“Thy Sword shall be bathed in heaven” (Isaiah 34:5)
From Monitoring My Universe by John Hargreaves
When mankind is confronted by a disaster, so senseless, barbarous, causeless and tragic as to be incomprehensible within the terms of reference of any civilised society, the immediate reaction can take on one of two forms. The first is to invoke the Mosaic law of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” and call for punishment and retribution. The second and, long-term, more useful form is to look behind the phenomena, however appalling, and make a higher assessment of what has taken place.
What we witness today is not what it appears. It is a mental, not a physical, conflict. Science and Health states that “The suppositional warfare between truth and error is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual senses and the testimony of the material senses…” (288:3-8 and margin). It takes place in and as thought, and its method of pursuit is fully described in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse (S&H 562:29 to 569:5). In these pages are contrasted the “divine method of warfare in Science and the fatal effects of trying to meet error with error” (568:5-8). The first involves “self-abnegation by which we lay down all for Truth, or Christ” (568:30-32). The second treats, and so keeps, error as phenomenal, and so out of control. The first lays down that which error claims to see and fight: the second fights the disguises that evil is wearing.”
At times of disaster it is helpful to remember that, whatever the appearance, there is only ever one law at work, namely, the law of infinite Love that makes no provision for lawlessness. This law may be interpreted by human sense in two ways, but it is the same law. The first way is to cause evil to be self-seen and self-destroyed. Thus we read that “the dragon is at last stung to death by his own malice” (569:25-26). The second way is to force the perception of the spiritual idea beyond and above the level where it appears to be vulnerable. We read that “After the stars sang together and all was primeval harmony, the material lie made war upon the spiritual idea, but this only impelled the idea to rise to the zenith of demonstration — to be caught up unto God — to be found in its divine Principle” (565:23-28).
In each case, the only power at work is divine Love, and its method of operation is summarized thus: “Divine Love, as unconscious as incapable of error, pursues the evil that hideth itself, strips off its disguises, and behold, the result: evil uncovered, is self-destroyed” (Mis. 209:32).”
If this is the analysis of what appears as warfare, how do we respond? The textbook points to what might be termed an interim state where it says, “Until the majesty of Truth should be demonstrated in divine Science, the spiritual idea was arraigned before the tribunal of so-called mortal mind, which was unloosed in order that the false claim of mind in matter might uncover its own crime of defying immortal Mind” (564:19-23). Where does our thought at times of apparent arraignment reside? Certainly not in a half-way position where we join the conflict by standing for Truth against error.
Science and Health says that “those who discern Christian Science (defined on page 424:25 as “the oneness and allness of divine Love”) will hold crime in check” (97:1). This, of course, does not refer to persons, but to that consciousness of infinite Love that never loses sight of the true loveliness of being. What does this entail? First, consistency — that refuses to be taken in by the disguises that evil wears. Second, vigilance — a state of thought that is so in tune with Principle that it cannot be taken in or tempted to compromise with error. We read that “the Revelator sees that old serpent, whose name is devil or evil, holding untiring watch, that he may bite the heel of truth….” (563:18-20). Is our vigilance at least as constant and untiring?
It is with thought only that we work. “[Jesus] held uncomplaining guard over a world” (ibid. 48:6). Likewise, we should hold guard over the world of our consciousness for, indeed, nothing exists outside. It is here, not over there, that we act as guardians. It is thought, not phenomena, that is to be watched. So far as we are concerned, there is nothing but consciousness going on. Is thought sensory perception, or is it the expression of the divine Mind?
Jesus said that “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32). If what I am accepting as consciousness is lifted above matter and personal sense, this will draw every detail of experience up to the altitude of the divine Mind, the only I. But it is here, not over there, that this takes place.
Looking at the world scene, it is clear that, for too long, the western world has been asleep or wallowing in a false set of values, a belief in stability and security where none is to be found, a departure from spiritual and moral law, and the pursuit of false ideals. Love does not permit this to abide.
In human history the male role was pursued by Britain, disseminating – sowing the seed — of law, Parliamentary democracy, respect for the individual, and a moral code throughout the world. Today what is left is not a physical power but a commonwealth of the mind. It could be said that this work was taken over by the feminine role typified by America and enshrined in that unique document, The Constitution. This role no longer implied going to an outside world to spread ideas, but to draw, by example, into its womb all who sought a higher sense of freedom.
It would be hard to deny that those nations and individuals that have subscribed to these ideals have overstayed their time in the doldrums. A growing discontent and disillusion with materialism and sensualism is apparent. Something had to happen to waken mankind to the real issues at stake, and force the spiritual idea to “rise to the zenith of demonstration.” That “something” is either Science or suffering: both signify the law of Love in action.
“Those who discern Christian Science…” We begin with number one: in fact there is no other. As President Truman said, “the buck stops here.” It is here, as consciousness, that we accept and practice the true idea of liberty, which is not license or self-indulgence. It is here, not there, that we ban greed, selfishness, dishonesty, compromise. It is here that we respect and practice the role of law without compromise. It is here that “the pursuit of happiness” is seen fundamentally to mean the pursuit of those eternal values embraced by the great religions of the world, whatever the format they assume. It is here that thought must move from the belief in a material basis to the idea of a spiritual one. It is here that we mix the cement of values that binds humanity. And it is here that we practice our essential divinity, and so find exemption from all evil. Then, and only then, do we discover “the nothingness of error is in proportion to its wickedness” (S&H 569:9-11).
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