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From the August 1932 issue of The Christian Science Journal


MUCH is written in these present times on what is called the high standard of living. The conclusion seems to be that a high standard of living means the possession and enjoyment of a multiplicity of material objects, or that the greater the number of one's material possessions the higher one's standard of living.

Now there is nothing wrong in the possession of many domestic conveniences, or in an income greater than that actually needed for the purchase of ordinary human comforts. The wrong is in decreeing that such wealth, in itself, raises its possessor to a high standard of living. If this were a fact, then the Roman governor, Pilate, who lived in splendor built on materiality, possessed a higher standard of living than did Jesus the Christ. Yet, who today, understanding even a modicum of the truth taught by Jesus, will make such an assertion? Who, with such understanding, will deny the most exalted place to Jesus and his teaching—the precepts which he taught and lived? And these precepts were the result of Jesus' thinking—his high standard of thinking. It was his thinking that raised him above Pilate and gave him his high standard of living.

It is this high standard of living that Christian Science is establishing in the world. It has, primarily, to do with right thinking, not with the accumulation of material possessions. In fact, right thinking is the only true basis of right living. Any other, based merely on material wealth, is a low standard in comparison. A lawbreaker can build himself a palace, engage a staff of servants, fill his house with costly furnishings, entertain lavishly, and buy himself all the more expensive pleasures of material living; yet his actual standard of living will be far lower than that of Thoreau in a hut among the trees.