Nona L. Brooks
What is matter? For ages men have asked this question. Philosophers and scientists have been making earnest endeavors to answer the question satisfactorily, to explain away the mystery of that which we have called matter. There is always a mystery associated with what we do not understand--hence, the mystery of matter. It has been a phenomenon that we have not understood. Many scientists and philosophers of all schools and of all times have touched on the truth of matter, but we as Divine Scientists believe that there is one great step which must be taken before a satisfactory answer can be given by any of the thinkers of the world. They must see God in action as manifestation.
We are moving toward the concept of oneness. This is a most hopeful sign. The belief of dualism is passing; monism is taking its place. The concept of two powers and two substances--Spirit and matter, one having control over the other, is evolving into a greater vision which is revealing a Universe of One Substance. Divine Scientists translate the philosophy of monism into terms of religion; our basis is Omnipresence. We have taken the one great step; instead of seeing the world as a multiplicity of unrelated phenomena, we are seeing these phenomena in terms of the whole.
The dualistic conception separated the effect from its cause, the manifestation from its source, creation from the Creator; hence there arose a belief in two powers, Spirit and matter, good and evil, life and death, sickness and health. Naturally that which was separate from the perfection of Spirit was thought of as subject to all kinds of ills. Now we see no separation in any phase of expression. We believe in the continuity of life, and we know that nothing is ever lost. Although the One Substance is manifested in myriad forms, the fundamental remains unchanged. Natural science tells us also that there is nothing lost in this universe of form, and that we are seeing the universal ether, the one substance, in millions of forms. Is it true, then, that the mysteries of life are only contradictions in our thinking?
What is called matter, Divine Science looks upon as Substance, or Spirit visible. We shall in these chapters use the word form instead of matter, not because there is any objection to calling the Substance involved in form, matter, but because there has always been connected with the term, matter, a conception that it was something susceptible to disease, decay, and death.
At the outset let us declare the truth of the Universe; it is God and God in action, as the Whole. The universe of form and force is creation. Form and force are God in action, the One Spirit visible. There is no process of separation evident in all the diversity of universal expression to the one who sees form as Divine Idea being expressed. The God-Method of thinking infinitude into form, we call the law of expression. To us law is God in action. God is ever expressing His Ideas in an infinite variety of manifestations, for is not God infinite in potentiality?
Omnipresence is our foundation; we shall be building from it always. It is the only one upon which to base our thinking. If we are true to our Basis, contradictions will fade out of our thought process, and the old beliefs will begin to scatter like clouds before the sun after a summer rain. To us who use the word divine in relation to the science of life, the universe of form is God in action, Substance in manifestation, Infinite Intelligence in expression. The new heaven and the new earth are one; creation is the outspoken word of God. Is it true that a new universe is revealed to him who sees God in action in all manifestations?
Through the new understanding that form is not an outline confining a solid entity, but according to natural science a grouping of self-determining electrons, the natural scientist is traveling far from the traditional concept of an inanimate universe. There is nothing that is not living; all is life and activity in the natural scientist's concept of the universe. In the Divine Scientist's there is nothing which is not perfect by nature, since all form is God in action, for is not Life, God in action, the universal power? All activity is by law in both phases of science, natural and divine. There is no chance. Natural science calls this the law of cause and effect; Divine Science calls it God in action.
It is vital that you and I get the truth of form firmly fixed in our thought. A new universe is being revealed by natural science as a unity of Being, expressing by a unity of law. Divine Science is revealing a Universe that is God and God in action--a Universe in which there is nothing but God--a Universe which is God and God-Idea in expression. Form cannot by this concept be susceptible to conditions of inharmony. All of us who have thought of matter or form as opposed to and unlike Spirit have been worshiping other gods besides the One. As a result of misconception as to the nature of form we have thought of our flesh as liable to many ills--sickness, poverty, sin, death, loneliness. We have, of course, conceived a partial God; a great power, it is true, but one limited by another power which men have called evil. The concept of separation is responsible for the misconception, evil, in the thought of men.
There are those who say in regard to this universe of form that all visibility is unreal; in fact, that it does not exist. This we do not accept. We see the visible as Mind in action, and we see that like its Source, the visible is perfect by nature. We declare that right thinking leads to realization of perfection, and that the truth of life is revealed to the man with the single eye. If thine eye be single, if it sees only the One Presence and One Power at work in the universe of form, thy body shall be full of health; thy thought shall be filled with light.
Since God is omnipresent and includes all as well as being the Creator of all, creation is by its very nature, whole and good. God sees only wholeness; he is infinitely conscious of His creation, for is God any less a creator than He was in the days when the wise man of old said of Him, "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good"? In the Infinite there is no past or future; there is only the living present--the Now. There is no place for a false creation in a universe of form that is Infinite Mind in action; there is no false world except in man's misconception. Let us clear out our subconscious; a mental house-cleaning is a valuable exercise in this day and age of the New Revelation.
We are perfect and complete in God; all form is Substance in action. God is expressing as living form; these living forms, then, are Divine Ideas in manifestation. Do you see that all life is one? When we are true to Omnipresence, we see that there is no place, not a dot on earth or in the heavens, the size of a pin point, where God is not. Substance--God--is everywhere; hence, activity, Substance expressing as form, is the universe of form and force. Where the Spirit is, and it is in all places at all times, there is freedom, love, health, power, truth, life, joy.
We no longer dwell on imperfection; we do not think of form as something played upon or molded by individual mind; we know form as Infinite Substance in activity. We agree with the natural scientist in his conception of form or matter as a mode of intelligent motion. We see this motion as God Activity. The vibration of the natural scientist is the Divine Activity of the Divine Scientist. It is God's method of expression.
There are various beliefs about the relation of Mind to its manifestation. Some people say that if we keep our thinking true the body will respond. There is much danger attendant upon this conception--the one of giving too much power to what men call the human mind. Those who believe that everything depends upon their mental power, naturally become too strenuous in their efforts to bring about the desired conditions, and employ formulation and suggestion. The method is wrong; it is not based upon principle, but on opinions. We go through life contending with two powers. Mind and body become separated in our thinking, and there follows a struggle which emphasizes the power of the mentality. We think in terms of a material force and of a spiritual power, and we are placing our faith in both. This kind of thinking gives rise to a dualistic conception, and to a practice of mental suggestion which is often harmful. There are times when we seem to experience an absence of God in our lives, when we allow ourselves to form thought habits of mental and autosuggestion. Divine Science teaches that the body, a God-Expression, is perfect by the nature of its Source. We teach the eternal perfection of all manifestation or form. This assertion of the eternal perfection of form we base upon the fact of the perfection of God, the Father. Since form is God's creation, it is not affected by human conception about it. The body, as God's manifestation, can be neither repaired nor impaired by human effort.
The moment we take our stand in Omnipresence, the One Universal Power and Presence of perfection, we see everything in terms of its nature; there is only One Substance to him who sees. He is seeing God in action; God is ever thinking himself forth as the universe of form according to a pattern in Divine Mind. Perfect Idea is resting eternally in God-Mind, and is also expressing as visibility. It manifests as perfect form. The Aristotelian philosophy teaches that the universe is a thought in God-Mind--God, The Thinker--His Thought, The Universe! Let us be well content in the assurance that all form is a thought of God, for He that keepeth the world as Idea in Mind-Universal is living us now; there is no instant of separation. Substance is Spirit; Spirit in action is Creation; matter or form is Substance or Spirit in action.
The analogy between what we call natural and what we call Divine Science is heartening. Natural science speaks in terms of varying rates of vibration; Divine Science accounts for the vibration by seeing it as God-Activity. God is expressing, as the tiniest particle and the mightiest solar system; hence we are conceiving the immediacy of God as well as the universality. We see God as the Infinite Being who is including men and all other forms of manifestation in His love. The old human conception of separation and limitation is truly giving place to the consciousness of the universality of God in the hearts of men.
Whereas, the word matter has implied inactivity and inertness; in the newer modes of thought it implies continuous activity; and to the Divine Scientist it is form, God in manifestation. The rock by the wayside was dead to the thinker of old, but man was alive. The loveliest flower that grows was thought of as insensitve, and unconscious of its surroundings, while the animal was supposed to be capable of feeling. Everything which did not have the sense organs with which men and animals are equipped was thought to be lacking in the power of consciousness. The thought habit of separating differing expressions in the world grew in proportions until it proclaimed dead matter and living substance. Today when we say, I, we include the whole. All life is one. Body is one with Spirit; it is whole, beautiful, and wonderful in its mechanism. There is truly one body in Christ. Let us glory in the universe of form which God is creating, and know that he who loses his limited conception of matter or form for truth’s sake, shall find all life--forms one. He shall see God in action.
Why do we speak of matter? Why not think and speak only of God? It is through our understanding of form that there comes release from bondage--the bondage of sickness and sin. When we see that form is perfect activity, that it is the God-Mind in manifestation, we are free from world opinions about ourselves and about all other forms of God-Expression. You see, I am sure, why the mystery of matter has persisted so long. It had its inception in a dualistic conception of the universe. We have emphasized the outer and minimized the inner values for so long that the old mysteries have quite a hold on our thought today.
The poet says that, if we understand the flower in the crannied wall, we should understand God and all things. As we come into an understanding of the simplest expressions, the Universe is revealed as one. We are beginning to see truly--to see God in action. In a universe in which we can interpret form as Spirit made manifest or visible, a universe wholly one, there are not two powers or two substances; but there is Substance and motion. There is only God and God in action. That which we think of as evil is only the result of our imperfect concept; thought images become very real to us. Let us be careful which kind of form. What I believe I shall see. Just so long as we hold a belief in the imperfection of form, we shall see imperfection everywhere. Let us endeavor to raise our thinking out of the current of personal opinions ever flowing around us. He that sitteth in the heavens, in the harmony of the realization of oneness, laughs at appearances. He sees them in their true perspective.
Divine Science teaches eternal progression; there is no final revelation. The Spirit of Truth is our guide. Natural science begins at the visible and works toward the invisible, the cause; Divine Science begins with the invisible and works from Cause to effect, but it sees these as one. Both groups see the unity of the Universe of form and force. The natural scientist is telling us that the nature of matter is continuous activity; the Divine Scientist says that this activity is God in action. There is no mystery about matter to us; God is Creator and Creation. Just as the light of far away stars reaches us after centuries of traveling through infinitude, unchanged in its constituent elements, so today the light of the truth of Being that has shone from the universe of form and force through the ages, uncomprehended by the many, seems to be growing brighter, because we are beginning to see with the eye of Spirit. The consciousness of Omnipresence is the light of the world, and the mystery of matter is solved.
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