The Vanity of Material Pleasures

Centuries ago the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes evaluated pleasures, possessions, and all the work of his hands, only to conclude that all is vanity. Today a world recovering from the sacrifices and destruction of war poses the same question that the Preacher asked (Eccl. 1:3): "What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?"

Students of Christian Science recognize that the happiness and well-being of man are inherent in his very nature as God's image, and are not, therefore, dependent on material conditions. Consequently they should not permit feelings of frustration to enter their consciousness, nor should they concur in the escapist attitude expressed by the Preacher (Eccl. 8:15), "Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry." Since, however, such reasoning apparently makes an appeal to unenlightened human thinking, let us examine in the light of Christian Science the claim that man finds satisfaction and an antidote to "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" in the gratification of false appetites.

Seven Times
March 15, 1947

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