A recent critic has for weeks past been insisting on the...

Weymouth (England) Telegram

A recent critic has for weeks past been insisting on the reality of matter, as though no natual scientist had ever questioned it, and has been pouring contempt on the teaching of the unreality of matter as if the ranks of the great thinkers, from Plato to Lord Kelvin, had never known an idealist. Even now he seems a little puzzled as to what reality really means in Christian Science, and I desire to enlighten him on that point, and then to leave whole matter, as far as I am concerned, to the judgment of your readers.

To the ordinary man, reality is comprised in the evidence of the physical senses. Being, as a rule, what a great thinker has described as a common-sense scientist, a scientist, that is to say, who measures physical phenomena solely by his material consciousness, he never seems to stop to think what this results in. If he did, he would begin to realize that a great part of his education has been devoted to removing the false impressions conveyed to him by these senses, impressions so vivid that in the past men have persecuted their neighbors without mercy for rejecting them. To the physical senses the earth is a plane, and it required centuries to convince the human mind of anything to the contrary. To the physical senses, again, the sun moves around the earth, and so ineradicable is this impression that a great natural scientist has declared that he could never rid his senses of this belief, though scientifically he knew it to be untrue. So tenacious, however, are the senses of their delusions, that men were once tortured for proclaiming these facts, which are now taught in every school. At the same time, so little has the human mind learned, that it is just as ready to attack the Christian Scientist of today for insisting that the only reality is the spiritual, as it was, in the centuries which are past, to burn Bruno and to imprison Galileo for explaining to it the relative truth with respect to physical phenomena.

Jesus, in explaining the sings of the times to his disciples on the Mount of Olives, declared, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." The old human concepts of heaven and hell are rapidly passing away, but men hold almost as tenaciously as ever to the reality of the physical heavens and the physical earth. They admit that their fathers' ideas of paradise and purgatory, evolved largely from the poetry of Dante and of Milton, were as mythological as those pictured to the Greeks and Romans in the pages of Homer and of Virgil. They are, however, unwilling to go a step further and to admit that the material view of heaven and hell is nothing but a material concept of future life, rooted in a belief in the reality of the physical universe.

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