It is well known that the most thoughtful and conscientious physicians refuse to discuss their patients' diseases with them, sometimes greatly to the annoyance of the latter, who naturally feel that they ought to know all there is to be known about themselves. As a result of observation and experience, however, it has been found that information of this sort has an injurious effect, hence many medical doctors withhold it, even though the patient is dissatisfied and disturbed by this reticence. In many such cases the sick one imagines that his condition must be very serious, because he is not told what the doctor thinks; and on the material plane it is perhaps difficult to see which course is the more harmful, to tell the patient about the disease, or to keep him in a state of ignorance which is not bliss. The so-called human mind is conscious of its own lack and craves knowledge. In the treatment of disease a knowledge of evil on the part of the doctor is considered of prime importance, even while the harmfulness of such knowledge on the part of the patient is generally admitted.

Now there is nothing wrong in any one's wishing to know all about himself; the only question is how this may be brought about so as to help and heal the sufferer. Happily for suffering mortals, Christian Science has come to supply this desire for knowledge of themselves, and in such a way as to make the knowledge a means for their healing. Physicians have always admitted the desirability of turning the patient's thought away from himself, and to this end the sick have been advised to seek entertainment and amusement, devices which, in most instances, not only fail to accomplish the desired result, but are felt to be "stale, flat, and unprofitable."

So much for material means; and what is to be said respecting the spiritual means employed in Christian Science? Here the patient is not kept in ignorance; his eager desire to know the truth about himself is supplied by knowledge, not of the mortal body, but of the ideal man,—the likeness of perfect Mind; and in spite of the possible prejudice with which the sufferer may have come to Christian Science, he soon learns that this ideal is no mere abstraction, but a fact of such importance to himself that his interest in material things, including his disease, pales before it. Many a one who had turned wearily away from the proffered gayeties of the world, will spend days and nights in the study of the Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," drinking in its life-giving message, and even forgetting to think about the discords which had been absorbing nearly all of his time and thought. When he begins to think about himself it is with the newly-awakened sense that this ideal is now his ideal; and that its realization is possible here and now. He begins to see that we must either accept Mrs. Eddy's declaration of "perfect God and perfect man,—as the basis of thought and demonstration" (Science and Health, p. 259), or we must go back to the position of the Epicurean, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."

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March 16, 1907

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