Arresting violent thoughts

There are a number of statements from Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy that point to the mental nature of existence. And for me, these statements are a reminder that the images we hold in thought are integral to how we experience things, what makes us happy, what causes anxiety, how we live our lives. For example, there's this statement: "Close your eyes, and you may dream that you see a flower,—that you touch and smell it. Thus you learn that the flower is a product of the so-called mind, a formation of thought rather than of matter. Close your eyes again, and you may see landscapes, men, and women. Thus you learn that these also are images, which mortal mind holds and evolves and which simulate mind, life, and intelligence" (p. 71).

Each day presents us with any number of mental images, and it's not long before we learn that these images need to be watched carefully. They can sometimes be misleading; they're sometimes even evil or violent. Since our peace of mind, our mental health, and thereby our experience are tied to how and what we think, these images aren't to be taken lightly.

If we see in a movie or on television, for example, a violent scene that seems authentic or captivating, or even if we read graphic details of the world's latest atrocity, it's important— whether we're confronting fiction or actual news accounts—to determine prayerfully that the violent images are incapable of gaining any power to attract us, to harm us, or to hold us hostage. While we don't ignore human suffering, our course of thought must be conscientiously brought into line with the power of God's all-encompassing love and unopposable goodness, which He has for everyone. This is our best defense, and a sure way to help others. The spiritual perfection that God has created is what is absolutely true. To feel and know what is true helps us to arrest thoughts of violence, horror, or even self-destruction.

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Matt and God's army of angels
August 30, 1993

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