Existence: Spiritual or Material?

In Retrospection and Introspection Mrs. Eddy writes: "With our Master, life was not merely a sense of existence, but an accompanying sense of power that subdued matter and brought to light immortality, insomuch that the people 'were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.' Life, as defined by Jesus, had no beginning; it was not the result of organization, or infused into matter; it was Spirit." Ret., p. 58;

One's sense of existence determines one's experience. The human Jesus was motivated by the power of the incorporeal Christ, his pure spiritual selfhood; therefore his sense of existence was spiritual. He knew that the spiritual fact of man and the universe was the reality of existence. With great compassion he practiced the truths he preached, healing every form of mortal belief. We read in the Gospel of Matthew: "Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." Matt. 9:35, 36;

Until one's conception of existence rises to include something of the spiritual, one is controlled by the beliefs of the mortal, or carnal, mind, where the pains and pleasures of material sense are predominant. The very trials of a material conception of life— sin, sickness, and threat of death—force one to seek a higher sense of existence. Then one gains the spiritual understanding of Life as God, good. Accepting the teachings of Christian Science, one finds that the human pictures of life in matter are the false concepts of what is really God's perfect creation, here and now.

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May 4, 1968

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