I first came across the term “unlived life” in Margaret Laird’s 1956 Laird Letters, and have seldom, if ever, seen her use it elsewhere.
Like much of her writing, that curious word juxtaposition reeled me in: What is an “unlived life?”
I wondered. Is that when friends invite me to dinner or a movie, and I can’t go because I must catch up on some work?
Mrs. Laird says the perception and practice of metaphysics starts and ends with “conscious
awareness” in one’s daily living— the recognition that Life is more than the people, places and
occurrences perceived by the senses. All perceptions are evidence of the fundamental fact that
everything is “infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation” (see Science and Health by Mary Baker
Eddy, 468:10-11), one interconnected entirety.
Laird revisits the idea that scientific metaphysics (“with which can be discerned the
spiritual fact of whatever the … senses behold,” S&H 585:10-11) opens the door to the only genuine living possible in Christian Science Re-Explored: A Challenge to Original Thinking. She writes, “Truth makes its presence known as understanding, a state or condition of consciousness, and is the reality of everything seen, heard and felt” (p. xix: 6-8, emphasis added).
Truth’s revelation is the continuous, Mind-impelled, Mind-powered experience called
consciousness—or more accurately Mind’s Self-consciousness, since the mind of man is not separate from the Mind constituting All.
Mrs. Laird writes, “Those who would find better answers to the questions of how, what and why
posed by appearances must throw away the answers of yesterday which we have been conditioned by habit and tradition to trust. Truth is infinite, unfolding in and as individual consciousness. … Truth always comes from our own withinness as revelation or inspiration, and
never from another” (CSR xxv:21-32).
Until an individual recognizes the presence of Truth—”the kingdom of God within”—as his very own
endowment, he has no Truth to guide him, just relics from the religious experience of others, which
are never adequate substitutes for one’s own first-hand experience of Mind’s sovereignty
Reductionism is unavoidable in each attempt to confine the Infinite to words or concepts.
Those capture only a viewpoint on Truth, not Truth itself, and so miss the essential interactive
(Laird calls it “transactional”) “aliveness” of Mind evaluating every experience (Itself) spontaneously.
We can’t truly appreciate man’s identity as Life living Itself with- out an awareness that,
whatever the activity in which our senses tell us we are engaged, the only thing going on is
Mind detecting (witnessing) Itself. As we live every moment with that recognition, claiming no
other sense of self, our Life is truly lived. But if we mistake ourselves as persons, in an
imagined compartment separate from the Mind that is All, Life remains “unlived.”
Life living as awareness is not a learning process nor a series of steps leading one gradually,
laboriously from imperfection to comfort, healing, enlightenment, peace, salvation, abundance,
protection or any other concept suggesting that Life—right now—lacks some essential that must
be found, earned or achieved.
The Life that is the God-idea in action as each individual lacks nothing.
With such awareness, you find abundant evidence that daily Life is truly lived, and that you are that living.
– Bruce Manuel