If we were all essentially physical entities, and if matter alone were real and causative, then there could be only one logical approach to preserving health, and that would involve material remedies. If, however, we are more than physical beings, then such a limited approach would be inadequate, and healing treatment would consist of gaining expanded views of our true nature as something other than a material machine. “Man is more than a material form with a mind inside, which must escape from its environments in order to be immortal,” observes the Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, in her insightful book about treatment and healing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 258).
If we are more than material forms, then it makes sense that treatment itself needs to take on more than material forms. Christian Science teaches that all of us, rather than being confined in matter, are actually unencumbered by it—unencumbered to such a degree that we are classified as God’s fully spiritual offspring. This means, then, that instead of striving to determine the effects of matter on matter, truly innovative breakthroughs about treatment must acknowledge the action and effects of thought, of God, and of spirituality.
Christ Jesus, who time and again proved the efficacy of healing spiritually, certainly came up against the world’s intense, materialistic perspectives. The Bible relates how, when the devil challenged him to use his prayerful skill to transform a rock into food, “Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).