Science, Theology, and Medicine: an abridged chapter of Mary Baker Eddy’s from her book, Science and Health
Divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love inspire the disciplines of science, theology, and medicine with a more divine nature and essence.
We can spiritually discern and live by divine laws. We can overcome false and outgrown beliefs that work against the one Spirit.
In Spirit, all is natural, but not physical. It is alive, but not biological. It is normal, not supernatural or mysterious. Healing through the power of Spirit is possible and has occurred for millenniums. The spiritual method of healing is lost sight of now and then, but its truth remains to be discerned and experienced.
We can understand and practice the one Spirit, or divine Mind that governs the entire creation by using the power of Truth to extinguish erroneous concepts. We can perceive that all cause and effect belong to Spirit.
When people try to attribute cause and effect to matter or human energy, they can’t find a first physical cause; it’s the chicken and egg quandary, unanswered. It’s no wonder the human race yearns for spirituality.
The following view of reality is proposed:
- There is more to reality than the human evidence;
- Divine Mind and its reality can be experienced as human mind gives way to divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love;
- All real being is in God, the divine Mind;
- Matter and human energy don’t possess sensation or life;
- Sin, sickness, disease, and death are subjective states of human mind;
- Spirit is Life.
People glimpse divine healing, but human opinions, arrogance, ignorance, and greed often interfere. We also have to deal with inadequate human languages that are unable to articulate metaphysical concepts. The vital part, the mind, heart, and soul of the divine workings, is not words, but Love. Without love, words are empty.
To glimpse divine metaphysics, try thinking about this: There is no pain in Truth, and no truth in pain; there is no nerve in Mind, and no mind in nerve; there is no illusion in Mind, and no mind in illusion; there is no good in bad, and no bad in good; there is no intelligence in matter, and no matter in intelligence; there is nothing impermanent in the permanent, and nothing permanent in the impermanent; there is no flesh in Spirit, and no Spirit in flesh.
God is Mind. God is substance. God is energy. If substance and energy is Mind, they are not the changing substance and energy we call matter or quantum energy. The human mind has no power over divine Mind.
The term human mind is really a misnomer. The mortal human mind always dies. Was it ever a mind, knowing life? The human mind, and its image of flesh and body, is temporary and opposes eternal Mind.
The human mind is limited, undeveloped, immature, and projects itself through what we call matter or human energy. Another way to view the human mind is in three degrees:
First degree: Depravity. The depraved state is attached to the physical or materialist energy. It includes evil beliefs, addictions and appetites, fear, corrupt willfulness, hatred, envy, arrogance, deceit, sickness, disease, death, self-righteousness.
Second degree: Improvement. Depraved thinking and thoughts are being replaced with moral thoughts and behaviors that express humanity, honesty, empathy, hope, faith, humility, and moderation.
Third degree: Understanding. This state is radiant with wisdom, purity, spiritual comprehension and power, love, health, and holiness.
In the third degree, human logic yields to revelation and enlightened logic. Human mind and its images disappear and the image and likeness of God appears. Divinity is witnessed as all-inclusive, and the spiritual universe is experienced as intact.
To neglect infinite Spirit is to start insisting matter and human energy is the reality and is self-evolved and self-governing, yet there is no beginning or end. If you believe in a humanlike God, it may be assumed that matter was created by Spirit. These beliefs suck us into a vicious vortex of contradictions, even making God responsible for all disasters.
Mysteries disappear through discovery and revelation. While meteorologists, physicians, and computer programmers remove mystery from weather, the body, or electronics, we likewise can remove mystery from the study of nature and life through spiritual understanding and consciousness.
Old-time restraints become extinct when the sciences modify their theories to accommodate relativity. Time and space wrinkle as we fly around the earth in jets. Matter particles are dodged or switched out, no longer seen as absolutes.
Technology shows that connectivity exists, but material connectivity is fragile and can break. In Mind-science, we discover that matter and human mind is only an echo, with no real substance or power to break, sicken, or derail Spirit and our spiritualty.
We better overcome limitations by reflecting God’s government and being self-governed.
Health is not a condition of physical atoms, but of infinite Mind. Freedom is not a circumstance of temporal life, but of eternal Life. Spirituality is not a power of measured force, but of immeasurable force.
While working out the laws of Mind, things are resolved into thoughts. The objects of physical sense are replaced with spiritual ideas. Human perceptions fade as we find divine perceptions clear and thriving. The key is spiritual discovery.
Divine theology and popular theology differ. Anything and everything entitled to a classification as divine must be comprised in a knowledge or understanding of God, illimitable Mind.
Unfortunately, we are ingrained in false beliefs that war against spiritual facts. The false must be denied and cast out to make place for truth. Jesus’ love for little children reminds us of the need to be receptive to new ideas. Don’t wait for a catastrophe to get the attention of your spiritual consciousness. Right now, you can shake off your faith in the false and your faith in God can blossom.
When first discovering Spirit and divine logic, the sinner stiffens when realizing that sin must be destroyed. The petty intellect shudders to think it must stop trying to preserve its own personal theological knowledge. The impious attitude has a difficult time restraining itself from exploiting spirituality. The human ego will rebel or be reluctant to improve.
The spiritual idea and the people who present it should not be ignored in order to retain materialistic beliefs about God.
Doubt evil. Forsake evil. Don’t be startled at the brisk claims of evil. Evil is the belief that good is absent. Think it natural to love good. Cultivate the reality of health and spiritual power.
God is not the author of disease, trauma, melodrama, abuse, or death—and those evils, if you will, have no law to support them. What produces laws? Do atoms or human minds produce laws? If they do, they can be undone by divine Mind.
The laws of divine Mind are good. God is good, all-power.
Good is uncomplicated. Good is not miraculous to itself. Spiritual good, properly understood, is practical. People have found that the application of divine logic improves their level of perseverance and mental powers. Spiritual laws parallel deeper insight and people are better able to understand one another.
The law of God expands our character and alertness. We discover that it increases stamina, resiliency, and the ability to multitask. Immortal knowledge develops our dormant potential.
Divine knowledge is accessible, even if the churches seem not ready to approach it. Scripture says, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”
Spirit is fully capable of making the body harmonious.
Don’t discount the spiritual idea in order to preserve beloved rituals and past successes. And don’t abuse a truth to infuriate another person.
Throughout history and in a multitude of cultures we find it is Mind that saves. Only when we depart from the true idea does demoralization seep in and distract us away from divine Mind.
Miracles can happen anywhere, and at any time, because Mind is ever-present. Miracles are natural.
Recognize no life, mind, intelligence, nor substance outside of God, divine Mind. This means we can’t argue for static traditions, dogmas, or a supernatural God, all of which can lead to damaging authoritative positions.
There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance. The same power that heals sin also heals sickness.
Christian theology is more than a profession of a deep abiding love for Christ Jesus and God. To adhere to Jesus’ divine theology is to let go of our cherished attachments to human personality and grasp Christ as Truth.
Tyranny and arrogance need constantly to be cleaned out of the church temple and rules. The vanity of superficial worship needs to be purged. It is more important to welcome the stranger at the church door than to build a fabulous edifice.
Spirituality isn’t in limited supply. It isn’t controlled by a person or organization. The spiritual idea and its healing power can’t be monopolized. The widespread belief that only specific people are entitled to spiritual authority implodes in light of the Biblical stand that all believers “will be called priests of the Lord.”
We can adopt a spiritual theology. We can heal divinely. We can give the spiritual equation justice and fair representation in the media.
The medicine of divine Mind is divine Mind. The medicine involves metaphysical treatment, working out the divine equation in which the human mind yields to divine Mind and relies on God for healing. The nature and the character of Mind is the remedy for that which works against life, truth, and love. They are one and the same.
The medicine of divine Mind is unlike the invented medicines of human minds.
Due to the dualistic or relativistic natures of human minds and medicines, humanity is driven to choose between remedies—usually choosing the lesser remedy to relieve the greater problem. But this creates more problems and pill is added to pill and surgery to surgery. Health becomes a struggle. The struggle, however is not between human minds. The struggle is between human minds and immortal Mind.
Our spiritual awareness relieves the human mind from falling back on itself. It allows a reliance on the available superiority of divine Mind.
Instead of looking to human persons and material units for guidance and deliverance, we can look to divine Principle. It doesn’t matter what temporary method you adopt, whether faith in drugs, trust in surgery, or a reliance on some other cure, the victory is reached only when human belief yields to immortal Mind.
The will of Truth must supersede human will-power. True progress in medicine isn’t achieved by human willpower.
Willing the sick to recover is not the metaphysical practice of the divine healing. Human willpower can lead to states of ignorance, obsession, or risky crazes, therefore it must be kept secondary to the divine will of Truth.
To mix material and spiritual treatments is to dilute the treatment. Why is it difficult for healers to rely only on divine Mind for healing? Because our faith in drugs, surgery, or superstition is stronger than our faith in God.
Instant gratification, faith in matter, and idolatry have become obstacles to divine healing. Symptoms, rather than the cause, are treated and conventional medicine has a difficult time maintaining success. Supposedly cured diseases are replaced by more complex diseases. Drugs are dicey and can affect people differently, oftentimes causing terrible side effects, or they become useless. Surgeries also are limited and sometimes set the stage for fatal infections.
We know the mind can affect the body so why don’t we push the question and discover how divine Mind controls the mind and body? We don’t because spiritual knowledge will go against what is commonly taught in anatomy, biology, theology, sociology, genetics, and cultural teachings. But we can use divine logic and revelation to get to know the healing power of Truth and wisdom, without becoming offended or defensive.
The medicine of Truth isn’t eccentric or exclusive. Its mission isn’t to maintain mortal bodies or make human minds powerful, but is to replace all that opposes God, Life, Truth, Love. Truth has a healing effect, even when not fully understood.
The doctrine of the superiority of matter and human mind can continue to fade. Placebos teach us that beliefs or expectations can affect the body. Homeopathic, holistic, and yoga practices have decreased reliance on medicinal drugging.
Divine metaphysics is the next stately step. Its principle includes a Truth that neutralizes and destroys mistaken theories. Problems are addressed logically, from the premise of divine Spirit. Fear is recognized as a culprit that needs removing. Mental conditions are taken into account. The metaphysician agrees with health and challenges disease mentally. This spiritual and profound pathology embraces the preventative and curative arts.
Great respect is due to the motives and philanthropy of thoughtful theologians, physicians, and researchers. With due appreciation to professionals and experts, here are a few statements worth thinking about:
“The materials we need to reach a new level of discourse are in our grasp; we have only to abandon outmoded approaches/disciplines to achieve an enlightening beginning for a new science.” From The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method, Third Edition.
“The Starting Point of Biblical Theology: We have already observed that every scholarly endeavor inevitably is based upon presuppositions.” HarperCollins Bible Dictionary.
“We physicians often pay lip service to the importance of the mind in health and illness, yet in practice we equate it with the brain. This is obvious in our reliance on drugs when mental problems arise…. A refreshing contrast is alternative or complementary medicine, which has emerged as a major social force shaping medical care in the United States.” From Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind/Body to a New Era of Healing.
“We know from history that much of what doctors do at any particular time is ineffective or even dangerous when viewed in retrospect. Years ago a famous professor warned his graduating medical students that half of what he’d taught them was wrong, but the trouble was he didn’t know which half. Medical practice has evolved significantly since then, but the principle still applies: we don’t know which of the well-intentioned therapies of the present will end up looking like the leeches and bloodletting of ancient time or like the thalidomide, Dalkon shields, and routine tonsillectomies of a more recent era gone by. Accordingly, the pronouncements of doctors should be viewed with healthy skepticism.” Timothy B. McCall, M.D. a practicing physician in Boston.
“We physicians do not fully understand the relationship between mind, body, and that intangible element known as spirit…. Medical educators have often taught that religion is an irrelevant or even detrimental factor in physical and emotional well-being. But a growing body of research has established that religious people, both young and old, often enjoy the psychological and physical benefits of a positive emotional outlook.” Harold G. Koenig, M D., Director of Duke University’s Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health.
A sampling of other recommended reading: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, by Atul Gawande; A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by Karen Armstrong; Second Opinions: Stories of Intuition and Choice in the Changing World of Medicine, by Jerome Groopman; The Future of Faith, by Harvey Cox.
It is right to say that the educated class of scientists and medical doctors are great people. They are more scientific than are false claimants to the divine healing method. There is much that yet remains to be said and done before all humankind is saved and before all the mental microbes of sin and disease thought-germs are exterminated. Mistakes will be made, but it is fair to say that mistakes can’t wholly obscure the divine Mind and its continuing revelation of truth as the best medicine.
 Matt. 19:13-14; Mark 10:13-14; Luke 18:15-16
 John 1:11
 Ex. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6
 The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method, Third Edition. Edited by Lola Romanucci-Ross, Daniel E. Moerman, Laurence R. Tancredi. Copyright © 1997 by Lola Romanucci-Ross, Daniel E. Moerman, and Laurence R. Tancredi. Reproduced with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT.
 HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Paul J. Achtemeier, General Editor, With the Society of Biblical Literature (HarperCollins Publishers, New York: 1996)
 Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind/Body To a New Era of Healing, by Larry Dossey, M.D. (HarperCollins, NY:1999)
 McCall, Timothy B., Examining Your Doctor: A Patient’s Guide to Avoiding Harmful Medical Care. New York: Carol Publishing, 1995
 Koenig, Harold G. The Healing Power of Faith: Science Explores Medicine’s Last Great Frontier. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1999.