There are very few matters in connection with which one can safely say that practically the whole of humanity is agreed. This state of affairs is no doubt due to the fact that there is no unity in a mind believing in both good and evil, for as Jesus said, "Every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." All normal human beings, however, desire to attain success in life, and this desire may be right and legitimate in itself; but on looking carefully into the matter, it is found that the word success is usually construed by the human mind as meaning the attainment of material possession or power. It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that any seeming unity among mortals in connection with this question is largely due to selfishness. When it is understood that "substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay," as Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 468), it is clearly seen how false and misleading the ordinary view of success is; for the winning of it may produce nothing but discord, hatred, war, and the like, and is often the direct cause of much of "man's inhumanity to man."

One method adopted by mortals to gain the "bubble reputation" is the employment of mere human cleverness. This practice has no reliable foundation, for it is based on the belief that one person can succeed at the expense of another; and to accomplish this purpose dishonesty, craftiness, and subtlety are frequently resorted to. The pernicious nature of this belief is revealed when it is remembered that very few persons naturally wish to do harm, or even to act uncharitably toward others. The method referred to, however, hardens the heart and silences the higher motives, unless the true understanding of reality and substance is attained through a knowledge of Christian Science; for there is no doubt that the major part of the trouble is due to a misunderstanding of these subjects. The prevailing systems encourage dishonesty by teaching the reality of matter, and the thief logically argues that if matter is real substance, then self-preservation, which we are told is the first law of nature, justifies his taking what he can lay hands on, especially if the owner appears to have more than his share of things. The same error lies at the root of much deception, trickery, and falsehood. In Christian Science we learn that "reality is spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, divine, eternal" (Science and Health, p. 335). When this definition, together with the one already quoted regarding substance, is understood and practiced, evil purposes will be destroyed and the true sense of success will be demonstrated.

In the history of the world, selfishness, duplicity, and subtlety have been prominent in international relations, the result being wars and commotions. It is matter for rejoicing, however, that there are now unmistakable signs that the futility of relying on anything but Principle is being more and more recognized. Principle demands an honest desire to observe the admonition of Jesus, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." This admonition is regarded as impractical by the carnal mind, but the fact remains that it is the only safe method to adopt. On page 313 of Science and Health we are told that "Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause." Being the most scientific, it follows as a matter of course that Jesus was also the most successful man, and this is appreciated when his achievements are reviwed. He overcame the three great enemies of mankind; namely, sin, disease, and death, and all real success lies along the same lines.

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November 15, 1919

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