I was waking every day, feeling as if I’d slept awkwardly on an arm, and my mornings were becoming increasingly unpleasant. A chronic pain had been developing in my shoulder over the course of several months. Sleeping on the arm at night seemed to prolong and aggravate the condition, leaving me feeling I’d never be free of it.
Then, as I sat at my desk at work one day, I felt the discomfort again. I turned from what I was doing to quietly pray and think about things. I was immediately struck by the sense that pain had a place of habitation—a place in the body to exist, hang out, and develop. If there really was a material substance within which pain could harbor—if pain could take root, find refuge, and reside inside a material shoulder—wouldn’t I have to accept the sensation as legitimate, and could I rid myself of it?
What followed was some mental wrestling over the nature of real substance. I silently declared I did not have a material body which was part of myself—an idea borrowed from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, which declares it an “erroneous postulate … that matter is intelligent, and that man has a material body which is part of himself” (pp. 91–92).