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Elections and apparitions

During any campaign for high office there is a tendency to call up for the electorate's benefit a series of apparitions; i.e., unverifiable mental pictures of the chaos that will result if the wrong candidate is elected.

The result of these apparitions can only be to arouse fear in the electorate, perhaps with the hope of stimulating it to choose a candidate identified with the least evil of all the apparitions. But can evil apparitions help the public make an informed judgment? A useful answer to this can be found in the story of King Saul's death. n1

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n1 See I Samuel 28, 31;

Feeling himself cut off from God's direction, Saul asked the witch of Endor to call up Samuel from the dead because he wanted advice on how to save Israel from the Philistines. There is little doubt, from the account, that he believed he actually saw and talked with the dead prophet.

But what he thought he saw and talked with was not Samuel but an apparition -- an unverifiable mental picture constructed out of material thoughts. Convinced that the "old man . . . covered with a mantle" artfully suggested by the witch was Samuel, he turned his eyes to the ground (rather than to the apparition) and heard his own worst fears expressed. God hadm departed from him, would not answer him anymore, and was now his enemy. Deprived of God's support, he would be killed by the Philistines. Cowed and weakened by this apparent substantiation of his fears, Saul, his sons, and the men who relied on his mental clarity to lead them in battle, were defeated and destroyed.

The Scriptural admonition "Should not a people seek unto their God?" n2 not only sums up the moral point of Saul's disloyalty to God but speaks to us just as directly today on the same subject. The infinite Mind, God, that created and sustains man is forever furnishing us with all the intelligence we can ever need to keep us out of individual or national danger. But to avail ourselves of that eternally manifested intelligence, we need to know who the man is that God created; who it is that continually senses and responds to God's government.

n2 Isaiah 8:19;

As the image and likeness of the one God -- the God Christ Jesus called Spirit n3 -- man is wholly spiritual; a pure and divinely mental idea in the unlimited Mind that is God. He is not an unreliable material composite possessed of a limited and faulty intelligence, doomed to disintegration and extinction by others like himself, or by deadly forces he believes to be natural and God-ordained. Such a materially limited being -- the counterfeit of God's real and perfect man -- is a fabrication of material sense: the "old man" that Paul counseled us to "put off." n4 It's material sense that can't hear God, that turns to apparitions for guidance, that objectifies and suffers from its own fears.

n3 See John 4:24;

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n4 Ephesians 4:22;

"The testimony of the corporeal senses cannot inform us what is real and what is delusive," writes Mary Baker Eddy, n5 "but the revelations of Christian Science unlock the treasures of Truth. And again: "Nothing is real and eternal, -- nothing is Spirit, -- but God and His idea. Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense." n6

n5 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;

n6 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m pp. 70, 71.

To call up apparitions of destruction and chaos as a means for separating good candidates from bad is to suggest that the electorate, like Saul, can be better guided by illusion than by its divinely supplied intelligence. That this is neither true nor practical is proved by Saul's experience. An effective election, and a secure and rewarding future for all mankind, are furthered only as we entertain the rightm idea -- the Christly idea -- of the man and universe that God creates and governs; and as we firmly reject the illusory and divisive claims of apparitional evil. DAILY BIBLE VERSE From heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion. Psalms 102:19-21

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