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One of the meanings given in a dictionary for the verb “demonstrate” is, “Logically prove the truth of.” It is plain, therefore, that, since matter is simply a false picture in mortal mind, no material thing can be demonstrated. The only demonstration possible is that of Principle, for Truth alone can stand the test of proof. When a demonstration of Principle is made in human experience, however, the result is often confused with the cause, and the material gain is considered to be the demonstration, instead of being seen as what follows the demonstration. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain very clearly in thought the fact that it is the allness of God which is to be demonstrated, not some much desired material result, though the result will certainly follow if it is the right result. The human mind, however, being “enmity against God,” is not able to decide the right Outcome and often outlines some human gain and “tries” to “demonstrate” it; and if it is not “demonstrated” easily, the human will is often called upon to produce, by main force, so to speak, the demonstration that is considered to be the right solution. In this way, under the cloak of mental statements as to God’s omniscience and omnipotence, the human mind seeks to twist circumstances to suit itself instead of yielding itself in obedience to divine law. It is said sometimes that a house must be “demonstrated,” or a bicycle, or a typewriter, or some other need of the moment.

In reality, what needs to be demonstrated is the fact that divine Love supplies every need, but what the exact solution is can only be seen when the demonstration is complete. Hence it is of no avail forcibly to twist circumstances to suit the convenience of the moment, even when it seems possible to do so; for unless the change of circumstances comes about naturally and inevitably, as the “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,” it is not a demonstration of Principle at all, but merely an expression of the wishes of the human mind, and in the latter case the improvement cannot possibly continue, since the mental condition is unimproved. So if one finds one’s self in uncongenial surroundings, for instance, it is of no use to declare, “Harmony is my right; therefore I shall not stay here in the midst of inharmony.” So long as inharmony is believed in, it will turn up in one’s surroundings, relentlessly and invariably, no matter how often one changes one’s outward habitation. Change the thought, however, and heal the belief in inharmony, and then either the previously uncongenial surroundings become congenial or else in a perfectly natural and harmonious way one is removed to better surroundings.

Events are merely the outward expression of the beliefs of the human mind, and they change, therefore, in response to mental changes. So it becomes perfectly clear. that the only way to get events to take a consistently improved course is to establish better mental conditions for one’s self, and then nothing can hinder the manifestation of harmony, since we have the power to work out our own salvation through obedience to the law of God.

Sometimes a demonstration of Principle may remove some material possession instead of adding to it, but in such a case the desire for it would be removed also, displaced by more spiritual desires and hopes; in which case nothing is lost but much is gained. It is very obvious that Jesus of Nazareth, our Way-shower, did not spend much of his time “demonstrating” material possessions; he demonstrated the law of God by destroying false beliefs through his knowledge of the truth, and this process made manifest to human Sense such different results as the healing of the sick and sinful, the feeding of the multitude, and the destruction of the barren fig tree and the Gadarene swine. In each case, however, the demonstration of God’s law was the same, the proof of the reality of spiritual being and the unreality of matter. As Mrs. Eddy says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 367): “Matter and evil are subjective states of error or mortal mind. But Mind is immortal; and the fact of there being no mortal mind, exposes the lie of suppositional evil, showing that error is not Mind, substance, or Life. Thus, whatever is wrongfully-minded will disappear in the proportion that Science is understood, and the reality of being—goodness and harmony—is demonstrated.”

Let us, then, know that true demonstration is made by “prayer and fasting,” and not by juggling with our outward conditions, and we shall find that “all things work together for good to them that love God.”

(Originally published in the September 4, 1920 ​Christian Science Sentinel)

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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