February 3, 2012
Recently while making a long drive, I was pondering this statement from Science and Health: “Selfishness and sensualism are educated in mortal mind by the thoughts ever recurring to one’s self, by conversation about the body, and by the expectation of perpetual pleasure or pain from it; and this education is at the expense of spiritual growth.” (260:24-28) As I was driving, the traffic around me became more and more congested and eventually slowed to a crawl. This went on for a couple miles when I noticed a police cruiser to the side of the road, and the car he had stopped. Drivers had been slowing down to take a look at what was going on and traffic was impeded. I realized after I got back up to speed, that this event exactly described the quote I had been pondering. How so?
Call the normal progression down the road towards your destination, spiritual growth. Call slowing down to see what’s going on by the side of the road “conversation about the body.” Call wondering why the police pulled the driver over “the thoughts ever recurring to one’s self.” Call getting frustrated with the drivers around you who are slowing down “the expectation of perpetual pleasure or pain.”
In the same way, slowing down to take a look at what’s going on with the body – either your own or someone else’s – impedes spiritual growth. Being curious about any physical condition, speculating about its cause and prognosis, takes your thought away from God. Jesus rightly declared the most important commandment to be “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 22:37) Doing that naturally lifts and dissolves a preoccupation with the body. Spiritual growth is the natural outcome.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.