Ignorance versus Understanding

THE question is often asked by a beginner in Christian Science: Since God is the only creator, and man is His perfect creation, what is the cause of all our ills, and what is this evil power that is seeking to dominate our lives? This is a very practical question and worthy of our earnest consideration; but since nothing is gained by speculation, let us turn at once to God for our answer.

Surely no one wishes to be in bondage to limitation of any kind, whether mental or physical, and it is our desire to establish our liberty as the sons of God, that causes this vague unrest, this reaching out for better things. The Scriptures declare that "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all," and that "in thy light shall we see light;" hence it is very plain that only through the light of spiritual understanding can we hope to find the solution of the problems of existence.

Mrs. Eddy tells us in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 390), "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony." Note well what she says,—"It is our ignorance of God" that is responsible for all our ills. Ignorance, as used here, doubtless has a twofold meaning,—to be ignorant of and to ignore. The words ignorance and ignore are derived from the same Latin stem meaning to be ignorant of; and since to be ignorant of anything is to ignore it, being ignorant of God often leads to a willful disregard of Him. The ignorant man may think he has attained to the point where he no longer can be taught, and ignores all means of further enlightenment. We speak of such a man as an egotist. We know, however, that egotism, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, and will power are qualities of the carnal mind, so called, and can never create a desire either to know God or to know man in God's image. Ignorance, then, being an inherent quality of mortal mind, is only a supposition, and claims to create discord by thrusting in its own misconception of God and His idea; but has ignorance or any other phase of mortal mind the intelligence or ability necessary to create anything that is real?

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A Grain of Mustard Seed
November 1, 1919

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