In Prov 23:7, the Bible tells us, “As a man thinketh so is he.” To me this signifies that to a great extent the terrain of our thought determines the condition of our body. To the degree that our thought is spiritual we embody spirituality or spiritual man. Spiritual man is an enduring manifestation of divine Life or, in other words, our true substance.
If spiritual man is true substance, then one might call the material man (the opposite of spiritual man) the insubstantial or shadow. Mrs. Eddy implied this in Retrospection and Introspection when she wrote “The physical senses, or sensuous nature, I called error and shadow.”
When we find that our body is not presenting perfect health we may discover that a roughness of thought or an uneven mental terrain is the foundation of the problem. Just as, for example, when we stand near a flight of stairs on a sunny day and our human shadow falls on the stairs; that shadow is all jagged – even though we are perfectly upright.
So if our thought/terrain is rocky, then the body/shadow appears deformed or unhealthy. To align the shadow we don’t need to change the true self, but we do need to level the thought on which our body resides. This is described in Isa 40:4,5 as “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
This analogy can be used to help understand how a body may appear to be failing even though the health or wholeness of our true self-hood is perfect, harmonious, and healthy. We can even use this analogy to gain a sense of direction about how to correct any apparent abnormality in the body.
If our mental terrain is rough, if it is distorted by un-godlike thoughts such as self-condemnation, judgment of others, guilt, greed, regret, etc., then the body may appear imperfect. To perfect the terrain of thought we must bring our thoughts more in line with what God knows and sees about us and His creation.
Mrs. Eddy describes this in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (248:26) by writing, “We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives. Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love — the kingdom of heaven — reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.”
St. Paul also describes this in II Cor 10:5 as, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
Our mission then is to bring every thought into alignment with goodness. We don’t do this by looking for things in thought that need changing, not by looking for problems! We do this by looking to Christ Jesus’ example of Godlikeness. He demonstrated it right here on earth and so can we by bringing every thought into the “obedience of Christ”.
Eddy suggests in S&H (392:24-27), “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.”
Is your mental terrain smooth? Is your body well? Are you ready to change your experience for the better by changing your thought for the better? The wonderful possibilities are endless when we open thought to divine Love’s ideas and hold those perpetually in consciousness.