Christian Science emphasizes and elucidates the fact that beauty, truth, and goodness are not attributes of matter, but they are spiritual ideas, and that as such they can be identified only with the reflection of Spirit. Material sense associates them with forms of matter. An analysis of the situation in the light of modern physics, however, shows that material formations have no existence apart from the physical senses which give them seeming reality. Whatever beauty a flower, landscape, or work of art may appear to possess, is in consciousness and not in the array of diversified material forms that seem to be there on their own account.

From the standpoint of material sense, not only do beauty and harmony appear to be inherent in matter, but organized matter appears to be the medium through which they are perceived. On the contrary, one sees what he sees in nature not because the objective phenomenon has any absolute existence in space, not because it is there irrespective of mental considerations, but because his thought is so attuned as to make the external manifestation just what it appears to him to be. The landscape which presents an ideal of beauty to the developed imagination of the artist holds no such esthetic quality for the animal type of consciousness. In the same way that material sense conceives of beauty as inherent in forms of matter, so it identifies truth with intellectual formulas, verbal statements, books, organizations, places of worship, and various other material symbols. In like manner it ascribes goodness to personality, acts, deeds, conduct, observances.

Although, owing to the crude, unspiritual state of human concepts, we are at present obliged to reckon with material symbols and agencies in our practical economy, it should be with a clear understanding that nothing materially conceived is in any way identified with spiritual reality, and that the seeming materiality of things will disappear as human concepts become spiritualized. In the mean time it is the part of wisdom to avail ourselves of such ways and means as prove most efficacious in bringing the divine idea into manifestation in human consciousness. Experience has proved that, in the present stage of human apprehension and realization of the divine idea, outward means and measures are oftentimes necessary to hold experience to the line of spiritual progress, but the Christian Science text-book, the church organization, the Manual, have grown out of the inspired thought and demonstration of Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and Leader of the cause, even as the picture on the canvas is the outcome or visible expression of the artist's ideal.

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December 30, 1911

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