I have had a long and happy association with the metaphysical churches, including Unity and Religious Science. Although I never joined it, I have also attended many services at Christian Science churches. As a spiritual psychologist, I use many of the ideas, teachings, and practices of these churches not only in my own life but also when counselling others. In recent years, many of these very same ideas, teachings, and practices have found their way---or way back---into more mainstream, if Pentecostal, forms of Christianity, including the Word of Faith movement. I am thinking of the writings of people such as Charles Capps.
'The eternal God is your dwelling-place' (Deut 33:27). This is, of course, metaphorical language. God is the self-existent and self-sufficient eternal now, the omnipresence of life, and, most especially, the power of your own mind. ‘It is the Father’s [Divine Mind] good pleasure to give you the kingdom’ (Lk 12:32). In other words, it is your divine birthright. You already have within you---within your mind, that is---everything you will ever need to be happy, healthy, vital, whole, and alive.
'Righteousness,’ metaphysically interpreted, refers to right-thinking, and the right use of one’s mind and thoughts. 'We become what we habitually contemplate,' wrote George Russell. 'The future is your present thoughts grown up,' wrote Divine Science minister, lecturer, and author Dr Joseph Murphy. Thought power is always creative---for better or for worse---according to the nature, emotion, impulse, and conviction behind the thought. And what is 'thinking'? Well, the great Plato put it this way: 'Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself.' I like that.
One theory is that thought creates a 'mold' in the unconscious mind, into which your thought or idea is 'poured' and then accepted. Then, certain forces are set in motion in accordance with your thought or idea. In the Dhammapada, that great collection of sayings of the historical Buddha, we read this: 'All that we are is the result of what we have thought.' Then there's this gem, also from the Buddha: 'The mind is everything; what you think you become.' The Bible expresses it this way: 'As you sow, so shall you reap' (Gal 6:7). Never forget that.
You would all have heard of the law of cause and effect---that is, all things ('effects') are caused, and are themselves causes of further effects. Metaphysically, we are always becoming cause to our own effects. Also, different kinds of conditions can be expected to have different effects. Finally, things arise dependent on conditions and cease when those conditions cease. A single logic applies to all things, and to how they are related to each other.
Now, although there will always be some things you cannot ‘decree,’ there are many positive things you can ‘decree’ for yourself and others, and if you are prepared to ‘work’ (mentally and otherwise) for those things, then they may well be ‘established for you.’ There are many Bible verses on this theme, including this one: ‘Let the weak say, “I am strong”’ (Joel 3:10). The last mentioned verse encapsulates the nature and technique of affirmative prayer, the aim of which is always the same---to lift one's consciousness to the level of the answer, for the solution is already complete in God-Mind.
'The world is the outpicturing of human thought,' wrote the well-known Divine Science minister, lecturer and author Dr Emmet Fox. 'Your life is conditioned by your own thoughts, not by the thoughts of anyone else. ... You can only express in experience your own true sense of what you really are.' So, let your word go forth, for it shall not return to you empty (cf Is 55:11).
That is the power of creation in the macrocosm. The rationale behind all spiritual mind treatment is this---that very same creative power is also available to each one of us in the microcosm. Why? Because the macrocosm and the microcosm are, in truth, one.
But where, you may ask, do we 'go' to find and access that power? In our own individual minds, of course. There is no place else. Many philosophers postulate that all individual minds are simply an incarnation, expression, and agent of the One Absolute Mind. This is what Jesus really meant when he said, 'I and my Father are one' (Jn 10:30). It is a reference to the indwelling presence known as 'Our Father which art in heaven' (Mt 6:9). Now, even if our individual minds are not part or agents of one great Mind---I have an open mind on the matter---the fact remains that thought is creative according to the nature, emotion, impulse, and conviction behind the thought. 'All actions, good or bad, start with a thought,' wrote the much-loved minister and author Dr Norman Vincent Peale. 'We draw to ourselves exactly what we are.'
So, give voice to your desire, hope, or goal, and then ‘hold’ your desire, hope, or goal deeply in your mind (‘heart”). Here’s another relevantly applicable Bible verse: ‘It is true unto me according to the Word of God’ (Ps 119:25).
One other important thing---your conscious and subconscious mind need to be in unison for anything positive to happen. That is the real, inner meaning of the Bible verse, ‘If two of you agree about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven’ (Mt 18:19). The reference to ‘two of you’ refer to your conscious and subconscious mind. When they agree, the creative power (Father ‘in heaven,’ or ‘within’) is then able to bring your desire to pass.
These spiritual (that is, non-material) ideas---a veritable ‘table of plenty’---are implanted in your DNA and are part and parcel of your phylogenetic heritage. For example, you could never be healthy unless there were the perfect idea (or 'form') of health built into you---into every cell, tissue, and organ of your mind and body. It’s as simple as that. This truth is common to all of the world’s major religions and religious philosophies. For example, Swami Vivekananda [pictured above left], whose teachings have greatly impacted my own life, said, ‘Vedanta not only insists that the ideal is practical, but that it has been so all the time; and this ideal, this Reality, is our own nature.’
The Christian preacher and teacher Charles Capps makes this very important point in his little book God's Creative Power for Healing:
'This is God's method of calling things that are not as though they were until they are. There are some who have misunderstood this principle, and they call things that are, as though they are not. In other words, they deny what exists. The power is in calling for healing and health by mixing faith with God's Word.' [Emphasis in the original]
'Every valley [any state of lack, limitation, etc] shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill [any obstacle] shall be made low, and the crooked [any entanglement, disorder, or other difficulty] shall be made straight, and the rough plains [difficult, hard times] smooth' (Is 40:4).
Again, it's calling things that are not as though they were---until they are.
Spiritual mind treatment proceeds as follows. As God is life and all there is, and that life is our life right now, there is therefore no place for anything unlike God. Thus, there is no place for anything that is foreign to God, or in objective contradiction to God (eg illness, lack, and limitation of all kinds).
In spiritual mind treatment we affirm that everything that contradicts God is passing from us and at the same time we reject opposite and fallacious assertions. We are the 'image of God' (Gen 1:27), and the activity of God-ness is the activity in each of us---right now. Therefore, what is true of God is also true of us---right now. In short, illness, lack, and limitation are 'plants' that the 'heavenly Father' (Life perceived as an indwelling Presence) has not planted, so let all such plants be uprooted---right now! In the words of Swami Vivekananda: 'The greatest sin is to think yourself weak. No one is stronger. ... Deny evil, create none. Stand up and say, "I am the master---the master of all."'
‘Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity’ (Hab 1:13). In traditional evangelical Christianity it is said that Jesus Christ, by his death and resurrection, conquered sin and bought for us a ‘robe of righteousness,’ such that, although we are all said to be dead in sins, if we repent and accept Jesus as saviour and lord, God then sees us clothed in a robe of righteousness. We wear this robe, and God sees us so robed. Another interpretation of the foregoing is that when God looks at the person (you or me), God sees only Christ (God’s Son) in all his perfection, Christ himself being the robe of God’s own righteousness.
What all this means, metaphysically, is quite simple---we need to see ourselves as God’s perfect son or daughter, clothed in a robe of right-thinking, health, and wholeness. The truth is, there are always two ‘images’ of ourselves. One image is of us as we presently are, in all our imperfection, and the other image is of us as we could be, or as we would like to be. Now, if we want to change for the better, we need to envision ourselves as we would like to be---indeed, as we are in Truth. If, for example, we are sick in some way, or in bondage to some condition or state of consciousness, we should see ourselves as healthy or as free, as the case may be, for, in the words of the old Oriental maxim, ‘what we think upon grows.’
MINDFULNESS IN THE BIBLE