Being alive

BEING alive is much more than being able to cast a shadow. Most thinking people would agree that it means having an inner vitality, a mental keenness. ``Marked by alertness, activity, or briskness'' is the way one dictionary puts it. But some thinkers would say there is even more to being truly alive, that it includes an element of spiritual sense, or spiritual understanding.

When the Bible is meekly understood, it gives a clear and beautiful idea of life. Christ Jesus explained, ``As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.'' 1

Most simply -- and profoundly -- Life is God, the one eternal and infinite source of existence. He is everywhere, the one creator. ``All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made,'' 2 the Gospel of John says. Since, according to the Bible, God is Spirit as well as Life, all that truly exists must be spiritual, not material. Man, as God's image and likeness, is spiritual, His perfect idea.

To the degree anyone on earth grasps these truths, the Christ, the divine influence so fully expressed by Jesus, is seen acting in his consciousness, and he is truly alive. Jesus said, ``I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.'' 3

Of course, these truths often dawn on human consciousness very slowly, like crocuses pushing through the snow or like the sun rising. Even those who glimpse these ideas today and write them in articles have much progress to make before they understand fully what these ideas mean.

Yet these ideas are true. And they are of great importance to the world today, for many people seem listless, barely alive. Feelings of dissatisfaction and of boredom are common. Others are restless, discontented with everything they have or do. Some rush from one thrill to the next without pausing to think that all the thrills may be vain.

It seems clear that much of the world has not yet found Christ. Millions tend to be more taken with the material things of Adam than alive to the spiritual reality of God and His creation. The Bible says, ``As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.'' 4 Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``The allegory of Adam, when spiritually understood, explains this dream of material life, even the dream of the `deep sleep' that fell upon Adam when the sp iritual senses were hushed by material sense that before had claimed audience with a serpent.'' 5

But if millions seem only dully alive, there surely would be few if any who do not yearn to be vigorously alive. Nor is there one of us who cannot be awakened and made truly alive by the Christ. Each of us is gifted with spiritual sense (though it may sometimes seem buried beneath layers of materiality) that can see beyond the dominating glitter and fantasy of matter; that can feel real joy and peace in knowing God and His creation. Just as we all can feel the warmth of spring long before the snows m elt, so we all innately have a gentle, lively sense of God's presence, might, and glory. It is as natural to man as singing is to birds or as leaves are to trees.

You say, ``It's not natural to me!'' Then Christian Science says, ``Might your very quick resistance to spiritual sense reveal an unknown yearning in your heart for spiritual things?''

No one has to be dull or dissatisfied. Man as God's likeness is fully alive now, and step by step we can prove this. 1 John 5:26. 2 John 1:3. 3 John 10:10. 4 I Corinthians 15:22. 5 Christian Healing, p. 17.

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