What to Remember, What to Forget
SOME people have a fear of forgetting names. They may not want to appear so self-absorbed that another's name wouldn't be important enough to recall. Or they may become overwhelmed by the frightening suggestion that age has dulled their mental capacities. With all the fears and limitations associated with forgetting, it seems far-fetched to suggest that anyone might actually want to set aside some particular memory.
But haven't we all heard--or even said--at some time or another, ``I can forgive, but I can't forget!" Is it possible for such ugly experiences--and the hurt and bitterness that so often accompany them--to fade from thought like a bad dream? Yes, it is. We can ``forget" them as we begin to see that our real, spiritual nature is the reflection of God. God, who is Mind, Love, knows only perfection and creates nothing opposite to it. Through prayer that shows us our genuine, spiritual identity we can replac e our false, mortal history with what God knows to be true.
Christian Science brings to light God as the one and only Mind. We all are the intelligent, unlimited expression of that Mind, and we all have equal access to intelligence, which we reflect just as rays of light reflect the sun. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, speaks of God as the one Mind in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She writes: ``There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence . . . ." Becoming conscio us of our relationship to God as Mind enables us to forgive even the things we had thought were unforgivable.
The Apostle Paul, who was no stranger to affliction, asks in his letter to the Romans: ``Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" He goes on to say: ``We are more than conquerors through him that loved us" and to assure us that nothing can ``separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." What a wonderful relationship Paul must have felt with God to have forgiven those who had beaten him, stoned him, and wrongly imprisoned him. In all humility he could tell the Philippians th e desirability of ``forgetting those things which are behind to progress Spiritward.
By turning to God in prayer when sickness appears, it's possible to become so conscious of God, who is All, that spiritual reality becomes clearer to us than the difficulty. As a boy I had been afflicted with asthma. I was healed permanently through Christian Science treatment. Much later, one of my relatives, whom we had not seen in some twenty-five years, asked about my asthma. I hadn't thought of it in all those years. My healing was so complete, I had forgotten about it! Asthma was no part of my iden tity, and even the thought of it seemed foreign.
This good kind of forgetfulness lets go of a false, mortal past--all that doesn't belong to our true, spiritual nature as the image and likeness of God. This is something we can intentionally do. In fact, it's something children naturally do. They are able to relish the present moment in joyfulness because they aren't weighed down by a historical record book of hurts.
``Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,--this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony," writes Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health.
We can be willing to drop off the old memories that would hide the wonderful reality of Spirit!