Conformity versus Nonconformity

[For young adults]

Why does a young person become a "hippie"? The answer to this question probably lies in an attempt to find identity: Who am I? Why am I here? What is man? What is his purpose? Is he no more than an advanced biological organism, as perceived by the physical senses, capable of thought and reason but existing only through a purposeless material life cycle that ends in death? Considering that he finds a generally selfish and materialistic society unable or unwilling to answer these frustrating questions satisfactorily, the individual resorts to an escape from that society into an illusionary hope of an answer through a radically unconventional way of life, usually involving mind-influencing drugs.

But the answer to these searching questions is available. It has been available for centuries—rather, for thousands of years. Spiritually understood, the Bible, through the teachings of Moses, the prophets, Christ Jesus, the disciples, and Paul, identifies man as the son of God. The real man is wholly spiritual, as Christian Science makes clear. He is made in God's likeness, infinitely possessing and expressing His beautiful, intelligent qualities, and destined to fulfill with complete dominion His loving purposes.

Does one's identity as the expression of God deny and limit his individuality? Emphatically no! Conversely, it is only through understanding man's relation to God that genuine spiritual and eternal individuality may be found. Mrs. Eddy was herself no stranger to the question, "Who am I?" In Science and Health she wrote of the understanding of infinity, "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." Science and Health, p. 265;

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April 27, 1968

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