Leaving Christian Science is a journey that takes a long time for some people. In my case, I found it very easy to turn my back on it, but very hard to let go of the CS fanaticism. I took up Eastern Religion and Buddhism with immense enthusiasm when I left. But instead of listening to the simple message of accepting how things are and letting go of my sense of self importance, I spent hundreds of hours reading and searching for examples of healings and miraculous transformations. I was so brainwashed by growing up in Christian Science that my way of evaluating spiritual effectiveness was whether there was any evidence of physical healings.
Mary Baker Eddy, of course, ripped off a lot of Eastern religion when she started Christian Science, mostly the non-duality aspect around letting go, so Buddhism didn’t seem like much of a stretch for me. Except of course, she changed this simple and rewarding practice of letting go into something corrosive that makes people go steadily mad as they keep trying to let go inside to effect an outside change. A change that never happens, which makes them start obsessing about holding on to letting go so they can experience God’s love in their bodies, bank accounts, social lives etc. ‘Have I let go enough yet? No healing, must let go more!’ Repeat until insane.
They say that the only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing. That’s the polar opposite of CS where we are taught from birth that we know everything, and the more we know the more we can control everything and everyone else. It took me a long time, but I eventually, by a process of endlessly walking into the same hole and floundering around trying to get out, realised all over again that Christian Science does not work, and that’s when I finally mostly freed myself of it. And it wasn’t that long ago either.
I would still say I am Buddhist—the simple forest tradition, mostly, which just focuses on awareness of impermanence and letting go. I like that it doesn’t make any attempt to explain why the world is like it is. CS put me off metaphysical explanations of reality. I just don’t think anyone knows. Though I don’t necessarily disbelieve in God, I can’t begin to imagine what God might mean. On the plus side, when I did finally accept this the feeling of relief was tremendous. Like finally laying down a very heavy burden.