Christian Science: The Science of Reality (1) (summary)
Hendrik J. de Lange, C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
"Restoration may come more rapidly to a stricken and devastated world, and in many more unexpected ways than the orthodox political economist imagines," was a statement made in a lecture on Christian Science. The lecture was entitled "Christian Science: The Science of Reality." It was delivered in First Church of Christ Scientist last night under the auspices of the church. Dr. Hendrik J. de Lange, C.S.B., of New York City, was the lecturer. Dr. de Lange is a member of the Board of Lectureship of the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.
In order to substantiate the above statement, the lecturer pointed to the necessity of knowing the nature of reality. Reality is that which actually exists. Like truth in its highest sense, reality is unchangeable, existing forever. We can never rid ourselves of reality. We can be freed from that which is unreal. Hence reality is a subject well worth our consideration.
Misconception of Reality
"In considering the nature of reality, one should not overlook the necessity of utilizing the right means wherewith to cognize the nature of the thoughts and things one wishes to examine. Humanity as a whole acquiesces in accepting human sense testimony as correctly interpreting reality. The results have been disastrous. Disastrous is not too strong a word, if it is true that humanity's present plight, its past tragedies, and its possible future sufferings are basically due to a misconception of reality."
After these remarks, the lecturer drew the attention of the audience to the fact that there is a growing recognition of the limitations and inaccuracies of the human mind. He asked the momentous question, Is there an alternative means of cognizance? If not, humanity would be doomed to remain within the limitations and errors inherent in the human mind, and the future was bound to repeat past failures.
The lecturer averred that there definitely is another means of cognizance which, moreover, is infinitely more exact than the human mind, and fraught with breath-taking possibilities for good. It is the realm, or consciousness, of Christ, constituting the real nature of existence, reality itself. This realm was so divinely real to Jesus of Nazareth that he became known and loved as Jesus the Christ.
Founded in 1866
"Mary Baker Eddy, a Christian woman of Puritan background, in 1866 discovered that Christ Jesus' teachings were fully applicable at the present time, and at all times, provided one comprehended the standpoint from which he thought and acted. The Master understood God as Truth and reality.
"In recognizing God as Truth, and Truth as infinite and eternal, Mrs. Eddy discerned that Truth operates as the law of annulment to whatever is untrue, unreal, although to human sense seeming to be real. Thus the scientific nature of Christianity was seen. Accordingly, Mrs. Eddy called her discovery Christ Science or Christian Science.
"In order to help mankind she wrote the Christian Science textbook, 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,' containing the complete statement of Christian Science." With the originality and fearlessness that characterized her, Mrs. Eddy saw that the spiritual nature of being constituting reality can be comprehended only by reasoning from the standpoint of Truth, not from any human concept. An entirely new set of values thus emerges, showing that the real nature of existence is not material, limited, destructive, afflictive, but spiritual, infinite, eternal, and entirely good.
Arouses Wide Interest
"Mrs, Eddy became the first Christian Scientist practicing Christ Jesus' Science of healing. Her healing work aroused wide interest in Christian Science. Boston was chosen as the headquarters of the movement. In 1879, the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, came into existence, 'to commemorate the words and works of our Master, a Mind-healing church, without a creed' (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 14).
"Later on, Mrs. Eddy was instrumental in founding the Christian Science literature and manifold other activities of the movement. She wrote the Church manual, together with her other works.
"Christian Science is now spread all over the civilized world, and Christian Scientists everywhere are giving valuable contributions to the overcoming of sin, sickness, and death, and to the solution of all human problems, whether appearing as personal, national or international.
"When we begin to understand that reality, divine Mind, is entirely good, without any flaw or restriction; when we furthermore discover that all trouble is to be found in a misconception of existence, then a change of standpoint is the prerequisite for the experience of betterment.
"'The scientific statement of being' (Science and Health, p. 468), starting out, 'There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation,' becomes of the greatest practical value. We see thereby that matter is not an entity of itself, possessing properties of feeding, sustaining, and including life. On the contrary, 'Matter is a misstatement of Mind' (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 174). It is in letting go a material sense of substance, and by accepting Spirit as reality, that well-being, security, health, and happiness are ours as divine, indestructible, inexhaustible ideas, since in reality man is 'the compound idea of God, including all right ideas' (Science and Health, p. 475).
War Foreign To Teachings
"Here is the freedom from fear, disease, destruction, want and war for which mankind is so earnestly searching nowadays. Nations can attempt to unite and to banish war, because reality is utterly one and harmonious, and war entirely foreign to it. The urge on the part of mankind to banish war can come only because its very opposite is natural, lawful, real.
"To live reality is the greatest service we can render our world. The Christian Science textbook exhorts (p. 129), 'We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things.' Nothing else can contribute more to simplifying and shortening what appears as the process of world restoration and peace, and thus lessen the mistakes made in this sincere human endeavor.
"In one monumental sentence, with the clarity of spiritual analysis and the depth of her warm love, Mrs. Eddy describes in 'Science and Health' (pp. 226, 227) the world's present plight and the way of scientific solution: 'I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red sea and the wilderness; but I pressed on through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall and the rights of man are fully known and acknowledged'."
[Published in The Niagra Falls (New York) Gazette March 5, 1948.]