A Group of people, all Christian Scientists, were swimming together in the ocean, out beyond the breakers, where the sea was as calm as a lake. Suddenly one of the more experienced swimmers called to one of the women and asked her, "Have you ever encountered the undertow?" She replied that she had not, and he said: "I feel impelled to tell you not to become fearful if you encounter it. Do not struggle against it, but relax while being carried out, and rise above it. Then your body will float in with the next wave."

Shortly after this, the helpful advice proved to be divinely impelled, for soon she felt herself gripped in an undertow. At first it seemed humanly impossible not to struggle, so intense was the suggestion that she must struggle desperately and fight her way out. Then she remembered what she had been told: that she must not struggle against it, that she must relax and rise above it. She obeyed the admonition. Her body then came to the surface like a cork, and she floated safely to shore.

This incident was forgotten for many years until the words of a dear friend to whom she had turned for help in Christian Science caused them to be recalled. This time the woman seemed to be gripped in the undertow of fearful, worried, discouraged, material thinking. It seemed that as soon as she got out of one severe problem safely, she became involved and drawn into an even deeper one. She felt completely overcome and beaten by the struggle of human existence. She was becoming mesmerized into believing that material existence, with all its burdens and frustrations, was actual and real.

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September 22, 1956

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