No Ghosts!

WHEN I was a kid, I was convinced that the spare room across from mine was haunted. It gave me the creeps, especially on Halloween. I wish I had known then about the book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

The title doesn't sound like the latest horror novel or a book about haunted houses, does it? And it isn't about those things! Instead, it tells us that ghosts can't hurt us-or help us-at all.

Mrs. Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in Science and Health: ''Haunted houses, ghostly voices, unusual noises, and apparitions brought out in dark seances either involve feats by tricksters, or they are images and sounds evolved involuntarily by mortal mind. Seeing is no less a quality of physical sense than feeling. Then why is it more difficult to see a thought than to feel one?'' (p. 86).

I was experiencing feelings about that room and the events that had taken place in it. There really wasn't a ghost there at all! This is one of the great things about reading Science and Health. It takes away our fears-whether these are old ones about creepy rooms, or present ones about sickness, enemies at school, being left out by our friends, or any other thing-by showing us there is nothing to fear. It does this by teaching us about God's goodness and His love for us. The book also helps us to change for the better.

For example, let's say that you are feeling left out by your friends. Reading Science and Health will show you that you can never be cut off from God. At first that might not seem too exciting, but God loves each of us and is always giving us what we need, including friends.

The book will also tell you that both you and your friends are spiritual and good. Now, being spiritual isn't being a ''spirit''-getting back to ghosts again. Instead, it means that the real you isn't made up of matter. Your true nature includes spiritual qualities such as strength, intelligence, purity, love, gentleness, goodness, and similar qualities. These qualities reflect the one divine Spirit, God.

Amazing huh? Actually, it's perfectly normal. This is what you really include-and so do your friends. So instead of thinking of them as heartless jerks, you can pray to God for help in seeing them as they really are. Even if you can see only a tiny bit of good in them, that will start you on the right road! And when your thinking changes that way, they will feel it. Remember what Mrs. Eddy said about feeling thoughts? Well, people can feel how we're thinking about them; and loving thoughts will attract your friends. Or they may lead you to new ones. But one thing's for certain: you won't feel left out any more!

Science and Health is a book about healing, because it is about health. And the health it presents is not just mental; it includes physical healing. Its teachings are based on the life of Christ Jesus. Maybe you already know about him. He is often called ''the Master'' because he is the master Christian.

During his ministry, he taught others to heal and did major healing work himself. He even brought back children from death. In one case, a man's twelve-year-old daughter had become seriously ill. Before Jesus could get there, she died. But the Bible tells us in Luke's Gospel that Jesus ''took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise'' (8:54). And she did!

Although Jesus taught his disciples how to heal, he didn't leave a written record. So people following afterward didn't know for sure how he healed. Well, through Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science, we now have a book that does tell about how Jesus did his healing work. And that is Science and Health.

One of the great things about this book is that it never gets boring. Unlike a novel, where, once you know the plot, some of the surprise is gone, Science and Health is full of new ideas. Even though I have read it many times, I always find something inspiring in it. So it is a book to be studied-but don't let that word studied turn you off! Studying this book is learning about the real essence of what life is and can be. And as you learn to know and understand it, your whole world will expand!

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