Will we ever reach the point where we can say with absolute assurance that we've progressed far enough and are now as completely satisfied as it's possible to be? We're far more likely to reach a point where our sense of personal history tries to convince us we can't advance any further because of what we have become and how long we've taken to become it.
To identify ourselves strictly in terms of personal history, of parentage, education, career, of economic, marital, and social status, is limiting, to say the least. No matter how grand or attractive our background, still a mortal, material concept of identity would say, in effect, ''This is as far as you can expect to go with what you've got.''
Must we submit? Can we, because of age or any other supposed facet of our identity, afford to buy this argument and cease to strive for progress - for an ever enlarging sense of existence?
The Bible is full of accounts of people who, turning away from the evidence of their own personal history, overcame barriers such as age and let their spiritual senses guide them into new vistas of harmony and satisfaction. Abraham's aged wife Sarah laughed when the divinely inspired thought of bearing a son first broke in on her solid conviction that childbearing, in her case, was utterly impossible. But her spiritual sense won, and the conviction dissolved.n1
n1 See Genesis 18:10-12, 21
The intuitions of spiritual sense, unlike the arguments of material sense, come to us directly from God, the omnipotent source of infinite good - and a sense of personal limitation may still laugh incredulously at what they have to say. Such intuitions prompt us to rebel against the congealing of our progress, to reach out for the saving Christ. They still tell us that with God all things are possible. When we mentally entertain the Christ, the divine message of man's perfection and of the infinite range of possibilities open to him as God's spiritual image, we're progressively freed from the mesmeric grip of personal history.
The Christ dissolves the firm conviction that possibilities diminish as age - or any other material characteristic-advances. It dissolved the firm conviction of the lepers healed by Christ Jesus, that their harmony was permanently stolen by an incurable disease.
''The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged,'' writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She continues further on, ''The real man is not of the dust, nor is he ever created through the flesh; for his father and mother are the one Spirit, and his brethren are all the children of one parent, the eternal good.''n2
n2 Retrospection and Introspection, p. 22.
Memories of limitations overcome, of joys unpolluted by selfishness or materiality - these are worth retaining as reminders to keep listening to spiritual sense. But the arc of material sense - dust rising to some genetically predetermined height, then falling back to dust - must be discarded, expunged from human memory, because it has nothing to do with man.
Man, God's image, is spiritual, ageless, fetterless, inseparable from the infinite reaches of good. His progress will never cease, because infinite good will never end. It's spiritual - and spiritual activity doesn't congeal.