Clearing away mental beams

RECENTLY I tidied my personal files. Among papers for removal were official records of my war service. Before disposing of them I glanced at a section called ``Wounds, scars, and other marks.'' I also looked at myself physically. The scars and marks had disappeared. I then recalled a change of thought I'd had some time earlier. I had been reading reports of spiritual progress by citizens of two nations I had been trained to see as enemies. There was such a spirit of compassion in the reports that the enmity left me. I no longer felt mentally scarred. There was spiritual healing, and as a consequence, I was unscarred physically too. In his well-known Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke to his listeners about seeing a mote in their brother's eye but failing to see a beam in their own eye. He instructed them to remove the beam (or ``plank'' as The New English Bible has it) from their own eye. Then they would see clearly to remove the mote (or ``speck'') from their brother's eye.1

Jesus' outlook was imbued with the understanding that God made man in His own likeness and that God is Spirit and Love. This understanding of the actual nature of creator and creation, transcending what the physical senses report, enabled him to heal spiritually.

Referring to God as ``Soul,'' a term for Deity implied in the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``Knowing that Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man, the Master healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, feet to the lame, thus bringing to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies and giving a better understanding of Soul and salvation. Jesus healed sickness and sin by one and the same metaphysical process.'' 2

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Christian healing is based on spiritual facts, but we cannot see or understand spiritual facts while our minds are cluttered with beams of fear and resentment. We need to examine our thinking and remove what is ungodlike through the understanding that it's no part of our actual selfhood, no part of our true consciousness. We need to free ourselves from mental rubbish if we would be free in other ways.

A good illustration of the freedom conferred by purity of thought is found in the Old Testament of the Bible. There's an account of three Hebrew captives who were thrown into a furnace for refusing to bow down to an idol. The fire, we learn, didn't consume them. Nor were they even touched by it. The Bible tells us, ``The princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.'' 3

The key factor in this remarkable experience was the captives' mental standpoint. They didn't consider themselves defenseless. They trusted God and His protective power. They did not react with fear to the threats of punishment for nonconformity. Their mental stance was spiritually free.

For each of us today this Biblical example holds a lesson. Each of us is an individual, with individual rights and responsibilities. We are each responsible for our own individual state of thinking. To the degree that our thinking is Godlike, we can experience the peace and freedom of godliness. Otherwise, we may find ourselves battle-worn, battle-scarred, and scared, seeing enemies everywhere.

We read in the Bible, ``God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.'' 4 Mental beams of bigotry, prejudice, fear, tend to blind us to this truth. But we are able to remove these obstructions. Through prayer we can expose and clear away the negative elements of thought that would keep us from seeing God's all-loving nature expressed around us. The liberating results are well worth it! 1 See Matthew 7:3-5. 2 Science and Health, p. 210. 3 Daniel 3:27. 4 Genesis 1:31. -- 30 --{et

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