The algorithm of Spirit
Calculations! From the moment we wake up in the morning until we put our head on our pillow at night, we are often either making calculations or contending with calculations being made for us. Our own calculations might be about time management, financial responsibilities, or relationship commitments. Computer calculations based on algorithms might encourage us to buy something or attempt to influence us in more significant decision-making. No matter how well all of these calculations are managed, they are generally based on a finite, three-dimensional, material premise and therefore are limiting, sometimes even overwhelming.
But what if the concept of calculating what needs to be known or done is lifted out of a finite, material realm and into the infinite possibilities of Spirit, God? That’s where the algorithm of Spirit comes in. One definition of algorithm is “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations” (lexico.com). For me, this brings to mind a statement from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, offering a concise and complete rule for problem-solving: “God’s law is in three words, ‘I am All;’ and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law” (No and Yes, p. 30 ). Brilliant!
“I am All” establishes God, good, as the Principle and the baseline from which all being must proceed. It is a divine law that includes all of creation in the perfection and goodness of God’s nature—and excludes anything ungodlike.
The one infinite All-in-all sets aside and replaces calculations based on a limited, material view.
This law of God’s allness is at the core of what God revealed to Moses when telling him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. From the standpoint of material, and therefore finite, problem-solving approaches Moses could have used to calculate his prospects for success, the mission looked like certain failure. But the voice of God cut through Moses’ objections and concerns with “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14 ). And we know from the account in Exodus that as Moses acted with trust in the ever-present omnipotence of “I AM,” each need for food, water, and protection was met for those he was leading. The Exodus experience provides a biblical case study of how the one infinite All-in-all sets aside and replaces calculations based on a limited, material view, solving the very problem of finiteness itself.
So the algorithm of Spirit, the law of God’s allness, is supremely practical. It cuts through the mortal variables of chance, circumstances, and demands and impels harmony, health, supply, and freedom as the natural and inevitable outcomes of infinite good. All is God and God’s infinite expression, which includes each of us, so all must actually be Godlike and good. As we accept these spiritual precepts and reject anything unlike them, we increasingly see the ceaseless unfolding of good in our lives, and are assured that the only source necessary to the expression of God is God.
That’s what my husband and I experienced recently with a rental property in a distant city that we needed to sell. It had gone unattended during the COVID lockdown, and serious damage had occurred. We traveled to this city so that my husband could supervise the needed work, while I had time at a nearby hotel to accomplish a very demanding writing project.
I had my own expectations and calculations about how all this should work. But as days passed with repeated delays to the work on the property, I found myself praying to give up my careful calculations of how, when, and at what financial loss this would get done; I became willing to “roll up my sleeves” and significantly help with the house project. And I began to see that this dear house was actually an expression of God’s allness—of home, heaven, and harmony. I stopped thinking of it as an albatross and instead saw it as a blessing to all involved. I was yielding up material views and calculations regarding the project to the guidance of God, who is the one perfect Mind and infinite Love.
At one point, I became aware that a human algorithm—rather than inspired thought sourced in divine Mind and motivated by divine Love—was predicting when the property might sell. I wanted to be watchful not to depend on probability-based computer calculations to predict our experience.
As I prayed with a steady assurance of God’s allness and unfailing care for every detail involved, the property went from significantly challenged to refreshed and under contract above asking price—in less than a month. All those involved were blessed. We were in awe of how the turnaround and sale far exceeded human calculations. The neighborhood was also blessed with a beautified, viable property. And the law of Spirit’s All-in-allness being naturally and necessarily a universal blessing, the writing project was also completed.
Limiting, fear-producing material calculations and their prospects can be replaced by glorious results when “thought accepts the divine infinite calculus” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 520 ).
How reassuring it is that each of us can depend on, yield to, and demonstrate the certainty of the algorithm of Spirit and see its universal application. It is “the divine infinite calculus” that ultimately reveals everything and everyone in the embrace of “I am All.”
Susan Booth Mack Snipes, Guest Editorial Writer