Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1889)/03 Creation



Thus God the heaven created, thus the earth, —
Matter unformed and void. Darkness profound
Covered the Abyss; but on the watery calm
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,
And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth,
Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purged
The black, Tartareous, cold, infernal dregs
Adverse to Life. — Paradise Lost.

THE eternity of Truth is changing the universe. Thought expands into expression, as mortals shake off their swaddling-clothes. “Let there be light” is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love, changing chaos into order, and turning discord into the music of the spheres.

Progress takes off human shackles. The finite must yield to the Infinite. Advancing to a higher plane of action, thought rises from the material sense to the spiritual, from the mortal to the immortal, and from the personal to the impersonal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the Creator. The Divine Principle, not person, is the Father and Mother of man and the universe.

Who is it that demands our obedience? He who, in the language of Scripture, “doeth according to His will, in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him What doest thou?”

A form or a person is not equal to this infinite Love and Wisdom. A finite or material sense of God leads to formalism and narrowness, freezing the heart of Christianity.

The theory of three persons in one God (that is, the Trinity or Triunity) suggests a heathen god rather than the one ever-present I AM. “Hear Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.”

A limitless Mind cannot proceed from limits or personality. Finiteness cannot present the idea or person of infinity. A mind that originated from a finite source, or from a person, would be limited and finite. Infinite, impersonal Mind is the Creator, and creation is the infinite idea of His Mind.

That God is material, no man should affirm. The Bible represents Him as saying: “Thou canst not see My face; for there shall no man see Me, and live.” We know Him only as divine, as Life, Truth, and Love. Let us then obey and adore in proportion as we apprehend these qualities, and love Him understandingly, warring no more over a person, but rejoicing in the affluence of Deity. Then shall religion be of the heart, and not of the head. No longer shall theology be tyrannical and proscriptive from lack of love, — straining out gnats and swallowing camels.

The everlasting I AM is not bounded, or compressed within the narrow limits of physical humanity or mortal concepts. What the person of God may be is of small importance, when compared with the sublime question, What is Infinite Mind, or divine power?

If Mind is within and without all, then all is Mind; and this classification is scientific. If so-called matter is Substance, then Deity, matter's opposite, must be shadow; and shadow cannot produce Substance. From this it would follow that Spirit is not the Creator, and that matter is self-created. This heterodoxy ultimates in the belief in a bodily Soul and a material Mind.

A personal mind manifests all manner of error, and thus proves the material theory incorrect. Who hath found finite life or love sufficient to meet the demands of human want and woe, — stilling the desires, satisfying the aspirations? Infinite Mind cannot be in a finite form, or it would lose its infinite character as inexhaustible Love, eternal Life, omnipotent Truth.

It would require an infinite form to contain Infinite Mind. Personal man cannot be its image and likeness. A mortal, personal, or finite conception of God cannot embrace the glories of limitless, impersonal Life and Love. Hence the unsatisfied human craving for something better, higher, holier than this lower belief affords, and the insufficiency of that belief to supply the true idea.

The mythical theories of creation, adopted by mortal minds, are vague conceptions, affording no foundation for accurate views of the Immortal Mind, discerned apart from all bodily creations. Materiality cannot be made the basis of any true idea of God.

Mind creates its own likeness in idea, and this idea is very far from the supposed substance of non-intelligent matter. The Father of Mind is not the Father of matter. Personal sense would translate spiritual ideas into material beliefs, and say that person, instead of Principle, is the Father of the rain, “who hath begotten the drops of dew,” and bringeth “forth Mazaroth in his season,” and guideth “Arcturus with his sons.”

Mortal man has made a covenant with his eyes, to belittle Deity with human conceptions. Being in league with personal sense mortals take limited views of all things. Eye hath not seen Spirit, nor ear heard His voice.

With the microscope of Spirit you may discern the heart of humanity, and so comprehend the generic term man. Man is not distorted, for he reflects the Infinite; nor is he an isolated solitary thought, for he belongs to the sum of Infinite Mind.

God created all in the kingdom of Mind, when He expressed in man the infinite idea, forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless source. We know no more of man's personality, as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God's.

The Infinite Principle is represented by the infinite idea, or man, and the senses have no cognizance of either; but human capacities are enlarged and perfected, in proportion as humanity gains the true conception of man and God.

Mortals have a very feeble and imperfect idea of the spiritual man, with an infinite range of thought. To him belongs eternal Life. Never born, and never dying, it is an impossibility for that man, under the government of Eternal Science, to fall from his high estate.

If man was once perfect, but has now lost his perfection, then mortals have never beheld in man the outlines or reality of the divine. The lost image is not man. Jesus understood this; and therefore said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

To Jesus man was the true image of God. Christ's divine sense threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God. He lifted their lives higher than their poor models of thought would allow, — thoughts that presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying. His understanding of scientific being and divine healing must include a perfect Principle and idea — perfect God and perfect man — as the basis of every thought.

Drawing our conclusions about man from an opposite standpoint, from imperfection instead of perfection, we can no more arrive at the true conception or understanding of man, and make ourselves like unto it, than the sculptor can perfect his outlines from an imperfect model, or the painter depict the form and face of Jesus by holding in thought the character of Judas. Truly is it written: —

Sculptors of men are we, as we stand,
With our lives uncarved before us,
Waiting the hour when, at God's command,
Our life-dream passes o'er us.
If we carve it then, on the yielding stone,
With many a sharp incision,
Its heavenly beauty shall be our own,
Our lives that perfect vision.

The conceptions of mortal, erring thought must give way to the ideal of all that is perfect and eternal. Mortals must change their ideals in order to improve their models. A sick body is evolved from sick thoughts. Evil, disease, and death arise from wrong vision. Sensualism evolves bad physical and moral conditions.

Images of mortal thought are transmitted through belief to the body. Immortal models — pure, perfect, and enduring — are transmitted through Science, which corrects error with the ideals of Truth, and demands right thoughts, to the end that they may produce harmonious results.

Through many generations children must be improved. and human thoughts attain diviner conceptions, before we can approach the immortal and perfect model of God's thought.

When mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, that before were invisible, will become visible. The crude creations of mortal thought must finally give place to the glorious forms that we sometimes behold in the camera of Mind, where the mental picture is more real.

The fading forms of matter are the fleeting thoughts of mortal mind, that have their day before the permanent perfection of Spirit shall appear. We shall behold and understand His creation, all the glories of earth and heaven and man, when we learn our way in Science, up to our spiritual origin.

When we realize that Life is Spirit, and never in or of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, — finding all in God, and needing no other communion.

Scientific existence is the universe of Spirit, peopled with spiritual characters. Man is the offspring, not of the lowest, but the highest qualities of Mind. We shall understand spiritual existence, in proportion as our treasures are laid up in heaven. We gravitate Godward as our affections and aims grow spiritual, as we near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the Infinite.

The effect of mind on health and happiness is seen in this: if one turns away from the body with such absorbed interest as to forget it, the body experiences no pain.

Under the strong impulse of a desire to fill his part, a noted actor used night after night to go upon the stage and sustain his appointed work, walking about as spry as the youngest member of the company. This old man was so lame that every day he hobbled to the theatre, and sat aching in his chair till his cue was spoken, — the signal that made him as oblivious of physical infirmity as if he had inhaled chloroform, though he was in the full possession of his senses.

Note the unspeakable peace that is felt from an all-absorbing spiritual love.

Selfishness and sensualism are educated in us by thoughts ever-recurring to one's self, by conversation about the body, and by the expectation of perpetual pleasure or pain from it; and this education is at the expense of spiritual growth. If we array thought in mortal vestures it must cease its immortal flight.

We cannot fathom the nature and quality of God's creation through the shallows of mortal fancy. We must reverse our feeble flutterings, our efforts to find Life and Truth in person or in matter, and appeal above man, to God. We must rise to clearer views, that inspire the God-man, and thus reach the centre of being.

Job said, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee.” Mortals will echo Job, when the supposed pains of matter cease to predominate. They will then drive away false estimates of life and happiness, and attain the bliss of loving unselfishly, working patiently, and conquering all that is unlike Him.

There can be but one Creator, who has created all. Whatever seems to be a new creation, or being, is but a new discovery of something old, — new multiplication, or a self-division of mortal thought, — as when some finite sense peers out from its cloisters with amazement, and attempts to pattern the Infinite.

Multiplication of a human and mortal sense of persons or things is not creation. Personal and material man, like an atom of dust thrown into the face of spiritual immensity, is a flickering sense, instead of an abiding consciousness of being.

Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things. Where shall the gaze rest, in the unsearchable realm of Mind? We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being.

Starting from a higher standpoint, one progresses spontaneously, even as light emits light without effort; for “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Distrust of one's ability to gain the good desired, and bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one's wings, and ensures defeat at the outset.

A scientific view of progress admits the possibility of every good achievement, and first sets about discovering what God has already done for us.

Our mortal beliefs defraud us. They make man an involuntary creator, — producing evil when he would create good, forming deformity when he would outline grace and beauty, injuring those he would bless. He becomes a general mis-creator, whose “touch turns hope to dust.” He might say in Bible language, “The good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

The senses say that man's birth is sometimes untimely, and his death lamentable; that weeds grow apace, and choke the flowers not already scorched by the sun, or nipped by untimely frosts. Such are not the facts of God's creation. The Truth of things is perennial, and the error is seen only as we look from wrong points of observation.

Mortals are egotists. They fancy themselves independent workers, personal authors, and even privileged originators of something that Deity would not or could not create.

The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man's origin. To begin rightly is to end rightly. Every calculation that starts from the body, starts wrongly. Immortal Mind is the only Cause and impersonal Principle. Cause does not exist in matter, in mortal mind, or in personality.

Because we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain. For Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; and for Spirit, its opposite, called matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body, into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, good and true, and you will bring these into your experience, proportionately to their occupancy of your thoughts.

Detach the sense from the body, or matter, only attached to it through human belief, and you may learn the meaning of God, or good, and the nature of the immutable and immortal. Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of Life, nor your own identity. Fixing the gaze on the arch of heaven, you may fly as the bird flies, that has burst from the egg and preened its wings for a skyward flight. In this line of thought is Sir John Bowring's translation from the Russian: —

Though but an atom midst immensity,
Still I am something, fashioned by Thy hand.
I hold a middle rank 'twixt heaven and earth,
On the last verge of mortal being stand. —
Close to the realm where angels have their birth,
Just on the boundaries of the Spirit-land!

Life and blessedness are the only proofs of existence, whereby you can recognize it. The scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity, and the loss of his own identity, but confers upon him an enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive benevolence, a higher and more permanent being.

We should forget our bodies, in remembering God and the human race. Good demands of man every hour, wherein to work out the problem of being. Consecration to God lessens not man's dependence on Him, but heightens it. Neither does it diminish his obligations to God, but shows the paramount necessity of meeting them. Science takes naught from the perfection of God, but ascribes to Him the greater glory.

When man resigns his claims as a creator, blends his thoughts of existence with those of his Maker, and works only as He works, man will no longer grope darkly, and cling to earth because he has not tasted heaven Longfellow was thus thinking when he wrote: —

And the feeble hands and helpless,
Groping blindly in the darkness,
Touch God's right hand in that darkness,
And are lifted up and strengthened.

“Putting off the old man” and his deeds, mortals thereby “put on immortality.”

Who that has felt the loss of physical pleasure, has not gained stronger desires for impersonal joy? The aspiration after these comes even before we find what belongs to Wisdom and Love. The loss of earthly hopes and joys has brightened the ascending plane of many a heart. The pains of sense quickly inform us that its pleasures are mortal, and that joy is spiritual.

The sinner believes himself happier for wrong-doing, and the saint that he suffers for doing right. Both inferences are false. They are the cobweb conceptions of material sense, — transient forms of error flitting before mortals, only to sink into rapid oblivion.

Would existence be to you a blank without personal friends? Then the time cometh when you will be solitary, left without sympathy and alone; for this vacuum is to be filled with God, spiritual Truth, and Love, impersonal instead of personal Good. When this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of material joys, Divine Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth. Friends will betray, and personal enemies will encompass you; but the lesson will be sufficient, for “man's extremity is God's opportunity.” Thus He teaches mortals to lay down their personal treasures, in order to gain the Principle of right, and thus learn the divine way in Science.

The pains of sense are salutary, if they wrench away the pleasurable beliefs of sense, and transplant the affections from sense to Soul, where the creations of God “are good, rejoicing the heart.” Such are the footprints in Science, whereby Truth decapitates error, and mortals gain a higher individuality and destiny with every succeeding step.

Man must follow Jesus' sayings and demonstration, up to the very throne of perfect and eternal Mind. Thus the beliefs of matter will disappear, and the ideas of Spirit will crowd upon us with their beatific presence, flooding humanity with light.

Spiritual understanding lifts man above mortal frailty, as he crosses the barriers of time, into the vast forever of Life. Only that which co-exists with God can reflect Him and be His idea. Every object in the material universe will be resolved into thought, whose substance is Mind, not matter, and is included in the generic term man, of which woman is the highest species.

The late Louis Agassiz, by his microscopic examinations of a vulture's ovum, strengthened my conclusions as to the scientific theory of creation. Mortal belief claims to create, but the immortal idea alone represents the Truth of creation. Man is more than an individual form, with a mind inside of it. He reflects Infinity, and includes in this reflection the entire universe of God's creating. Professor Agassiz was able to see in the egg the earth's atmosphere, the gathering clouds, the moon and stars, while the germinating speck of embryotic life seemed a small sun.

Mortal mind, examined through the microscope of metaphysics, presents more hues than are to be easily detected upon its surface, — colors borrowed from many mental sources; but finally every tint must disappear in the dazzling effulgence of supernal sunlight, where the robes of Spirit are “white and glistering,” like the raiment of Christ.

Even in this world, therefore, “let your garments be always white.”