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Good: it's already yours

Our supply of good is at no point truly dependent on outward circumstances or conditions. In a sense, what we need is always within - within our understanding of God's present and eternal provision for His creation. ''Behold, the kingdom of God is within you,'' n1 Christ Jesus taught.

n1 Luke 17:21.

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Do you think you lack intelligence or wisdom? The fact is that man is the likeness of the one, divine, infinite Mind, God. This spiritual truth enables us to surmount the humanly outlined profile of intelligence as based in ''brain power,'' education, or environmental influence. The Mind that is God - the Mind that each of God's offspring expresses - bestows unlimited capacity to know and understand whatever may be necessary.

Any sense of intelligence restricted by circumstances can be removed through prayer - through re-viewing man as God's beloved child, endowed with limitless resources from his Father. This has been proved many times by those who choose this freeing viewpoint over the limited, material concept of man.

In today's world, many individuals find themselves so pushed around by emotion and sensualism that real feeling seems to have evaporated from their lives. Excesses of all kinds jade the sensitivities and appear to leave one without the capacity to give or receive genuine love. The antidote again can be found in a higher perception of man.

Because God is Love and man is His image, as the Bible teaches, we can't, in truth, be separated from a pure sense of love or from the capacity to express love. Real, God-derived love is an inherent part of man. We can't lose what belongs to us by divine right!

So much goes on in human experience that would intimidate or discourage us. Crime, poverty, and disease can seem overwhelming if we don't feel capable of coping with them. But the strength and spiritual vision we need to deal effectively with these evils are not qualities we lack. They are aspects of our birthright as the children of God, and we can claim and utilize them at any moment. To see the practical side of spiritual qualities is only possible by actually claiming and living them. ''The admission to one's self that man is God's own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea,'' writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper.

Admitting our spiritual selfhood is the first step to solving woeful human problems. The heavenly kingdom within is ours right now, and we can prove it.

One morning I awoke in severe pain. It was plain that the day couldn't be productive if this continued, and I had lots to do.

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I had recently seen ''The Wizard of Oz,'' and there was a lesson in it. I was reminded that the characters in the story already possessed the qualities they so longed for. This idea made such an impression on me that my reasoning was immediately altered. Through prayer it became clear that I already had what I needed for my well-being - my birthright as God's child.

I realized that since man is the eternal reflection of God (and reflection always matches the original), good was my natural state. A genuine, lasting solution for pain couldn't come from some external application of matter or from more rest; health was already inherent in my true identity as God's image, and this, I saw, was the key to my well-being. In a couple of hours I felt fine.

We already have, as God's offspring, all that we need. The demand is to awake to this fact, to detect and realize these already present elements of our being. This is done through prayer, through turning to God for divine inspiration.

Whatever is good, God has already bestowed on man. So look within - to the spiritual truth of being.

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 90.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth . . . What is man, that thou art mindful of him? . . . For thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned hom with glory and honour. Psalms 8:1, 4, 5

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