Question. — What is man?
God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
Man is the family name for all ideas, — the sons and daughters of God. All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power.
Your mirrored reflection is your own image or likeness. If you lift a weight, your reflection does this also. If you speak, the lips of this likeness move in accord with yours. Now compare man before the mirror to his divine Principle, God. Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection. Then note 516 how true, according to Christian Science, is the reflection to its original.
Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
With a single command, Mind had made man, both male and female. How then could a material organization become the basis of man? How could the non-intelligent become the medium of Mind, and error be the enunciator of Truth? Matter is not the reflection of Spirit, yet God is reflected in all His creation. Is this addition to His creation real or unreal? Is it the truth, or is it a lie concerning man and God?
It must be a lie, for God presently curses the ground. Could Spirit evolve its opposite, matter, and give matter ability to sin and suffer? Is Spirit, God, injected into dust, and eventually ejected at the demand of matter? Does Spirit enter dust, and lose therein the divine nature 525 and omnipotence? Does Mind, God, enter matter to become there a mortal sinner, animated by the breath of God? In this narrative, the validity of matter is opposed, not the validity of Spirit or Spirit’s creations. Man reflects God; mankind represents the Adamic race, and is a human, not a divine, creation.
In the Science of Genesis we read that He saw everything which He had made, “and, behold, it was very good.” The corporeal senses declare otherwise; and if we give the same heed to the history of error as to the records of truth, the Scriptural record of sin and death favors the false conclusion of the material senses.
What is man’s remedy?
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man,
The admission to one’s self that man is God’s own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea.
Man is the offspring, not of the lowest, but of the highest qualities of Mind. Man understands spiritual existence in proportion as his treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged. Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, — they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, — in order that sin and mortality may be put off.
The belief that pain and pleasure, life and death, holiness and unholiness, mingle in man, — that mortal, material man is the likeness of God and is himself a creator, — is a fatal error.
God, without the image and likeness of Himself, would be a nonentity, or Mind unexpressed. He would be without a witness or proof of His own nature. Spiritual man is the image or idea of God, an idea which cannot be lost nor separated from its divine Principle. When the evidence before the material senses yielded to spiritual sense, the apostle declared that nothing could alienate him from 304 God, from the sweet sense and presence of Life and Truth.
It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness. Understanding this, Paul said: “Neither death, nor life, . . . nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.” This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death. The perfect man — governed by God, his perfect Principle — is sinless and eternal.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
… When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
… put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
… Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
… And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.
Jesus taught but one God, one Spirit, who makes man in the image and likeness of Himself, — of Spirit, not of matter. Man reflects infinite Truth, Life, and Love. The nature of man, thus understood, includes all that is implied by the terms “image” and “likeness” as used in Scripture.
In divine Science, man is the true image of God. The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow, — thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying. The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration.
When speaking of God’s children, not the children of men, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you;” that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God’s image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the per477fect 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. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy. Man is not a material habitation for Soul; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being Spirit, is seen in nothing imperfect nor material.
Whatever is material is mortal. To the five corporeal senses, man appears to be matter and mind united; but Christian Science reveals man as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions.
Man is more than a material form with a mind inside, which must escape from its environments in order to be immortal. Man reflects infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God.
God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis. Mind manifests all that exists in the infinitude of Truth. We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God.
The infinite Principle is reflected by the infinite idea and spiritual individuality, but the material so-called senses have no cognizance of either Principle or its idea. The human capacities are enlarged and perfected in proportion as humanity gains the true conception of man and God.
Whatever reflects Mind, Life, Truth, and Love, is spiritually conceived and brought forth; but the statement that man is conceived and evolved both spiritually and materially, or by both God and man, contradicts this eternal truth.
The Science of being reveals man as perfect, even as the Father is perfect, because the Soul, or Mind, of the spiritual man is God, the divine Principle of all being, and because this real man is governed by Soul instead of sense, by the law of Spirit, not by the so-called laws of matter.
When man is governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, man knows that with God all things are possible. The only way to this living Truth, which heals the sick, is found in the Science of divine Mind as taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus.
To reduce inflammation, dissolve a tumor, or cure organic disease, I have found divine Truth more potent than 181 all lower remedies. And why not, since Mind, God, is the source and condition of all existence? Before deciding that the body, matter, is disordered, one should ask, “Who art thou that repliest to Spirit? Can matter speak for itself, or does it hold the issues of life?” Matter, which can neither suffer nor enjoy, has no partnership with pain and pleasure, but mortal belief has such a partnership.
Every function of the real man is governed by the divine Mind. The human mind has no power to kill or to cure, and it has no control over God’s man. The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness. The human mind is opposed to God and must be put off, as St. Paul declares. All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal. The straight and narrow way is to see and acknowledge this fact, yield to this power, and follow the leadings of truth.
Life is, always has been, and ever will be independent of matter; for Life is God, and man is the idea of God, not formed materially but spiritually, and not subject to decay and dust. The Psalmist said: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet.”
The great truth in the Science of being, that the real man was, is, and ever shall be perfect, is incontrovertible; for if man is the image, reflection, of God, he is neither inverted nor subverted, but upright and Godlike.
The enslavement of man is not legitimate. It will cease when man enters into his heritage of freedom, his God-given dominion over the material senses.
There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God.
Keep in mind the verity of being, — that man is the image and likeness of God, in whom all being is painless and permanent. Remember that man’s perfection is real and unimpeachable, whereas imperfection is blameworthy, unreal, and is not brought about by divine Love.
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Printed from CONCORD: A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE STUDY RESOURCE, published by The Christian Science Board of Directors in Boston, MA, USA. This content may be under copyright and may not be further reproduced or distributed, unless permitted under the Concord User License Agreement.
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