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Awakening
ALBERT F. GILMORE, CSB


         Throughout her writings, Mrs. Eddy, in varying phrase but with unvarying insistence, emphasizes the necessity for all, in order to behold man's true selfhood as the offspring of Spirit, to awaken from the greatest of all mortal illusions, the dream of existence in matter. On page 230 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" she refers to this great need in these words: "This awakening is the forever coming of Christ, the advanced appearing of Truth, which casts out error and heals the sick." This advanced appearance our Leader perceives to be the coming of the Christ, which shall work complete regeneration of human consciousness until the last vestige of material belief disappears. When all error is relinquished, spiritual man, the reflection of infinite Truth, will be revealed.

         Paul's stirring appeal to the Ephesians implored them to rise above the claims of material sense to behold the light of Truth. "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Paul regarded as dead those living in the material sense of life; for their concept of existence partook but slightly of spiritual truth. How great was their need to awaken from such false premises in order to enter upon man's true heritage, God-bestowed and eternal! Asleep in the senses, mortals are as the inert and dead; in that they have no true concept of life, they have shut themselves apart from the innumerable blessings which belong to Life and its true reflection, man. Only as we awaken to the truth of the situation do we enter upon the gaining of that freedom which constitutes heaven and lasting peace.

         Because he knew that his friend was no more dead than were those holding to a material sense of life, Jesus, when informed of the belief regarding Lazarus, replied, "Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." His effectual awakening of Lazarus from the dream of death constitutes one of the most significant incidents of the life of the Master. By his works he proved beyond peradventure of doubt that Life is not dependent upon matter, but is rather wholly independent of it — that Life is self-existent.

         The words and example of our blessed Saviour, of Paul, and of our revered Leader, may well stir us to inquire of ourselves, Are we really awakened from the lethargic sleep in which mortal sense would enslave us? Are we alert to the seeming efforts of erroneous belief to hold mankind in the grasp of matter? Though the awakening may seem to bring trouble in the form of opposition, even persecution and betrayal, we have the glorious example of the Master to hearten and inspire us. Mrs. Eddy has made very clear that Jesus' efforts to prove the supremacy of Spirit brought him into the toils of his enemies. "If the Master had not taken a student and taught the unseen verities of God, he would not have been crucified," she writes on page 28 of Science and Health. "The determination to hold Spirit in the grasp of matter is the persecutor of Truth and Love." Even though we may not escape altogether the bitterness of the cup our Master drank, we may be assured that the crown of victory comes to those who win it through the mastery of the physical senses, whereby man's divinely bestowed dominion is demonstrated.

         Spring, of the whole year, is the season of awakening. The silent urge which at this season touches the earth is type and symbol of the change when human consciousness is quickened by the touch of the healing Christ. How fitting it seems that this awakening of nature should be simultaneous with the celebration of Easter, commemorating the arousing of the Master from the constrictions of material sense into the glorified consciousness which is termed the resurrection. What a resurrection — fraught with what tremendous significance to mankind! Through his unprecedented experience Christ Jesus proved for all mankind that God is supreme; that Spirit, not matter, is the source of existence; that Life is deathless. The impelling force of his example has come down the centuries, bringing to the waiting hearts a message of hope and cheer.

         In the lifting up of the Christ as our standard and our inspiration, we are enabled in some degree to partake of the surpassing joy which attends spiritual unfoldment; in some degree to demonstrate our unity with God, the Father. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me," are Jesus' words of promise that all patient waiters at the gates of praise similarly shall be lifted up from the belief of a matter selfhood into the atmosphere of liberty and Life through the emulation of his example. Without his demonstration, how dark would seem the way; with it, how illumined with changeless light, so bright that no slightest shadow remains to haunt and frighten!

         Glorious awakening! Christian Scientists are grateful beyond words for the wondrous privilege of having part in this universal awakening, whereby all beneath the skies may be quickened to the true sense of Life and Love.

 

"Awakening" by Albert F. Gilmore, CSB
Christian Science Sentinel, April 3, 1926
 

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