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Gaining a higher sense of ourselves

In the world today we are educated to think of ourselves as physical personalities, activated by brain and nerves, existing within the systems of matter, time, and space. And we often try to improve our condition through chemical, surgical, or some other material means. But is man really, in the final analysis, corporeal? What is there within this stuff called matter that could possibly inspire the compassion to mend a broken heart? Or give a rejected person the will to live? Or impel Christ Jesus to give his life to feed a hungry world and heal its miseries? Whenever we feel something of the love the Master preached, we can be assured that our actual selfhood is spiritual, Godlike, not fleshly. Such love must come from a source outside of physique, a spiritual source that cares for its creation. So God is not distant and unloving; He is omnipresent Spirit, and man expresses the nature of his creator. Truly, there is infinitely more to us than physicality. ``Material personality is not realism,'' 1 we read in the textbook of Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of this Science. And on another page she states, ``God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.'' 2

In the Bible, the Psalmist addresses God with the question ``What is man, that thou art mindful of him?'' And the wonderful answer follows: ``Thou . . . hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.'' 3

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Whether our need is for improved health, security, employment, more income, or happier relationships, it will be met more readily if we will stop thinking of our lives as a mere interplay of material elements and personalities. Solutions can come naturally as we learn, through prayer, to see life from a spiritual standpoint; to see that God is Life itself, perfect divine intelligence, and that we are actually God's offspring--not material but spiritual, in the likeness of our Maker. Material existence, with all its tragedy and discord, is the manifestation of the world's whole system of limited material concepts, and not the eternal actuality of our being. In Christian Science we learn to deny--as spiritually invalid and mesmeric in nature--the signs of suffering in oneself and others, and to affirm God's perfection and love as being right where discords have seemed to hold sway. This is not wishful thinking but potent prayer. When deeply felt, it brings our daily lives under God's law of harmony and results in incalculable blessings. In my own experience, physical healings have taken place, estranged friends and relatives have been reunited, businesses have been saved, and catastrophes averted, as the result of prayer.

Let's never say, ``I don't feel God's presence with me.'' We need only to be humble enough to hear God's voice, His healing thoughts, and willing enough to listen. Loving as Jesus loved, we will be able to let go of the old darkened sense of ourselves and find healing of the hurts and bitterness and fears that may have accumulated through the years. Letting the one Mind speak to us, letting divine Love communicate, comfort, guide, we certainly will feel God close to us, encompassing us with a healing power that no error can withstand. In the spiritual sense of ourselves, there is no element of deprivation or suffering. No form of damage, blockage, abnormality, or destruction can enter there. As God's beloved children, we are free from evil temptations, under no cloud, penalty, or verdict of doom. We stand as evidence of the sparkling purity and joy of Life, God.

This way of thinking and living is open before us. It is not escapism. Rather, it's a way of God-based fulfillment and dominion, of spiritual poise and peace that nothing can disturb.

1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 337.

2 Ibid., p. 258.

3 Psalms 8:4-6

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