A cute ''baby-picture ad'' in a business magazine reads, ''We're all created equal. After that, baby, you're on your own.'' n1
n1 Fortune,m February 8, 1982.
Does it seem we really are on our own, governed by inequality and chance?
The first chapter of Genesis in the Bible explains that man is created in God's image. But the second chapter, in the Adam and Eve story, says he's made from dust. Rejected as a sinner, down he goes into a sea of troubles - on his own.
Supposing we stick to the first view of man as the reality, and conceive of him as a purely spiritual being, in the very likeness of infinite Spirit, God? We would have to admit that the material Adam figure was merely a misconception of man, that God's image is perfect, harmonious, eternal. We would recognize the Adam and Eve story as a very useful illustration of what man seems to be but isn't - a mortal separate from and unlike God, infinite good. We would see that ''original sin'' is part of the Adam myth, and that the spiritual goodness of man as the child of the divine Father must remain the unalterable fact.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''Since God is All, there is no room for His unlikeness. God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good.'' n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p.339.
In God's infinite goodness, can there be any inequality? Unlimited good denies any attempt at comparison. Made in the image of God, all individuals must be created equal and remain so eternally.
How does this relate to our everyday life, so fraught with apparent inequality among men, women, and children? Christ Jesus once said to a petitioner, ''As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.'' n3 We have a choice as to what we will believe or think. To the extent we are conscious of our harmonious equality and unlimited capacity as God's spiritual offspring, our lives will follow the divine pattern of harmony. Conversely, the more we believe the myth of man as a sinner and not the reflection of God, the more we'll appear subject to inequality, to sin and misfortune.
n3 Matthew 8:13.
How we live would seem to depend on a simple choice - to think good thoughts or sinning thoughts. But Christian Science goes much further than that. It shows us that as God's likeness we reflect divine intelligence, the one Mind, which is infinite Truth and Love. In reality, then, we're not mortals, struggling with positive and negative thoughts. There's quite a difference between conceiving of ourselves as perfect offspring of the one Mind and overcoming evil from that standpoint, and believing that we're mortals, subject to evil as well as good thoughts.
One of my daughters used to protest that she was my equal in some ways, and I would reiterate to her that since I had more experience than she did, my opinions were nearer right than hers. For years I was bothered by that notion until I began discovering more about spiritual equality. I saw that experience might indeed be useful but could in no way invalidate our spiritual equality as the likeness of God, divine intelligence. This understanding brought healing to our relationship.
Affirming and deeply realizing our unity with God in Christian prayer lifts our consciousness to discern the true and perfect status of all as the children of God. Such prayer can result in the kind of healing action recorded so specifically in the New Testament.
Christian Science brings an increasing awareness of the unity of God and man. It surely affirms the spiritual equality and harmony of all individuals while resolutely denying that God either produces or allows the discord that seems so prevalent. It shows us through healing that what worldly appearances would have us believe to be real is a counterfeit of reality, part of the Adam myth. Through prayer we can begin to confirm this in our own lives and discern the infinite equality of all individuals in God's likeness. DAILY BIBLE VERSE There is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Corinthians 8:6