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Energy that is plentiful—and safe

From the July 18, 2011 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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A noisy conversation sprang up in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. At its heart was a concern for the early 21st century and beyond: What source will produce energy that is both plentiful enough to meet humanity’s voracious demands, but safe enough to still the concerns of an increasingly uneasy public? Continuing problems at the Fukushima plant raise questions about the role nuclear power should play in meeting humanity’s energy needs, especially given public concern about safety and the nagging issue of nuclear waste and its radioactive half-life of more than 10,000 years.

What is the best source of power? Similar, equally noisy conversations continue to rattle on about the merits and demerits of coal, of oil, of natural gas, even of hydroelectric. How plentiful is the energy from each source? How safe is it for us, for the oceans, for the atmosphere, for the land, for the planet’s nonhuman inhabitants? Will there always be a trade-off—plenty or safety?

A far quieter but profoundly more significant conversation follows a less-traveled path. It explores a line of spiritual reasoning tracing back to the divine source of all true energy. This spiritual reasoning begins with the one Almighty God who, in Bible times, stilled storms and rolled back a sea. This is the God who is both limitless Spirit and infinite Mind. The energy emanating from this divine source is both abundant and benign, both plentiful and safe.

To quietly realize something of the genuine nature of God involves an awakening. It involves a consequential turn to Him. This mental and spiritual act first transforms one’s outlook, and next inevitably transforms one’s experience. Then needs get met. Safety and plenty are found side-by-side.

An episode from the Old Testament illustrates. Think of Moses: Early in his career, when very much in need of proof that the Almighty was present for him, he came across a burning bush that did not burn up (see Ex. 3:2). Perhaps this early event readied him for the later experience when, leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses was guided by God in the form of a pillar of fire by night, and of cloud by day. This pillar figured prominently in the Israelites’ deliverance. It had a plentiful—in fact, an infinite—power supply. And additionally, the pillar, a tangible sign of God’s guidance, was key to the safety of them all.

The plenty and the safety of divine energy—entirely spiritual facts—get expressed on the day-to-day, human scene.

Sentinel founder Mary Baker Eddy found that the divine energy of God, Spirit, was so tangible and palpable it could be felt. She also found that Spirit’s opposite, material power, was so fraudulent it could be no match to the all-power of Spirit. She wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy” (p. 249). To feel and to know the realness of Spirit, and of Spirit’s energy, is to mentally move into a spiritual realm. As one’s consciousness abides in this realm, limits of thought recede. Outside-the-box reasoning expands. The plenty and the safety of divine energy—entirely spiritual facts—get expressed on the day-to-day, human scene.

Consciousness, filled with inspiration from the Mind that is God, tends to lift the mental environment for everyone. This consciousness becomes a kind of spiritual underpinning for positive endeavors—including those of the experts in energy development. People may know nothing about the leavening impact one individual’s inspired consciousness may have on the overall mental climate. Yet those people still benefit. Inspiration has a way of spilling over and delivering a widely felt, often little understood, blessing that can help innovators grow more innovative and can open up new answers.

To take one example, a potential game-changer in the energy world grabbed headlines a few months back. Researchers announced the creation of an “artificial leaf”—an energy source that mimics how plants generate energy. It’s the size of a credit card, runs on a tiny amount of water, and is ten times more efficient than an actual leaf. Its impact, especially in the developing world, could be immense if it lives up to its promise.

That’s just one useful reminder that wonderfully outside-the-box solutions still occur today, as they occurred during Moses’ day. All it takes is one person willing to quietly turn to Mind, the source of all inspiration. Experts and nonexperts are lifted by our prayers, at least in some degree, to develop and discover useful answers to stubborn problems. The plenty and the safety, so characteristic of “the divine energy of Spirit,” appear in practical ways—and everyone benefits.

Channing Walker is a Christian Science practitioner. He lives in Mountain Center, California.

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