Divine Economy

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The economic systems of the world, like everything else which is a product of the human mind, are founded in inharmony. When the significance of this is fully grasped, the attempt to accomplish the impossible will be given up. Men will turn from effect to cause. They will begin to analyze that saying, so deep because so apparently simple, of Jesus of Nazareth: “For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes;” or, to reduce it to the terminology of the twentieth century, an economic system conceived in accordance with Principle cannot produce economic effects antagonistic to Principle. Therefore, any inharmonious economic effect must be produced by a cause antagonistic to Principle, since Principle, in its own nature, is harmonious. Speaking of men and women, on page 51 of “Unity of Good,” Mrs. Eddy declares, with that marvelous insight which pierces straight to the spiritual fact, “They have none of them lost their harmonious state, in the economy of God’s wisdom and government.”

“The appearance of any inharmonious effect in human economics points directly to the acceptation of an erroneous concept of law.”

Frederick Dixon

The word economy, of course, is not a mere synonym for frugality. It has come to mean frugality, amongst other things, it is true; but it is derived from two Greek words meaning house and steward, and in its true sense means “the administration of the concerns and resources of a community.” Now, as every material phenomenon is the counterfeit of some spiritual reality, there is a divine economy of which all material economy is the counterfeit. It is this divine economy to which Mrs. Eddy refers in the passage just quoted; and it is in the exact proportion in which the individual masters this great metaphysical fact, that he realizes that precisely as he subjugates and destroys the material in his own consciousness he will succeed in demonstrating the at-one-ment of the spiritual reality with its Principle, God, and so begin to comprehend the meaning of that sentence on page 327 of Science and Health, “To the physical senses, the strict demands of Christian Science seem peremptory; but mortals are hastening to learn that Life is God, good, and that evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.”

The word economy, of course, is not a mere synonym for frugality. It has come to mean frugality, amongst other things, it is true; but it is derived from two Greek words meaning house and steward, and in its true sense means “the administration of the concerns and resources of a community.” Now, as every material phenomenon is the counterfeit of some spiritual reality, there is a divine economy of which all material economy is the counterfeit. It is this divine economy to which Mrs. Eddy refers in the passage just quoted; and it is in the exact proportion in which the individual masters this great metaphysical fact, that he realizes that precisely as he subjugates and destroys the material in his own consciousness he will succeed in demonstrating the at-one-ment of the spiritual reality with its Principle, God, and so begin to comprehend the meaning of that sentence on page 327 of Science and Health, “To the physical senses, the strict demands of Christian Science seem peremptory; but mortals are hastening to learn that Life is God, good, and that evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.”

“The divine economy, then, is spiritual law, which administers, if the phrase may be used, “the concerns and resources” of the spiritual world.”

Evil, being nothing but a negation of Truth, has, of course, a mere suppositional existence. Consequently, the appearance of any inharmonious effect in human economics points directly to the acceptation of an erroneous concept of law, and so to the necessity for correcting the mental impression conveyed by this supposititious law. It was precisely at such false impressions of law that Christ Jesus’ whole system of demonstration was aimed. “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” He could scarcely have said more clearly: If you accept my teaching,—that is, if you make it your own and demonstrate it,—you will be freed from all the impressions of false law by which you have limited yourselves, and will be able to prove the spiritual fact in feeding multitudes, walking on the waves, and raising the so-called dead. In other words, you will be “hastening to learn that Life is God, good, and that evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.”

The divine economy, then, is spiritual law, which administers, if the phrase may be used, “the concerns and resources” of the spiritual world. Where the human economist goes hopelessly and fundamentally wrong is in the acceptance of a counterfeit material law. Law, it must be remembered, is no mere legislation of politicians, to be enacted, amended, or rescinded under political pressure. It is the operation of Principle, in which no variation is possible. Thus when politicians undertake to legislate for humanity, they accomplish good or evil just as their labors approximate to, or diverge from, Principle. This divergence or approximation is no matter of opinion; it is a matter of fact. Opinion will, of course, vary as to the fact, but this will not, in the very least, affect the fact. The result alone will show, to the human mind, who were correct in their conclusions, but even this result will not convince the dissenter of the right or wrong of the case. That conviction can only be brought about by an understanding of Principle clear enough to separate the legislative sheep from the goats. Then the political observer will read accurately not only the materially economic but the divinely economic signs of the times.

 

“Both Science and consciousness are now at work in the divine economy of being.”

Mary Baker Eddy

Until this is done men will grope blindly after material remedies to material conditions, and the ebb and flow of success and failure, encouragement and disappointment, will accompany their endeavors. The eventual failure lies in not perceiving that it is impossible to gather figs from a thorn tree. In other words, the human mind being itself discordant, discord is inherent in all its remedies. The only way out of these material conditions is for the individual to learn the scientific truth which frees the student from the mesmerism of wrong impressions. This is precisely what is happening to-day, and it accounts for all the disturbance observable in the economic world. The needle of the economic compass is being perpetually diverted by the influence of absolute Truth. As Mrs. Eddy writes on page 423 of Science and Health, “Both Science and consciousness are now at work in the divine economy of being according to the law of Mind, which ultimately asserts its absolute supremacy.” While this process is going on, a man must, of course, be guided by his vision of the Christ, now dim perhaps and now strong. To-day, as Paul says, he may only see in a glass darkly, but if he is faithful he will eventually see face to face. In the early days of his pursuit of Truth, he will doubtless resort to many expedients which he will reject later on. But this will not prove that these expedients were not the best for him at that period of his understanding.

Now the test of the completeness of his understanding lies in the terms of his acceptance of the unreality of matter, and, above all, in his power to demonstrate this unreality. The master Metaphysician walked on the water, fed the multitudes, and raised the dead. His followers to-day seem to rest content with lesser demonstrations, but for all that, they know exactly the extent to which matter appeals to them. In the strength or weakness of this appeal will be discovered the individual’s approach to a solution of all economic problems. The more he clings to matter, the stronger to him will be the appeal of the so-called law of supply and demand, the lockout, and the strike; but the clearer his vision of the Christ, the more naturally will he seek the solution of his problems in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, and the miracle of the feeding of the multitude.

(Originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel, May 15, 1920)

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