Solving the problem of being

The Science of the Christ is all about solving any question regarding being.

I loved algebra. Each day Miss Flynn, our algebra teacher, would teach a concept, state its mathematical principle, explain its rule, then assign us “thought problems” to work through and turn in the next day. How I loved working out those problems! Some were easy, and I’d get the answer right away. Others were hard, and I’d work and work until I got the answer. The more challenging they were, the more I enjoyed solving them. It was through doing—applying what we were learning—that we made the teaching our own. “Remember,” Miss Flynn would say, “you are demonstrating the principle of mathematics, and it is always accurate—sound and solid.” 

In reading the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, I noticed that the phrase “problem of being” is used a number of times. At first, that word problem bothered me, because it made me think of trouble, and I didn’t like thinking of existence as trouble. But then I looked up problem in my dictionary and found this: “A question raised for inquiry, consideration, or solution” (merriam-webster.com). That softened the term for me. And it took me back to my high school algebra class, where problem meant to me exactly that—a question calling for a solution. Problems were my friends. 

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