Differentiations by Daniele Cortis – Divine Science


Daniele Cortis
The Gleaner
Vol. 15, No. 3
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.,
New York, January 1924.

THE World is a repository of events. Experience, the watchword for human existence, is made up of events.

To select the issue of greater importance from the multitudes which have had their unique place in the contingency that has gone to make up human experience, would be difficult, were it not that the value of any event depends entirely on its effect upon mankind in general.

This establishes a standard by which an issue may be judged – History is a chronology of fateful events woven into a whole; a stupendous drama which, if it were understood, would reveal the future.

The story of Man is the history of God. This is a bold statement; nevertheless it is true. In this Drama mere people as we know them judging from their actions, seem but the supernumeraries upon its boards; its Hero is God; its plot His triumphal manifestation through the individual mind, by the individual’s struggle upward out of chaotic ignorance.

For unmeasured and immeasurable centuries man lived on the plane of the beasts of the field, a creature so little removed from them, so slightly superior, that he left no more decipherable record of his presence on this planet than they. The dawn of civilization, despite the fact that it was a civilization characterized by no greater incident than that man had learned the method of artificially producing fire and how to use it, was the first act in this majestic Drama. Everything that had happened until this event might be regarded as a mere interlude through which an irresistible and insistent urge towards mental expression forced its way. Man’s conscious use of the mental endowment which differentiates his superiority over the beasts of the field, was the first act in the splendid Drama destined to close with the meeting of Heaven and Earth or the Birth of Jesus Christ.

The Christ child as the offspring of Mary differed slightly, if at all, from any child conceived in love and brought forth through the triumph of woman’s love over the agony of death. He was a holy child but all children are holy. The differentiation was not between the children. It was between the mother of Jesus and the mothers of other little ones. Like these she had suffered; like them she adored the babe kept warm by the sweet breath of the kine; but unlike them she did not see in the tiny Son the consecrated tie that binds flesh to flesh; the sacred bond that unites a wife to a husband more closely. This woman saw in the birth of Jesus the realization of her UNITY with the Christ Consciousness. He was the bond between herself and Her Maker, and thus by a purely mental process, the offspring of Mary became to his mother the Son of God.

For centuries men had been dreaming of a meeting between God and man; it was the golden thread in the dark design of heathen worship. Always in the heart of mankind a dim hope had lurked of a time when God would meet with man, a time when the divine would take on human shape; when the immortal would become recognizable in the mortal. Never had it been even dimly prophesied that the meeting between heaven and earth would take place as a result of the ascent of the terrestrial rather than a descent of the celestial. Yet it took place in precisely this way, when the consciousness of the woman chosen to become the Mother of God, in a moment of spiritual exaltation, transcended the limitations of the senses, by which supreme dilation her intellectual grasp of the unity of Cause united itself with the divine consciousness, and twain become one.

It has been said “the spirit shall make him of quick understanding.” The mother of Jesus possessed the true intellect which is that perception by which the things of Spirit are apprehended. It was the quick understanding of this woman which enabled her to apprehend through the Spiritual consciousness the truth of Being. It was this supreme dilation of spiritual understanding which reached the heaven of conscious unity. “The Glory of the Lord” was revealed to Mary; the spirit of God was poured out upon her, and the woman saw that salvation of God which established man as the tabernacle of the living God!

The coming of the Son of God in the flesh established the unity of cause of which the human and divine are but two aspects of one substance, and as inseparable as the sun and its rays.

Jesus, as the Son of man, established the unity of man with God. The son of Mary was the Son of God and this established the corollary between the finite man and the Infinite God. The unity existing throughout the universe which the scientists have established by the evidence of the similitude of “the vegetable and the animal and of the beast and the human creation” proves that what we mistake for new things, are nothing other than “rearrangements and interactions,” and reorganization of one shape to form another. There is no new substance. All that is has been from the beginning. Not a link is lacking in the chain of intergradation which establishes that all living partake of the one and only life – the life which is God.

What science had not done was to establish the correlation between mind and matter – God and Man. Yet that is precisely what Jesus did. He was Jesus the Son of Mary and he was Christ the Son of God, and thereby established that correlation between the finite and Infinite or Man and God. “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition… for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body.”

In nature one form of existence grades into another imperceptibly; thus the categories which are unknown in nature are peculiar to the minds of human beings. The Son of Mary was the finite extension of the Infinite – for “From the Infinite the finite extends.” This on the principle that the light which you see is merely an extension of the electricity which you do not see.

Mind and Matter never separated; hence can never be united. They are two aspects of one substance. Turn off the light and you have not destroyed it. Neither have you separated it from its source, for light and electricity are one and its aspects are inseparably commingled forever.

The Son of Mary was a projection of the Son of God. Hence one essence in a twofold appearance. “He who is within is without” and the mind of God was within the mind of Christ, as manifested without in the man Christ Jesus. “And his name is called The Word of God.” “And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”

Although categorizing is unknown in nature, it is a specialty of the human mind and one that ofttimes makes it necessary to delineate the difference between one form and another of not only secular but also religious schools. A demand met daily in this instance is, “What constitutes the differentiation between Christian Science and Divine Science?” To differentiate between schools having the same goal is difficult, if possible at all when at best, the difference may be merely a difference in terminology.

Christian Science, which owes its existence to Dr. Quimby’s discovery of the application of the power of mind over matter, is indebted to Mrs. Eddy for its enormous propaganda which was largely due to the executive ability of this remarkable woman who founded the school of Christian Science after having been a patient of Dr. Quimby.

As is generally understood, this religious school admits the existence, if not the reality of two minds; the Divine Mind, essentially good, and the ‘mortal’ mind, necessarily evil. The Divine Mind is synonymous with God; therefore incapable of the knowledge of iniquity. The second or mortal mind, essentially evil, is at “enmity against God” and not subject to the law of God. The Divine Mind being all in all, nothing is apart from this Mind and Its ideas. Carnal mind, absolutely evil, is necessarily non-existent, and this on the basis that if God is good, and good is all, there is nothing else. In other words, all being Infinite Mind, there is no matter.

The proposition is simple and irrefutable. It is equivalent to saying that if one holds everything in the right hand the left hand is empty. Reasoning from the standpoint of one mind — all-inclusive good — and the other enmity against good, of necessity extinguishes the reality of this opposing factor, and the matter would end there if it were not for the fact that the question presents itself as to how the method of healing employed by the Christian Science philosophy is accomplished. The difficulty which introduces itself here is that if the Divine Mind does not need healing and the other mind “is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be,” what remains that is subject to this beneficent power as the fact demonstrates itself that that which is insubordinate cannot be subservient. The healing, therefore, by the school founded by Mrs. Eddy is accomplished by the influence of that which is called mortal mind acting on another mortal mind, rather than by the interaction of the Divine with the human mind. The important thing is not HOW healing is accomplished but that it IS accomplished, and the application of the philosophy of Christian Science undoubtedly heals the sick. That the basic principle of the healing is mesmeric by no means invalidates it. On the contrary it accounts for the doctrine of malicious animal magnetism which has become an important factor in the doctrine of Christian Science. This factor admits the possibility of sewing seeds of evil by purely mental processes and teaching the unlimited possibility that anyone initiated in the teaching of this philosophy may wield for evil in the affairs of others. It is by no means a new doctrine. Rather it is as old as the ancients. What is new is its introduction as a part of a religious teaching. This, however, is understandable when one considers this philosophy’s denial of matter and its admittance of two opposing minds — minds that are irreconcilable — as a fundamental principle which leaves no other method of healing than by the influence of one mind over another. The danger of being influenced for evil by a high-minded person is slight, but the possibility of low minds influencing other minds for personal reasons at variance with the welfare of the person influenced, is very possible and might under certain circumstances be not a little dangerous.

The teaching of Mrs. Eddy is contrary to science. Divine Science coincides with science. This is the fundamental difference. It admits but one mind — the Superior Mind or the Mind which is God. What the Christian Scientists call matter or nothing, the Divine Scientists call an extension of the One Mind. The healing as accomplished by this school is not the influence of one mortal mind over another, but the interaction of the Superior Mind of God with the Divine Mind of the individual. It is the “letting be” in man of that Mind which “was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” This interaction of the static Divine Mind with the active Divine Mind of man corrects the disturbed appearances which are merely phenomena. There is a unity in mind as there is a unity in numbers, and, as the quality of the unit is extended through numbers, so the character of God is extended through Man.

God is the unity of which man is a projection and from which he is as inseparable as the light is inseparable from the sun. Matter, as an extension of mind, is a something to be reckoned with instead of being relegated to the limbo of nothingness. Herein is the principal differentiation between the teaching of the two schools under discussion:

Christian Science abandons matter and leaves it to its own destruction, forgetful of the fact that while matter permits itself to be changed from one form to another of the same substance, it refuses to be destroyed. The parallelism on precise correspondence “of psychical phenomena in man and change in matter,” are set forth in a current magazine showing that tin, for instance, which is ‘a simple, indivisible element, has two forms, the stable and the meta-stable’ one forms powder, the other ‘common metallic tin.’ By ‘a shock — this is heating — the stable form may be changed suddenly into the meta-stable, and then during a long period of rest, into the stable form.”

It is inconceivable that that which is possible in the way of interaction between chemical elements can be considered impossible to mind. The difficulty in the teaching of Christian Science is that Mrs. Eddy has tried to apply a psychical explanation to Mind and a physical explanation to that extension of Mind which is called matter. In reality what Mrs. Eddy calls “matter” is “Mind in Motion” and is as inseparable from mind as light is inseparable from the sun. A supposition contrary to this brings a confusion of thought which results in a division between Mind and matter, a chasm which does not admit of a bridge — and leaves the student everlastingly puzzled as to how to get out of where he is, into where he is not, knowing full well that he cannot be as mortal mind, which is enmity to God, in tune with the Infinite. An argumentative student of Christian Science, on asking a Christian Science teacher to which category he belonged, the mortal or immortal mind, was assured it was not to the immortal! The question was then put as to how a correlation could be established between the Divine Mind and the mortal mind, by which he could approach the latter. “You cannot join something to nothing” was the natural, if not enlightening answer, on the supposition that so-called matter is non-existent. “If I am material and matter is non-existent then I do not exist, and if you say that matter cannot be reconciled to mind, nor mind to matter, then I see my finish, even if I cannot see where I can get off,” said the student and he left the class. If this teacher had been a student of Divine Science he could have explained to the student that so-called matter could not be correlated to mind inasmuch as it had never been separated from that of which it was merely an extension. In this way the student would have realized his unity with God and felt the moral obligations to manifest his own divinity.

Another phase of this teaching is that this see-sawing between something and nothing permits the student to live in “no man’s land” when circumstances render it convenient. The supposition that mind and matter are opposite planes of thought results in considerable tinkering on both planes and no constructive work on either. It also has another and more serious aspect amounting to a species of mental juggling which not infrequently ends in a kind of mental irresponsibility boarding on idiocy. For example, whether or not an event happens depends upon where it takes place. In the Divine only good can occur. On the mortal mind plane nothing can take place, inasmuch as there is no matter. All evil being part and parcel of the realm of nowhere, there is no evil. Hence a person may perpetuate any sort of criminal act and conscientiously prove an alibi, declaring himself innocent, inasmuch as what happened on the mortal mind plane never happened. At the particular moment at which he committed the crime he was on the plane of mortal mind, the no man’s land in the kingdom of nowhere.

Matter is only a name for the medium through or by means of which the static force called Mind becomes manifest. It is mind in activity or mind in motion and is inseparable from Mind. Suppose it to be possible to separate mind and matter and there results a kind of mental pandemonium which leaves such as labor under the delusion lost in a bewildering maze, as one without a country. There is only one substance, call it Mind or matter, out of which, as Milton says, “Angels and men are all made,” and the body as an extension of mind nourished by the same substance. Believing this, Milton wrote, “And from these corporeal nutriments perhaps your bodies may at last turn all to Spirit.” Might not Milton have been right?

Lau-tsze, the Chinese philosopher, who was a more profound thinker than Confucius, had no notion of Spirit as a substance distinct from matter. To him, Being and Manifestation was One! Existence and non-existence the same. That it has been said that he “strayed from common sense” is no proof of his inferiority in the realm of uncommon sense; the sense which sees humanity as an extension of Divinity.

Lau-tsze believed in One (Mind), this one producing two (Mind and Idea); the two producing three (Mind, Idea and Manifestation) from which all that exists, is an extension or aspect of the One Universal Substance. The electric light is an extension or manifestation of the electricity which you do not see, and who would think of separating electricity from light. One does not deny the principle of mathematics on the theory that he cannot see it. The visible manifestation of the principle through numbers satisfies the most skeptical of its existence. We accept much that may not be discerned by the eye; and life will take on a new aspect when matter is accepted as an extension of mind. This will take place in the proportion that human beings discover the limitations of the sense of sight, an astonishingly limited sense upon which to depend for spiritual discernment.

Another and more serious aspect of the doctrine of the nothingness of matter is that it lends itself to abuses that have a far reaching effect on society in general. To a certain extent it does away entirely with the sanctity of marriage and looks on maternity with opprobrium. This is not the fault of the adherents of this philosophy but rather that of its doctrinal heresy as to the nothingness of matter. Neither did this idea originate with Mrs. Eddy. Its founder was the Rev. T. R. Malthus, a political economist who two centuries ago held that the trend of the population to multiply faster than its means of subsistence increased would inevitably lead to poverty unless birth control was exercised. Malthusianism met with an ignominious defeat and was well nigh forgotten until resurrected by this nineteenth century school. Malthus as a political economist would have destroyed that which in his erroneous opinion tended towards poverty. Adherents of this latter day heresy would destroy that which in their erroneous opinion tended towards an increase of materiality. It is needless to rehearse the unhappiness which has come into homes through this Christian Science heresy. Whatever strikes the home jars the nation. Hence the wide spread peril of the far-reaching doctrine of the nothingness of matter. One would hardly call electricity nothing because he is unable to define it; yet science proves that matter in its final analysis is electricity. No one can define electricity, but what scientist would repudiate its existence?

Admit the principle of mathematics and repudiate the existence of numbers, and what avail is the principle? Or admit the existence of mind and deny matter, and what is left through which mind can find expression?

Mind and matter, as the terms are understood in Christian Science, are extremes that never meet, the chasm between the all and the nothing, which may not be bridged; but when the relationship between mind and matter is admitted to be precisely the same as that which exists between electricity and light, it is seen that they are one and indivisible. Mind is dependent upon matter to the extent that the speed of light is dependent upon the properties of the medium of its transmission. It is only in the proportion that mind is seen to be the all-inclusive unity that “nothing” will be realized to be non-entity. Many are asking with Renan “when will it be worth while to live?” It will be worth while to live when man realizes the unity of cause and its effect. Then he will see existence merely as an opportunity to live to the glory of God, in the house not made with hands, the tabernacle made from mind. Looking for a thing where it is not will never reveal it. Matter is a fact, and it is not in disdaining facts but in explaining them that a teacher demonstrates his superior wisdom. Mind is the cause of which matter is the effect. Mind is “the former of all things and he formed it to establish it. The great God formed all things. He formed thee. He that formed the eye shall he not see?” Man is the extension of mind, of whom it is said, “I have created him for my glory.” “I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
[Jer. 10:16, Deut. 32:18, Prov. 26:10, Ps. 94:9]

In the proportion that ignorance is overcome, the jewels of enlightenment will be revealed in the splendid iridescence of God-like acts. As dense clouds high mounted in the air, obscure the face of the sun, so pride, envy, avarice and passions hide the form of Spirit which, like a candle in a lantern, though shining cannot be seen. Bank notes representing gold may be forged notes. Likewise man, made in the image and likeness of God, may be a negation of the Divine. Such is as dead fuel but when struck by the lightning of intelligence, he shall be kindled of Spirit.

Actions are the offsprings of thought, and the body is the perfect instrument of the mind. Any idea held persistently in mind becomes visible in the body. A change in mind produces a mutation in the physical realm and demonstrates a form recreated after the pattern of the type of thought dwelt upon. Physical healing by purely mental process is the art of imagining, and, in the proportion that the image is divine, the body will reproduce the picture of that divinity. Realizing the truth of this fact, Paul besought that men “present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God.” He told them that to do so was “a reasonable service,” because their bodies belonged to God.

Motion is a mental impulse. Mind is the motor which sets the universe in motion. It is said by Isaiah that the spirit shall make man a quick understanding. True intellect is that perception by which things of spirit are apprehended. Ignorance is the absence of this faculty in operation. By abandoning the intellect, man consciously or unconsciously embraces ignorance, and by yielding himself to this root of misfortune he at last incurs his own enmity to understanding.

In the proportion that the intellectual faculties in man are dormant, he becomes a mere organism, instead of an individual intelligence, expressing universal mind. Intelligence does not require that we reconcile the image of God with the apparent disorders of man’s moral and physical government, which is neither necessary nor possible. What is essential is the apprehension through intellect that Man is the manifestation of Spirit, in spite of the ignorance which causes him to appear “half dust, half deity, alike unfit to sink or soar.”

It often occurs that chestnut trees whose wealth of last year’s leaves, which have withstood the ravages of the winter winds, cling brown and sear to the branches from which Spring is coaxing new foliage. Thus the branches of the tree are budding and disleafing at the same time. Humans are like the trees in this, that they may be spiritually germinating while as yet cumbered with the dead foliage of ignorance. Man is the infinite conjugation of the verb “to be.” He is ever in the ecstasy of becoming.

According to Emerson, the circle is the highest emblem in the cipher world, of which the eye is the first circle, and the horizon which it forms is the second. It is the symbol of Mind – the Mind which circles the universe, within which all reality abides, of which man is a radiation, and therefore mental, not material. Mind is a sea of Being; the center and circumference of existence. As the horizon is greater in compass than the eye which forms it, so Mind infinitely transcends the capacity of man to define it. Man is a part of all the changes through which he has passed. His vision is colored by the sense stain on the glass through which he is gazing with his physical eyes; organs to which God-effulgences are invisible. He is a victim of time and space, illusions which the eye of mind pierce in order to glance into the realm of eternal realities.

The earth is the Lord’s. He has peopled it with his own substance. He is that ardor, patience, tenacity and sovereign intelligence which creates good and dispels its seeming opposite, that transmutes what seems to be inert energies into vital forces. It is He who raises from the ashes of death the celestial beings who people the stars, throbbing with teeming life. Ignorance is a kind of spiritual paralysis, even as sin is an aridity of the soul. Therefore it is possible that when a mortal is so sin-stained that he is unrecognizable as a man, it may be but the metamorphosis state preparatory to the change of ignorance for intelligence; of shape for form; a discarding of a mask to reveal the original character.

As the wounded eagle is making for its eyrie, so the hunted creature of sin is turning by instinct towards his birthland of spirit. If you cannot help him, turn away from his travail pains that he may be born alone with God. In the very marshes of ignorance, the fire-flies of reason are lighting those who are lost in the subtle illusions that there is aught but suffering in sin; towards their goal in that intelligence

“whose omniscience everything transcends”
and who
“The heavens created,
That every part to every part may shine,
Distributing the light in equal measure.”

The light of the sun is one and is derived from one source, but it is appropriated by the diverse bodies that attract its munificence according to the particular virtue of that body’s capacity to receive light. Certain objects, by reason of the clearness or transparency inherent in themselves, under the rays of the sun multiply its luminosity by this refulgence in themselves, thereby enabling them to send out an extraordinary trasplendence. Likewise, the Life which is God is one, but it is appropriated by the different existences which attract its munificence according to the particular virtue of that person’s capacity to objectify spirit.

The goal of intelligence is the union of the ALL with the ALL; of man with Spirit.

You ask, “If mind and its manifestation is all and is good, what is the Maelstrom in which we live and breathe and have our being? What is this monotonous cadence of sorrow, this undertone of despair that beats on the human ear as the surf breaks upon the shores? What is this chant of rage with its mutterings of war?” There is only one answer. Everything or anything opposed to righteousness is merely the misdirected force that registers in so-called evil. Of itself nothing is evil. Coupled with ignorance nothing seems good. What is the panacea? It is the overcoming of ignorance by the intelligent realization that mind is the only power and potency. The first step toward overcoming ignorance is the establishment in one’s mind of the unity of mind and so-called matter. The light does not control the electricity; instead electricity controls the light. On this principle, the control of mind by the phenomenon which physical conditions present, is madness, and when people who say they believe this act as if they did, they are generally transported to an insane asylum.

In the Excelsior Hotel in Rome in one of the large salons there is an enormous cut glass chandelier. In front of it is an immense mirror in which one sees a perfect reflection of the chandelier and another reflection of the chandelier’s reflection and yet another reflection of that reflection, and so on until you may count nineteen reflections of reflections, every one perfect in its way as to detail but each smaller until the last one is as minute as it is possible to be and still be true to the original.

The human race is the mirror in which mind is reflected in a way similar to the reflection of the chandelier in the mirror at Rome. The system of education has been such that each man’s mind is a reflection of another man’s mind — until man’s mind has become as far removed from the original as is possible on this plane. The mind of man is the creator of the world in which he lives, and it depends upon his intelligent consciousness of his unity with the original mind as to what kind of world he lives in. Just as sound is not in the air, nor the color in the sky, but instead is an interpretation by the mind of a succession of shocks, so the world becomes to us just what we interpret it to be. If we realize the unity of mind with its extension, all that we see will be a manifestation of the mind of God operating in and through man. If, on the other hand, we believe in a separation between mind and matter or God and man, all the harmony of the celestial realm will not mitigate the hell of man’s state, for it is by “virtue of what the mind has supplied to things that they in turn effect mind.”

Strike a barrel which contains water on the outside and the effect of the blow demonstrates itself in the circles which form at the circumference of the water, and proceed towards its center in ever diminishing compass, until they reach their destination only to disappear. If the process be reversed, and a pebble is dropped into the barrel striking the water at its center, the circles which form move from the center, towards the circumference of the water in steadily increasing compass, until their action is restricted by the confine of the barrel. The water is the same. The direction is different. Individual existence, as water set in motion from without, its energy spent, passes from sight at the center where it is met by the water of Life receiving its impulse from within and reanimated into newness of purpose; its course changed, it is sent out once more in ever enlarging circles of divine usefulness, whence it proceeds from glory to glory until the infinite shore is reached; there the finite is seen as the Infinite and man appears as God. It has been said that the true philosopher stations himself in the middle of Being or Mind which controls existence and is ever at work transmuting misdirected energy into divine force.

We are told that the transmutations which are brought about in applied chemistry are the result of the orderly combinations of materials. Is it not possible that the malformations brought about in the world of mental chemistry are the result of disorderly combinations of thought forces? If the grouping together of two or more molecules create a new individuality possessing characteristics not possessed by either of the elements which gave it birth, might not ‘thought combinations’ act likewise? You ask, “Where does the thing we call evil originate?” It originates in thought.

“Man is mind, and evermore
He takes the tool of thought
And, shaping what he wills
Brings forth a thousand ills.
He thinks in secret and it comes to pass.
Environment is but his looking glass.”

It has been said that the order and harmony that pervades throughout the universe is due to the operation of one law, one controlling principle. Let us suppose the universe is at the mercy of a diversity in laws of motion and forces in separate systems, all in motion. What would ensue? The result would be confusion and destruction. The world in which man lives is as much a projection of his thought as the universe is a projection from the Divine mind.

Every man’s world is a projection of his thought and notwithstanding the immutable, unchangeable perfection of the mind which is God, the mind of man may lend itself to such an arrangement of mental energies as makes for discord in his world. If he wishes he may set every brain cell in such a diversity of motion as will put the whole mental system in a state of siege. All that is, is a result of thought. All that ever will be, will be because of thought. When this is understood and the relation of mind and matter re-established, the race will commence to distinguish between thoughts that make for weal and those that make for woe, with the result that the latter will be promptly discarded in order to preserve so-called physical harmony. As long, however, as a differentiation is admitted between mind and matter, man will turn to matter for that which Mind alone can supply, and the result will continue to be the mental confusion which will end in physical destruction.

Man is master of his fate by reason of his God-bestowed ability to think, and by his thoughts he will be justified or he will be condemned. It is the power of his thought which demonstrates the immortality which he has in common with God. It is the story of man as a thinking entity which demonstrates the history of God as Mind from which emanates all that is. Verily,

“On earth there is nothing great but man;
“In man there is nothing great but Mind.”

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