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What is Spiritual Science?

“I report, as a man may of God's work— all's love, yet all's law.”
—Robert Browning

What is spiritual Science? At the beginning I might say that Spiritual Science is both a religion and a science. Science has had comparatively little to do with the religions of the past in fact, up to the near present, science and religion have been antagonistic, religion fighting science at every step, and science looking upon religion in many cases as simply a devotional mental condition. Physical scientists say that science is truth demonstrated. We believe that there is a religion that can be demonstrated right here, which does not take the future into consideration, neither does it the past. It is an applied Christianity which is perfectly scientific from the beginning to the end.

Suppose we take the scientific theory of the universe — the materialistic theory — and consider that theory carefully. We find even there that science is based on conjecture. We find that it starts with an atom, a particle of matter so fine that it is invisible to the human sight; therefore we can no longer regard this theory from the physical point of view. So, the theory of the materialist is mental; the whole basis is a mental one. Now, when science takes exception to religion and says that religion is made up to a large degree of credulity and superstition, religion might retort that science is based on conjecture. If science were on the right and true basis, its conclusions might be true. But no one knows for a certainty that the basis is true, any more than the religionist knows that his basis is the true one.

Spiritual Science declares that there is an Infinite and Eternal Intelligence from which all things proceed. We do not find that this declaration is in conflict with material science as defined by Herbert Spencer. The religionists use the word Gody or Brahma, or Buddha, in speaking of the Infinite Intelligence. The name changes nothing. So, the basic principle of Spiritual Science is not at all antagonistic to scientific theories for it merely states that there is an Eternal and Infinite Power, which is made manifest in all that is, both within and without all things.

We Spiritual Scientists claim that there is a Supreme Power that is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Everything is a manifestation of this one Supreme Power, and everything comes under the control and direction of one Supreme Intelligence. The thought brought out from it is that there is no life apart from this one Intelligence. There is no intelligence separate from the Supreme Source of Intelligence. Everything is of and proceeds from God's Power. God dwells in everything. He dwells in the atom, as well as in the vegetable, mineral, and animal kingdoms. Everything that we see is a manifestation of God, presenting different degrees of this Intelligence. We find, furthermore, that everything receives life and intelligence according to its needs. We find that man receives greater intelligence as he realizes this one Supreme Power. Such a realization brings him into direct contact with this one Universal Force, the one Universal Intelligence, and his whole thought of life is changed. He no longer looks upon himself as he did in the past, but considers himself a child of God, with an eternal inheritance. So, the whole of life becomes changed. If we look at life in the old way, there is very little to bring joy or happiness to the life of man. For how one soul can be happy if another soul is to be lost or condemned to eternal punishment, is beyond comprehension for the happiness of each should depend on the happiness of all.

If we are to be perfectly happy in this world, or in any other world, we must see that other people are happy. Through their happiness comes an action upon our own lives which makes for our happiness. According to the church, the gospel of the Christ was not one of peace, joy, and glad tidings to all people. In teaching the gospel, the church has attributed to Jesus things that he did not do, and that he did not intend to teach, and it has omitted many things that he did do, and that he did intend to teach. The churches have taught of a baptism that had no element of Christ in it. This is an illustration to show that what passes as baptism is not what Christ intended it should be. John was the first to baptize. Jesus, while admitting that John was a great preacher, said that the least in the Kingdom of God was greater than John; that he did not have full knowledge of that Kingdom. There is a discord' ant note in the gospel that John taught, while the message of Jesus, the Christ, is good will to all people. Jesus said on one occasion that John baptizes with water, but that he himself baptized with the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul said that there was one faith, one life, one baptism.

So, if we lay stress on baptism, what kind do we mean? The church says that the external baptism is a symbol of the spiritual baptism. But it loses sight of that baptism and becomes wrapped up in the external as being necessary to the salvation of the life of man. The real thing is necessary to the spirit. So we are coming to see that the religion of the Christ is an inner and not an outer religion at all. It is a religion that can be demonstrated here and now.

The trouble with people is that they do not want the Christ religion in the present. They think it is all very well to be spiritual and have the Christ religion in the future but when Christ is brought to people in the present we find that people do not want him. We think that because it is something that can be demonstrated that people will want it but the world does not want it. Many people want truth and are seeking after truth, but the great world is not ready yet to enter into the religion of Jesus, the Christ. It is not ready to follow out his teachings in the simplest of things. If people could only see that by following the teachings of Christ in the present time it would bring health, strength, and happiness, they would not continue in the old way, but would seek out the new. But one of the hopeful signs of the times is that more people are reaching out for the higher life in the present time than have since the coming of Jesus, the Christ.

Spiritual Science deals with the practical side of Christ. It cares nothing for the form and symbols. These are well enough in their place. They are useful to place before the children who are beginning to study and who must have symbols but in time these symbols will be laid aside and the children will see that they have served their purpose. Spiritual Science stands for all that is real and true in the Christ world. It teaches the gospel that Jesus, the Christ, told his disciples that they should teach. He said, "Preach the gospel and heal the sick." Where else do you find Christian people healing the sick? Do they do this in any of the churches? No, they leave it to the doctors of medicine, and they say, "We must attend to the salvation of the souls." A salvation that heals the soul and not the body is not a true salvation. The perfect salvation is that which saves the body, the mind, and the soul. So we in the New Thought claim that they who are teaching the Christ doctrine and are not healing the sick, are not teachers of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is the truth that makes us free from the bondage of superstition and also frees us from our physical ills. Christ said that he came that we might have life more abundantly. You cannot have the abundant life if you have sick bodies. Spiritual Science comes in and says that all may have the abundance of life, and that it is easier to be strong and well than to be weak and diseased. This only requires that we should take cognizance of the inner laws and conform to them. Through such a conformity we come into strength, health, and happiness. We need not delay our Kingdom of Heaven to some future time. It is here now for those who will enter into it. This is the gospel of joy, peace, and glad tidings.

How are we going to understand it and give it a perfect demonstration in our own life ? We must not consider our own individual lives for selfish ends, but we must think how to promote the welfare of other people. I cannot think that it is right for anyone to be weak with a disease and at the same time be trying to make other people strong. We must realize health and strength for ourselves, and then we shall be in a condition to impart that intelligence to others. Our own knowledge will bring others to a knowledge. Let us take this into consideration and begin with ourselves and make our own lives right. Let us bring them into conformity with Eternal Law and then we shall know the way to help other people. How are we going to do this? We are going to do it by teaching certain things here in this life. It is going to be done by teaching that everything, the evil as well as the good, serves a purpose. I believe that all evils are necessary evils. Many people do not see how good is coming out of evil. So long as we give evil reality just so long will it dominate us. We must put evil on the negative side of life and keep our thoughts on the good, on the positive, side of life. Then, evil can no longer control our lives, but we will enter into a perfect control of life. Then, we will have passed from the law of sin and death to the Law of the Spirit of Life.

The law of death is man's own invention.

God had nothing to do with that law. Man made it. It is impossible for God to take the wrong way — that way which leads to death. Man's search being confined to the external, it was necessary that he should turn to the outer world and find it there. When he found that health and happiness were not to be found outside of himself he came to the realization that there is a power within himself, and that he could use that power for his own good. He made it real, and with such a realization came the full force and power of salvation to make him superior to the world, and although in the world not of it. Thus he learned that his soul is one with the Universal Soul, and all things should come under his dominion and power. Remember, we study in Genesis that man is given dominion and power over all things.

When we realize that we are sons of God with an eternal inheritance, that we contain all power and dominion within our lives, we will no longer be swept this way and that, nor will we be under the dominion of material things. The mind will then have dominion over the material. When the power is realized, we will not be affected by the things we call evil. For, then, no evil will be able to enter our minds to draw the soul away from its allegiance to an omnipotent God, who gives to us all the power we possess. We should realize, then, that we are one with God's Law, and that the one thing in the way of our development is our own false way of looking at life. If we are to develop in the higher way, we must not continue, in the future, to look at life as we have looked at it in the past. Little by little we have been developing God's qualities, and little by little man is realizing his omnipotent power; for he has this power within him working for health, and strength, and happiness.

We should begin this work here and now, realize that God is ever with us, that He does not leave us for an instant. There is a love present in the life of man that is a distinct part of Being, and we are going to recognize this Power, and everything good in life will come from such a recognition. From this time on we are going to encourage this thought that we are all members one of another and that there is no separation in life. We cannot look upon ourselves as separated from other individuals, because all life is one, and in considering the good of ourselves we must consider the good of all. When we recognize this we are not going to consider retaliation, but we are going to take up, rather, the law which the great Master gave us of non-resistance. We are not going to fight evil in others, for that evil is undeveloped good. Those people may not be taking thought of their fellow-man; nevertheless, whether we look upon their conduct as good or evil, at the last analysis it is good. In the future we are going to say of them that if they are evil they are undeveloped, and that they are doing according to their knowledge. We should give them good thoughts, and should try in this way to bring out all that is good in them. Any quality in us speaks to the same quality in other people. Let us, then, encourage the good instead of resisting the evil, and not try to overcome evil by evil, but overcome evil by good. If this line of conduct is pursued, evil will have nothing to live upon, and must pass away. Everything is pure and everything is good and strong. We are not going to change people, but by pursuing this course of thinking we are going to realize that back of all seeming evil there is eternal good. The same qualities are in the undeveloped as in the most highly developed people. Whatever qualities you possess are continually calling to those same qualities in others. If kindness is in your life, you will call to kindness in others if the desire to do good to others is in you, a similar desire in them will respond. This is true of everything in life. Man has this power within him to call out the good in the lives of others, and he can use this power. So, whatever we give out, whatever we think, is continually calling to the same quality in other people. If they are jealous or envious of you, you may correct their thought by your own right thinking. Relate yourself in the right way to other people and you will find that they will be properly related to you. You have the power to do this, and so to exemplify the teaching of Spiritual Science.

Many people think that they are controlled by their environment. They insist that their lives are influenced by the people with whom they come in contact. This is not so. We make our own environment, and according to the way we think we make our own lives. The world about us takes on a brightness or a gloom according to what is in our minds. We see the world around about us in a gloomy or in a bright way according to the gloom or the brightness in our minds. Let us, then, take the responsibility upon ourselves and not place it upon other people. Let us realize that we make life what we will to make it. We are continually willing things in the wrong way, and are getting wrong results, because of our willfulness. Every thought that we think we must express. We must give an account for every thought, and we do give such an account in our own lives.

Do not put your happiness or your punishment off to some future time. Your life may be happy or miserable now as a result of your right or wrong thinking. Remember, that the power is with you to think right or wrong. Every thought going forth from the individual is a prayer whether it be false or true. It will be fulfilled, if it is a false desire, the same as if it is a true one. The instant a thing shapes itself in mind it is being fulfilled, because to have the ideal in mind is greater than the expression of the ideal. You must have a thing definitely in mind before you can give expression to it in an ideal way. Therefore, by cultivating the ideal, we can shape our lives as we will. But the one thing we must remember is that nothing we desire is going to bring us good if it brings injury to some other life. Remember, that we cannot get happiness or strength through bringing injury to another. Happiness comes as we give happiness in life, and strength as we give strength for the general welfare. If one would be strong, well, and happy, let him give out strength, health, and happiness. The more he gives the more he will have to give. By his giving his abundance will be greater. But in giving out there must be no thought of receiving, for the law is that the giving and the receiving are one. “If a man would find his life, he must lose it." This is the law of life. We are so related to one another that humanity is one, and in working for the good of others the organization will become perfect.

The expression of the soul is thought, and this is the one way we have of relating ourselves to the outer world. Words are naught, but the thought that lies back of the word is everything.

Think right and the word will be right. Think right and the deed will be right. A person cannot have true thoughts and give expression to those thoughts in a false way. It matters not how much a person may do, if the thought back of the act is not right the deed cannot be right.

Let us think, then, in a positive way and not on the negative side of life. Do not stand on the negative side of life. All good is positive, and if you stand on the positive side of life nothing can prevail against you. If you are in that condition you will conform to the law and will become well and strong. Think of yourself in this way, and when you see other people, try always to see them as you would like them to be. Always see the good in them, and by seeing the good in them it will help to bring it out in them. You never make people think that they are better by telling them that they are evil. Dwell on the positive side. Remember that our thoughts affect the lives of other people, and that they should be for righteousness and strength in others.

We are responsible to God and to our fellowmen for the thoughts we think. Every thought is going out to affect the life of some one. If one is guided by the light of truth, no false thought can be borne toward others. If one dwells, however, on the negative side of life, if he allows hatred, malice, and envy to enter his life, he must not expect health and happiness, nor to encourage it in the lives of others. If these qualities are desired we must dwell on the positive side, and not on the negative side. In dwelling on the positive more power and influence on other people's lives will come, and all desires for good will be accomplished. Let us keep our minds centered on the truth, and remember that when it is so centered on the Eternal Good, there is no room for evil. But in the doing, everything must come in an orderly way. There is no need for hurry, and there should be no crowding of one event upon another, but we should do all things quietly and naturally. Keep the mind thoroughly poised, and demonstrate the power that is within us. Thus we shall lead a perfectly scientific life and demonstrate our religion here and now.

There is a higher law that frees us from sin and death. Christ pointed it out when he said that he had overcome the world. “If I shall be lifted up, I shall draw all men unto me." According to the old conceptions of life, people died to the highest that was in them but we believe that people should be made alive to their spiritual inheritance. Looking at life from the spiritual side, we recognize the God in it, and this is Life Eternal.

"The truth in God's breast
Lies trace for trace upon ours impressed:
Though He is so bright and we so dim,
We are made in His image to witness Him.”

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Charles Brodie Patterson

  • Canadian New Thought author
  • Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917

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