From Addresses and Other Writings by Doris Dufour Henty
We meet today to enjoy a further unfoldment, from the kingdom within, of the divine reality which constitutes our very being. We will enjoy together the true concept of Life, the only concept. This one and only concept is divine Mind’s view of its own Life. This concept reveals the breathtaking beauty, majesty and flawless harmony which you are. It reveals the unalterable perfection of Mind’s glorious nature to be your only nature. We will ponder the natural wonder of the changeless actuality of the Ego, God and you. We shall find from our Leader’s works that this glorious ever-unfolding of real Being appears as an altogether better sense of our daily existence.
The marginal heading on page 576 of Science and Health is “Revelation’s pure zenith.” From this pure zenith, the divine Mind’s viewpoint, Life is seen in its correct light. Spiritual perfection is acknowledged to be man’s subjective state—man’s present and only condition. The important point is that wholeness and harmony are not our goal; they are our present and permanent state. As Christian Scientists, we have long forsaken the old theological sense of man as mortal. We have forsaken the cruel theory that man has a mind and life separate from God, separate from eternal good. We have outgrown the ignorant belief that we have to achieve whatever degree of good we manage to experience. In place of this misconception we have accepted divine Mind’s view of Life as our being—the view so natural to Jesus and Mrs. Eddy. They discerned the perpetual harmony of divine Life to be our inevitable experience. This perfect Life is not a state requiring our efforts to produce it. As just stated, it is the God-manifested actuality of our existence.
From the viewpoint of divine Mind, the wonders of divine Life, peace, joy and wholeness are experienced as our only condition. The divine concept of life includes no problem with which to contend—no mortal, so-called life to be improved.
Now let us see what happens if one is unaware of the great privilege of renouncing the mortal concept of Life. I quote Luke (11:24-26): “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh-to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” This poor man had not the faintest idea of the blessing he was missing by clinging to the mortal concept. Far from disowning the misconception, he actually garnished it. He cherished it and attempted to get rid of only the uncomfortable patches. So this man’s experience continued beset with added troubles. “. . . the last state of that man is worse than the first.” There is certainly no peace to be found on the mortal basis of belief. Our Leader knew this. She said, “. . . we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind” (Science and Health, p. 424).
Instead of toiling with the mortal sense of life, we rejoice that such a concept is a total misconception of the one and only Life. There are not two lives. If we cling to a mortal misconception of existence, we keep all the trouble it includes. And alas—“the last state of that man is worse than the first.” But the Life divine is our Life—entirely separate.
Referring to this mortal concept of life our Leader says to leave it; abandon it; forsake it and turn from it; reject it; disown and discard it; renounce it. Why is our Leader so emphatic in the complete dismissal of the mortal concept? The answer is, because she knew its nature. She tells us of the poverty of mortal existence, its weariness and wickedness. She speaks of the mortal misconception as a myth, an enigma, a bald imposition and a ghastly farce. Further, she says, “Mortal existence is a dream of pain and pleasure in matter, a dream of sin, sickness, and death” (Science and Health, p. 188).
The blessings resulting from our complete separateness from such an afflictive misconception are abundant. The mortal concept is a pack of false evidence. It is a “liar from the beginning.” Not one word of its record is true. In fact, the mortal concept is mere illusion, but happily we have no connection with it.
By understanding our complete separateness from the “belief and dream of material living” we enjoy wonderful consequences. I quote, “. . . whosoever layeth his earthly all [his misconception of life] on the altar of divine Science, drinketh of Christ’s cup” (Science and Health, p. 55). We have the great advantage of laying down all the mistaken sense of life. Indeed, what bliss it is simply to disown a material sense of existence with its multiform errors and sorrows, and to enjoy the one real Life—the Life of divine fulfillment in all its aspects. Entirely separate from the mortal myth, called life, is divine Life’s abundance, wholeness, joy, all experienced as our present, permanent, flawless and happy state, so universal and so effortless that not even the slightest suggestion of discord can be our experience. The “earthly all” is the mistaken personal concept of self, complete with the ill effects with which this mortal concept is laden. Happily, we are free to disown this illusion of life in its entirety. Otherwise, we would be in the same position as the man with seven more devils, whose “last state [was] worse than the first.”
In the following reference from Miscellaneous Writings(p. 185), the emphasis falls again on the renunciation “of all that constitutes a so-called material man . . .” In order to be a total blessing, the renunciation of the misconception must be complete. I quote: “Self- renunciation of all that constitutes a so-called material man . . . is Science that opens the very flood-gates of heaven; whence good flows into every avenue of being…” Notice: “. . . the very flood-gates of heaven; whence good flows into every avenue of being”! What a stupendous reward we reap for the renunciation of a mere illusion!
The reason for attributing such great importance to the renunciation of the mortal concept is given in our Leader’s statement: “There is no other way under heaven whereby we can be saved, and man be clothed with might, majesty, and immortality” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 185). No other way under heaven! This is surely adequate reason for acknowledging, “I was never in the mortal concept, and the mortal concept is never in me.”
It is readily understandable that the human mind could give no correct assessment of divine Life. The opposed- to-God mind could never give the true facts; so our Leader tells us, “…Mind is its own interpreter” (Science and Health, p. 577). And a most important statement is on page 258 of Miscellaneous Writings: “God’s interpretation of Himself furnishes man with the only suitable or true idea of Him . . .” The divine Mind’s flawless concept of Itself! Please, may I say again, not the human mind’s concept of God, but God’s concept of Himself furnishes us with the truth of our being. Divine Mind’s interpretation of Itself tells us exactly what we are.
In my early days Mr. William P. McKenzie, who gave years of loyal service to our Leader, told me that he asked her how he could accomplish the best healing. She referred him to Psalm 85:8, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” Let them not turn again to the mortal concept. He will speak.
Divine Mind speaks the truth about Itself as follows (and I quote from our books): “. . . the voice of Truth utters the divine verities of being” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 81). “I am All. A knowledge of aught beside Myself is impossible” (Unity of Good, p. 18). “From me proceedeth all Mind, all consciousness, all individuality, all being” (Unity of Good, p. 24). “I am infinite good . . . Dwelling in light, I can see only the brightness of My own glory” (Unity of Good, p. 18). “I am Spirit. . . . The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, imperishable glory,— all are Mine, for I am God. . . . I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme and give all, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because I am that I am” (Science and Health, pp. 252-253).
This is an infinitesimal fraction of God’s concept of Himself. The divine I is God; AM is man. I AM is the Ego, the one and only Cause constituting its own effect. Hence our Leader’s statements, “Mind is its own great cause and effect” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 173), and “Life demonstrates Life” (Science and Health, p. 306). (Here “Life” is capitalized both times.)
This statement, “Mind is its own great cause and effect,” is our authority for acknowledging that perfect Life is all there is to man. I am is the subjective acknowledgment of divine Mind, experiencing its own perfect nature and condition—the nature and condition which you are. You are divine Life’s self-experience, the accuracy of Truth, the immutability of Love.
Another aspect of great help to us is that the divine Mind is all that feels. I quote: “Thou shalt not admit that error is something . . . to feel or be felt” (Unity of Good, p. 22). “Mind, not matter . . . feels” (Science and Health, p. 485). There are not two kinds of feeling, mortal and divine, comfortable and painful, happy and depressed. Just think of the freedom and comfort due to the fact that the divine Mind alone is capable of feeling! The divine Mind, your Mind, is ceaselessly feeling, experiencing, its own unalterable perfection, totally separate from any mortal concept.
In the very place and at the very moment where the misconception might suggest, “I feel weary, I feel pain, I feel age creeping on,” all that is really going on is the one and only I, ceaselessly, naturally and effortlessly feeling the bliss of the one and only Life. This divine I, Cause and effect, knows Itself in terms of harmony, wholeness and beauty—knowing only (and I quote)
“. . . His own all-presence, all-knowledge, all-power” (Unity of Good, p. 27). The Allness of Truth permits nothing but Itself. It permits nothing, and bears witness to nothing, but its own infinite nature, which is your nature.
I quote Science and Health (p. 411): “If Spirit or the power of divine Love bear witness to the truth, this is the ultimatum, the scientific way, and the healing is instan- taneous.” To bear witness to the truth is to tell the truth. May I repeat: the divine I, aware of its own perfection and immutable glory, declares Itself in all its fulness, directness, power, exactness, as: “What joy I am and feel! What peace, strength, vigour I am and feel! I, in all my universality and wholeness, am All.” Such is Spirit’s concept and record of Itself, and all that Spirit says of Itself is yourself. Spirit’s record of its own perfection is what you are.
There is no point of contact in the whole of being between you and the mistaken sense of life. There is infinite distance between you and error. In fact, Truth and error have never met. Our Leader says, “The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. The mutable and imperfect never touch the immutable and perfect” (Science and Health, p. 300).
We never permit the assessment of the human mind. It is always incorrect. Even Jesus, speaking from the standpoint of the human self, said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true” (John 5:31). But speaking from the standpoint of the Christ, Truth, bearing witness to Itself, he said, “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true” (John 8:14). Truth’s record of itself is always true, and nothing apart from this can ever be your experience.
Still bearing in thought the man who identified himself as a mortal and in consequence “whose last state [was] worse than the first,” let us now read a different experience related in the chapter “Fruitage” in Science and Health. The testifier says in part (p. 667), “It was in April, 1904, that I first heard the ‘still, small voice’ of the Christ.” Previously, the testifier says (pp. 668-669):
Sorrow after sorrow followed each other in rapid succession; for ten long years there was no rest . . . until finally . . . my health, gave way, and with that went my last hope. But the last hour of the night had come, the dawn of day was at hand; a dear friend left Science and Health upon my piano one day, saying that I would gain much good by reading it.
. . . When I began to read the book, life was a burden, but before I had finished reading it the first time, I was doing all my housework and doing it easily.
For a long time I was always looking back to see if the error had gone, until one day when I realized that to catch a glimpse of what spiritual sense means I must put corporeal sense behind me . . . I opened Science and Health and these words were before me, “If God were understood, instead of being merely believed, this understanding would establish health” (p. 203). . . . I closed the book and with head bowed in prayer I waited with longing intensity for some answer. . . . suddenly, like a wonderful burst of sunlight after a storm, came clearly this thought, “Be still, and know that I am God.” I held my breath— deep into my hungering thought sank the infinite meaning of that “I.” All self-conceit, egotism, selfishness, everything that constitutes the mortal “I,” sank abashed out of sight. I trod, as it were, on holy ground. . .
From that hour I have had an intelligent consciousness of the ever-presence of an infinite God who is only good.
Everything that constituted “the mortal ‘I,’ sank abashed out of sight”—and so it does today. From the glorious presence of the Ego, every condition which is not of God disappears. You see, the mortal concept renounced itself. It sank abashed.
Just one final illustration of the practical power of the Ego—the Mind knowing only “. . . His own all-presence, all knowledge, all-power”—totally free from any misconception. The allness of Truth, permitting nothing but Itself, is total preclusion of erring sense, and is evidenced in everyday life as your health, your security, your complete harmony and abundance.
I now quote from Revelation 20:11: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” He that sat on this metaphorical great white throne is the Ego, the one I am—the practical power from whom all misconception flees away. The mistaken concept of heaven and earth flees away. I quote our Leader (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 251): “Sin, sickness, and disease flee before the evangel of Truth . . .” Erring human sense flees from its own convictions. I quote again: “So sin and sorrow, disease and death . . . flee as phantoms of error before truth and love” (Science and Health, p. 215). “. . . dark images of mortal thought . . . flee before the light of Truth” (Science and Health, p. 418). “. . . the dream has no place in the Science of being” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 21).
The restless, tempest-tossed existence of the human mind has no place in your Soul-awareness. No mis- apprehension of existence can intrude itself upon God’s concept of Himself, which is yourself. No beliefs of heredity, fear, contagion, no medical laws (so-called) can trespass upon the glory of your being. You are entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living. You are the purity of Spirit, the integrity of Truth, the infinite tenderness of Love, the immutability of Principle, the activity of Life, the strength and intelligence of Mind, the beauty and radiance of Soul.
This is the light which outshines the myth of misconception and melts away the shadows. All sense of insecurity is forever outshone by the deep divine awareness of peace and safety, harmony and wholeness, which is God’s concept of Himself and reveals conclusively that the self-same Life which is God is the life which is you.
Finally, from whose face do all false concepts flee away? They flee from the face of the great I am, perfect God and perfect man. Evil never did and never will enter the consciousness of Truth. “. . . evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy”