Science and Health (1881)/01 Science of Being
SCIENCE AND HEALTH.
SCIENCE OF BEING.
At the Oxford University, England, a prize of one hundred pounds has been offered for the best essay on Natural Science that refutes the tendency to attribute physical effects to physical causes rather than a final spiritual cause. A demand for metaphysics expresses the wants of the race. It is the one question to be considered, for it relates more intimately than all others to the progress of mankind. The age seems ready to verge upon this subject, to think briefly on the supremacy of Spirit, and to touch the hem of its garment and be made whole. The utter control of mind over body is no longer a question with us; we have gained its proof by demonstration, and have reduced our discoveries to a system, stated the principle upon which it is based, and the rules for applying metaphysics to the treatment of disease.
After careful examination of the discovery in metaphysics that mind governs the body not in part but wholly, we submitted our metaphysical system of treating disease to the broadest practical proofs. Our theory has gradually gained ground, and established its own proof whenever it has been employed honestly and under circumstances that permitted its demonstration as the most effectual curative agent in medical practice.
As time is working wonders in the world we call material, the swift pinions of thought are soaring to the realm of the real, the first cause of all things. A material basis whence to deduce all that is deemed rational is yielding slowly to a metaphysical basis of reasoning, changing from matter to mind to discover cause and explain effect. The honored materialistic philosophers, Professors Tyndall, Huxley, Agassiz, and so on, appear to challenge to final combat physics and metaphysics; and at this Utopian period, like the shepherd-boy with his sling, woman goes to battle with the Goliath. The theories that we contest, stated fairly, are these: that all is matter; else matter originated in mind, and possesses the actual of mind, — sensation and life. The first-named theory, that all is matter, is quite as feasible as the second, that Mind and matter coexisted and co-operates. But the fact remains that one of the following statements can alone be true; namely, that all is matter, or that all is mind: which one is it? The conservative position that gives place and power to both matter and mind falls to the ground: science is radical, and permits no half-way positions for a rule. The metaphysical statement that all is mind is not supported by the evidence before the senses until we take the principle and rule of this statement to prove it; then we can arrive at no other conclusion. Our discovery that mind produces all the action of the body set thought to work in new channels, and we found the above statement true and demonstrable. Few will deny that an intelligence apart from man formed and governs the spiritual universe and man: and this intelligence is the eternal Mind, and neither matter nor man created this intelligence and divine Principle; nor can this Principle produce aught unlike itself. All that we term sin, sickness, and death is comprised in the belief of matter. The realm of the real is spiritual; the opposite of Spirit is matter; and the opposite of the real is the unreal or material. Matter is an error of statement, for there is no matter. This error of premises leads to error of conclusion in every statement of matter as a basis. Nothing we can say or believe regarding matter is true, except that matter is unreal, simply a belief that has its beginning and ending.
The conservative firm called matter and mind God never formed. The unerring and eternal Mind destroys this imaginary copartnership, formed only to be dissolved in a manner and at a period unknown. This copartnership is obsolete. Placed under the microscope of metaphysics matter disappears. Only by understanding there are not two, matter and mind, is a logical and correct conclusion obtained of either one. Science gathers not grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. Intelligence never produced non-intelligence, such as matter: the immortal never produced mortality, good never resulted in evil. The science of Mind shows conclusively that matter is a myth. Metaphysics are above physics, and drag not matter, or what is termed that, into one of its premises or conclusions. Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul. These ideas are perfectly tangible and real to consciousness, and they have this advantage, — they are eternal. Mind and its thoughts comprise the whole of God, the universe, and of man. Reason and revelation coincide with this statement, and support its proof every hour, for nothing is harmonious or eternal that is not spiritual: the realization of this will bring out objects from a higher source of thought; hence more beautiful and immortal.
The fact of spiritualization produces results in striking contrast to the farce of materialization: the one produces the results of chastity and purity, the other the downward tendencies and earthward gravitation of sensualism and impurity.
The exalting and healing effects of metaphysics show their fountain. Nothing in pathology has exceeded the application of metaphysics. Through mind alone we have prevented disease and preserved health. In cases of chronic and acute diseases, in their severest forms, we have changed the secretions, renewed structure, and restored health; have elongated shortened limbs, relaxed rigid muscles, made cicatrized joints supple; restored carious bones to healthy conditions, renewed that which is termed the lost substance of the lungs; and restored healthy organizations where disease was organic instead of functional.
Aside from the opposition to what is new, the greatest difficulty in introducing our metaphysical system is to express metaphysics in physical terms, and then to be understood metaphysically. This difficulty is overcome only by teaching the student the metaphysical meaning of the terms in common use. Out of twelve lessons to our class a shorthand writer produced over twelve hundred pages, all of which were unfit for use, owing to her ignorance of our subject, misapplication of our terms, and omitting our full statement as we translated physics into metaphysics, the original text of all things real and eternal.
The science of Mind explains cause and effect, lifts the veil of mystery from Soul and body, reveals the scientific relation of God to man, unwinds the interlaced ambiguities of being, sets free the imprisoned thought, and explains the divine Principle of man and of the universe. This metaphysical science explains man and the universe spiritually, and reveals them only as spiritual, not material, and harmonious and eternal. The discovery of harmonious being is more important than the discoveries relating to astronomy, or any advanced idea that science has promulgated.
Human views, conflicting opinions and beliefs, are mortal mind that can emit a poisonous atmosphere more destructive to health than what is named material miasma.
Nothing but the understanding can correct this atmosphere, invigorate and immortalize the body. But, before this result is obtained, understanding and belief must be classified as Truth and error, that meet in a war of ideas, until the thunderbolts of belief shall burst and die away in the distance, and the rain-drops of Truth refresh the parched earth.
Because we apply the word science to Christianity, and Christendom resists this word, we shall lose no faith in Christianity, and Christianity shall lose no hold on us. The Principle of things must interpret them; and we should never attempt with an opinion or belief to steady the altar of science. God is the Principle of all that represents Him, that is harmonious and eternal: and science alone reveals Principle; therefore divine science, as demonstrated by Jesus, alone reveals God, the Principle of all that really is, and whose government is supreme over all. There is no physical science. All science proceeds from a Divine Intelligence: it cannot be human, and is not a law of matter, for matter is not a law-giver. Science is an emanation of Mind: it has a spiritual and not a material origin, and is a divine utterance, the comforter that leadeth into all truth.
We learn from divine science that the unerring and eternal Mind is omnipotent and omnipresent, a universal cause and the only Creator, and there is no other causation, He alone creates the real and it is good; therefore evil, being the opposite of good, is unreal, and cannot be the product of God. In the original text good was the term for God, and all that He made was good like unto Himself. Because Spirit is real, and matter its direct opposite, matter is the unreal. Spirit is Principle, and man its idea: immortality is the real, and mortality the unreal. God is Spirit, and Spirit is Principle; and Principle is Life, Truth, and Love, — the only substance and intelligence, the Soul of the universe and of man. Principle and idea are God and man, and the universe is embraced in the idea; Principle being Spirit, its idea must be spiritual. All is Mind: there is no matter. The visible universe, and what is termed material man, are the poor counterfeits of the invisible and spiritual, universe and man. Eternal things are God's thoughts in the realm of the real. Temporal things are the beliefs of mortals, and are the unreal, they being the opposite of the spiritual and eternal.
There is but one Mind. The erring, sinful, sick, and dying, termed mortals, are not man and are not Mind; but to be understood we shall classify evil and error as mortal mind, in contradistinction to good and Truth, the Mind which is immortal. What we term matter is one of the beliefs of mortals. Spirit is the only substance, and consciousness in science: the senses oppose this, but there are no senses material, for matter has no sensation. What we term the five personal senses are simply beliefs of mortal mind, that say Life, substance, and intelligence are matter instead of Spirit. These beliefs and their products constitute error, and this error opposes the Truth of being; hence the scripture, “For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other.” There is nothing in Spirit out of which to create matter: it destroys it: to Spirit there is no matter, and as we approach it we shall lose all consciousness of matter. What is this “I” that is personality and not Spirit? It is a mortal belief that saith man is both mind and matter; but this is self-contradictory; for if man was that, the loss of a limb would take away a portion of manhood. There is nothing in God out of which to make a devil. The so-called personal senses afford no evidence of God. We can neither see through the eye, hear through the ear, feel through the senses, taste or smell Spirit; and that which affords no evidence of God gives but an incorrect testimony of Life, Truth, and Love; and God never created such false heralds of himself as a mortal man, sin, sickness, or death. Truth is real: error is the opposite of Truth; therefore error is unreal. Spirit and its formations are all that are real: no partnership or fellowship exists between those two opposites, Spirit and matter. They cannot co-exist or co-operate, and either one can no more create the other than Truth can create error, and vice versâ.
The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real; the mutable and imperfect, the immutable and perfect; the inharmonious and self-destroying, the harmonious and self-existing. Those are the tares and wheat that never mingle: but to belief they appear to grow side by side, until science separates them through the understanding of God; for one is Truth, and the other error; and error is without the reality of Truth. When we understand Spirit, we shall yield the belief that Life, substance, or intelligence is aught but God. Nature and revelation inform us that like produces like. We classify matter as error, because it is a false claim to Life, substance, and intelligence; and ignored by Spirit, it is dust to dust.
Natural history presents mineral, vegetable, and animal, preserving their original species; a mineral is not produced by a vegetable, or the human by the animal. In the order of reproduction, throughout the entire round of universal nature, the rule relating to genus and species is preserved, and it indicates the spiritual fact of being. But error claims the opposite statement, namely that Spirit produces matter, that good is the author of evil, etc., which contradicts natural science. Metaphysical or divine science reveals the great facts that God is not the author of sin, sickness, or death; that Spirit is exempt from either one of those; that matter is a falsity, — not the fact but the fable of existence, a belief and illusion, that nerves, brain, stomach, lungs, etc., have no intelligence, Life, substance, or sensation. That Mind is in matter, or that matter is the medium of Mind, is no more natural or real, than for a rock to embrace a tree in embryo and become the medium of its development
and identification. The only excuse for entertaining such opinions is our ignorance of Spirit, that can yield only to the understanding of divine science, whereby we enter into the kingdom of Truth, and learn that Spirit is supreme, and matter but an error of belief, and they no more commingle than light and darkness; when one appears the other disappears. Harmony is real and immortal: discord is unreal and mortal. Belief and understanding never mingle; the latter destroys the former: discord is the nothingness of error; harmony is the somethingness of Truth.
The so-called mind beneath a skull-bone is a myth, a false statement of man; and we shall all learn that sin and mortality are without any actual origin or rightful existence, having neither Principle nor permanency; they are the native nothingness out of which error would simulate creation through dust instead of Deity. Error alone presupposes man both mind and matter, while divine science, contradicting the so-called personal senses, rebukes belief, and asks, What is the “I,” whence its origin, and what its destiny? The “I” is Spirit, Soul not sense, God and not man, Principle and not person: and there is but one I, but one Mind or Spirit, because there is but one God, and man reflects this one God; he is the image and likeness of Him, and is harmonious and immortal. Spirit or Soul, which is God, is not in man, else there would be but one, and no longer two, namely God and man, and man the reflection of Him. Man should have no other mind but God; and he has not in reality: it is only to belief that he seemeth to have, and this belief is the inverted image of Truth and intelligence; it is upsidedown in every thing, claiming Soul in body, Spirit in matter, immortality in mortality, the infinite within the finite, and Principle in its idea.
To gain the reality and order of being, we must begin by reckoning God as the only Life, substance, and intelligence; leaving sin, sickness, and death out of our record, regarding them as they are, not the reality of being, but its counterfeit, and recognizing ourself in only what is good and true; for man is the offspring of Spirit of God, and not man.
The absence of Truth we name error. But did God create error? No; the same fountain sendeth not forth sweet and bitter waters; and God is never absent, being Omnipresence. Error is a belief without identity or Principle, and exists not except in belief. That Life, substance, or intelligence belongs to matter is a mistake; therefore, it is an error or belief that should not be defined as a person or thing, an agent or actor. The so-called senses of matter named the five personal senses will define error and Truth, as mingling until their false evidence yields to the understanding of Spirit and its creations. Belief is mesmerism. Change the belief, and that which before seemed real disappears as a reality, and whatever is accepted in its place becomes the real. That a belief is not true is the only fact it presents. Faith is something higher than belief: it is the chrysalis state, where the spiritual evidence, unseen to the senses material, begins to appear, and Truth that is taking the place of belief, is understood. Belief has its degrees of comparison. Some beliefs are better than others. But not one is founded on a rock; it can be shaken; and, until it becomes faith and faith becomes understanding, belief has no relation to the actual. God is the divine Principle, the Life, Truth, and Love that Jesus taught and demonstrated; so that all are without excuse who arrive not at the understanding and demonstration of this Principle. Sickness, sin, or death, whatever is the opposite or absence of God, is a belief that is neither Mind nor one of its faculties, and is unreal because it is not begotten of the Father, Truth and Love.
Because sin brought sickness and death it proves them error, and because there is no death it proves death but a belief that Spirit destroys with the evidences of Truth and Life, showing you that death, or what appears that to the senses, comes from mortal belief instead of matter. Mortals are not intelligences, for there is but one intelligence, but one God or Mind. Mortal man is the belief that Life and intelligence are in and of matter, which belief disappears as the immortal appears whose only Life and intelligence is God — good. Spirit is only reached through the understanding and demonstration of Life, Truth, and Love.
God is not the author of error, inasmuch as Truth is not the origin of error, and error is not the result of intelligence. Belief is the author of error, and calls itself something when it is nothing; that saith I am man, but I am not the image and likeness of God. When Jesus explained the origin of what is termed mortal man, he said, “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil [error], and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.” The more material a belief is, the more tenacious in the error; and the stronger the manifestations of sense, the weaker are the indications of Soul.
What we term mortal, or erring mind, is but a belief and error from beginning to end, that sees only what it believes, and believes only what it sees through belief. This mortal belief, called man, says matter has intelligence and sensation, that nerves feel, brains think and sin, a stomach can make man cross, limbs can cripple him, and matter kills him. Such is the verdict of what are termed the five senses of matter, or the body, of which mortals are the victims, being taught by physiology, materia medica, etc., to revere those five personal lies which Truth at length destroys with spiritual sense and understanding; and in place of sentient matter we have sensationless bodies, and God the Soul of the body, and man's existence perpetual in its identification of Deity, harmony, and immortality.
To admit there is such a thing as matter requires another admission equally false; namely, that matter is self-creative, self-existent, and therefore eternal. Whence it follows there are two eternal causes warring forever with each other, and yet we say that Spirit is supreme and omnipotent. The body mortal is not man, for man is immortal, and that matter is eternal contradicts the demonstration of Life as Spirit, which would leave us to conclude that man originated in dust and returned to it, and the logic of events proved annihilation. Soul was never within a finite form. The limited never for a moment contained the unlimited and immortal.
Having marked out the line between immortal man or the reality of being, and what we term mortal man and the unreal recognition of Life and intelligence as matter, we learn that the pleasure or pain of what is termed personal sense is a myth, and the father of all mythology, in which matter is supposed to be intelligent and to become “gods.” The evidence before the so-called personal senses is reversed by divine science, and disappears to Soul. Hence the impossibility for sensuous man to understand the science of Soul, and his opposition to it. The Scripture saith, “The carnal man is at enmity with God.” A mortal body and material sense are beliefs that spiritual understanding will destroy; but man will not lose his identity: in the conscious infinitude of being, it is impossible that he should lose aught whereby he gains all. The beliefs of matter, its supposed pleasures and pains, sickness, sin, and death, are all that will ever be lost.
What is deemed vegetable and animal life is a self-evident falsehood, when all that remains of it is death. God is the only Life; therefore Life is not structural and organic, and is never in its formations. Life is an intelligence that creates, and is reflected by its creations. If it were to enter what it creates, it would no longer be Life reflected, but absorbed; and the science of being would then be lost, through a mortal sense of Life as having a beginning and ending. The immortal basis of all being is Soul not body, Life and not death; and from this basis science reveals the glorious possibilities of man unlimited by a belief. We cannot learn Life through death; for in Spirit we lose all that we learn of matter even as in Truth we lose what we learn of error. “The last shall be first and the first last.” What we esteem as matter now will sometime dissolve. Divine science puts not new wine into old bottles, Soul into body, the infinite into a finite. Our beliefs of matter must yield before we can grasp the facts of Spirit. The old belief must disappear, or the new idea will be spilled and the inspiration gone that lifts our being higher, restores Christian healing, and explains the great facts of being, raises the dead, changes our standpoints of reasoning from matter to Spirit, and now as of old casts out devils, — error, — and heals the sick.
Let us now examine more minutely the Soul of man, remembering that mortal man has no Soul, but is a belief of sense first and last. Continuing our definition of man, let us remember that back of this belief of Life, substance, and intelligence in matter, is the real and immortal man, and yet the fact is not behind the fable, but is all, and there is nothing beside that. The science of being reveals man perfect even as the Father is perfect; because the Soul of man is God, and man is governed by Soul instead of sense, by the law of Spirit instead of a supposed law of matter. The Scriptures inform us that “God is Love,” the “Truth and the Life;” therefore He is Principle and not person, and the body of Soul is man, the idea of this Principle, and his conscious Life and intelligence is Soul and not body. Soul is Spirit, and it forms the minutiæ and infinity of identities, and comprehends man as the creation of Soul. In this divine and metaphysical science we find the senses of man are spiritual, and attached to Soul instead of body; that thought passes from Soul to body, from Principle to its idea, to govern it, but never returns a sensation or report from body to Soul, for the body is not cognizant of evil or good.
The science of being destroys the belief that Soul is in body, and man a separate intelligence from his Maker, and reveals but one Mind, one Spirit; thus precluding the possibility of sin, sickness, or death, or having more than one God when being is understood, and establishing the universal brotherhood of man, wherein one mind contends not with another, but all are of one mind. Soul and body are God and man, Principle and its idea, therefore man and his Maker are inseparable. The senses of Soul take cognizance only of the true idea, — the entire creations of Life, Truth, and Love, — hence there is nothing left to what is termed personal sense. Soul and body, God and man, are reached only and understood through the senses of Soul. Divine science reverses the statement of Soul and body, as astronomy reversed the plan of the solar system, and makes the body tributary to Mind; but we shall never understand this while admitting the belief that Soul is in body, and that non-intelligence named matter has Life and sensation. God, Soul, is, and was, and ever will be; and man is coexistent and coeternal with this Soul. Until the immortal body and perfect man become more apparent, we are not gaining the true idea of God: and the body will define the mind that governs it, whether it be Truth or error, belief or understanding, Spirit or matter; therefore acquaint now thyself with God and be at peace.
The various opinions and beliefs of mortal man, culminating in dogma, doctrine, and theory, among which are materia medica, physiology, hygiene, etc., are predicated of matter, and afford not a single idea of God, Truth. Ideas, like numbers and notes, start from Principle instead of person, and admit no beliefs concerning them when once their Principle is understood. The false foundations of knowledge brought sin and death, through the belief that Spirit and matter commingle, and they rest upon no foundation that time and eternity are not wearing away. Finite belief can never do justice to Truth in any direction: it limits all things, and would compress Mind, that is infinite, beneath a skull-bone. It can neither apprehend nor worship the Infinite, and seeks to divide the one Spirit into many, to accommodate its finite sense of Soul. Through this error it has “lords many and gods many.” While Jesus said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” we behold the zeal of belief to establish the opposite error of gods many; that argument of the snake, in the allegory, “I will make ye as gods,” goes on through every avenue of belief that soul is in body, and God, infinite Life, in finite forms. All human philosophy seeks cause in effect, Life and intelligence in matter, and Principle in its idea. Materia medica would learn of matter, instead of Mind, what is the state of man. It examines the lungs, the tongue, and pulse, to ascertain how much harmony matter is permitting Mind; to know how much pain or pleasure, action or stagnation, matter allows man. Physiology exalts matter and dethrones mind; it would rule the body with a law material instead of mental or spiritual; and, that law failing in its fulfilment to give health or Life to man, ignores the intelligence and Soul of man, laying it by for another occasion; but when man sins, he is to be dealt with according to theology, that admits God can destroy sin, but can do nothing with sickness and death. Theology, presupposing the infinite within the finite, concludes that God is a person, that unlimited Mind starts from a limited body, overlooking the fact that, if Mind is limitless, it never returns to a limited body, but must radiate through unfathomable space. Nor could Mind be infinite and start from a finite form or personality. Infinite Mind pre-exists, and antedates all formations, and that Mind never started from a body or could be fully manifested through personality. For a personal deity to be omnipresent, he must possess a body encompassing universal space, and we cannot conceive of such a personality.
The artist is not in his painting, the picture is his thought. Mortal belief thinks it delineates thought on matter, but thought will be finally understood and seen without a single material accompaniment. The potter is not in the clay, or that clay would have power over the potter. God produces his own personality, and cannot get into it because it is only the idea of Him who is the circumference and infinite Spirit of all things real or eternal. “Knowledge” was a mortal and finite sense of things that Spirit disclaimed, for it placed cause in effect, and would limit Life, and fasten the infinite to discord and death. When things are interpreted by their Principle they can be understood, but if explained by what is termed personal sense they cannot be understood, and are only accepted through some belief, and become man-made theories and doctrines. Impressions received through the hearing of the ear, material sight, touch, etc., are beliefs. Ideas come from Soul instead of sense, from the spiritual instead of the material; for they are the offspring of Principle, and demonstrate nothing but that which is good and a blessing to man. Spiritual understanding is unerring. Hence its necessity to Christianity and to establish truth. Knowledge is a blind belief — a Samson shorn of its strength — when it loses organizations to support it. It is neither moral suasion, moral might, idea, nor Principle, but a blind admission from a material basis. Adhesion, cohesion, and attraction are forces supposed to be material: but they are qualities of mind; they belong to Principle, and support the equipoise of thought that launches the earth into its orbit, and says to the proud wave, “Hither and no farther.” We tread on forces. Withdraw them, and creation would collapse. Knowledge and belief name these mental forces matter, but metaphysical science gives them back to mind. There is no inherent power in what is termed matter; for all that is material is a product of mortal thought, and governed by that thought. God creates and governs the spiritual universe and man, and they are the products of Spirit, even the ideas that He evolves, and which are obedient to the Mind that made them. There is no other universe or man. Mortal mind has translated the spiritual into the material, and must now give back the original rendering, to escape from the mortality of its own error. Mind is the source of all action, and there is no inertia in it. Perpetual and harmonious action belong to unerring Mind. What is termed mortal mind is prolific of error, sickness, sin, and death. It acts and it reacts, then stops. But these are the results of a belief, and not the facts of Mind, that is the same in Life, Truth, and Love yesterday, to-day, and forever. Ideas, like numbers and notes, are governed by their Principle, which admits of no beliefs, but rests upon the understanding.
What is termed personal sense indicates disease as a reality and identity; but the Scriptures inform us that Spirit made all that was made, even while material sense is declaring that matter makes disease, and mortal mind is not its maker. This so-called personal and material sense supports all that is untrue, selfish, or debased; it would put Soul into soil, Life into limbo, and doom all things to decay, and then re-create them from dust. We must put to silence this lie or what is called material sense with the Truth of spiritual sense, and let the error cease that brought sin and death and would shut out the pure sense of Spirit.
Is a sick man a sinner above all others? No; but he is not the idea of God. Weary of their beliefs of matter, whence so much sorrow comes, the sick grow more spiritual, even as the error or belief that Life is in matter yields to the spiritual fact of being.
A wicked man is not the idea of God; he is nothing but an error, — a belief that hatred, envy, pride, malice, and hypocrisy have Life abiding in them. Life and its idea, Truth and its idea, never made a sick man or a sinner. Mortals and mortal mind are not the ideas of God, and were never created by him in His own image and likeness.
We look on a corpse, not as a man, but simply what is termed matter. We say the body is dead; but it was the departure of a mortal belief, and not matter, that produced that effect. The consent of that belief to die occasioned the phenomenon before you, whereas you say it was matter. You believe that Soul is lost spiritually, and yet it is immortal. If Soul sinned it would die, only because it hath no element of self-destruction, such as sin, sickness, or death, is it immortal. Is man lost spiritually? No; he can only be lost materially. All sin is material, it cannot be spiritual. Sin exists only so long as the belief of matter remains. It is the sense of sin, and not a soul of sin, that is lost. Entity signifies the particular nature of being; and God, without the image and likeness of Himself, named man, would be nonentity. Spiritual man, and there is none other, is the idea of God, that cannot be lost or separated from its Principle. When the evidence before the so-called personal senses was overcome by the spiritual sense of Soul, Paul declared that nothing could separate him from God, — the sweet sense and presence of Life, Truth, and Love.
Truth, understood and demonstrated, is eternal Life. There can be no rescue of mortal man from the belief of sin, sickness, and death, until he learns that God is his only Life. While the belief continues of life and sensation in the body, it will be mortal, and mortals will be governed in belief by their bodies, governed by sin, sickness, and death.
Harmony is controlled by Principle, produced by it, and abides with it. Soul, Spirit, is this Principle of man; hence his happiness is not at the disposal of personal sense, or his Life controlled by death, and spiritual Truth contaminated by material error. Do you object to understanding the falsity of the senses, and ask whence cometh our proof of this? We answer: the self-evident falsehood that matter has sensation, and our own demonstrations that mortal mind is what suffers, feels, sees, etc.; and allowing this proof to point higher, and acknowledging, with mathematical certainty, that the lesser demonstration proves the higher, the same as three units added to three, making six, prove that three and three trillions are six trillions. The belief of sensation in nerves is no proof of it. The inebriate believes there is pleasure in intoxication, and the sinner in sin. The thief believes he has gained something by stealing, and the hypocrite by hiding himself; but the science of being corrects these mistakes, and the demonstration of Truth destroys such error.
Electricity is not a vital fluid, but an element of mortal mind, the less material thought that forms the link between what is termed matter and mortal mind; but recollect that both are strata of belief, the one called mind, the other matter; the grosser substratum, named matter, is the poorest counterfeit of Mind, the more ethereal substratum of mortal belief, named mind, is the nearer counterfeit of immortal Mind, or Truth, and Love; but both are false presentations, for immortal Mind and mortal belief never touch. The only manifestation of God through mortal man is as the light passing through the window-pane. The mortal thought through which Truth appears must have lost so much of its materiality that it becomes a transparency for Truth, like the cloud melting into thin vapor, that no longer hides the light. The electricity of mortal mind, its gases and forces, are the counterfeits of the unerring and eternal Mind's omnipotence as Truth, its attraction as Love, and its adhesion and cohesion as Life, producing the eternal identities. Electricity is the essence of mortal and erring mind, that counterfeits that essence of the unerring and eternal Mind, termed Holy Ghost, the great difference being that one is divine and holy, and the other human and unholy. The self-destructive forces of mortal thought, expressed in the earthquake, the wind, the wave, the lightning, fire, and the ferocity of beasts, are the counterfeits of divine justice, called in the Scripture the anger of the Lord, but explained in metaphysics as the strength and permanence of Truth and its supremacy ever asserting itself. Metaphysical science brings to light Truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, God's entirety, and the nothingness of matter.
Doctrines, theories, and knowledge are speculative opinions and beliefs, the testimony of what is termed material sense; hence the warfare between Truth and error and the evidences of the spiritual and the so-called material senses until each and every question is determined by the immutable Principle, the real. Metaphysical science reveals the spiritual fact of all things. There is no material Truth, and what is termed the personal senses can take no cognizance of spiritual Truth. Divine or metaphysical science reverses the entire evidence before the material senses, and tears away its foundations; hence the enmity of mortal man towards it, and the impossibility for it to be understood only as the errors of belief disappear. The deductions from a material basis termed natural science possess no intrinsic worth, whereas the revelations from a spiritual basis reach man with harmony, and interpret Truth, and these different sources produce different streams, as we learn from witnessing their effects. The Truth of being and divine science treat disease as error, and heal it with Truth. But materia medica treats it as truth, and claims to heal it with matter, error. Systems material are but temporary, and their effects have never been to enlighten or to elevate mankind spiritually. Materia medica, like its narcotics, pacifies mortal mind, and so helps the body, but it leaves both mind and body worse for the stupor and abnormal state it induces. Systems of metaphysics improve mortal mind and body, for they bring out the immortal facts of both, namely that Life is continuous and harmonious, and, like a two-edged sword, they amputate error on both sides, destroy it in mortal mind, and thus prevent or remove its effects on the body. After this mental surgery mankind is better.
All material theories are man-made opinions and beliefs, referred to in the Scripture as the “tree of knowledge,” or information obtained from false premises, from the testimony of a serpent since termed material sense. A sense of material things is mortal evidence, while yet it claims the authority of Mind, that is immortal. Inferences from false premises result in all the discords of mind and body. Reasoning, based upon Principle, lifts the contemplation of Life and intelligence above mortality, and gathers thought into a sense of harmony and immortality, away from the sense of sin, sickness, and death.
Because God is Spirit, the unerring and eternal Soul, He is separate from mortal thought, the erring, changing, and dying, — and because He is infinite Life He cannot be in finite forms that but reflect Life; and no portion of the infinite can be separated from itself and remain God, the infinite, still. Life is no more in the forms that express it than substance is in its shadow. If life was in man or material forms, it would be subject to the conditions of matter, and must end in death.
A belief is subject to the conditions of that belief. Death is real, and sickness and sin are real, only as beliefs. Like the darkness that hides the sun, but cannot put it out, a belief may silence the sense of harmony to mortal thought, but cannot destroy harmony to immortal Soul. A finite sense of Soul is not a correct sense of it: Soul is only another name for Spirit, God, and is Life, Truth, and Love. When we lose a finite sense of it and gain the understanding of Soul, we shall learn in divine science all things that pertain to being, for no sin, therefore “no night is there.” Day may decline and shadows hide the sun; but the darkness flees when the earth has turned on its axis, for the solar centre is the same. The sun has not been affected by the action of the earth. Thus it is that metaphysics finds Soul, like the sun, uninfluenced by mortal mind or body, and the central Life and intelligence around which all else revolves harmoniously in the systems of Mind where man's spiritual being and identity are. Not sense but Soul defines happiness and Life in divine science, and all science is divine. Human thought never projected the least portion of science: it has caught the echo and repeated it, but could never produce the first tone that sent forth that certain sound.
We shall never understand the science of being while we believe that Soul sins or is in the body, and when we do understand that science we shall be a law of Life to our bodies, even the higher law of Soul that prevails over sense and gives harmony and immortality to man. The so-called laws of matter can never make man healthy, harmonious, or immortal: hence the importance of understanding the spiritual law of being, that brings out the perfection and immortality of thoughts that we name things. Belief hath sought out many inventions, but not one of them can solve a problem without its Principle. No more can we make the body harmonious without understanding Soul sufficiently to know that it governs the body, and that the governor is not within the governed. The body is like numbers that are harmonious governed by their principle; the intelligence not in the number, but made manifest by it.
A belief of life in matter has no Life in God, and the apostle Paul tells us, “When God who is our life shall appear, we shall be like unto Him in glory.” To examine our body that we may learn what the state of our health is, or what our prospect for Life, is morally wrong; for it would take the government out of the hands of God. To employ drugs to destroy disease manifests no faith in God, the Principle of all harmony, and as one of the ancient healers and Christians writes, “He is a very present help in times of trouble.”
When it is fairly understood that Spirit controls the body, and man should have no other mind but God, mystery and miracle will disappear. The belief that Life is in the body is changed by another universal law of mortal mind to a belief of death, and then mortal man and the mortal tree or flower are supposed to die, whereas the fact remains in metaphysical science that man and the universe are immortal and spiritual. The spiritual fact and the material belief of things are antipodes, the exact opposites of each other; and recollect the spiritual is the real, and because it is so, and the material is the opposite of the spiritual, it must be the unreal. If life in matter is a falsity, which it is, there can be no death; for Spirit and all things spiritual are eternal.
The Principle or Soul of music governs sound, and if mortal man caught harmony of the car or a mortal belief of it he would lose it again, and must gain its science to be the master of chords and discords. We find that music, left to the decisions of material sense, is liable to misapprehension and discord, and controlled by a belief, instead of the understanding, it must be imperfect. Even thus, man, not understood in science, his Principle or Soul and its government cast aside as incomprehensible, is left to conjecture, in the hands of ignorance, and at the disposal of a belief, or what is termed material sense, and this sense propagates discords and terms them man; but they are no more man than the music that is incorrect is music. It is this very ignorance, and belief based on a material sense of things that hide their spiritual beauty and good. Understanding this, Paul said, “Neither height nor depth, nor any other creature, can separate me from the love of God.” Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation and object; joy cannot be turned into sorrow; good can never produce evil; and Life cannot result in death in the science of being. Hence the perfect man, governed by the perfect Principle of being, which we name God, — his immortality, sinlessness, and forever existence.
Anatomy and theology have never defined man as created by God, Spirit, and as God's man. The first explains the man of man, created materially instead of spiritually, and from the lowest instead of the highest conceptions of being. It defines man as matter, and Mind originating from and dependent upon matter for every function. Theology joins with anatomy in its conception, formation, and government of man. It takes him up in all these materially. It loses Spirit, drops the true tone and accepts the discord, lays aside the Principle that produces harmonious man, and deals only with matter, the discord, as a creator, calling that man which is not the counterpart but the counterfeit of God's man. Then it would explain how to make that man a Christian, and how to start from the basis of a discord the concord of being. Such are some of the leading beliefs that serve as milestones to point out the rough places that metaphysical science must make smooth. Mortal man, made up of sin, sickness, and death, is but a belief that pain and pleasure, life and death, holiness and unholiness, mingle in one phenomenon called man. But man is the image and likeness of God, of Life, Truth, and Love, spiritually conceived and created. All the vanity of the Gentiles can never make one hair white or black in science that lays the axe at the root of the belief that Life or Mind is in the body, to cut it down either through a belief of death or the understanding of Life.
Admitting God the only Mind and Life leaves no occasion for sin or death, turns thought into new and healthy channels, to the contemplation of immortal things, and away from the person to the Principle of man; whence we learn his science, and how to be perfect even as the Father, the eternal intelligence, is perfect. Because Life is God, it must be eternal. And there is but one God, and therefore but one Life, and this is self-existent and forever, — the “I am” that was and is, and nothing can destroy. Christ, Truth, is “the resurrection and life,” for it destroys the error or belief that Mind is buried in the body, that Life is in what is termed matter, and subject to death. The figurative tree of knowledge is represented in the Scripture as bearing the fruits of sin, sickness, and death. Then ought we not to judge this knowledge, that is conveyed through the senses material, as dangerous to partake of, for the Scripture teaches that “the tree is known by its fruits.”
The resistance to these cardinal points of metaphysical science will yield in the proportion that mortal man yields to immortal man, sin to holiness, sickness to health, and a belief to the understanding of being. We had sanguine hopes of the immediate acceptance of metaphysical science until we learned its vastness, the fixedness of belief, and mortal mind's hatred of Truth. Until the scientific relation of God to man is perceived, we shall never reach the demonstration of scientific being in its small beginnings, such as healing the sick. Exchange our standpoints of Life and intelligence, from what is termed matter to Spirit, and we shall begin at once to gain the perfect Life, through the control of Soul over sense, and receive Christ, Truth, in Principle and not in person. This point must be achieved before harmonious and immortal man is understood and demonstrated. It is highly important, in view of the vast amount to be accomplished before the final recognition that Life is God, Spirit, to gather our thoughts in this right direction to-day, that in time we may prepare for eternity, and this finite belief give up its error.
If the Principle of being, its rule and demonstration, are not in the least understood before what is termed death, we shall rise no higher in the scale of being at that point of experience, but shall be as material as before it, seeking happiness through a material instead of a spiritual sense, and a selfish and personal motive. This error will bring its reward in sickness, sin, and death, so long as it continues here or hereafter; and it will continue as long as the belief remains that Life and intelligence are in the body. If the change called death destroyed the belief that pleasure and pain commingle and proceed from the same source, namely the body, then were happiness achieved and permanent at the moment of dissolution; but this is not so, for they that are filthy shall be filthy still. Every sin and error possessed at the moment of death continues after it until the death of that error and not the death of matter. If we became Spirit at once after what is termed death, we should be sinless and in bliss; but we become spiritual only as we forsake sin; and the murderer killed in the act of killing has not forsaken sin, and is not more spiritual simply because he believes his body died, and has learned that he never died with it, and his thoughts are no better, purer, or more loving, and they make his body as material as his thoughts. Progress comes of experience: the ripening of mortal man through suffering will drop his false sense of Life and intelligence as aught but God here and hereafter, and it will drop like the stone to the ground. The old man and his deeds will be put off with it, and he will understand that nothing is immortal that is sensual or sinful, and the death of sin is all that can make Life real or eternal to him. The so-called pleasures and pains of what is termed personal sense perish through anguish, and they must be destroyed before the actual of being can be attained. Mortal man is at ease in error, else he would cease to sin; and he must lose that case to part with his sin. How long before he learns this here or hereafter, how long he must suffer the pangs of amputating error, will depend on the tenacity of his beliefs. When remembering that God is our only Life, and feeling the false consciousness of Life in the body, we may tremble for the days in which to say, “I have no pleasure in them.” That sin is pardoned, or happiness universal in the midst of sin, or that the so-called death of the body can free from sin, or that God pardons sins not outgrown, are grave mistakes. We know “all will be changed in the twinkling of an eye when the last trump shall sound;” but the last call of wisdom comes not until we have yielded to every other one of its calls in the growth of Christian character. While man is selfish, sinful, sensual, to conclude that the last call of wisdom has awakened him to glorified being is preposterous.
“As the tree falleth, so shall it lie;” as man goeth to sleep, so shall he waken; as death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death. The error of thought never enters dust; no resurrection from the grave awaits mortal mind, no final judgment; for the judgment of wisdom is that process of spiritualization going on continually, by which mortal man is divested of all material error, and there is no spiritual error, for Spirit is God and cannot err. When the final fault is destroyed, the last trump has sounded which called the battle with sin, “but that hour no man knoweth.” Here prophecy stops, but science sees beyond the grave the certainty of eternal being. Universal salvation must rest on progression: it can never be attained without it. Heaven is not a locality, but a state in which body and mind are harmonious and immortal because all sin is destroyed.
There is as much substance and intelligence in the mountain mirage that seemeth what it is not, or in the face reflected from the mirror, as in mortal and material man that is not the image of God. So far as this statement is understood it will be admitted, and the true idea of God, in other words the real man and the new man, as Paul has it, will appear, and the old man, or material belief, disappear.
The time has come for a belief in the person of God to give place to the better understanding of the science of the divine Principle, named God, through which to gain man's harmony and immortality. Hitherto theology has interpreted God as a personal Saviour instead of a saving Principle, and employed matter instead of Spirit to heal the sick; but as progress compels the change, we shall seek not of a person but a Principle the remedy for every ill. To seek Truth through or of a belief is to ask the changing and erring to explain the immutable and immortal; and to call a belief Truth is an ignorance with grave consequences. A belief can neither explain Principle nor demonstrate it. To understand, instead of believe, what relates most to the happiness of being is essential, to understand Truth, gives us faith in it, and, because God is Truth, to understand Him is better than all burnt offerings. The Master said, “No man cometh to the Father (the Principle of being) except through me.” Was this “me” the man Jesus, or Christ, the Truth and Life of that man? Jesus answered this question by saying, “I and Father are one,” and “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
We learn of metaphysical science that the Trinity is the divine Life, Truth, and Love; the only true substance and intelligence. They are one in essence, in office infinite; even the three in one, which constitute all that is Principle, and creates all that is real. The Holy Ghost is divine science, revealing and explaining this divine triad, and is referred to in the Scriptures as the Comforter that leadeth into all Truth. Christianity is the understanding of the divine Life, Truth, and Love, and the demonstration thereof. Jesus was the son of a virgin mother, by whom scientific being was so far understood that she knew God was the Father of man, and man the offspring of a divine Principle. Jesus was the name of the man, and Christ but another name for God, the Principle and creator of that man. The signification of God in the original text being “good,” the term Christ Jesus may be rendered as good man, or God man. His spiritual origin and divine demonstration of the Father richly entitled him to that sonship in divine science.
Christian science was first introduced by Jesus; he explained and demonstrated it, healing the sick and triumphing over sin and death. His works were based on a divine Principle that he understood and could teach, and they can be demonstrated on no other basis. The leading points of this divine science Jesus explained briefly in these words: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me;” “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Principle and rules of this science he gave in the Sermon on the Mount. The application of this divine Principle, and its power to heal the sick and reform the sinner, he taught his disciples; every one was not ready to receive it, even then; they had not grown up to fully discerning spiritual things. Those whom he selected for his students were ready to leave their material pursuits, to leave their nets, even if they were full, and follow the teachings and the path that he was treading who had not where to lay his head.
Jesus's explanations, understood spiritually, reveal metaphysical science, and his blessed works proved it. The spiritual signification of the word alone renders the Scriptures as Jesus rendered them, and his parable of the sower shows the care he took not to interpret to dull ears and gross hearts that spiritual meaning when they could not accept it. Reading their thoughts, he said, as the master of metaphysics, “Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” The spiritual sense of Truth can only be discerned by the honest, unselfish, loving, and meek; the soil of the “good and honest heart” is that in which this seed should be sown, else it beareth not much fruit, and the swine in human hearts rend you for it. The spiritual sense of the Scripture is the “new tongue” referred to in the last chapter of St. Mark, and is rendered right in healing the sick and casting out error.
Life, and its opposite, named life in matter, are symbolized by two geometrical figures, a circle and a straight line, the circle representing the infinite, without beginning or end, the straight line the finite, that which hath a beginning and ending. The sphere represents self-existent and eternal Mind; the straight line a belief of self-existent and temporal matter. Life, Truth, and Love are Spirit, the substance of Mind. The blind forces called attraction, adhesion, and cohesion are the supposed substance of matter. Spirit is the life of all, matter has neither life nor intelligence. Truth is the intelligence of Mind, error the so-called intelligence of matter. And these opposite figures never unite in symbol or Soul. The straight line can find no place in a curve, and the curve has no adjustment to the straight line; matter has no place in Spirit, and Spirit has no place in matter; Truth has no foothold in error, and error finds none in Truth; intelligence cannot pass into non-intelligence, or matter, and non-intelligence cannot become Spirit. At no point can these two opposites mingle or unite and present the same phenomena; if they touch, one is still a curve and the other a straight line. But what say our theories? They insist upon Life which is God, and there is no other Life, being one and the same with that which is termed the life of matter; they speak of both error and Truth as mind, and of infinite Spirit as of finites or spirits, and of Spirit as both good and evil. Our theories claim the phenomena of life is what we term organized and structural life, such as the senses take in, as the life of the tree, the plant, and material man. This so-called vegetable and animal life, they conclude, is the manifestation of the life that God bestows. This incorrect belief regarding life deteriorates from the character or nature of Deity so essentially that we lose the true sense of God in such false estimates of what manifests Him. Misstating the divine Principle, that alone is Life, we can never demonstrate this Principle in length of days, like the patriarchs, or be governed by its divine science in Christianity, any more than we can teach and illustrate geometry by calling a curve a straight line, and a straight line a sphere.
What is termed matter cannot be substance if Spirit is substance, and Paul plainly stated in Mind “the substance of things hoped for.” Which ought to be substance to us, the erring, changing, and dying, the mutable and mortal, or the unerring, immutable, and immortal? That matter, or what is called thus, is a lawgiver, is simply a belief and error; or that there is a material law is a self-evident mistake. God being the only intelligence, unerring mind, He never made a law material for a law spiritual to annul. Jesus proved that, when walking the wave and healing the sick, in direct antagonism to what are termed laws material.
We are taught that Soul sins and is lost spiritually. Then the annihilation of Soul is inevitable, for its only Life is Spirit, and if it loses this Life it hath none other, and is annihilated. If Soul sinneth it would die. Sin is the element of self-destruction, and the Scripture saith “The soul that sinneth shall die.” But Soul is Spirit, and there is no evil in Spirit, for Spirit is God, and there is but one Spirit. That which is termed mind and spirit, and is erring, sinning, and depends on matter for its manifestation, is not mind or spirit. God is not in the things He hath made, and all that He hath made is “good.” Again, God, Spirit, is the Soul or Principle of all that is real; and nothing is real that does not express God and is controlled by Him. Soul is not seen by what we name personal sense, because it is Spirit, that this sense cannot accept, and which affords no evidence of God. If Soul sinned, it would be a material manifestation that sense could see, for it is only the so-called material sense that can sin. There is neither growth, maturity, nor decay to Soul. Those are the mutations of sense, the changing clouds of mortal belief that hide the Truth of being. We call the objects of sense substance, but they are only what mortal belief names them, and only what they appear to this mortal belief. Only as we escape from a false sense of Life, substance, and intelligence, and pass from the stand-points of matter to Spirit, to gain the real and tangible, shall we find Soul, and lose all sense of sin and mortality. It is only in false estimates of Soul in sense, and mind in matter that we go wrong and stray from Spirit, and experience a temporary loss or absence of Soul. This state of error is the mortal dream of Life and substance in matter, which is directly opposite to the immortal waking and reality of being, even as the straight line is the opposite of the sphere. In this waking to Life that is real, what we have learned from the senses we shall find reversed by the facts of existence. That which sense deemed shadow will be found substance, and what it called substance will become nothingness, as the dream vanishes and the reality appears. The parent of all discord was not a man, but a dream that man is material and mortal, that he originated in dust, started materially instead of spiritually. This Adam-dream of Life and intelligence originating from and passing into matter was error, and error was called a serpent, suggesting the opposite of Truth, and saying, “Error is as real as Truth,” and “Believe me and I will make ye as gods. I will have more than one Mind, I will have lords and gods many. I will have minds and spirits, and Truth shall change hands, and the opposite of Spirit and God I will name matter, and it shall seem to have Life, as much as God or Spirit that is Life.” This error resulted ill; for its life was found not life, only a transient sense of Life that ended in death. Then error charged its lie to Truth, God, and said God made man mortal, and out of matter instead of Spirit, and partook of its own evil with an amen. The eternal “Us” made man, and gave him dominion over all the earth, but God, Spirit, never created man from a material basis, or bade him obey laws that Spirit never made. God's government is the higher law of Mind,—the spiritual statute, in which Mind governs instead of being governed. Jesus, understanding the spiritual law, and knowing there is no law of matter, said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe, they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them.” But this understanding of the power of man equipped with the Spirit that is God has sadly disappeared from the history of Christianity. Our missionaries carry the Bible to Hindostan, but do they explain it as Jesus did, when hundreds are dying annually of the bite of serpents? The decision by vote of what should be deemed Holy Writ, the manifest mistakes in the Septuagint, and the thirty thousand different readings of the Old Testament, and the three hundred thousand of the New Testament, show how a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record and touched the inspired pages with its own hue. But all that could not wholly obscure the divine science of the Scriptures as seen from Genesis to Revelation, or mar the demonstration thereof by Jesus and the prophets and apostles. Those, inspired by Truth, were the only suitable recorders of it, and they must have foreseen that, but they also foresaw that “the stone which the builders rejected should again become the head of the corner.”
The most scientific man that ever trod the globe was Jesus of Nazareth; he went beyond the material sense of causation, and found the spiritual cause; he called the mortal body, that we call substance, ghost; and the body that he reproduced he called what it was before named, “flesh and bones.” Showing that to him the substance of himself was Spirit, and the body his representative, and no more perfect because of death, and no less material until his ascension; until the mind that it represented had risen above all earthly tendencies, and relinquished the belief of substance-matter, and the “I” had become one with the Father. Then it was that our Master gained the solution of being, and learned of demonstration that there is but one Mind, and he had no other. The Jews who sought to kill this man of God called themselves highly religious, but they show very plainly that their material views were the parent of their wicked deeds, for when Jesus spake of reproducing his own body, — knowing, as he did, that Mind was the builder, — and said, “Though you destroy this temple, yet will I build it again,” they thought he referred to a material temple. To them Spirit, God, was a mere ghost, unseen and unfamiliar, and the body they had laid in a sepulchre was substance. Through this materialism they lost sight of Jesus, just as Mary the penitent saw him, when he presented more than ever the true idea of God, of Life and substance; and because of their material and sinful beliefs, this idea was imperceptible to them. The higher Jesus demonstrated divine science, and wrought the problem of being, and made upon man the demands of its Principle, — Truth and Love, — the more odious he became to the world of belief that depends on doctrines and material law to save them from sin and sickness, and submits to death as the inevitable, even when Jesus proved it a falsity, and said, “They that believe on me shall never see death.”
That saying of our Master, “I and Father are one,” separated him from theology and the rabbis. His better understanding of God rebuked them; he knew there was but one Mind and laid no claim to any other; he knew that the “I” was Mind instead of body, and that sin and evil were not Mind; and because of his understanding of this divine science, it brought down upon him the anathemas of the world. It was their reversed views that hid from the eyes of the rabbis Jesus' sonship with God. They could not discern spiritual being; their carnal minds were at enmity with it, and their thoughts were filled with mortal error instead of God's idea as presented by Jesus. The image and likeness of God we lose sight of through sin that beclouds the spiritual sense of Truth, and regain this likeness only as we subdue sin and obtain “dominion over earth,” even the liberty of the Elohim, or sons of God. The voice of Truth still calls, “Adam, where art thou?” Art thou believing that Mind is in matter, that evil is an intelligence, or art thou having no other Mind but God, and keeping the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other God before me”? Until it is learned that Mind is God and He governs man, mortal belief will be afraid, as its type was represented being, when the Adam hid itself from the inquiry, “Where art thou?” Do you regard intelligence as both good and evil? Every supposed pain and pleasure of material sense answers that inquiry with dismay and reckons against thy course Spiritward. “Adam, where art thou?” is met with reply from the head, heart, stomach, blood, nerves, etc. Lo, here thou art looking for happiness and Life in thy body, but finding a belief only of pleasure and of pain, sin, sickness, and death.
Life, Truth, and Love are not attributes of Deity; they are the highest terms we can employ to express God; they are primitives and not derivatives; nothing can be wiser than Wisdom nor truer than Truth. Life and Love have no superlatives. Goodness is not equal to the Principle of goodness.
The Hebrew lawgiver, Moses, said he was slow of speech, and despaired of making the people understand what was revealed to him through metaphysical science; even that all is Mind and there is no matter. But his divine intuitions bade him cast down his rod and it became a serpent; then he was afraid and fled before it, but returned and handled the serpent and his fear fled; the actual of science was seen when the serpent became a symbol or rod. His belief that the rod was a serpent lost its power to alarm him when he understood that all he saw was but the different phases of belief. The test of leprosy, as a thing of mortal fear instead of matter, was conclusive when he put his hand into his bosom, and drew it forth leprous as snow, and again put it into his bosom and took it out, and behold it was as other flesh. Then was metaphysical science discerned, and it became to him the voice of God, and it said, “It shall come to pass if they will not hear thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter.” And so it was in the coming centuries when the science of being was demonstrated by Jesus; and he taught his students the power of Mind, and changed the water into wine, taught them how they could handle serpents and take deadly drugs unharmed, heal the sick, etc., and they understood the supremacy of Spirit and the Truth of being.
The mission of Jesus confirmed the prophecy and explained the miracle in the history of Moses, and the demonstration of that divine power established his claim as the Messiah. In reply to John's inquiry, “Art thou He that should come?” He returned a brief affirmative by recounting his deeds instead of words, confident that his exhibition of the divine power to heal would answer that question to one who had prophesied of its appearing. Hence his reply, “Go and show John again these things ye see and hear, — the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, etc., and blessed is he who shall not be offended in me,” in other words, who shall not deny that such effects resulting from Mind proved his unity with God, the divine Principle that brings out the harmony of being. Again, Jesus instructed his students, as proof of their Christianity, to heal the sick through Mind instead of matter, knowing, as he did, that Truth casting out error must heal. In the Latin, disciple signifies student, showing that healing was not a gift to them but the understanding that he imparted of the divine science which he taught; therefore, said he, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them who shall understand through the word.”
In the original Scriptures metaphor abounded, and names were significant of spiritual ideas. The most distinguished theologians in Europe and America, among whom are Dean Stanley, J. B. Lightfoot, D.D., D. W. Marks, Professor of Hebrew, etc., agree that the Scriptures have both a spiritual and material signification. In Smith's Bible Dictionary they write, “The spiritual interpretation of Scripture must rest upon both the literal and moral,” and quote the following original text, “Jehovah said, My spirit shall not forever be humble in men, seeing that they are or in their error, they are but flesh.” The spiritual fact of being, namely, man's eternal and harmonious existence as idea instead of matter, as a thought of God, and that thought governed by Him, was not forever to be humbled with the admission or belief that man is flesh and in matter, for in that error man is mortal.
The divine science of the original texts came through inspiration, and must be taught by the inspired to be understood; hence the misapprehension of the spiritual meaning and the misstatement of the word in some instances by the uninspired writer. A misplaced preposition would change the sense and misstate the science of the Scripture, for instance, the Love of God instead of “God is Love,” the Truth of God when God is Truth, the Life of God, when it is plainly declared, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” The way is straight and narrow that leads to the understanding that God is Life. It is a warfare with the flesh, whereby we conquer sin, sickness, and death, now or hereafter, but certainly before we can reach the goal of Spirit, or Life, which is God. The only correct rendering of the Scripture is its spiritual sense. Before knowledge increased, spiritual sense, more than what is termed material sense, governed man. The Soul-inspired patriarchs heard the voice of Truth, and talked with God consciously, even as others, through a supposed material sense, hear what is not Truth and talk with error. When Jacob wrestled with a man it was not a personality but a sensual belief, and he wrestled “until daybreak,” until the light of divine science revealed the great fact of being, that there are no material senses, and man is spiritual and pure as his Maker, that a material conception of Life is an error and is not the Truth of being. When this divine science dawned upon him he saw that man was the image and likeness of God, of purity, and perfection, and he also saw that as such he could not be maimed or lose one jot of his completeness. Then Jacob rose in the majesty of his Maker, the One Mind, to destroy the error of material belief, that there are minds many, and thus to reflect his spiritual origin. Then he healed the shrunk sinew. The result of his struggle then appeared: he had conquered those material beliefs with the understanding of Spirit, God, and of spiritual being, and it changed the man, and his name was no longer called Jacob but Israel, and he was to become the father of such as followed this spiritual demonstration and Christian healing, and the children of earth who followed his example should be called the children of Israel. And if these children should go astray and forget the spiritual foundation of God's people, and thus lose the divine power that heals the sicknesses and sins of sense, they must be brought back through great tribulation, to deny sense and become spiritually-minded, which is Life.
Jesus' spiritual origin and understanding enabled him to demonstrate the facts of being, and to prove, above all others, how this spiritual Truth of being destroyed the material error, healed the sick, and overcame death. The conception of Jesus illustrated this Truth and presented the example of creation. Jesus was the idea of Spirit, inasmuch as he was less material and more spiritual than all other earthly impersonations. He walked the wave, made the loaves and fishes, healed the sick, and raised the dead on this very platform, — namely, that God, Spirit, is supreme, and there is no other power, yea, that all is Mind and there is no matter. Because Jesus had in part a personal origin, and was the conception of the virgin mother, he was the mediator between Spirit and what is termed matter, in other words he explained the midway of the actual science of being, and destroyed all halfway positions, showing that the Truth of being is its only reality, and error is but supposed being. The Scripture saith, “He took upon himself flesh;” this implies that when Truth is understood it will be made manifest upon the body, it will heal the sick and save from sin. Jesus presented that idea of God, hence the warfare that went on between the spiritual idea and their material beliefs of religion, and the blindness of their belief to conclude it could kill the spiritual idea when it crucified the flesh. The idea rose higher because of that crucifixion, and proved its stronger control over the body or material belief. And Jesus presented himself, the man that matter cannot destroy, the man that Spirit creates, that Truth, Life, and Love constitute, and which so blends with his Maker and spiritual being, it gives him dominion over all the earth.
Paul writes “If Christ, Truth, be not risen, then is my preaching vain,” that is, if the idea of Spirit, which is a true conception of Life, Truth, and Love, come not to your thought, you cannot be benefited by what I say.
Jesus said, “He that believeth in me shall not see death.” He who perceives the true idea of Life and adopts it has less sense of Life as matter, and by reason of this he is becoming more spiritual, gathering himself yet more and more into the reality of Life as Spirit, and manifests more Truth and Love. Sin, sickness, and death, or matter, are incapable of supporting, of manifesting, or developing Life, which is God. Again, the true idea of Life results in the greatest blessing to mortals, for “when God, who is our Life, shall appear,” when this spiritual status of being is understood, “then shall we be like unto Him in glory.” Then shall man be found perfect and immortal, for he will have no life that can be destroyed, and cannot sin because “his life is hid with Christ in God.”
We learn from Holy Writ that the idea of God, named Jesus, was scourged, scoffed, and coupled with crime by the pharasaical churches, even when it was proven, bearing their infirmities, healing the sick, casting out error, raising the dead, uplifting their beliefs, dead in trespasses and sin, from the basis of matter to the perception of Spirit and Truth. Of old the Pharisee thrust the spiritual idea of God out of his synagogue, and retained his material beliefs of Him; and to-day church and state, unconscious of the reappearing of this spiritual idea as it came of yore, casting out error and healing the sick, shut the door upon it, and would trample it under the feet of law and gospel. Prophesying this very rejection of the true idea and demonstration of Truth Jesus said, “When I come again shall I find faith on earth?”
Paul had a clear sense of the power of Truth upon mortals, physically and spiritually, when he said, “Present your bodies holy and acceptable, which is your only reasonable service.” But he could not reach the divine heights his Master trod, — he who was begotten of the beliefs of the flesh, or a servant to them. The time cometh when the spiritual origin of man will be understood and demonstrated; but Truth, like the light, shineth on darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. Our false beliefs of Life, substance, and intelligence hide the reality of them, and the scientific origin of man and his Principle as God. The creative Principle or Mind is eschewed by our material theories. Materia medica substitutes drugs for the power of God, even the might of Mind to heal the body. The science of being is the only curative agent; and while it divests drugs, matter, of all imaginary power, it clothes Spirit with its native supremacy to destroy every ill that flesh is heir to. This science is yet the stranger within our gates that is not remembered even when its elevating effects are proving practically its divine origin. Theology includes no creed or faith sufficient to heal the sick; while our Master's first article of faith was healing, and he proved that faith by his works. The ancient Christians were healers. Our systems of religion are governed by our systems of medicine. Idolatry and priestcraft have uprooted faith in God, Spirit, and instituted faith in matter. The schools have rendered it fashionable to have faith in drugs instead of Deity, and to trust matter to destroy material discord; therefore such systems are devoid of Christianity and its vital points, wherein sense becomes the servant of Soul.
Jesus never spake of disease as difficult or dangerous; and when his students brought to him cases they could not heal, he said unto them, “Oh, ye of little faith!” implying that the only difficulty was in mind and not matter. He urged no obedience to the so-called laws material, but acted in direct disobedience thereto. He uttered things that had been “secret from the foundations of the world,” since ever knowledge had usurped the creative principle, and insisted on the power of error and the insignificance of Truth. But the Master forebore not to declare the whole Truth; to tell us just what will destroy sickness, sin, and death; although that truth set households at variance and brought to their material beliefs not peace, but a sword. Whoever, therefore, shall declare the Truth that he taught shall share the hatred of error until wisdom is justified of her children, and this blessed benediction rests upon the warfare, “If the world hate you, ye may know that it hated me before it hated you,” and “Lo, I am with you alway.”
When the sharp experiences of this supposed life in matter, its disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us as a tired child to the bosom of Love, then are we fit to begin Life in divine science; but without this weaning process who, by searching, can find out God? It is easier for belief to desire Truth, and try to trust in it, than to rid itself of error. Mortals may seek, but shall not be able to enter into the understanding of metaphysical science, the spiritual facts of man's harmony and immortality. They must do more than that; they must strive to enter in: and this strife consists in destroying our beliefs of intelligent matter, sentient bodies, and another Mind than God. Through the wholesome chastisements of Love we learn this divine Principle, and arrive at righteousness and purity, — the footsteps of metaphysical science. Then pausing before the infinite task of reaching Truth, we rest only for a moment, and struggle on, until enraptured thought walks boundless, and conception unconfined finds wings to reach the infinite. Only the true idea of God takes away the sting of death, masters sickness and sin, and the lion lies down with the lamb, the beliefs that would rob God fall at the feet of Love.
The identity of our Master was not less tangible or real to him because it was spiritual, and his Life not at the mercy of matter. Understanding that metaphysical fact made him more real and formidable, as the idea of Truth, and enabled him to triumph over death, and present to his students the self-same Jesus. To the material belief of Thomas, that turned to matter instead of Spirit for God's idea, and to the evidences of body more than Soul for proofs of immortality, Jesus furnished the evidence to his senses or belief that he was the same immediately after as before his crucifixion, and remained thus until he rose higher through the triumph he obtained over death, and disappeared, to the stupid apprehension of Thomas, to whom nothing but the beliefs of matter could then make existence apparent. To call matter substance was no task, but to understand the substance of Spirit was hard, to know that no substance can rule out Mind from piercing it with Truth, and immortality, wherein Spirit is found substance, was more difficult. What is termed personal sense can lie about being, but spiritual sense must tell the facts of it. To a material sense, the falsehood of being is the fact, until that belief is rebuked by science. Belief is the sum total of mortal man; and if this belief says “I am wretched,” it is so, and no circumstance can change it until the belief changes; and if it says “I am happy,” no circumstance can make or mar the situation until the belief changes. It is as necessary for a belief of health to be instructed out of itself into the understanding of Life, as for a belief of sickness to be destroyed; for a change in either belief makes health or sickness. Mortal mind determines the results in both cases, until science establishes the conditions of Truth; and it is a step toward science that makes us more the master of the situation to know this.
Man made theories remedies for soul and body. Laws of matter, etc., are nothing more than laws of mortal belief. Jesus never taught or practised theology, physiology, or materia medica, but he healed the sick and reformed sinners. Paul was not the disciple of Jesus, but he followed his example and teachings, and the result was he healed the sick and introduced Christianity into Rome. If we would follow Christ, Truth, it must be in the way of its appointment; and Jesus said, “The works that I do ye shall do.” He that would reach Truth, and find this divine source a remedy for every ill, must not climb up some other way and rob God. Theology teaches us to love God with all the heart; but we cannot love Spirit supremely and garner our affections in spiritual things while we are loving the material, going to drugs instead of God to heal our sickness, and seeking Truth of formula, dogma, and ritualism; asking a personal God, instead of the Principle that is God, for Truth, and for the divine science that reveals this Principle and demonstrates it, casting out error, healing the sick, and destroying death. A little leaven leavens the whole lump, the least understanding of this science proves all that we have stated of it; and because we cannot walk the wave and raise the dead through divine science, we have no right to question its power to do that, since Jesus proved it, and left it as our example of Christianity. We should attempt no more than we understand, and we should prove our understanding by our works. Man should not tarry in the storm if the body is freezing, or stand in the flames that are devouring it, to prove his power to prevent those results; for unless he could prevent them he should avoid their occasion; to do otherwise were a no less blunder than for a pupil in addition to attempt to solve a problem of Euclid, and because he has not reached thus far in mathematics and fails in demonstration, to deny the Principle of the problem.
All theories of a personal God are based on finite premises, therefore they cannot apprehend the infinite; and this limited sense of God limits our faith and divides it between matter and Spirit, the finite and the infinite, then we turn away from the infinite Principle that heals to the inanimate drug, and have other gods before me. Materia medica originated in idolatry. The pagan priests inquired of their gods for prescriptions of medicine, and Apollo, their god of medicine, was also the sender of disease. Hippocrates turned from the gods of wood and stone to the vegetable and mineral gods for healing, and this was deemed progress, but it ought to be understood mythology and pagan worship still. The fate of medicine and its history should correspond with that of its god, Apollo, who was banished heaven and endured great sufferings on earth.
We must leave the rotting foundations of material systems, however time-honored, if we would gain Christ, Truth, as our savior, not in part but the whole, for the healer of the mind is the healer of the body. The varied doctrines and theories of Life and intelligence in matter are but ancient and modern mythology. Matter is but the grosser substratum of mortal mind, it is but an atheism of thought, that must go down when the science of being is understood; and in those days there will be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of mortal thought, and earth will echo the shock when the cry goes forth, Why art thou, Truth, come hither to torment me before the time?
Ignorance, pride, and prejudice close the door on that which opens it on ideas not stereotyped. When the science of being is understood, every man will be his own physician, and Truth will be found the universal Panacea. Life demonstrates Life and not death, and nothing but the universal belief of death can make it apparent to mortal sense, and then it is real only as a dream that comes in darkness and disappears with the light.
Reasoning incorrectly leads to error of action; it is an unconscious hypocrisy that science corrects with proof. There can be no hypocrisy in science, and its Principle is imperative; you cannot mock it by expecting it will forgive error. Science is a divine and not human demand, and being right it never repents or dishonors its claim by a pardon. If you understand in part the science of being you will be more spiritual and find happiness in the real resources of being and not in the unreal. The greater the error, the harder it struggles with Truth. What a pitiful sight is malice finding pleasure in revenge! What a pity that evil is a man's highest belief of good until his grasp on goodness grows stronger! Then he loses his pleasure in wickedness and is in torment, with no hope of escaping the misery his sin hath wrought until he has paid the full debt and cancelled his account with suffering. Sin is the image of the beast, effaced only by the sweat of agony. Sin is a moral madness that rushes forth to clamor with midnight and the tempest. To mortal view, or what is termed personal sense, science is presumptive in its claims. But we are all hastening to the proof that Life is only what is good; evil has no Life.
The Sadducees reasoned falsely on the resurrection, but not as blindly as the Pharisees, who would have error as immortal as Truth, and resurrect the spiritual from the material, make Life result in death, and death the producer of spiritual Life. Jesus taught that death was overcome by spiritual Life, and proved it thus. If we admit that Soul is immortal we must also admit that man is immortal; for if Spirit, Soul, could be parted from its idea there could be no self-existent Principle, and must be a moment when the Ego is unexpressed, and God and man without entity. If Soul and its expression, called man, are united only for a period, and then separated by a temporary law of divorcement, to come together again at some uncertain time, and in a manner wholly unknown, we are left without a single proof of immortality. But Soul cannot be separated for an instant from the reflection of itself as Life, substance, and intelligence. All the forms of mortal thought that are called forms of matter are not more distinct or real to the so-called senses than forms that Soul produces are to spiritual understanding.
The footsteps of metaphysical science are not seen as much as felt. The “still, small voice” of Truth is uttering itself, but we are daily turning away from those utterances, else we are yielding to them and going up higher in our experiences and demonstration. To become as a little child, who is willing to leave the old for the new, makes thought receptive of the advanced idea, willing to let the old landmark disappear. The theory, doctrine or belief, pleasure, or pain of sense go into oblivion, and have a resurrection of what is clothed in shining garments. Purity is a proof of progress, for none but the pure in heart shall see God.
What we name angels are pure thoughts, winged with the inspiration of Truth and Love. They may appear to the so-called personal sense in superstitious forms, sometimes as females with wings on their backs, and they appear at the door of some sepulchre where an old belief has been buried, and the understanding has risen to give you a new and more beautiful form of thought and a higher conception of Life and its continuance. But angels are messages from God to man; they are not messengers or persons, but ideas clothed upon with whatever form thought hath bestowed upon them, and these high and pure thoughts are not designed to lead us to a person, but away from personality to the Principle of our being, whither every pure and uplifting thought tends. Such messages from Spirit guide us aright, and to heed them and bid them tarry is entertaining angels unawares. To apprehend more of Truth we must put into practice the little we do understand. Truth is demonstrable when understood, and not understood until demonstrated. Truth is practical not theoretical, and when we practise what we have understood, more will be added to our understanding; but if we let the one talent mould for want of usage it will be lost.
Until the sick and the sinner realize their need of Truth that destroys all error, sickness, sin, and death, they will never be receptive of it. Truth is the attraction of Soul, and error the attraction of belief called sense. The former elevates and immortalizes; the latter debases and makes mortal. Spiritual sense is emotion, joy, fruition, understanding. What we term personal or material sense is but an alternating belief between pleasure and pain, hope and fear, life and death; that never reaches beyond the boundary of the unreal. When the real is attained, joy is not a trembler and hope a cheat. The motive to reach happiness, apart from a material sense of it that deceives, can be gained to-day; and, this point won, we have started in the right direction and commenced in the addition of metaphysical science; and “if ye would run, who shall hinder you?”
Saul of Tarsus beheld not the facts of being until his personal sense of things ceased, and that changed the man, thought took a higher stand-point then; a stand more spiritual and true, whereby Paul learned the only realities of being; namely, God and his idea, Spirit and its formations.
Truth and Love create only what is fit to be eternal. And when did Truth ever destroy its own idea? God cannot destroy man, because he is the reflection of God. But mortals reflect not immortality, and a sick man or a sinner is not the image and likeness of God. Does wisdom find pleasure in drunkenness? But personal sense, mortal mind, and belief say there is pleasure in it; and you cannot make the inebriate leave his besottedness until his belief yields to a higher thought, and then he turns from his cup as the dreamer that wakes from his incubus. If mortal man would like to get drunk, and thinks there is pleasure in it, but is afraid of the consequences, he is not a safe temperance man. Fear is not a scientific protection; but to understand there is neither pleasure nor pain in the body, whence all appetites start, destroys both the fear and the appetite. The fear of punishment never made a man honest; moral courage is requisite for that. But how shall we reform the man with more animal than moral courage, who has less Soul, because he has more sense, than a faithful dog. You must convince his reason; that is, perhaps, his highest faculty above the brute, and let that inform the sentiments of the nothingness of the so-called pleasures of sense, then you have saved him.
A picture on the camera, or a face reflected from the mirror, is not its original, but is like it. Man is not God, or in Him, and God is not in man, else there would be more than the one Deity, and man would not be the reflection or the image and likeness of God. The intelligence, Life, and substance of man are God, and man is but the reflection of those; all Mind is God, and his Life and substance are not separated from, but belong to the Principle of man. Gender is not reckoned from the man in the mirror, insomuch as he but reflects it. Gender belongs to the Principle, and not to the person of man, and is a form, quality, and characteristic of Mind instead of matter. What is termed mortal man is the shadow of shadows, that reflects no Principle, and is but a mortal belief, born to-day and dying to-morrow; and yet not dead, for this belief will continue until the understanding of immortal man and his Principle destroys the belief, and brings to light the real man.
Because man reflects God, he cannot be subject to birth, growth, maturity, and decay, unless the Principle that he reflects is subject to those changes, which is again impossible. Reason is wrong when it starts from matter to draw conclusions of Spirit: a finite sense has no correct sense of the infinite. We go into ecstasies over a personal God with scarcely a spark of love in the heart, when God is Love; and believe without understanding Truth, when God is Truth; and suppose we live without righteousness, when God is Life. And what is the result? It is this, that we have no Principle that is understood, to save and to heal us, and get rid of sin, sickness, and death, only through a belief, therefore, they still cling to mortal man; and he will remain mortal until this belief yields to the understanding of God that destroys all belief and establishes the foundations of science. The opposite of Truth is the error that saith infinite Life is in a finite form. This error constitutes a mortal thought, and names that thought mortal man, which thought and so-called man are at the mercy of error, sin, sickness, and death. Then, in order to hold on to itself a little longer, it would resurrect from this mortal error the immortal Truth of being. Thus beginning with dust, returning to dust, and resurrecting from dust, man, who was and is the spiritual and eternal likeness of God. But science, undisturbed by this jargon, is revealing Life as Spirit; and Spirit, never passing into or out of man and its own formations, but the infinite Mind that cannot be finite or compressed, for it is the One and great power of the universe and of man. The mighty arm would be crippled if Mind was made subject to matter, the figurative tree of knowledge made a pigmy race of “gods.”