A woman was struggling with all sorts of problems, and she was looking for some answers. One rainy day she was in town. Looking down at her feet, she noticed she was standing on a rather muddy copy of the Christian Science Sentinel. The cover said, "Heaven is where you are."
To the woman those words were like a message straight from God. That was the very first time she had ever heard of Christian Science. She read the magazine to find out more, and this led her to begin relying on Christian Science to solve her problems. She and her family have had many healings.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science in 1866, found that heaven is just where Jesus Christ said it is-at hand. He said, "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). Heaven is not on the outside but on the inside. Mrs. Eddy explored the truth contained in the Bible, found that it heals when understood, and then wrote of her findings in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Since its publication this book has helped thousands of people find health and freedom.
Once Mrs. Eddy visited the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Whittier was a Quaker, a very spiritually-minded person. He suffered ill health. When she called on him, Whittier was huddled over a fire, flushed and coughing continually. She stayed awhile and shared with him some of the facts about God that had become plain to her through her study of the Bible. Whittier was receptive to this and appreciated her visit. A neighbor reported him to be completely recovered following the visit. This is discussed in the book Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery by Robert Peel (p. 223).
The teaching of Jesus shows healing to be natural, the expression of divine law, rather than miraculous. Healing comes when God's power is seen and felt on earth. When we yield our troubled thoughts to the spiritual order-to God's government, His good will and good intentions for us-we see the kingdom of God revealed in our lives.
Heaven, harmony, is in the understanding of God's perfect and eternal order, never beginning and never ending, operating constantly, uninterruptedly. There can be no interference in the divine order. God made you and me perfect, poised, calm, at peace, one with Him.
Science and Health terms heaven as "harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul" (p. 587). Here Spirit, Principle, and Soul are all synonymous with God. Christian Science teaches how to pray from the standpoint that we are in heaven, rather than outside harmony and trying to get in. How wonderful not to have to get anywhere to be in heaven. We're there now. Heaven is right where you are every moment because God is right where you are every moment.
When your thought is lifted to know God, who is infinite Love, healing happens. This uplift comes through prayer, the realization that God and His creation are perfect. This is not prayer to alter anything "out there" or to get anything we don't already have. It is the desire to see divine reality, the truth of existence.
We don't have to struggle to be in some rarefied atmosphere. We should be like birds and soar freely! Once they're in the air, birds don't keep on constantly flapping their wings. They open them up and let the thermals and currents of air support their upward flight. If they struggled and fought, they'd tire and drop. This hints at the mental poise one can adopt through prayer. Living from the standpoint of perfection, of being in heaven now, not struggling to get there sometime, involves resting in the certainty of what is true of God.
You are in the kingdom now. Heaven is within you. This means you have unlimited potential for good.
The kingdom of heaven
is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found,
he hideth, and for joy thereof
goeth and selleth all that he hath,
and buyeth that field.