Habits of False Belief

In his first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul very truly says that "the Greeks seek after wisdom." We find today many evidences of this in their wonderful sculptures, and even more in the writings of their poets and philosophers; but from the standpoint of Christianity these indicate a reaching out after divinity rather than an assured sense of God's ever-presence. Indeed Paul tells us that "the world by wisdom knew not God," but this was because its concept of wisdom dealt almost wholly with the things of sense; and this is not so very different from the attitude of the average mortal at the present time. Christian Science, however, bids us turn away from shadows and look toward the spiritual, the substantial. In Science and Health (p. 261) we read, "Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight."

It is however deeply interesting to trace the mental steps of those who were seeking after wisdom at an earlier day, and the writings of Plato undoubtedly direct thought away from the passing shows of materiality. In his noted book "The Republic" this great Greek philosopher has an instructive dialogue known as "The Image of the Cave," with his brother Glaucon. He imagines human beings living in a cavern with a mouth open toward the light; that they have lived there since earliest childhood, so fettered that they cannot turn their heads and can see only before them. At a distance above and behind them is the light of a blazing fire, and between them and the fire there is a raised way, and a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have before them and over which they show their puppets.

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The New Tongue
September 4, 1915
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