W. John Murray
The Astor Lectures
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1917, 8th ed.
“The first Adam was made a living soul,
and the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”
–I Cor. 15:45.
 If, “The greatest study of mankind is Man,” as one has declared, then we should see to it that if we study man at all, we study him scientifically. The misconception of God and the misunderstanding of man are said to be the two greatest obstacles in the way of human progress along the lines of Truth. So long as man believes in a personal and anthropomorphic God who distributes favors to some and punishes others at will; a God that can be reasoned with, persuaded, flattered, and pacified by ignorant men, just so long will there be no real progress.
With such a misconception of God, one’s mind cannot expand to the comprehension of the Infinitude of the Holy Spirit, for so long as this misconception endures, the individual is kept within the confines of his own spiritual ignorance. If such a person refrains from wrong-doing, or denies himself a worldly pleasure, it is not from any great spiritual affection or innate love of God–rather it is because he consciously or unconsciously expects a reward for his so-called  sacrifice, or because he fears that ghost of theology, “the wrath of God,” and such fears make him a coward or cringing sycophant. To know Godaright is not only Life eternal, but it is present peace and conscious security. To know God aright is to know that He is not what He has most often been represented to be. The natural man, reasoning from a premise that is purely material, cannot know God. He “receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned.”
To understand the Mind which is God, we must have that mind in us “which was also in Christ Jesus.” Not worldly wisdom, but spiritual understanding is the key to the kingdom of God with all that it includes. It requires the mind of the Master to interpret the mission of the Master. Jesus came not so much to die for humanity as to live a life in such conformity to Divine Principle that “all men through him might believe” in the Divinity of man made in the “image and likeness of God.”
God can only be known spiritually through Divine Intuition. When Simon perceived the Christ in Jesus, the Master said to the disciple, “Flesh and blood (mere intellect) hath not revealed this (Truth) unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven.” The inner voice of Divine Wisdom itself must reveal to us the true nature of man, otherwise it is not revealed. Carlyle tells us that, “to the eye of vulgar logic (worldly  opinion) man is an omnivorous biped, but to the eye of Pure Reason (Divine Science) man is an apparition”–an idea in the mind of God. To know God aright is to know man aright, for one is the exact representation of the other. The Light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world is darkness to the natural or undeveloped man, and that which is light to such a man is darkness to the spiritual man. Matter, or materiality, is darkness or shadow to the spiritual man, yet how plainly the natural man sees and reaches out for both!
Spirit, and Soul, and Mind are Light and Substance to the eyes which see, yet how few perceive this Trinity in Unity. If you speak the Truth of Being to such as these it is “words, just words.” Truth dawns upon human consciousness by degrees, and therefore we must be patient both with ourselves and others in the Grand Quest, which after all, is the search of the Soul for the Reality of itself. “Man attains to the Image of God just in proportion to his comprehension of God, for man is that which he knows and knows only that which he is.”
“The terms used to express God denote both sexes, and where only one sex is designated, it is not because the other is wanting, but because it is latent.” It is written in the Book of Genesis, “God (not Lord God) created man in his own image, male and female.” Great is the mystery of godliness (Godlikeness), the mystery, which from generation to generation has been  hidden from the wise and the prudent by their own conceit, and revealed unto babes, because they were willing to become as “little children.” The mystery of godliness is explained when man perceives himself to be the image of “The One Altogether Lovely,” the Father-Mother God, who is neither masculine nor feminine; neither he nor she, as separate manifestation of sex, but one who is both Masculine and Feminine in the One Indivisible Individuality which is Principle, and One Changeless Principle which is Divine Individuality. As the dual nature of the masculine and feminine qualities goes to make up the Godhead, so the combination of male and female in one individuality (as aspects of the Divine Likeness), make for the Perfect Man through spiritual illumination.
In order to understand what it means to be the “image and likeness of God,” we must ascend from the animal plane on which men function as separate sex expressions. To become really spiritual and to attain to the fullness of stature of manhood in Christ Jesus, we must rise above the flesh and fleshly attractions. To overcome ignorance on any plane is real progress. How much more so must it be on the plane of the highest! He who attains to this effulgent illumination of Spirit comes into possession of that peace which the world can neither give nor understand. As the mind ripens under the beneficent rays of the Central Sun of the Spiritual world, it bursts forth into the flower and fruit  of a life attained to God. Then it is that a man enters into the possession of his birthright of dominion, for is it not written of man the Spiritual, “Let us (Masculine and Feminine in One) make Man in our image and likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth?”
The personal pronouns “us” and “our” in the above text are not to be understood as implying plurality of Gods, but duality of Nature. When this duality of Nature is understood as having as much reference to the image of God as it has to Deity Itself, we shall understand what Paul meant in that mystical statement in Galatians 3:28, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neithermale nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” If, as Edwin Markham says, “God has harmonized the universe, and has left it to man to harmonize the world,” the sooner man assumes his responsibility the better. It must be remembered, however, that this does not refer to the carnal man who cannot harmonize his own thoughts or his own environment. He who is to harmonize the world through the power of the Holy Spirit must be one who has been born again. This New Birth is not physical, but metaphysical. It is the birth in the mind of the New Idea of Creation by which man becomes a New Creature. If, in the past, man’s conception of creation was material,  and of himself as the offspring of material and fleshly attraction, in the light of the New Idea, he must now see that Creation is purely spiritual, and that he is the Divine Image in the Mind of God, and not a physical personality born of carnality. This statement of Truth may sound foolish to the natural or carnal man; but the belief that Man is physical and subject to physical laws is just as foolish to the spiritual man, even as, “The wisdom of this world is foolishness unto God.” The natural man judges after the outer, or the body; the spiritual man judges after the inner, or the spiritual. Judging from the outer, or the plane of matter, “Man is a body composed of four elements.” But this is not Man, nor any necessary part of his real existence.
In the South Kensington Museum of London, there is one exhibition which has an equal interest to all classes of visitors. It is a human body resolved into its original elements. There they are, all tied up in packages, or corked up in bottles. There are so many gallons of water, for three-fourths of the animal body consists of that element–the same that falls in rain, or is frozen in snow. It comes from the physical world, and is perpetually returning to it. There is so much chloride of sodium, or common salt. But this is not man any more than the salt on our tables is man. There is so much carbonate of lime, or marble. Yet this is not man any more than the marble slab we place at the head of a grave.  Thus it is the same of the iron, of the mineral phosphates, and of all the solid and gaseous elements. These are the component elements of man as the carnal man knows him.
The body is not man any more than a bear is a man, notwithstanding the fact that the body of man and the body of the bear are composed of the same identical elements. If to look away from the body is to be present with the Lord, as St. Paul declares, then to understand man from the highest point of view, we must forget the composite and ever-changing exterior, if we would find the interior “I am,” which after all is the Real Man, or the “Christ in us which is the hope of glory.”
When the Christ Man, or the Spiritual Ego is discovered, the individual becomes possessed of an hitherto unknown faculty. He becomes endued with strength from on high. The twice-born man knows that there are bodies celestial as well as bodies terrestrial, and he knows that the real or celestial body is as free from sin and sickness as the terrestrial seems subject to it. The man who is born again rises out of the region of mental illusions where discord and sickness have their only abiding place, into that higher state of spiritualized consciousness where there is no evil and no error,–aye, where these are impossible. To “cross the river of Jordan” is not to die, but to leave the material for the spiritual, and so add life to life.
All discord and disease come from a false opinion concerning man. If we would know  what his possibilities are, it is necessary that we should know what man really is. To emancipate ourselves and others from discord and disease, we must overcome what John the Divine calls “the pride of life.” Physical vanity and spiritual vanity go hand in hand, and there can be no real growth until we obliterate our false conceptions and form the true idea of ourselves as the sons and daughters of the Living God. This is the dawn of a new day. Old things will pass away, and all things shall become new. In our inmost and real selves we are now one with the Father. We are not subject to material laws, and the knowledge of this fact makes us superior to these so-called laws. Man is not of the earth earthy. He is not mortal, for in him is the seed of immortality.
The Christ is the only reality of man, and this is always harmonious. Neither height nor depth, nor things present nor things to come can separate the Real Man from his Maker. To be conscious of this is to be conscious of health, for the health of every man is God. When a man, suffering from disease, sees through the glimmering light of the supreme knowledge that the body is not the Self, but is the most unreal thing in human nature, and that his seeming disease is outside his Immortal Self, it is like returning sight to the blind, or like the first break of day after the long Arctic night.
In the Eternal Light which is God, we behold man as the Changeless Expression of Divine  Mind. Because God lives, we live also. Because God is free from disease, we know that perfect health is ours. We are saved by grace, and grace is nothing if it is not the knowledge of Truth. When man, with his inner vision, perceives this Truth, then can he say with Jesus, “I and my Father are one.” To feel a sense of our oneness with God we must believe that He is, and believing that Heis, we shall know that we are. Then when we know what He is, we shall know what we are as His offspring. This is the beginning of wisdom. “There is a spirit in Man,” and this “Silver Cord” is the connecting link between the Universal Divine Mind and Its Indestructible Idea. If the first man of which we are conscious, is of the earth earthy, the second Man which Truth reveals, is the Lord of heaven, and this is the man which should claim our attention. The inhabitant of Zion shall not say, “I am sick,” for he is that one who has discovered the incorruptible Christ as his Real Self. When man “comes to himself,” as did the prodigal of old, then shall the prophecy be fulfilled, which reads, “The ransomed of the Lord return (go back to Truth) and come with singing unto Zion (the city of Knowledge). Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10.
Next: Spiritual Healing
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The Astor Lectures
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