Nothing seems more difficult for the young student in Christian Science to grasp than the doctrine of the unreality of matter. The statement that "there is no matter" (see Science and Health, pp. 278, 475)often provokes emotions of derision, scorn, or commiseration in the outsider. In order to disprove this teaching, the materialist of today sometimes imitates the Johnsonian method of reasoning, and recommends the application of a sharp pin to the Christian Scientist as a means of affording complete and convincing proof that the latter's theory regarding matter is incorrect. But neither the ancient wits who stamped on the ground to prove that matter is real, nor the latter-day wags, can dispose of this important question by any such frivolous logic.

That it is an important question, no one knows quite so well as the Christian Scientist. At the very beginning of his investigation of this subject, he learns that he must readjust his previous notions about matter, must gain a more scientific sense of it, in order to help himself and others. As he progresses, he is apt to discover very shortly, that modern philosophy has been influenced, perhaps unconsciously but nevertheless not a little, by the teachings of Mrs. Eddy. The unique reasoning in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" respecting the character and nature of matter is found to be confirmed by many modern writers on philosophic subjects. These writers are practically agreed that matter does not exist in any such sense as the average man supposes, and it is being taught today that material things have no entity independent of the human mind. That matter exists in space as a lumpish substance, alongside of mind, and that mind acts on matter somewhat after the fashion of a cat pouncing upon a mouse, are crude conceptions which even material theorists have been forced to abandon. Mrs. Eddy states her position succinctly when she declares, "The objects cognized by the physical senses have not the reality of substance. They are only what mortal belief calls them" (Science and Health, p. 311). According to Christian Science, matter or the material universe exists, not as a separate entity, not as independent substance, but merely as a phase of mortal mind; in other words, the scientific explanation of matter is that it is the expression of, or manifestation of, a belief that there is a material consciousness.

April 5, 1913

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