In her book Miscellaneous Writings, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science wrote about finding our spiritual identity. On page 185:7 she says “Self renunciation of all that constitutes a so-called material man, and the acknowledgment and achievement of his spiritual identity as the child of God, is Science that opens the very flood-gates of heaven, whence good flows into every avenue of being, cleansing mortals of all uncleanness, destroying all suffering, and demonstrating the true image and likeness. There is no other way under heaven whereby we can be saved, and man clothed with might, majesty, and immortality.”
What is self renunciation? Self-renunciation means the renouncing of one’s false sense of identity. It means the realization that the identity of the so-called mortal, material person running around claiming to be you is a myth, a nothingness, nobody, the liar, and the father of the lie. Why does she refer here to material man as “so-called” material man?
The valid man, the man who was created by God is spiritual man. The invalid man is the opposite, or inverse, of the valid man. The valid man being spiritual, the invalid man is necessarily not spiritual, but is the opposite of spiritual – namely, material. Material man is therefore an imposter. He is invalid! Material man is just another name for carnal man, the “old” an of whom Paul spoke when he said in Colossians 3:9 “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”
As a mental starting point one must clearly and firmly understand that God is the real, the substantial, and the one infinite. Because God is infinite, then God, Principle, Love, is necessarily the ONLY real. Where there is infinitude, all that is unlike the contents of infinitude is excluded, non existent. No place is left for a second infinitude. The fact of infinitude makes the opposite to God, called evil, impossible. Neither evil nor matter can exist within the all-encompassing realm of Spirit, for they oppose the admittedly infinite Spirit and goodness. There can be no outside of an all-encompassing infinite realm. That’s the basis of the very important statement Mrs. Eddy makes on page 275:6 of the Christian Science textbook about “starting point”. She writes says there “The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, — that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle.”
This infinitude called Spirit, the realm of the real, perfect, and permanent, IS reality. It is God’s reality, for God is All, and contains all. God is All-in-all. We can never suppose anything within this reality. In the realm of the real we always know, and we never suppose. We know everything within this reality, simply because it IS. Everything in the spiritual realm exists, is permanent and is substantial. Therefore, anything that can be supposed which is outside of the spiritual realm, IS NOT. And matter is impossibly outside of the infinite spiritual realm. The only way for IS NOT to seem like IS, is for it to be supposed in thought. There is an infinitude of things that can be supposed. All of them “ARE NOT”. And the only man who can suppose also is not, for God’s man is spiritual, and God’s man knows only God and God’s ideas. Therefore the man who supposes is not, and therefore he is material man.
Let us examine the concept of supposition more closely. An obvious example of a supposition would be the statement that 2+2=5. That “IS NOT” true. But it can be supposed to be true, and that supposition must be carried out my a false sense of man’s identity. 2+2=5 is a lie. It can be supposed to be the truth by the man who is not, and it is known to be a lie by the man who is. To believe the supposition will get you nowhere in mathematics except into a state of confusion. To the misinformed student of math, 2+2=5 is a “so-called” fact. Of course it is not true, and those who understand math know that. But the misinformed student is ignorant, and believes the supposition.
Following exactly the same logic, the statement that man is material is, to the misinformed world, a “so-called” fact. It is supposed to be true by so-called material man, and it is also known to be a lie by the real man. So, each time we refer to material man, we include the modifier “so-called’ to emphasize that material man is a myth, a lie. He is not an entity separated from God and existing in another realm called the material realm. He simply is not. And the so-called material realm is not. The material man exists in the realm of supposition, in the realm of thought where the lie of 2+2=5 can be supposed to be true. That should clarify the repeated use of “so-called” in Christian Science. We never want to encourage the belief that a material realm has any substance at all, and to remember constantly that matter is only supposition, never knowledge or fact.
Matter is not made up of Spirit. Matter is always a temporary expression of an eternal idea, a misrepresentation. Nothing composed of what is called matter is eternal. It is not possible to name an eternal piece of matter. Material forms are always doomed for destruction. Mrs. Eddy says this clearly on page 335:8. “There is nothing in Spirit out of which matter could be made,” Matter cannot be real because every characteristic of matter is opposite and contrary to every characteristic of Spirit, which is All, and is Real, because it IS. If a thing is impossible to destroy, it is substantial and eternal. If a thing can be taken apart and reduced to nothing, it is not substantial, and is material. Modern physicists are even proving this point right now. The eternality of a thing is in its idea, in thought. Reality is not in presentation, but in the idea behind the presentation. The presentation takes a physical form to human consciousness, but the idea behind it is unseen to the physical senses. The idea behind it is known only to spiritual sense. A substantial or spiritual thing is the presentation of a substantial thought, which IS. On the other hand, an insubstantial, or material idea, is the presentation of an insubstantial thought, which IS NOT.
Truth’s host is Spirit. Truth IS, and remains true whether or not consciousness witnesses it. It just IS. Truth is absolute. On the contrary, a lie opposes truth, and cannot be falsely accepted as truth unless a supposed consciousness witnesses it. The lie IS NOT, Being contrary to Truth, the lie’s host is matter. The lie does not exist on its own, but its inversion, Truth, does stand alone and absolute. The lie is only the insubstantial supposition of the opposite of infinite Truth.
In Spirit, God is both the truth teller and the Truth itself; the teller of truth and the father of the truth. Contrariwise, in matter, evil is both the liar and the lie itself; a liar and the father of it. Evil mocks and patterns the divine since it has no intelligence with which it can pattern anything. It is but an inverted shadow of the true. The mortal man is the liar, and hosts the lie. Turning it back around again, in Spirit, the real man tells the truth, and hosts the truth, of which God is the father. Hence, material mortal man is a liar, and the father of every supposed statement about matter. And every supposed statement about matter is a lie.