BELIEF VERSUS FACT

Somewhere in the United Stated there is said to be a settlement of people who hold to the belief that the earth is flat; and because of their refusal to send their children to the public schools, where they would be taught from geography the opposite fact concerning the earth, they are said to have been and fined otherwise punished by the authorities. The situation as outlined is an interesting one in the present age of enlightenment, but it is here referred to not with any desire to hold these people up to ridicule, but simply as affording a helpful illustration to the student of metaphysics.

In the first place, let us consider what these people really posses while believing as they do. They believe that the earth is flat, not round. Is there any foundation for this belief? No. Is there any law to sustain it, any power to uphold it? No. Any well informed person will admit that it is simply an erroneous belief relative to the earth. It is a good illustration of what Christian Science means by the term belief. It comes as near being an illusion, or nothing, as anything could; but is it nothing to these people, while they are believing it to be a fact? Is it not just as much a reality to their deceived sense of things, as the opposite belief is to a great many others who think that the earth is round but who may not be able to offer any proof to sustain their opinion? Let them investigate, however, up to the point of enlightenment, and their belief will be proven to be but an illusion. The moment they learn what is true concerning the shape of the earth, their illusion will disappear. Let it also be observed that this belief that the earth is flat does not in any way affect the earth; nor would the opposite belief of its being round have any influence over it. The shape of the earth is absolutely independent of any human belief regarding it, whether such belief is termed false or true. Beliefs differ as to kind and quality, but they may be classed together in this and none of them have a foundation in truth.

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