[Original article in French]

It is related in the Gospel of St. John that one day while teaching the Jews in the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus ran up against a complete lack of comprehension in his audience when he spoke of his true nature as the Christ and of God as his Father. Even his disciples found his words hard to understand. Striving to make his meaning explicit and clear, he said (6:51), "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever." And with the memorable words which are a cardinal point in his teaching he summarized, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

Through the writings of its inspired Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science teaches that "Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 468). One must conclude that divine Spirit is the only life-giving substance, which quickens and nourishes the universe, including man. Real substance is, then, essentially spiritual, perfect, infinite, eternal, and incapable of manifesting the slightest inharmony or imperfection. In this light the Christian Scientist sees that the so-called substance of matter is an error of belief, an illusion, an imperfect and ephemeral counterfeit of true substance.

Going to the bottom of the question, our Leader states (ibid., p. 257), "Mind creates His own likeness in ideas, and the substance of an idea is very far from being the supposed substance of non-intelligent matter." With these facts before him the student recognizes that man reflects the substance of Spirit, indeed really lives, moves, and has his being in the atmosphere of Spirit.

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August 13, 1949

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