"The tree of life"

[Written Especially for Young People]

A certain humorist once whimsically remarked that he would rather "know less, than know so much that ain't so." Christian Science shows that a grain of spiritual understanding is better than knowing much of evil and materiality, which bring no real satisfaction or happiness.

Young Christian Scientists are sometimes at a loss to know what they should cultivate in their daily life. They may be tempted by mortal mind's subtle arguments to believe that a knowledge of materiality and the indulgence of sophisticated habits are desirable, glamorous, and even essential for the sake of congeniality. The radio, billboards, magazine articles, and other agencies frequently direct the attention of young people to aggressive arguments in recommendation of alcohol and tobacco. Games of chance, superstitious beliefs of the carnal mind such as astrology and fortune-telling, also theories of human psychology, such as discussions on how to gain popularity and win success through will power—all these are a hindrance to progress. All are based on the false assumption that man is an imperfect and incomplete mortal, struggling in a world of inequality and danger; whereas, the young student of Christian Science has learned in Sunday school, and also from his own study of Truth, that man is the perfect child of God, gloriously blessed and complete in every respect; that he lives in the all-inclusive realm of Mind, where there is neither harm not lack, but only that which blesses.

In the allegory related in Genesis, eating of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" was forbidden by God. May not this be a guide for our conduct? Just as Adam was tempted to believe in the attractiveness of the forbidden fruit, so are we sometimes lured on by the glittering arguments of error. If one examines each suggestion that presents itself, however, seeking to persuade him that he would be benefited by indulging in the unworthy or unideal, he may know that such thoughts are not of God. That which indicates that man is incomplete is error, and one can overthrow these suggestions by insisting on the fullness of real selfhood here and now. Such a stand invariably strengthens one and results in a greater realization of goodness.

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