A very significant statement by Mrs. Eddy is to be found on page 301 of Science and Health, where she says: “Few persons comprehend what Christian Science means by the word reflection.” To this she adds that “the immortal, spiritual man . . . reflects the eternal substance, or Spirit, which mortals hope for.” It is true that the spiritual sense of reflection is presented in the first chapter of Genesis, where we are told that the original, divinely created man was God’s image and likeness, which of necessity means a likeness in nature and character, for the children of Israel were forbidden to worship God as fashioned after any corporeal concept, or any “manner of similitude” that mortal sense could outline. He was known and worshiped by the Hebrews as the author of law, and also as the Father of all men; at times was spoken of as merciful and loving, and again as unmerciful toward those who incurred His displeasure.

         Throughout the Old Testament, and indeed in the New, if materially interpreted, we find little hint of man’s likeness to God in a purely spiritual nature. Rather does the belief prevail that while God is sinless, man is sinful; that although God is Spirit, man is material; that God is immortal, but man mortal. Thus the great scientific fact of reflection, expressed through spiritual law, has been almost wholly lost sight of, to humanity’s great loss. It is, however, perfectly clear that Christ Jesus taught it, and so we find Peter, in his second epistle, declaring for the possibility of our becoming “partakers of the divine nature.” We also find in the third chapter of Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians this remarkable passage dealing with reflection. The Revised Version reads: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.” It is made very clear in this chapter that the veil to be taken away is material sense, which hides from mankind the spiritual sense of God, man, law, and gospel.

         It is true that some deeply religious thinkers have caught glimpses of the meaning of reflection, but it remained for Mrs. Eddy to discover and state its practical relation to the Christ-healing. Professor Drummond says in “The Changed Life,” “All men are mirrors . . . One of the aptest descriptions of a human being is that he is a mirror.” Then he goes on to say that men reflect to a large extent the beliefs, opinions, and habits of all with whom they come in contact. Unfortunately this is too true of mortal man. He mirrors the mortal beliefs of sin, disease, and death, but from the Christian Science viewpoint this is no true reflection. A shadow is not a reflection, and the mortal law of reflection is at most a counterfeit of the real, which reveals only what is beautiful, good, and true; in brief, godlike. Our revered Leader says (Science and Health, p. 3), “The Divine Being must be reflected by man, else man is not the image and likeness of the patient, tender, and true, the One ‘altogether lovely.’” This shows the possibility of instantaneous healing, for the likeness or reflection of God cannot be marred by sin or disease, and if the obscuring beliefs of the carnal mind are removed, we see God expressed.

         In the first chapter of Genesis we are told that God, the creative Mind, was pleased with the reflection of His own nature as seen in the spiritual universe, — above all in man, whose consciousness compasses all reality. Through the long centuries of material belief, however, we look in vain for the perfect reflection, until at Jesus’ baptism the divine voice proclaimed: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The promise given at the close of each Sunday service in our churches may well inspire us all to press on, for it gives full assurance that we too shall be like the Father when human consciousness is purified so that it reflects the glory of the divine character.


"Reflection" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, July 29, 1916

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