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Clinging to Earth
ANNIE M. KNOTT, CSD


         Mrs. Eddy says: "When mortal man blends his thoughts of existence with the spiritual and works only as God works, he will no longer grope in the dark and cling to earth because he has not tasted heaven" (Science and Health, p. 263). How many are there who can honestly assure themselves that they are striving to do what is here demanded, that is, making the spiritual the basis of all their thinking and doing? Is there not a widespread tendency to cling to materiality in the vain attempt to spiritualize it, when the Master taught in unmistakable terms that it must be denied and given up? The sad thing is that this clinging to earth and earthliness robs those who do it of the joys of heaven, which are attainable by all who consistently and steadfastly refuse to be defrauded by the counterfeits of mortal belief. Paul declared that the things seen through material sense, were "temporal," and that we should turn away from them, throw off the burden imposed by this false sense, and find the things which are "eternal in the heavens."

         For the same reason the beloved apostle bids us "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world;" to which he adds: "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him;" a strong argument, surely, for letting go of the mortal and material sense of things. Now it sometimes happens that students of Christian Science are unwittingly led to cling to materiality by their well-meant but mistaken efforts to help an inquirer into the kingdom by some other way than the one which is strait and narrow. The questioner, who possibly is very critical of the teachings of Christian Science, asks, "Would you have me deny all the beautiful things which I see around me, and try to imagine that the universe is an empty void?" This would of course be far from the teaching of Christian Science, and the danger comes when the student tries to explain that in reality all things are spiritual. In his effort to help a struggler he may go beyond his own depth and make it appear that material things are all right if only you try to think of them as spiritual, which is far indeed from the truth as given to the world by Mrs. Eddy, who says plainly (Science and Health, p. 337) that "temporal things are the thoughts of mortals and are the unreal, being the opposite of the real or the spiritual and eternal."

         We thus see that material objects are not even a reflection of the real, but a counterfeit presentation of reality; and this brings us back to Paul's statement that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard the things of God, and that these must be spiritually discerned. True it is that Jesus bade us consider the lilies, but how many are there who have done so in his way and learned the lesson they have to give? How many see in their purity the rebuke of Spirit, remember that only the pure in heart can see God, and who therefore see good at every step of the way? How many understand that the kingdom of God is inseparable from His righteousness, and that neither can be attained while we "cling to earth"? We should never forget that the joys of spiritual existence more than compensate us for giving up that which is at best fast slipping away from us.

         Jesus had much to say about the joy which is inseparable from holiness, spiritual consciousness. He said to his disciples, "Your joy no man taketh from you," and he said this when error was making its fiercest attacks upon him and the little band of faithful followers. Paul tells us that the sufferings of our testing period "are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (not alone to us) when we cease to cling to earth and its delusions. As we let go of the material sense of things and grasp firmly the spiritual, we find freedom, health, strength, peace, and plenty, with the joys of heaven.

 

"Clinging to Earth" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, January 25, 1913
 

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