Remarkable conclusions about reality
IF you asked a Christian Scientist for an explanation of the nature of reality, the reply would admittedly be in contrast to common material views of existence. A student of Christian Science might respond, for example, that for him ultimate reality comprises only that which is made by God. And because he believes God to be the only creator and to be all good, he concludes that what is actually real must be actually good--having no element of evil. Also, since God is omnipotent Spirit and ever-present Life, His creation, which represents Him perfectly, must be spiritual and eternal. Reality does not consist of matter or any quality that is temporal. Nothing in God's kingdom decays or is subject to chance or discord of any sort. These may indeed seem to be somewhat remarkable conclusions about reality, especially when everything appears so matter-bound. Famine, poverty, war, sickness, deprivations of all sorts--these are things that simply cannot be ignored. And Christian Science doesn't teach ignorance of such evils or a head-in-the-sand approach to dealing with them. We can all agree that much healing is needed. So how is it that Christian Scientists come to their conclusions about reality? And in the face of the turmoil in our world, is there any value in such a spiritual perspective? Everyone who is seeking a more satisfying answer to the enigma of human life than is afforded by the evidence of the physical senses is feeling to some degree the impulsion of an innate spiritual hunger. Responding to this desire for something holier, turning to God in prayer, and purifying our lives through Christian regeneration are first steps in coming to know more of the divine reality. The search for answers naturally leads many to the Bible, and many have also been led to the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.1 In the Bible is the message of God's saving grace and power; and Science and Health unlocks the deep spiritual meaning of the Bible's laws for living, its promises, and its benedictions. In another of her writings, Mrs. Eddy responds to the question ``Is anything real of which the physical senses are cognizant?'' Her reply includes these sentences: ``The talent and genius of the centuries have wrongly reckoned. They have not based upon revelation their arguments and conclusions as to the source and resources of being,--its combinations, phenomena, and outcome,--but have built instead upon the sand of human reason. They have not accepted the simple teaching and life of Jesus as the only true solution of the perplexing problem of human existence.'' 2 In ``the simple teaching and life of Jesus'' is our supreme example not only of how to reach conclusions about reality but of the practical value of such a spiritual perspective. Christ Jesus taught of divine creation as a present fact. He said, for example, ``Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand''; 3 and ``Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.'' 4 And the Master did more than speak such words. He proved the authority and veracity of what he taught, and he did this by healing countless sufferers and by banishing sin as having no place or purpose in divine reality. Perhaps one of the most remarkable conclusions about reality is this--that when reality is discerned in its true spiritual nature, Christ, Truth, changes us. Lives are transformed, hearts are redeemed, bodies are healed. And with the present demonstration of actual healing and redemption, we can understand how it is that the one so transformed would feel he had seen nothing less than the truth of God's omnipotence and the pure goodness of His creation. The right conclusion about reality is essential. For only as we begin to grasp that God's goodness alone--His expression of perfection, spirituality, purity, unerring intelligence, and so on--consti- tutes the nature of what is real, do we truly find meaningful, healing solutions to the problems humanity confronts. 1 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 2 Unity of Good, pp. 8-9. 3 Matthew 4:17. 4 John 4:35. This article is a condensation of an editorial that appears in the January 14 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.