MATERIAL SYMBOLS

The supposition that materiality contributes in some way to an apprehension of spiritual reality represents one of the subtlest forms of error. The notion that material correspondences or symbols are instrumental in educating thought to perceive spiritual things prepares the way for the further admission that error is an essential element in the manifestation or statement of Truth. Having thus eaten of the fruit of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," mortals are blinded to the pure and undefiled sense of Truth. Thought becomes confused and discrimination blunted until the claim of physical sense come to be accepted as valid. Nevertheless the revelation of Christian Science shows the impossibility of finding in the material mirage a trustworthy index of spiritual operations, The spiritual cannot be traced along the lines indicated by the material; nor can material indications be trusted even to point the way to spiritual facts.

While it is patent that human consciousness could not image an illusory world of sense phenomena without some slight recognition of spiritual fact as a nucleus around which to formulate its concepts, it is equally patent that such spuriously developed concepts cannot be relied on to furnish a clue to spiritual facts, This is illustrated by the dreams of sleep. Although the subject-matter from which the slumbering consciousness constructs its world of fantastic forms and weird situations is drawn from dim, faroff recollections of the phenomena of self-consciousness, we would not seriously think of consulting the vagaries of the dream state for information concerning the phenomena of self-consciousness. With no more certainty can we appeal to material phenomena which appear valid and consistent to self-consciousness, for knowledge of the real and spiritual. Mrs. Eddy says. "We cannot interpret Spirit, Mind, through matter" (Science and Health, p. 467). Conditions which in the Adam-dream of mortal existence seem to represent the orderly and progressive unfolding of a cosmic plan and purpose, are as far removed from the actual order of being of which spiritual sense takes cognizance, as are the dreams of sleep from the situations of self consciousness.

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THE TRUE SALESMAN
March 21, 1908
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