LAST year, ex-convict, ex-drug addict, and ex-alcoholic Jimmy Santiago Baca won the prestigious American Book Award for his fifth book of poems. A man who never attended school in his life, he taught himself how to read and write while in an isolation cell at one of Arizona's maximum-security prisons. Of those former days he says, ``I wanted to learn how to read and to write and to understand.... I wanted to know how to function in this world. Why was I so ignorant and deprived? ``The only way of transcending was through language and understanding.''1
Those who have found a spiritual meaning to life would also feel that they have transcended ignorance through language and understanding. But the language they would be referring to is the language of spiritual truth, which transcends materiality and enables one to begin to understand divine Spirit, God, and man in God's spiritual image.
Christ Jesus taught this language through stories and example and brought forth its full meaning by healing sin, sickness, and death. Without a deeper development of this knowledge of Spirit, God, we cannot fully appreciate our Master's teachings and works. Then like many in his own time, we would end up missing the radical message he was bringing to humanity.
Jesus was more than a good man. He was the embodiment and messenger of God's spiritual idea, or Christ, revealing to human thought the allness of Spirit and the ultimate nothingness of evil and wrong. His radical message is the deeper meaning of the Holy Scriptures, and it is through the language of Spirit that we learn to commune better with God.
By elucidating the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures, Christian Science helps us to see that God is knowable. It opens up the Bible's inspired Word and shows us how the Christ-spirit can regenerate our lives and heal our bodies. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains: ``Christian Science involves a new language, and a higher demonstration of medicine and religion. It is the `new tongue' of Truth, having its best interpretation in the power of Christianity to heal.''2
It is encouraging to know that the ability to express and demonstrate the language of Spirit is available to everyone -- in fact, it is inherent in all. But to develop this ability requires honest self-assessment and the pursuit of spiritual regeneration. As we embark on this path, we find evidence of our understanding of the ``new tongue'' in the spiritual healing of sin and disease that this understanding brings. Christ Jesus promised, ``These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;...they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.''3
How wonderful it is to begin to comprehend God and man spiritually. From the standpoint of spiritual sense, God's goodness is perceived as ever available, and we see more of man's innate spiritual wholeness. Our perception of life in general becomes less weighed down by materiality and its conditions, and good appears more present, more attainable.
1Los Angeles Times, February 15, 1989. 2No and Yes, p. 44. 3Mark 16:17, 18 The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.