Vaccines, immunity, and the pathway to health

Stopping COVID-19 is understandably an important focus these days. Many families are living with heart-wrenching stories from experiencing the disease or its impact. An end to it means long-awaited relief from the widespread fear, suffering, and disruption brought on by the pandemic. 

There’s a lot of hope that the vaccines that have begun to be distributed will do the trick, and this hope is based largely on the role vaccines have played in past efforts to stop other diseases. What is less considered, though, is the mental process going on in regard to all of this. Yes, mental. The cure of disease has a mental and actually spiritual nature to it. And this fact has significant implications that need to be understood and taken into consideration in the pursuit of health. 

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Along with instructing his followers to heal the sick, Christ Jesus asked them to “cast out devils” (Matthew 10:8). The term devils as used in the Bible is understood by people in a number of different ways. But one way we might think of the devils Jesus told us to cast out is as the tormenting human beliefs in an opposite power to God that can make us sick or sinful. And because Jesus so clearly understood God to be the supreme power that we can turn to in times of trouble, it is this same understanding of God that empowers our ability to meet this demand.

Life is essentially experienced in terms of thought. Nothing happens that has not come about from thought. What we see playing out physically in front of us is shaped by what we all accept as real and substantial. Ultimately, we’re always dealing with thoughts. And this is the case with sickness. 

Christian Science shows that sickness is not created or condoned by God, Truth.

Christian Science shows that sickness is not created or condoned by God, Truth. It reveals the universe to be the creation of infinite divine consciousness or Mind. St. Paul said of God, Mind, “In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Despite appearances, we can think of all real life as divine Spirit or Mind expressing itself through its ideas, which are governed by its spiritual laws. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy explains: “The supposed laws which result in weariness and disease are not His laws, for the legitimate and only possible action of Truth is the production of harmony. . . . 

“The so-called laws of health are simply laws of mortal belief. The premises being erroneous, the conclusions are wrong. Truth makes no laws to regulate sickness, sin, and death, for these are unknown to Truth and should not be recognized as reality” (pp. 183–184).

Science and Health also clarifies that contagion is a mental phenomenon rather than a physical one. “We weep because others weep, we yawn because they yawn, and we have smallpox because others have it; but mortal mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection” (p. 153).

Similarly, although the development of a vaccine is a rigorous process whereby scientists feel they are discovering what matter can do for us, this process is based on a sense of life as sustained in matter. When we understand that Life is Spirit and discern the entirely mental nature of disease and its cure, we see that the immunization effort is being carried along by human beliefs about the effects of certain forms of matter on the body. It’s actually human thought that equips the vaccine with the power it appears to have. And yet the whole process takes place with people largely unaware of all this. 

So without clarity about the all-power of God, Spirit, what’s actually going on? We find ourselves in a tug-of-war between influences on the human system, or body—as though it’s a contest between forms of matter, like good matter versus bad. But it’s actually a struggle in consciousness between mental forces that make us feel vulnerable and those that give us a sense of security. This then plays out in our feeling subject to harmful material conditions and yet striving to alter those conditions in other material ways that we believe can help us. 

For real, lasting health, we need to step out of this tug-of-war. We do so by spiritualizing our consciousness, by finding the true, spiritual basis of thought and life in God. Through prayer affirming what we truly are as expressions of God’s good, spiritual nature, we exclude from our consciousness those mental influences that would undermine health. As we let God show us our perfect completeness as ideas of divine Mind, we see more clearly that we truly “have our being” in God, untouched by disease.

I felt a deep conviction that the good nature and purpose of God are unstoppable. I was then instantly healed of the symptoms.

Some time ago I had an experience that shows the healing power of this kind of prayer. I was dealing with the symptoms of shingles, and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t sleep or do much of anything. But as I prayed, I found myself deeply moved by thoughts of life in God, Spirit. I saw more clearly that my story—that the only real story of anyone’s life—was the good that the infinite Mind expresses in us as its spiritual ideas. And through prayer, I glimpsed that it is inevitable for us to understand this. Ultimately, because God is good and the only real Mind, we will zero in on and experience only the good originating in God and the spiritual reality it is based on. 

In the meantime, we often have to do what feels like casting out devils, or lifting off the beliefs of a false, limited mentality based on the belief that existence is material. As I did this with the symptoms of shingles, I felt a deep conviction that the good nature and purpose of God are unstoppable. As soon as I saw that, I was instantly healed of the symptoms and felt all the more committed to knowing and living the life that is God. 

To enjoy more robust health, we must exchange our insecure, matter-based sense of what constitutes health for the certainty of God’s law of immutable harmony. True immunity comes from knowing, as Science and Health points out, that “. . . matter can make no conditions for man” (p. 120).

If we were to encounter a situation where vaccination was required to help stop the spread of COVID-19, our compliance doesn’t compromise our reliance upon God. But even when complying with a required vaccination, we can refuse to buy into the notion that the vaccine has any power to help or harm us. New vaccines may have the prospect of altering the landscape of disease, but they can’t lead the way up and out of the material sense of life that is always producing new forms of disease. To find true and lasting health, we need to see that life is actually in and of Spirit, not material at all. 

So then, to understand this and to help our suffering world, we have some work in front of us. Science and Health says: “We apprehend Life in divine Science only as we live above corporeal sense and correct it. Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence,—our health, our longevity, and our Christianity” (p. 167).

In finding God to be the only real power, we will increasingly heal disease as Christ Jesus did—spiritually. Today and tomorrow we are truly only moved to be expressions of what God is causing in us, which is entirely good and gives us victory over disease.

Vaccination: what did Eddy say?

Christian Science perspective on vaccination and public health

From the Editors
Christian Science and vaccinations
April 19, 2021

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