Our divine right to mental peace
Judging by how many resources today are devoted to mental health, it seems many people struggle with feelings of inner turmoil. Some find it hard to think clearly and to remain peaceful and productive throughout the day.
Wouldn’t it seem natural, however, to believe that every individual has a right to peace and progress? Christian Science shows how a consistent peacefulness, coupled with a fulfilling and rewarding life, is a divinely natural, God-given right.
Christ Jesus described our unique individuality and purpose in a captivating way. He said, “Ye are the light of the world” and “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16). Even though these words were spoken centuries ago, they relate practically to us today. This “light” refers to all that is holy, good, loving, and upright in our consciousness. It is, essentially, our spirituality. And it finds expression in our outward character—in our efforts to be unselfish, gentle, kind, honest, and pure. If one is honestly laboring to bless others, to be of service, this can be a force for good in one’s life, adding to joy and contentment.
If it seems to us, however, that this light is hidden—that we’ve been robbed of our ability to live graciously and productively—the solution is to better comprehend the source of our light, of our spirituality and inherent goodness. A light always has a source. The source of this unseen spirituality, as Christian Science reveals, is God, the one divine Mind, supreme in wisdom, ever present, shining over all, and perpetuating the goodness of His creation through intelligent and loving control. In one place in the Bible, God is described this way: “He is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth” (Job 23:13).
The way, then, to finding greater mental peace lies not in having to “straighten out” our mind but in opening thought to a higher understanding of, and reliance on, the divine Mind as the only Mind. How comforting it can be, too, to recognize that this all-good and all-loving Mind is ever present.
Think of the sun shining in all its undiminished radiance and glory. If we think of the sun as a symbol for God, the one infinite Mind or divine Love, unobstructed and free, then the rays flowing out from it could represent each of us—pure expressions of this unwavering and beautiful source. The sun does not produce many little suns but individual rays expressing the nature and quality of the original. Could we begin to think of ourselves not as a material shell with a mind inside but as the reflection of the one Mind itself—wholly spiritual in essence, having our own place and purpose, and expressing the character and nature of our blessed source?
In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, describes Mind, a synonym for God, this way: “Mind, supreme over all its formations and governing them all, is the central sun of its own systems of ideas, the life and light of all its own vast creation; and man is tributary to divine Mind” (p. 209).
Our loving Father never leaves His children in the dark.
One synonym for tributary is subordinate. To discover that we are dependent solely upon God, upon divine Love, for all our right thinking and acting allays fear and sets the stage for healing. Dropping willfulness, and the anxiety that comes from believing we’re separated from God, and instead listening for the gracious Mind that is always speaking to us, we can feel a release from mental anguish and a more permanent sense of control. Science and Health states, “The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal” (p. 70).
God always communicates to His children in ways each of us can understand. The truth that comes to us from God as we pray and listen is the ever-present Christ, God’s healing and saving message.
Throughout his earthly career, Jesus fully manifested his Christ identity. Through his teaching and by his example, he showed us how to awaken to the holy influence of God, which silences and destroys negative, dark thoughts. And the Apostle Paul explains, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (I Thessalonians 5:5). And the book of John describes this Christ light, or power of God, as that “which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (1:9).
Our loving Father never leaves His children in the dark. The light of goodness and intelligence is a permanent aspect of our identity. It can never truly change or be lost because God, eternal Mind, doesn’t change. His love for each of us—how He sees and defines us eternally—can never be destroyed or darkened. This clearer, higher view of ourselves and our relation to God silences materialistic viewpoints that suggest we are at the mercy of matter, or the brain, and separate from God’s care. Healing experiences recorded in this and other Christian Science publications—as well as in the Bible—illustrate that an expanded awareness of God as our Mind, as the only Mind that exists, and of His unchanging care for us, brings rest and peace to troubled human thought.
When thought is open to the light of the Christ, Truth, it is closed to error, to troubling or fearful thoughts, which have no real foundation or permanence. One might ask: “Are dark thoughts a part of me? Do they have ultimate power or authority in my life?” Because mental turmoil, anxiety, and depression do not originate in God, our source, they can’t abide in us. A shadow cannot come from the sun, nor can darkness enter into a sunbeam. Negative thoughts are misconceptions, or false beliefs; they have no basis in Truth and therefore no real existence. They can be no part of our genuine identity as God’s spiritual reflection, and we can shut the door on them.
With such truths informing and guiding our prayers, we can better stand up for our divine right to peace, and fervently, even vehemently, deny that mental turmoil has any power. Christ Jesus, the Son of God, when alone in the wilderness for forty days, boldly resisted evil temptations that assailed him. These impositions, or suggestions, could not convince him that there was another power besides God and that his holy life purpose could be compromised. He recognized these thoughts as wholly separate from his true spiritual nature. His response, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Luke 4:8), implies a conviction that whatever opposed him, denying God’s all-presence, was powerless. He saw right through such oppositions, understanding that their claims were baseless.
As Jesus proved, nothing has the power to rob us of our talents and usefulness. Our right to express God’s peace and to be of service to others cannot be subverted or succumb to fearful siege. We are here to let our light shine, as Jesus commanded, and to be a blessing to the world as God’s dear reflections.
Because we are God’s offspring, it is natural for us to turn to our source. There is no power but the calming and comforting Christ within us—shining in our hearts, illuminating our way, revealing fresh purpose and direction. The light of the Christ awakens us to our eternal heritage and peace as “children of light.”