A new view of normal

We long for constancy in our lives. So it’s not unusual to hear someone speak with trepidation about a “new normal.” Whether this comes from an impatience to get back to “normal” or a concern that there is no going back to the old “normal,” it begs the question, What really is “normal”? Can there ever be a “normal” that is certain and consistently good? 

Mary Baker Eddy, in her pioneering works on spirituality and healing, put forward what some would consider a rather unconventional view of constancy. A search for the word normal in her extensive writings uncovers several concepts she apparently considered fundamental facts of existence: Health is normal. Harmony is normal. Good is normal. (See, for example, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 200.) 

Looking around and seeing the news, one might not necessarily reach the same conclusion. In fact, in her own life, Mrs. Eddy faced considerable illness, loss, and hardship. And yet, she grew to view these experiences not with resignation, but with a spiritual conviction that health, harmony, and good are in fact normal, natural, and inevitable. This conviction was based on an understanding of good as the very definition of God. She writes of God as divine Principle—consistent, universal, changeless good—and of the true identity of each of us as spiritual, made in God’s image, as the Bible says. Understanding Principle to be only good and the only cause, it follows that everything that proceeds from Principle must be good and that good must be the only reality. If unvarying good is the fact of being, and we’re each actually spiritual, then illness, discord, accident, and injustice have no standing in this spiritual creation. Here is a “new normal” to be reckoned with!

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April 19, 2021

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