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Upward Mobility

TO what is mankind's mobility linked? If our estimation of identity emphasizes a mortal status in life, we're too easily robbed of recognizing our glorious sonship as the perfect, spiritual likeness of God.

Mortal existence, which includes sorrows, sins, and sickness, would enslave humanity. But man--our genuine identity--is not mortal but immortal. And our immortal sonship with God has only elements of good, which are derived from our creator. Understanding perfect God and perfect man is truly upward mobility because it brings to light the real man, the son of God. This ``mobility," then, is not a moving from one place to another, for man is spiritual, the idea of ever-present Spirit, God. It is, rather, a

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progressive spiritualization of human consciousness whereby the human yields to the Divine and allows the spiritual idea to be made manifest in human experience in what we call spiritual healing.

One day I was talking with another Christian Scientist about what man really is. We are both familiar with Mary Baker Eddy's discussion of man in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science points out: ``The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness." As we talked about what man is--what we are spiritually--my friend mentioned that someone she knew had found some five hundred spiritual qualities o f man in the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings. Five hundred! Could there really be that many? I took up the challenge of seeing how many I could find.

My list included man as perfect, spiritual, whole, pure, wise, unerring, beautiful, joyous. By the sixth page--averaging about fifty qualities to a page--I felt very inadequate. Man is vigorous, majestic, healthy, vital, victorious . . . . Who, me? My life had included its share of mistakes, failures, and sickness. How could these magnificent qualities be describing me? Yet, gradually I began to realize that God's creation has to be like Him. To see myself as His perfect child wasn't putting myself forwa rd or thinking that I was somehow better than other people. Quite the reverse. Seeing myself as God's man required me to see my fellowman as His perfect creation, too. I was getting closer to the point summed up in John's Gospel where Christ Jesus speaks of the glory that is man's because it is God's. ``And now, O Father," said Jesus, ``glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."

I reasoned that since God is my only Father, it is righteous (not self-righteous) to identity myself correctly. The highest worship I can give to God is to be what He creates me to be--which includes all those qualities of spiritual perfection.

My list eventually passed the five-hundred mark, but the challenge has long ceased to be counting a certain number of qualities. I'm more grateful than I can say, though, for a much improved sense of my true worth. And my spiritual self- knowledge continues to grow day by day as I more completely understand and live my true identity as linked to God.

We each can move forward and upward in our ability to understand and express the divine nature God is forever revealing and unfolding in man. The spiritualization of individual human consciousness is an upward climb, to be sure; we do not leap to an understanding of our glorious spiritual identity in one bound. But to get started is to be upwardly mobile in the highest sense. And since man is already actually the spiritual reflection of Mind, God, we can expect to experience the healing and regenerating power of God with every spiritually upward step we take.

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