I've reached the chapter Christian Science Practice in my read through of Science and Health, and as usual, new things are popping out at me.
Early in the chapter, Mary Baker Eddy discusses the proper mental attitude of the healer. She says, in part, "…if the unselfish affections be lacking, and common sense and common humanity are disregarded, what mental quality remains, with which to evoke healing from the outstretched arm of righteousness?" (p. 365). This time, as I read that passage, I was struck by her valuing of common sense. Christian Science is not an excuse to eschew common sense. I'm seeing a lot of common sense in this chapter.
MBE later on that same page mentions "…the patient's spiritual power to resuscitate himself" (p. 365). To me, this was always my goal—to awaken in patients the ability to heal themselves. I never felt like I was the healer. Maybe this was my limitation, and I'd be willing to accept that. Certainly I have worked with healers who effected a change in my situation without my having to do much; this was early in my experience of Christian Science. It seems to me, though, that as I've matured, it's become more and more incumbent on me to effect my own healings.
"No man is physically healed in wilful error or by it, …" (p. 369). I'd always thought MBE was talking about sin with this assertion, but the second half of the sentence is, "…any more than he is morally saved in or by sin." So what is "wilful error"? When I read it this time, it occurred to me that things like eating whatever we feel like or judging other people or allowing ourselves to hate a particular political party could be considered willful error. Anything we know is wrong, but we indulge it anyway. So to me, what she's talking about is stubbornly hanging onto unhealthy tendencies but then expecting to be able to achieve health. Doesn't work!
"Matter is not self-sustaining" (p. 372). This brief sentence struck me. You know I've been thinking for many months about the correct way to maintain the body. Here, to me, MBE is saying that matter doesn't take care of itself. As long as we're using the body to express harmony in this mortal seeming, we need to maintain it with uplifted thought leading to healthy habits. It is sustained by thought. This can apply to the planet, as well. It's not self-sustaining; part of our dominion over it is taking the steps to maintain it.
And, I love this further example of common sense: "…it would be foolish to venture beyond our present understanding, foolish to stop eating until we gain perfection and a clear comprehension of the living Spirit" (p. 388). Live according to your present understanding, yes, but don't venture so far beyond it that you're being foolish.
To me, all these concepts above are *just as much* a part of Christian Science practice as are the more metaphysical truths, and they are *just as essential* to healing.
Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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