Transcript of four Association Addresses (1943, 1944, 1945, 1946) Christian Science: The Revelation of Infinity; Awakening to One’s True Identity; Life-Practice in Christian Science; God’s Demand for Heavenly Mindedness
In Awakening to One’s True Identity, Mr. Greenwood states: “The identity, or selfhood, we have been accustomed to regard as ours is, by its own consent, held bound to and by its mental and material limitations. These limitations are not associated with any divine origin; on the contrary, they confirm the common belief, entertained from Adam down, that we are creatures of the dust, coming from it and returning to it. Christian Science presents the reverse of all this; and if we are taking our stand on its teachings, and imbibing their spirit, each passing day should see us being released in some degree from that false selfhood, and looking higher for our place in God’s plan.
“Do you find yourself definitely in accord with this, and fully alive to its demands and its rewards? Or do you? Just what does this physical ego mean to you? The thoughts of the average person cling to it tenaciously, as though he would be lost with¬out it; and yet it is only made out of what he grows in his garden, if he has one; or of what he buys in the market. Do not most of your fears spring from the assumption that, somehow, your life and happiness depend upon it? Would you feel alarmed if you awakened some morning and couldn’t find it? And yet Jesus said that we must deny this personal ego if we would be his disciples — that is, follow him in the understanding and demonstration of spiritual life. . . .
“Let us bear in mind a dictionary definition of identity; as ‘the relation which a thing bears to itself.’ Your identity is yourself reduced to practice — in other words, the expression of what you find in yourself. This brings it very close to your daily thoughts and lives. It is like your body; you cannot get away from it. Without it, you would be a blank; but a blank is impossible, and so you fill the blank with what you find in yourself — in other words, what you mean to yourself. This constitutes your present sense of identity.
“It is a matter of the utmost importance, not only to one’s present sense of identity, but to his harmony and progress throughout time, to discover plainly just what you do mean to yourselves. You will doubtless discover much that you are not proud of, and which wisdom will prompt you to put out of the picture. This is in line with our Leader’s injunction in Miscellany, “One should watch to know what his errors are.” No one should wish for, or be satisfied with, a false identity; yet I fancy we are altogether too careless as to the kind we are con¬tent to have, or at least to put up with. . . .
“‘The time for thinkers has come,’ writes Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health, and that refers to Christian Scientists as well as to others. The demand upon us is to be giving some intel¬ligent consideration to our individual places in the divine plan of creation. Nothing exists by chance. We have an abiding rela¬tion to the infinite source of things, for Truth does not waste time or thought upon things which are not good enough to remain permanently. There is no place for mental or spiritual idleness, when so many world problems are waiting for our attention, for we are part of that world, and cannot escape our share in its re¬demption. Before we can accomplish this successfully, we must know something of ourselves, for we can only work from the standpoint of our own enlightenment.”