THE discovery that the human race lives in a universe of Mind and not, as the physical senses would have it, in a material world, has different effects on different individuals. As a rule, however, men and women catch at first only a very faint glimpse of the absolute Science of Life, the Science of Mind, and consequently fail to comprehend the measure of patient endeavor and self-purgation required before its Principle and rules can be demonstrated satisfactorily.
Thus it happens that newly kindled hope not infrequently looks expectantly for the complete solution of the most complex problems of human existence as a certain and immediate result of the mere admission that things are not what they seem to be. Such a mental state to a large extent temporarily obscures humanity's native longing for better things which alone earns the reward of spiritual regeneration. For the time being, the quest for relief from the more easily recognized bondage of discord and disease absorbs an undue share of the student's energy.
Some time, indeed, may elapse before the student can finally leave behind him the superstitions of scholastic theology and recognize God, divine Principle, and His unvarying laws, with sufficient clearness to comprehend that the conquest of material discord is attained only in conjunction with readiness to sacrifice the seeming pleasures of matter. Until then, not detecting that the cause of his woes lies in the ignorance, the conceit, and the subtle and hidden selfishness of mortal mind, one looks eagerly for improvement in his worldly conditions without in the least understanding the moral reform with which these must synchronize. He experiences some little success, perhaps, since his motives are honest according to his light, and he is less afraid than hitherto; but justice requires that mortal man make some effort to save himself from the effects of sin, by overcoming in himself the evils of the fleshly nature, before he can be accounted worthy to attain the kingdom of heaven, "the reign of harmony in divine Science" (Science and Health, p. 590).