What do we mean by mortal mind?

If there is one phrase that crops up when someone is inclined to satirize a Christian Scientist, it is probably "mortal mind." The "Christian Science character" in a novel or a television play is made to talk endlessly about "mortal mind." The effect seems strange and off-putting.

Frankly, the words do stick in thought. Occasionally, they may irritate someone. Often the problem isn't with the words; it's in the way they're used—perhaps in a stereotyped way or without enough awareness of how they sound to others. The need surely isn't to exclude the language of Spirit but to have it be so meaningful to us we naturally use it carefully.

The interesting thing about the phrase "mortal mind" is that it resulted from a spiritual discovery. In a chapter called "The Great Discovery" in her book Retrospection and Introspection, Mary Baker Eddy tells of how she pored over the Bible in her search for the divine Principle of spiritual healing. "It became evident," she writes, "that the divine Mind alone must answer, and be found as the Life, or Principle, of all being; and that one must acquaint himself with God, if he would be at peace."  Ret., p. 28.

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"To be, or not to be ..."
February 2, 1987

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