EXCERPTS FROM AN ADDRESS GIVEN TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CARE AT CHESTNUT HILL, MASSACHUSETTS,
BY RALPH E. WAGERS, C.S.B.
Now I thought I would like to talk to you just a little about my present work
and why I am doing what I am doing. Let me just say that I entered the practice of
Christian Science in Chicago, in 1925, and I was actively engaged in it until
1946, when I went on the Board of Lectureship, and was on the Board of
Lectureship until 1960, and then I served as associate editor of our religious
periodicals until 1965, and then I went over as manager of the Board of
Lectureship until January, 1969. And then I decided that I wanted to withdraw
from the administrative work and I would like to tell you why.
I have witnessed tremendous growth in our movement. You folks will
remember that from along in the 1920's and 1930's we just grew by leaps and
bounds, and then in the `40's we sort of leveled off, and then in the `50's and
60's we have been going down hill. There is no need of our denying it, that is
just what has been going on, and that has troubled me greatly.
wondered why, and I wondered why I wasn't doing better healing work and
just what I needed to know. And so I decided that I would like to devote my
time wholly to the practice and to research, if we want to call it that, to
understand some of the things I had been talking about and teaching. You
know it is awfully easy to teach what you have been taught to teach, but what
does it mean?
I have felt that what I wanted to do was to find out where we are going wrong.
Altogether too many Christian Scientists are not being healed, or not being
healed quickly and permanently -- fine workers, good practitioners, good
teachers, and all. I kept asking myself why, why is this going on, why am I not
doing better work? I could certainly talk it in pretty good shape, but what
And so I just decided that I would like to spend as much time as
possible in research, and it was something our Leader said that encouraged
me and it awakened me to the term of "animal magnetism." And I really
believe that all the way through the difficulties that we are really enduring is
due to our lack of ability to perceive and handle the claims of animal
I believe that un-handled animal magnetism is at the bottom of all our
difficulties. But our Leader said this: "I shall not forget the cost of
for this age, the methods and power of error.
While the ways, means, and
potency of Truth had flowed into my consciousness as easily as dawns the
morning light and shadows flee, the metaphysical mystery of error -- its
hidden paths, purpose, and fruits -- at first defied me.
I was saying all the
"Come not thou into the secret" -- but at length took up the research according
to God's command." Misc. 222:29.
And I thought, how grateful I am that she
did, because if she hadn't taken up this research, it is possible that we
wouldn't have Christian Science today. And I have wondered, if we don't take
up that research and follow our Leader in it, if we will have Christian Science
tomorrow. That's the thing that disturbs me.
And so, in really digging into this thing, I find the 12th Chapter of Revelation
be more and more meaningful to me, and perhaps if we just spoke about it a
Mrs. Eddy speaks of the 12th Chapter as having a special
suggestiveness in conjunction with the 19th Century. She speaks of the
distinctive feature as reference to the present age. So, this isn't just
in old literature, this 12th Chapter of Revelation has something to do with us
right now, and I began to appreciate it more, to see as Mrs. Eddy says, the
woman in the Apocalypse symbolizes the spiritual idea of God, and that this
spiritual idea of God is typified by the woman in travail, bringing forth a man
And then, the dragon she says, stands for the sum total of human error and it
is holding untiring watch, to impede the offspring of the spiritual idea, which
Science. Mrs. Eddy says, from Genesis to the Apocalypse, the serpent and
dragon pursue with hatred the spiritual idea. S&H 564:30. Where? In
individual and collective human consciousness.
Then, that Chapter speaks of a war in heaven, in which Michael overcame the
dragon and casts the dragon to earth. There is where I began to prick up my
ears. Here, the dragon was endeavoring to stop the unfoldment, the coming of
Christian Science, and it couldn't do it. Now what is it doing? Being wroth with
the woman, it has come to the late war with the remnant of her seed. Who is
the remnant of her seed? You. Me.
And then the attempt of the dragon is to
prevent the fulfillment of Christian Science. It couldn't prevent the appearing
of it, the unfolding of it but, now it would try to prevent the fulfillment.
Now, I want to read just a couple of paragraphs from Adam Dickey's Memoirs.
I know that they are not legitimate as far as the publication of the book is
concerned, but the things that he has in there, there is no question about it at
Mrs. Eddy told Mr. Dickey, "If you stay here until you learn to handle
animal magnetism, I will make healers of you. I had to do it and did it for
years and I understood it all. Now it has gotten to the point where the students
must take up this work and meet animal magnetism.
I cannot do it for you, you
must do it yourself, and unless it is done, the Cause will perish and we will go
along another 1,900 years with the world sunk into the blackest night."
Then, she says, "Now will you rouse yourselves. You have all the power of
God with you to conquer this lie of mesmerism. The workers in the field are
not healing because they are not meeting animal magnetism, which says they
That's pretty straight stuff, don't you see, and it is something
gave me a great deal to meet in my own thought, because, "What, me?" Why, I
handle animal magnetism, I teach my pupils to handle animal magnetism, of
course I do. Sure, superficially, perfunctorily. I know in a way what the claim
animal magnetism is, Mrs. Eddy has outlined it. I know what its intent is, and I
have been teaching that and trying to handle it, but there was something I
learned that I hadn't seen before and that was its strategy!
Its claim is one thing, its intent is another, its intent is its "what" but its
is its "how," and that is something I hadn't been awakened to. I could see that
what it would do would be to substitute error for truth in my consciousness, or
substituting sense for Soul - which it does - that is its way, but there was
something I had to learn. And it was this, that it would substitute the lesser
the greater in my consciousness, and get me so involved with the lesser, that I
would lose sight of the greater.
I could see that it would substitute organization for church, or movement, and
get us so involved with organization that we would lose sight of movement. It
would substitute human effort for divine unfoldment, and how it would do that -
- and this is something that was awfully hard for me to take, it would
healing for demonstration!
With all that Mrs. Eddy said about healing, I just couldn't see how that was the
lesser. But, you see she said that Jesus' healing was not alone to restore
health, but to demonstrate his divine Principle. And, one of the definitions of
"Church" is, "and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out
devils, or error, and healing the sick." S&H 583:17. It would substitute
"servant" for "son," it would substitute "labor" for "work," it would substitute
"mechanics" for "inspiration."
For instance, in the reading of our Lesson, suppose we just go through it
mechanically, and lose sight of the inspiration that it brings us. What good
would it do us? What good would it do us just to go through the motions of it
as perhaps others would in religious exercises. And, then I could see how, in
connection with nursing, it would substitute the physical for the metaphysical,
and get us so involved in the physical that we would lose sight of the
Now, to me, I haven't anything against organization as you know, but I do
believe that church, or movement, is greater and includes the lesser, and that
if we approach the organization from the standpoint of the movement, we
have a much more vital organization. And, now with healing, I just feel that
healing is so important, but I think it is of lesser importance than
demonstration. Perhaps I can give you an illustration of that.
A fine practitioner came to see me one day on crutches, and she had had a
fall and had injured her hip, and she had had, I think, four or five
over a period of a couple of years and wasn't getting anywhere, and when
she came to me, I thought, "Well gee whiz, am I just going to be another
practitioner on this case? She has worn out four or five of them already."
And so I said to her something like this, "Do you really believe that God can take care
And, she said, "Of course I do, don't you?"
"Well," I said, "you know
have a question about it. I have a doubt about it.."
"Yes, I do."
"Well," she said, "what do you mean?"
I said, "Answer this; where was God when this accident happened? Was he
on the job or was he off on a little picnic or something? He certainly didn't
cause it to happen, but did he permit or allow it to happen?"
She said, "But,
here it is!"
I said, "That's the trouble. If God had permitted it or allowed it
happen, I don't believe that I am bigger than God that I can pick up the pieces
and put it back together again, so I suppose I just will have to let it continue
as it is."
She said, "I don't know what you're talking about."
I said, "It never happened!
That's the fact! Accidents are unknown to Mind. And, here we are assuming
that something happened under the government of God and we are going to
try to correct it, we are going to try to heal it."
"Well," she said, "if we demonstrated that it never happened, that would be the
healing of it, wouldn't it?"
And, I said, "It sure would."
And I do believe that
are going on healing, and healing and healing something, assuming that it
has happened under God's government and care, and just keep going and
going and going, rather than checking ourselves and saying, "How could this
thing be?" That is just one phase of the demonstration.
I might say that very
soon she was coming in with a cane rather than crutches, and she moved out
of the country and the last I heard from her was that she was working out in
her garden, so I feel that perhaps something had happened there.
There is something that, if we are looking for it, that there are going to be
words that I am going to stress, as I have stressed them with myself, they are
"animal magnetism" and "metaphysics." I think those two words we have used
and used, and have gotten so familiar with them that we lie right down beside
them and go to sleep with them. But, we have to wake up and see what these
And, in this week's Lesson, if we are looking for things that will
be helpful to us, we will find them, but so often we just go over them and read
them and read them. In this week's Lesson there is a statement, "Matter
examined in the light of divine metaphysics, disappears." S&H 274:31. I think
that is a marvelous statement, but body doesn't disappear, matter disappears!
Now, the last time I had the privilege of talking to superintendents of nurses,
we got into the subject of the distinction between the human and mortal, in
order to understand the relationship of the human to the divine. I believe that
throughout the movement there is not a clear-cut recognition of the distinction
between the "human," and the "mortal." We sort of take those words as
meaning one and the same thing. Haven't you found that to be the case in
Mrs. Eddy, in many instances, doesn't make any distinction between "human"
and "mortal," but when she does, she does it in unmistakable terms, like
when she speaks of the coincidence of the divine with the human being the
"acme of Christian Science." Misc. 100:22.
She never speaks of the coincidence of the divine with the mortal.
I am going
to use a little chart here that has been helpful to me and has been helpful to
others, just to get straight on this human and divine, human and mortal.
Just head the first column: "Divine," the second column: "human," and the
third column: "mortal."
All right, where do we go from here? Let's go to the dictionary. We find that
word, "divine" means, "of and pertaining to God." The word, "human" means,
"of and pertaining to mankind. And, the word, "mortal" means, "of and
pertaining to death, or subject to death." So, now we have the technical
distinction between those three terms.
Suppose now we see the human and
mortal as related. Underlying every normal human footstep, or concept, that
includes body, home, church, or whatever it might be, there is the adverse
influence of mortal mind, limiting, restricting, perverting, destroying,
and about the only thing we can be completely sure of with this is that
sometimes the "human" is willing to completely fulfill the "mortal" and die. Then, maybe get around to the "divine" in some unknown way.
Now, if we put a line from the Divine to the human, and see the relationship of
the human to the divine, we will see that underlying every normal human
footstep or concept there is a "divine" law, sustaining it, protecting it,
preserving it, and making it fruitful. And in the degree that this is fulfilled,
overcoming, step by step by step, and that is putting off mortality and putting
Now, we have this example: Let us assume that the first column represents
$10.00 of gold or its equivalent in the treasury, and the second column is a
$10.00 bill, and the third column is a $10.00 counterfeit:
$10.00 gold---$10.00 bill---$10.00 counterfeit
Now, the $10.00 counterfeit bill looks exactly like the genuine $10.00 bill, but
it has nothing back of it in the treasury, so it is a rank deception.
The genuine $10.00 bill has no intrinsic value, no value in the paper it is
written on, its value is in the $10.00 of gold [silver] with which it coincides.
As long as this relationship is maintained, the $10.00 bill will do anything that
the $10.00 of gold [silver] will do. Then, the integrity of this bill is not in the
is written on, it is in the law which relates it to the gold or the silver. The
genuine $10.00 bill has redemptive value; when it is redeemed, you get
something in its place, and then it is put out of circulation.
$10.00 bill has no redemption value - it has nothing back of it, so the moment it
is detected, it is put out of circulation.
Now, we go a little further here, and say that the first column represents
"Christ," the second column represents "Jesus," and the third column, "Adam."
The coincidence of the "Christ" with "Jesus" is the remedy for "Adam," or error.
Now, in connection with this there are two terms, "resurrection," and
"ascension." Resurrection is the human YIELDING to the divine. S&H 593:9.
The ascension is the human YIELDED to the divine. We are in the
resurrection now, where we experience, "spiritualization of thought, a new
and higher idea of immortality and spiritual existence, material being yielding
to spiritual understanding."
In the resurrection, mortality is overcome. In the ascension, the human is
yielded up and we have only the Divine, which is all we had in the first place
from an absolute standpoint. Now, every bit of healing that is taking place
today in Christian Science is taking place in the resurrection. Let's be sure of
that! It is where spiritualization of thought is entering in, where a newer and
higher idea of immortality or spiritual existence is coming to the fore, where
material being is yielding to spiritual understanding.
Now, I'm going to do something here. I am going to make another column,
and under the divine, I'm going to call it "metaphysical," and under the human,
"physical," and under the mortal, "material."
Now, we are going to gain some sense of the relationship between the
physical and the metaphysical rather than the physical to the material! I think
right here I would like to give you an illustration. We'll use a hand, and let's
say I ask you what it is, and you say, "it is matter, flesh, blood, bones,
And I say to you, "would you be willing to refer to it as a `human
and you say, "a human concept of what?"
"Well, a human concept
of some faculty or capacity of the divine Mind."
"Oh, yes!" you respond!
"Then the integrity of this hand is not in the hand, but rather, in the divine
Mind, just as the integrity of the genuine $10.00 bill is not in the bill, but
is back of it in the treasury!"
Now, suppose an abnormal growth comes on this hand. You say, "is that a
human concept too?"
"No, I would call that a mortal belief."
You say, "Well, is the integrity of that abnormal growth in the divine Mind?"
"No," I would respond, "there is nothing abnormal in the divine Mind to which
the growth can be related in any way, any more than the counterfeit $10.00
bill has in relation to the $10.00 of gold in the treasury."
All right. Now you see that the integrity of this hand is in the divine Mind but
not the integrity of the growth. This would be a Christian Science treatment, which
would destroy the growth, but not the hand!
If they were both the same, the
treatment would destroy the hand too!
So, let us be sure that in metaphysics, in Christian Science, nothing normal in
the human sense of things is destroyed. It is preserved. The only thing that is
destroyed is that which would limit or restrict, or pervert, or destroy, or
because only the mortal is put off, whereas the human is redeemed and
Now, I think this is basic to our approach to the human body, to the human
situation, to an organ, a gland, or a cell. If it is true that the integrity of
is in the divine Mind, then the integrity of every organ, cell, gland, tissue of
the human body, is in the divine Mind, and the divine Mind preserves it.
remember Mrs. Eddy says, "Sin, sickness and death must at length quail
before the divine rights of intelligence, and then the power of Mind over the
entire functions and organs of the human system will be acknowledged." S&H
So, we have to realize that Christian Science teaches a very close
relationship between the divine and the human, just as it does in Christ and
Jesus, don't you see? She says, "John saw the human and divine
coincidence shown in the man Jesus, as divinity embracing humanity in Life
and its demonstration, reducing to human perception and understanding the
Life which is God." S&H 516:16.
Now, to go on from there. Sometime ago, I was asked to write an article on
"Spiritual Healing," for our periodicals, and I was just thrilled. I liked that,
want to get busy on it, and I thought I would find out what Mrs. Eddy has to say
about the subject.
How many times do you think Mrs. Eddy mentions spiritual
healing in "Science and Health?" Once!
How many times does she mention spiritual healing in her "Prose Works?" Three times!
That's all she says about it. But what about "metaphysical healing?" She
mentions metaphysical healing seven times in "Science and Health," and
twenty-five times in "Prose Works."
And, I tell you, it gave me a much better
appreciation of this word, "metaphysics." As I said, I had been so familiar with
it, so acquainted with it, that I could lie right down beside it and go to
And now I am beginning to see what we should all consider very seriously -
getting a right sense of body, a right sense of the physical. And I would bet
you, and I'm not a betting man, that if most of you would be honest, you would
say that you have always thought of the physical and material as practically
the same thing. Haven't you? I had!
It is going to surprise you greatly to see that metaphysics takes the physical
out of matter and puts it into Mind, and we are going to see how it does it, right now.
The thing that awakened me to this, I think, more than I can say, is that
wonderful statement of Paul's, where he said, "Present your bodies a living
sacrifice, wholly acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service, and
be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your
mind, that ye may prove that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
"Living sacrifice," I couldn't get that, for mostly a sacrifice is a dead
you know. But, "present your bodies "a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable unto
God, which is your reasonable service." Rom. 12:1. To me, that means that,
today, if we will understand our body rightly, every heart beat glorifies God,
every breath we take glorifies God, every action of the body glorifies God.
See: I Cor. 6:20. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could get that sense of body?
Now, I am convinced, that our greatest difficulty in healing is our faulty sense
of body. I don't think there is any question about it. Suppose now that I have a
lens here that has a distortion in it and I give this lens to you and say, "Now
look at this picture," and I take a lens that hasn't any distortion and I look
through the undistorted lens at the picture. You are going to see a distorted
picture and I am going to see a picture that is straight. So we get to talking
about it. Well, we can't get together, and so I say to you, "Take that to the
and have them take the distortion out of it."
So, you take the picture with you,
keeping on the distorted lens, and you come back and say, "I can't do
anything with it, the distortion is just there!"
Now then, if I give you my undistorted lens, and you look at it, you see the
thing as it is. There never were two pictures, and the distortion was never in
We look at the physical body through the lens of material sense and we see it
to be material. We look at it through the lens of spiritual sense, metaphysical
sense, and we see it as it really is, and we are going to see what it really is!
That is one illustration that I have, but I want you to pass this around. I want
to show you a nice blue sheet of paper. Isn't that a nice blue sheet of paper?
(Much laughter) (Blue sheet encased in a clear yellow plastic, so it appeared
Now, I know that's a blue sheet of paper, but everyone of you thinks it is a
green sheet, don't you? Because its green, isn't it?
All right, but it's blue! Only, its been put behind yellow plastic. But its blue
it was always blue, it wasn't green at all.
Now, suppose we think of the blue as the divine and the green as the human.
Isn't that what it appears to be? It doesn't appear to be blue, does it? It
appears to be something else! But, isn't it blue?
You say, "Well, if this isn't
green, if it is blue, I am going to throw this green thing away and put it in the
waste basket." But, you are throwing away the blue!
You say, "Well, if the human isn't real, why not let's dispose of it, destroy
You can't do it, any more than you can dispose of the green here, without
disposing of the blue. You see what I mean? How we get fooled by the
Now, I wish you to make a note of this article I wrote in the December, 1957,
Journal, "What Of Our Bodies?" It has to do with a healing that I had when I
was on the Board of Lectureship.
I had a terribly infected finger and it just
loomed up there and it touched everything! Even a handkerchief was like a
knife going through it. I had done everything I knew how. I was taking a train
from Sacramento to Portland and I didn't relish that long day's trip. I sat down
in the parlor car and turned to God and said, "God, what can I do?"
heard the voice, "You can read "Science and Health."
And I thought, "For
heaven's sake, I have read "Science and Health" and read it and read it and
"All right," I said, and I found myself opening to page 427:23, where it says,
"Immortal Mind, governing all, must be acknowledged as supreme in the
physical realm, so-called, as well as in the spiritual."
I was a little
the "physical realm" business there. Being material, how could immortal Mind
be supreme in it?
"But," I said, and I found myself opening to page 384:30, and read, "Sickness,
sin and death must at length quail before the divine rights of intelligence and
then the power of Mind over the entire functions and organs of the human
system will be acknowledged."
These two statements brought to thought more clearly than ever before that
unless we consciously place our human bodies under the jurisdiction of
immortal Mind, and keep them there, we unconsciously permit them to be
under the jurisdiction of mortal mind with its numerous oppressive beliefs.
acknowledgment of immortal Mind's supremacy in the physical realm, so-
called, brought welcome relief and soon the finger was normal.
The practitioner should also endeavor to free the minds of patients from any
sense of subordination to their bodies since God maintains human health and
Now, I am going to switch a little and consider the physical as related to the
metaphysical, rather than to the material, and I'm going to use two inter-locking columns here.
Even the doctors are recognizing that the mental and physical have a great
deal in common, in fact, that the physical is more or less mental. We know it is
mental. We are dealing with the physical as a mental state rather than a
You say, "No! You have to have matter to have form and structure!" That isn't true!
Form and structure are mental, not material. Mind forms!
Mrs. Eddy talks about
body and soul and she says, "Identity is the reflection of Spirit, the
reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love."
When we separate the physical and mental, as we ordinarily do, from the
moral and spiritual, we get into all kinds of difficulties. But, here the Christ
comes along and says, "there is no separation, these are one." So we see the
spiritual, moral, mental, physical, AS ONE, and inseparable. And this removes
the belief that the physical is material!
Now, would you believe that Mrs. Eddy has said some things about mental
and physical perfection, as related to Spirit? Let's see what she says here. I
am going to read a little bit here that you are all familiar with but I don't
think it will do any harm.
"In the material world, thought has brought to light with great rapidity many useful wonders. With like activity have thought's swift pinions
been rising towards the realm of the real, to the spiritual cause of those lower things which give impulse to inquiry.
Belief in a material basis from which may
be deduced all rationality, is slowly yielding to the idea of a metaphysical basis, looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect.
In this revolutionary period, like the shepherd-boy with his sling, woman goes forth
to battle Goliath." S&H 268.
Now the thing I want to call particularly to your attention are these statements
"Metaphysics is above physics, and matter does not enter
into metaphysical premises or conclusions. The categories of metaphysics
rests on one basis, the divine Mind. Metaphysics resolves things into
thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul." S&H 269:11.
Let me read to you from Misc. 252:15, and take these down, if you will please:
"Christian Science is not only the acme of Science but the crown of
Christianity. It is universal. It appeals to man as man; to the whole and not to
a portion; to man physically, as well as spiritually, and to all mankind."
she relates the physical and the spiritual there?
Then, on page 234:18 of Misc., I will read the little preamble where she says,
"That one should have ventured on such unfamiliar ground, and, self-forgetful,
should have gone on to establish this mighty system of metaphysical healing,
called Christian Science, against such odds, -- even the entire current of
mortality, -- is a grave wonderment to profound thinkers."
But this is it:
addition to this, she has made some progress, has seen far into the spiritual
facts of being which constitute physical and mental perfection, in the midst of
an age so sunken in sin and sensuality, seems to them still more
She says she "has seen far into the spiritual facts of being
which constitute physical and mental perfection."
Then, take this, "Message for 1901, page 1, line 10:
"Today you meet to
commemorate in unity the life of our Lord, and to rise higher and still higher
in the individual consciousness most essential to your growth and usefulness; to add to your treasures of thought the great realities of being, which constitute mental and physical perfection."
Now, what I want to bring out here is how we are under the domination of
materia medica. Materia medica considers the physical and material to be
one and the same thing, and all of its theories, its doctrines, all of its
beliefs, are built upon that, that the physical and material are one and the same thing.
All right. We go along accepting that premise. What do we do but bring
ourselves under the mesmerism of materia medica by accepting that
premise? And the diseases that your patients and mine are contending with
are the diseases that have been imposed upon them by materia medica.
You see, disease has to be thought before it can be objectified, or manifested,
and the business of materia medica is to formulate diseases into names,
nature, character, course, and set them down as entities, and make you and
me and everyone else subject to them. But, that's mesmeric! Then, they go
along and try to heal the very things they have formed. Their whole healing
activity is based upon trying to correct the things they have already formed.
And so, they are in an endless circle.
Now, suppose we see that the physical, the body, is related to metaphysics,
not to matter, and we see that in metaphysics, matter does not enter into its
conclusions, that it rests upon one basis, the divine Mind. And so we begin to
relate the physical to the metaphysical, just as we relate the human to the
divine, rather than to the mortal.
You see what does this to us. There is never a disordered physical body;
there is no disorder in the physical. What we are dealing with here is that
picture through the lens - we look at it through the lens of material sense and
we see it distorted. It isn't! Jesus had a physical body but it was not
material, so he could walk on the water! He could transport himself! He could go through the resurrection, the Ascension, and he could present the same body.
In a conversation with Mrs. Eddy, someone said, "Mother, what would you do if someone stood in a window and shot an arrow through your heart?"
She said, "Well I think I would probably fuss around a bit, but I couldn't make you
understand, so I would take my body and go about my business and you would take my body and bury it."
Now, what did they bury, but their concept of
Mrs. Eddy. If I were to pass away, which I am not going to do, you would bury me. However, you have buried your concept of me, but this is my concept of me just as much as it is yours, because we embrace our body in our thought. We
will never be without it as long as we are in the resurrection.
In the ascension, I don't know what happens there. But, as long as we are in the resurrection, we are going to have a body that is visible, and you can call it physical if you
Now, in the little pamphlet, "Substance" that you have probably seen, I have
an article in there, "Substance is Spirit, Not Matter," and I tell in there of a
healing of a heart condition by realizing that the action of heart, rightly
understood, is the action of Mind, not the action of matter, and Mind rests in
action. That was the metaphysical aspect of heart action, and when the
practitioner saw it, there was a complete healing.
Another time, a friend of mine had a paralyzed bowel and she never had a
normal bowel movement. When she was born, something went wrong in the
delivery and her bowel was supposed to have been paralyzed. The doctor
gave a prescription that she could take to move her bowel. So, she went
through the Sunday School, she went through class, and she went into the
practice part time, and she was taking this stuff all the time.
One day, up in the woods where we had a cottage, she said, "Ralph, I wonder if I am doing just right," and I said, "I wonder," and so we got into it.
"Well, now you are talking about bowel movement. That's action, isn't it? Well, there is only one action, isn't there, the action of Mind, and Mind isn't labored or paralyzed in its action in any way."
We went on with this illustration and finally she said, "Well, if that's the
case, it doesn't make any difference what the condition of the bowel is, does it? It's
what the condition of Mind is."
I said, "That's exactly right." The next morning she had a normal bowel movement and has been having them ever since. And she lives in Sun City now.
When I taught the Normal Class, I wanted to mention this; I wanted to be
sure it was permanent, so I called her out there and she said she had had no trouble since. Now you see that was getting it into metaphysics. It was really lifting the physical. She still had a bowel, don't you see -- but she has lifted
it into the realm of Mind.
So, I think that in this relation of the physical to the metaphysical, we get a new and much needed approach that will strengthen the healing thrust of our movement and improve our ability to respond to the needs of mankind by
spiritual means. Then it enables us to see the healing aspect of Christian Science in a new light. We are demonstrating metaphysical facts in the healing work, don't you see, and that what is doing the healing.
I teach Sunday School, a class of awfully smart 19-year old kids and believe
me, you don't put anything over on those kids. And they are there with questions, and one of the things I have found is that they want to be sure that you are honest. If you don't know, tell them so. If you try to bluff it through, they will catch you every time.
One day, a new fellow in the class who had been baiting other teachers, said,
"Mr. Wagers, would you please explain to me how we happen to be in this
mortal, material state, when we are spiritual and perfect."
Well, I had had that sprung on me before, so I said, "You know, that is an interesting question, but it is the wrong question to ask."
He said, "Why?" And I said, "Because there
isn't any answer to it. Now, if I were going to ask a question, I would ask, how
am I going to get out of this thing that I seem to be in? There's an answer to
that!" He said, "I'll buy that."
I want to tell you of my early experience. In my early 20's, I was healed of a difficult physical condition just by reading "Science and Health," and I never have had the difficulty since! But, I didn't know there was such a thing as a
Sentinel or a Journal. I knew there was a practitioner, but I didn't know there
were church services or anything of the kind; I was just a lumberman up in the
And then I got to a place where there was a little Society, and oh
boy, to be able to talk to other Christian Scientists, to have a service (there
was just a handful of us) was wonderful!
I was enthusiastic, I was in my middle 20's then, and all at once, they elected
me Reader. Well, I didn't know enough to be a Reader, but I didn't know enough not to, so there I was.
I didn't know enough about Christian Science to carry on a decent conversation with anybody about it. (I was elected in the
A young man had been attending our services for the summer. I had met him and knew he was up there working on his father-in-law's berry farm. Along in the fall, he came to me and said, "Ralph, I want you to help me
in Christian Science."
I said, "All right, what is it?" So he told me. He had what doctors called "empyema". I understand that is a little different from what doctors call "emphysema," -- the space between the ribs and the lungs fills up with pus,
and the doctors take out a rib and insert a tube and then drain, and drain, and
drain. And it seems that one who is subject to this is apt to have it every time
they have a cold.
So, he had gone to the hospital three times and been there a month or two at
a time with this thing. So they told him he had better build himself up
physically. His wife's father had a berry farm, and they came up in the summer
to work on the berry farm. When they were through with the berries, he
wanted to stay there longer so he got a job in the grist mill.
Well, here this fellow was coming to our services, he and his wife, and this
pus was beginning to go through his system. His head was getting a little larger, his clothes didn't fit exactly right. I told Mrs. Wagers what I was doing, and she said, "Please give that up. If he should die on your hands, you
would never forgive yourself."
And, so I went down to tell him to get somebody else, but he said, "But you are
the Reader, aren't you?" What was I going to say?
So he said, "I tell you what;
my wife and I have this thing all figured out, we have shaken hands on it. We
are going to play this thing out to the end of the string and you are going to
be our practitioner. If I die, that's all right. I'm no good anyway, the way I am.
So we have decided that's what we're going to do."
I had to go away on business that night, down to Milwaukee, and I had just
worked and worked, and when I came back the next morning, I could hardly
wait until I found out how Mort was, so I called his wife and said, "How is
She said, "He's all right," but I didn't like the way she said it, and she
said, "Where are you?" I said, "Over at the office," and she said, "I will be
She said, "The night you left, his back opened up as naturally as could be and
pints of that stuff drained out, pints of it. I didn't know what to do, so I
washed it off the back, put a pad on it and waited for you to come back."
Within seventeen days after he was away from his work as a common laborer in the
gristmill, he was back at work, and he has never had an experience of it since
then. And, when I was lecturing up in that area, he would call me. He always liked to get a group of people together and he would say, "I'm the reason this fellow is there."
Well, people began to hear about it around town, not Christian Scientists, and
they began to come to me with all kinds of things, and they were healed, just
like that. Well, you can imagine what that would do to you. So, pretty soon I
had class instruction, and this healing work kept working. I couldn't go on with
the lumber business, I had to get into this work, so we went down to Chicago
and I went into the practice.
Once in Chicago, things didn't work out that way. By golly, it was tough. I thought that things were going to click right along. And, so when one of our good teachers and lecturers was in town, I asked him if he would talk to a
young buck like me and he said, "Come on over."
Then I told him about this. He got very interested. He said, "Mr. Wagers, when you healed, you said you
didn't have any understanding, what did you have?" I said, "I don't know."
He said, "I'll tell you what you had. You had a rare, active, living faith. Now
what happened to that faith when you began to get understanding?"
said, "you don't need faith when you have understanding."
"Oh," said he, "is that so?" He said, "You need 100% of your faith, you have
got to have faith in what you understand and you have got to understand what
you have faith in. Then nothing will stop you."
He gave me this illustration:
"Faith is a fruit-bearing tree with its roots buried in understanding. The
understanding feeds the tree and the tree bears the fruit." I thought that was
Mentality has to do with thinking and feeling. Thinking is related to Mind and
feeling is related to Soul. "Felt ye the power of the word?" "Let us feel the
divine energy of Spirit leading us into newness of life," etc. Feeling and faith
are very much alike, so when Mrs. Eddy says, "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith [feeling] that all things are possible to God, a spiritual understanding of Him. . ." You can use feeling for faith there
because you have got to feel it, don't you see?
Mrs. Eddy says, "The healing action of Mind upon the body has its only
explanation in divine metaphysics." She uses metaphysics so much! May I
read to you a couple of things here?
Put this down, Misc. 194:29, "To reach
the consummate naturalness of the life that is God, good, we must comply
with the first conditions set forth in the text; namely, believe; in other words
understand God sufficiently to exclude all faith in any other remedy but Christ,
the Truth, that antidotes all error. Thence will follow the absorption of all
action, motive, and mind, into the rules and divine Principle of metaphysical
Then, there is something on page 232:21 of Misc., that I think is marvelous:
"Metaphysical healing, or Christian Science is a demand of the times. Every
man and every woman would desire and demand it, if he and she knew its infinite value and firm basis."
Then, in Ret. 25:3, she makes this statement: "The Bible was my textbook. It
answered my questions as to how I was healed; but the Scriptures had to me
a new meaning, a new tongue. Their spiritual signification appeared; and I
apprehended for the first time, in their spiritual meaning, Jesus' teaching and
demonstration, and the Principle and rule of spiritual Science and
metaphysical healing, -- in a word, Christian Science."
See how she uses the
word, "metaphysical healing," there?
Now I am going to wind this up because I don't want to impose upon you any
more. Mrs. Eddy says this, and I think it is marvelous. She says, "The Science
of Christianity comes with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat.
Science will declare God aright, and Christianity will demonstrate this
declaration and its divine Principle, making mankind better physically,
morally, and spiritually." S&H 466:26.
Now, just think of it! Christian Science
declares, Christianity demonstrates! When I am as scientific as I would be Christian, and as Christian as I would be scientific, then I am a Christian Scientist. That is what a Christian Scientist is.
Now I am going to close on this statement. We talked about the dragon and
Michael and his angels fighting, and the dragon fought and was overcome.
Now what about that Michael - is he a character way back 2,000 to 3,000 years
ago or something of the kind? Let's see what Mrs. Eddy says about that.
"Michael's characteristic is spiritual strength. He leads the hosts of heaven
against the power of sin, Satan, and fights the holy wars. Gabriel has the quieter task of imparting a sense of the ever-presence of ministering Love.
These angels deliver us from the depths. Truth and Love come nearer in the hour of woe, when strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God. The Gabriel of His presence has no contests. To infinite, everpresent Love, all is Love, and there is no error, no sin, sickness, nor death.
Against Love, the dragon warreth not long, for he is killed by the divine Principle. Truth and Love prevail against the dragon because the dragon cannot war with them. Thus endeth the conflict between the flesh and Spirit."
Now Michael represents Truth and Gabriel represents Love, and our church is
the structure of Truth and Love. Therefore, wherever Christian Science is
operating, right there with us is Gabriel and Michael, Truth and Love. When we realize that, we understand that is the answer to the
dragon that hates the spiritual idea and is attempting to prevent the fulfillment
of Christian Science in you, and in me.
But here we have with us, Michael and
Gabriel both, and when we are aware of that, we have two allies that we can
I remember a practitioner we had several years ago who was a Michael. She
was a fighter. She would fight at the drop of a hat. She became ill and she called upon me to help her, and I saw this thing very clearly.
I said, "Alice, you have been a Michael, but what about Gabriel? Mrs. Eddy says, "These angels
deliver us from the depths." You haven't made up with Gabriel very much. You
have taken up practically all of your time with Michael."
"Why," she said, "that's right." She saw the point and was healed very quickly!
So, in our work, and I know that what you want to do is to bring forth the very
best nurses you can, and you give them the skills they need, there is no
question about that, and I imagine they will be as skillful as medical nurses are. But here is something: that is the physical aspect of the work, what about
the metaphysical aspect? Now, church manifests itself as movement and
organization. Movement is the metaphysical aspect of church, organization is
the physical aspect of church, and the physical derives its vitality from the
So, your nurses could probably be as skillful as a good Reader, in reading out
of "Science and Health" without ever making a mistake. But does that
constitute being a good Reader? To be a good Reader, you must understand
what the words mean! Now, your nurses don't want to be only skilled nurses,
but they want this metaphysical approach to it, that gives vitality and power
and healing to the physical aspect of their work.
I guess that is about all I have to say. I have some more things I could say, but I don't think you are going to take this thing regarding the physical and the metaphysical without some struggle. I think you are going to be sort of
backing up on that a little bit, so do please read what our Leader has to say
about metaphysical, metaphysics, and divine metaphysics. She says, "Divine
metaphysics explains away matter." S&H 278:3. But it doesn't explain away body, or the physical, and Jesus proved that when he explained away the palsy but not the hand.
And so, if I could just leave you with this: that there are two words in our
book here that I believe you are slighting, just as I have done, and they are the
words, "animal magnetism," and "metaphysics." I believe if you will just undertake to do a little research on the subject of animal magnetism, or error, and metaphysics, that you will find it a thrilling experience.
I'll tell you the truth, there are some nights when I can hardly get to sleep; I get to going on some of this and I see something new and I go to bed and I just can't do anything but let it unfold and unfold and unfold, and I believe that is what is meant by,
"I make all things new."
Do you know that the trouble with us, the apathy and lethargy etc., that we get
into is just the old stuff - going over and over and over the same old stuff without any renewing at all. Life is always new - it is always renewing itself.
And let me tell you another thing that will be helpful to you. We are living in
the eternal now, your patient is living in the eternal now; your patient is not
living in the past or in the future. Your patient could not live yesterday if he
wanted to, nor can he live tomorrow. He is living now, and he cannot allow himself to try to live in the past, and repeat, repeat, repeat things of the past and bring them into the now. He has got to realize that now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation, now the divine Mind governs the functions and organs of the human system.
I had a patient a while ago who was having quite a time with her stomach, and I said to her, "Do you love your stomach?"
She said, "I should say not, and neither would you."
I said, "Yes, I think I would." And I explained to her that the word love means to identify the object of your love with its divine source.
That's what the word love really means. Could she identify her stomach with its divine source?
She said, "Yes, I guess I can. If immortal Mind is supreme in the physical realm as well as in the spiritual, and if I can acknowledge the
power of Mind over the entire functions and organs of the human system, then
even the normal functioning of my stomach glorifies God. Because if there
wasn't God, there wouldn't be any functioning of the stomach. There wouldn't
be any harmony, there wouldn't be any perfection."
She was healed within a week, and has been having quite a nice time.
So many of your patients, they hate their bodies! Oh, if I could only get rid of this old body, don't you see, or whatever it might be, and with a right sense of body they wouldn't say that.
"Present your body a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Rom. 12:1.