Science and Health (1881)/11 Platform of Christian Scientists
PLATFORM OF CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS.
I. That God is supreme, the only Life, Substance, and Intelligence of the Universe and man: that there is neither a personal Deity, a personal devil, nor a personal man.
II. That God is Principle and not person, Mind and not matter: that this Principle is what the Scripture declares it, namely, Life, Truth, and Love.
III. That God, which is the perfect Mind or Principle, including the perfect idea, is all that is real or eternal.
IV. That God is Spirit, and Spirit is infinite; and there is but one Spirit, because there can be but one infinite, and there is but one God.
V. That Spirit is the only substance, even “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” The spiritual and eternal are substance, whereas the material and temporal are not substance.
VI. That God is the only Life, and when this shall appear, “we shall be like unto Him.” Man will be perfect and immortal when it shall appear that harmony is the real, and discord the unreal.
VII. That God is Intelligence or Mind, and there is but one Mind because there is but one God.
VIII. That Mind is infinite, limitless, and eternal. The Infinite never entered the finite, and Intelligence never passed into non-intelligence; so Mind never passed into matter, the unlimited into limits, the eternal into the temporal, and the immortal into mortality, therefore Mind was never in personal man or matter.
IX. That God is Soul or Spirit, and Spirit hath no outline; it is neither a limited mind nor a limited body, therefore it cannot be person, and is Principle. If the eternal Intelligence or Mind started from personality, it would be a limited mind, and could not be infinite, for, having a finite origin, starting from limits and returning to limits, it would be finite. The infinite and forever hath no starting point.
X. That man was and is the idea of God, the conception of eternal Mind; that this idea was co-existent and co-eternal with Mind: hence, that man was forever in Mind, but Mind was never in man. There was never a material idea or personal man, neither is there a portion of God to enter man, else that portion would be finite and no longer infinite. If a portion of the Infinite could enter limits, that portion would lose the nature of Deity. There cannot be a portion of the Infinite. The whole expresses infinity or God, and nothing else can, and if this entirety be lacking, God is lacking. The Scripture saith, “God is all in all.” We understand this to be so, but if God is all, there is nothing for Him to enter but Himself. All is mind, there is no matter; all is harmony, there is no discord; all is Life, there is no death; all is good, there is no evil; all is God and His idea.
XI. That Science decides matter or the mortal body to be nothing but a belief and an illusion. When belief changes, as in dreams, matter or the mortal body changes with it, to belief, and is wherever and whatever belief makes it. The so-called mortal mind is belief; the immortal Mind is Principle, understanding, and the idea which represents it. Matter is without Principle or proof. Man is idea; and Spirit or Soul, either of which is Mind, and Mind is God, is the Principle of this idea, and both are infinite if one is, and both are eternal if one is, for man is the image and likeness of God. Personal or material sense hath never seen man; material man is not the likeness of God, the material represents not Spirit. There are no senses of matter; and the infinite idea is as invisible to a limited sense as Deity is. Man and God, being Principle and idea, are inseparable, harmonious, infinite, and eternal. The result of metaphysics proves the rule of scientific being, and will bring out the harmony and immortality of man because it is the Truth of man. If you besiege sickness, sin, or death with this scientific understanding of being, you will learn that our statement of God and man is true, and the opposite statement of them is the error and discord that Truth casts out. This metaphysical statement understood, ultimates in eternal harmony, and brings to light the eternal and unerring idea of God; whereas the opposite belief, namely, that man has a beginning and ending, that he is both Soul and body, and that both are sinning, sick, and dying, is seen to ultimate in discord and nothingness, even the “dust to dust” called mortal man. This very mortality is our proof that error is ingrafted into the premises and conclusions of material and mortal man. As the mythology of pagan Rome has yielded to a more spiritual idea of Deity, so shall our material theology or doctrinal religions yield to a more spiritual idea of God than a material man presents, until all materiality shall disappear in thought, and the finite give place to the infinite, and the impersonal, unlimited, and unerring idea, and the impersonal, limitless, or infinite Principle of this idea shall appear, and “Thy kingdom have come on earth as it is in Heaven.”
XII. That man is not an Intelligence, a mind, or a gender, and that woman is but another and higher term for man; that man or woman is the compound idea that includes all other ideas of God, which represent Life, Truth, or Love. A lamb, which is the symbol of innocence, is one of the ideas included in the compound idea that expresses God in full. A tree, the symbol of beauty and aspiration, is another simple idea and portion of man or the compound idea of God, and so of the entire universe. Spirit, God, never created matter, for there is nothing in Spirit out of which to make matter, but God “made all that was made”; hence, matter was never made, and is a chimera, a belief, and error. The unerring and immortal are God and the idea of God; the erring or mortal is nothingness; the former is real, the latter is unreal.
XIII. That God made only that which is good, and evil cannot proceed from God, for there is nothing in the nature of Life, Truth, or Love, from which to make evil. There is but one Spirit or God, hence there are no spirits or gods, and no evil Spirit, because Spirit is God. A personal God, a personal man, a personal devil, and evil and good spirits, are theological mythoplasm, mere beliefs that must finally yield to the opposite science of God and man. Mediumship or Spiritualism is without foundation or fact.
XIV. That Mind or Intelligence is the only “I” or “Us,” and this “I” or “Us” is bliss, it being infinite freedom and impersonality. Limits impose ignorance, and ignorance is not bliss. When being is personality, it is no longer bliss, but bondage. The “I” and the Father must be one. The Truth of being is harmony and immortality, and any other supposed consciousness or Life is a myth.
XV. That God, which is Life, Truth, and Love, never forgives sin; for Life destroys death, Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate; these, therefore, being destroyed, need no forgiveness. Error is supposed to be real although wrong, and both real and wrong; but this statement is incorrect. Error is not Truth and is unreal, because it is not true. But let the evil-doer take no encouragement because of this, for he is making a reality of error, and heaping up wrath against his own belief.
XVI. That the word “Adam” signifies “original sin,” “error” and not man. “Adam” is from the Latin demens, meaning “madness,” “to undo,” “to spoil.” The word should read as rendered, Adamn. The Scripture plainly declares Adam accursed, yet our translators have as plainly declared the word and the curse, a man, and this man to have originated in dust instead of Deity! The eternal “Us” or “I” made man in the “image and likeness of God;” a curse was not this likeness. A limited mind or a limited body, a limited sinner or a limited saint, is not the likeness of Infinity.
XVII. That Truth must be spiritually discerned to be scientifically understood; that Truth casts out error and heals the sick. Intellect or the reason cannot grasp Truth. Reason may be wrong, error may govern its conclusions; the Spiritual understanding of Spiritual things comes from Spirit. In the exact proportion to which this understanding is brought out will it be carried out in demonstration of healing and spiritualizing thought and act. “The carnal mind cannot discern spiritual things.” Metaphysics lead into all Truth, they enlarge the capacity for good, and proportionately diminish it for evil, whereas Truth discerned intellectually is received as a belief, and is not understood. Spiritual growth is the only evidence that we understand Christian Science or metaphysical healing. The enlarged capacity of belief brings forth its own fruits, which are error instead of Truth. Pride, envy, revenge, malice, lust, worldliness, etc., are the possible fruits of intellect. Accepting Christian Science through reason instead of Love, with its unselfish fruits, is not to understand it; we cannot knowingly hold on to error in thought and act, and reach the Spiritual understanding of Truth, that enables us to heal the sick and to leave all for Christ. This rule of metaphysics admits no exception.
XVIII. That Life, Truth, and Love are the Trinity, or triune Principle, the three in one, the same in action and entity, and these are the one God. That the Holy Ghost is divine science, revealing and explaining this triune Principle, and leading into all Truth; that Christ is but another term for God, and Jesus the name of a man. The conception of Jesus was spiritual. The spirituality of Mary was the transparency, through which immortal Mind was reflected in that better likeness of Truth and Love, the good and pure Jesus. Into Mary's idea of God and conception of man, the male, or sensual element of thought entered not to taint the idea; thus it was that Jesus became the mediating or intervening idea between Truth and error, or Soul and sense, which opposed not God, that healed the sick, dispelled the illusions of sense, or the belief of Life and Intelligence in matter, and revealed the impersonal Truth, namely, that Soul and God are one, and the “I” or the Father.
XIX. That our Church is built on Christ, not a person, but the Principle that Christ said is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”; that Christian Science is the Way and its foundations are eternal. That in reality we unite with Christ's Church only as we become unselfish and pure, and are new-born babes into the Life that is Truth, casting out error and healing the sick, thus re-establishing the Christianity of ancient Prophet and Apostle. That our only cup is the one our Master drank, and we are not to refuse, namely, persecutions for righteousness' sake, “for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven,” even the reign of harmony that the divine science of Christianity includes.