To Understand Life

The longing desire to understand life is, in some form or other, the predominant aspiration of the human mind. Down the long sweep of the centuries men have sought the answer to this tremendous problem. The past, the present, the future, in fact the whole material world, is searched in the hope of finding the key to the mystery, and still the search goes on. In the last analysis, indeed, human living is in itself but the search for this answer, the desire epitomized.

"Mortal existence," Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 403), "is a state of self-deception." When mortals awake to the unhappy, the doubtful, the confused sense of things which obtains everywhere in individual and national life, they feel that in some way they are being deceived, either by themselves or by the educational and religious systems in which they have been nurtured, and at once they become alive to the ceaseless search, the endless striving, in their own consciousness.

In every age the human heart has been inspired with the hope of finding the way out of its difficulties, and invariably this way has been sought for in the physical realm, in the realm of human experience. When no way is found in this direction, there comes the inevitable conclusion that after the change called death we shall understand, and this by its lack of certainty and utility only adds to the sense of failure and powerlessness. So great indeed is the confusion caused by the failure to find the way of understanding in human life, that the vast majority live in a continuous state of unbelief, content to let a select few do their thinking for them, following blindly those whom they have chosen as their leaders; or else they are too lethargic to trouble about the matter at all and follow mechanically in the footsteps of their fathers, regardless of the changes that have taken place in the passing of the years. But always the result is the same,—endless sorrow, pain, sin, sickness, and death.

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Gamut of Graces
July 11, 1914

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