A new way to see yourself
HAVE you ever thought about what a song is made of? You can write it down on paper, but the piece of paper isn't the song. You can record it on a tape or disc, but even the recording isn't really the song. Yet this doesn't make a song abstract. When someone mentions the name of the national anthem of your country, you know exactly what he's referring to. It has a distinct identity. Have you ever thought of yourself this way? Have you considered the real you, the spiritual identity that the material senses can't see or touch? You are actually created by God. Your real being is spiritual, composed of goodness, intelligence, strength, integrity, vitality, love, and much more. The qualities of God's nature are infinite, and your real selfhood includes each one.
To everyday thinking it may not seem that we are made up of spiritual qualities. The surface appearance is that we're made of matter. Yet each of us thinks and loves; we have a sense of right and wrong. Most of us want to know God. These are not activities of matter. The Bible states in its first chapter, ``God created man in his own image.''1 The teachings of Christian Science fully support this statement and its logical implications. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: ``The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness.''2
While our present existence seems physical and very much dependent on the flesh, this can't be our true or ultimate being. God, who is infinite good, could not have created man subject to disease and decay. God, Spirit, could find nothing within Himself out of which to create matter. He made us to express His own nature, and He needed nothing else. He made us as the image of His own being.
This doesn't mean our identity is some sort of abstraction. Quite the opposite. A more spiritual sense of identity reveals the richness and beauty of our true being. We see more clearly the real essence of manhood and womanhood.
The question may arise, If the true selfhood of each of us is God's image, why aren't we all alike? God's nature is infinite, and so it's expressed in infinitely varying ways. Each of us expresses the qualities of God in a distinct manner.
Mrs. Eddy says of our true selfhood: ``Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas....''3 Discovering your real being as ``idea...not physique'' can give you quite a different view of yourself. For one thing, immortality is seen to have a logical basis. An idea, like a song, exists for as long as there is a mind to think of it. God is eternal Mind. He has been, and will be, knowing and loving each of us forever. This new view also reveals that our real being must be perfectly and permanently whole. An idea is something completely different from matter. It is not subject to the various ills connected with matter, such as sickness, injury, pain, or death.
Christ Jesus proved that man is not subject to the ills of matter when he healed all kinds of illness and deformity. In each case, something of the natural wholeness of the individual's true identity appeared. Healing as Jesus practiced it is going on today through the understanding of man's spiritual identity in the likeness of God. Spiritual healing is possible for you because it's based on the truth of what you really are: not a material physique but an individual spiritual idea, created by God to express His nature forever.
1Genesis 1:27. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475. 3Ibid.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!...What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet. Psalms 8:1,4-6