My son is taking an anatomy class at North Central College for his degree. Last week his class dissected a cat in their three-hour lab. You could tell he was a little queasy rethinking and retelling his experience. I grew uncomfortable just thinking about it.
But later that night I remembered these words of health researcher and Christian Science healer Mary Baker Eddy, “Anatomy, when conceived of spiritually, is mental self-knowledge, and consists in the dissection of thoughts to discover their quality, quantity, and origin. Are thoughts divine or human? That is the important question. This branch of study is indispensable to the excision of error.”
She continued, “The anatomy of Christian Science teaches when and how to probe the self-inflicted wounds of selfishness, malice, envy, and hate. It teaches the control of mad ambition. It unfolds the hallowed influences of unselfishness, philanthropy, spiritual love. It urges the government of the body both in health and sickness.”
Eddy concluded that thought was the real culprit in disease – especially fear. She reasoned that when thinking is permeated with the Divine, the cure of disease is possible. She wrote, “The Christian Scientist, through understanding mental anatomy, discerns and deals with the real cause of disease.”
This spiritual analyzing was very important to me a few years ago when I injured my back carrying a cement urn. I felt a muscle tear in my back as I lifted the planter and was in extreme pain – unable to walk or straighten up. My wife heard me cry out and helped me into the house.
For the next few days I was rather incapacitated. But instead of examining my body, I knew that for me the freedom from pain and injury would come from examining my thinking. And I did just that. Eddy’s words about the wounds of malice, envy and hate resonated with me as I tried to mend those with the spiritualized emotions of unselfishness and love.
I had to go give a talk the next day, and just focused on the love I wanted to express to everyone there. I was able to stand, sit, read and talk without anyone noticing that I was still in pain. I could feel the balming effect of expressing love to others. The pain was decreasing and my back was less stiff. Within a few days I was well and back to moving freely.
Surprisingly enough, when I am ill, I am less apt to ask what have I just eaten or did I do too much today – than I am to ask myself, “Is your thinking toward others, as well as yourself, more angry or kind, more hurtful or blessing?” I have proved many times that thought filled with divine goodness is an extremely practical way to health.
©2014 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois