Watching Point 349
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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349 — WATCH that you hold a clear perception of the relation of Science and Health to Mrs. Eddy’s own life. One is the letter, and the other the Spirit. When we sent airplanes to England during the war of 1942, we had to build the planes, and then send them to their destination safely. Through Science and Health we learn how to build our planes, and from Mrs. Eddy’s own life we learn how and where to fly them. We must study thoroughly the letter and then imbibe the Spirit.
Why did Mrs. Eddy forbear to include her own life and experience in Science and Health? Perhaps it would be discouraging to beginners to contemplate the tremendous resistance she had to encounter. If one should learn too soon the difficulties involved in practical flying, he might not even start on the task of building his plane. Once it is built, however, he is glad to learn through the experience of another how to pilot it.
It is of little use for a student to learn the beautiful truths of Science and Health, if he fails to learn how to protect and to utilize this understanding. It is an intellectual attainment to gain a higher knowledge of God, of His law and power; then comes the need to demonstrate and to protect this higher sense, as well as to gain skill in stepping down one’s knowledge to the point where it becomes acceptable and understandable to humanity, so that they will be imbued with a desire for it. Mrs. Eddy’s life and demonstration alone reveals the spirit of these vital points.
Science and Health is like an instruction manual in navigation; the practical side can be gained only by experience, from one’s own and from that of another who has successfully braved the storms and hidden reefs. Our Leader took the ship of Science, which she had built under God’s direction, and sailed it successfully into the harbor of peace. Her life cannot be ignored. It must be studied, in order that one may follow her as she followed Christ, since the Spirit that animated her was God.