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Lesson 14 - Mental Science, Incarnate in Flesh & Blood
 Faith leads to understanding. And what is understanding as used in Mental Science? It is simply a comprehension of the truths I have been trying to make clear in these lessons. Not merely a superficial comprehension of them, but a thorough and organic comprehension which means the cementing of body and mind into one in the thought, and that one mind. Such a comprehension as this means nothing less than the atonement--that atonement spoken of in the Bible by which man is made whole, or holy.
Do not forget that man is always whole, or holy--always altogether mind, because there is nothing in the visible world but mind. But the trouble is he does not know this, and it is his knowledge of this fact that constitutes the atonement--the at-one-ment, which means the at-one-mind --and secures his salvation.
If the student can accept the fact that all is good, then faith will start up out of intuition--which is the natural knowing--and will in time make the meaning of every statement clear. It may take months, or even longer to do it, but the understanding will surely come; and its coming will be rapid or slow in proportion to the student's faithfulness in pursuing the study.
What faith promises the Law performs. It is security for every promissory note that faith can draw. And this is true because faith is the connecting link between the internal--the Law of Attraction--and the external--which is the man's reasoning powers, as represented in the personality. We walk by faith until we reach understanding. This is equivalent to saying that we believe in the good until belief finds confirmation in the knowledge that the good alone exists. Then we need no more faith so far as this one item of truth is concerned. We have achieved it. We have scaled another flight in upward growth. We stand on the summit of another mountain range of thought, happy beyond any previous condition of happiness; for nothing lifts us like a knowledge of truth. No joy ever comes to us equal to the birth of a new truth in our organizations. After we have come into the truth we are now studying we shall be ready to prospect for other truths in which faith, or belief, will again illuminate the way; for faith in the possibility of man's attainments will never die. All through the great forever faith will be our prophet and our guide. It flows through us always in the direction of understanding.
Understanding can never fulfill her perfect work. Man can never know all there is to be known. To be at once and forever in the understanding of all truth would be the complete externalization of Being in the entirety of every possibility the Law contains; and this is impossible. For we are individuals; that is to say we are limited by individual beliefs; and we are travelers through the universe, and traveling as  rapidly as our beliefs expand by the recognition of more truth. And it is in this constant expansion that we will find our heaven. Heaven is within. Heaven is the unfoldment of our faculties to the perception of new truth. As we perceive new truth it manifests itself in our bodies and in our surroundings, because being mental creatures, that which we know we become.
Oh, what a wonderful journey we have started on! How happy we ought to be for the mere boon of life! For life is nothing less than the individual unfoldment on the external plane of a universe of indescribable good. Marred and blemished as (in our ignorance) life seems to us, yet a fuller understanding of it will show us the never ending glory of it.
I never valued existence as I do now, when I see how accessible the infinite vitality, is, and how it may be unfolded and lived right here in this world, until the very remembrance of our previous ignorant beliefs of our helplessness, as expressed in sickness, deformity, poverty, old age and death, will have vanished from our minds. Yes, this vital principle is actually ours to command in our efforts to overcome our beliefs in evil; in order to cleanse, enlighten, purify and beautify ourselves--first, by denial, and secondly, by affirmation, which is appropriation.
And this effect will not be postponed beyond the grave, as the preachers would have us believe. There is neither common sense nor logic in such an idea as this, because the man is a whole now, in the present life, right where he is, and just as he stands today. Do we not see that whatever affects him in one part of his being affects him all through? You do not touch the man bodily when you tell him of some awful occurrence that prostrates his emotional or affectional nature, and yet your communication will affect him bodily, and sometimes kill him outright. In a lighter degree we see this a dozen times a day. If a man is happy, his face is radiant; if unhappy, it is opaque and heavy as lead, thus proving him to be all mind, and of the same stuff all the way through.
Intuitive, or natural belief, or faith, is the unconscious clothing power of desire; the aggregating principle of individual life. It is that unconscious or unreasoning intelligence which says, "Desire is alright, and I believe in it and trust it fully." And this is the animal condition slowly growing up, though clouded by doubt, to the place where the developed reasoning powers, or the conscious knowledge, will endorse it. Intuition is the unconscious or natural knowing that desire is the basis of all growth. The full-fledged reason that has arrived at the same conclusions is the conscious knowing of this same truth.
Faith is the light flowing from the intuitive perception of this great truth to the reasoning or conscious knowledge of it. This being so, do you not see the necessity of cultivating faith? In the Bible salvation is made to depend upon faith, because faith is the connecting link between man's developed, or reasoning intelligence, and his undeveloped natural intelligence, that of itself, without effort, recognizes desire as its spirit, or soul. Therefore it is through faith that the conscious intelligence makes the atonement with desire, its actuating principle. To make the atonement is to come consciously into the understanding that a man is one; that he is not part matter and part mind, but all of a piece; one, or as the Bible expresses it, whole or holy.
The atonement is the man's conscious recognition of the fact that he, in his personality, is all mind, every bit of him, and that there is nothing mortal or perishable about him. When he understands this he will shed the exhausted or devitalized atoms--that he no longer needs--from himself as he goes on; always leaving the deadness of old conditions and reaching forth to partake of the vitality of the new conditions ahead of him.
What is man's condition before he  makes the atonement? He is as one broken in two parts--mind and matter; and he believes these two parts to be out of harmony with each other. He believes one part to be perishable and the other eternal. He believes that it is out of this inharmonious relationship that sin, sickness and death are our portion, and as man is really all mind, and his beliefs are therefore real conditions to him, it cannot be otherwise than that he takes the consequences of such beliefs. (No other writer on this subject has ever explained why it was that a man must of necessity take the consequences of his beliefs.) He takes the consequences of his beliefs because (being all mind) his beliefs are his real conditions. "As a man thinketh (or believes) so is he." All is mind, and mind is the vital desire, either expressed, as in nature, or unexpressed, as in the latent forces whose monitions we feel but do not fully realize.
We are in reality one with our vitalizing Life Principle, and have always been; so is everything in nature; but salvation can come only to those who recognize the fact. The recognition of the fact that we, being all mind, are one with the Law, or the vital principle, is the atonement-- the at-one-ment -- that we are required to make. Salvation comes only to those who believe. Believe what? Why, that man is one with the Law of his Being. Belief rests on faith until understanding is reached.
I said that salvation comes only to those who believe; salvation from sin, sickness, poverty and death. These conditions are the hell we are to be saved from, and therefore it is that salvation comes only to those who believe in the omnipresence of Being, or Life, or the omnipresence of Law, of which all visible life is the manifestation. In time all people will believe; none will be exempt. All will eventually be saved from the hell of this world's darkened and crude beliefs. All persons will finally come to a recognition of the fact that they are but the externalization of the Law of Attraction, and are each one with the Law and inseparable from it.
The atonement, which is simply the consciousness of a truth that always existed, namely, our oneness with Law, the eternal Life Principle, is our salvation-- salvation from the hell of our present erroneous beliefs; the salvation of our bodies from sin, sickness, poverty and death. Do you not see that this atonement guarantees man immortal life? What is immortal life but immunity from death? And what is immunity from death but immunity from disease and the frailties of old age? We are constantly enjoined in the Bible to be made whole, or holy. (The two words, "whole" and holy" mean the same thing, and whenever they occur they refer to the atonement.)
To be whole, or holy, simply means that we are to recognize ourselves as inseparable from the elementary Life Principle, which is the Law of Attraction, or the Law of Love; that the body and the spirit which infuses it are one; that the body is malleable and susceptible to change without having to die, the same as the thought is; or at least this would be the case if the human consciousness once obtained an intelligent recognition of the fact. But until the individual does recognize it there will continue to be the same separation of the body from its finer part--that part we call its spirit or thought--that there now is.
The body, if left to itself by this finer part of itself--its positive and uplifting part, its thinking part--will probably seek higher conditions through the negative law of disintegration, thus preparing itself as a rebuilding factor.
And the time will come when it will arrive at that degree of positiveness where, as recognized spirit or will, it will be able to take the negative forces into its own hands and to go on consciously re-forming itself without any further loss of individuality. But the body, which is the same substance as  the spirit, or will, only more negative, or more crude in its development, being under the control of the finer part of itself--the spirit, or will--will become one with itself, so that there will never be any more separation of the finer from the coarser--the spirit, or will--from the body as there now is in death.
The spirit, or will--which means the more educated thought, and is the positive degree of personal development--has unquestionable control over the body, which is the negative degree of personal development; and when the spirit, or will, actually understands this, it will become able to snatch the body from under the dominion of the negative law--which is the so-called law of gravity--and will place it under the positive and only real law--the Law of Attraction. It is because the spirit, or will, of the man is ignorant of its power to do this that disease and death exist in the world today.
But the spirit, or will--which is represented by our higher thoughts, our imagination--is beginning to learn its own power even now. Mental Science has made the discovery and is spreading the news, and it may therefore be said that the understanding of how to conquer death is now here.
The spirit, or will, not only recognizes its power over the body, but its right of mastery, because it is the body's superior intelligence. It has perceptions of a far-reaching and undying progress that the body seems to know nothing of, being too low in the negative to perceive that which is possible of attainment.
But it must not be forgotten that the body is all mind just the same as the spirit, or will; but it is a heavier grade of mind, or a cruder strata of mind. Although it is all one with spirit, or will, yet it is of so negative or crude a quality of spirit, or will, that it does not recognize itself as such. Neither, as yet, has the spirit, or will, so recognized it. The spirit, or will, has taken it for granted that the body was dead matter infused by the vital substance of spirit, or will; never until within the last few years having imagined that the two substances--the body and the spirit--were one substance, of the same piece.
But this is so, it has always been so, therefore the atonement has always been made, but it has not been made to the consciousness of man. And when the atonement, the at-one-ment, the at-one-mind-- is spoken of, it has reference to the time when man shall learn the fact that he is one with his spirit, or will, and not to the time when he becomes one with it, for he has always been one with it. This truth, like all other truths, exists; and has always existed, but it has not existed in man's perceptions, and until it does exist in man's perceptions it is non-existent for him.
We join these bodies of ours, which are not matter, but mind, or intelligence--a degree of intelligence at present too coarse to understand their oneness with our spirits, or wills--we join them to our spirits, or wills, by transfusing them with the fact of their true relationship, their oneness. And this is the understanding that makes them one in our belief; that cements them forever in our thought, and makes them all thought, or spirit, or will. This is being made whole, or holy--simply recognizing the fact that we are already whole, or holy. This is why I said in a previous lesson that all power is in recognition.
Then being by the power of recognition made conscious of our connection with the fountain-head, having faith in the connecting pipe, we may be fed every hour of our lives with still higher truths; thus maintaining health and strength, courage, justice, beauty, intelligence, and every other good and desirable attribute. We can arrest the decay already begun in our bodies, and begin life anew under the happy knowledge that death will not come in a few years to put an end to the work we are doing.
Man believes himself cut off from this Life source, and so by this non-recognition  of the source of Life forever present with him, he withers and dies. It is just as if food were in the next room for the satisfying of his hunger, and there were no whisperings of faith to tell him so, and he starves in spite of his easy communication with all that he needs.
Let man be joined consciously with his life-fountain by a knowledge of the situation (understanding) and he will not die. And I mean this remark to apply right here in this external world.
The creedists say if a man have faith he shall not die. But because all men have died, whether they have faith or not, they have changed the application of the text--thus destroying its true meaning--and made it refer to man's soul instead of his body. But the text refers to his body as well as his soul, for soul and body are one. Every word in the scriptures that bears on this subject, and the great bulk of that immense work does bear on this subject and no other, centers all its force on the point I am now trying to make clear. The scriptures were all written with reference to that day when men should obtain mastery over physical death. Christ's teachings all have reference to this. He tried to save bodies right here on this planet. This has been the dream and prophecy of the ages. As Christ declared that he brought life and immortality to light, and immortality in the body through his conscious recognition of his oneness with the Life Principle or the Law of Attraction, by which he made the atonement and became understandingly whole, or holy, it is therefore a mere apology or "make shift" of the religion of Christ that is taught today. It is a dodge, inadvertent to be sure, but a dodge nevertheless, a mere "come off," caused by the incapacity of his followers to reach the same sublime pitch of understanding that he reached. Therefore the Christian world has changed the meaning of the scriptures and made the words "salvation from death" apply to the saving of souls. A fanciful interpretation has been put upon almost every part of the Bible. The Bible is a sort of compendium of all the illuminated thoughts of the ages; and is, if properly understood, a plain, practical guide to the truths now taught by the sensible branch of Mental Scientists.
"Believe and live." "Have faith and you shall be saved." Saved from what? Not from the imaginary hell of the future, which has now, in these latter days, become the standing jest of intelligence, but from the hell of ignorance called sin, sickness, poverty and death which reigns right here. Saved from the wrath to come by being saved from the wrath that is. The whole plan of atonement is as clear as spring water when viewed by the light of Mental Science. The Bible shows man how to live, not how to die. Any poor, dispirited thing can die, but it requires courage, integrity, love, fortitude and intelligence to live. The reason we die is because we do not recognize within ourselves the qualities that ought to live. The Bible teaches how to recognize deathless qualities within ourselves, how to become one with them by believing in them and thus living them. Jesus tried to bring life and immortality to light in bringing to light the deathless qualities now latent in man. And for that purpose he told us to believe in God--by which he meant the power of the Law--and to learn that we are one with it by becoming aware of the fact that we are all mind, or spirit, or will. And in this matter he taught us to save our bodies. Having demonstrated by the atonement that body and spirit are one, why should he have taught us to defer our salvation by a postponement of the vital knowledge that saves us?
Jesus knew that our wills were themselves the saving power. Did he not say, "Heaven is within"? Was this not equivalent to telling us that we must evolve this internal heaven and make it a practical reality to live in right here and now? His whole effort was  to redeem the present, not the future, for he knew that no matter how long we were to live, the present is the only time we can ever have. This interpretation, which is the true interpretation of Mental Science, plants religion on a practical basis and makes it of use now in our time of need. Rules of procedure for future action never did or will relieve present want. And to cross bridges before we come to them has always proved unprofitable work.
Christ said, "I came not to bring peace but a sword." He said this because he knew that the truths he spoke would find heavy opposition from the bigoted religionists of his time; those men whose brains had degenerated into mere fossilized sponges; who, having ears, heard not; and having eyes, saw not those things that would have brought them their greatest happiness.
Mental Science says, "I give you food for thought, but you must do the thinking. I come to arouse you, not to put you to sleep. You have slept too long way down in the negative conditions. You have slept under all the hopes which the churches have held out for future salvation. I now bring you hopes of present salvation. I tell you that life is action, and thought is life; that you must arouse yourself and concentrate your minds in an effort to reach the summit of understanding on this great and vital subject."
Sin, sickness, poverty and death. These four beliefs are the settled convictions of the race. These four beliefs are accepted; they are settled; they pass unquestioned; they put aside and apart from our daily thought, and it is considered either sacrilege or insanity to doubt their being the irrevocable decrees of the theological God. Indeed, we regard them as supreme powers in themselves, and quite beyond our control. Holding them as firmly established truths, we do not discuss them from day to day as we discuss lighter beliefs that we are less certain of. These lighter, more fluctuating beliefs may be called "the growing, changing, impressionable mind."
Now, our settled convictions have been made manifest in our bodies. Our settled convictions were the settled convictions of our parents, and our parents incorporated them into the very structures of our organizations before we were born, and we have held them fast ever since with unwavering tenacity. In other words, we are the stratified or fossilized beliefs of a world ignorant of the right way of believing. We are the organized mistakes of the ages. Not irredeemable mistakes--no mistake is irredeemable--but we are mistakes subject to correction by the thought, or the will, or spirit, we have at last evolved, and are still evolving--of which those light, fluctuating beliefs I have referred to, those beliefs not yet condensed into settled convictions are very important factors. These lighter beliefs, which come and go like the play of waves on the rocks are making our bodies more and more malleable to the touch of truth.
These lighter beliefs, which may be called "the conscious, growing mind," are made manifest upon the body; but not to so great an extent as those beliefs out of which our external selves are built--the beliefs in sin, sickness, poverty and death.
In these remarks I have shown that the bodily condition depends upon the mental material of which it is built. It depends on the proportions of truth and error (positive and negative) to be found in the mind. Plant a truth in the thought and its influence is soon seen in the body, for the thoughts determine the condition and quality of the blood, and the blood builds the tissue of the body, thus making the body an actual expression of the thought material. Belief is the building power of the body. "As a man thinketh (believes) so is he."
When you treat a patient you teach him the truth about himself mentally. In other words, you furnish new health-giving material for his mind or his  beliefs to weave into his body, and show forth there.
What is it that makes a woman faint from fright? It is because body and mind are one. And the shock to her mind went through her because she is all mind. Had she been part matter (matter being a dead substance as at present understood outside of Mental Science) the shock would have produced no external result. But the shock no sooner touched her thought than the thought acted on the nerves, the nerves on the blood vessels, etc., until it had traversed the space of her organism (the entire magnet), from positive to negative, and became externalized. The thought governs the body by giving its quality to the blood, and the blood builds the mental quality into the tissue. On the other hand, the body reciprocates by building the thought. The two are one.
When you study the science it should heal you of any disease you may have by furnishing you with new mental substance with which to repair and rebuild your body. Literally, your body should become a revised expression of a revised manner of thinking; and it will, too, in proportion as your faith and determined persistence in the study of this truth bring you into the understanding of the subject. In proportion as you render service to the truth will it yield returns to you. Never forget this.
Our beliefs in sin, sickness, poverty and death are very deeply rooted. Indeed, these beliefs are ourselves. They have built us into what we see ourselves to be. We must build ourselves anew after the pattern of truth expressed in these words--all is good, or all is Being. We must seek to incorporate the positive conditions into our bodies by denying our weaknesses and ailings and "bad luck," etc.
Think what a transformation it will be if we can cultivate so strong a belief in good as to rebuild ourselves in it. We have believed in malice, hatred, lust, deformity, poverty, sickness and death, and our beliefs have shaped us as we see ourselves. Let us learn to believe in the omnipresence of good, the prevalence of faith, hope, courage, charity, justice, wealth, beauty, and all other positive attributes, and we shall be shaped anew by these beliefs. This is the splendid transformation awaiting us on our understanding of the truths of Mental Science.
But the real understanding of them is of paramount importance; not merely an intellectual perception of them, but an entering into them, as it were; or, rather, an incorporation of them into our whole structure, from extreme positive all through to extreme negative. We must become saturated with them. Nothing less than this saturation is perfect understanding. To come into this condition we must give ourselves with all we have and are to the truth, fully and unconditionally. Truth will have no half service! She gives herself only in exchange for the person who would own her. If you would have truth, you must give yourself to truth. Be earnest; be sincere in your service. Being, Life eternal, is pledged to the sincere and earnest searcher after truth. Little by little the result will be attained. The student must read the lessons over and over, and think about them as he pursues his daily avocations. Every thought that comes into the mind leaves its impression upon the body according to its energy. If the thought is projected in great vigor and faith it has so much the more power to affect the body, and in this way we can build ourselves into images of truth and love and enduring life and beauty. "For as a man thinketh, so is he."
The power of the healer is in proportion to his understanding of these truths; therefore it is not formulas for healing that the student needs; he needs to be . If you can show forth health, strength, vital force, and all the noble attributes of mind, then you are these truths. Not one of us has reached a very high point yet, but we are on our way toward reaching it. When reached this condition will be  one of Being. It will be being the truth bodily as well as mentally. The trouble with nearly all the healers at the present time is that they are only whitewashed with these truths, are not saturated with them. What is more, they do not know that this truth is meant to come to them in their bodies, as well as their thoughts; and for this reason they are not growing organically in the science.
This is to say, they merely have an intellectual perception of these truths, and do not expect this perception to show forth in their bodies because they deny the existence of a body. They deny away the negative pole of their lives, and from this fact the science in their hands becomes little more than a theory, of no practical value right here on this earth plane. This is the point of their great confusion; they deny the existence of a body without qualification; they say it is nothing. I asked my teacher what it was that was laid in the grave at death. "Nothing," was her answer. I said, "It is something. There is no such thing as nothing and cannot be, for if nothing exists in a universe full of omnipresent good, then evil may do so also."
That which we lay in the grave is negative mind; but it is not a nothing. If it were a nothing, every possibility of life would be gone from it, when, in reality, it never rests one second, but is renewing its efforts of growth even in the process of disintegration.
Let the student make no mistake here. I deny the existence of matter as strenuously as any scientist living; but I do say the early leaders in this line of thought made a grave and confusing mistake, saying that the substance called matter was a mere illusion of the senses; that it was absolutely nothing. The point to be make is this: Matter has no separate existence from mind; there is no matter, because all is mind. There is but one substance. Matter and mind are different degrees of that one substance. Matter is a name given to certain negative or crude degrees of mind. The coarsest matter you can think of is undeveloped mind. And but for the fact that our bodies and minds are "all of a piece" no one could heal a patient mentally and have the result of that healing become apparent on his body. His body is the expression of his belief; and as the spoken word--which is the thought expressed either mentally or orally--always externalizes itself, so when we mentally speak the word of truth that heals the patient it goes right through him from his thought (which we have touched with our healing thought) by way of his nerves, blood vessels, muscles, etc., to the surface of him, where the truth that he is healed becomes apparent to all. Our science can only become of practical benefit when it is understood that body and mind are one, because it is only by this understanding of it that the truth will penetrate through and through us so that we shall be all over, inside and out, the living incarnation of the understanding of truth. When we come into this condition no disease or no deformity can withstand our healing power.
The majority of the healers, therefore, being wrongly taught on this point, have only a feeble perception of the truths and power of this science. Lacking a bodily perception of it, they can only do a certain amount of healing, and that not of the most satisfactory kind.
You must organize the understanding of this science in your body--the other essential half of yourself. For see here: The negative part of the magnet is as essential to the perfect magnet as the positive part. The negative part always serves in the capacity of handmaid to the positive part. The negative parts of the man are the roots to him. He does not want to get loose from this part through any violent separation from it, as in death, or as in consigning it to nothingness in theory, as some of our  scientists do. He wants to proceed upward by natural growth, avoiding violent ruptures of all kinds. This is nature's method of lifting. This is the way--now that we are learning how to lift ourselves--to do it. Jesus said, "If I be lifted, I will lift all men unto me." He meant, "If I be lifted all over," both body and mind, negative and positive parts together.
We can and must make ourselves over by the slow but sure process of right thinking until every atom of our bodies shall actually come into the understanding of truth. And when we come into this understanding no teacher is needed to instruct us by formulas for healing. We shall then be the life and the way, and shall heal from our own deep convictions of the external prevalence of health, or Life. We will heal then because we must heal. We will not enact the truth, but we will be it; and being it we cannot help but impart it to all.
And I repeat it: as right doing comes before right being, therefore it is necessary that the student should, by every effort in his power, organize the truth in himself. In proportion as he does this he will be prepared to organize it in others. Here is the order of growth: Right thinking first, which produces right being, and right being gives spontaneous rise to right doing.
The effort of this whole course of lessons is to bring you into a way of right thinking. When this is accomplished (and it is the only place where any effort is required) right being and right doing will take care of themselves.
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