breaking the mesmerism of materiality.
You must see that the only thing that can say "I" properly is the divine Ego, God, Principle. When you understand that you are the conscious speaking, not the speaker, you can never let material sense say "I" in any event or under any circumstances (S&H 485:4-5). When you are saying "I Am" from the right standpoint, it is Mind speaking, declaring infinity, expressing perfection. In turning to prolific Principle as your own and only intelligence, you find yourself to be the active acknowledgment of all that Mind is, thus dispelling any suggestion of limitation, imperfection, affliction. Being conscious of infinite knowing, this Mind precludes the possibility of anything else, with you the inevitably living recognition of all that God includes and means (No 27:4-5).
Admit that man is realization, and you will never be frustrated by the belief that man has yet to achieve realization. Revert to this declaration whenever mortal-mind suggestion would slyly insinuate that you cannot rise spiritually to the occasion. It is never the inability to realize Truth with which you are bound; it is the belief of the inability to realize which would thwart you – just as the occasional inability to run in your night dream is not paralysis but simply the belief of immobility in which you are absorbed. Scotch this claim of spiritual apathy whenever it arises, with the confident assertion that you are at this very moment the divine realization itself.
You would no more say, "I am grateful for what little understanding I have," than you would say, "I am grateful for what little health I have." Scientifically speaking, you have both health and understanding (they are one, really) and it is only on this basis that you can experience them. The practitioner who says to himself, "I'll do the best I can," doesn't know what it is that heals. If you are thinking of yourself as a private healer, you are going to have doubts about the results of your work. Humility is not degradation or depreciation, but receptivity. Reverence understanding – whether it seems to belong to you or another. The healing Christ is the coming of Truth to human experience through spiritualization of consciousness, but the Christ cannot come where there is no acceptance, respect, appreciation and reverence for the Christ. You will not distrust understanding when you recognize it as creative Mind unfolding. Even humanly considered, it must be self-evident that the least possible understanding of Truth must be greater than all the error on earth at any given point (S&H 378:7 only, 449:3-5, 319:17-20).
Are "spiritual man" and "the Christ" synonymous? Our textbook says that Christ presents the indestructible man (S&H 316:20-21). You would not use two different expressions if you meant the same thing. The Christ Truth is more to be thought of as the spiritualization of thought, hence the perfecting of the universe. What we call healing is Science revealing. The Christ is transforming, for the truth about a thing perceived displaces any false concept. This does not imply that a specific idea supplants a finite error as a substitution, but that the specific verity is the only verity. The revelation of the specific aspect of Truth involved demonstrates the total unreality of any finite error about it. You nullify what appears to be going on by accepting that which is really going on (S&H 495:20-24). Such redemptive understanding is never indifferent, inadequate or imperfect.
Your comprehension of the truth of being must dispose of any false sense of being, for all that consciousness includes is thereby corrected. Genuine understanding is infinite Principle manifesting itself infinitely. The spiritual cause must be manifest as the spiritual effect, and this one infinity is constantly displacing the false human sense of things with the truth. You see, only by redeeming yourself, to all intents and purposes, can you help someone else. By maintaining the rightness of what you see, you demonstrate rightness on behalf of what you see (My 210:9-11).
You cannot possibly think Truth without having it do something. In fact, a mere declaration of Truth in thought must bring about a measure of realization – if there is any appreciation of its meaning at all. You cannot ever say what God is, without having something happen! Not an audible statement. Hardly! Christian Science is of thought and operates wholly as thought. What one says audibly is decided by circumstances as they unfold. But what one thinks is the thing. The saying will be what it ought to be if the thinking is what it ought to be. Because all is mental, redemptive realization will alter what appears to be external circumstances and requirements, or else it will provide a right statement to be voiced in the situation as it seems to be.
In the absolute sense (and in that sense only), there is but one practitioner. God, being the source of all real action, man's very volition, is the one Practitioner, practicing perfectly (Mis 255:5-6). The slightest turning to this Mind is bound to be beneficial, for it means the disappearance of just so much of the dependency upon the human, finite sense of mind. As soon as you turn to the sunlight, you enjoy its radiance, whether you understand or have faith in it or not (Mis 33:12-20). The very effort to turn to Principle tends to put thought in line with Principle, and to the extent that this turning is radical, it manifests the nature of Principle. But the practitioner is not a person who treats! It is realization which does the work.
As the conscious unfoldment of Mind, you can know nothing but Mind unfolding. In a certain way, man and treatment are one and the same thing, and this one is Mind's unopposed, unassailable knowing of its own innate perfection. It is instant because infinite. Then it would be legitimate to say in your treatment: This is Mind's infallible and resistless realization or unfoldment, being therefore wholly inviolate and entirely effectual. Being a practical metaphysician you learn to conclude your treatment in reaching realization. When an accountant completes his sum, he knows that he is through; and when you find a practitioner who knows that his treatment is complete, you also find a healed patient. This is arriving through orderly reason, recognition, acknowledgment and conviction at transcendent Being (S&H 336:23-24).
Just pronounce the word "God" and dwell in that for a bit. Then consider what you would say from the glorious, high throne of Deity – not as one puny mortal to another, but as divine knowing – what would you say from the seat of Spirit to sin, suffering or death? Surely, God would say, I never knew you! Depart from me! Nowhere in the illimitable range of my conscious reality could there ever arise any imperfection or any sense of imperfection. I know only my own infinite goodness, infinitely manifest and infinitely provided for. This claim that there could be something unlike or contrary to my flawlessness, concord and wholeness, is utterly without foundation or substance, irrational and impossible here in this all-inclusive and all-constituting omniscience. Whatever could be known would have to be my own pure Being, governed from the basis of my own nature, love. Love is the law and this knowing is the enforcement of the law, irreversible and inviolable, to all that is (No 30:11 only)
The scientific attitude when someone comes for help must always be that of God. If you were to ask the divine Mind at the time, What do you see? that infinite One would say: "I perceive my perfect selfhood as my own creation." If you were to ask Him to see anybody that was sick, that had to be healed, He would unquestionably answer: "Why, in my infinitude, anything that is unlike divinity is unknown and does not exist." The Christ heals because man is well. Consequently, the desire to heal, though laudable, is no part of the healing process (S&H 147:29-31). The wish to help may initiate the metaphysical work in this world of belief that something can be lacking or lost, whereas Christian Science demonstration is based entirely upon the claim that man is complete, perfect, harmonious, already and forever, where all desires are dissolved in satisfaction.
The attitude of the practitioner must be the altitude of God. The practitioner does not take an extravagant stand when he silently greets the patient with, "Hail, Son of God!" for then the treatment is launched in divinity. In handling a human situation, keep the divine by not using any expression which might imply that it is human. In proportion as you turn to your sense of right, thought approximates the divine. And in proportion as it approximates the divine, it embodies all the irrepressible power of divinity. Your recognition of good as infinite must include your present experience in its entirety, and so becomes a law to your present experience. Maintaining that conscious Principle is the infinite and only cause, Science reveals a perfect creation, in which everything is exactly as it ought to be and doing exactly what it ought to do, eternally (S&H 548:5-8).
Prayer and treatment are really the same thing in Christian Science, but such prayer is devoid of the old theological pleading. The beginner's prayer in Science may be one of desire, for the newcomer cannot grasp the rudiments of the doctrine without the initial urge to do so (S&H 1:11 to semicolon). But the advanced idea of prayer is one of revelation, realization, consummation, being the discovery of what we already have and are. Is not this the demonstration of completeness? Satisfying completeness must preclude any longing or anxious quest (No 39:18-24). The knowing of what God is is man, even you yourself. This is the prayer of the righteous man that availeth much. It is the redemption of false consciousness.
"Come now and let us reason together," saith Mind – and that means communion, not supplication. Here in the bosom of the Lord, "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18).
Divine Communion is the touchstone, and that you find in the sacred quiet of your mental closet (S&H 14:31-18). Both Jesus and Mrs. Eddy found it expedient to seek physical seclusion on occasion, and there are times when every metaphysician feels the need for human privacy. But the great thing is that we turn to thought instead of things in working out the grand verities of Life.