Is it all in the mind?;

Our two Scottish terriers can monitor the traffic on our corner from three vantage points, accessible to them via several dog doors. When pedestrians pass , it's not unusual for the Scotties to race from one place to another in time to greet them three times. One day a familiar stroller who saw me out trimming the bushes paused to ask, ''Just how many Scotties do you have?''

Once when problems seemed to mount up, I rephrased her question - a standing joke at our house - and asked myself, ''Just how many problems do you have?'' There were several. But with the help of Christian Science I took steps toward resolving them. I realized that chronic stomach disorder, excessive work demands, fear about finances, chaos in running a household that temporarily included a bedfast relative, limping human relationships, and general confusion could all be reduced to two basic culprits:

1. The belief that God, good, and His wholly spiritual creation, including God-like man, aren't whole and complete.

2. The belief that ungodliness - whatever its guise - is something, an actual power and condition.

My task wasn't quite as simple as verbally correcting these two basic errors with the mere assertion that God, good, is All-in-all and that evil in whatever guise is illusive, temporal, actually nonexistent in divine reality. But recognizing the mental base of the troubles led the way to practicing those cardinal points of Christian Science-the factual allness of good and the delusive nothingness of evil.

Facing up to these facts required me to reject fear, rebuke false responsibility, and resist griping. When my thoughts, words, and deeds began in some degree to conform to primal spiritual facts, adequate provision appeared, and my workload adjusted. Relationships took an upturn. Before long, the relative improved sufficiently to manage her own household again. Even before then, my own household had returned to normal. The mental renovation-the assimilation of Godlikeness that impelled elimination of ungodliness-restored me physically, too.

Yielding our God-given dominion to the false belief that under certain circumstances order is impossible and upset only natural, we may find this belief randomly taking form in our lives. In giving an error admission to our thought, we give it free access to our bodies, businesses, finances, homes, relationships. Thought embraces the entire periphery of experience. In a sense , it is our experience.

We can shut the dog doors and contain the Scotties. But there's no way anyone can separate thought from its phenomena or stop it from influencing experience. There is a way, however, to correct thought and thereby enjoy happiness and wholeness. How?

We can emulate the example shown to us by Christ Jesus. He was so attuned to divine Truth, Life, and Love-the perfect Spirit which he called our Father-that he could heal extremities of disease and disability and even restore life.

To have that Mind be in us ''which was also in Christ Jesus''n1-this is the one sure remedy for all human ills, and the whole of Christian Science unfolds the nature of this Mind. The Discoverer and Founder of this Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: ''Christian Science is the law of Truth, which heals the sick on the basis of the one Mind or God. It can heal in no other way, since the human, mortal mind so-called is not a healer, but causes the belief in disease.''n2

n1 Philippians 2:5.

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 482.

One can readily see, then, that a cold dismissal of suffering with the clich ''It's all in the mind'' is by no means a description of Christian Science practice. True, the human mind does include all sin, sickness, excess, lack, chaos-evil of every nature. But Christian Science designates this ephemeral, material sense and its material-seeming domain as that to be healed, not as healer. The only true healer is the one divine Mind, God.

Actually, no set of circumstances devised by ''the human, mortal mind'' and no suggested chronicity of its always invalid claims can deter or delay our prayerful proving that harmony is really everywhere, always. It is all-in Mind. DAILY BIBLE VERSE We have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

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