Divine Science Its Principle and Practice
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Copyright 1957 by Divine Science Church and College
Made available here by the ministry of
Rev. Lawrence C. Terry, M.Msc., D.Min.
P. O. Box 68324
Indianapolis, IN 46268-0324
Chapter 4 – Story of Progress
Since the dawn of consciousness in the race, man has thought. He has thought spontaneously with little regard to the type of thought, and with practically no knowledge of the fact that he could and should control his thinking. Man has free will in his thinking; from boyhood he has been influenced by the world around him. Quite naturally he has based his decisions upon appearances and formed his opinions through observation of the outer as it has registered upon his consciousness through the senses. In its immaturity man’s thinking has been centered on the world of conditions about him. He has emphasized negative conditions; illness, accident, disaster, war, sorrow, etc., and as a result he is living in a world filled with such experiences.
Gradually during the progress of man’s slow growth through the ages, individuals here and there have discovered that thought is of great importance; that it is a determining factor in making man’s outer world; that it is a ready too for improving his affairs. In this day many more are learning the value of the practical laws of right thinking. As a deep conviction of the truths which have been given in the preceding chapters comes the student, he, too, will be ready for a complete change in thought.
Divine Science is an organized study designed to bring the student to a realization that all the richness of God belongs to man and that by training his thinking into new habits he may avail himself of that which is awaiting his use.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report . . . . think on these things. Phil.4:8
Questions to Alert Your Thinking
1. What is the basis of reasoning in Divine Science?
2. How may we open our mentality to light and truth?
3. What is man’s responsibility in his everyday thinking?
4. What is a necessary step if we desire to change our conditions and affairs?
5. What will the recognition of an ever-present God do for the individual?
Thought is the instrument of the creative power of Mind and is the cause of word and deed. To think is proof that I am. I am, therefore I think. There cannot be a thought without a thinker. Since thought is used as the basis on which to form conclusions, and conclusions to form words and shape our deeds, it is evident that our thoughts and affirmations must be at one with God and His attributes, no matter what appearances may indicate. Thinking is not a cause of growth but a means of growth; the impelling power is in Mind.
All external conditions are the results of our thoughts, beliefs, and decisions. The thoughts and beliefs upon which we rely and dwell bring us our experiences of either pleasure or pain, light or shadow. It is our own mental conduct and recognition that makes conditions either pleasant or unpleasant. “Every man shall bear his own burden.” Gal. 6:5 Would we externalize love, our thoughts must be filled with love. Would we enjoy harmonious conditions, we must believe in harmony. To the pure in thought all things are pure, and to goodness all things are good.
The time has come when we are ready for a complete change of thought and a deep conviction of Truth. We, as students, must move out of the mists of illusive belief and be thoroughly willing to be established in knowledge and faith. Giving up false concepts opens the way for the incoming of light and truth. The greatest need of humanity is a knowledge of Truth with its certainty and unwavering faith in the All as Good; a consciousness of how to find and demonstrate health, happiness, and success; and to realize peace and enjoy rest. Recognition of the ever-present Good is the means by which all this is to be realized and enjoyed.
Divine Science teaches the value of having a basis of truth from which to think and reason. This teaching is a science because it presents an exact knowledge of life. The basis of reasoning in Divine Science is the omnipresence of God. God is omnipresent, the one and only Presence everywhere. God-Mind includes you and me. It includes everything in the perfect harmony of God-Substance, God-Intelligence, God-Life, and God-Power. It includes my body within God-Perfection. It includes all times and places, all circumstances, events, plans, and purposes within God.
God, the Creator
God, the Creative Actions
God, the Creation
God, “All in all.”
After admitting the omnipresence of God what should we do with it? We should begin at once to put into practice the type of thinking which is harmonious with this Truth. When we study music, we begin practicing as once, and in anything we undertake to learn, we expect to set aside time every day for practice. Just as surely must we put into practice whatever of Truth we have seen, if we wish to see more and more of Truth and to enjoy the experiences of desirable Good. We can realize the Good in which we live only by loving acknowledgment of it in our own individual lives and ways. The understanding that Truth heals and makes free from error is of no value unless it be practiced. Forming new habits of thinking requires practice but is essential. See the truth and the value of the new way of thinking, we are able to persist without discouragement even though conditions do not at once seem transformed. It follows that an essential thing in the beginning of our work is that of changing the basis of thought from observation to Principle. This change of basis, a yield of our varied opinions to the One Changeless and Infinite Good, changes all conditions.
Divine Science transfers the attention from the visible to the Invisible and thus gives us a new and correct basis for our thinking. We become conscious of being unlimited Spirit. We live in the fullness of Spirit, the Kingdom of Unity. We claim health, power, knowledge, and all good; claim our wholeness complete in infinite Good. As we do this, we enjoy the Good, and have peace and rest. Since the living God is around us, above us, and through us all, we are protected and shielded by the perfect Good at all times.
If we form the perfect idea of divine humanity, perceiving all as One, knowing that there is nothing lacking morally, mentally, or spiritually, we shall manifest power over external conditions and reveal more and more of the life which we live until we express harmony divine. There is no standard but God, hence, whatever He is should be our guide for thought, word, and act. We know that He is Life, Love and Power, Knowledge, Health, Perfection, Success, and all that we can conceive to be good. To be free from experiences contrary to this Good we must think in accordance with these inherent attributes. “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report . . . think on these things.” Phil. 4:8
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Gen. 1:26 He plants the living soul, a perfect seed, in man and tells him to “dress and keep this seed”; he is to watch and cultivate the right thought of himself. Thinking is the method of cultivation, for by thinking man’s mentality is kept alive to Truth. As he persistently thinks on this declaration, realization of the true state of things becomes more and more clear to him. Eventually we shall understand that it is a law as fixed as the eternal principle of mathematics, that as men and women think in their hearts (in the depths of their God-Self), so do they become aware of their true possibilities.
Train yourself to think: “I do not judge of what I am by what I feel, but I direct my feelings by what I know I am.” This is scientific; it is knowledge duly arranged. This is the method and the only method by which to control thought and express our highest concept of perfection. Systematically train your thinking in Truth’s way. There is but one Way, one Truth, and one Life; find it and abides in it. Affirm over and over again the eternal principles that Truth reveals. Recognize that these are verities of your own being or Life. Accept this new revelation. Awaken! Listen! Think and speak by its light. Be positive, be firm and unwavering and consciousness of Truth will be your reward. Every hour in the day, yes, every moment be on your guard to admit only perfect good and affirm the love presence in everything. This is man’s responsibility; let him recognize it faithfully; let him systematically practice thinking of this perfect Being that is the nature of Love, Purity, Peace, and Health. Recognize that this is your Being – your Nature. When you say “I am,” know this “I” is your identity in God. This “I” of which you speak is immortal. Know that you are an eternal idea in the mind of God: changeless, harmonious, strong in thought and body, loving, living, trusting, resting in the freedom and fullness of perfect life.
By thoughtfully making the above statements and using them each day for a time, habits of thinking will be formed that will gradually bring a sense of peace. Moment by moment you live and moment by moment you think. Conform every thought to the consciousness of Divine Presence; declare it to the exclusion of all else. Accept the Whole Being, then will your thinking and speaking change. If your thinking is optimistic, constructive, right, and your doing is consistent with it, you will find each day an opportunity for development, for you will be proving that you understand the power of thought.
Questions for Review and Discussion
1. Discuss your reactions as you tried to form the perfect idea of divine humanity.
2. Does a mother who thinks and talks disease and dreads lest her family be attacked by disease open the door to these very conditions?
3. Explain: “The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” Prov. 29:25
4. Which statement is correct?
– I make myself what I am by my thoughts.
– My experiences in life are determined by my thoughts.
5. Discuss the discipline and training you are giving your thinking.
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Divine Science – Its Principle and Practice from the writings of Nona Brooks and Malinda Cramer