I had a recurring dream that I was being chased by a bear. Always at the moment when he was about to catch me, I would wake up shaken and frustrated. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't outrun that bear.
One night the dream took a different turn. I was able to put some distance between me and the bear. I crossed a river and looked back and saw that the bear was slowed by the rushing water. Then I awakened.
Now I was really frustrated! Of all moments to wake up, it had to happen when I was actually beating the bear? I spent the next few minutes like a child on Christmas eve, trying to force myself to sleep so I could finish out the dream and celebrate the victory. And then I thought...
"What are you doing? It was a dream! No bear, no race, no winner, no loser! You are awake now. Stay awake!" And I never had that dream again.
This episode was a good example to me of why it is important not to be fooled by appearances - good or bad - when praying for healing. Prayer doesn't enable one to outrun or conquer the "bear" of illness, lack, fear, or any other discord. Prayer helps us to wake up from bear-dreams altogether to discover the health that is there.
Speaking to the subject of what I consider to be "bear-dream testimony", Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Any conclusion pro or con, deduced from supposed sensation in matter or from matter's supposed consciousness of health or disease, instead of reversing the testimony of the physical senses, confirms that testimony as legitimate and so leads to disease." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.120)
The Bible, too, weighs in on unreliable sense testimony in Psalms 53:5, "There were they in great fear, where no fear was."
The emphasis we place on winning or losing in a race against physical sense testimony isn't healthy. It tends to perpetuate the dream of struggles, defeats and fleeting gains that constitute a material, limited and erroneous sense of things.
A safer approach would be to wake up to God, divine Life, and the health that real life - reflecting Life - includes.
Science and Health explains, "Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, — neither in nor of matter, — and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well. Sorrow is turned into joy when the body is controlled by spiritual Life, Truth, and Love...
"Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man's dominion over the whole earth. This understanding casts out error and heals the sick, and with it you can speak 'as one having authority.'" (ibid. p.14)
Health is a spiritual attribute of God, the one divine Life. It belongs to everyone by reflection. Health is a divine condition that is humanly discoverable. It isn't a human concept waiting for a divine dispensation in order to be expressed in our lives.
It is safe to take yourself out of the race with a "bear" for better health. Instead of working so hard to improve our dreams, we would do better to wake up and stay awake to the spiritual understanding of divine Life and the present dominion over evil, disease included, that we all possess.
Say good-bye to the bear - whatever type it claims to be - and the defeats and fickle triumphs that are only elements of a dream. A dream of evil cannot, does not control your real life. Awakening to what constitutes real Life, God, will show that sickness is not the actual state of man, while good heath is.
For more on waking from bear-dreams, you can link to my chat entitled, "Prayer about cancer," available at spirituality.com.
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I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no