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Spiritual existence is not abstract

`TUHAN memberkati engkau.'' Do you know what that means? You would if you could read Indonesian. It means ``God bless you.'' A familiar sentiment becomes abstract, to say the least, when it's stated in a language we don't understand.

There may be a lesson here about the way we look at the things of Spirit. The meaning of God, Spirit, may seem to us abstract, as would the words of a language we didn't understand. Yet we would be mistaken to conclude that the great reality of God, as infinite divine Love, is by nature incomprehensible or obscure. Isn't it, rather, a failure to understand the words of Christ Jesus and of the prophets that makes the reality of God seem like an abstraction? Jesus said, ``I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.''1 Spiritual life was no abstraction to Jesus.

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Our preoccupation with materiality cannot forever obscure the present reality of divine Love. Amid the clamor of materialistic reasoning and sensation, how can we begin to feel the presence of Love and to recognize the spiritual intuitions that flow from the divine source? ``Ear hath not heard, nor hath lip spoken, the pure language of Spirit,''2 observes the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy.

Our willingness to turn our focus away from matter--from preoccupation with the physical body, with things, with worldly pursuits--coupled with our trust that God will enlarge and purify our understanding of Him, will help us learn more about Spirit's ever-presence. It's also important to express the qualities of God in order to feel His nearness--and to recognize the Godlikeness in others' examples of kindness, thoughtfulness, and so forth. If we hold a limited, material view of the good in our lives, we may fail to recognize the presence of God that the goodness of others points to.

As our concept of God becomes clearer, we begin to find all true being within Him and to understand more about ourselves in relation to our creator. Christian Science teaches that human needs are met in our progressive awakening to man's fully-cared-for spiritual being, made in the image of Spirit, of Love.

At first we may feel that a perception of spiritual existence can't meet what seem to be very material needs such as health, companionship, and supply. Yet as our view of existence becomes more spiritualized, our view of the needs themselves also becomes more spiritual. We discover that the clear recognition that man expresses God's fullness is exactly what meets our need. You might say that our understanding of the language of Spirit translates into practical manifestations of health and harmony.

Several years ago I had a vivid lesson that has helped me to overcome the fear that Spirit is too abstract to care for our needs. I was very ill with symptoms of weakness and fever and couldn't get out of bed. As I prayed, it was clear to me that if I could accept Spirit's allness, I would be healed. But at that moment I didn't want to accept Spirit's allness because I kept thinking about all the wonderful material things that I didn't want to give up. In particular, I was thinking of a recent trip to the mountains, vividly recalling the smell of fir and hemlock, the sharp feel of the wind, and the roar of the river rapids we stood beside.

As I turned to God with all my heart, I suddenly realized that these wonderful perceptions were mere shadows of the glory, beauty, color, and freshness of spiritual existence. I saw that I needn't be afraid of going forward in my understanding of Spirit's allness, for by so doing I would never lose the beauty of creation but only gain increasingly clearer, more vibrant views of it. The weakness and fever left. I was healed.

When we glimpse something of the concreteness of spiritual reality, we want to learn more about the fullness of God's spiritual creation, which is hinted at in these verses from Deuteronomy: ``The Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it.''3

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1John 10:10. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 117. 3Deuteronomy 8:7-9. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The things which are not seen are eternal. II Corinthians 4:18

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