For twenty-three centuries the thinkers of the world have disputed as to the substance and origin of matter, From the days of Plato and Aristotle downward two great schools have contended, the one that matter was the subjective condition of mind, expression of force or energy, and the other that it was the only substance existing. In late months the dispute has flared up again between the philosophers and the physicists. The philosophers declare that the Einstein theory confirms the whole claim of philosophic idealism throughout the centuries. The physicists on the other hand, insist that it does nothing of the sort, and that the argument of the school, which has been known in turn as realist and materialist, remains unshaken. To the Christian Scientist the whole dispute is very much on a par with the wrangle over the ass' shadow, and in that estimate he enjoys something very closely approaching the support of no less a man than Thomas Huxley. The denial of the reality of matter means in Christian Science something fundamentally different from anything it has ever meant to the philosophers. It may almost be said to begin where philosophic idealism leaves off. To Berkeley, for instance, matter was the subjective condition of mind, and, as such, a mere phenomenon produced by the mental noumenon.

Christian Science accepts Berkeley's theory so far as it goes. Matter, it says, is subjective condition of mortal mind. But it goes on to dispose of this mortal mind much more thoroughly than Bishop Berkeley ever disposed of matter. "As named in Christian Science," Mrs. Eddy writes, on page 103 of Science and Health, "animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind," and she goes on, a little later in the same paragraph, "This belief has not one quality of Truth." In other words, this mortal mind, which gives rise to matter, is itself a mere counterfeit of the divine Mind, and as such as unreal as the matter it produces. This was put perfectly clearly by Jesus to the Jews, when he declared: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." In unmetaphorical language, Christ Jesus was simply telling his opponents that matter was a lie which had never had any existence, and that the father of that lie, the devil or evil, was equally a myth, inasmuch as he had never existed in truth, never had any real existence.

Seven Days
July 2, 1921

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