Chapter 7 — Physiology
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
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- Pages 165 to 185
- Pages 185 to 200
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what
ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body,
what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? — Jesus.
He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their
destructions. — Psalms.
1 PHYSIOLOGY is one of the apples from “the tree
of knowledge.” Evil declared that eating this fruit
3 would open man’s eyes and make him as a god. Instead
of so doing, it closed the eyes of mortals to man’s God-
given dominion over the earth.
Man not structural
6 To measure intellectual capacity by the size of the
brain and strength by the exercise of muscle, is to
subjugate intelligence, to make mind mor-
9 tal, and to place this so-called mind at the
mercy of material organization and non-intelligent
12 Obedience to the so-called physical laws of health has
not checked sickness. Diseases have multiplied, since
man-made material theories took the place of spiritual
Causes of sickness
You say that indigestion, fatigue, sleeplessness, cause
distressed stomachs and aching heads. Then
18 you consult your brain in order to remember
what has hurt you, when your remedy lies in forgetting
1 the whole thing; for matter has no sensation of its own,
and the human mind is all that can produce pain.
3 As a man thinketh, so is he. Mind is all that feels,
acts, or impedes action. Ignorant of this, or shrinking
from its implied responsibility, the healing effort is made
6 on the wrong side, and thus the conscious control over the
body is lost.
Delusions pagan and medical
The Mohammedan believes in a pilgrimage to Mecca
9 for the salvation of his soul. The popular doctor believes
in his prescription, and the pharmacist believes
in the power of his drugs to save a man’s
12 life. The Mohammedan’s belief is a religious
delusion; the doctor’s and pharmacist’s is a medical
Health from reliance on spirituality
15 The erring human mind is inharmonious in itself.
From it arises the inharmonious body. To ignore
God as of little use in sickness is a mistake.
18 Instead of thrusting Him aside in times of
bodily trouble, and waiting for the hour of
strength in which to acknowledge Him, we should learn
21 that He can do all things for us in sickness as in
Failing to recover health through adherence to physi-
24 ology and hygiene, the despairing invalid often drops
them, and in his extremity and only as a last resort, turns
to God. The invalid’s faith in the divine Mind is less
27 than in drugs, air, and exercise, or he would have resorted
to Mind first. The balance of power is conceded to be
with matter by most of the medical systems; but when
30 Mind at last asserts its mastery over sin, disease, and
death, then is man found to be harmonious and
1 Should we implore a corporeal God to heal the sick
out of His personal volition, or should we understand the
3 infinite divine Principle which heals? If we rise no higher
than blind faith, the Science of healing is not attained, and
Soul-existence, in the place of sense-existence, is not com-
6 prehended. We apprehend Life in divine Science only
as we live above corporeal sense and correct it. Our pro-
portionate admission of the claims of good or of evil de-
9 termines the harmony of our existence, — our health, our
longevity, and our Christianity.
The two masters
We cannot serve two masters nor perceive divine Sci-
12 ence with the material senses. Drugs and hygiene cannot
successfully usurp the place and power of the
divine source of all health and perfection. If
15 God made man both good and evil, man must remain
thus. What can improve God’s work? Again, an error
in the premise must appear in the conclusion. To have
18 one God and avail yourself of the power of Spirit, you
must love God supremely.
The “flesh lusteth against the Spirit.” The flesh and
21 Spirit can no more unite in action, than good can coin-
cide with evil. It is not wise to take a halt-
ing and half-way position or to expect to work
24 equally with Spirit and matter, Truth and error. There,
is but one way — namely, God and His idea — which
leads to spiritual being. The scientific government of the
27 body must be attained through the divine Mind. It is im-
possible to gain control over the body in any other way.
On this fundamental point, timid conservatism is abso-
30 lutely inadmissible. Only through radical reliance on
Truth can scientific healing power be realized.
Substituting good words for a good life, fair seeming
1 for straightforward character, is a poor shift for the weak
and worldly, who think the standard of Christian Science
3 too high for them.
Belief on the wrong side
If the scales are evenly adjusted, the removal of a single
weight from either scale gives preponderance to the oppo-
6 site. Whatever influence you cast on the side
of matter, you take away from Mind, which
would otherwise outweigh all else. Your belief militates
9 against your health, when it ought to be enlisted on the
side of health. When sick (according to belief) you rush
after drugs, search out the material so-called laws of
12 health, and depend upon them to heal you, though you
have already brought yourself into the slough of disease
through just this false belief.
The divine authority
15 Because man-made systems insist that man becomes
sick and useless, suffers and dies, all in consonance with
the laws of God, are we to believe it? Are
18 we to believe an authority which denies God’s
spiritual command relating to perfection, — an authority
which Jesus proved to be false? He did the will of the
21 Father. He healed sickness in defiance of what is called
material law, but in accordance with God’s law, the law
24 I have discerned disease in the human mind, and rec-
ognized the patient’s fear of it, months before the so-called
disease made its appearance in the body. Dis-
27 ease being a belief, a latent illusion of mortal
mind, the sensation would not appear if the error of belief
was met and destroyed by truth.
30 Here let a word be noticed which will be
better understood hereafter, — chemicalization.
By chemicalization I mean the process which mortal
1 mind and body undergo in the change of belief from a
material to a spiritual basis.
3 Whenever an aggravation of symptoms has occurred
through mental chemicalization, I have seen the mental
signs, assuring me that danger was over, before
6 the patient felt the change; and I have said
to the patient, “You are healed,” — sometimes to his dis-
comfiture, when he was incredulous. But it always came
9 about as I had foretold.
I name these facts to show that disease has a mental,
mortal origin, — that faith in rules of health or in drugs
12 begets and fosters disease by attracting the mind to the
subject of sickness, by exciting fear of disease, and by dos-
ing the body in order to avoid it. The faith reposed in
15 these things should find stronger supports and a higher
home. If we understood the control of Mind over body,
we should put no faith in material means.
Mind the only healer
18 Science not only reveals the origin of all disease as
mental, but it also declares that all disease is cured by
divine Mind. There can be no healing ex-
21 cept by this Mind, however much we trust
a drug or any other means towards which human faith
or endeavor is directed. It is mortal mind, not mat-
24 ter, which brings to the sick whatever good they may
seem to receive from materiality. But the sick are never
really healed except by means of the divine power.
27 Only the action of Truth, Life, and Love can give
Modes of matter
Whatever teaches man to have other laws and to
30 acknowledge other powers than the divine
Mind, is anti-Christian. The good that a
poisonous drug seems to do is evil, for it robs man of
1 reliance on God, omnipotent Mind, and according to be-
lief, poisons the human system. Truth is not the basis of
3 theogony. Modes of matter form neither a moral nor a
spiritual system. The discord which calls for material
methods is the result of the exercise of faith in material
6 modes, — faith in matter instead of in Spirit.
Did Jesus understand the economy of man less than
Graham or Cutter? Christian ideas certainly present
9 what human theories exclude — the Principle
of man’s harmony. The text, “Whosoever
liveth and believeth in me shall never die,” not only con-
12 tradicts human systems, but points to the self-sustaining
and eternal Truth.
The demands of Truth are spiritual, and reach the
15 body through Mind. The best interpreter of man’s needs
said: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat,
or what ye shall drink.”
18 If there are material laws which prevent disease, what
then causes it? Not divine law, for Jesus healed the
sick and cast out error, always in opposition, never in
21 obedience, to physics.
Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered,
for more than all others spiritual causation relates to
24 human progress. The age seems ready to
approach this subject, to ponder somewhat
the supremacy of Spirit, and at least to touch the hem
27 of Truth’s garment.
The description of man as purely physical, or as both
material and spiritual, — but in either case dependent
30 upon his physical organization, — is the Pandora box,
from which all ills have gone forth, especially despair.
Matter, which takes divine power into its own hands and
1 claims to be a creator, is a fiction, in which paganism and
lust are so sanctioned by society that mankind has caught
3 their moral contagion.
Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of ma-
teriality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will
6 reopen with the key of divine Science the gates
of Paradise which human beliefs have closed,
and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free,
9 not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either
of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brain-
ology to learn how much of a man he is.
A closed question
12 Mind’s control over the universe, including man, is
no longer an open question, but is demonstrable Science.
Jesus illustrated the divine Principle and the
15 power of immortal Mind by healing sickness
and sin and destroying the foundations of death.
Matter versus Spirit
Mistaking his origin and nature, man believes himself to
18 be combined matter and Spirit. He believes that Spirit
is sifted through matter, carried on a nerve, ex-
posed to ejection by the operation of matter.
21 The intellectual, the moral, the spiritual, — yea, the image
of infinite Mind, — subject to non-intelligence!
No more sympathy exists between the flesh and Spirit
24 than between Belial and Christ.
The so-called laws of matter are nothing but false be-
liefs that intelligence and life are present where Mind
27 is not. These false beliefs are the procuring cause of all
sin and disease. The opposite truth, that intelligence and
life are spiritual, never material, destroys sin, sickness,
30 and death.
The fundamental error lies in the supposition that man
is a material outgrowth and that the cognizance of good
1 or evil, which he has through the bodily senses, con-
stitutes his happiness or misery.
3 Theorizing about man’s development from mushrooms
to monkeys and from monkeys into men
amounts to nothing in the right direction and
6 very much in the wrong.
Materialism grades the human species as rising from
matter upward. How then is the material species main-
9 tained, if man passes through what we call death and
death is the Rubicon of spirituality? Spirit can form
no real link in this supposed chain of material being.
12 But divine Science reveals the eternal chain of existence
as uninterrupted and wholly spiritual; yet this can be
realized only as the false sense of being disappears.
Degrees of development
15 If man was first a material being, he must have passed
through all the forms of matter in order to become man.
If the material body is man, he is a portion of
18 matter, or dust. On the contrary, man is the
image and likeness of Spirit; and the belief that there is
Soul in sense or Life in matter obtains in mortals, alias
21 mortal mind, to which the apostle refers when he says
that we must “put off the old man.”
Identity not lost
What is man? Brain, heart, blood, bones, etc., the
24 material structure? If the real man is in the material
body, you take away a portion of the man when
you amputate a limb; the surgeon destroys
27 manhood, and worms annihilate it. But the loss of a limb
or injury to a tissue is sometimes the quickener of manli-
ness; and the unfortunate cripple may present more no-
30 bility than the statuesque athlete, — teaching us by his
very deprivations, that “a man’s a man, for a’ that.”
When man is man
When we admit that matter (heart, blood, brain, acting
1 through the five physical senses) constitutes man, we fail
to see how anatomy can distinguish between
3 humanity and the brute, or determine when
man is really man and has progressed farther than his
6 When the supposition, that Spirit is within what it
creates and the potter is subject to the clay,
is individualized, Truth is reduced to the level
9 of error, and the sensible is required to be made manifest
through the insensible.
What is termed matter manifests nothing but a material
12 mentality. Neither the substance nor the manifestation
of Spirit is obtainable through matter. Spirit is positive.
Matter is Spirit’s contrary, the absence of Spirit. For
15 positive Spirit to pass through a negative condition
would be Spirit’s destruction.
Man not structural
Anatomy declares man to be structural. Physiology
18 continues this explanation, measuring human
strength by bones and sinews, and human life
by material law. Man is spiritual, individual, and eter-
21 nal; material structure is mortal.
Phrenology makes man knavish or honest according to
the development of the cranium; but anatomy, physiology,
24 phrenology, do not define the image of God, the real im-
Human reason and religion come slowly to the recogni-
27 tion of spiritual facts, and so continue to call upon
matter to remove the error which the human mind alone
30 The idols of civilization are far more fatal to health
and longevity than are the idols of barbarism. The idols
of civilization call into action less faith than Buddhism
1 in a supreme governing intelligence. The Esquimaux
restore health by incantations as consciously as do civi-
3 lized practitioners by their more studied methods.
Is civilization only a higher form of idolatry, that
man should bow down to a flesh-brush, to flannels, to
6 baths, diet, exercise, and air? Nothing save divine
power is capable of doing so much for man as he can
do for himself.
Rise of thought
9 The footsteps of thought, rising above material stand-
points, are slow, and portend a long night to the traveller;
but the angels of His presence — the spiritual
12 intuitions that tell us when “the night is far
spent, the day is at hand” — are our guardians in the
gloom. Whoever opens the way in Christian Science is
15 a pilgrim and stranger, marking out the path for gen-
erations yet unborn.
The thunder of Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount
18 are pursuing and will overtake the ages, rebuking in
their course all error and proclaiming the kingdom of
heaven on earth. Truth is revealed. It needs only to
21 be practised.
Mortal belief is all that enables a drug to cure mortal
ailments. Anatomy admits that mind is somewhere in
24 man, though out of sight. Then, if an indi-
vidual is sick, why treat the body alone and
administer a dose of despair to the mind? Why declare
27 that the body is diseased, and picture this disease to the
mind, rolling it under the tongue as a sweet morsel and
holding it before the thought of both physician and pa-
30 tient? We should understand that the cause of disease
obtains in the mortal human mind, and its cure comes
from the immortal divine Mind. We should prevent the
1 images of disease from taking form in thought, and we
should efface the outlines of disease already formulated in
3 the minds of mortals.
When there are fewer prescriptions, and less thought is
given to sanitary subjects, there will be better
6 constitutions and less disease. In old times
who ever heard of dyspepsia, cerebro-spinal meningitis,
hay-fever, and rose-cold?
9 What an abuse of natural beauty to say that a rose,
the smile of God, can produce suffering! The joy of its
presence, its beauty and fragrance, should uplift the
12 thought, and dissuade any sense of fear or fever. It is
profane to fancy that the perfume of clover and the breath
of new-mown hay can cause glandular inflammation,
15 sneezing, and nasal pangs.
No ancestral dyspepsia
If a random thought, calling itself dyspepsia, had
tried to tyrannize over our forefathers, it would have
18 been routed by their independence and in-
dustry. Then people had less time for self-
ishness, coddling, and sickly after-dinner talk. The ex-
21 act amount of food the stomach could digest was not
discussed according to Cutter nor referred to sanitary
laws. A man’s belief in those days was not so severe
24 upon the gastric juices. Beaumont’s “Medical Experi-
ments” did not govern the digestion.
Damp atmosphere and freezing snow empurpled the
27 plump cheeks of our ancestors, but they never indulged
in the refinement of inflamed bronchial tubes.
They were as innocent as Adam, before he ate
30 the fruit of false knowledge, of the existence of tubercles
and troches, lungs and lozenges.
Our modern Eves
“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise,” says
1 the English poet, and there is truth in his sentiment. The
action of mortal mind on the body was not so injurious
3 before inquisitive modern Eves took up the
study of medical works and unmanly Adams
attributed their own downfall and the fate of their off-
6 spring to the weakness of their wives.
The primitive custom of taking no thought about
food left the stomach and bowels free to act in obedi-
9 ence to nature, and gave the gospel a chance to be seen
in its glorious effects upon the body. A ghastly array of
diseases was not paraded before the imagination. There
12 were fewer books on digestion and more “sermons in
stones, and good in everything.” When the mechanism
of the human mind gives place to the divine Mind, self-
15 ishness and sin, disease and death, will lose their
Human fear of miasma would load with disease the
18 air of Eden, and weigh down mankind with superimposed
and conjectural evils. Mortal mind is the worst foe of
the body, while divine Mind is its best friend.
Diseases not to be classified
21 Should all cases of organic disease be treated by a
regular practitioner, and the Christian Scientist try
truth only in cases of hysteria, hypochon-
24 dria, and hallucination? One disease is no
more real than another. All disease is the
result of education, and disease can carry its ill-effects
27 no farther than mortal mind maps out the way. The
human mind, not matter, is supposed to feel, suffer, en-
joy. Hence decided types of acute disease are quite as
30 ready to yield to Truth as the less distinct type and chronic
form of disease. Truth handles the most malignant con-
tagion with perfect assurance.
One basis for all sickness
1 Human mind produces what is termed organic dis-
ease as certainly as it produces hysteria, and it must re-
3 linquish all its errors, sicknesses, and sins.
I have demonstrated this beyond all cavil.
The evidence of divine Mind’s healing power and abso-
6 lute control is to me as certain as the evidence of my own
Mental and physical oneness
Mortal mind and body are one. Neither exists without
9 the other, and both must be destroyed by immortal Mind.
Matter, or body, is but a false concept of mor-
tal mind. This so-called mind builds its own
12 superstructure, of which the material body is
the grosser portion; but from first to last, the body is a
sensuous, human concept.
The effect of names
15 In the Scriptural allegory of the material creation,
Adam or error, which represents the erroneous theory
of life and intelligence in matter, had the
18 naming of all that was material. These names
indicated matter’s properties, qualities, and forms. But
a lie, the opposite of Truth, cannot name the qualities and
21 effects of what is termed matter, and create the so-called
laws of the flesh, nor can a lie hold the preponderance
of power in any direction against God, Spirit and
Poison defined mentally
If a dose of poison is swallowed through mistake, and
the patient dies even though physician and
27 patient are expecting favorable results, does
human belief, you ask, cause this death? Even
so, and as directly as if the poison had been intentionally
In such cases a few persons believe the potion swal-
lowed by the patient to be harmless, but the vast ma-
1 jority of mankind, though they know nothing of this par-
ticular case and this special person, believe the arsenic,
3 the strychnine, or whatever the drug used, to be poi-
sonous, for it is set down as a poison by mortal mind.
Consequently, the result is controlled by the majority of
6 opinions, not by the infinitesimal minority of opinions in
Heredity is not a law. The remote cause or belief
9 of disease is not dangerous because of its priority and
the connection of past mortal thoughts with present.
The predisposing cause and the exciting cause are
Perhaps an adult has a deformity produced prior to his
birth by the fright of his mother. When wrested from
15 human belief and based on Science or the divine Mind, to
which all things are possible, that chronic case is not
difficult to cure.
Animal magnetism destroyed
18 Mortal mind, acting from the basis of sensation in
matter, is animal magnetism; but this so-called mind,
from which comes all evil, contradicts itself,
21 and must finally yield to the eternal Truth, or
the divine Mind, expressed in Science. In pro-
portion to our understanding of Christian Science, we are
24 freed from the belief of heredity, of mind in matter or ani-
mal magnetism; and we disarm sin of its imaginary power
in proportion to our spiritual understanding of the status
27 of immortal being.
Ignorant of the methods and the basis of metaphysical
healing, you may attempt to unite with it hypnotism,
30 spiritualism, electricity; but none of these methods can
be mingled with metaphysical healing.
Whoever reaches the understanding of Christian Science
1 in its proper signification will perform the sudden cures
of which it is capable; but this can be done only by
3 taking up the cross and following Christ in the daily
Science can heal the sick, who are absent from their
6 healers, as well as those present, since space is no ob-
stacle to Mind. Immortal Mind heals what eye
hath not seen; but the spiritual capacity to ap-
9 prehend thought and to heal by the Truth-power, is won
only as man is found, not in self-righteousness, but re-
flecting the divine nature.
12 Every medical method has its advocates. The prefer-
ence of mortal mind for a certain method creates a demand
for that method, and the body then seems to re-
15 quire such treatment. You can even educate a
healthy horse so far in physiology that he will take cold
without his blanket, whereas the wild animal, left to his
18 instincts, sniffs the wind with delight. The epizoötic is
a humanly evolved ailment, which a wild horse might
Medical works objectionable
21 Treatises on anatomy, physiology, and health, sustained
by what is termed material law, are the pro-
moters of sickness and disease. It should not
24 be proverbial, that so long as you read medical works you
will be sick.
The sedulous matron — studying her Jahr with homoe-
27 opathic pellet and powder in hand, ready to put you
into a sweat, to move the bowels, or to produce sleep –
is unwittingly sowing the seeds of reliance on matter,
30 and her household may erelong reap the effect of this
Descriptions of disease given by physicians and adver-
1 tisements of quackery are both prolific sources of sickness.
As mortal mind is the husbandman of error, it should be
3 taught to do the body no harm and to uproot its false
The invalid’s outlook
The patient sufferer tries to be satisfied when he sees
6 his would-be healers busy, and his faith in their efforts is
somewhat helpful to them and to himself; but
in Science one must understand the resusci-
9 tating law of Life. This is the seed within itself bearing
fruit after its kind, spoken of in Genesis.
Physicians should not deport themselves as if Mind
12 were non-existent, nor take the ground that all causation
is matter, instead of Mind. Ignorant that the human
mind governs the body, its phenomenon, the invalid may
15 unwittingly add more fear to the mental reservoir already
overflowing with that emotion.
Wrong and right way
Doctors should not implant disease in the thoughts of
18 their patients, as they so frequently do, by declaring dis-
ease to be a fixed fact, even before they go to
work to eradicate the disease through the ma-
21 terial faith which they inspire. Instead of furnishing
thought with fear, they should try to correct this turbulent
element of mortal mind by the influence of divine Love
24 which casteth out fear.
When man is governed by God, the ever-present
Mind who understands all things, man knows that with
27 God all things are possible. The only way to this
living Truth, which heals the sick, is found in the Science
of divine Mind as taught and demonstrated by Christ
The important decision
To reduce inflammation, dissolve a tumor, or cure or-
ganic disease, I have found divine Truth more potent than
1 all lower remedies. And why not, since Mind, God, is
the source and condition of all existence? Before decid-
3 ing that the body, matter, is disordered, one
should ask, “Who art thou that repliest to
Spirit? Can matter speak for itself, or does
6 it hold the issues of life?” Matter, which can neither
suffer nor enjoy, has no partnership with pain and pleas-
ure, but mortal belief has such a partnership.
9 When you manipulate patients, you trust in electricity
and magnetism more than in Truth; and for
that reason, you employ matter rather than
12 Mind. You weaken or destroy your power when you re-
sort to any except spiritual means.
It is foolish to declare that you manipulate patients but
15 that you lay no stress on manipulation. If this be so, why
manipulate? In reality you manipulate because you are
ignorant of the baneful effects of magnetism, or are not
18 sufficiently spiritual to depend on Spirit. In either case
you must improve your mental condition till you finally
attain the understanding of Christian Science.
Not words but deeds
21 If you are too material to love the Science of Mind and
are satisfied with good words instead of effects, if you
adhere to error and are afraid to trust Truth,
24 the question then recurs, “Adam, where art
thou?” It is unnecessary to resort to aught besides
Mind in order to satisfy the sick that you are doing some-
27 thing for them, for if they are cured, they generally know
it and are satisfied.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
30 If you have more faith in drugs than in Truth, this faith
will incline you to the side of matter and error. Any
hypnotic power you may exercise will diminish your
1 ability to become a Scientist, and vice versa. The act
of healing the sick through divine Mind alone, of casting
3 out error with Truth, shows your position as a Christian
Physiology or Spirit
The demands of God appeal to thought only; but the
6 claims of mortality, and what are termed laws of nature,
appertain to matter. Which, then, are we to
accept as legitimate and capable of producing
9 the highest human good? We cannot obey both physi-
ology and Spirit, for one absolutely destroys the other,
and one or the other must be supreme in the affections.
12 It is impossible to work from two standpoints. If we
attempt it, we shall presently “hold to the one,
and despise the other.”
15 The hypotheses of mortals are antagonistic to Science
and cannot mix with it. This is clear to those, who heal
the sick on the basis of Science.
No material law
18 Mind’s government of the body must supersede the so-
called laws of matter. Obedience to material law pre-
vents full obedience to spiritual law, — the law
21 which overcomes material conditions and puts
matter under the feet of Mind. Mortals entreat the di-
vine Mind to heal the sick, and forthwith shut out the aid
24 of Mind by using material means, thus working against
themselves and their prayers and denying man’s God-
given ability to demonstrate Mind’s sacred power. Pleas
27 for drugs and laws of health come from some sad incident,
or else from ignorance of Christian Science and its tran-
30 To admit that sickness is a condition over which God
has no control, is to presuppose that omnipotent power
is powerless on some occasions. The law of Christ, or
1 Truth, makes all things possible to Spirit; but the so-
called laws of matter would render Spirit of no avail, and
3 demand obedience to materialistic codes, thus departing
from the basis of one God, one lawmaker. To suppose
that God constitutes laws of inharmony is a mistake; dis-
6 cords have no support from nature or divine law, however
much is said to the contrary.
Can the agriculturist, according to belief, produce a
9 crop without sowing the seed and awaiting its germina-
tion according to the laws of nature? The answer is no,
and yet the Scriptures inform us that sin, or error, first
12 caused the condemnation of man to till the ground, and
indicate that obedience to God will remove this necessity.
Truth never made error necessary, nor devised a law to
15 perpetuate error.
Laws of nature spiritual
The supposed laws which result in weariness and dis-
ease are not His laws, for the legitimate and only possible
18 action of Truth is the production of harmony.
Laws of nature are laws of Spirit; but mortals
commonly recognize as law that which hides the power of
21 Spirit. Divine Mind rightly demands man’s entire obe-
dience, affection, and strength. No reservation is made
for any lesser loyalty. Obedience to Truth gives man
24 power and strength. Submission to error superinduces
loss of power.
Belief and understanding
Truth casts out all evils and materialistic methods
27 with the actual spiritual law, — the law which gives
sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, voice
to the dumb, feet to the lame. If Christian
30 Science dishonors human belief, it honors spir-
itual understanding; and the one Mind only is entitled to
1 The so-called laws of health are simply laws of mortal
belief. The premises being erroneous, the conclusions
3 are wrong. Truth makes no laws to regulate sickness,
sin, and death, for these are unknown to Truth and should
not be recognized as reality.
6 Belief produces the results of belief, and the penal-
ties it affixes last so long as the belief and are insepara-
ble from it. The remedy consists in probing the trouble
9 to the bottom, in finding and casting out by denial the
error of belief which produces a mortal disorder, never
honoring erroneous belief with the title of law nor yield-
12 ing obedience to it. Truth, Life, and Love are the only
legitimate and eternal demands on man, and they are
spiritual lawgivers, enforcing obedience through divine
Laws of human belief
Controlled by the divine intelligence, man is harmoni-
ous and eternal. Whatever is governed by a false belief
18 is discordant and mortal. We say man suffers
from the effects of cold, heat, fatigue. This
is human belief, not the truth of being, for matter cannot
21 suffer. Mortal mind alone suffers, — not because a law
of matter has been transgressed, but because a law of this
so-called mind has been disobeyed. I have demonstrated
24 this as a rule of divine Science by destroying the delusion
of suffering from what is termed a fatally broken physical
27 A woman, whom I cured of consumption, always
breathed with great difficulty when the wind was from
the east. I sat silently by her side a few moments. Her
30 breath came gently. The inspirations were deep and nat-
ural. I then requested her to look at the weather-vane.
She looked and saw that it pointed due east. The wind
1 had not changed, but her thought of it had and so her diffi-
culty in breathing had gone. The wind had not produced
3 the difficulty. My metaphysical treatment changed the
action of her belief on the lungs, and she never suffered
again from east winds, but was restored to health.
A so-called mind-cure
6 No system of hygiene but Christian Science is purely
mental. Before this book was published, other books
were in circulation, which discussed “mental
9 medicine” and “mind-cure,” operating through
the power of the earth’s magnetic currents to regulate life
and health. Such theories and such systems of so-called
12 mind-cure, which have sprung up, are as material as the
prevailing systems of medicine. They have their birth
in mortal mind, which puts forth a human conception
15 in the name of Science to match the divine Science of im-
mortal Mind, even as the necromancers of Egypt strove
to emulate the wonders wrought by Moses. Such theories
18 have no relationship to Christian Science, which rests on
the conception of God as the only Life, substance, and
intelligence, and excludes the human mind as a spiritual
21 factor in the healing work.
Jesus and hypnotism
Jesus cast out evil and healed the sick, not only with-
out drugs, but without hypnotism, which is
24 the reverse of ethical and pathological Truth-
Erroneous mental practice may seem for a time to bene-
27 fit the sick, but the recovery is not permanent. This is
because erroneous methods act on and through the ma-
terial stratum of the human mind, called brain, which is
30 but a mortal consolidation of material mentality and its
A patient under the influence of mortal mind is healed
1 only by removing the influence on him of this mind, by
emptying his thought of the false stimulus
3 and reaction of will-power and filling it with
the divine energies of Truth.
Christian Science destroys material beliefs through the
6 understanding of Spirit, and the thoroughness of this work
determines health. Erring human mind-forces can work
only evil under whatever name or pretence they are em-
9 ployed; for Spirit and matter, good and evil, light and
darkness, cannot mingle.
Evil negative and self-destructive
Evil is a negation, because it is the absence of truth.
12 It is nothing, because it is the absence of something. It
is unreal, because it presupposes the absence
of God, the omnipotent and omnipresent.
15 Every mortal must learn that there is neither
power nor reality in evil.
Evil is self-assertive. It says: “I am a real entity, over-
18 mastering good.” This falsehood should strip evil of all
pretensions. The only power of evil is to destroy itself. It
can never destroy one iota of good. Every attempt of evil
21 to destroy good is a failure, and only aids in peremptorily
punishing the evil-doer. If we concede the same reality to
discord as to harmony, discord has as lasting a claim upon
24 us as has harmony. If evil is as real as good, evil is also as
immortal. If death is as real as Life, immortality is a myth.
If pain is as real as the absence of pain, both must be im-
27 mortal; and if so, harmony cannot be the law of being.
Mortal mind is ignorant of self, or it could never be
self-deceived. If mortal mind knew how to be better, it
30 would be better. Since it must believe in some-
thing besides itself, it enthrones matter as deity.
The human mind has been an idolater from the beginning,
1 having other gods and believing in more than the one
3 As mortals do not comprehend even mortal existence,
how ignorant must they be of the all-knowing Mind and
of His creations.
6 Here you may see how so-called material sense creates
its own forms of thought, gives them material names, and
then worships and fears them. With pagan blindness,
9 it attributes to some material god or medicine an ability
beyond itself. The beliefs of the human mind rob and
enslave it, and then impute this result to another illusive
12 personification, named Satan.
Action of mortal mind
The valves of the heart, opening and closing for the pas-
sage of the blood, obey the mandate of mor-
15 tal mind as directly as does the hand, ad-
mittedly moved by the will. Anatomy allows the mental
cause of the latter action, but not of the former.
18 We say, “My hand hath done it.” What is this my but
mortal mind, the cause of all materialistic action? All
voluntary, as well as miscalled involuntary, action of the
21 mortal body is governed by this so-called mind, not by
matter. There is no involuntary action. The divine Mind
includes all action and volition, and man in Science is gov-
24 erned by this Mind. The human mind tries to classify
action as voluntary and involuntary, and suffers from the
Death and the body
27 If you take away this erring mind, the mortal material
body loses all appearance of life or action, and this so-
called mind then calls itself dead; but the hu-
30 man mind still holds in belief a body, through
which it acts and which appears to the human mind to
live, — a body like the one it had before death. This body
1 is put off only as the mortal, erring mind yields to God,
immortal Mind, and man is found in His image.
Embryonic sinful thoughts
3 What is termed disease does not exist. It is neither
mind nor matter. The belief of sin, which has grown
terrible in strength and influence, is an uncon-
6 scious error in the beginning, — an embryonic
thought without motive; but afterwards it
governs the so-called man. Passion, depraved appetites,
9 dishonesty, envy, hatred, revenge ripen into action, only to
pass from shame and woe to their final punishment.
Disease a dream
Mortal existence is a dream of pain and pleasure in
12 matter, a dream of sin, sickness, and death; and it is like
the dream we have in sleep, in which every one
recognizes his condition to be wholly a state of
15 mind. In both the waking, and the sleeping dream, the
dreamer thinks that his body is material and the suffering
is in that body.
18 The smile of the sleeper indicates the sensation pro-
duced physically by the pleasure of a dream. In the
same way pain and pleasure, sickness and care, are
21 traced upon mortals by unmistakable signs.
Sickness is a growth of error, springing from mortal
ignorance or fear. Error rehearses error. What causes
24 disease cannot cure it. The soil of disease is mortal
mind, and you have an abundant or scanty crop of disease,
according to the seedlings of fear. Sin and the fear of
27 disease must be uprooted and cast out.
Sense yields to understanding
When darkness comes over the earth, the physical
senses have no immediate evidence of a sun.
30 The human eye knows not where the orb of
day is, nor if it exists. Astronomy gives the
desired information regarding the sun. The human or
1 material senses yield to the authority of this science, and
they are willing to leave with astronomy the explanation of
3 the sun’s influence over the earth. If the eyes see no sun
for a week, we still believe that there is solar light and
heat. Science (in this instance named natural) raises
6 the human thought above the cruder theories of the
human mind, and casts out a fear.
In like manner mortals should no more deny the power
9 of Christian Science to establish harmony and to explain
the effect of mortal mind on the body, though the cause
be unseen, than they should deny the existence of the sun-
12 light when the orb of day disappears, or doubt that the sun
will reappear. The sins of others should not make good
Ascending the scale
15 We call the body material; but it is as truly mortal
mind, according to its degree, as is the material brain
which is supposed to furnish the evidence
18 of all mortal thought or things. The human
mortal mind, by an inevitable perversion, makes all
things start from the lowest instead of from the highest
21 mortal thought. The reverse is the case with all the
formations of the immortal divine Mind. They proceed
from the divine source; and so, in tracing them, we con-
24 stantly ascend in infinite being.
From mortal mind comes the reproduction of the
species, — first the belief of inanimate, and then of ani-
27 mate matter. According to mortal thought,
the development of embryonic mortal mind
commences in the lower, basal portion of the brain, and
30 goes on in an ascending scale by evolution, keeping always
in the direct line of matter, for matter is the subjective
condition of mortal mind.
1 Next we have the formation of so-called embryonic
mortal mind, afterwards mortal men or mortals, — all this
3 while matter is a belief, ignorant of itself, ignorant of what
it is supposed to produce. The mortal says that an inani-
mate unconscious seedling is producing mortals, both body
6 and mind; and yet neither a mortal mind nor the immortal
Mind is found in brain or elsewhere in matter or in mortals.
This embryonic and materialistic human belief called
9 mortal man in turn fills itself with thoughts
of pain and pleasure, of life and death, and
arranges itself into five so-called senses, which presently
12 measure mind by the size of a brain and the bulk of a
body, called man.
Human birth, growth, maturity, and decay are as the
15 grass springing from the soil with beautiful green blades,
afterwards to wither and return to its native
nothingness. This mortal seeming is temporal;
18 it never merges into immortal being, but finally disap-
pears, and immortal man, spiritual and eternal, is found
to be the real man.
21 The Hebrew bard, swayed by mortal thoughts, thus
swept his lyre with saddening strains on human existence:
As for man, his days are as grass:
24 As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;
And the place thereof shall know it no more.
27 When hope rose higher in the human heart, he sang:
As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.
. . . . .
30 For with Thee is the fountain of life;
In Thy light shall we see light.
1 The brain can give no idea of God’s man. It can take
no cognizance of Mind. Matter is not the organ of infi-
3 nite Mind.
As mortals give up the delusion that there is more than
one Mind, more than one God, man in God’s likeness will
6 appear, and this eternal man will include in that likeness
no material element.
The immortal birth
As a material, theoretical life-basis is found to be a
9 misapprehension of existence, the spiritual and divine
Principle of man dawns upon human thought,
and leads it to “where the young child was,”
12 – even to the birth of a new-old idea, to the spiritual
sense of being and of what Life includes. This the whole
earth will be transformed by Truth on its pinions of light,
15 chasing away the darkness of error.
The human thought must free itself from self-imposed
materiality and bondage. It should no longer
18 ask of the head, heart, or lungs: What are
man’s prospects for life? Mind is not helpless. Intelli-
gence is not mute before non-intelligence.
21 By its own volition, not a blade of grass springs up, not
a spray buds within the vale, not a leaf unfolds its fair
outlines, not a flower starts from its cloistered cell.
24 The Science of being reveals man and immortality as
based on Spirit. Physical sense defines mortal man as
based on matter, and from this premise infers the mor-
27 tality of the body.
No physical affinity
The illusive senses may fancy affinities with their op-
posites; but in Christian Science, Truth never mingles
30 with error. Mind has no affinity with matter,
and therefore Truth is able to cast out the ills
of the flesh. Mind, God, sends forth the aroma of Spirit,
1 the atmosphere of intelligence. The belief that a pulpy
substance under the skull is mind is a mockery of intelli-
3 gence, a mimicry of Mind.
We are Christian Scientists, only as we quit our reliance
upon that which is false and grasp the true. We are not
6 Christian Scientists until we leave all for Christ. Human
opinions are not spiritual. They come from the hearing
of the ear, from corporeality instead of from Principle,
9 and from the mortal instead of from the immortal. Spirit
is not separate from God. Spirit is God.
Human power a blind force
Erring power is a material belief, a blind miscalled force,
12 the offspring of will and not of wisdom, of the mortal mind
and not of the immortal. It is the headlong
cataract, the devouring flame, the tempest’s
15 breath. It is lightning and hurricane, all that is selfish,
wicked, dishonest, and impure.
The one real power
Moral and spiritual might belong to Spirit, who holds
18 the “wind in His fists;” and this teaching accords with
Science and harmony. In Science, you can
have no power opposed to God, and the physi-
21 cal senses must give up their false testimony. Your in-
fluence for good depends upon the weight you throw into
the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you
24 the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a
mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness
and falls, never to rise.
27 We walk in the footsteps of Truth and Love by follow-
ing the example of our Master in the understanding of
divine metaphysics. Christianity is the basis of true heal-
30 ing. Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed
love, receives directly the divine power.
Mind cures hip-disease
I was called to visit Mr. Clark in Lynn, who had been
1 confined to his bed six months with hip-disease, caused by
a fall upon a wooden spike when quite a boy. On enter-
3 ing the house I met his physician, who said that
the patient was dying. The physician had just
probed the ulcer on the hip, and said the bone was carious
6 for several inches. He even showed me the probe, which
had on it the evidence of this condition of the bone. The
doctor went out. Mr. Clark lay with his eyes fixed and
9 sightless. The dew of death was on his brow. I went to
his bedside. In a few moments his face changed; its
death-pallor gave place to a natural hue. The eyelids
12 closed gently and the breathing became natural; he was
asleep. In about ten minutes he opened his eyes and
said: “I feel like a new man. My suffering is all gone.”
15 It was between three and four o’clock in the afternoon
when this took place.
I told him to rise, dress himself, and take supper with
18 his family. He did so. The next day I saw him in the
yard. Since then I have not seen him, but am informed
that he went to work in two weeks. The discharge from
21 the sore stopped, and the sore was healed. The diseased
condition had continued there ever since the injury was
received in boyhood.
24 Since his recovery I have been informed that his physi-
cian claims to have cured him, and that his mother has
been threatened with incarceration in an insane asylum
27 for saying: “It was none other than God and that woman
who healed him.” I cannot attest the truth of that
report, but what I saw and did for that man, and what
30 his physician said of the case, occurred just as I have
It has been demonstrated to me that Life is God
1 and that the might of omnipotent Spirit shares not its
strength with matter or with human will. Review-
3 ing this brief experience, I cannot fail to discern the
coincidence of the spiritual idea of man with the divine
Change of belief
6 A change in human belief changes all the physical symp-
toms, and determines a case for better or for
worse. When one’s false belief is corrected,
9 Truth sends a report of health over the body.
Destruction of the auditory nerve and paralysis of the
optic nerve are not necessary to ensure deafness and blind-
12 ness; for if mortal mind says, “I am deaf and blind,” it
will be so without an injured nerve. Every theory op-
posed to this fact (as I learned in metaphysics) would
15 presuppose man, who is immortal in spiritual under-
standing, a mortal in material belief.
Power of habit
The authentic history of Kaspar Hauser is a useful hint
18 as to the frailty and inadequacy of mortal mind. It
proves beyond a doubt that education consti-
tutes this so-called mind, and that, in turn,
21 mortal mind manifests itself in the body by the false
sense it imparts. Incarcerated in a dungeon, where
neither sight nor sound could reach him, at the age of
24 seventeen Kaspar was still a mental infant, crying and
chattering with no more intelligence than a babe, and
realizing Tennyson’s description:
27 An infant crying in the night,
An infant crying for the light,
And with no language but a cry.
30 His case proves material sense to be but a belief formed
by education alone. The light which affords us joy gave
1 him a belief of intense pain. His eyes were inflamed by
the light. After the babbling boy had been taught to
3 speak a few words, he asked to be taken back to his dun-
geon, and said that he should never be happy elsewhere.
Outside of dismal darkness and cold silence he found no
6 peace. Every sound convulsed him with anguish. All
that he ate, except his black crust, produced violent
retchings. All that gives pleasure to our educated senses
9 gave him pain through those very senses, trained in an
The point for each one to decide is, whether it is mortal
12 mind or immortal Mind that is causative. We
should forsake the basis of matter for meta-
physical Science and its divine Principle.
15 Whatever furnishes the semblance of an idea governed
by its Principle, furnishes food for thought. Through as-
tronomy, natural history, chemistry, music, mathematics,
18 thought passes naturally from effect back to cause.
Academics of the right sort are requisite. Observa-
tion, invention, study, and original thought are expansive
21 and should promote the growth of mortal mind out of it-
self, out of all that is mortal.
It is the tangled barbarisms of learning which we
24 deplore, — the mere dogma, the speculative theory, the
nauseous fiction. Novels, remarkable only for their
exaggerated pictures, impossible ideals, and specimens
27 of depravity, fill our young readers with wrong tastes
and sentiments. Literary commercialism is lowering the
intellectual standard to accommodate the purse and to
30 meet a frivolous demand for amusement instead of for
improvement. Incorrect views lower the standard of
1 If materialistic knowledge is power, it is not wisdom.
It is but a blind force. Man has “sought out many inven-
3 tions,” but he has not yet found it true that knowledge can
save him from the dire effects of knowledge. The power
of mortal mind over its own body is little understood.
Sin destroyed through suffering
6 Better the suffering which awakens mortal mind from
its fleshly dream, than the false pleasures
which tend to perpetuate this dream. Sin
9 alone brings death, for sin is the only element
“Fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body
12 in hell,” said Jesus. A careful study of this text shows
that here the word soul means a false sense or material
consciousness. The command was a warning to beware,
15 not of Rome, Satan, nor of God, but of sin. Sickness,
sin, and death are not concomitants of Life or Truth.
No law supports them. They have no relation to God
18 wherewith to establish their power. Sin makes its own
hell, and goodness its own heaven.
Dangerous shoals avoided
Such books as will rule disease out of mortal mind, –
21 and so efface the images and thoughts of dis-
ease, instead of impressing them with forcible
descriptions and medical details, — will help
24 to abate sickness and to destroy it.
Many a hopeless case of disease is induced by a single
post mortem examination, — not from infection nor from
27 contact with material virus, but from the fear of the
disease and from the image brought before the mind; it
is a mental state, which is afterwards outlined on the
Pangs caused by the press
The press unwittingly sends forth many sorrows and
diseases among the human family. It does this by giv-
1 ing names to diseases and by printing long descriptions
which mirror images of disease distinctly in thought. A
3 new name for an ailment affects people like a
Parisian name for a novel garment. Every one
hastens to get it. A minutely described dis-
6 ease costs many a man his earthly days of comfort. What
a price for human knowledge! But the price does not ex-
ceed the original cost. God said of the tree of knowledge,
9 which bears the fruit of sin, disease, and death, “In the
day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Higher standard for mortals
The less that is said of physical structure and laws, and
12 the more that is thought and said about moral
and spiritual law, the higher will be the stand-
ard of living and the farther mortals will be re-
15 moved from imbecility or disease.
We should master fear, instead of cultivating it. It
was the ignorance of our forefathers in the departments
18 of knowledge now broadcast in the earth, that made them
hardier than our trained physiologists, more honest than
our sleek politicians.
Diet and dyspepsia
21 We are told that the simple food our forefathers ate
helped to make them healthy, but that is a mistake.
Their diet would not cure dyspepsia at this
24 period. With rules of health in the head
and the most digestible food in the stomach, there would
still be dyspeptics. Many of the effeminate constitutions
27 of our time will never grow robust until individual opin-
ions improve and immortal belief loses some portion of its
Harm done by physicians
30 The doctor’s mind reaches that of his patient. The
doctor should suppress his fear of disease, else his belief
in its reality and fatality will harm his patients even more
1 than his calomel and morphine, for the higher stratum of
mortal mind has in belief more power to harm man than
3 the substratum, matter. A patient hears the
doctor’s verdict as a criminal hears his death-
sentence. The patient may seem calm under it, but he is
6 not. His fortitude may sustain him, but his fear, which
has already developed the disease that is gaining the
mastery, is increased by the physician’s words.
9 The materialistic doctor, though humane, is an art-
ist who outlines his thought relative to disease, and then
fills in his delineations with sketches from text-
12 books. It is better to prevent disease from
forming in mortal mind afterwards to appear on the
body; but to do this requires attention. The thought of
15 disease is formed before one sees a doctor and before
the doctor undertakes to dispel it by a counter-irritant,
– perhaps by a blister, by the application of caustic or
18 croton oil, or by a surgical operation. Again, giving an-
other direction to faith, the physician prescribes drugs,
until the elasticity of mortal thought haply causes a
21 vigorous reaction upon itself, and reproduces a picture
of healthy and harmonious formations.
A patient’s belief is more or less moulded and formed
24 by his doctor’s belief in the case, even though the doctor
says nothing to support his theory. His thoughts and his
patient’s commingle, and the stronger thoughts rule the
27 weaker. Hence the importance that doctors be Christian
Mind over matter
Because the muscles of the blacksmith’s arm are
30 strongly developed, it does not follow that
exercise has produced this result or that a
less used arm must be weak. If matter were the cause
1 of action, and if muscles, without volition of mortal
mind, could lift the hammer and strike the anvil, it
3 might be thought true that hammering would enlarge
the muscles. The trip-hammer is not increased in size
by exercise. Why not, since muscles are as material as
6 wood and iron? Because nobody believes that mind is
producing such a result on the hammer.
Muscles are not self-acting. If mind does not move
9 them, they are motionless. Hence the great fact that
Mind alone enlarges and empowers man through its
mandate, — by reason of its demand for and supply of
12 power. Not because of muscular exercise, but by rea-
son of the blacksmith’s faith in exercise, his arm becomes
Latent fear subdued
15 Mortals develop their own bodies or make them sick,
according as they influence them through mortal mind.
To know whether this development is produced
18 consciously or unconsciously, is of less impor-
tance than a knowledge of the fact. The feats of the gym-
nast prove that latent mental fears are subdued by him.
21 The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes
the achievement possible. Exceptions only confirm this
rule, proving that failure is occasioned by a too feeble
Had Blondin believed it impossible to walk the rope
over Niagara’s abyss of waters, he could never have
27 done it. His belief that he could do it gave his thought-
forces, called muscles, their flexibility and power which
the unscientific might attribute to a lubricating oil. His
30 fear must have disappeared before his power of putting
resolve into action could appear.
Homer and Moses
When Homer sang of the Grecian gods, Olympus was
1 dark, but through his verse the gods became alive in a
nation’s belief. Pagan worship began with muscularity,
3 but the law of Sinai lifted thought into the
song of David. Moses advanced a nation to
the worship of God in Spirit instead of matter, and il-
6 lustrated the grand human capacities of being bestowed
by immortal Mind.
A mortal not man
Whoever is incompetent to explain Soul would be wise
9 not to undertake the explanation of body. Life is, always
has been, and ever will be independent of
matter; for life is God, and man is the idea
12 of God, not formed materially but spiritually, and not
subject to decay and dust. The Psalmist said: “Thou
madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy
15 hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet.”
The great truth in the Science of being, that the real
man was, is, and ever shall be perfect, is incontrovertible;
18 for if man is the image, reflection, of God, he is neither
inverted nor subverted, but upright and Godlike.
The suppositional antipode of divine infinite Spirit
21 is the so-called human soul or spirit, in other words
the five senses, — the flesh that warreth against Spirit.
These so called material senses must yield to the infinite
24 Spirit, named God.
St. Paul said: “For I determined not to know any-
thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
27 (I Cor. ii. 2.) Christian Science says: I am determined
not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and