SCIENTIFIC research in physiology continues to advance the knowledge of mental processes. Left-side/right-side theories of brain dominance and newer brain-mapping techniques are seen as promising adjuncts to such fields as surgery and psychology. But one might ask whether even the rosiest findings of such studies can alleviate the myriad of human sufferings said to be tied to mental disorders in one form or another. A much greater understanding would be needed for that-or, perhaps, a totally different approach.
What about the understanding of God's nature and of His creation? This has practical, healing results, as the healings of Jesus Christ show in the Bible. Take one example from the book of Luke. When Jesus encountered a crazed man in one city he was visiting, Jesus healed him on the spot-much to the astonishment of the inhabitants, who had doubtless come to accept the man's insanity as hopeless, and had kept him chained up (see chap. 8:26-37). This was just one of so many of the healings Jesus performed. Yet he declared, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do" (John 14:12).
In the nineteenth century, an American woman, Mary Baker Eddy, discovered Christian Science. She found a spiritual method of healing, in studying the words and healing acts of Jesus. Christian Science indicates that God is the divine Mind-with a capital M-and that His creations are not physical things but spiritual ideas. This includes each one of us. The true Mind of you and of me is wholly good because it is God. We are God's spiritual ideas. We reflect Mind, God, in every thought and act. Since God is eternal and perfect, we are also. A disordered or mortal mentality is not the truth of anyone, because God could not be disordered or mortal.
The book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mrs. Eddy, explains how Jesus healed this way: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick" (pp. 476-477). "Perfect man" describes the spiritual identity of each man and woman. Spiritual intelligence does not come from a brain, as we've said, but from a divine source-infinite Mind. Similarly, God is Love, and so the mentality we reflect can only be wholesome and loving. This implies that a person's life prospects are not actually dependent upon mappable, physical matter. It is through spiritual facts, then, that Christian Science frees us from disease.
Many years ago I resorted to the use of tranquilizers in hopes of controlling a terrifying phobia of flying in airplanes. But the tranquilizers gave me no help. So I simply stopped flying. Later I had to fly to keep a scheduled job interview. This time I tried a different approach; I asked a Christian Science practitioner to pray for me. My flight was one of the most inspiring experiences I have ever had-I was truly filled with joy and completely free of fear. Since then I have flown many times, just as fearlessly. Those times I was able to pray for myself.
Science and Health says this: "Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free, not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brainology to learn how much of a man he is" (p. 171).
In place of a mortal view of ourselves-and of everyone-is the immortal truth that we are the children of God. Adopting this perspective begins to remove the chains of mental limitation, illness, and imbalance that burden humanity.
He is in one mind,
and who can turn him?
and what his soul desireth,
even that he doeth.