Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1898)/04 Creation
|Thy throne is established of old.|
|Thou art from everlasting. — Psalms.|
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. — Romans.
ETERNAL Truth is changing the universe. Thought expands into expression, as mortals shake off Inadequate theories of creation. their swaddling-clothes. “Let there be light” is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love, theories of changing chaos into order, and discord into the music of the spheres. The mythical theories of creation adopted by mortals are vague hypotheses, affording no foundation for accurate views of the creations of immortal Mind, discerned apart from all material causation.
Mortal man has made a covenant with his eyes to belittle Deity with human conceptions. In Finite deity. league with material sense, mortals take limited views of all things. That God is finite or material, no man should affirm.
The human form, or physical finiteness, cannot be made the basis of any true idea of the infinite Godhead. Eye hath not seen Spirit, nor ear heard His voice.
Progress takes off human shackles. The finite must yield to the Infinite. Advancing to a higher plane of Spiritual creation. action, thought rises from the material sense to the spiritual, from the mortal to the immortal, and from the material to the immaterial. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the Creator. Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.
The theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggests heathen Tritheism. gods, rather than the one ever-present I Am. “Hear, Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.”
The everlasting I Am is not bounded or compressed within the narrow limits of physical humanity, nor can Corporeal personality. He be understood aright through mortal concepts. The precise form of God must be of small importance, when compared with the sublime question, What is infinite Mind, or divine Love?
Who is it that demands our obedience? He who, in the language of Scripture, “doeth according to His will, in the army of Heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?”
No form, or physical combination, is adequate to represent infinite Love and Wisdom. A finite and material sense of God leads to formalism and narrowness, and freezes the heart of Christianity.
A limitless Mind cannot proceed from physical limitations. Finiteness cannot present the idea or form of Infinity. A mind originating from a finite or material Limitless Mind. source must be limited and finite. Infinite Mind is the Creator, and creation is the infinite idea emanating from this Mind. If Mind is within and without all things, then all is Mind; and this definition is Scientific.
If matter, so-called, is substance, then Spirit, matter's Substance. opposite, must be shadow; and shadow cannot produce substance. The theory that Spirit is not the only substance and creator is pantheistic heterodoxy, which ultimates in sickness, sin, and death. It is the belief in a bodily soul and a material mind, a soul governed by the body, and mind ruled by matter. This belief is pantheistic.
Mind creates its own likeness in ideas, and the Substance of an idea is very far from being the supposed substance of non-intelligent matter. Hence the Father Mind is not the Father of matter. The material senses and human conceptions would translate spiritual ideas into material beliefs, and say that an anthropomorphic god, instead of infinite Principle, is the Father of the rain, “who hath begotten the drops of dew,” bringeth “forth Mazzaroth in his season,” and guideth “Arcturus, with his sons.”
Finite mind manifests all sorts of errors, and thus proves the material theory of mind in matter to be the Antipodes. antipode of Mind. Who hath found finite life or love sufficient to meet the demands of human want and woe, — to still the desires, to satisfy the aspirations? Infinite Mind cannot be limited to a finite form, or it would lose its infinite character as inexhaustible Love, eternal Life, omnipotent Truth.
It would require an infinite form to contain infinite Mind. Indeed, the phrase infinite form involves a Infinite physique. contradiction of terms. Finite man cannot be the image and likeness of the infinite God. A mortal, corporeal, or finite conception of God cannot embrace the glories of limitless, incorporeal Life and Love. Hence the unsatisfied human craving for something better, higher, holier, than is afforded by this material belief in a physical God and man. The insufficiency of this belief to supply the true idea proves its falsity.
Man is more than a material form with a mind inside, Infinity's reflection. which must escape from its environments in order to survive death. He reflects Infinity, and includes in this reflection the universal idea of God.
When God expressed in man the infinite idea, forever developing itself, broadening, and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis. He created everything that is to be found in the kingdom of Mind. We know no more of man's individuality, as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God's.
The infinite Principle is reflected by the infinite idea and spiritual individuality, but the material senses have no cognizance of either. The human capacities are enlarged and perfected, in proportion as humanity gains the true conception of man and God.
Mortals have a very feeble and imperfect idea of the spiritual man, and the infinite range of his thought. Individual permanency. To him belongs eternal Life. Never born and never dying, it is an impossibility for Being, under the government of eternal Science, to fall from its high estate.
Through spiritual sense you may discern the heart of humanity, and thus begin to comprehend, in Science, the God's man. generic term man. Man is not absorbed in Deity, and cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents the sum of all Substance, or infinite Mind.
In Divine Science man is the true image of God. The divine nature was expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God, and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow, — thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying. The Christlike understanding of Scientific Being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of every thought.
If man was once perfect, but has now lost his perfection, then mortals have never beheld in man the outlines Loss of the divine image. or reality of divine Mind. The lost image is no image, and the true likeness cannot be lost in reflection. Understanding this, Jesus said: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.”
Mortal thought transmits its own images, and forms its offspring after human concepts. Immortal models Immortal models. — pure, perfect, and enduring — are transmitted by the divine Mind through Science, which corrects error with the ideals of Truth, and demands spiritual thoughts, divine concepts, to the end that they may produce harmonious results.
Drawing our conclusions about man from imperfection instead of perfection, we can no more arrive at the true conception, or understanding, of man, and make ourselves like unto it, than the sculptor can perfect his outlines from an imperfect model, or the painter depict the form and face of Jesus, while holding in thought the character of Judas.
The conceptions of mortal, erring thought must give way to the ideal of all that is perfect and eternal. Spiritual discovery. Through many generations mortal beliefs will be attaining diviner conceptions, and the immortal and perfect model of God's creation will be seen as the only conception of Being.
Science reveals the possibility of every good achievement, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one's ability to gain the goodness desired, and bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one's wings, and ensures failure at the outset.
Mortals must change their ideals, in order to improve Change of our ideals. their models. A sick body is evolved from sick thoughts. Evil, disease, and death proceed from false beliefs. Sensualism evolves bad physical as well as moral conditions.
Selfishness and sensualism are educated in mortal mind by the thoughts ever recurring to one's self, by conversation about the body, and by the expectation of perpetual pleasure or pain therefrom; and this education is at the expense of spiritual growth. If we array thought in mortal vestures, it must lose its immortal radiancy.
If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain. For Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; and for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body, into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and Thought's images. immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.
The effect of mortal minds on health and happiness is seen in this: if one turns away from the body with such Forgetfulness of pain. absorbed interest as to forget it, the body experiences no pain. Under the strong impulse of a desire to fill his part, a noted actor used, night after night, to go upon the stage and sustain his appointed task, walking about as spry as the youngest member of the company. This old man was so lame that every day he hobbled to the theatre, and sat aching in his chair till his cue was spoken, — a signal which made him as oblivious of physical infirmity as if he had inhaled chloroform, though he was in the full possession of his senses.
Detach sense from the body, or matter, which is only a form of human belief, and you may learn the meaning Immutable identity. of God, or Good, and the nature of the immutable and immortal. Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of Life nor your own identity. Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you may rise to the spiritual consciousness of Being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg, and preens its wings for a skyward flight.
We should forget our bodies, in remembering God and the human race. Good demands of man every hour, wherein to work out the problem of Being. Consecration to God lessens not man's dependence on Him, but heightens it. Neither does it diminish his Forgetfulness of self. obligations to God, but shows the paramount necessity of meeting them. Science takes naught from the perfection of God, but ascribes to Him the greater glory. By putting “off the old man. with his deeds,” mortals “put on immortality.”
We cannot fathom the nature and quality of God's creation by diving into the shallows of mortal belief. We must reverse our feeble flutterings, our efforts to find life and truth in matter, and rise above mortal man, above the material universe, to God. We must rise to clearer views, which inspire the Godlike man, and thus reach the absolute centre and circumference of Being.
Job said: “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee.” Mortals will echo True vision. Job's thought, when the supposed pain and pleasure oi matter cease to predominate. They will then drive away false estimates of life and happiness, of pleasure and pain, and attain the bliss of loving unselfishly, working patiently, and conquering all that is unlike God. Starting from a higher standpoint, one rises spontaneously, even as light emits light without effort; for “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man's origin. To begin rightly is to end rightly. Foundation of discord. Every calculation which begins with the body begins falsely. Immortal Mind is the only Cause and Principle of existence. Cause does not exist in matter, in mortal mind, or in physical forms.
Mortals are egotists. They believe themselves independent workers, personal authors, and even privileged Human egotism. originators of something which Deity would not or could not create. Mortal belief claims the power of creation, but its so-called creations are unreal. The immortal idea and its formations alone represent the Truth of creation.
When man resigns his claims as a creator, blends his thoughts of existence with those of his Maker, and Mis-creator. works only as God works, he will no longer grope darkly, and cling to earth because he has not tasted Heaven. Carnal beliefs defraud us. They make man an involuntary hypocrite, — producing evil when he would create good, forming deformity when he would outline grace and beauty, injuring those whom he would bless. He becomes a general mis-creator, who believes he is a creator, and his “touch turns hope to dust, the dust we all have trod.” He might say in Bible language: “The good that I would, I do not; but the evil, which I would not, that I do.”
There can be but one Creator, who has created all. Whatever seems to be a new creation is but a new No new creation. discovery of some distant idea of Truth, — else it is a new multiplication or self-division of mortal thought, — as when some finite sense peers from its cloister with amazement, and attempts to pattern the Infinite.
The multiplication of a human and mortal sense of persons and things is not creation. Material man, like an atom of dust thrown into the face of spiritual immensity, gives a flickering sensation, instead of an abiding consciousness of Being.
The fading forms of matter, the mortal body and earth are the fleeting thoughts of the human mind. Mind's camera. They have their day before the permanent facts appear, and their perfection in Spirit. The crude creations of mortal thought must finally give place to the glorious forms which we sometimes behold in the camera of divine Mind, where the mental picture is real and eternal. Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things. Where shall the gaze rest, but in the unsearchable realm of Mind? We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our Being.
As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were Self-completeness. invisible, will become visible. When we realize that Life is Spirit, and never in or of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, — finding all in Good, and needing no other consciousness.
Spirit and its formations are the only realities of Being. Matter disappears under the microscope of Spiritual microscope. Spirit. Sin is unsustained by Truth, and sickness and death are thus proven to be forms of error. Life and blessedness are the only proofs of existence, whereby you can recognize it, and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.
When we learn our way in Christian Science, as to man's spiritual origin, we shall behold and understand God's creation, — all the glories of earth and Heaven and man.
The universe of Spirit is peopled with spiritual beings, and its government is Divine Science. Man is the Godward gravitation. offspring, not of the lowest, but the highest qualities of Mind. Man understands spiritual existence in proportion as his treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged. Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, they must near the broader interpretations of Being, and gain some proper sense of the Infinite for matter and mortality to be annihilated.
This Scientific sense of Being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity, and the loss of his identity, but confers upon him enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive benevolence, a higher and more permanent existence.
The senses represent man as having untimely birth and his death as irresistible, as if he were a weed growing Mortal birth and death. apace, or a flower withered by the sun and nipped by untimely frosts; but this is true only of mortals, not man. The Truth of Being is perennial, and the error is seen only when we look from wrong points of observation.
Who that has felt the loss of physical pleasure has not gained stronger desires for spiritual joy? The Blessings from pain. aspiration after heavenly good comes even before we discover what belongs to Wisdom and Love. The loss of earthly hopes and pleasures brightens the ascending path of many a heart. The pains of sense quickly inform us that its pleasures are mortal, and that joy is spiritual.
The pains of sense are salutary, if they wrench away false pleasurable beliefs, and transplant the affections from sense to Soul, where the creations of God are good, Decapitation of error. “rejoicing the heart.” Such is the sword of Science, whereby Truth decapitates error, and mortality gives place to man's higher individuality and destiny.
Would existence be to you a blank without personal friends? Then the time cometh when you will be Personal loneliness. solitary, left without sympathy and alone; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love. When this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth. Friends will betray and enemies will oppose, until the lesson is sufficient to exalt you; for “man's extremity is God's opportunity.” Thus He teaches mortals to lay down their fleshliness in order to gain spirituality. This is done through self-abnegation. Universal Love is the divine way in Christian Science.
The sinner believes himself happier for wrong-doing, and the saint that he suffers for doing right. Both inferences are untrue. They are the cobweb misconceptions of material sense, mixing Truth with error, in cause and effect.
Mortals must follow Jesus' sayings and demonstrations, which destroy the flesh. The throne of perfect Beatified humanity. and eternal Mind is Good, but the beliefs which originate in matter must disappear. Man is the idea of Spirit; he reflects the beatific presence, illuming the universe with light. Man is deathless, spiritual; he is above mortal frailty, he does not cross the barriers of time, into the vast forever of Life, but coexists with God and the universe.
Every object in the material universe will be destroyed, but the spiritual idea, whose substance is in Mind, lives on. The offspring of God start not from ephemeral dust. They are in and of God, divine Mind, and so forever continue. God is one. The oneness of Deity is His allness. Generically man is one, and specifically man means all men.
Mortal mind, even when examined in the light thrown upon it by Science, presents more than is detected upon Final uses. its surface, since its inverted thoughts and beliefs are counterfeits of Truth. Thought is borrowed from a higher source; and, by reversal, errors serve as waymarks to the One Mind and eternal Truth, where all error disappears in the dazzling effulgence of celestial sunlight. The robes of Spirit are “white and glistering,” like the raiment of Christ. Even in this world, therefore, “let your garments be always white.”