In the present state of human advancement, when scarcely a week passes without a new "wonderful" discovery being announced, it is the ambition of the average man to know everything. As there is so much to keep in touch with, he is forced to adopt the cramming habit, devouring the main features of his morning paper as he swallows his breakfast and rides to his place of business, and devoting most of his evenings and Sundays to scanning the magazines and cumulative weeklies, that he may be posted on all the happenings of the day. Therefore, when you meet him, he is ready to discuss in extenso the latest exploit to reach the North Pole in an airship, or the chemical production of "life" from beef-juice, or the substitution of the spiral theory for the nebular hypothesis. He has not time to look studiously into the topics; but in his untroubled superficiality is contented with his smattering.

The habit of forming decided opinions upon subjects of which he knows little is a natural consequent of this method of acquiring knowledge; for the human being would lose his chief enjoyment if he could not have opinions and express them—he must have opinions, with or without wisdom. Thus, when a new system of thought comes up, the average man gets a crammed view of it, generally from somebody or some source that knows no more than he, and presto! he thinks he knows all about it.

The writer went through some of this experience prior to coming into Christian Science, and it was only after several months of earnest endeavor afterward that he was able to cast it off entirely. In the enthusiasm of his acceptance of this remarkable new rule for understanding reality, and with the remains of the old habit still clinging to him, he hastily crammed himself with practically all the Christian Science literature published. Then, still following the old method, with no other publications to devour except the Sentinel, which he read in about twenty minutes each week, and the Journal, which required only an hour a month, and seeking something new to occupy him, he set about revising the Lesson Quarterly.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

May 25, 1907

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