Seeking Truth, finding health
The last hundred pages of the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, consist of what you might call thank-you notes to the book’s author. The chapter is titled “Fruitage,” and the people who wrote those notes represent a sampling of the vast number of people who have been “reformed and healed through the perusal or study of this book” (p. 600).
When you read these accounts, you might notice that the letter writers were all kinds of people with all kinds of problems from all over the United States and other English-speaking countries. (Science and Health has since been translated into many other languages, and is read in countries around the world.) Some were eager to read the book; some weren’t, at least initially. A few expected healing; most did not. Some read it out of curiosity, some out of genuine interest, some out of desperation. But they all read the whole book and were healed—naturally. What did all these individuals have in common that led to their healings?
First, they weren’t just people wanting to be well. They were all “honest seekers for Truth” (Science and Health, p. xii). Many of them specifically stated that they had been seeking truth; others didn’t realize they were doing so until they found it in the book. The word truth appears in nearly every one of these testimonies.
Secondly, in every case, as they continued to read Science and Health, something of the truth of what they were reading dawned in their consciousness. Healing was a natural, inevitable—and important—“side effect” of these glimpses of Truth.
Truth is God, Spirit, and whatever is unlike God (no matter how hopeless or helpless it seems to the physical senses) is untrue, a mistaken belief. In some meaningful, tangible way, each of those readers caught a glimpse of that—and realized something of the allness and onlyness of good, God.
Many mentioned how precious and understandable Science and Health made their Bible, and how in accord it was with the Bible’s record of Jesus’ words and works. “Let these sayings sink down into your ears,” Jesus said to his disciples (Luke 9:44). That’s just what those new readers of the Christian Science textbook did. No matter who they were or how long they had suffered, they let this new-found truth take root in their consciousness.
Healing was a natural, inevitable—and important—“side effect” of these glimpses of Truth.
Many of their testimonies mention that while they were so grateful for the physical healing, the spiritual understanding they were gaining was even more important to them. In fact, it impelled their continued study of this Science of the Christ, to better understand it so they could help others find healing.
Their experiences show the naturalness of Truth-healing. One dictionary defines natural as “produced by . . . laws . . . impressed on bodies or beings by divine power”; “discoverable by reason”; “unaffected; unassumed; according to truth and reality” (Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828). The experiences included in “Fruitage” represent every one of those definitions. Without a doubt, those readers of Science and Health were “impressed on . . . by divine power.” They were healed as they began to know God as Truth, and themselves and others as God’s image, as stated in the Bible’s first record of creation in Genesis 1.
With all this in mind, I began reading the book cover to cover, not for any physical benefit or personal agenda, but for the truth. My grandmother had written a note in the front of my copy that said, “Read this book. You owe it to yourself.” And I did. Previously, I’d pick out comforting, “warm and fuzzy” passages that I liked. Now I read every word with sincere interest.
I was only about halfway through when my husband asked me, “What is it you are doing these days? You are so even-keeled now.” And when I finished it, though I’d had no big epiphany or dramatic healing, I soon began to realize that what I’d read was having an impact on every aspect of my life. It had “[sunk] down into [my] ears.” It had awakened my spiritual sense—that capacity we all have to know and understand God—and it had satisfied my craving for something higher and holier that only Spirit, God, can give. I felt spirituality deepening every area of my life. Good was more sound, and joy deeper and more genuine. Harmony was so apparent in our home. Then healings happened—naturally, normally, and inevitably.
That last chapter of “thank-you notes” has now become so much more than that to me. It is a body of solid proofs of the truth in the book—truth that has come, and continues to come, to light in my life. And God is so omnipotent that this light will dawn for anyone who reads Science and Health seeking Truth.
Judith Hardy Olson, Guest Editorial Writer