Waiting for the Unreal to Disappear

To the beginner in Christian Science nothing is perhaps more disconcerting than its insistence upon the use of exact terms and upon the correct use of every term. Turning away unsatisfied from his former concept of spiritual life which has consisted either of a vague intellectual assent to a man-made creed, or of an emotional faith in far-off God, he finds himself called upon to study a Science whose terms must all be clearly and precisely defined and whose rules must be strictly obeyed. He hears much about Principle and its law, and he may even be tempted to feel that he is making a very hard exchange for the old concept of a personal "Father in heaven."

Like the child who has learned to play "by ear," and who is suddenly put under the strict discipline of regular musical training, he finds all his little ideas and accomplishments of the past subject to a merciless overhauling and correcting, while his concept of the Principle of harmony is too meager to give him much comfort or inspiration. It is a bleak period, attended by much questioning, and calling for much patient mental work, often without clearly apparent results; one that calls for the most loving consideration from those who have themselves passed through this experience and have learned how much of heartening warmth and true compassion lies within this inexorable law of Truth. Mrs. Eddy understood this when she wrote: "To mortal sense Science seems at first obscure, abstract, and dark; but a bright promise crowns its brow. When understood, it is Truth's prism and praise" (Science and Health, p. 558). The child goes on through the discipline of musical training to a knowledge and skill no longer dependent upon his "ear" or mere personal taste, but founded upon the great laws of harmony—laws which confer upon him a freedom and joy totally unknown to his lawless and undisciplined earlier work.

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