Q: In Unity of Good Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Those who reach this transition, called death, without having rightly improved the lessons of this primary school of mortal existence, — and still believe in matter’s reality, pleasure, and pain, — are not ready to understand immortality. Hence they awake only to another sphere of experience, and must pass through another probationary state before it can be truly said of them: ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord’ ” (pp. 2–3). How does this differ from the belief in reincarnation?
A: Reincarnation has varied definitions. Most are based on the concept that the soul, after death, begins a new life in a new body. Such concepts are worlds apart from Mary Baker Eddy’s understanding of life.
In order to understand the nature of man, Eddy, instead of starting with man, starts with God. She recognizes that the key to understanding man lies in understanding man’s relationship to God. She sees that it is not that God gives man a life that is separate from God. God is Life itself. God, literally, is man’s life. Since this is the case, man’s life doesn’t come or go, start or end— it is. It manifests the constantly unfolding vitality of God’s love for His creation.
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