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From the June 1917 issue of The Christian Science Journal

There is a belief among mortals that they can become the privileged possessors or owners of something. When through the usual process of law a man acquires property, he has a strong desire to erect a fence around it and to keep everybody else away. Then follows the belief which is universally acknowledged, that he owns a certain amount of the earth's surface and that the law protects and defends him in private possession thereof. He builds a house and occupies it, calls it his own, and no one is permitted to approach or to enter it contrary to his wishes without being considered a trespasser. In our present degree of development it is generally understood that property is something which should have an owner; that the earth and all that is contained therein may be divided into parts and parcels, and that different individuals may claim possession of more or less of it to the exclusion of others. All this, however, is based on the supposition that matter is substance and that man is the proprietor of it.

Through the illusive processes of mortal belief truth is apparently reversed; thoughts are externalized into things, and these things are claimed, held, and dominated by individuals. Some people have a large amount of property, others a little, while a great many have none at all. This apparently unequal distribution of material possessions fosters envy, jealousy, and strife, often provoking the one who finds himself deprived of his heart's desire into the use of questionable means, if not of physical force, to gain his object. It would be safe to say that nine tenths of all the war and contention in the world has been inaugurated and carried on because of the invasion of so-called property rights, or because of a desire to extend material possessions.

Just as soon as a man finds himself in possession of a certain amount of matter,—of houses or lands, of stocks or bonds,—he is besieged by a sense of personal responsibility for his wealth and a fear that he may at some time be dispossessed of it. The whole system of property rights and of the division of property is based upon the supposed substantiality of matter, an illusion which some day must be dispelled by the law of God, which declares that Mind is the only substance. This change may not be brought about all at once, but through right thinking and conduct there will in due time be established the true concept, namely, that "the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof." Rightfully speaking, everything in this world belongs to God, and through reflection to man, who is the image and likeness of God. When therefore we have reached the point in our demonstration where we can resolve things into thoughts, the multiplication of these thoughts will be possible, so that every individual may reflect and possess all that belongs to his Maker.

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