Life is truly lived only as direct, immediate, concrete being. God is ever present because the presence is ceaseless experience. All that is experienced as sight, sound, taste, touch, smell is one’s own self-substance, Soul. It is only when one consciously lives the experience in the “now,” “here,” “this,” that he lives the life of Soul.
The life of Soul is the only real world because it is the only state of being that has meaning. In the real world of Soul there is no “over the horizon,” “far land,” “remote space,”, “tomorrow,” “yesterday.” True being is now-being, what might be called “this-ness” rather than “thatness.”
Human experience attests to the importance of the now-here-this if any substantial meaning is found in one’s life. A promissory note for a thousand dollars is not a thousand dollars. A menu is only the indication of the meal to come, it is not the meal. A music manuscript is not the substance of music, only the actual hearing is the reality.
Nothing proves the presence of God more than the conscious nowness called the life experience. In fact God IS the Now. The student might take issue with this statement, claiming that much of his experience is anything but divine, being worrysome, painful, lacking in what he thinks to be substance. But this is not the ·absence of Soul. It is the absence of the consciousness of Soul. It is the human habit of living in some other area of beingness, some fictitious time or space such as yesterday or tomorrow, leaving only a hollow identity to enjoy the Now-Soul.
Christian Science presents no abstract God; it promises the demonstration of concreteness as Soul-being. I live a meaningful life. I go places, I see people, I hear music, I eat dinner. All this is the living and the enjoying of “I”—the Soul presence. Not symbolic but actual; not past or future but of present value.
“One always lives in the Now, as the Soul presence, but one is not always conscious of the fact.”
When we seem to lack beauty, substance, meaning in our life, we do not have to demonstrate these things as if they were something non-existent, something to search for or to create. If we make it a point to consciously enter the nowness of Soul, all these things will be found present there.
One always lives in the Now, as the Soul presence, but one is not always conscious of the fact. A young lady attended a party which she had looked forward to a long time. All during the party her conversation had to do with her preparations for the party, her visit to the beauty shop, her trying on gowns, her problem of getting a taxi, and so on and on. The following day the young lady called all her friends and told them about the party, mentioning that she did not have a good time. The truth of the matter was that she was never at the party; she was there as a physical entity but her mind was in some other area than the Now-Soul.
It is possible to live yet not live, and humanly we are doing it all the time. We turn on the television, and instead of watching the scene on the screen, we try other stations or look at the listings for what is to come or what has already passed. How can we say that we are living when we indulge such soul-absence? Living the now-experience fully is living as Soul.
The Self is God. To consciously BE one’s Self is the demand of Science, but that Self is forever the Now-being, the very sights, sounds, tastes, that one is always experiencing. Beauty and substance is impossible otherwise than as the present experience however you describe it. If one regards himself as separate from his universe of sight and sound, separate from one’s meaningful Soul-life, one will suffer until “my Soul is restored,” or more rightly, until one becomes conscious that the present experience is the Soul-life.
“Problems are experienced exactly because one is attempting to live outside the consciousness of Soul, outside the Presence.”
Error, troubles, problems, are never an aspect of the Nowness of Soul. The error, troubles, problems are experienced exactly because one is attempting to live outside the consciousness of Soul, outside the Presence. There is no such thing as the “presence” of pain; there is only the presence of Soul. The pain is in trying to exist outside the presence, Soul.
The dualistic world is not two worlds; it is the belief that there is a life area somewhere else than the Nowness of Soul, the current experience. To consciously BE now, to awake to the present experience in all its fullness, transcends the dualistic world, for what else can exist along with being in the present? The past with its remorse and guilt, the future with its fears and anxiety are ghosts that plague us. These are not actual, they are simply the effect of the displacement of consciousness into the unreal world of “some other time.” Being practically unreachable for the substance of nowness, our life seems hollow and threatening.
If we are to demonstrate the meaning of life we have to understand that the senses are involved, but metaphysically the understanding of sensibility is something more than the faculties we usually term “sense.” The “journey from sense to Soul” will take place when we find sense to be infinite and direct presence of Soul itself.
The problem is not “material sense”—there are no material senses. It is the material or objective interpretation of the content or substance of sense that is the problem. Were we wholly concerned with the physical interpretation of sense we could not hear a symphony, we could only hear sound vibrations. If we were judging sight to be physical we would only experience light vibrations, and so on. The sense, however we are interpreting it, is Soul substance, and if we knew it, we would never experience impairment of any of the senses. Sight is Soul itself so blindness is non-existent; deafness is impossible, because it is Soul experiencing its own Presence. Sight, sound, taste grow dim and distant only when we refuse to live in the Nowness that is Soul.
“So, “restoring my soul” would be lining up my consciousness with my now- being.”
Nowhere in Christian Science can we eliminate the “physical senses,” we can only understand them to be faculties of Soul, or rather Soul itself in its ·meaningful manifestation. It is never a “sin” to be fond of your food, it is never “material” to enjoy anything, for that is exactly what Soul meaning is—enjoyment. What we call eating a dinner is Soul-substance consciously reflected. We put the cart before the horse when we say we assimilate the dinner. Assimilation means to take in, to become one with. Metaphysically I was always one with (AS) substance. I may become conscious of this self-substance three or four times a day, and this becoming conscious of my self-substance is called breakfast, lunch, tea, supper, etc.
So we do manifest Soul, even when we don’t know it, and even when we give it other names, like hearing a musical, eating an apple, smelling perfume. When we really· see that all the wondrous things that we are enjoying ostensibly as senses, are really the substantial evidence of Soul, there perfection and permanence will be found real.
So, “restoring my soul” would be lining up my consciousness with my now- being. Actually this is the only “place” I can ever exist, other areas being fictitious. To live consciously in (AS) the now experience, whatever it seems to be, is living in heaven, which is my infinite Self. All the sight, sound, smell, taste, touch is the savoring of my own substance—Soul, and when directly and consciously experienced, is found perfect.
The student may have a jumping toothache, and usually rebels at the advice that he has to live it consciously as the Now. He wants to get rid of the pain. But when it becomes clear that the pain is not in the toothache, but in the displacement of his conscious Soul-being, the consciousness of identity, whatever it seemed to be, operates to dispense with the objectional sensation. It is always therapeutic to consciously live Soul up to the very fullest. It is only in the direct Now that one has access to the healing power. Because consciously living the now IS the healing.
“I exist as the sensing itself; as Soul, never as one who is sensing.”
I exist as the sensing itself; as Soul, never as one who is sensing. This knowledge dispenses with the belief that the sens-er or the sense is physical. There are not multiple senses really. We talk about five senses, or perhaps a sixth sense, but there is only one sense, which is the living of Soul in its concreteness, in its many rounded completeness.
Soul as Principle is the origin of all it sees, tastes, etc. Sight is, absolutely speaking, not a faculty of Soul it is Soul itself in its operational aspect. Soul does not look at things through space. Soul exists as Sight and this Soul-sight translates itself into the “humanly seen.” There is no object of sight, there is Soul reflecting itself as light, thus sight is its own “object.” The hearing creates the heard, always. Taste is its own flavor, the odor is in the smelling, the symphony is in the hearing, and when this is understood, there can never be an experience other than perfect.
Consciousness in toto is Soul. I am not a sens-er with an object to see in space, a man over there. I may say that “I taste an apple,” but the seeing and the tasting is its own object, which is selfness. Substance demonstrated is in knowing that all that is sensed is self. The assumption that the seen is separate as object, or that the see-er is separate from the seen, makes it possible for the experience to seem opposite from reality. Conscious allness is the constitution of Soul, but for us this is a reality only as we are established in the Nowness. Non-consciousness of being the all, now, operates as limitation. The demonstration of infinity, freedom, substance, is but the wider consciousness of being (IN) the now as the only place you can be.
“Consciousness in toto is Soul.”
As one learns to live as the now-experience the theoretic world of “other times, other places” grows dim and less and less obtrusive. And with this insight we will find that our problems and pains are pure illusion. The student may ask, supposing the experience is pain? Should I accept that as Soul-experience? What else can I do but live the now that I am living. The real problem is not the pain, it is in attempting to live in a false universe outside the Now. It is a most surprising experience the first time we try this living in the Now, we find that the pain is no longer existent. The problem for the uninitiated is to make this step into consciousness as Now without trying at the same time to eliminate the pain. But it operates to eliminate the conflicting nature of the sensation, and this is the demonstration.
When I am consciously living whatever I am living it “restores my Soul” and takes my experience out of the shadow of supposition and theory and the experience is no longer alien. To practice the presence of being what I am is a most healing experience. The first approach may be difficult when we learn that we have to consciously BE whatever we appear to be, with no effort to change it into something different. Pains, problems, sins are all the result of trying to be something other than one’s self. Being myself, here and now is no effortful task. We begin right where we are and with what we are no matter how it seems. Then from this Soul consciousness to be our own redeemed sense world, our very own meaningful and infinite identity.
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