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From the June 1961 issue of The Christian Science Journal

People unacquainted with Christian Science may ask how it is possible for material conditions to be changed by spiritual thinking and how a body, generally thought to be material, can be healed by spiritual means. Indeed the use of the word "miracle," implying an occurrence contrary to natural law or the usual order of events, for spiritual healing implies widespread disbelief in the possibility of control by thought over what most people believe to be material.

This skepticism arises from a lack of understanding of the relation between consciousness and the body: from the belief that matter is a substance, existing independently of thought and created long before human thought began. Most people think that a human being is partly physical and partly mental and that his thought has little or no influence on most of his bodily functions.

 Neither natural scientists nor philosophers have reached agreement as to the relative importance of consciousness and the supposedly material body or the relation between them. Theories range from the purely materialistic, which assumes that consciousness is the manifestation, or result, of very complex chemical and physical reactions proceeding in the cells which compose the brain, to the idealistic, in which matter is believed to be a form of thought existing as a mental image in consciousness. But few if any idealistic philosophers appear to have attained much control over that form of thought which they identify with matter; nearly all philosophers admit without question that thought resides in the brain and attach great importance to the evidence of the physical senses.

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