Poise Precludes Pressure

Many individuals, feeling caught in the fast pace of modern living with its pressure and strain, long for a sense of poise, for peace of mind and an inner calm. Some are asking: Is there any possible way to escape pressure and find our poise in a world where almost everything is moving so swiftly and changing so constantly? Within the teachings of Christian Science these seekers for peace and poise may find comforting assurance.

Science explains that quietude, calmness, and poise derive from understanding that man reflects one Mind, the Mind that is God. This Mind is forever at peace. It is unchanging, unchangeable, steady, clear, and undisturbed. The Bible says of God, "He is in one mind, and who can turn him?" Job 23:13; The peaceful nature of Mind is reflected in the calmness and serenity of man's true spiritual consciousness. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "As astronomy reverses the human perception of the movement of the solar system, so Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and body and makes body tributary to Mind. Thus it is with man, who is but the humble servant of the restful Mind, though it seems otherwise to finite sense." Science and Health, pp. 119, 120;

Finite sense spells pressure from the outset. Finite sense would enslave men in time and bind them with matter. It would restrict their capabilities and limit their lifework. But this false sense and its pressure cannot disturb one who identifies himself with the one restful Mind, for within this true self-identification he finds his God-derived poise. This poise is strength. It is a radiant, vibrant power that enables one to remain undisturbed and unshaken by the world's jarring commotions. He can go forth in his daily activities with equanimity.

Christ Jesus proved the power of poise over and over again. How quietly at one time he subdued the fury of a tempest! We are told in the Bible that the Master was in a little ship with his disciples when "there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship." Mark 4:37; Jesus was asleep, and when the frightened disciples awakened him, "he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. Then, the record continues, "the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."

The Master was not overwhelmed by the raging elements. He did not lose his poise. He was in the same boat, threatened by the same storm as his companions, and yet he remained perfectly calm. Only to the restricted, fearful thinking of the disciples did there seem to be no way of escape. They believed that the tempestuous winds and waves were too much for such a small craft. But the Master knew the presence of a divine power that was greater than the storm: the presence of the one infinite Mind holding all its creation intact. Here there could only be a great calm.

Just think of what that calmness really meant! It was not merely the subduing of a storm. It was the tranquillity of true being, existing right there and then. It was Mind's revelation of its own unassailable presence. The awareness of this fact enabled Jesus to maintain his serenity and not react to what claimed to be a destructive force.

We may well ask ourselves: Are we reacting to the outwardly apparent storms of evil that would press upon us today and rob us of our poise? Are we letting seemingly impenetrable clouds of self-will or self-pity mesmerize us with a burdened sense of responsibility? Are we allowing our thought to be tossed about by winds of hate or waves of fear? Are we admitting that world tension with its foaming billows of unrest can oppress us? Let us then remember the Christly rebuke, "Peace, be still." Let us humbly acknowledge the one undisturbed Mind as the only presence or power there really is and accept this Mind as the Mind of all. As we do, the pressures in our experience will begin to give way, and we shall begin to feel the same "great calm" that quieted the Galilean Sea. Then we shall find our true poise appearing.

Finding and maintaining our poise is the secret of tireless activity and joyous accomplishment devoid of pressure. Poise releases the needed inspiration of the moment. It bases clear thinking and is important in making right decisions. Poise enables us to express ourselves calmly and wisely, to move with agility and grace, to feel unhurried and unworried. Furthermore, poise is a sure defense against the insidious suggestions of annoyance. Thought that is shocked or displeased, critical or upset, finds no place in the ordered creation of Mind.

Sometimes the restlessness and confusion surrounding us make it seem difficult to maintain our poise. Sometimes the pressure of time may claim to take it from us, the harboring of fear may hide it, the zest for excitement or human ambition may seem to scorn it. But actually only our reaction to these suggestions can disturb us. They will simply fade out and our poise will be found unshaken as we more clearly recognize the Mind and its calm, clear reflection.

Mrs. Eddy states: "O glorious hope! there remaineth a rest for the righteous, a rest in Christ, a peace in Love. The thought of it stills complaint; the heaving surf of life's troubled sea foams itself away, and underneath is a deep-settled calm." Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 19; To feel this "rest in Christ," this "deep-settled calm," one need not be aloof, separate, or alone. He need not run away to some ivory tower. Indeed this would not be living in accord with the teachings of Christian Science. But quiet, prayerful moments of true self-identification are needed. The Hebrew poet knew this well when he wrote, "Be still, and know that I am God." Ps. 46:10.

In the stillness of spiritual consciousness, where the tenderness and gentleness of God's presence is felt, one finds an unspeakable peace. Such holy calm brings with it the transcendent power and stability of our true poise. This poise always carries a song in the heart, for it tells of inner joy and satisfaction.

Thus one learns through the study of Christian Science that his much-longed-for poise is not beyond his reach. It is always right where he is, and there is never one moment when it is touched by pressure. Poise precludes pressure!

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Active Reflection
August 10, 1968
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