“Oh God, I’m going to now read this Christian Science text… and it’s going to be heavy sledding… and I was stunned to read this absolutely magnificent kind of prose… Mary Baker Eddy was a wonderful writer… she writes gorgeously… and I kind of fell in love with it… I didn’t become a Christian Scientist, but I found it tremendously moving.” – Tony Kushner, talking about the title to his new play, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201405151000
If you were to venture onto Amazon and scroll through the reviews for Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook for Christian Science, you would see a lot of reviews from people who really loved this book, or really hated it, but very few reviews from people who walked away from this book with an “eh-so-so” feeling about it. (There are 51 five star reviews, 14 one star reviews, and only 4 people who gave the book two to four stars. http://www.amazon.com/Science-Health-Scriptures-Authorized-Trade/dp/0879520388/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0X6VT8G4FVS730E7129P)
I think one of the reviewers, Tobin Sparfield, explains this disparity really well in his review: “It should be addressed here… that many reviews are about the Christian Science Church rather than the book itself. Some individuals have had negative experiences with the Church/religion, and while their experiences are certainly valid, I am not about to defend the shortcomings of a human institution in this space. I do feel the need, however, to distinguish between a religion and its book.”
Although I might not be considered a very religious person, I am very grateful for what the study of Christian Science has brought into my life – the healings and my growing understanding of the Consciousness of Love. And I’m very grateful to Mary Baker Eddy, the author of Science and Health, for bringing us the textbook for Christian Science. Science and Health was published back in 1875, but it’s still timely today. Even in 1875 Eddy was talking about consciousness, the nothingness of matter, invention and discovery, evolution, and atomic power – topics that we see being discussed among those who study quantum physics and other physical sciences today. And the topics that are still being debated on religion discussion forums today are topics that she addressed and dealt with almost 150 years ago. God, she told us, was not an anthropomorphic being, but “God” was just another name for Love, Truth, Life, Spirit, Mind, Soul, Principle. Hell and heaven were not literal places, she told us, but states of mind. For her, the story of Adam and Eve was an allegory, not an actual event. She was progressive, far-thinking – a visionary.
The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, – he will look out from them upon the universe; and the florist will find his flower before its seed. Thus matter will finally be proved nothing more than a mortal belief, wholly inadequate to affect a man through its supposed organic action or supposed existence. Error will be no longer used in stating truth. The problem of nothingness, or “dust to dust,” will be solved, and mortal mind will be without form and void, for mortality will cease when man beholds himself God’s reflection, even as man sees his reflection in a glass. – Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures