Nothing is more important to a practical working knowledge of Christian Science than to make a clear distinction between the real and the unreal in all that we see and think and say and do. There is, perhaps, no better practice in Christian Science than to study the Bible and the writings of our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, asking ourselves with almost every sentence we read, "Does this refer to the absolute state of being or only to the human belief?" That many who are called Christian Scientists do not carefully make this distinction is woefully evident in their statements and acts, and the failure to do so accounts for much confusion of thought and inability to obtain that freedom which always accompanies the understanding of the truth.
The teaching of Christian Science is that all reality is absolute, that God the creator is infinite Mind, and His creation is purely spiritual, harmonious, and perfect, expressing or reflecting His own divine nature. But the material universe and all that it contains, including mortal man, is a dream or illusion; its states of being are never real or absolute, but are always states of belief, at times seemingly better or worse, but always really erroneous.
Christian Science teaches that to acknowledge God and His creation as the absolute and only real; continually to claim and declare that man and the universe are really spiritual and perfect; to see that in man, as God's idea, there is no element of evil, and to deny the material universe and material man as illusion, and all their states of being as only supposititiously good or bad concepts; that this mental work, sincerely done, will effect a change in mortal belief for the better, or to put it perhaps more accurately, will destroy the errors of mortal mind until material belief is replaced by spiritual understanding and mortal mind disappears. This change is clearly described on pages 115 and 116 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, as the "Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind."