The Clean Windowpane

         "The the manifestation of God through mortals is as light passing through the window-pane. The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less opaque than the walls. The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality — much error — in order to become a better transparency for Truth. Then, like a cloud melting into thin vapor, it no longer hides the sun." So writes Mrs. Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 295). Herein she presents a most helpful comparison which may be carried to its ultimate with much profit.

         There is no Christian Scientist who does not long to become a perfect "transparency for Truth," who does not work and pray for that complete purification of sense and self which shall enable him to reflect only the glories of infinite Truth and Love. All are continually seeking to understand and appropriate the exact and perfect method of Christian Science in such full measure that nothing shall hinder their constant advancement in the understanding and demonstration of the truth that man is in reality the reflection of divine Mind. In this earnest endeavor they are confronted with the problem of learning how to keep their windowpanes clean — how to keep their thinking free from all that is false and contaminating, from all that would obscure or dim the bright shining of the light of perfection and holiness which shall help the world to recognize and adore the ever present Christ.

         When one begins to discern the revelation of Christian Science, he is not long in discovering that his windowpane is so thickly coated with beliefs in evil, both within and without, that it seems almost a miracle that there is any least point through which the light of Truth can penetrate. Then he first awakens to the necessity of that baptism of Spirit which shall wash away all materiality. He commences to experience what our Leader portrays in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 203), where she says: "The baptism of repentance is indeed a stricken state of human consciousness, wherein mortals gain severe views of themselves; a state of mind which rends the veil that hides mental deformity. Tears flood the eyes, agony struggles, pride rebels, and a mortal seems a monster, a dark, impenetrable cloud of error; and falling on the bended knee of prayer, humble before God, he cries, 'Save, or I perish.' Thus Truth, searching the heart, neutralizes and destroys error."

         As the Christian Scientist approaches the work before him and endeavors to start out on its accomplishment, the first point Christian Science reveals to him is the fact that it is his own windowpane which he must clean, — it is his own consciousness which must be purified; and if he is honest he will immediately recognize that the work is sufficient to occupy his entire time, without wasting any moment in attending to his neighbor's pane. He finds that this in no way limits his helping his neighbor. Since it is the light of Truth which alone blesses all, he recognizes that only as his windowpane is kept in such a condition that the light shines through can he reflect any least ray of good to his neighbor.

         Naturally he begins the work of removing the coating of false beliefs from the inside of the pane. Finding the density of self-will, self-justification, self-love, with their myriad outgrowths, he prays and works, he struggles and resists the arguments which would insist on these errors as desirable and real. He works on with the rule of Christian Science, clinging steadfastly to the fact of the present reality of Principle and its idea, until he finds that, little by little, one by one, he is proving the powerlessness and unreality of these illusive claims, and the reward is an ever increasing sense of light and loveliness. This patient, consecrated work gives increased confidence in the ever shining light of Truth.

         In spite of all this, however, he finds his windowpane still apparently shutting out the light. Scrub and polish as he may, it still seems opaque and the light shines through but dimly. Then he prays anew to understand yet more clearly the method of the beloved Science, and wakens to the fact that he has as yet given no heed to the outside of his pane. It is his windowpane still which must be cleaned; but is it not his duty to see that it is kept bright and clear on both sides? Can he blame some one else if he has failed to remove his belief in an influence from without which is as obscuring and detrimental as the evil beliefs which claim to be within? Then he thanks God anew for our Leader's courage and inspiration in giving the wonderful method which shows how to prove the supposititious beliefs in an outside evil influence as unreal as are those within.

         He is learning that he has nothing to fear, since it is still simply his own beliefs in evil, whether they have claimed to originate within or without himself, which must be proved unreal, untrue, without creator, entity, power, or law. He becomes increasingly aware and grateful that always there is at hand the rule of Christian Science to be demonstrated, the law of Principle to be utilized; always there is the simplicity of Truth with its mighty power to prove the nothingness of all unlike itself. Thus he goes on until he shall have proved with rejoicing that he can indeed purify himself, "even as he is pure."


"The Clean Windowpane" by Ella W. Hoag, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, February 14, 1920

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