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Personality and paper dolls

From the March 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I was intrigued when I first read this statement by Mary Baker Eddy in a letter to one of her students: “There is no personality, and this is more important to know than that there is no disease” (Yvonne Caché von Fettweis and Robert Townsend Warneck, Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer, Amplified Edition, p. 229). Huh?

A recent Wednesday evening testimony meeting of our branch church included readings on the topic of “the one I, or Ego.” The Bible references and passages from Science and Health made it clear that man’s only real selfhood is a reflection of the one, infinite Ego, God. From God assuring Moses that He would tell him what to say to the children of Israel, to an egotistical Nebuchadnezzar losing his wits and his status until he saw that God alone had power, they brought the real “I” into focus and showed a personal sense of identity, separate from God, as unfounded and untrue.

The next morning, I explored this topic further in prayer. Soon, I began to see the connection between a personal sense of identity and all the problems that would plague us. For years, I had accepted that there is actually no such thing as a mortal personality—an identity combining good and bad traits—for as Mary Baker Eddy writes, truth and error “neither dwell together nor assimilate” (Science and Health, p. 466). But now I saw why it was so important to understand the unreality of personality.

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