In the various grand divisions of the earth there are found wide and barren expanses, supporting no valuable forms of life and perilous to the traveler. In western America, in northern Africa, and in the heart of Asia lie these forbidding regions, parched, empty, and silent. Yet it has been discovered that far underneath those sterile plains flow broad streams of living water, and also that at the touch of the vivifying fluid these seemingly dead sands will spring to life and bring forth flower and fruit in luxuriant abundance. The oases of the Sahara and of Arabia, and the irrigated tracts of southern California, illustrate the wonderful transformation from thirsty waste to garden luxuriance effected by water diverted through human effort from mountain stream or subterranean river to the surface of the desert.

Without pressing too far a comparison of things spiritual with things material, we may recognize the parallelism between the reclamation of the waste place through water drawn from the depths below it, and the process of piercing in thought the crust of illusion upon which material beliefs would retain us, and allowing the "pure river of water of life" which flows eternally beneath to well up and overspread what Mrs. Eddy has described as "the great desert of human hopes" (Science and Health, p. 566), and thus to fructify the whole region of our thought and activity.

June 7, 1913

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