Human Hypotheses

Whenever a fresh revelation of Truth is voiced to the world, the carnal mind, or material consciousness, seeks to put the new wine of spiritual inspiration into the old wine skins of limiting formulas and paralyzing dogmas. So subtle and gradual is the reactionary process that the transition from a spiritual to a material standpoint takes place almost unconsciously. No great religious movement of the past has escaped this fate; all have yielded, to a greater or less extent, to the persuasions of material sense and forfeited their essential spiritual quality and redemptive power. This deplorable result has been due in part to the tendency to interpret the new tongue of spiritual revelation in terms of materiality. Thus it was that, after a brief season, the healing, regenerating gospel proclaimed to mankind by Jesus of Nazareth and his earlier followers was sacrificed to barren theories and banal creeds based on varying interpretations of the New Testament writings, until religion became a thing of belief rather than of demonstration.

The vital element of Christianity had, therefore, to be rediscovered and reinstated in human experience by one whose thought was spiritual enough to pierce the clouds of traditional theology and apprehend spiritual reality anew. In order that the Science of Christianity might be rendered available for all human needs, its Discoverer, Mrs. Eddy, was led to embody the truth of her revelation in a textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." These steps, momentous in themselves, were but preliminary, however, to more comprehensive developments in the evangelization of human concepts. In the problems and contingencies which arise along the way, the serpent, material sense, following close upon the heel of the woman, is ever ready to establish the belief of reversal by taking advantage of human shortcomings. Hence the temptation which besets Christian Scientists to put faith and spiritual understanding again under bonds to speculative hypotheses and dogmatic opinions, thereby defeating the end of Christian practice. Because of the lucidity of thought and exactness of diction which characterize our Leader's writings, any uncertainty as to the truth she teaches is inexcusable. With faithfulness in their study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings they will see the falsity of all materialistic hypotheses and hold so faithfully to the spiritual significance of the Scriptures as to avoid the contentions of opposing sects which have too long darkened religious history.

In the application of spiritual truth to human conditions we are confronted with the necessity of dealing with situations in which Spirit and matter seem, to mortal sense, to meet on common ground. Now, as of old, the serpent suggests that man's eyes will be opened by eating the fruit "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;" in other words, by reasoning from a material sense of existence. From this quasimetaphysical standpoint there appears to be a connecting link or point of coincidence, as it were, between the belief that life is structural and organic and the truth of being, The suppositional reign of error begins with the suggestion that a multitude of finite minds capable of thinking and acting on their own account are the offspring of Mind. From the erratic position of finite sense the universe seems to consist of material objects until a better understanding shows that matter is a mental concept externalized. Thereupon the human mind, or finite sense, follows up its false logic by intimating that these mentally material objects or images of thought derive their origin, directly or indirectly, from the divine Mind; and when the fallacy of this contention also is exposed by Christian Science, the suppositional false sense which fathers the spurious world order suggests that each articulate mortal concept or object cognizable therein stands for or typifies a particular spiritual entity of God's creating. The acceptance of this, like any other speculative hypothesis, is liable to be fraught with grave consequences. The supposition that a systematic relationship, analogy, correspondence, or parallelism exists in some fashion between the realm of physical concepts or so-called material phenomena and the world of spiritual realities has given rise to various philosophical and religious tenets, among which Plato's scheme of "ideas" and Swedenborg's doctrine of correspondences are typical examples.

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A Nurse's Experiences
February 15, 1919

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