ANALYSIS strips a problem down to its essentials, examining each aspect in detail until a root cause appears. It attempts to pinpoint the why's and wherefore's of what we do. Isn't it better to know why we do what we do rather than to plod along un- thinkingly? Yet the ``head analysis'' of a personal problem may not always help. A spiritual analysis of the same problem, based on insights into the true nature of God and man, can heal.
The difference is rooted in our concept of man. Do we believe that he is a struggling mortal, separated from God, essentially sinful? Or is man actually God's offspring, Spirit's perfect conception and creation? The former may appear to be the reality, but could a loving God, the one creator, who is boundless Spirit, create a frustrated mortal? Could Christ Jesus' healing works have resulted from such a perception?
The more we plunge into mortal thought, the more instability we find. There is no point where we can say, ``We have reached a solid base. We can go from here.'' Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Sci- ence, says in its textbook: ``We cannot fathom the nature and quality of God's creation by diving into the shallows of mortal belief. We must reverse our feeble flutterings--our efforts to find life and truth in matter--and rise above the testimony of the material senses, above the mortal to the immortal idea of God.'' 1
Perhaps the key to a better understanding of ourselves (and others!) is a better understanding of God. In the thought of God as our tender Father-Mother, who is also the Almighty, we can find a solid frame of reference from which to make a spiritual analysis.
God is good; goodness and perfection are expressed throughout God's creation, including man. God is Love, and so love typifies the workings of this creation. And God is Spirit; therefore His creation expresses the perfection of Spirit, not the confusion inherent in materiality. Reasoning from the premise of these simple, Biblically derived truths, we come to see man as having the qualities of goodness, health, purity, wisdom, that God gives him.
Materially based analyses begin with the idea that we are all, essentially, isolated biological mechanisms, driven by a variety of physical and emotional needs. Our spiritual analysis, from what we've already seen, begins with a perfect God of good and a man reflecting that perfection and goodness. It begins with absolute, unequivocal spiritual truth, transcending appearances. The truth of being is not hidden from a simple, pure heart. We can discern it through prayer, through turning our thought in humility to God. At another place in the textbook Mrs. Eddy says, ``Through spiritual sense you can discern the heart of divinity, and thus begin to comprehend in Science the generic term man.'' 2
Prayer, inspired by an understanding of what God and man really are, does more than help in a vague, general way. It reaches the deeper, more specific patterns of thought that might need correcting. In Hebrews we read, ``The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.'' 3
Such an analysis may turn up some mental rubbish that demands quick pitching! But at the same time it reveals the true and lovely qualities within our characters that will last. From such a spiritual basis we can cast out the poorer thought patterns, which have no place in our lives.
1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 262. 2 Ibid., p. 258. 3 Hebrews 4:12. Daily Bible Verse: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22