What’s of no advantage? Well, the full statement from Science and Health (p. 42) reads:
The universal belief in death is of no advantage.
A couple months ago, a fellow Christian Scientist and I were talking about that very declaration, and they remarked how obvious it was—almost as if it were “Well—duh”!
But I had to ask my friend the question “Is it really obvious?
Think about it for a moment.
The vast majority of the world’s religions and philosophies, in some fashion, promote that death is actually beneficial.
It’s viewed as a “spiritual” threshold that leads to eternal life—one that may bring the individual to heaven, or perhaps to higher states of consciousness or nirvana. Some New Age philosophies speak in romanticized mystical terms of our molecules returning to the cosmos to become one with universal star matter, thus supposedly fulfilling the cycles of existence.
And, haven’t we all heard people who, while trying to make sense of the passing of another, refer to them as “being in a far better place”? Or those that actively pray that their loved one will pass so they can be with God in heaven rather than wither away?
Let’s not forget the right to die movement either, as well as the views of many practitioners of material medicine and psychology who encourage people to embrace death and to make their peace with it, as if it were a friend.
Even individuals who hold no religious views, or are opposed to such positions, speak of death as being a blessing if the deceased was in pain.
The list goes on and on.
Then given the world’s thought, is it really that obvious that death is of no advantage?
Far from it.
In this light, Mary Baker Eddy’s statement was and is nothing short of revolutionary. It challenged and still challenges the prevailing thought of the carnal mind—the belief of mortality and of a material, finite existence. The utterly false belief that we are separated from omnipresent God—separated from the spiritual fact and reality that Life is presently eternal!
So, before we relegate any of the statements in that most remarkable and life-transforming and saving of books, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, to just being obvious—an impulse, by the way that could not be from God—shouldn’t we instead be recognizing the priceless import of those spiritual ideas?
Ideas whose power enables us—moment-by-moment—to love God and to heal others as well as ourselves.
Ideas whose purpose is to save humanity!