Belief Yielding to Knowledge

On page 450 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good." This sentence was early accepted by the writer as the key to the successful solution of all the ills which beset mortals. All knowledge which is to serve mankind must be reduced to a working basis in order to be applicable to the needs of daily life. This is especially true of spiritual truth, which proves its value as it is practised rather than as it is professed. The laws which govern in science are exact and unchanging; they have always existed, and will continue to exist, and they will be understood only as evil is seen to be some form of ignorance. The Science of Christianity has come to prove that inharmony and unhappiness are unreal and unnecessary because they have no part in the divine consciousness.

The belief in evil, disease, calamity, and all unhappiness as things from which there is no escape, has grown up in the racial consciousness and has become solidified fear, because belief has so long held the place of understanding. But the fear of a thing does not imply the existence of that thing, as witness the terror of a child who has been told of ghosts. The child believes the story and suffers, and since the ghost does not exist it is nothing but the belief in ghosts that causes the suffering. Here the parallel is perfect for illustration. The suffering of humanity has always come from utterly groundless beliefs, and Paul manifestly understood this when he said so assuredly to Timothy, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear."

All sickness and sin begin in the belief that evil is a reality and has power, and the only way out of this tangle of illusion is through the understanding that all illusion is as baseless as the mist that dissipates before the morning sun. The mathematician knows when he makes an error that he does not have to learn something about errors before he can correct the one he has made, but rather that he must go back to the basic law upon which his proposition rests, and discover wherein he has departed from it. He knows he has something exact and dependable to rely upon, and therefore has no fear about the statement of his proposition.

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Awakening from the Mortal Dream
March 28, 1914

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