“Living matter” or “living Spirit.” Which do you identify with?
I was studying the chapter, “Physiology,” in Science and Health, to better understand Mind’s control over the body, when I had to stop and ponder for several hours Eddy’s statement, “We cannot obey both physiology and Spirit, for one absolutely destroys the other, and one or the other must be supreme in the affections.”
“…one absolutely destroys the other…”
Curious, I Googled the word physiology and found a scientific paper that satisfied my query. It stated,
“Physiology is the study of the functions of living matter. It is concerned with how an organism performs its varied activities: how it feeds, how it moves, how it adapts to changing circumstances, how it spawns new generations.”
The phrase “living matter,” grabbed my attention because it screamed Animal Magnetism. For students of Christian Science, animal magnetism is a term Eddy uses in her writings to signify all the world beliefs of life or mind in matter. It’s the opposite of God, which is Life in Spirit.
So, to paraphrase, what I saw in the above definition was, “Physiology is the study of the functions of animal magnetism.”
Physiology is searching, inspecting, analyzing, and delving into the physical body to find answers about life and health. Questions like, “How does the heart affect my strength? What food should I eat to strengthen the flesh? How much vitamin C do I need? What lotions should I put on my skin? How do I get the muscles to work again? How do I lower my blood pressure?” and their kin, are all physiological considerations. To obey and honor the line of reasoning these types of questions take you toward is to turn away from Spirit, according to Eddy. And I agreed.
The more we study the body, the less we think about the presence of Spirit. Study of the body and its conditions negates the effectiveness of prayer and spiritual healing.
So, I did a turn of phrase to defend myself from the claims of physiology.
“I’m not living matter. I’m living Spirit!,” I declared.
As defined in Christian Science, man is not a physical organism that deteriorates and dies. Man—a generic term for all men, women and children—is a spiritual being that reflects the eternal life of God. Our identity is not in temporal flesh and bones, but in forever Spirit. We live forever as spiritual beings in God’s likeness. Our daily prayer is to understand that immortal being better and live it.
You too are not “living matter.” That’s a mortal mind version of you that would separate you from God and make you feel mortal and tenuous. You are living Spirit—Spirit’s qualities of love, wisdom, strength, intelligence, life, ability and capacity expressed without limit.
So, if you’ve been in the habit of viewing yourself in a physiological way, break out of the troubled mesmerism, and stand in the light of Spirit. It’s a healthier and happier place to be! And your prayers will be more successful too.