Spiritually based immunity
As society seeks a solution to the current pandemic, including immunity from contagion, Christian Scientists willingly abide by any legal requirements. They do so in a spirit of neighborly love for others.
However, Christian Science emphasizes the mental nature of what we experience. So while medical researchers look to the material body as the site of the problem and to a vaccine as a solution, followers of the Science of Christ identify matter-based thought as the cause of disease, and God-impelled thought as the cure, thereby following the biblical teaching that says of a man, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Whatever we accept in consciousness as our own thinking will sooner or later be made manifest in our experience. Hence the necessity not to admit into our consciousness anything that would belittle or deny the nature of God, good, and consequently, our own.
In the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy points out the underlying mental nature of disease when she writes about the need to exterminate “all the mental microbes of sin and all diseased thought-germs” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 164). Whether unintentionally or deliberately, we invite in “diseased thought-germs,” or error, by hosting fearful and sinful thoughts in our consciousness.
Mrs. Eddy once wrote to a student, “Error comes to you for life, and you give it all the life it has” (Irving C. Tomlinson, Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, Amplified Edition, p. 98).
The only way corruptive thoughts, be they fear or hate or egotism, can gain life or expression in our experience is if we lend them our identity by saying, “I am fearful; I am hateful; I am vulnerable,” and then live them out in our lives.
Among the myriad mental agents lodged in a materialistic consciousness, one finds spiritual apathy, which needs to be challenged at all times. Unchallenged, it could result in the assimilation of wrong thought, endanger one’s progress, and deaden one’s desire to know and love God more deeply. But knowing God’s perfect selfhood, and man as made in His image and likeness, will result in step-by-step release from mortality—which is the fundamental, universal pandemic humanity needs to be saved from.
Knowing God’s perfect selfhood and man as His reflection will result in step-
by-step release from mortality.
The last thing any of us truly wants is to have our consciousness animated by material-mindedness. Just the opposite. As practical and normal as it is to wash our hands, so is the greater need to cleanse our thoughts of materialism.
It’s helpful to ask ourselves, Is thought tipping our experience toward God or away from Him? Do we let our thinking be governed by the divine Mind, the one infinite consciousness, the source of all health and harmony, or by an ungodlike (and therefore unreal) consciousness called mortal mind, which represents an inversion of all that is good?
It is in this false consciousness that we find all sin, disease, and death. Yet this consciousness of corporeality, which is mortal mind’s playground, can be denied and deprived of any identity. We do this by gaining true self-knowledge, the awareness of our spiritual identity in God, divine Mind, in whom “we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). In this Mind we have eternal safety.
Righteousness, or right-mindedness, keeps our consciousness immune to viral attacks of ungodlike thoughts. Nothing is as contagious as thought, for either good or evil. That’s why it is so important to practice mental distancing—to erect a mental barrier between our consciousness and the apparent widespread acceptance of material theories. Because the door to our consciousness can only be opened from within, we can forbid the entrance of anything that is harmful or destructive. But if an army of aliens—materialistic, frightened thoughts—charges into consciousness through a mental door left open and unattended, the way to correct the intrusion is by honest self-examination.
“Watch, and pray daily that evil suggestions, in whatever guise, take no root in your thought nor bear fruit. Ofttimes examine yourselves, and see if there be found anywhere a deterrent of Truth and Love, and ‘hold fast that which is good,’ ” Mrs. Eddy instructs us (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 128–129). Refusing to give our consent to evil suggestions—negative and unchristly thoughts—refusing to give them life and holding to the reality of good will bring immunity from error of every kind—whether poverty, loneliness, sickness, or any other ill that plagues humanity.
Any pandemic, in order to have power over us, needs the individual’s consent. One’s tacit agreement with the majority opinion about a disease can determine the fear and the severity of the symptoms involved in the case. But yielding to divine Truth brings release from the multitude of popular gloom-and-doom assumptions, predictions, and opinions. That’s why the Psalmist tells us, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee” (Psalms 91:7).
When we fill consciousness with the Christly qualities of helpfulness, kindness, love, compassion, humility, satisfaction, holiness, and happiness—and put them into practice—there will be fewer and fewer manifestations of disease, for we experience what we entertain in consciousness, be it good or bad. Being well demands a growing goodness, or Christliness, of thought and conduct. Letting the divine Mind be expressed in us, we can refuse to lay claim to a mortal mind that begets selfish, materialistic thinking and so carries infection. As we increasingly become free from mortal or self-centered thinking, our bodies will be less susceptible to illness and disease, thanks to our growing understanding and love of God, who “healeth all [our] diseases” (Psalms 103:3).
Nothing is as contagious as thought, for either good or evil.
In all aspects of life, Christian Scientists look to their Exemplar, Christ Jesus, for guidance. His life perfectly manifested the Christ, the ideal man of God’s creating. How did our Master deal with contagious and infectious diseases, and what can we learn from him? The Bible reports that he was not afraid to touch lepers and that he did so without any ill effect on himself (see Matthew 8:2, 3). The Bible also tells us that he healed “as many as had plagues” (Mark 3:10). He pitted against error the power of a pure life. He did not concede any power to disease because he knew God had not made it.
The Mind of Christ was the only “medicine” or curative power Jesus used against all forms of discord that he confronted. The spirituality that was native to Jesus—and to us— must become our mentality more and more by our expression of the Christly qualities of mercy and justice, of purity and goodness. Then we shall see that the love of God revealed in Christ can inspire us to bring our noblest love to the gravest need.
Love for God and man is the antidote for hate and fear and extinguishes them before they corrupt human character. Divine Love eliminates fear by virtue of its ever-presence. We love humanity and seek to do everyone good because we love God foremost. This action patterns the divine Love, which, like the sun, shines on the just and the unjust, the righteous and the unrighteous, the young and the old, the male and the female, regardless of race, nationality, or any other material factors.
Practicing this love that reflects divine Love is following the teaching of our Master, who said, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). The essence of love is that it can be directed toward everyone—including the so-called unlovable and unlovely, even the hostile. Love is a panoply against any trouble.
The understanding of our real selfhood as God-created, God-protected, and God-maintained holds the issues of survival. No material germs can enter or attach themselves to man’s spiritual being. Protection from contagion is found in the demonstration of real consciousness, the consciousness which is God-bestowed and which constitutes our real, indestructible selfhood. In this consciousness we no longer give life to matter-based beliefs—to what has no actual life—but entertain only the spiritual ideas of God. We have the Savior, life-giving and life-restoring Truth and Love, ever with us. And this power rids the world of its fears of germ-induced disease.
Mary Baker Eddy says on page 116 of Miscellany, “At a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists endeavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion.”