By: Elaina Simpson, C.S.
An individual once struggled with addictive behaviors. The actions were repetitive, and the individual felt they couldn’t break this pattern no matter how hard they tried. The habits and the mental ruminations and thoughts that went along with it, felt like a hamster’s running wheel of an unbreakable pattern. The individual turned to working with a Christian Science Practitioner. Eventually, this individual turned away from mere human willpower and a false view of themself. This individual eventually experienced a moral and spiritual propulsion, and in one day, the various addictive issues were healed permanently with spiritual study, support and prayer alone. We may wonder about various false patterns, how is this possible, how does this happen, and can it happen for me?
Sometimes, one may feel as though they are stuck in a certain pattern; As if they are patterned materially, that they are a compilation of patterns taught by people or parents, or a result of events, habits, or mental health challenges. If you’ve ever felt this way, there is a permanent solution.
In the study of Christian Science, we learn that mortal patterns are only a manifestation of a limited view of man. Reading the Bible, we find that we are truly spiritual, made only by God and patterned after Him. This understanding in prayer, breaks patterns that are unlike our true nature, and delivers healing. A pattern by definition, is a form or model proposed for imitation. It’s something designed or used as a model in order to make things. We as God’s offspring reflect God, Good. We are made by God; Formed, designed, and modeled after only Good.
Even the beginning pages of the Bible discuss the importance of righteous, true patterns. We read about how God directed Moses to make his offering and sacrifice to God when building the temple, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.” (Exodus 25:40) This verse was quoted three times in published writings, by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. We make our own spiritual sacrifice and offering to God, by continuing righteous patterns in our own thoughts, speech, actions and activities. Hebrews later expands on this Bible verse with a beautiful explanation of righteous patterns, “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven...Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (NIV Hebrews 8:5) It must be pretty symbolic that Moses was on a mountain, or high place in thought, to see the true pattern of man. Moses was alerted by God to express God-like patterns alone, which are in alignment with what he heard on the mount, the Ten Commandments. These are spiritual and righteous patterns, not the false patterns of mortality. Just as Moses glimpsed this law, we too, can hold a high thought about the true patterns of mankind and live the commandments, instead of their opposite.
It is no surprise that in spiritual healing, our prayer helps break the suggestive pattern of false thoughts about ourselves. Meaning, negative thought patterns that are out of alignment with how God sees the true essence of his spiritual child. An example of this are limiting thoughts that don’t promote healing or spiritual growth; Self-condemnation, overwhelming guilt, feeling not good enough or worthy, hopelessness, victimization, comparison, dwelling on the past or anxiety concerning the future...etc. We must stop false suggestions quickly, breaking their seeming pattern. For example, Mary Baker Eddy instructs us, “When the first symptoms of disease appear, dispute the testimony of the material senses with divine Science.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 390:12–13) Referring to sickness she wrote, “Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin.” (SH 390:21–23) Disputing, dismissing, interrupting and reversing any unwelcome and suggestive pattern; In trait, habit, or disease, is essential to spiritual healing. This is because anything but the Divine pattern, is a false lie about man.
Moses followed the divine pattern by seeing with spiritual sense. False lies are represented by only the false material sense. “The senses, not God, Soul, form the condition of beautiful evil, and the supposed modes of self-conscious matter, which make a beautiful lie. Now a lie takes its pattern from Truth, by reversing Truth. So evil and all its forms are inverted good. God never made them; but the lie must say He made them, or it would not be evil.” (Unity of Good, 52:26) Unlike material sense, spiritual sense alerts us to the trickery that these lies suggest about God and man. Our spiritual sense guides us to stay alert in our prayer, and to quickly allow the Truth to break a false pattern, a mere mockery of Truth.
It all comes back to how we understand God to be. What is God? God is Love and completely Good. God, the infinite, cannot result in any negative pattern. Eddy instructs us to, “...arise from the belief that the infinite is formed after the pattern of mortal personality, passion, and impulse.” (SH 94:14) Like God, man is not patterned with any false belief under the categories of personality, passion or impulse. The acknowledgement that we are patterned after God which is completely good, proves any unnatural imposition of an erroneous pattern to be false. It breaks the false pattern of mortality, turning us to our true expression, similar to the spiritual offering and expression that God asked of Moses, and the true man shines through.
Going back to what happened with the individual and their healing,Hymn 467 is a perfect explanation for why we cannot continue in a false pattern, “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.” (Christian Science Hymnal) Because our patterns are only of God, we do not have to fear a pattern unlike what God is doing.
In my own experience, I’ve witnessed healings come when false suggestions about myself were interrupted, mentally disputed and dismissed. A firm, mental “no” to the claim of evil, gives it no lodgment, no attachment, or recurrence. A false pattern can be replaced with what is true about God, Good. Doing so, the mental pattern of a lie had no foothold. Whether it was a pattern suggesting lack, disharmony, disease, or limitation, God’s Love shows me how it always breaks through and proves the pattern or lie to be false. Each time a false pattern of thought is broken, I’ve learned more about my origin as God’s daughter. I’m so grateful for the law that, “Mortal man, as mind or matter, is neither the pattern nor Maker of immortal man.” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, 103:19–2)
It can feel tempting to accept a lie, to ‘take the bait’ or take in a false suggestion. But with God’s authority, we each can handle any suggestion and overcome it-- No matter what it is, or claims to be. We are each capable of seeing with our God-given spiritual sense, to stay watchful of what we take into our thought. We can allow our spiritual sense to show us what’s real and what’s false, instead of taking the material sense testimony of mortal patterns. We can take in what’s good, instead of taking in a lie and allowing it to repeat itself. “They that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God's own way, and let human justice pattern the divine.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 542:18–21) We each have the ability to witness God’s divine pattern in action.
Have a great evening,
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