Nona L. Brooks
The individual begins life as a child, thinking childish things. As he develops into manhood he thinks as a man.
It is with the race as with the individual. Its consciousness is at first immature, but is ever ripening. Ideas are changing because of this growth. Truth is not changing, for it is unalterable. Man's conception of truth varies.
Who would have it otherwise? Who would wish to retard a child's natural growth, or to restrict the development of the race in consciousness? This growth must enter into the domain of religious ideas as well as into all other realms.
The present universal fermentation of religious thought is due to this increasing consciousness of the race. What place has Divine Science in the advancing ideas? Many steps have led from the first consciousness to the final understanding of truth. Divine Science knows itself to be a final step into the full consciousness to which the race is now awakening.
Divine Science is a perfect and complete science. In its reasoning it never departs from its basis or premise. It judges of truth wholly from principle, and teaches the divine law and order of demonstration.
To know the truth is to be free. So Jesus declared. Man's present bondage to all ills proves, then, that he does not know the truth! "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" is as true today as ever.
When we can say "I know," our captivity to sin, sickness and death, to dissension and discord, shall come to an end; our division into hundreds of creeds, or beliefs, shall be dissolved. Our freedom from all such things must come simply through knowing the truth.
Knowing what truth? The truth of God, and of man's relation to God.
How may we find this truth, and how shall we know we have found it? We find the truth of God by learning what and where God is.
God is all truth. What God is, is truth, and what God is not, is not truth.
The Divine Science measurement, or estimate of truth, is nothing less than Infinite Being. God is the Infinite Being. The foundation of all truth is this Infinite. What is Infinite Being? It is the Truth, Life and Substance of everything. In the Infinite truth that Being is Divine we find a scientific reason for knowing all things to be divine.
This is understanding God as "all and in all," "Besides me is none else," says this Infinite Being. What is this that declares itself to be the All? It is whatever God is. What is God? We certainly know God as Infinite Mind, since He is all Intelligence, and we find this Mind declaring, "I am Mind and besides Mind is none else."
It affirms, "I am Life and besides Life is none else. I am Goodness, Peace and Truth, and besides these, is none else." No other truth but God, hence, Life, Love, Goodness and Peace are truths; and death, hate, evil and discord are not truths.
Mind finds expression of itself in thought and word. Mind is the Creator; thought and word Its creation. Every word and thought is in Mind before coming forth. Creation is in the Creator before it appears in the visible. Creation, or the visible, is the thought and word of the Infinite Mind and Intelligence. The visible form is the expression of Infinite Spirit.
The accepted definition of religion is, "The recognition of God as an object of worship. Any system of faith and worship. The rites of religion." In Science, religion is known as that consciousness which binds the individual soul to Spirit, its source, and holds it in unwavering oneness with God, its Life, Substance, or Being.
The God of scientific religion is not an "object," but Omnipresent Power and Knowledge, indwelling, all pervading Spirit; present in, through and around man as Soul; present in everything as Life and Substance; the very Essence, or Being, of everything that is.
Man finds God first, by withdrawing from the outer (entering into the closet), shutting the "door" of his consciousness to the visible (which represents his past misconception of Creator and creation), and within this inmost chamber of the soul realizing the one Presence and Power as All.
When this truth is a realization, he is ready to deny all claims of mortality, because he sees the unreality of all but good, and is able to destroy such claims. Thus is evil overcome by good. Thus does he know that he has found the truth that makes free, because it is proved by him.
We know the truth of a rule in mathematics when we can work it out. God is not personality, but Divine Principle, and the perfection, wholeness, and peace of the Divine Nature may be, nay, must be, expressed in each life, when its law and order of demonstration is understood and applied. The beginning of this demonstration is to understand God aright.
The scientific statement of truth in Divine Science is to this effect--God and God manifest is all there is. God and man are one in Being. In universal Life, Love, Truth, Intelligence and Power, man is in eternal identity with Supreme Being. As an individual, man is the expression of Divine Being, its very image and likeness; therefore, manifests its nature in wholeness and perfection of soul and body.
This is the relation of the individual man to the universal Spirit, as branch to root; and it is written, "If the root be holy so are the branches." If the source is perfect so is the stream.
Spirit is known as the only Source. Like begets like, or, as Jesus expressed it, "That which is born of Spirit is spirit."
Scientific religion was something unimagined until recently. Life governed by divine law and order has not been comprehended; yet, such an understanding is essential to harmonious and peaceful conditions. A scientific religion deals with cause to understand effect. Its worship is not a "system" nor a "rite," but a constant recognition of the Holy Presence and Power of Omniscient Spirit, and the demonstration of this truth in the healing of all ills and in the destruction of all evils.
We have had the assurance in the Divine Word that when "the Lord is in the midst of thee, thou shalt not see evil any more."
If God is good and is all presence, where is there a place for evil as a reality? If God is all-Power, and if, as Paul says, "There is no power but of God," where can any opposite power be or whence came it? If God is the First Great Uncreated Cause, and, as the Bible states, He "made all that was made, and saw all that he had made and behold it was very good," what real cause of evil is there?
Evil has been met and fought as a great reality for many centuries, and is no more conquered today than at the beginning. It might be wise to at least try a new way.
Science meets evil in the dignity of the consciousness that God is All and in all. That the Infinite Presence is the all-presence, else it would not be infinite. That the Infinite Power is the all-power; that the Infinite Cause is the all-cause. It sees God (Good) as all-truth and the manifestation of good as the only reality.
As all truth is contained in God and all that is true has source in God, that which does not exist in God, or is not a quality of God's nature, is not Truth, though it may have a temporary existence. Sin, evil, sickness and death are no part of God's nature, do not exist in God, have no source in God; hence are not truths and have no place in man's real Being or Life, which is God.
Man is lifted out of these as he becomes more conscious of God, because they exist only in unconsciousness of Truth. We dwell forever in God, but may be "blind" to that Presence. Every man dwells in Light, and the Light is in him. "But if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness." How shall we banish the "darkness" and dissipate the images of fear that have appeared in it?
How do we drive darkness out of a room? Do we fight it out or do we not rather bring in a light? Upon the darkness of evil let us "bring in" the light of good--How? By being positive about the Omnipresence of Good and in that "light" denying evil presence. Upon hate and envy bring in Love, by firmly recognizing the Love that is All in all, and denying a hating mind. In Divine Science we do not protect ourselves against anybody's hate or malice, and leave the "brother" in such a claim; but we recognize the One Mind, Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient, therefore, his Mind, as well as mine, is Love.
Upon sickness bring in Health, by knowing that Omnipresence means that the Wholeness (Health) and Perfection of God fills all at all times, and there is no room for anything else.
"Neither give place to the devil." We soon see that evil can claim no place since the Good of God fills all. Our prayer changes from pleading, which is uncertainty, to grateful recognition of Truth as it eternally is. We do not pray for anything to be changed, since God's perfection fills all, but we ask that our eyes be opened to see.
The persistent practice of this consciousness brings health to body, and peace to mind, because it is recognition of Truth. Divine Science heals not by thoughts, but from Divine Consciousness. It does not teach the holding of thoughts to produce changes in the outer, but the abiding in Infinite Consciousness, by which our thought is illumined to see the outer as it truly is. Personal self is put out of the way with its opinions and beliefs about good and evil, that Divine Mind may express its own Consciousness into every thought and word.
Divine Science presents, as the central fact of its teaching, the Law of expression, or the method and order in which Infinite Mind, the Cause, is made visible in effect. This teaching is so logical that the Truth of Being and its manifestation is proved beyond dispute.
Jesus explained the "origin" of evil in the parable of the Wheat and Tares. The Master planted only good seed. Man is made guardian of this field. He falls asleep and in his sleep sees an enemy planting tares! How much reality has that? In his "sleep," or, unconsciousness of Omnipresent Good, he dreams of many false things, and seeks out "many inventions."
Now is the awakening time, when man begins to understand that the "tares" have no real place in the Divine Presence. The "burning" is the destruction that comes to our false suppositions as Truth is realized. "I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness."
Man must learn that he is in God's likeness. Divine Science explains man as being the expression of God, not reflection. He is not something upon which God's Truth, Life and Love falls and finds reflection, but he is of the very Life Substance and Truth that God is.
In Divine Science healing, no mental or personal influence is used. Its work is accomplished by being still and knowing Truth heals, not thought; the Infinite Being or Mind, not the individual. One must think truly when he knows truth, but it is the prayer of understanding that heals the sick, and forgives sin. In true healing sin is destroyed. "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him." James 5. This is the permanent healing, for it is Divine healing. It is the exercise of consciousness.
The "prayer of faith" that heals sickness and forgives sin is the recognition of Divine Omnipresence, of the eternal state of Being as Divine Nature, image and likeness of God, never sick nor sinful, and the casting out of consciousness such false beliefs as have claimed "two masters"--two Powers, two opposite realities.
Because man has for so long believed in something else besides God, he must now persistently deny the truth of such belief, and affirm the verities of Divine Being. As soon as sin, sickness and death are cast out of each consciousness, they will exist no more. "To the pure all things are pure."
"If thine eye be single thy whole body, shall be full of light." We have been seeing double! As soon as we see but One-Knowing, One Power, One Presence, One Intelligence, One Life and One Truth, our "eye" is single.
"But," one says, "this will bring the millenium." What is the millenium? Heaven on earth. Heaven is already on earth! Heaven is wherever God is, and God is everywhere! The sun shines whether the blind man sees or not. When God is known as Omnipresence, Heaven is known as Omnipresence. "Lo I am with you always." God's dwelling place is within the consciousness that recognizes that Presence. "The kingdom of God is within you." God's "throne" is that heart in which God alone rules, because God is acknowledged as All.
Nineteen hundred years ago, one who understood said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Today the Spirit is bringing these words to our remembrance, or, is impressing upon us their deep significance. Heaven must be sought within and not without--right at hand and not far away. We shall "go to heaven" by going to God, and we "go" to God by recognizing and accepting the God Presence here and now, and His likeness or manifestation as All in all.
to the Invisible.
Man has been attracted by the outer; he has dwelt in the visible and soul has been but feebly cultivated. He has worshipped an outer God, trusted an outer Saviour and looked to the outer Word for guidance. He has believed the outer to be a source of good as well as ill. He has depended upon the visible. Slowly does he turn now to acknowledge the absolute Power of the Invisible.
Divine Science is a high call. It bids man to look to no other source or cause of wisdom, truth, goodness, peace, health and harmony, but Spirit. It teaches that there is no outer or physical causation, and in its light we cease to depend upon any outer thing for help. It recognizes the outer as the perfect effect of an inner perfect Cause.
God reaches man directly through man's own soul and supplies every need. Infinite Mind is the Only Source and Cause, hence there is nothing in the outer to either help or hurt us.
Jesus tried to show His followers the great benefit that would come to them when they had but the inner guide to depend upon. He said to them, "It is best for you that I go away." When they could no longer claim Him personally as the great Leader and Teacher they would be forced to accept the leading of the Spirit within themselves. He wrote no book nor left any written rules that might hold them to Himself. He constantly tried to turn manís homage from His wisdom and goodness to the Universal Good--which, if Universal, is given equally to all.
Jesus Christ is one, and the eldest, of the Great family in heaven and earth. He taught by life and word, the wonderful power of God in man. He repelled any insinuation that He individually had special power, or was particularly favored of God. "Thou has loved them as Thou hast loved Me." He is God manifest in the flesh, and is proof that God is to be manifest in all flesh. Truly one has said "As the first coming of Christ is God manifest in one, the second coming will be God manifest in the race."
Truth has always come to the world through some one individual consciousness. Divine Science duly acknowledges the great spiritual leaders in all the past and present, but comes with a new voice, because it is a new light, saying that what has been shall not always be in man's idea of Truth. Light has come to man in the way he could receive it. The new revelation in Divine Science proves that man is ready for a higher leading.
No individual is chosen to be the interpreter of Divine Will to others. "A nation shall be born in a day" is a prophecy for the latter days, or later consciousness. Thousands shall see the Truth--the same Truth, for there is but one--at the same time in all places, because the Omnipresence of Truth is recognized.
Divine Science has stepped into this advanced consciousness, and can no longer limit Truth to channels. The "flood" of Truth is at hand in the realization of Omnipresence, and if we limit its outflowing to certain "channels" we cannot yet receive the full immersion. No man has freer access to Divine Intelligence than has any other. The One Source is Omnipresent to all alike. He is chosen who chooses to receive! Any other belief is erroneous and has led the great majority to receive truth at second hand. But this is not scientific religion.
The Watchword of Divine Science is Charity, for it teaches with Paul that "Though I have all knowledge, and can remove mountains and have not charity, I am nothing." "He that saith he is in the light and condemneth his brother, is in darkness."
Divine Science teaches man to hold very loosely all outer helps, knowing that as the soul expands into knowledge of the Infinite these must be done away. It does not ignore the fact that man needs the outer support in his early consciousness which is feeble, just as a child needs the help of its mother's hand when learning to walk. But all know there is a better possibility for the child and expect to see it walk alone in due time.
Divine Science reaches a helping hand to the weak or beginning consciousness, but is all the time encouraging it to find its strength and light within itself. It gradually leads the seeker after Truth away from dependence upon anotherís understanding, to the light "that lightest every man that cometh into the world."
Divine Science stands for that teaching which is pointing man directly to Divine Source, without intervention of any other leader than Spirit. It feels that the world is ready for this step, and that spiritual progress has been heretofore impeded by the clinging of the masses to individual authority. Isaiah's words are significant: "The leaders of this people have caused them to err, and they that are led of them are destroyed."
The teachers and the books in Divine Science are held as secondary to the individual consciousness that is guided by Spirit. Divine Science is a step beyond that consciousness which looks to the individual as authority.
It is sometimes asserted that Divine Scientists say "I am God." This is incorrect and arises, as criticisms generally do, from misunderstanding. Divine Science perceives and teaches that the Great "I Am" is God, and is the One that includes all else. No individual, therefore, can claim to be this I Am, nor can he say "I am God." In our present consciousness the individual man is known as the expression and manifestation of Universal Spirit, which Spirit is the only "I Am."
A much misunderstood teaching of Divine Science is, that there is no matter.
This is plain enough when we see that God is Spirit and not matter, and that God is All and in all.
In denying matter, however, we do not in Divine Science deny form. We do not deny the body. "I have a body eternal," Paul says. When we deny matter, we simply deny our belief that there is a substance separate and apart from Spirit. There are not two substances. All that is, is Spirit and its manifestation, in form.
As there is but one Life and one Substance, even Spirit, whatever Life and Substance the body possesses is spiritual. Divine Science no longer separates between Spirit and body. "Ye are the temple of God," and the veil which separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple is the type of ignorance that believed the body to be separated from Spirit's Life and Substance; that supposed the visible to be of a different nature from the invisible. "Being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them."
This veil is done away in Christ, "the Truth," which reveals that there is no separation between Creator and creation--between Invisible and visible.
Ignorant thought is being destroyed as the truth is perceived that All is Spirit.
Divine Science claims not to be a new religion nor a new Truth. It is a new light upon religion and Truth. Divine Science is not imitative, but includes all Truth that ever was, agrees with all that is true everywhere, and is an outreaching into new realms of Truth.
Does Divine Science heal? Yes, as hundreds are ready to testify. Many demonstrations over the most so-called incurable diseases, relief from mental disturbances and outward calamities of all kind, give proof that Divine Science is a demonstrable truth. Most who have come and have been healed have been pronounced incurable and many in acute diseases have been speedily restored and saved long weeks of illness.
The first step in Divine Science is the healing, which attracts those that are weary with life's burdens. As soon as they find relief they naturally are led to investigate so beneficent a power, and then realize, as was not possible at first, that, grand as the healing is, it is but a small part of the whole Truth, which its teachings reveal.