To heal the hurt when opinions differ
When it comes to deciding how something should be done, there often is a wide range of opinions. And too often this threatens to disrupt friendships and the sweet sense of unity that can make working together so pleasant.
The basic spiritual fact is that it is the province of God to govern, and God is One. God is the one Mind, which each spiritual individuality reflects. The counterfeit of this all-good Mind is termed, in Christian Science, mortal mind, the carnal or material mind. As the divine Mind is one, this counterfeit mind is one, though it appears to be many.
So whenever differences of opinion threaten to disrupt friendship and harmony, we might well pause to consider that the argument may simply be this one mortal or human mind arguing with itself. Sometimes it's helpful to take the other side of the question and see how convincingly you can argue that point of view. We may quickly appreciate Mrs. Eddy's statement: "If we observe our mental processes, we shall find that we are perpetually arguing with ourselves; yet each mortal is not two personalities, but one." Unity of Good, p. 21;
We can look at any argument from the metaphysical perspective that it isn't between two people. Rather, it's two positions of the human mind. Usually one position is better than the other. When we defuse the situation by impersonalizing the argument, all are free to accept the higher one.
We don't want to lose the vitality of keenly debated issues. The mental sharpness required to explore all the facets of a situation will result eventually in finding the best action, the nearest right, that which is most universal in its blessing. Friendships need not be destroyed in the process.
This is true in political campaigns. It is a point to be prayed about that the same word—"campaign"—is used to designate a battlefield operation and a political effort. The former may not be without casualties, but the latter certainly can be, and it behooves all to pray to ensure this.
The more we understand spiritual being, the more the knowledge and reasoning of the one divine Mind supersede and replace material mentality. Actually, each one in his true spiritual identity includes and expresses such spiritual understanding.
If another person or many are caught up in the emotional excesses argument fosters, one individual clinging to the fact that Love is Mind, which Christian Science teaches, can do much toward stopping the destructive reactions. As he insists on loving, regardless of what others are doing, he is expressing the Love that is God. Since God is one, Love is one and can only be expressed as oneness. We don't love someone unworthy of love; everyone is worthy of love, whether to us he appears to be so or not. Our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, states it this way: "Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests upon its object." Science and Health, p. 248; As we insist upon loving, we're actually insisting on the worthiness of the one we would love.
And when we insist on expressing wisdom and right ideas from the one divine Mind, we're really supplying receptivity to those ideas. For the one and only Mind can know no opposition.
If, however, at any point we allow ourselves to express less than love, we are providing for animosity to be expressed to us also. The carnal mind apes the oneness of the divine Mind.
Much heartache can follow whenever differing viewpoints vie for popular acceptance, such as during national elections. This hurt can be foreseen and forestalled in many instances by spiritually alert thinkers who recognize the oneness of true being.
Often one's function is to bring out a different aspect of issues and, at times, in order to reach a just and intermediate position, to stand for a view that is not the most popular. But he doesn't have to be confined to that side or limited to that view. In the oneness of his true being he encompasses all, and this is demonstrated humanly in a more universal viewpoint and in the ability to refrain from mere mortal opinion. Reasoning from this spiritual standpoint allows us to respond to the demands of a changing situation without compromising our integrity. It keeps us open to act upon higher revelations of the Christ. It makes our opinions more valid and less vulnerable to foolishness.
Christ Jesus accepted the fundamental teaching of the Old Testament: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." Deut. 6:4; He explained its practical application and command thus: "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30, 31;
It is the oneness implicit in these commandments that underlies all unity and enables us, through Christ, to overcome that which hurts. Writes our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, "In divine Science, God is One and All; and, governing Himself, He governs the universe." Miscellaneous Writings, p. 258.
Anyone keeping his thought aligned with divine Science will find, when a particular issue is settled, that he escapes the false elation of getting his own way as well as the disappointment of losing. In a sense he will be at one with both the victor and the defeated and will be more able to heal those hurts not forestalled.BEULAH M. ROEGGE