One of the distinctive teachings of Christian Science to which superficial criticism has found frequent occasion to revert, is that of the unreality of the material world, and the suggestion that, since in their opinion there is no matter, Christian Scientists ought to be able and willing to forego eating, walk through stone walls, etc., has been worn quite threadbare as a sop for the easily amused. Most intelligent people, however, will read Mrs. Eddy's statement that the metaphysics of Christian Science "resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas" (Science and Health. p. 123), with an interest which is born of their acquaintance with the fact that all truly rational perception is the outcome of such a procedure.

To illustrate, in conversation with a friend, all that we see or hear, the movement of the lips, etc., together with the tones of the voice, are manifestly nothing but symbols, which are entirely removed from classification with the ideas they awaken through the mind's constructive activity. So, too, when we read a letter, the things seen are nothing more than queer marks from which an orderly product of thought is constructed; while in looking at a picture the symbolic raw material of aggregated colors or shades, or, to be more specific, of different kinds of ether waves, is transmuted by thought action into a mental projection of beauty and significance. This is a matter of universal experience, and its apparent simplicity and naturalness witnesses to the fact that the many factors involved are wholly unthought of by the average person, the transmutation is so immediate and so absolute that the symbols themselves, as well as the process of interpretation may receive no attention whatever.

December 3, 1910

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