Home Listen to this article Return to Articles previous / next article

Perils of Belief

  Question. - You speak of belief. Who or what is it that believes?
Answer. - Spirit is all-knowing; this precludes the need of believing. Matter cannot believe, and Mind understands. The body cannot believe. The believer and belief are one and are mortal. (SH 487 13:18, emphasis added)

If belief makes the object and the believer uses that object to confirm his belief about it, what is there to behold but a snarl of circular reasoning? Certainly there can be no assurance of the believer, the belief, or the subjective object being true; neither can they have a measurable beginning or end because they have no founding principle from which to exist at all.

Mortal mind sanctions free choice, hate being just as legitimate as love, but these selective repulsions and attractions are only as real as we make them. If a man were to become totally convinced that a lie is true, his sense of reality would be tainted by that lie. If everyone were to be fooled by that same lie, chaos would prevail on that subject. Mortal mind is the chaos of many minds being fooled by the enticement of free-choice. We recognize bodily sickness as a negative belief and go to work to eradicate that belief because we do not want to be sick, but the healthy body, the mountains, rivers, and stars are built mentally from the same belief system. By its own proclamation, the only possible way to escape from the effects of free choice is to submit to it and choose to die, but this is impossible, for a false premise can have no conclusion. If we are ever to find permanent life and happiness, we must consider a different system entirely. Christian Science has come forward to prove its authenticity by many systematic and infallible proofs, unknown to the dreamer but acknowledged and demonstrated by spiritualized man.

The Children of Israel were afraid to claim the inheritance that the Lord had provided for them even though they had evidence of the land's rich bounty: "When they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land [full of grapes], they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the Lord had given them" (Num 32:9). Except for Caleb and Joshua, their trust in the Lord's ability to lead them was faint-hearted at best.

Why do the children of today refuse to claim the bounty of Truth and Love as their inheritance, preferring instead the reasoned pursuit of human justice, sensual comfort, and happy dreams? It is because we have been overwhelmed by intoxicating beliefs just as Moses' early followers were. Is our concept of truth so weak compared to our cherished beliefs that we think Truth must either be a lie or be unknowable? The liar of all lies offers pleasure when it has none to give, pain when it has no power to inflict, and death when it has neither life nor death on which to base its claim. Be assured that all free choice temptations are lies, and Christ warns us that if we subscribe to these lies, we shall surely have to die out of them. Facing such a dire warning, why do we cling to peril and prefer it to Life? The Bible and Science and Health examine the fatal effects of belief and show us how to master it, but what if we ignore the warning and neglect the instruction? In this case, suffering is inevitable, not because God causes suffering but because one cannot know what Truth, Life, and Love are while making mistakes. "They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. . . . He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?" (Isa 44:18, 20).

Sooner or later, every lie is found out and abandoned. Even the demise of mankind aids in illustrating how believing a mistake destroys itself. When we understand that matter does not live, we can have no occasion to die out of it. Even though this statement is both intellectually logical and true, the human mind is incredulous. We ask, 'How does one advance beyond all belief?' Jesus bluntly answers, "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27). When the blind fall into the ditch of despair, Christ does not remove the ditch; Christ opens the blind eyes so that "every valley shall be exalted" (Isa 40:4). Thank God there is hope after this manner, for hope initiates a way out of all the mental clutter presented by false belief. During this process of mental purging, it may seem that Armageddon is upon us, but in utter humility and with an earnest longing to know good, we press on with the inner voice alone to guide us. Mortal thought taking and physical law must be abandoned. As we pass through the valley of shadows, from hope to faith and from faith to understanding, Spirit lifts us up, nourishes us, and sustains us. When all suggestions of belief are overcome, we will find no trace of a so-called mortal mind, a material world, or a memory of it. Understanding the spiritual facts of life is not only possible, it is inevitable. What are we waiting for?

Jesus demonstrated man's innate ability to overcome all beliefs of the flesh. As Truth's mouthpiece, he said, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6:51). Is there any aspect of mortal flesh in Christ's living bread? No. When we become as conscious of Truth as he was, we will find no "suffer it to be so now" accommodations to our beliefs (Matt 3:15). Saint John achieved this sacred consciousness and described his vision to us: "I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea" - no more swirling sea of beliefs (Rev 21:1). Where there is no belief, there can be no mortal flesh.

  Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: "Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!" Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the "glorious liberty of the children of God," and be free! This is your divine right. The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being (SH 227:21).

Christ knocks importunately "just take Me in" Chr 53:55).

When mankind digs down deep within conscience in search of his true nature, he will not be disappointed. A troubled world founded on false beliefs will not end in terror: it will end by grace, for a problem only ends when the solution appears. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt 24:35 emphasis added). As our thought ascends, it is 'and' that passes away: there is no separate earth counterpart; earth is heaven. When ignorance of God is banished from consciousness, the superstructure of existence is realized because Mind always verifies its idea. Mind manifest is divine understanding! "Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land" (Ps 37:34).

George Denninger ©

Home Listen to this article Return to Articles previous / next article