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ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE

From the April 1964 issue of The Christian Science Journal


THAT which is absolute is perfect, free from imperfection or fault, free from mixtures, free from limitation, restriction, or qualification. God, Spirit, alone is absolute. In I John we read (1:5): "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all"; and (4:17), "As he is, so are we in this world." Mrs. Eddy states on page 102 of "Miscellaneous Writings": "God is like Himself and like nothing else. He is universal and primitive. His character admits of no degrees of comparison." Absolute simplicity and purity characterize all the manifestations of Spirit.

That which is relative is comparative. It is a mixture of contrary elements. Human consciousness is relative, being partially good and partially evil, partially true and partially false. This consciousness is the object of Christian salvation, which we achieve by applying that which is absolute to relative human thought. A transitional period ensues in which the good in human thought is preserved even while human thought itself is being corrected, transformed, redeemed.

That which is good in human consciousness is derived from God, infinite good. That which is evil in human consciousness is wholly deceptive and originates in the so-called carnal or mortal mind. Jesus was referring to this false sense of mind when he said to those who disagreed with him (John 8:43, 44): "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."