SOMETIMES when I read books about the early explorers such as Columbus, whose landing in the New World we are commemorating this month, I think that all the frontiers have been used up! Where is the excitement and adventure of looking on new territories, of reaching new horizons?
Interestingly enough, my question is always answered by a book-- Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. For much of her life, Mrs. Eddy had been a spiritual explorer--that is, one who looked for a deeper understanding of God and the universe, one who wanted to find the real essence of existence.
She discovered Christian Science in 1866 but, as she writes about herself in the Preface of Science and Health, ``As early as 1862 she began to write down and give to friends the results of her Scriptural study, for the Bible was her sole teacher; but these compositions were crude,--the first steps of a child in the newly discovered world of Spirit'' (p. viii).
Following the blaze of insight that she later referred to as the moment when she truly discovered Christian Science, she found herself faced with the challenge of articulating this ``newly discovered world of Spirit'' in a way that any sincere individual could understand and experience in his or her daily life. The result was her book Science and Health.
This volume challenges human thought about the nature of existence, man's relationship to God, the essence of life itself. It declares that man is actually wholly spiritual, the pure and perfect son of God. Then, it goes on to invite the reader to explore this new world, to discover how this spiritual knowledge can bring healing and redemption to his or her life.
Science and Health fearlessly declares that the promises of Christ Jesus are true. One of those promises, given in John's Gospel, foretells the discovery of Christian Science. Jesus tells his disciples--and through them, us--``I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth'' (14:16, 17). This Comforter, or divine Science, is our companion in looking at the world from a spiritual standpoint and finding a radically different picture of life than the one we see and hear on television or radio news.
Like the early explorers, we find our preconceptions being challenged by the spiritual truths in Science and Health, and our calculations about existence suddenly do not seem quite the same. What is going on here? We're seeing that the world presented to us by the material senses is at best only a shadow of the real and perfect creation God has made.
When I was very new in my study of Christian Science, the person I was working for seemed totally unable to make any decisions. Since I needed his approvals for work I was doing to meet deadlines, this was a frustrating problem!
I confided my concern to the friend who had introduced me to Christian Science. She said she would pray about the situation, but asked me to go into my next meeting with my boss expecting him to be helpful. ``But you don't understand!'' I snapped back, ``He is not being helpful at all!'' She kept smiling and repeated her request. I agreed, in a grumbling sort of way.
During our next meeting, my boss happily made all the decisions that were needed for the work to go forward. Later, as I read Science and Health, I came across this statement: ``When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress'' (p. 426). Now, many years later, I can point out line after line of Science and Health that I have seen proved in my life. I have much more yet to prove, of course. But this is part of the joy of spiritual exploration.
If you are looking for a new frontier, this book can transform your life. Pondering its message of love and hope can open up new and wonderful opportunities for good in your life.