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Submitted By: Mike Mooslin

Years back, listening to the radio while driving, I heard a story about an art collector bidding on a painting at a local auction. “Sold …for $250 to the gentleman in the back.”From the markings on the back of the canvas the man had a hunch that the painting he was bidding on could actually be covering a very old and perhaps valuable masterpiece. He took the uninteresting painting by an unknown artist home from the auction house and began at once to remove the painted surface with a mild solution, breaking down the oil paint. As he worked on one corner of the painting, the signature of a famous artist started to appear. He had bought a masterpiece!

Explain: That’s a true story (or whatever). One you read [where?]?
Imagine being that person. Would we concern ourselves with the subject of the painting covering the masterpiece? What if it was a beautiful painting. Frightful or hideous. That would be irrelevant. We'd focus solely on uncovering the hidden masterpiece. And we wouldn’t have to see the whole picture to know there was something valuable beneath the surface. Further, describing the gradual exposure as “evolving” wouldn’t correctly describe the process. The masterpiece wouldn’t evolve. As a complete work it would only need revealing.

The same is true of each of us. We express completeness, and must unmask the material viewpoint to see our original, spiritual self. This perception of our original spiritual identity, God’s handiwork, may look like evolution, but is actually the continual discovery of Truth, which is already complete. We read of discussions about creationism, intelligent design, or evolution. Spiritual development, misinterpreted, appears as human creation and evolution. How important then to anchor oneself in a declaration such as this one: “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves” (Ps. 100: 3).

Reasoning further, we could say that God, as Spirit, knows nothing of His own absence, and so cannot recognize material creation. Spirit, which indicates His substance, cannot be in matter. We may think we see Spirit in beautiful matter as, for example, in a sunset or a meadow. Instead, we actually see Spirit’s complete dominion over matter; spiritual inspiration dissolving a false material picture. When matter appears real, we're actually believing in two views, the real and the erroneous. But rather than accepting the existence of two realities, our optics must change. We cannot actually see God in matter. We should subordinate the material view to the spiritual. As Mary Baker Eddy put it: “Who dares to say either that God is in matter or that matter exists without God? Has man sought out other creative inventions, and so changed the method of his Maker?” (Science and Health, p. 531).

Take another practical example. Did the Wright brothers invent or create the laws of aeronautics or did they discover them? Clearly, the laws existed prior to their discovery. An absolute source underlies all scientific facts, truth, and wisdom.

All scientific spiritual law pre-exists its human discovery and understanding. These laws are God thoughts appearing to us through revelation as discovery—a point of clarity and understanding, and with it a universal benefit. Once discovered, it can be applied by all, and blesses all. When a light is turned on in a dark room it shines for everyone in that room. And, since Spirit is infinite, Spirit’s expression is infinite, and therefore will always offer new views as yet undiscovered. We don’t need to understand aeronautics to fly on an airplane, or be able to describe how an electric current travels to turn on a light. And I don’t need to understand these and many other things to realize that there will always be more things to discover.

Mrs. Eddy is a particularly fine example of someone who placed no limits on her journey of discovery. She revealed the divine laws, or Science, behind Jesus’ healing practice—and her discovery remains true and practicable for all of us today. We witness the healing power resident in spiritual law when receptivity, humility, and purity replace self-will, self-importance, and self-justification. We then discover who we really are and always have been— part of God’s spiritual, complete creation. Healing results from listening to this spiritual inspiration and following it. As in the story of the painting, spiritual understanding breaks down and clears away accumulated material beliefs previously misinterpreted as true. When an inspired view becomes visible we assimilate more of our divine nature, and healing results. Along with Mrs. Eddy we can say, “This is my endeavor, to be a Christian, to assimilate the character and practice of the anointed; and no motive can cause a surrender of this effort” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 28).

These truths were confirmed by an experience in my own life. As a young child, my elementary school teachers discovered that I had a noticeable speech impediment, and this stayed with me well into my adult life. I often needed to repeat things that people didn’t grasp. As a defense, I developed a whole vocabulary that avoided certain words in conversation. In my late twenties I had to conduct a public meeting. The event organizer, noticing the problem, encouraged me to seek help from a friend of hers who taught speech therapy at our local community college, so I did. He informed me that I had about as severe a lateral lisp as he had ever heard. We worked together weekly on different exercises in an attempt to correct the problem. One day I told him about an election for Readers coming up in our church, and about my concern not to feel I had to stand down. As a result, he renewed his efforts to help me, but eventually indicated that there was nothing more he could do.

At the members meeting to elect Readers my name appeared on the list of nominees, so I had to decide whether or not to leave my name up. Two thoughts came to me at that moment. First, God’s encouragement of Moses when Moses felt totally inadequate to lead the Israelites out of Egypt: “I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say” (Ex. 4:12). Second, Jesus’ despair on the Mount of Olives when he felt he could cope no further: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). I realized that I was being blinded by a false claim about myself, and I simply had to let go of all fear.

Trusting the power of God’s expression, I let my name stand. Because I had always avoided words that were difficult for me in conversation, my fellow members were not fully aware of my speech issue and they elected me as First Reader. I stood and said a few words of thanks and sat down. Afterward, a friend of mine who worked with people with speech disabilities, said that she had been aware of my lisp but while I was speaking to the members that evening it was not apparent. The next day I rushed into the therapist's office and asked him to put me on the recorder. We both listened. The lisp was no longer there!

At the moment that I recognized myself as a spiritual reflection of God, who was always there to strengthen me, I was instantaneously healed of a life-long physical condition that had not been cured even after a year of therapy. It was like being let out of prison. Science and Health beautifully summarizes what I had gone through: “Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness” (p. 4). A life-long accumulation of self-consciousness had blinded me to my divine character. I awoke, and was formed anew.

I had proved for myself that through an understanding of the divine laws of life we are irresistibly drawn back to Spirit’s original perfection. We might call that a healing; but it’s also the demonstration—or discovery—of what has always been true about us, because it’s true about the Spirit we reflect. We uncover our original perfection as yet another of God’s masterpieces!

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