Golden text: Colossians 2:20-23*
3 So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.
1-3 I said to myself, “Let’s go for it—experiment with pleasure, have a good time!” But there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke. What do I think of the fun-filled life? Insane! Inane! My verdict on the pursuit of happiness? Who needs it? With the help of a bottle of wine and all the wisdom I could muster, I tried my level best to penetrate the absurdity of life. I wanted to get a handle on anything useful we mortals might do during the years we spend on this earth. 4-8 Oh, I did great things: built houses, planted vineyards, designed gardens and parks and planted a variety of fruit trees in them, made pools of water to irrigate the groves of trees. I bought slaves, male and female, who had children, giving me even more slaves; then I acquired large herds and flocks, larger than any before me in Jerusalem. I piled up silver and gold, loot from kings and kingdoms. I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures—voluptuous maidens for my bed. 9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work! 11 Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.
21st Century Science and Health**
Let us rid our self of the belief that we are separate from God, and obey only the divine Principle, Life and Love; here is the launching pad to all true spiritual growth.
It is difficult for the narcissistic attitude to accept divine Science, because Science exposes the nonbeing of a separate self. The sooner error is reduced to its native nothingness, the sooner realness appears and our genuine being is understood. The destruction of error is by no means the destruction of Truth or Love, but is the acknowledgment of them.
Truth is made known, it needs only to be practiced.
Human belief is all that enables a drug to cure mortal ailments. Anatomy admits that mind is somewhere in human beings, though out of sight. Then, if an individual is sick, why treat the body alone and administer a dose of despair to the mind? Why savor the image of disease as if it is sweet candy on the tongue, by holding it before the thought of both physician and patient? It is useful to understand that the cause of disease obtains in the mortal human mind and its cure comes from the immortal divine Mind. Delete the outlines of disease already programmed in the minds of human beings and prevent other images of disease from taking form in thought.
When there are fewer prescriptions and more thought is given to moral and spiritual subjects, there will be improved metabolisms and less disease. A hundred years ago, who ever heard of AIDS, Autism, and Attention Deficient Disorder?
What about food allergies? Isn’t it a form of abuse to say that food, the sustenance of God, can produce suffering! The presence of natural nourishment should encourage self-disciplined, humble thought; it should discourage and reverse any sense of worry, inflammation, or eating for self-satisfaction.
If a random thought, calling itself indigestion, tries to tyrannize productive people, it is routed out by their independence and energy; because they don’t have time for selfishness, coddling, and sicko chit-chat. It has not been proven beneficial for humanity to concentrate on the exact amount of food the stomach can digest. The latest food fad is not a health law.
Damp atmospheres and freezing snow can give rosy complexions. For pulmonary health, you don’t have to indulge in the refinement of inflamed bronchial tubes. You don’t have to fear pneumonia, or depend on antibiotics, vapor therapy, or antihistamines. You can rely on something better than the fruit of the “knowledge of good and evil.”
The action of human mind on the body was not so injurious before curiosity took up medical study and distracted thought away from spiritual healing. “Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise,” and there is truth in this sentiment.
Permit the stomach and bowels to act in obedience to nature. Give the gospel a chance to be seen in its glorious effects upon the body. Dismiss the ghastly collection of diseases paraded before your imagination. Keep to “sermons in stones, and good in everything.” When the mechanism of the human mind gives place to the divine Mind, selfishness and sin, disease and death, will lose their grip.
Human fear of pollution would load the air of Eden with disease. Fear weighs down humanity with superimposed and conjectural evils. Human mind is the worst enemy of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend.
[Jesus said] “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?
25-26 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.
21st Century Science and Health
Jesus served God, as opposed to the world serving money. His inclinations were pure, whereas the inclinations of mortals are to indulge the flesh and ego. Jesus’ senses drank in the spiritual evidence of substantial health, holiness, and life. The world’s senses absorb the material evidence of sickness, sin, and death. Divine perception and worldly perception witness polar-opposite to one another.
You command the situation if you understand that temporal existence is a state of self-deception and not the truth of being. Fleshly mind is constantly producing on temporal body the results of false opinions; and it will continue to do so until human error is deprived of its imaginary powers by Truth, which sweeps away the gossamer web of illusions. The most Christian state is one of integrity and spiritual understanding, and this is best adapted for healing the sick. Never conjure up some new discovery from dark premonitions regarding disease and then acquaint your patient with it.
The limited personal mind produces all that is unlike the spiritual Mind. The human mind determines the nature of a case and the practitioner improves or injures the case as either truth or error influences the conclusions. The mental conception and development of disease may not be understood by the patient; therefore, it is beneficial for the physician to be familiar with mental action and its effect in order to judge the case according to divine Science.
If a person is an alcoholic, a sex or drug addict, or has compulsive behavior, meet and destroy these errors with the truth of being. Point out to the person the suffering that comes with indulging in bad habits. Convince them that there is no real pleasure in false appetites. A depraved mind is manifest in a depraved body. Lust, malice, and all sorts of evil are diseased beliefs and you can destroy them only by destroying the wicked motives which produce them. If evil is overcome in the repentant human mind, while its effects remain on the individual, you can remove this disorder as God’s law if fulfilled and reformation cancels the crime. The healthy sinner is the hardened sinner.
Reformation and moderation are results of mental healing, which cuts down “every tree that does not produce good fruit.” The conviction that there is no real satisfaction in thinking and acting against Life, Truth, and Love, is one of the most important points in the theology of Christian Science. Awaken the self-indulgent to this new and true view. Show the wrongdoer that destruction and negativity confers no pleasure, and this knowledge strengthens their moral courage and increases their ability to overcome evil and love goodness.
Healing the sick and reforming the sinner is one and the same thing in Christ’s Science. Both cures require the same method and are inseparable in Truth. Hatred, envy, dishonesty, fear, and so forth, make human beings sick, and neither material medicine nor Mind can help them permanently, even in body, unless it makes them better mentally and so delivers them from their destroyers. The basic error is human mind. Hatred ignites cruel tendencies. To indulge evil motives and aims makes any human being, who is above the lowest type of manhood or womanhood, a hopeless sufferer.
Christian Science requires us to improve our intentions. Hatred is made extinct through kindness. Lust is conquered with purity. Revenge is triumphed over with charity, and deceit is defeated with honesty. Starve errors in their early stages if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success.
Divine Science silences human will, disables fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick. Self-indulgence, envy, emotionalism, arrogance, hatred, and revenge are dissolved by divine Mind which heals disease. The human will which makes and works a lie, hiding the divine Principle of harmony, is destructive to health and is the cause of disease rather than its cure.
Evil which prevails in the body’s biology but which the heart condemns, has no foundation. Remember though, if evil is not condemned or not denied, it is nurtured. Under such circumstances, to say that there is no evil is an evil in itself. When it is necessary to correct a lie with the truth, do so. Evasion of Truth cripples integrity and sweeps you off the mountaintop.
Divine Science doesn’t get caught up in worldly evidence. If you haven’t advanced past sin yourself, don’t congratulate yourself for being blind to evil or for not living the good you claim to know. A two-faced attitude is far from Christianly scientific. “No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Every student’s mind should be strongly impressed by divine Science; by an exalted awareness of the moral, social, and spiritual qualifications requisite for healing, well knowing it to be impossible for error, evil, and hate to accomplish the grand results of Truth and Love.
*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
**Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today
 Gen. 2:9
 Thomas Gray, (1716–1771) English poet. Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.
 Shakespeare, William, (1564–1616) As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 1.
 Matt. 3:10; Luke 3:9
 Prov. 28:13 (NRSV)