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Growing spiritually— "unfoldment, not accretion"

From the July 1980 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Somewhere along the way we may have picked up the notion that spiritual growth is accomplished by constantly adding spiritual ideas to the memory banks of a computer-like consciousness— the premise being that spiritual growth is the mere accumulation of spiritual facts. If we go along with this belief, we may find ourselves unthinkingly reading, and perhaps collecting, everything we can find on the subject of Christian Science, in hopes it will make us more spiritual.

Eventually we must come to see that growing spiritually does not mean filling up a mortal with spiritual ideas. Divine ideas are never really outside consciousness. We all radiate spiritual qualities through our reflection of Spirit, and this is genuine growth. The truths we glean from our study of the Science of Christ instruct us and inspire us. But it's our expression, our "pressing out," so to speak, of Godlike thoughts, that results in the regeneration so often thought of as spiritual growth. "Christian Science presents unfoldment, not accretion; it manifests no material growth from molecule to mind, but an impartation of the divine Mind to man and the universe," Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 68; writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

Being reminded that man is incorporeal and perfect, which Christian Science reiterates, does give us pause. We're apt to wonder how we can grow into something we already are.

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