|The Man in the Mirror
The False Reflection
According to Wikipedia, “A mirror is an object that reflects light in a way that preserves much of its original quality subsequent to its contact with the mirror.”
When we look into a mirror, what is the image we see? Well, it depends on the type of mirror we are looking into– a mirror of divine Science, or one of physical science.
Last week, we looked at man as reflected in the mirror of divine Science . Tonight, we will explore the false image or material reflection of man as seen in the mirror of physical science..
The following citations are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible
Gen. 1:1, 26, 27
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
¶And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
¶These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God:
I John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Deut. 4:15, 16
Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves;
Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
Deut. 5:1, 6-9
Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.
I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them:
Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Romans 8:8-9, 12, 14
….. they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
II Cor. 5:16
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh:
Gal. 5:16-18, 25
Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
I Cor. 13:9-10, 12
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
I Kings 8:61
Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.
The following citations are from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
God made man in His own image, to reflect the divine Spirit.
Spiritually followed, the book of Genesis is the history of the untrue image of God, named a sinful mortal. This deflection of being, rightly viewed, serves to suggest the proper reflection of God and the spiritual actuality of man, as given in the first chapter of Genesis.
Man is not the offspring of flesh, but of Spirit, — of Life, not of matter
Mistaking his origin and nature, man believes himself to be combined matter and Spirit. He believes that Spirit is sifted through matter, carried on a nerve, exposed to ejection by the operation of matter. The intellectual, the moral, the spiritual, — yea, the image of infinite Mind, — subject to non-intelligence!
The creations of matter arise from a mist or false claim, or from mystification, and not from the firmament, or understanding, which God erects between the true and false. In error everything comes from beneath, not from above. All is material myth, instead of the reflection of Spirit.
The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique.
All the objects of God's creation reflect one Mind, and whatever reflects not this one Mind, is false and erroneous, even the belief that life, substance, and intelligence are both mental and material.
Anybody, who is able to perceive the incongruity between God's idea and poor humanity, ought to be able to discern the distinction (made by Christian Science) between God's man, made in His image, and the sinning race of Adam.
SH 305:5-15, 27
A picture in the camera or a face reflected in the mirror is not the original, though resembling it. Man, in the likeness of his Maker, reflects the central light of being, the invisible God. As there is no corporeality in the mirrored form, which is but a reflection, so man, like all things real, reflects God, his divine Principle, not in a mortal body.
Gender also is a quality, not of God, but a characteristic of mortal mind. The verity that God's image is not a creator, though he reflects the creation of Mind, God, constitutes the underlying reality of reflection.
Because man is the reflection of his Maker, he is not subject to birth, growth, maturity, decay. These mortal dreams are of human origin, not divine.
SH 300:3-22, 28-4
Finite sense has no true appreciation of infinite Principle, God, or of His infinite image or reflection, man. The mirage, which makes trees and cities seem to be where they are not, illustrates the illusion of material man, who cannot be the image of God.
So far as the scientific statement as to man is understood, it can be proved and will bring to light the true reflection of God— the real man, or the new man (as St. Paul has it).
The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. The mutable and imperfect never touch the immutable and perfect. The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent. These opposite qualities are the tares and wheat, which never really mingle, though (to mortal sight) they grow side by side until the harvest; then, Science separates the wheat from the tares, through the realization of God as ever present and of man as reflecting the divine likeness.
The universe reflects and expresses the divine substance or Mind; therefore God is seen only in the spiritual universe and spiritual man, as the sun is seen in the ray of light which goes out from it. God is revealed only in that which reflects Life, Truth, Love, — yea, which manifests God's attributes and power, even as the human likeness thrown upon the mirror, repeats the color, form, and action of the person in front of the mirror.
Few persons comprehend what Christian Science means by the word reflection. To himself, mortal and material man seems to be substance, but his sense of substance involves error and therefore is material, temporal.
On the other hand, the immortal, spiritual man is really substantial, and reflects the eternal substance, or Spirit, which mortals hope for. He reflects the divine, which constitutes the only real and eternal entity. This reflection seems to mortal sense transcendental, because the spiritual man's substantiality transcends mortal vision and is revealed only through divine Science.
As God is substance and man is the divine image and likeness, man should wish for, and in reality has, only the substance of good, the substance of Spirit, not matter. The belief that man has any other substance, or mind, is not spiritual and breaks the First Commandment, Thou shalt have one God, one Mind. Mortal man seems to himself to be material substance, while man is "image" (idea). Delusion, sin, disease, and death arise from the false testimony of material sense, which, from a supposed standpoint outside the focal distance of infinite Spirit, presents an inverted image of Mind and substance with everything turned upside down.
The inverted images presented by the senses, the deflections of matter as opposed to the Science of spiritual reflection, are all unlike Spirit, God.
The true idea of man, as the reflection of the invisible God, is as incomprehensible to the limited senses as is man's infinite Principle. The visible universe and material man are the poor counterfeits of the invisible universe and spiritual man.
…. man, reflecting God, cannot lose his individuality; but as material sensation, or a soul in the body, blind mortals do lose sight of spiritual individuality.
The sculptor turns from the marble to his model in order to perfect his conception. We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought. What is the model before mortal mind? Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it? Then you are haunted in your work by vicious sculptors and hideous forms. Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models.
According to divine Science, man is in a degree as perfect as the Mind that forms him.
The manifestation of God through mortals is as light passing through the window-pane. The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less opaque than the walls. The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality — much error — in order to become a better transparency for Truth. Then, like a cloud melting into thin vapor, it no longer hides the sun.
Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence.
Let the "male and female" of God's creating appear.
In atmosphere of Love divine,
We live, and move, and breathe;
Though mortal eyes may see it not,
'Tis sense that would deceive.
The mortal sense we must destroy,
If we would bring to light
The wonders of eternal Mind,
Where sense is lost in sight.
For God, immortal Principle,
Is with us everywhere;
He holds us perfect in His love,
And we His image bear.
Arise ye people, take your stand,
Cast out your idols from the land,
Above all doctrine, form or creed
Is found the Truth that meets your need.
Christ's promise stands: they that believe
His works shall do, his power receive.
Go forward then, and as ye preach
So let your works confirm your speech,
And prove to all with following sign
The Word of God is power divine.
In love and healing ministry
Show forth the Truth that makes men free.
O Father-Mother God, whose plan
Hath given dominion unto man,
In Thine own image we may see
Man pure and upright, whole and free.
And ever through our work shall shine
That light whose glory, Lord, is Thine.
Eternal Mind the Potter is,
And thought th' eternal clay:
The hand that fashions is divine,
His works pass not away.
Man is the noblest work of God,
His beauty, power and grace,
Immortal; perfect as his Mind
Reflected face to face.
God could not make imperfect man
His model infinite;
Unhallowed thought He could not plan,
Love's work and Love must fit.
Life, Truth and Love the pattern make,
Christ is the perfect heir;
The clouds of sense roll back, and show
The form divinely fair.
God's will is done; His kingdom come;
The Potter's work is plain.
The longing to be good and true
Has brought the light again.
And man does stand as God's own child,
The image of His love.
Let gladness ring from every tongue,
And heaven and earth approve.