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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/233

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IS CHRISTIAN SCIENCE A “CRAZE”?

classes embraces the impressions derived from or received through the five personal senses, and constitutes what is called material or physical life. These are all summarized in the word matter. In the technology of Christian Science they are termed “beliefs” of matter, and are treated as inhering in a supposed subject termed “mortal man” or “mortal mind,” and are said to be cognized through material sense. This is the consciousness of life in matter, or life in the material body, and in Christian Science is termed the “false consciousness.”

Besides this consciousness or sense of material life, or life in the body, there is another sense or consciousness of Truth, Love, beauty, expressed in the word God, or Spirit. The impressions of Spirit not only do not come to us through the personal senses, can not be cognized by material sense, but they are contrary to this sense, are the opposites of the phenomena of material sense. They are distinct or obscure, just as the individual is immersed in or withdrawn from the objects of material sense, and the impressions derived from them.

Because these two states of consciousness are opposites, they are destructive of one another: as one is increased, the other is diminished; they are precisely represented in the action of light and darkness—as one advances, the other recedes. Every human individuality is the battle-ground of these opposing forces; the scale is at every instant inclined more strongly to the one or the other, and the true history of the individual and of the race—the only history—is the record of this struggle.

In the uninstructed consciousness, and on this mortal plane of existence, the beliefs and fears that are the inseparable concomitants of material sense, or the belief of life in matter, predominate; beliefs of good or ill are connected with all the elemental and other conditions that make up the material environment; with every act of the material man; with every article of food, drink, or apparel; with the function and operation of every organ of the body; with sleep and wakefulness, and every condition that can be named. In their train is the countless array of disease, envy, jealousy, malice, hatred, covetousness; every condition of thought that lust, appetite, and the nameless brood that develop and are propagated as earthly life advances—these are the shadowy attendants that haunt the consciousness of material man—the penalty attached to the false sense of life in matter.

Does progress in wisdom, gained from personal sense, emancipate man from this terrible thralldom? To the contrary, the more knowledge he gains, relative to these conditions and influences, the more laws he finds himself subject to—a subjection that the savage, untutored man is free from. In the words of “Science and Health,” “Man hath sought out many inventions, but he