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TRUE INDIVIDUALITY VERSUS MATERIAL PERSONALITY

From the August 1935 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Among the many problems common to human existence with which the Christian Scientist is confronted, is the necessity of making a clear distinction between material personality and true individuality, and of learning the scientific attitude toward each. To gain the right solution to this problem is of especial importance to the student of Christian Science. This distinction clearly seen and firmly held to is a great factor in the healing of all material discords and in the gaining of that "stature of the fulness of Christ" which constitutes the measure of the real man.

Material personality is wholly a counterfeit; individuality is a divine idea. A counterfeit, that is, a material belief, whatever its apparent nature, has no foundation in fact, no existence apart from the so-called mortal or carnal mind. That is to say, it is a falsity, nothing, because in reality there are no mortal or carnal minds. Since the one Mind, God, is infinite, there cannot be minds many. To this false sense of man termed material personality attaches all the round of erroneous beliefs which constitute so large a part of human experience. The very foundation, then, of this counterfeit of the real man termed personality ultimately falls of its own weight into utter nothingness.

On the other hand, individuality, man's true selfhood, is substantial, since it reflects Spirit, the only substance; it is eternal, since it is God's reflection, coexistent with Him; it is intelligent, because it is the idea of infinite Mind. Mrs. Eddy declares, "The spiritual man's consciousness and individuality are reflections of God" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 336). Individuality, true selfhood, consists of ideas, the qualities of God reflected in man. Hence it is permanent, because God's reflections are perfect and permanent. And, moreover, since God's creation is orderly, man, as idea, is always in his rightful place. He is forever doing God's will, since he is fulfilling the creative purpose. He is never static, that is, never stands still, is never motionless, since he forever expresses the omniactivity of the one Mind. And according to Christian Science, this one Mind is omniactive, that is, in perpetual motion. This motion, however, has no relation to space; it is unfoldment. Of man's constant development, our Leader writes (Science and Health, p. 258), "God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis."

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