John Hargreaves

Collected Writings – Volume 1

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Previously published as a series of booklets

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Individual Salvation – Subjective Being, an Association Address given by John Hargreaves deals with the subjective nature of all experience and shows that, as thought is kept in constant relation to the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, the experience of universal salvation is itself individual, and does not rest on a conversion of multiplicity of human minds. Since everything reaches us at the point of consciousness, and since we are accepting only the divine Mind as constituting this consciousness, it is “here” and not “over there” that healing and salvation are experienced. This salvation is incidental to an altitude of thought, and not to activities carried out at a human level to try and alter the pictures presented by material sense.

Generic Man is an address given by John in California in 1993.  The impulsion for conducting this seminar was after studying the article in Miscellany 346 called Mrs. Eddy’s successor where at the end we read: “What remains to lead on the centuries and reveal my successor, is man in the image and likeness of the one Father-Mother God, man the generic term for mankind.”

In the Christian Science textbook are five references to man as “generic man” and the student of this Science longs to be free of any uncertainties about that term’s true spiritual meaning.  Because human thought emanates only from a supposed standpoint outside infinity, such thought can put forth only its own misconception of man as finite, divided, and separate from his divine source.  The term ‘generic’ means ‘whole; entire.’  These connote indivisibility, and Science reveals man’s nature to be one indivisible whole.

Here, John explores and develops the scientific fact of man’s nature as both individual and generic, expressed as one essence, one consciousness, one being. He makes clear that it is because man’s identity is the idea, or consciousness, of God that the individual and generic nature of man can always be discovered by enquiring into the individual and generic nature of God — His wholeness, all-inclusiveness, universality, and infinite self-containment.  “That which is conscious is not the idea but the Mind whose idea it is.”

In “Individuality”, John Hargreaves considers, “Who am I?” which is of importance to everyone. He thoughtfully exposes how the definition that personal sense has of individuality robs the student of his or her real identity and “individualized infinite power”. He goes on to show how “the breakthrough comes when we cease to consider God, man and the universe from any standpoint but that of the Mind that is God…”  John elaborates on the point that “we must begin by enquiring into the nature of God’s individuality — His indivisibility, oneness, integrity, pre-eminence, infinitude, and distinction in expressing Himself as all the grandeur of being.”  This essay provides an inspiring opportunity for the reader to peel away layers of misty beliefs about “individuality” and clarify in thought exactly “who I am”.  It is a marvelous treatment to get “person” and “personal sense” out of the way.

The Universal Nature of Church and Man  addresses the question, “So what does it mean to let thought rest upon and proceed from Principle?”  Again here, he shows the fallacy of reasoning from the five physical senses and how personal sense undermines spiritual clarity and reasoning.  He then focuses on the key point of the essay, that “because church and man are really synonymous in a scientific sense, it follows that what we are accepting as man also determines what we experience as church.”  If we accept man as personal sense, then we also accept ‘church’ as a “collectivity of human men and women, with personal minds and lives” and invite “the possibility of these minds’ and lives’ warring, dissenting, dominating or being dominated” and so forth. In this essay, John discusses how man and church reflect the universal nature of Truth and Love, the oneness of divine Mind.  The reader gains great clarity to identify the many ways personal sense tempts one to see church for all the things it is not instead of what it divinely is.The Indivisibility of the Infinite

The Divine Idea and The Human Concept makes a clear distinction between these two mental concepts. The divine idea is God’s concept of anything. It is constituted of and remains in the divine Mind. The human concept of something is the misconception of the true idea seen through the lens of the so-called human mind. It has no inherent truth or substance but is an aberration of true substance. Far from being an alternative to the divine idea, it is the divine idea misconceived, and it is in this misconception that every problem of mankind is to be found.

Animal magnetism, or whatever names one likes to give to assertive, evil suggestion, would attempt to bring thought down from the altitude of Mind’s idea to the level of demonstration and experience as a human concept. This is why we read that “the human concept antagonises the divine.” (Mis. 309:23) The apparent result is a departure from Divine Science into a wholly illusory and mythical realm of human belief, a realm covered in Science and Health in the chapter on Spiritualism.

That the human concept is always erroneous, even though sometimes beautiful, and never something in its own right, is the reason it can only disappear. It cannot be improved. The importance of not being taken in by the sometimes alluring pictures of the human mind is fundamental if the purity of Divine Science is to be retained.

In Thy Light, based on an extemporary talk given at a seminar, the mode of Christian Science Mind-healing is discussed. While from one standpoint, it would appear that the healing and redemptive phenomena of Christian Science are the result of Truth doing something to a human situation, from a higher standpoint this is not so. The one constant is the light of divine understanding which outshines and effaces the shadows of sin, sickness, and death without being aware of them.

Students who regard Christian Science primarily as a healing religion, rather than a divine revelation, tend to try and bring Truth into the focus of human problems, and find this increasingly difficult. Thus their prayer is liable to remain in the realm of mental science where a so-called human mind is involved. They have ignored the fundamental command: “We must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind.” (S+H 424:6-7) Then they wonder why healing evades their most conscientious efforts.

This paper shows the need to make the state of perfection, and the oneness and allness of the divine Mind — the light in which there is no darkness — our starting point rather than just the goal.

In two complementary essays: Principle’s Unerring Direction and America, Science and Government  John Hargreaves explores the idea of Principle’s divine government.  Based on an Address written and given by John in California, he examines the theme that, “In divine Science, God is One and All; and, governing Himself, He governs the universe” (Miscellaneous Writings 258:13-15).

The understanding that individual self-government by Principle precludes the accepted belief that persons govern national, church, or individual affairs, and brings freedom from personal control, allegiance, and direction. As John writes in this booklet:

“It is tempting, when we might think that kings or emperors are not doing their job as we would wish, to want to change them. But there is no emperor. There is no government from outside. Man is responsible only to his Maker. He does not turn to an outside potentate nor revolt against it. He does not try to exchange bad mortals for good ones. That would just be tinkering with the dream. Man has no Mind but God, and has no capacity to know or be aware other than as the divine Mind itself. There is one Mind and man is Mind-manifest.”

Crown of Rejoicing is a collection of 32 letters from a file John kept over the years. Each one contains special metaphysical points he felt might otherwise be lost, and which he held as scientifically significant.