HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE what is real? By shifting thought toward God and God's nature, as this week's Lesson, titled "Unreality," explains. Each section takes us through a synonym for God (listed by Mary Baker Eddy on page 587 of her book Science and Health), and shows how anything unlike these aspects of God is unreal. Or, as Mrs. Eddy also stated so clearly, "Since God is All, there is no room for His unlikeness" (p. 339, citation 1).

The Responsive Reading and the first section of this Lesson point out the primacy of the law of one God. The First and Second Commandments from Exodus 20 expect obedience to one God only, and not to anything material. Then Isaiah 44:8 marks that profound shift in Israelite thought toward monotheism (and away from henotheism, worshipping one god while acknowledging the presence of other gods), by asking the now rhetorical question "Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any." This declares God as Principle, the only power and lawgiver. Science and Health explains this Principle to be wholly good and spiritual, and that " ... evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence. Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; nor are the so-called laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary" (p. 207, cit. 3).

Another profound shift in thought moving away from the unreal is seen in New Testament writers contemplating the nature of men and women as spiritual—just as God is Spirit. In the second section, for example, we read how St. Paul addressed the Romans: "Brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.... The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:12, 16, cit. 6). The material and mortal are not the reality of our being.

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September 27, 2010

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