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Writing under the caption, "Christian Science and Art,"...
Writing under the caption, "Christian Science and Art," in the column entitled "The One-Minute Pulpit," in your recent issue, a contributor states he understands, after reading the court decision in a New York case, that the adherents of Christian Science "believe that matter has no existence except as a manifestation of the mind." Continuing, he says: "To me this is curiously familiar. Not in a manner that relates, however, to Christian Science as a religion, but rather as the tenets, or at least this tenet of Christian Science relates to symbolism as it is known in literature. The doctrines of symbolism hold that the visible world is the world of illusion, and not of reality. When we look upon our friend we do not see the essential being that our friend is, we merely see the flesh which is a symbol of the real and essential being." While this contributor's reference to Christian Science appears to be entirely friendly, yet I would greatly appreciate space for some brief comments for the purpose of removing any vagueness or confusion which this reference to Christian Science may have caused in the minds of some of your readers as to what Christian Science teaches concerning mind and matter.
Christian Science teaches that there is but one Mind, the infinite divine Mind, called God; and that since God is Spirit, as the Scriptures declare, this divine Mind manifests itself in ideas which are wholly spiritual. So-called mortal mind, on the contrary, manifests itself in what are accurately described as "the objects cognized by the physical senses," on page 311 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. On page 591 of the same textbook Mrs. Eddy defines "matter" in part as "another name for mortal mind; illusion; ... the opposite of Truth; the opposite of Spirit; the opposite of God; that of which immortal Mind takes no cognizance; that which mortal mind sees, feels, hears, tastes, and smells only in belief." Further, Christian Science teaches that mortal mind has but a supposititious, unreal existence. From this it follows that "the visible world is the world of illusion, and not of reality."