A divinely scientific solution to climate change
Climate change has become a heated issue because of the contentious disagreements about the nature of the problem and the potential solutions. So, as I considered this subject, I knew I had to approach it not only as an engineering professor, but much more so as a Christian Scientist. Christian Science shows that we are never without a definite solution; in fact, it points to truly scientific solutions. It gives the Christianly scientific perspective, resting as it does on the order of all creation as established and maintained by God, divine Love itself, and God’s law of universal harmony.
The textbook of Christian Science written by Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, explains that material existence is completely mental. While there is mounting empirical evidence—particularly in the realm of quantum physics—as to the importance of mental causes, Mrs. Eddy discovered, through the Bible and divine revelation, that matter is simply a false construct of mortal consciousness. She makes this point throughout Science and Health, as in this statement: “Matter, or body, is but a false concept of mortal mind. This so-called mind builds its own superstructure, of which the material body is the grosser portion; but from first to last, the body is a sensuous, human concept” (p. 177).
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Naturalism, which pervades the current scientific view, is a philosophical assumption that physical effects must be the result of a physical cause, generally excluding any mental or, most particularly, any spiritual cause. So in the case of our climate, natural science would claim that any negative effect must be the result of a negative physical cause. But Christian Science explains that a negative physical effect is best explained by a negative mental cause. And even more important is the understanding that the wholesome influence of divine Mind, God—the one and only real and perfect spiritual cause—when understood and accepted, has a harmonizing effect on our bodies and on our earth. This is scientific prayer whereby Christ, Truth, spiritualizes thought and therefore destroys the effect of matter-based thinking—sin, fear, and even death.
Mrs. Eddy, speaking of the divine Mind, writes in Science and Health: “Mind regulates the condition of the stomach, bowels, and food, the temperature of children and of men, and matter does not” (p. 413). If “Mind regulates … the temperature … of men, and matter does not,” then to be consistent in our metaphysics, Mind must also regulate the temperature of our earth. This is, as Science and Health explains, “deific naturalism,” which results in a scientific, divine method of healing, “a method infinitely above that of human invention” (p. 44, including marginal heading).
From my youth I suffered regularly from seasonal colds and flu. In turning to the omnipotent influence of divine Mind, I knew I could find healing. In graduate school I had an instantaneous healing of what appeared to be stomach flu that resulted in permanent relief (see “Flu symptoms vanish,” The Christian Science Journal, September 1999), and my children have also been quickly relieved from this claim through prayer. I have experienced healings of colds, too, as spiritual understanding has replaced an ungrounded fear of material contagion. And for well over a century, Christian Scientists have been experiencing the effectiveness and reliability of this scientific mental method of healing, discovered by Mrs. Eddy.
We can correct the wrong assumption that physical causes govern our earth.
Just as the human body is improved when divine Principle governs individual human consciousness, then by scientific induction we must accept that the beneficent influence of this Principle on individual and collective human consciousness is manifest in improvements in earth’s environment. Appealing to this divinely scientific solution involves correcting material belief with Truth. In the case of climate change, we can correct the wrong assumption that physical causes govern our earth by acknowledging the truth of God’s government—even our Father-Mother’s omnipotent love for all of creation in the splendor of Soul. Such scientific prayer must bring the human experience into coincidence with the divine law of eternal Life.
Christian Science provides the understanding that material measurements about our earth are the revered verdicts of mortal belief. In other words, accepting the validity of mortal measurements, or any human diagnosis, leads only to the self-fulfilling prophecy of erroneous assumptions. Instead, we must remain steadfast in the truth, even the only reality of existence, declared by the Psalmist: “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalms 33:5). This is not about denying or supporting the material evidence of climate change, but it is about refusing to even enter this debate and looking to a higher truth on which to base our conclusions. It means completely trusting the care of our earth, along with the spiritualization of human consciousness, to the omnipresent impetus of divine Mind. The real answer is to stop siding with conflicting human opinions—including political opinions—and agree wholly with Spirit, God.
Adam Dickey recounted a time when Mrs. Eddy taught those close to her the correct way to pray about the weather. First, she asked all present whether or not a Christian Scientist could control the weather. Each one replied, “Yes.” She then replied they can’t, but that “God can and does.”
She went on to say: “A Christian Scientist has no business attempting to control or govern the weather any more than he has a right to attempt to control or govern sickness, but he does know, and must know, that God governs the weather and no other influence can be brought to bear upon it. When we destroy mortal mind’s belief that it is a creator and that it produces all sorts of weather, good as well as bad, we shall then realize God’s perfect weather and be the recipients of His bounty in that respect.
“God’s weather is always right. A certain amount of rain and sunshine is natural and normal, and we have no right to interfere with the stately operations of divine wisdom in regulating meteorological conditions…. I want you to remember that the weather belongs to God, and when we destroy the operations of mortal mind and leave the question of regulating the weather to God, we shall have weather conditions as they should be.”
During the three years Mr. Dickey worked for Mrs. Eddy, and for several years after her passing in 1910, his recollection was that the result of the prayers of Mrs. Eddy and her workers was, “fewer and fewer thunderstorms until they almost ceased to be” (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Expanded Edition, Volume II, pp. 411–414).
Siding with Spirit is not sticking our heads in the sand.
In Christian Science, prayer always starts with perfect God and perfect man—with our perfect Father-Mother God, who created an eternally perfect earth, which is actually a compound spiritual idea in divine consciousness (see Science and Health, p. 585). This has freed me from accepting the belief that God’s perfect home for us—which is actually the consciousness of Truth and Love inhabited by spiritual ideas—could be occupied by, and therefore unfavorably affected by, harmful, sinful inhabitants. I also realized that divinely impelled human progress would not cause one right idea (for example, the fulfilling of a human need for faster and more efficient transportation) to interfere with another right idea (the purity of earth’s atmosphere). In the order of spiritual creation, God made man to be prolific—to forever unfold as God’s highest idea, even His manifestation—and thus to bless and replenish the earth (see Genesis 1:28).
If we feel concern for the future of our earth, then we must admit that mesmerizing material beliefs need to be dispelled by the perfect Love that casts out fear (see I John 4:18). By feeling the blessed assurance of divine Love, I can with all honesty say that I feel no “spirit of fear” for our earth, but only one of “power, and of love” that contributes to the perfect solution (II Timothy 1:7).
If we really want to heal the world, there is one place to start: changing our own thinking. Christ Jesus had the purest thought and heart, and this enabled him to heal and change our world—and to scientifically demonstrate over destructive weather—more than anyone else in human history. When we have the willingness to cast out of our own thinking sin, fear, even worldly mortal opinions, condemnations, and prophecies, then our consciousness—now reflecting the divine Mind—can bring real change through our prayers, empowered as they are by our reflected love for humanity and our earth. We must stand firm in God’s eternal righteousness, as opposed to any sense of self-righteousness.
Siding with Spirit is not sticking our heads in the sand. There are real solutions to be found in rising above the claims of mortal belief to a higher, spiritually scientific understanding and a purer love for humanity and our earth. The choice is clear. Either we let human opinions act as the deciding factor, or we yield to the perfect governance of Love in knowing that “… the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the so-called human mind through truth, leads the human mind to relinquish all error, to find the divine Mind to be the only Mind …. This process of higher spiritual understanding improves mankind until error disappears, and nothing is left which deserves to perish or to be punished” (Science and Health, p. 251).
This human experience is fundamentally mental, not material, and requires a spiritual solution for every problem. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalms 24:1). Mind’s care and control over our bodies and our earth is a permanent mandate of well-being, and therefore a demonstrable Science—the truly effective scientific metaphysical method—because it is forever established in the one divine Principle, Truth.