People say I’m not your typical Christian Scientist.

I started practicing Christian Science in college, and 25 years later, I revised and updated the book most commonly linked to Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by 19th century icon, Mary Baker Eddy. I am not dedicated to church rituals, and I don’t avoid doctors―typical stereotypes associated with the faith. However, being typical or atypical doesn’t make me any more or less spiritual than my peers.

Religion serves as a framework for understanding and discovery, and the faith of Christian Science, a.k.a. divine Science, has proven itself very useful to me. I can attend Churches of Christ, Scientists, but I also can attend church services of other faiths and filter what I see and hear through my faith. My faith is a foundation, whereas, religions and religious organizations are only tools that twist and turn and loosen consciousness until metaphysical laws are discovered as supreme to physical laws (yes, religion can twist the wrong way too, but that is another article).

Christian Science is generally considered a fad church or New Age religion, first originating in the 19th century by religious reformer Mary Baker Eddy, however, there is far more to this faith than most people realize. Christian Science is not a church, but the study and witnessing of spiritual manifestation. Its teachings impress upon me the ability to be fully accountable for my life and to cultivate spiritual understanding.

As a tradition, Christian Science worships one Spirit, God. Person is likened to be the image of divine Spirit. A mortal humanlike God does not resonate with the faith of Christian Science.

Divine Science acknowledges God as infinite Love and they are allied to the teachings of the prophets and Christ Jesus. Answers to life’s questions are found, not in the materialist view, but in the spiritual view of Principe, God, interpreting well-being and purpose to the universe and humanity.

Despite the systematic teachings in texts, I’ve come to realize the knowledge of spiritual Being and its accompanying power can be traced through all time and many faiths. History echoes with the annals of people who have come face-to-face with glimpses of spirituality and who have experienced transforming spiritual power and peace.

I’ve noticed that my framework of Christian Science coincides with the intent not to extend mortality and not to be exclusive of humanity, but to become aware of immortality and unity. For example, when I landed in a hospital emergency room after a severe accident and was told my bleeding liver was fatal, and that they were preparing for an operation to stop the bleeding, I referred to my understanding of God as my life. Nothing can kill life.

I felt the affirmation of Life operating in my consciousness, painlessly sealing my conviction with gratitude and humility. The surgeon, or rather the monitors, confirmed that I was stabilizing and surgery became less imminent. The surgeon continued watching the monitors, and later agreed the liver surgery was unnecessary.

The surgeon and I had faith in healing. We met at the spiritual level of faith. Although our understandings differed―and the surgeon’s religion (so to speak) is physiological science, and mine is divine Science―we both witnessed healing, not only of the liver, but also of 2nd degree burns on half of my face.

Faith and spirituality are not confined to religious teachings, nor are they restricted to set religious habits. However, religion, when not overrated or underrated, can be helpful. The tenets of divine Science as found in Science and Health are basic and straightforward and can be explored extensively. However, a shred of divine Science has been potent enough to transform human life, just as a shred of habanera pepper is potent enough to give a jolt to chili.