There are three types of the Concept of Five, each having a pattern of five words, and each relating in some way to the five senses. The clue to identifying the five pattern, of course, is the five words, be they verbs, nouns, adjectives. The first type was discussed in my previous blog, Concept of Five and Treatment, showing the necessity of reversing the negative words and making a metaphysical sentence or paragraph into a Science (CS) treatment. Treatments are given to a specific individual who has requested this help. It would be unethical to treat someone without his permission.
The second type of Concept of Five is about *correcting thought and is more general than CS treatment. No specific individual is being addressed because no treatment has been requested, yet there is a problem or error that needs to be addressed and/or challenged. Correcting thought purifies one’s own thought, enabling one to pray effectively with healing results. It is working from the standpoint of the spiritually perfect and complete idea man. The reader may have learned this process as: knowing the truth, aligning thought with God, beginning with God, or reasoning out from Cause/God. These all fall under the topic of correcting thought which must be done before any CS or metaphysical treatment is given.
A. WHAT IS CORRECTIVE THOUGHT?
“Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.” SH 476:32-4
> Spiritually correct reasoning based on God’s laws of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and Omni-action.
> Thought that holds to the spiritual idea of man as already at the point of perfection, whole and complete.
> A consciousness so filled with spiritual sense that only good is seen or beheld where material sense (the five senses) would attempt to declare good’s opposite.
> Corrective thought is positive thought.
> *Corrective thought addresses no specific individual or patient, but focuses on man generally, using terms as “us,” “we,” or “man.”
> Corrective thought also heals!
*This concept of correcting thought may be new to some, as well as its application with metaphysical citations.
Mrs. Eddy affirms the healing effectiveness of corrective prayer when she writes:
“Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people’s individuality, health, and morals; whereas, the opposite image of man, a sinner, kept constantly in mind, can no more improve health or morals, than holding in thought the form of a boa-constrictor can aid an artist in painting a landscape.” (Mis. 61:30)
Notice her use of “man” in her explanation. This man is the spiritual idea—perfect and complete. The SCA has distilled the essence of this sentence into the Law of Dwelling which succinctly states: That which one dwells on most, grows. This law is a reminder to think correctly, watch thought, maintain a healing consciousness.
B. THE STARTING POINT
It is always the thought of the healer that has to be corrected first, otherwise, he is accepting the same error that is to be healed. In essence, he is thinking (even knowing!) it is real while trying to cure it. Mrs. Eddy calls this quackery. One cannot believe in a disease or problem as real and at the same time heal it. (SH 395:21)
‘‘When one’s false belief is corrected, Truth sends a report of health over the body.“ (SH 194:8-9)
A notable difference with this second type of Concept of Five (C-5) is that all or most of the words are POSITIVE. They are more likely to be found in metaphysical or spiritual sentences.
Pattern of five words
Metaphysical or Spiritual sentence
To illustrate, one can see in the following sentence from Science and Health (SH) that there are five verbs numbered in red.
The starting-point of divine Science 1 is that God, Spirit, 2 is All-in-all, and that there 3 is no other might nor Mind, — that God 4 is Love, and therefore He 5 is divine Principle. (SH 275:6) S
Why do we count the verbs first? Verbs are action words and with the SCA, many verbs represent Omni-action—which is God’s activity. God is all-active. In this sentence, there are five IS verbs, making this an obvious Concept of Five.
What does the five relate to? To be repetitive, the five material senses. Our textbook, Science and Health, is addressing them in a powerful, positive way, declaring truths about God. (Spirit is positive 173: 13; 126: 9-14; 173: 14-16) From another perspective, this is Christian Science at work, destroying with Truth the false sense evidence of error. The senses would deny God exists because they cannot see or know God. Example 1 refutes those claims by declaring God IS, and by including five different underlined names or synonyms for Him. Is there anything to reverse or correct in this illustration? No! This is why we call this the positive Concept of Five. Rather than pointing out error (which we would reverse), this example shows how to rise above the claims of the five senses (without even mentioning them) by going to God, the absolute.
Where did Jesus begin his Lord’s Prayer? Our Father. Our is a collective pronoun meaning all of us. While we pray this audibly in our CS churches, it is benefitting everyone. Acknowledging God is the best place to start one’s prayer,
C. FIVE AND THE OMNI-ACTION OF GOD
The divine completeness
“Divine metaphysics, as 1 revealed to spiritual understanding, 2 shows clearly that all 3 is Mind, and that Mind 4 is God, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, — that 5 is, all power, all presence, all Science.” (SH 275:19) S
In this second Concept of Five citation (five positive verbs numbered in red), the five senses are refuted by the presence of five names or synonyms for God (underlined): Mind, God, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience. What the SCA reveals in this citation is that divine metaphysics transcends the five senses by revealing the Omni-action of God.
Again, going to the absolute in thought is the perfect way to dismiss false evidence. As a graphic illustration: lifting consciousness to the purifying presence of Spirit can be likened to plunging tarnished silverware into a hot, foil-lined bath of dissolved washing soda; while soaking, the tarnish vanishes, leaving the silver gleaming. The laws of chemistry function beautifully without any rubbing or scrubbing by human hands. Deciphering the analogy:
The silver is thought darkened by the senses.
The tarnish is error believed, even promoted, by the senses.
The cleansing bath is like the baptism of Spirit. (241:27)
The law of omni-active Principle is the scientific cleanser.
Looking at our second sample, is there anything to correct? Absolutely nothing; only lots of good truths to affirm and know when one’s own thought needs correcting. When one sees, hears, reads about error, disease etc., this would be a good citation to work with, pray with. Holding thought to Truth silences the senses. It also prepares thought when false suggestions sneak into unwatchful thinking.
D. IMPERSONAL PRAYER
“Jesus 1 taught (C) the way (CESS) of Life by demonstration, that we 2 may understand (E) how this divine Principle 3 heals the sick, 4 casts out error, and 5 triumphs over death.” (25:13–19, 31) M
The SCA reveals here that Jesus‘ teaching as Cause (C) results in our understanding (Effect or E). As we follow him, we can do the same. He expected no less (John 14:12). In the SCA, “the way“ is translated as the Constant Exercise of Spiritual Sense (CESS) because it takes this constant exercise to follow his path as our way-shower. Using this sentence for a thought corrective prayer is easy because the impersonal “we“ is already included and there is no specific person being treated, no patient.
Corrective Prayer: Following Jesus’ teachings and demonstrations, and actively applying the constant exercise of spiritual sense, we can heal the sick, cast out error, and triumph over death.
E. LOVE SUBDUES THE SENSES
Superiority to sickness and sin
“1 To fear sin 2 is 3 to misunderstand the power of Love and the divine Science of being in man’s relation to God, — 4 to doubt His government and 5 distrust His omnipotent care.” (SH 231:21-25) M
Man is the impersonal subject of the C-5 citation in illustration 4. And there are some negatives that need to be reversed.
Fear becomes love.
Misunderstand becomes understand, a quality of Love.
To doubt becomes to believe.
Distrust becomes trust, a quality of Love.
Applying the wisdom of the introductory sentence, replacing the pronouns “yourself” and “you“ with the collective “we,” and reversing the negatives, we can pray impersonally. Collective prayer is corrective prayer.
Corrective Prayer: We (let us) love in the face of sin (because love destroys sin). We (let us) understand the power of Love. We (let us) comprehend our relation to God in the divine Science of being. We (let us) believe in His government and trust His omnipotent care.
What is the SCA revealing in example 4? Love subdues the testimony of the five senses.
F. LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR IN CHURCH
Because this correcting type of the Concept of Five involves no specific individual, this can be used in unique ways. Prayer in our churches, for instance; correcting our own thought about a situation near to us or on the other side of the world. The question about prayer and ethics is resolved with this kind of prayer, because it doesn’t invade the thought of someone. The prayer remains in the consciousness of the one praying, yet healing can result.
As Mrs. Eddy directed, prayers in churches are for the congregations collectively and exclusively. (Man. 42:1)
“It 1 shall be the duty of every member of this Church 2 to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion, and not 3 be made 4 to forget nor 5 to neglect his duty to God, to his Leader, and to mankind.” (Man. 42:4-8) M
This is an effective prayer to use in church during silent prayer. As we are to pray only for the congregation at this time, changing “himself” to “us” will make this impersonal. This is a wonderful way of following Jesus‘ command to love our neighbor! Here is one way of applying it as a corrective prayer:
Let us (or, we are) defend(ing) ourselves daily against aggressive mental suggestion, and let us(or, we are) remember(ing) to obey God, follow our Leader through her writings, and love mankind.
Studying this prayer, the three points at the end (God, Leader, mankind) present clear ways to defend ourselves from a.m. Obeying God constantly, following Mrs. Eddy through her writings, and loving others (the Golden Rule in action) cover everything we need to do!
Even Jesus had to deal with the taunts of the five senses and overcome them. No one has been more successful than he! In the 6th example below, Mrs. Eddy recognizes his struggle with the human sense of things as indicated in the first part of the paragraph. Yet, it is the second part we are focusing on. Here is a positive statement affirming the blessings of spiritually understanding Love. Wouldn’t this make another great prayer to use in church!
The holy struggle
“When the human element in him 1 struggled with the divine, our great Teacher said: “Not my will, but Thine, 2 be done!” — that 3 is, 4 Let not the flesh, but the Spirit, 5 be represented in me. This is the new understanding of spiritual Love. It gives all for Christ, or Truth. It (Spiritual Love) 1 blesses its enemies, 2 heals the sick, 3 casts out error, 4 raises the dead from trespasses and sins, and 5 preaches the gospel to the poor, the meek in heart.” (SH 33:18) M
Once more, the underlying message is that understanding spiritual Love subdues the five senses. Focusing on the last sentence in this paragraph, a corrective prayer might go like this:
Let us bless our enemies by reflecting and living spiritual Love. Let us heal the sick, cast out error, raise those who are dead in trespasses and sin, and preach the gospel to the poor or meek in thought, with our demonstrating Love.
Also is this powerful affirmation of silent prayer’s effectiveness:
“The “still, small voice” of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, “as when a lion roareth.” It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear. It arouses the “seven thunders” of evil, and stirs their latent forces to utter the full diapason of secret tones. Then is the power of Truth demonstrated, — made manifest in the destruction of error.” (SH 559:8-16)
One final reference to apply as corrective five prayer:
1 Keep distinctly in thought that (spiritual) man 2 is the offspring of God, not of (material) man; that man 3 is spiritual, not material; that Soul 4 is Spirit, outside of matter, never in it, never 5 giving the body life and sensation. (SH 396:26-30). M
Let us keep distinctly in thought (or, we know) that the spiritual man is (we are) the offspring of God, not of material man; that man is (we are) spiritual, not material; that Soul is Spirit, outside of the belief of matter or body; therefore, man is (we are) bodiless, sensationless being.
This can be a well-used to correct thought when we hear or watch a negative situation on the news!
G. FIVE SENSES EXPOSED
Throughout SH there are many metaphysical statements that can be used for both treatments and thought correctors. What is unique to this Concept of Five, however, is the facing down of the five senses. These material senses are bad actors. MBE has nothing good to say about them. When we rely on them, we invite error into our home, our consciousness. We see it, hear it, believe it (through material reasoning) … and then we have work to do (through spiritual sense) to disbelieve it and heal the harm caused by accepting what we see, hear etc. These Concept of Five citations remind us to stay with spiritual sense! Here are just some of the reasons against accepting what the five senses claim:
They interfere with praying rightly. (15:14-18)
They shut out Truth and its healing power. (38:30)
They cannot discern delusion from reality. (70:2-5)
Their testimony leads to disease. (120:25)
They cannot see God. (139:4 – marginal heading)
They are non-intelligent. (214:10-12)
They are enslaving. (227:3-7)
They relate to birth and death. (265:16-20)
They cannot cognize God or Truth. (273:3-4)
They are deceptive. (274:12 – marginal heading)
They are instruments of error and correspond with error. (293:32)
They are the only source of evil and error. (489:24)
H. TREATMENTS INTO CORRECTIVES
Concept of Five citations presented in the previous blog were primarily handling animal magnetism and its suggestions. These citations were reworked and used as treatments. Here is one example from that blog:
Superiority to sickness and sin
“To hold yourself superior to sickness and death is equally wise, and is in accordance with divine Science. 1 To fear them (sickness and death) 2 is impossible, when you fully 3 apprehend God and 4 know that they 5 are no part of His creation.” (SH 231:27) M
Treatment for handling the suggestion of sickness and death: I am wisely holding myself to be superior to the beliefs of sickness and death because this is in accordance with divine Science. Because I apprehend God and know that sickness and death are no part of His creation, I cannot fear them.
This treatment can be rewritten as a thought-correcting prayer:
Let us (or, we) wisely hold ourselves to be superior to the beliefs of sickness and death because this is in accordance with divine Science. Let us (or, we) apprehend God and know that sickness and death are not part of His creation; we cannot fear them.
I. APPLY THE FIVE
Science and Health is filled with metaphysical passages that can be used for treatments and correcting prayers. But only those citations which include the pattern of five actually refer to or refute the five senses in some way. The fun and benefit is to let spiritual inspiration reveal how.
For those who would like to practice this method of corrective prayer, take one or more treatments (in green font) from the blog and work them into thought corrections. Use them in church during silent prayer. What are your favorite prayers to offer in church?
Just imagine what the result would be when every member prays for their congregation this way. Thought so united with the Christ-consciousness through impersonal prayer can do wonders as it did on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
As I have been studying and applying these spiritual number concepts to understand more clearly our Pastor, Science and Health specifically, there has been a noticeable shift in my thought which can be felt. Looking at specific kinds of sentences to see how they can be worked into treatments or thought corrections is new to me.
Over the years, I have found passages to use in praying for specific cases. But what the SCA points out expands these findings at a rapid rate, including the distinction of CS treatments from impersonal thought corrections. This adds more depth and value, especially to Science and Health. It is becoming a well-used textbook!
Helpful references from the SCA Compiler regarding correcting thought:
A correct view of Christian Science and of its adaptation to healing includes vastly more than is at first seen. SH 116:11-12
We apprehend Life in divine Science only as we live above corporeal sense and correct it. SH 167:6-7
Instead of furnishing thought with fear, they should try to correct this turbulent element of mortal mind by the influence of divine Love which casteth out fear. SH 180:21
When one’s false belief is corrected, Truth sends a report of health over the body. SH 194:8
This Mind does not make mistakes and subsequently correct them. SH 206:29-30
Ignorance, like intentional wrong, is not Science. Ignorance must be seen and corrected before we can attain harmony. SH 251:28-30
As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible. SH 264:13-15
To material sense, the unreal is the real until this sense is corrected by Christian Science. SH 298:10
A human perception of divine Science, however limited, must be correct in order to be Science and subject to demonstration. SH 361:23-25
Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew. SH 425:24-26
Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. SH 476:32-4
We know that a statement proved to be good must be correct. SH 492:12-13
Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of corporeal sense; but sin, sickness, and death will seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of man’s eternal harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being. SH 494:19
Again, without a correct sense of its highest visible idea, we can never understand the divine Principle. SH 560:17-19
I HOPE THIS BLOG SUBJECT IS ALSO A GREAT BENEFIT TO THOSE WHO READ IT. YOUR COMMENTS BELOW WOULD BE VERY APPRECIATED. Thank you.
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