Two people may use the word "retirement" to describe widely differing concepts. Before we accept retirement as a goal, we would do well to scrutinize our understanding of what the word implies. The false sense of retirement presents a withdrawal from activity, a permanent leisure. Idleness is mistakenly pictured as paradise.

Unless the student of Christian Science is alert to the spiritual interpretation of words, he may be taken in and deceived by widespread mistaken concepts of happiness. Because man is the image and likeness of God, he expresses the continuous, joyous activity of divine Mind. God's man is conscious of unfoldment and progress. And progress is a spiritual law, which we cannot ignore. There is no recession for Mind and its ideas. Mary Baker Eddy says of spiritual progress in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 265), "This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace."

There is a right sense of retirement. One may, without fear, consent to a retirement plan which frees him from the necessity of earning a living, if he has the correct concept of retirement as opportunity for higher activity. Such a concept of retirement is not linked with the beliefs of old age. Christian Science does not subscribe to the theory that ability and performance must lessen after a certain age, but teaches that mankind should expect to enjoy increased vigor and wisdom as the result of experience rightly interpreted.

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December 15, 1956

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