Reprinted from The Christian Science Monitor: Why heaven is no fantasy

A few weeks ago the news lit up with physicist Stephen Hawking’s most recent statement about God. He told the British newspaper The Guardian that heaven is a “fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

Though the famed physicist’s long-standing skepticism about the existence of a higher power didn’t come as a surprise, what did surprise me was the instant flashback I had to the moment I came upon Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures for the first time. I opened the book at random, and my eyes fell upon a word that, like Mr. Hawking’s “fairy story,” would be considered somewhere in the realm of fantasy. It was the word ghosts. But Mrs. Eddy was using the word in a profoundly different way—to shine a light on God, not away from Him.

Here’s what it said: “In short, children should be told not to believe in ghosts, because there are no such things. If belief in their reality is destroyed, terror of ghosts will depart and health be restored” (p. 352). A few paragraphs later, she added, referring to God as the divine Mind: “So long as there are supposed limits to Mind, and those limits are human, so long will ghosts seem to continue. Mind is limitless. It never was material.”

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