What is real?

To declare that sickness is "unreal" can be a radical concept to the human mind, but it is realistic to spiritual sense.

Although the word real is not used in the Bible, the search for ultimate truth is a dominant theme. The undependable nature of material existence—the impermanence of joy and the frequency of human suffering—has impelled thinkers from earliest times to search for a spiritual reality that exists beyond the mortality of life in matter. For instance, Abraham left his homeland, according to the book of Hebrews, to look "for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

Metaphors abound in the Bible that indicate how individuals succeeded in this search for what is unchangeably, dependably real. For the prophet Elijah, "a still small voice" revealed a Godlike presence and power that superseded material conditions; for the Psalmist, this presence was "the secret place of the most High"; for the Revelator, a city that "had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it."

Christ Jesus, the quintessential Teacher, taught his followers the way to an eternal reality he called "the kingdom of God," which he said is within each of us. Throughout his healing ministry, Jesus' works and teachings defined the word real. His healing of diseased bodies and tormented minds was proof that an understanding of this heavenly kingdom, or spirituality, can correct—with the truth of what is real—frightened, ignorant thoughts steeped in materialism and objectified as sin and disease.

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December 16, 1991

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