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BLISS KNAPP, CSB
The only relation this mortal sense bears to the divine Mind, is the relation that discord bears to harmony. Discord manifests itself only when we fail to apprehend the Principle of harmony. Apply this active Principle of harmony, which is divine Mind, and the discord disappears in the same way that darkness disappears before the light.
Much can be learned of the unfoldment of divine Principle through a study of mathematics. No one ever saw the basic law of mathematics with the material eyes, yet everyone who undertakes the simplest combination of numbers or things is working in obedience to its harmonizing influence. This law is far more comprehensive and potent than we are at first willing to admit. The business man is advancing in its understanding when he introduces bookkeeping and other accurately working systems. Our trains and cars move on schedule time to maintain this harmony, and we are continually recording measurements to express the same harmony. These illustrations might be greatly multiplied.
The law and order of mathematics is represented in symbols or figures which stand for the ideas of number and find material expression in everyday life. If these numbers are not arranged scientifically, the result is an error. However much one may study such an error, the proper solution is never reached, for no one ever understood an error in mathematics. The reason is evident, because the moment one understands the mathematical truth, the error no longer exists. It is the darkness of ignorance giving place to the light of understanding. A return to basic law and its proper application is the only method for correcting any error, for it alone leads us out of theory into fact. The belief entertained, up to within a few hundred years, that the earth was flat and that the sun revolved about it, never altered the truth concerning the movements of the planetary system. A so-called law based upon error, even though it may be universally believed, can disturb neither the rhythm of the universe nor the eternal law of harmony that governs the true man. The true man, as the idea and reflection of God or Principle, can no more be interfered with by error than the basic law of mathematics can be altered or affected by an incorrect statement of numbers. It is utterly impossible for this law to know aught of error. Therefore, instead of scrutinizing the unscientific side of the question, we must always seek the proper solution through a better understanding of the law that governs it.
A proper application of the law and order of mathematics is available in correcting the error attendant upon the use of numbers; and much more is the divine Mind available in healing the inharmonies of our lives. We must look beyond matter to divine Mind, beyond the material symbols to a more perfect comprehension of the true idea. It matters not how distorted or complex the material condition may be, the true idea and reflection of God remains untouched by error, unaltered and unaffected by disease and inharmony. It was because Jesus knew this so perfectly and held to Principle so firmly, that the inharmony claiming to hold sway in the afflicted yielded to the absolute and only law of harmony, and the disease disappeared. It vanished just as did the error in mathematics, by a proper understanding of its basic law.
In the proportion that infinite harmony governs and controls our thoughts, the body will respond and become harmonious. Honesty, reflecting a quality of God, has at least the power to control our actions to the extent of withholding our hands from stealing. Every such God-quality is capable of excluding the opposite belief or suggestion, leaving only the perfect and eternal likeness. It is evident that divine Principle is also capable of restraining our minds from yielding to sickness.
In the degree that we recognize Mind to be All and matter to be but the delusive expression of mortal mind, we learn that spiritual thoughts are real things. Thus we recognize how potent true prayer may be. Jesus healed all manner of disease through the prayer of understanding. Likewise a Christian Scientist, when he treats a patient, declares the truth of the one God and Father. Prayer is the realization of an existing fact concerning God and man's proper relation to Him. It therefore amounts to a declaration of truth; such, for example, as St. John gave to us when he said, "God is love."
The New Testament abounds in declarations of divine Science. The Sermon on the Mount is full of them. It may be profitable to note the supplicatory trend of the Old Testament, to mark the healing effects of the declarations of truth in the New Testament, together with the increased importance given to healing; and to remember that Jesus never failed to include the command to heal, whenever he sent his disciples out to preach. Thus we may learn the reason for his appellation of Master. Supplicating a problem in mathematics to work itself out, never does the work. A rule in mathematics is always a positive and demonstrable statement, and therein lies the science of it.
The divine Principle is the All-in-all of Christian Science, and is Life, Truth, and Love. A prayer, however scientific it may seem, is empty apart from love. In the hush of rural quietude, one can catch the soft note of the songbird afar off. The urban confusion renders it more difficult for one to detect a distant tone. Let us, then, attune our thoughts to Science and, escaping from the confusions of matter, let us listen for the still, small voice of Love. If we but seek scientifically, we shall find that omnipresent, life-giving Spirit which is divine Love.
The Christian Science Journal, October, 1903
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