The belief that man is material, that the universe is physical, that there is such a thing as material law or that material wants and desires are actualities in the scheme of creation,—this mistaken belief keeps agitating mankind to look for satisfaction in matter. From this erroneous concept of man and the universe springs the clamor for material remedies, for physical hygiene and sanitation. Even many religious ceremonies have been established to respond to the human desire to express physically that reverence and awe which the thought of Deity inspires. Fear likewise is born of belief in a material life, fear of supposed powers inherent in matter, of the destructive forces of the material elements. Thus it is that mankind can be terrorized by the threat of pestilence and famine, calamity and catastrophe. The materialist trembles before the manifestations of nature because he imagines nature to be both powerful and ruthless, and therefore unapproachable through any avenue of mercy or reason. The world at large still believes in nature as an unscrupulous energy operating through merciless law, which can only be opposed with a modicum of success and that solely by using physical force or human ingenuity.

In "No and Yes" (p. 42) Mrs. Eddy states that "mortals are not compelled to have other gods before Him, and employ material forms to meet a mental want." These diseases which mankind so greatly dread, these laws which are supposed to set them in motion and regulate their activity, these accidents which seem to rush unheralded out of a clear sky, sorrows, failures, and losses, all are mental in origin and nature and need to be met by mental means. Here, for example, is one lying sick of a fever. Let us probe the cause in order to destroy it. Many reasons for the fever may be advanced by materia medica, but they can all be reduced to some supposed physical law productive of the fever. The general assumption is that this law is something which must be met by material means. But physical law is an impossibility. No one has ever seen or touched the law which is supposed to be responsible for the disease. It is simply a mental belief, albeit a false one, and is not physical at all. Hence the cure for this mental something must be a mental process, in which true thinking destroys false thinking.

January 18, 1913

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