LIKE MOST TEXTBOOKS ON SCIENTIFIC SUBJECTS, Science and Health includes a glossary of terms. This glossary helps illuminate the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures. Mary Baker Eddy, the author of Science and Health, explained it this way: "In Christian Science we learn that the substitution of the spiritual for the material definition of a Scriptural word often elucidates the meaning of the inspired writer. On this account this chapter is added. It contains the metaphysical interpretation of Bible terms, giving their spiritual sense, which is also their original meaning" (p. 579).
This month, the Journal launches what will become an occasional feature, "The Language of Spirit." Contributors share stories of how gaining a clearer understanding of the original meaning—the spiritual sense—of individual terms has made the Bible more immediate and relevant—more current—to them, bringing special insights and even healing to their lives.
WEBSTER'S NEW WORLD COLLEGE DICTIONARY defines the word wilderness as: "an uncultivated, uninhabited region; ... any barren, empty, or open area,... a large confused mass or tangle." Doesn't sound very inviting or necessarily a good place to be! On the other hand, Mary Baker Eddy's description of wilderness in the Glossary of Science and Health provides a spiritual perspective that can help guide us through any wilderness-type experience we find ourselves in. The Glossary explains it this way: "Wilderness. Loneliness; doubt; darkness. Spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence" (p. 597).