Margaret Laird wrote: “… In the practice of Science, we do not really turn from the hate, fear, sickness, sin that apparently confront us as if Reality were not present. We do not need to, because in discerning the spiritual fact, the hate, fear, sickness, crime apparently turn instantly into their opposites. In seeing Reality as Reality and not as fear, hate, sickness, and sin, it takes on the appearance of love, assurance, confidence, health and righteousness.” (The Fourth Dimension of Spirit, p. 52)
She also said, in effect, that to perceive with understanding that any inharmony or imperfection is a misstatement, a misconception, of a genuine fact would be to free oneself instantly.
How many of us are spending much, much time in inharmony because we have objectified a misconception of man as a husband, or wife or some other role, and given this illusion meaning?
I hear a knock on the door. I open it, and standing before me is a well-groomed man carrying a briefcase. He is Caucasian, middle aged and of a friendly demeanor. I sense that he is a salesman, and immediately a red flag goes up. I feel a touch of annoyance, but I’ll hear his introduction and be ready with: “Thanks, but that is of no interest to me at this time.”
This mental precursor took place in a matter of seconds, to the end that I objectified my misconception of man as a salesman and gave this illusion life. But having grasped the significance of the above statement, I realize that, if what I see “out there” is not seen from “in here,” the “out there” becomes the shape of illusion, and I am literally “out of my mind,” in a very real sense.
Further, I have to acknowledge that I was unaware of the extent of this illusional thinking in my world. I also note that this appears to be going on in each and every one’s individual world, to whatever degree.
If we see ourselves as a material personality, we then have to see everyone as a person separated from us by time and space, and all living in a world whose appearance is purely illusion. But in living the I as selfconscious Mind, I leave the world of conditioned thinking (illusion), of mistaking material personality for man, to find out that when there is no material personality, it becomes apparent Mind is in command of every situation.
Mary Baker Eddy capped it all when she said, “…mortal existence is a state of self-deception and not the truth of being,” and also, “…we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind….” (See Science and Health 403:15 and 424:6)
An illusion is not something that is happening but merely an unreal mental image presented to the vision. There is no water in a mirage of a lake; our real identity is unaffected, no matter what the appearance.
If material existence is a state of self-deception, and it is, who or what is being deceived? Not the objectified misconception of man, the illusion that we give life to, but “mortal mind,” seeing what it believes and believing what it sees and claiming to be our mind. Again, we are told to “leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind.” Who is this “we” but the false sense of ourselves as mortals giving place to the true, through the action of Love operating as the Life-Principle.
Here I am at the computer sensing that I am a material personality composing a metaphysical article on the nonexistence of the material personality! It is one thing to write about it, but another thing to make it operational in daily life by getting to the place where I see Mind knows, and I am that knowing. That place is the here and now!
Looking back, I can see that I began the “out there” orientation when I first became self-conscious as a child and heard “don’t get too close to the fire, watch out for this and that, don’t talk to strangers,” etc. This was necessary advice, of course, to survive in this world of consensus separation. The question is: “Why didn’t I abandon this orientation when I became a man?”
Since I can only live in the here and now, I focus my attention on: What am I experiencing right now? — the answer being “the scientific fact of whatever the material senses behold.” One scientific fact is: “To see is to be what is seen, with no gap in between.” Since this is a scientific fact, my I AM-ness is one-all, and abides in the “secret place of the most high,” having left the mortal basis of belief and united with the one Mind.
I hear my friend say, “Abiding in this “lofty pinnacle of serenity” of being, what I am seeing and thinking is all well and good, but I still have a business to run here on Earth, so to speak. How do I maintain this mental position and thereby not objectify my misconceptions of man and give illusions life?”
That question could be one of the most important one ever asks oneself. I asked the same question, waiting patiently for the answer to take form, and was surprised and overjoyed at the simplicity of the solution.
– Harry Hughes
Fourth Dimension of Spirit