Light and darkness

It can be frustrating trying to find our way about in darkness. Even in a room we are familiar with in daylight, we are apt to fumble around searching for the light switch. Yet we know darkness is not an actual entity, for when we introduce light, darkness just disappears - it doesn't go elsewhere.

Often when someone is explaining something new to us we exclaim ''I see.'' But this does not mean that we see with our eyes; it means that we understand. We might say our ignorance of the subject has been dispelled with the right understanding of it - darkness has given place to light.

Could it be that our problems are not the entities they appear to be but rather phases of mental darkness? The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ''It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.'' n1

n1 Science and Health, p. 390.

Discord is only apparent to the deceptive material senses - the same senses that tell us the sun rises and sets every day, which we know is not technically true. As we come to understand God and the perfection of His spiritual creation, we're able to prove through healing that the dark images of disease and suffering are not the entities they appear to be. Harmony is not thereby created , but restored - brought to light as the original and only fact of God's good universe, governed by His law of perfection. ''God is light,'' we read in the Bible, ''and in him is no darkness at all.'' n2 God is good, and good is all that can be classified as light or reality, for good alone can endure and be eternal.

n2 I John 1:5.

In Christian Science we recognize Christ Jesus as our Way-shower. Jesus assured us, ''I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'' n3 Jesus proved by healing that sin, disease, and even death were not solid, fixed conditions but temporal phases of mortal thought that vanish in the presence of spiritual light - in the presence of an understanding of God and of man's unbroken perfection as His spiritual likeness. To follow the Master's teaching - his way of thinking and living - is the sure way of progressively dispelling the dark problems of human existence and thereby enjoying the permanent health and light of God, Life itself.

n3 John 8:12.

War is certainly the outcome of negative mortal thought, of greed and hate - in short, darkness. But even in the very midst of this darkness we can experience the ever-presence of spiritual light, of God's protective power. This was proved to me in the early days of establishing the Normandy beachhead in World War II. I had just been across the field from our post when I heard an enemy plane coming over. It flew at treetop height so as to make it difficult to intercept. I hung my water bucket on a branch of a tree and dropped into the hedge-bottom. The airman who was firing his automatic weapon at me was so close that I would have been able to recognize him, had he been someone I knew. Afterward there were bullet holes in my water bucket, but I was untouched, grateful to have proved the assurance found in the Christian Science textbook, ''Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.'' n4

n4 Science and Health, p. 571.

We never need to be afraid of evil, in whatever guise it may appear. Whether we're faced with disease, discordant relationships, lack, or some other inharmony, it is never the entity it claims to be. It's as darkness, an absence rather than a presence - the apparent absence of the reality of good. We can rest assured that this temporary darkness cannot help vanishing as we bring to bear upon it the light of Life and Love - an understanding of the allness and onliness of God, good. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. Isaiah 44:8

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