Thursday, September 27, 2007


"Chemicalization" is a great term in Christian Science. It denotes the upheaval sometimes caused by change and progress. Mary Baker Eddy says it's not always pleasant, but it is a sign that things are on the move. Here's a selection of her thoughts on the subject (all from Science and Health).

What I term chemicalization is the upheaval produced when immortal Truth is destroying erroneous mortal belief. Mental chemicalization brings sin and sickness to the surface, forcing impurities to pass away, as is the case with a fermenting fluid. (p. 401)

The fermentation even of fluids is not pleasant. An unsettled, transitional stage is never desirable on its own account. (p. 65)

By chemicalization I mean the process which mortal mind and body undergo in the change of belief from a material to a spiritual basis. (p. 168)

I like the term and the concept because their clinical nature makes me feel unblamed for the shifts and changes my own progress sometimes cause. But the uncomfortable part of it—the unsettled feeling—motivates me to keep going until the change has fulfilled its promise.

It's not supposed to be pleasant. If it were pleasant, there we'd sit, basking in temporariness, always unfinished, floating aimlessly, too satisfied. It's being in that very uncomfortable boat that makes us pull for the shore.

So, I guess (I guess!), today I'm grateful that it's unpleasant. Being on the road to somewhere, even if it's a rocky road, at least means I’m moving forward.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 9/27/2007 08:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These words are part of the puzzle pieces God is putting together as I face a falsehood about my dear husband. Seeing him as God's reflection is a huge job....sorry to honestly admit. I need to side for truth and good.

At 5/07/2008 12:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...this is what I was looking for. I am in a class about Emma Curtis Hopkins, a student of Mary Baker Eddy. We were discussing chemicalization tonight and upon Googling the term for better clarification, I came across your blog entry. Thank you for the clarification, it really helped!

At 5/07/2008 09:15:00 PM, Blogger Laura Matthews said...

thank you! so glad it helped!

At 8/13/2009 02:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your explanation about chemicalization, especially the last quote:

"...the process which mortal mind and body undergo in the change of belief from a material to a spiritual basis."

I don't think that chemicalization has to be unpleasant, though. I think it definitely signifies a "change" from the material to a spiritual, but I don't think we should accept that it has to be painful or cause suffering. However. I do believe that chemicalization is indispensable to healing.

At 5/22/2010 07:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On p. 421 of Science & Health, Mrs. Eddy says to "... subdue the symptoms by removing the belief that this chemicalization produces pain or disease. ... when the fear is destroyed, the inflammation will subside."

So, if there appears to be any discomfort, our task is to know that this process does NOT and cannot cause pain or disease. This calms the fear and removes the false appearance of inflammation, pain, etc.

At 12/15/2011 06:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found this thread. Great information. How long must one endure the upheaval? Every time I treat for better health and financial prosperity, the proverbial sh*t hits the fan in a HUGE way. Mortgage foreclosure (the company has our payments but puts them in another account), bank account levies, worsening health. IRS trouble (we gross about $50K/year, & file every year, so how can we have IRS trouble?). This stuff seems to come out of the blue and is always really weird stuff.

Am I really on the brink of better health and prosperity, or bankruptcy?

At 12/15/2011 09:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, and thanks for leaving your comment.

I wish I had an easy answer for you. My experience is that we endure for as long as it takes us to learn whatever it is we need to learn in the given circumstance. It may be something practical, like learning how to manage money, or something more profound, like God is our abundant source of all good. Or, one may lead to the other, or vice versa. The bottom line, if you'll forgive the financial metaphor, is that we need to be learning every day. In this way, we know we're making progress.

I encourage you to be in touch with one of my practitioner friends, listed in the Fellow Bloggers section in the right navigation of the homepage of this blog. They can help you reason this through.

Hang in there.


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