BILL Moyers's new series, ``Healing and the Mind," premieres tonight on most public broadcasting stations in the United States. The nature of wholeness, the importance of the patient's active involvement in his own care, the link between the human mind and the body--all these and more come up for discussion. But we're not really writing this as a plug for the show. Nor are we trying to hitch a ride on it. We just can't hear about healing without feeling a sense of community with others who are striving t o alleviate humanity's sufferings.
The Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, spent much of her life pioneering in the field of healing--healing that was through mental and spiritual means. From the start of her work she accepted the premise that the ultimate example was Christ Jesus' own healing work. And that his practice of Christian healing had an underpinning, a foundation, that made it repeatable by others.
If his followers are willing to commit themselves to the rigors of Christly living and thinking--engaging in the recognition of the heavenly Father's presence and power that the Master taught--then spiritual regeneration and healing are sure to follow. While such a method could be termed mental, it is spiritually so. Human thought is not the healing agent. Actually, healing involves putting off what Paul called the carnal mind, which, he said in his letter to the Romans, ``is enmity against God," and yie lding to the Mind of Christ--the divine Mind which is God. Pursuing this premise to its logical conclusion, and testing it through healing after healing in her own life and in the lives of those who sought her aid, Mrs. Eddy brought to light the Science of Christ-healing.
But while thought is at the core of this method of healing, it is thought that reaches out in prayer to God as the one divine Mind, the one all-knowing, all-powerful presence. To be sure, this is entirely different from a method of cure that draws on the human mind. Similar as the terms may sound, it is to God, the one divine Mind, and not to the human mind that thought must turn if truly Christian healing is to take place. Such healing involves more than the restoration of health; it includes the coming
to light of man's genuine, spiritual nature as the child of God.
Mental errors--jealousy, hatred, revenge--might well be the root of human ills. But the human mentality, tangled in such errors itself, can never reach high enough to heal them. These errors can only be healed on the spiritual basis that underlay Jesus' healing work. Commenting on his method of healing, Mrs. Eddy writes in her book Rudimental Divine Science: ``Jesus' healing was spiritual in its nature, method, and design. He wrought the cure of disease through the divine Mind, which gives all true volit ion, impulse, and action; and destroys the mental error made manifest physically, and establishes the opposite manifestation of Truth upon the body in harmony and health."
Truly Christian healing, so different from human mind cure, has lingered on the fringes of Christianity for far too long. That's now changing. And its move to center stage, though gradual, has been occurring more and more over the past few decades. It's a move that takes place as thoughtful people are willing to look again not just at the teachings of Christ Jesus, but also at his healing works. And then to take seriously his instructions that his followers can and should do likewise. The potential for u s to heal in this manner--to heal spiritually--begins to be realized as we rely on the Mind of Christ rather than the human mind.