CSEC ON-LINE REFERENCE LIBRARY
REGINALD H. SCHENCK, LL.M.
From the physical standpoint, the record is and always must be incomprehensible; hence, the story either has not been accepted as true by mankind or it has been thought of as a special act of divine interposition. From the metaphysical point of view, however, some understanding of the miracle as one of the "signs following" is not only possible, but is a necessary part of the student's unfolding thought, for the reason that lack, limitation, or poverty is as truly "disease" as is some physical disorder, and it is to be healed in the same way, through the understanding and application of divine law. The operation of divine law may be defined as the activity of Truth in human consciousness. The divine Ego, or individuality, compasses and expresses all reality through its ideas, and each individual idea is complete, fully expressed, supplied, and "clothed upon." Because the Ego is Mind, and Mind is infinite, the only law and the only lawmaker, supply falls entirely within its scope; and divine Science being purely metaphysical, an understanding of the law of supply must be gained through a sense above and apart from the testimony of the material senses. This does not mean that we should ignore the phenomenon we call material supply, as phenomenon, but that we should discern the deep significance of our Leader's words on page 442 of Science and Health where she says, "Christ, Truth, gives mortals temporary food and clothing until the material, transformed with the ideal, disappears, and man is clothed and fed spiritually."
Jesus taught that to know is to possess. The loaves and the fishes seemed to be indefinitely multiplied, because he apprehended spiritual substance and was able to minister to those about him in terms of their sense of need. Through his perfect understanding of spiritual law, a channel for divine beneficence was opened and the multitude fed. As a result of Mrs. Eddy's discovery, the revelation of Christian Science, and of her untiring work in planting the vineyard, this same law can be so comprehended by all earnest students as to meet the human need of the present day. In studying the law of supply in its relation to cause and effect, we may find in the illuminating "scientific statement of being" a dependable chart to guide us amidst the rocks of mortal belief, and the basic truth therein expressed may be applied to every phase of the supply problem. Its metaphysical significance sharply confronts the tendency to stray from the narrow path that leads to Spirit, revealing through the divine logic that Mind is all, hence matter is nothing.
As the Science of Christianity absolutely repudiates the existence of matter as reality, some may ask, Why the need of these manifestations of supply? Many examples appear in both the Old and the New Testament, from the manna supplied in the wilderness to the raising of Lazarus from the dead, that show how every human need was met. In considering this question, the following definition given on page 591 of Science and Health is illuminating: "MIRACLE. That which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science." This definition shows that the miracle, while seeming to deal with that which we term matter, is really the operation of divine law dispelling a sense of limitation manifested as lack of food, lack of health, lack of faith, lack of love, or lack of life itself. The so-called miracles of Jesus' ministry were object lessons demonstrating to mankind the power of spiritual law over material conditions, healing the sense of limitation.
This healing is accomplished humanly through learning that Spirit is all and knowing that in Spirit there are no limitations. When Jesus sat at meat as the guest of Simon, as recorded in the seventh chapter of Luke, he ate the food plentifully supplied. Here there was no occasion to demonstrate the falsity of a limiting belief, as was the case with the wine a symbol of hospitality which ran short during the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. Jesus and his disciples partook of food every day, as we do, without the intervention of the so-called miracle; but we know that this daily supply came through the same divinely natural law which governed the supply of the loaves and fishes.
The higher understanding of the one Mind in demonstrating supply is not to bring anything new into existence, not to make food or to create substance, not to work spiritually in order to gain material ends, but to overcome false belief, to pierce the obstructing sense we call "mortal mind," which is all that stands in the way of our knowing and bringing into our experience the good that already exists in infinite abundance. In the language and spirit of the apostle Paul, if "we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen," if we inform ourselves through spiritual instead of material sense, we shall find the eternal, which is the real.
The human mind is necessarily confined to sense testimony, and sense testimony relates only to what we term matter in its subjective and objective states. It is what Mrs. Eddy calls mortal mind, and Paul names carnal mind, which he says "is enmity against God," divine Mind. The terms carnal, mortal, and human mind, used interchangeably, refer always to the testimony of the five physical senses. Now, food, clothing, and shelter are externalizations of thought; so if the human mind be influenced by a belief of poverty or by a belief of riches, its subjective state would outwardly manifest a corresponding condition. It matters not whether the manifestations be in the form of riches or poverty, both being material beliefs, they have no part in the realm of the real, and exist only to the extent that the human mind believes in their reality. Consequently mankind finds itself bound with the shackles of its own forging. Freedom from these bonds can be gained by dissolving the beliefs of the human mind through gaining an understanding of spiritual truth, and in no other way.
Since there is but one Mind, God, it follows that there is in reality no carnal or human mind, and that there are therefore no subjective or objective states of this so-called mind. What we call the human mind must gradually fade out like a mist before the sun in the presence of the Christ-mind, wherein all things eternally exist. That which seems to be, but which is not spiritual, can always be dissolved by knowing the truth. This is the Science of being, and through this Science we gain the true idea by means of which all things are abundantly supplied.
Progress, then, is the law of life, and consists in putting off false beliefs. To destroy these false beliefs, the first step is to realize that the condition which presents itself as material is entirely mental. Divine Mind is revealed and mortal mind is eliminated. The "bread of life" is spiritual understanding, and our understanding becomes our experience. To realize the ever present activity of spiritual law dispels all belief in the reality of matter with its supposed laws. This is the prayer which brings, the law of supply to bear upon the human sense of need, and by lessening the belief in matter, reveals the need as already supplied. This prayer has within itself the seed of healing, and therefore must be sufficiently intelligent to know itself as the action of the divine healing process or law. In so far, then, as we realize that Principle is Mind, we learn to distinguish substance from its material counterfeit, and we know that the spiritualization of thought is in accord with the operation of spiritual law.
Though the multitude believed in the reality of matter as substance, and hungered because of such belief, Jesus, the great metaphysician, rending the mesmerism of the material senses, transcending the so-called material laws, saw man as the divine idea, the expressed image and likeness of Spirit, at one with his Principle and supply. This correct view of man is the true conception of man's at-one-ment with the Father, which meets every need; and the manner of Truth's appearing is no less spiritual, although unawakened human sense continues to interpret the loaves and fishes in terms of matter.
We thus see that spiritual ideas rightly discerned are unlimited, all sufficient, perfect, and ever available for humanity. The entire process is mental, but the effect is to supply our human need. If we are to enjoy the good things which God has provided for His children, we must follow His law, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness," and the abundance of ever present Love will be found to be already here. As the prophet Isaiah says, "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land."
The Christian Science Journal, August, 1918
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