Primitive man

If we trace our spiritual roots to God, our real Father-Mother, we find the truly primitive man who is our genuine, immortal identity. Mary Baker Eddy n1 writes of this primitive man: "The beautiful, good, and pure constitute of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being." n2

n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 63.

The belief that we can somehow be separated from this spiritual heritage stems from the assumption that we are mortals, struggling for limited food, income, and love on a finite planet. but when we see ourselves as Spirit's offspring, we accept an existence that supersedes evolution and heredity.

We have to livem our true identity, however, in order to understand it thoroughly. and a vital step in really living as God's children is obedience to Christ Jesus' summary of the law. The Master's first command is that we love God. n3

n3 See Mark 12:30

God ism divine Love and the only real power. Living in true humility, yielding self-will to God's will, is one way to love Him. We may sometimes think we can help God along with our lives or, leaving God out entirely, succeed on our own. But in so doing, we can never really enact in human experience our native splendor as God's immortal sons and daughters.

For example, the prodigal son Christ Jesus spoke of asked his father for his inheritance, then went away and spent it wastefully. n4 His act was based on ignorance and pride. He believed he was simply a mortal who had better enjoy today what might be gone tomorrow. In this respect, we can find many parallels in the sometimes excessive consumption of energy, too much reliance on credit, and so on, of modern society.

Finally the prodigal was left penniless, and if the story had ended there it would have been a warning of unfulfilled potential and bitter despair. But it didn't! Instead, the young man "came to himself." In effect he saw that the reward for his willfulness had been near-starvation, and he understood that humility was the road back home. Perhaps he even realized something of "his primitive and ultimate source of being." On his return, his father greeted him with open arms.

Is there a parallel promise for us? Of course. We can "come to ourselves" -- realize in meekness that life is really spiritual, not material; that its source is God, divine Love. We can leave the old, material ways of resolving problems and turn wholeheartedly to the Father. As we purify motives in accord with this direction, we begin to discern the inheritance of Spirit, which can never be taken away or wasted. Through growth in understanding and loving Spirit, we find that "the beautiful, good, and pure" are not only significant to our lives; they are the basis of all that is truly satisfying. Seeking to do God's will, we find that our lives run more smoothly because we are living in obedience to His law. And we are also less susceptible to illness or sin because we are discovering our true, uncorrupted nature - the real primitive man.

Our potential for good expands as we leave the finite, mortal approach to existence and delve deeply into life created and sustained by Spirit. With God as the center -- the very substance -- of the universe, we see more clearly how we uniquely, reflect His nature, and we are better able to resist temptations.

And if those first steps toward transformation seem slow, we can be comforted by the Bible's description of the prodigal's return: "But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." Like the prodigal, we have an inheritance, the love of our Father, that is waiting for us. And with our return home comes a richer understanding of our individual place in His kingdom.

tomorrow: What you can give DAILY BIBLE VERSE The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. I John 2:17

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