A few years ago, my son took a college class in anatomy for his education degree, which included dissecting various animals. Dissection gives the student a picture of the physical being.

But there is another way to look at anatomy – one that relates to our thinking.

After years of being treated unsuccessfully through allopathic medicine, homeopathy, hydropathy and even hypnotism, Christian healer Mary Baker Eddy came to the conclusion that disease was not biological, but mental. She then probed the Bible to find how Jesus healed mentally. This search unfolded to her the reliable power of the Christ that Jesus taught – the power of God to heal.

Then a whole new train of thought opened for her. She recognized that man as God’s likeness must be spiritual, not material or biological. This realization brought her to a new definition of anatomy. She wrote, “Anatomy, when conceived of spiritually is mental self-knowledge, and consists in the dissection of thoughts to discover their quality, quantity, and origin.” She taught that all dissecting of thought should be done with tenderness and love.

She further found that when one’s thinking is permeated with the Christ – with the understanding of God’s unconditional love and power – the cure of disease occurs.

I have often found this understanding helpful to me when I’m ill. For instance, a few years ago I began to manifest symptoms of a painful internal disease. It became increasingly worse until certain functions of my body began to slow down to a marked degree. As I continued to ask myself “What is wrong?”, I remembered Eddy’s passage about anatomy. I realized how afraid I was.

I turned to this Bible passage for guidance and support, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isa. 41: 10). It gave me the courage I needed to continue praying to acknowledge the supremacy of God that reaches human thought, dispels fear and consequently heals disease. This was the power of the Christ, Truth, at work. This dissecting prayer quieted the pain and eventually brought complete healing.

Since then, as I have displaced fearful, materially-based thinking for thought filled with divine goodness, I have found an extremely practical way to health.