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Handling chaos: A lesson from a vase

From the July 2024 issue of The Christian Science Journal

You may have noticed a growing use of the term chaos in the news media. It denotes confusion, disorder, or unpredictability occurring in physical bodies, the body politic, or nature. All such states convey a disquieting, false sense of the absence of control by a single governing power, or Principle. In his poem “The Second Coming,” thought to depict anti-Christ, William Butler Yeats puts it this way: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”

In fact, the concept of chaos hails from nothingness itself. The first chapter of the Bible mentions a dark void (see Genesis 1:2). John Milton named that void Chaos in his epic poem Paradise Lost, and an early American dictionary defines chaos as “that confusion, or confused mass, in which matter is supposed to have existed, before it was separated into its different kinds and reduced to order, by the creating power of God” (Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828). The generalized sense of the term, denoting disorder and confusion, is still common today.

Yet Christian Science shows the very concept of chaos to be false by revealing God as divine Principle and infinite Spirit, which fills all space and always has. In the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy explains: “The infinite has no beginning. This word beginning is employed to signify the only,—that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe” (p. 502). God is the sole creator, and because God is Spirit, His creation is wholly spiritual. Spirit never created matter, therefore matter never existed, even as a so-called void. The omnipresence of Spirit precludes any void, and the omnipotent divine Principle orders and governs the universe. 

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