Frequently Asked Questions

What is the basis of your practice?

How do you work?

What is your relationship to church?

Who and what are you grateful for?

Dear Friend,

     This is an open letter to those interested in spirituality. By way of introduction to my practice, I offer the following questions and answers. On most websites the "FAQs" are one page out of many, but on this site they are the main focus. For the past 20 years I have engaged in the full-time practice of Christian Science, and I continue this work today. To do anything else would be to go against the grain of my being.

     Choosing a practitioner needs thoughtful consideration. Whether the practice of Christian Science is new to you or familiar, I sincerely hope that you will find these pages helpful.

"What is the basis of your practice?"                                             back to top

     One way to answer this question is to clearly distinguish between the human mind and the divine Mind. This answer is based on a lifelong and ongoing wrestling to understand the meaning of the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

     In the Preface of Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy says this:

Various books on mental healing have since been issued, most of them incorrect in theory and filled with plagiarisms from SCIENCE AND HEALTH. They regard the human mind as a healing agent, whereas this mind is not a factor in the Principle of Christian Science. S&H x: 4-9 (Emphasis added.)

     If the human mind is not a healing agent, then just what is the healing agent? The experience of being in the presence of the divine Mind is unmistakable and clear to one who has been so graced. Unless that is the case, it is best to simply observe how the human mind works, what its points of reference are, how it reasons and how it draws conclusions.

The human mind

     The generally accepted view of life is that we each have a body with a brain in our head. The mental activity of this mind is considered to be the product of biological, physical, chemical, and electrical activity in the brain, which produces thought. This mind is informed by the five physical senses, and yet these senses are known to be fallible. Two examples of this are: 1) a stick submerged in water appears to be at a different angle than the rest of the stick which is in the air, and 2) how railroad tracks appear to come together when we look down the tracks. Our senses can report what is false. From this arises the question, "Can the mind informed by those senses be trusted?"

     Have you ever reasoned wrongly? Have you ever made a bad decision? Have you ever drawn a false conclusion? Have you ever been misled? If you have (and who hasn't?) then it is worth considering, "Why does this happen?" Does anyone think that these things happen in the divine Mind? Are not these questions, reason enough to call into question how the human mind is informed, reasons, and draws conclusions?

     Let's take a look at the reference points of the human mind. These reference points are so commonly accepted as "the-way-it-is" that they often go unchallenged. This is because it is the nature of falsity to be subtle. Falsity hides right in front of us in the common, ordinary, everyday until unmasked by spiritual discernment.

More and less as an example of dualism

     The human mind is referenced to "more-than-one". It thinks in terms of pairs of opposites such as good and evil, sickness and health, saint and sinner, true and false, happiness and sadness, right and wrong, and positive and negative. Just watch the mind and notice the pairs of opposites that come to your attention and how they seem to make up and determine your experience.

     In any given moment, the mind may be impressed by either side. As you practice observing the mind, you will notice that it swings back and forth. This mind is a "swinger". Since it swings between pairs of opposites it is a "house divided," (Matt 12:25) and because it is a "house divided," it is untrustworthy. A mind that is referenced to "more-than-one" is not monotheistic. It is dualistic and polytheistic.

     The human mind has reasons for swinging. It decides for example: "Oh, look at me! Look at how I figured that out. I'm so clever." and gets carried away with that until something changes. Then it swings to "What an idiot I am! Will I ever get it right?" and then gets carried away with that until something changes again. This swinging is characteristic of the human mind and is evidence of dualism.

     The many pairs of opposites make dynamically changing mental impressions on the human mind. The key to freedom from this back and forth lies in observing and challenging pairs of opposites as "the-way-it-is". It is useful to ask, "Am I free to not view the world this way?"

     The mind that is referenced to "more-than-one" is also referenced to and impressed by quantity. It thinks in the plural and in terms of numbers, size, and quantity. Usually to this mind, less is the problem and more is the solution.

More is:

  • what is assumed to be necessary,
  • what is advertised (just look for the word “more’ in the ads you see),
  • what we are conditioned to want,
  • what we are encouraged to get,
  • what we are asked to give, and
  • what is offered as the solution—to almost everything.

     More has become the measure of success. More is offered to us as the source of satisfaction. If you have more of "this" you will live happily ever after. Interestingly, those who have more are often aware that it is not a guarantee of security, satisfaction, health, or happiness.

     More is quantity and the belief that quantity will satisfy is based in the belief in lack. All the lack (shortage, scarcity, and insufficiency) we are aware of is just the flip side of more.

Less is:

  •  what we are afraid of.

     The human mind sees everything in terms of lack and so thinks more is needed. More and less are two sides of the same coin. This coin is the coin of quantity. Pick up that coin and you get both. More and less as a pair of opposites is one of the reference points of the human mind. This mind reasons out from fear of less and so seeks more. Reasoning based on fear is a house built "upon the sand". (Matt. 7:26) It is measuring by the human mind which leads to false conclusions. The alternative to being taken in by the human mind is to call it into question, along with its assumptions, its reasons, and its conclusions.

     The dualism of the human mind is not some innocent seesaw ride in the park, but is rather the rule of a tyrant. "What if the tyrant is not in some far off country, but is instead the human mind itself? And what if, it is the human mind that is the source of all the discord, disease and death we are aware of? And even further, what if, at the very same time the human mind is, and always was, only an optional and unnecessary point of view?"

     This tyrannical human mind is international, cross-cultural and cross-denominational and yet to take the seesaw ride or not, is a question of freedom we each face individually.

Time and its family

     Time is another reference point of the human mind. Trying to get a hold on time is just like trying to get a hold on the mind itself. Both prove to be illusive since both are concepts. Just what and where is time? It's so relative (unfixed) that sometimes it flies and sometimes it drags. The mind looks at life through the lens of time, and as it does, it sees a story beginning with birth, having a middle referenced to time, and ending with death. It imagines that man is at the mercy of this story and that there is no alternative.

     Time is measuring and measuring is, once again, quantity. More is how much. Less is how little. Time is how long or how short. Time tries to impress us with how long a problem has existed or how little time we have left.

     Whatever can be measured is inherently material. Since the mind measures life by time, it imagines life to be limited in time. And time is not an only child. Time's brothers and sisters are evolution, growth, process and progress. Invite time over, and the whole family comes along.

  • Evolution is the observation of adaptation and development over time.
  • Growth is the measurement of change in size or number over time.
  • Process is the record of the number of steps or actions over time.
  • Progress is the measurement of betterment or improvement over time.

     The inherent limitation of this limited view of life leads to identifying with other points of reference, namely, sin, sickness and death. This in turn leads to lots of medical or religious doctoring and fixing. How ironic, that the human mind, which has no fixity of itself (because it has no fixed principle), imagines it can fix anything.

Separation and fragmentation

     Another aspect of the human mind's limited view of life is that it imagines that we are separate from God and separate from each other. This mind sees fragmentation as the norm. It imagines each individual as a separate entity with a mind of its own that has somehow fallen away from God and into sin. This leads to great and unnecessary condemnation. It imagines that we are all separate from each other and divided from one another by time, space, culture, religion, race, language, and so on. This leads to a lot of trying to get together with God through religion, with other individuals socially, with other nations diplomatically and with other religions ecumenically.

     The human mind also imagines not only a separate mind and body, but a separate ego. This leads to a focus on the self rather than on God and so breaks the First Commandment. (Exodus 20:3) When God is left out the ego thinks it must fill in, as the general contractor, with its own thinking, planning, engineering, building and arranging, to "make it happen". This, in turn, leads to a personal sense of responsibility for success or failure, with all its unnecessary burden and weight.

The good news

     The good news is the reference points of the human mind are not necessary as they are only a point of view. This is clearly seen when we consider the life and works of Christ Jesus. The human mind has points of reference. Jesus had a point of reference which was the practice of a divine principle. This means that there is an alternative to the tyranny of the human mind and all of its counting, measuring and inherent limitation. How much or how little, how long or how short does not apply to Spirit. Whatever can be measured is material. Spirit is immeasurable by its very nature.

    The human mind is dispensable and unnecessary because it is only a conception. It is not an actual mind. It is a hypothetical mind. The Christian task is often considered to be the saving of the other. This leads to a lot of judging of the other, condemning the other, and separation from the other. What interests me is a different Christian task which is the "giving up" of the hypothetical human mind. Here, the mind wants to rush in again (Can you feel it?), as the general contractor, and take over this project of "giving up". This general contractor would like nothing better than to make "giving up" a long religious career. The "giving up" is not that. It is rather a shift from the dualism of the human mind to the non-dual divine Mind. It is a turning from the plural to the singular—from the many to one. All we are asked to give up is the hypothetical for the real. We can never be fooled by the actual and real. We can only be fooled by the false and no one wants to be fooled! But! "What if, we are being fooled by our own mind?"

     Christ Jesus did not live in reference to the pairs of opposites, to time, or a personal ego, but rather to the fact that God is "God alone". (Ps. 86:10) The life of Christ Jesus is the alternative to the reference points of the human mind. Jesus shows us by his word and works that there is always a singular spiritual alternative to the pairs of opposites. For example, instead of the pairs of opposites of human health and human sickness Jesus understood and practiced the principle of unchanging divine wholeness, and healing flowed naturally from his fidelity to the principle that God is "God alone". (Ps. 86:10) This is why the divine Mind is not a "swinger".

     The human mind sees with material sense. The divine Mind views the world through spiritual sense. Spiritual sense is a different sense of the same world. Spiritual sense is not based in quantity, either more or less. Spiritual sense is not about getting more of something we don't have. Spiritual sense is rather referenced to quality. Spiritual sense is interested in, "What is the quality? What is the spirit (quality) of the person, object, statement, moment, or action?" Spiritual sense is the vision that sees the quality of each.

The nature of Truth

      There is no lack of Truth. We cannot run out of Truth. This is the beauty of whatever is spiritual. The spiritual is beyond the world of more or less. The alternative to more and less is different. Using spiritual sense, as opposed to the fallible material senses, Jesus approached and dealt with the problems of lack, time, sickness, sin, and death differently.

     So, what is the alternative to time? It is the moment. Life is momentary. The exercise of spiritual sense is the exercise of timeliness. When we look at the life of Jesus we see a man acting timely even when his lack of action appears as completely contrary to human sense.

     In the book of John (Chapter 11) Jesus is told his friend Lazarus is sick. In response he immediately affirms that Lazarus' sickness is not unto death. Then contrary to common sense he does not rush to where Lazarus is, but waits two days before leaving. When he gets there he is informed that Lazarus has been dead for four days. In spite of the two day delay, the four days in the grave, and the grief stricken mourners who were present, Jesus raises his friend from the grave to life. Jesus was clearly not impressed by how long Lazarus had been in the grave. He also did not respond with the usual sense of urgency in such a situation, instead he responds calmly, clearly, and confidently both when he first hears the news and immediately before raising Lazarus by referring the glory of God. Jesus was focused on God (who is Life) and so was unimpressed by time and all the measuring and limitation that time involves.

     Each moment happens in time, but is beyond time. It just is. An individual moment is not growing. It just is. Each singular moment is not a process. It just is. Similarly, each moment is not evolving. It just is. Jesus points us to the moment in the Lord's Prayer where he says, "Thy kingdom come". This is the truth of each moment. This "kingdom come" is not growing, not in process, nor evolving. "Thy kingdom come" is beautiful, but it is not becoming. If Thy kingdom is come, there is no need for progress. "Thy kingdom come" is a good example of just how different Jesus' point of reference was.

Spirituality, spiritual sense, and spiritual healing

     Spiritual healing happens. Spiritual healing is not imaginary, but it often gets discounted. Which mind does the discounting: the human mind or the divine Mind? Ordinary human beings experience spiritual healings, but human beings are not in charge of spiritual healing. Only God, Love, is in charge of how and when spiritual healing happens. Since only God is in charge we need a deep appreciation and respect for the divine Mind as the healing agent.

     When spiritual healing happens it is unforgettable. It is an actual experience. You also know that it was not something you did. You were not the agent through which the healing happened. You are left with the wonder of, "Wow! That really happened but, not through my doing. How did that happen?" In the face of the actuality and reality of spiritual healing, explanations are inadequate and we are best served with the "wow" of childlike wonder.

     Spiritual healing is not an end in itself. After all, the First Commandment is not a call to worship spiritual healing, but rather a call to worship "God alone". The Principle of spiritual healing is grounded in the worship of "God alone".

The basis of my practice is:

  • that God truly does love us,
  • that man is worthy of love,
  • that we are not the fearful mortals we appear to be,
  • that the human mind is not a healing agent,
  • that we are not in charge,
  • that sin, disease and death are not from God and are not natural to man,
  • and finally that spiritual healing and freedom springs from the love of "God alone".

"How do you work?"                                                                              back to top

     I work by the day and charge by the day, but encourage a focus on the moment. When I say I work by the day that means that beginning with our first contact I continue the work for the next 24 hours. All calls during that day are included in the daily fee of $50.
     Callers sometimes feel that they are bothering me when they call, but that is not how I experience it. This work is a matter of the heart. Each and every case is an opportunity to appreciate life's great lesson that infinite Love is real and ever present.
     I am happy to work by email as a written record that can be helpful. My email address is and my phone number is 630 660 4776.
     Once a month I send a bill by mail or by email as you prefer. Of course, all communications are confidential.

"What is your relationship to church?"                                          back to top

     I love church and I am conscious of it everywhere. Nothing has moved mankind as has the need to worship. I have this need as an individual. Spiritually considered, worship happens in the heart. What we hold dear determines what we worship, what we are devoted to, and what is sacred to us. I rejoice in the freedom to worship spiritually, but in doing so I have found it necessary to distinguish the spiritual from the religious. I cherish the universal spirituality we all share that supersedes race, color, creed, time, and denomination.

"Who and what are you grateful for?"                                           back to top

     I am grateful for the life and example of Christ Jesus. I am also grateful for the life and work of William Tyndale for rendering the Bible into English. He gave his life to remain true to himself. I highly recommend the biography of his life entitled God's Outlaw - The Story of William Tyndale and the English Bible. I also deeply appreciate the beautiful rhythm and poetry of the language given to us by the translators of the King James Bible.

     As a lifelong student of the life, work and writing of Mary Baker Eddy I am grateful to her and remain a student of her writings. I highly recommend the study of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. I remain deeply appreciative of the teaching I received from James K. Kyser, CSB. I am also deeply grateful for the work of Herbert W. Eustace, CSB set forth in his book Christian Science Its Clear Correct Teaching and Complete Writings.

     In the area of Bible study I love the work of B. Cobby Crisler through his series of Bible lectures entitled Search the Scriptures. The works of Soren Kierkegaard have deepened my understanding of what essential Christianity is, and I am grateful for the challenge, the inspiration and the humor he shares through his works. In particular, I recommend Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing and Works of Love.

     Having spent many happy hours of academic study through the courses offered by The Great Courses, I highly recommend the quality of their products for your consideration.

     Having had so many fine teachers naturally leads to an appreciation of excellence in teaching which leads me to mention the work of Susan Dane. By referring to "many" fine teachers I do not mean to honor numbers. My interest has never been in having "more" teachers or in reading "more" books, but is instead simply focused on, "What is true?" The Principle of Truth is singular and remains to be discerned in the picture that appears as many.

     Due to the uncommon clarity of Susan's vision, the extraordinary comprehensiveness of her outlook, the precision of her discernment, and the constancy of her willingness to overturn the stones of subtlety, presumption, and falsity, I recommend her work, writings, and courses for your consideration. Please contact me if you would like further information about her books or CDs.
     I am also grateful to my dear wife Lenore for her steady and calm reflection and wisdom.

My very best to you.


Rick Hervey