Winning the War of Nerves

Our English word "nerves" has many facets. Aside from the physiological aspect, it may present phases of human thought both desirable and distasteful. For instance, if one is said to have "nerve," he may be either bold, intrepid, and plucky or possessed of effrontery, insolence, and cheek. During the present hectic days of global stress, a new expression has been much in vogue—"the war of nerves." This indicates even another connotation of this many-sided word, for certainly the so-called "war of nerves" is nothing more nor less than the attempt to defeat and confound an enemy by undermining his morale, through striking at his power of endurance, which, Webster says, "is mental rather than physical."

Did not Christ Jesus illustrate how to wage successful war on the carnal mind's miserable argument of unruly nerves, apprehension, fear? Note his experience during a severe storm on the Galilean lake. Whilst the little craft on which he and his disciples were sailing was being tossed about dangerously by the fury of the waves, Jesus was peacefully sleeping. Very evidently the great Teacher was not afflicted with "nerves." When his fellow passengers awoke him, he serenely and without any manifestation of fear "arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm." Then he asked his awestricken disciples, "Where is your faith?" Did he not indicate that none of them would have been nervous or fearful had they grasped the spiritual truths he had been teaching and exemplifying? Therefore faith, merged into spiritual understanding, is the great panacea for nerves, nervousness, and all that these terms imply.

In fact, most medical men will ungrudgingly admit that Christian Science treatment is efficacious in many cases of nervous disorders. Such admissions, however, are based on the mistaken assumption that Christian Science practice is a form of mental suggestion or self-hypnosis; whereas our treatment is' spiritually mental—is Christian prayer in its highest and most sacred sense. And let it be added here that the Christian Scientist does not limit God's healing power to so-called nervous diseases. Certainly, the great Healer of Galilee made no distinction between functional and organic maladies. Such problems as the stilling of a storm, the quieting of fear, the healing of stubborn physical disease, were handled with equal facility through his understanding of Soul's complete control over material sense. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" our inspired Leader, Mary Baker Eddy writes (p. 216): "The understanding that the Ego is Mind, and that there is but one Mind or intelligence, begins at once to destroy the errors of mortal sense and to supply the truth of immortal sense. This understanding makes the body harmonious; it makes the nerves, bones, brain, etc., servants, instead of masters." Then farther on she admonishes (ibid., p. 393), "Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government." Here, then, is epitomized the glowing, spiritual consciousness that can carry one victoriously through a war of nerves—be this war national or personal—whether such warfare finds men and women on the battle fronts of Europe or Asia or in quieter pursuits at home.

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Sincerity Courageous
July 15, 1944

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