It seemed impossible. The most experienced white-water paddlers couldn’t navigate the biggest rapid in the river’s racecourse during the practice runs. Convinced it couldn’t be run, and feeling upset and justified, they planned to go to the racecourse architects to demand changes.
And then, one young guy in the junior category, taking on the course with confidence and focus, sliced through the racecourse fast and clean—not touching a single gate—even in the course’s most demanding rapid. All of a sudden, what seemed implausible, even impossible, was possible. A dish of “humble pie” was shared by the elite paddlers, and a new set of expectations was raised. Sure enough, others were able to run the whole course with a new strength and grace they hadn’t been able to imagine before.
Breakthroughs of every kind are celebrated. Athletes are continually breaking records, new inventions and discoveries are made every year, and conferences are held around the world to share new ways to solve old problems. Pride, fear, doubt, and a false estimate of our limits are pushed aside in anticipation of the great good that is possible.
Pride, fear, doubt, and a false estimate of our limits are pushed aside in anticipation of the great good that is possible.
Today, we may find ourselves in a pre-breakthrough time in many areas of life, with numerous problems on the horizon and rising concern about whether we have what it takes to break through to new solutions. Yet, fearful thoughts of what may be described as “the inevitability” of decline and destruction, plus disease happening subtly and quietly and then emerging all at once, can be reversed.
That may seem like a lot to take in. But understanding the illusive nature of decline, destruction, and disease, as well as the permanence and continuity of God as Light or Truth, forwards thought and action, breaking through limited thinking into harmonious, peaceful, and productive paths. Unlike willful or merely positive thinking, solutions based on spiritual truth last.
To break through aggressive or presumably impossible claims, we start with a premise that is bigger than the problem: Divine Truth and the law of harmony are the only cause. Truth is God, and is eternal, the only substance and intelligence.
Mary Baker Eddy, a reformer and the Discoverer of the Science of Christianity, explains that Christ Jesus understood the power of Truth to overcome all discord, and that this enabled him to claim his dominion over discord of every kind. She writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Nothing but the power of Truth can prevent the fear of error, and prove man’s dominion over error” (p. 380).
God’s power is omnipotent. Let’s stay with this idea for a while. God is good, all love. God is not variable and does not take on the character of a mortal—sometimes angry, divisive, or changeable. God is the first and only Principle, the origin of all life, truth, and intelligence. Man (generically speaking) is created in God’s image, and so reflects God’s power. God’s power is spiritual Truth, which acts as an alterative, neutralizing the poison of chaos and deterioration with the balm of God’s peace and strength. As God is only good and the source of life for all, and as we are made in God’s image, we can claim our dominion over discord of any kind.
The power of Truth works like light, dispelling the darkness of limitation and destruction and revealing what is real, substantial, and lasting. Science and Health explains, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (p. 261).
Our mental insistence that harmony is the fact is a firm stance to which the human condition yields, letting whatever appears chaotic dissolve like a dream. This idea can be applied to any suggested threat that evil or error can grow into a full-blown disaster. These suggestions feed on fear, which claims to consume all who accept it.
Unlike willful or merely positive thinking, solutions based on spiritual truth last.
How can we overcome fear? Certainly not by reacting to or being governed by it, and so giving it power and making it seem more real and formidable. To break the fear of seemingly uncontrollable forces, we go back to our premise: Divine Truth is the only power. Understanding this, we can claim with confidence and focus our God-given dominion.
In proportion as we understand God’s omnipotence, we gain confidence in good. It becomes easier to give our consent to the possibility of all good happening. Looking straight into what would claim to be chaos, disruption, or deterioration, we can see through its bluff and bluster to find the truth of God’s creation. God’s creations include peace, health, and goodness. These are sustained by God, and are life-giving and life-affirming. This is the baseline of what is real.
How does that explain the runaway nature of explosive politics, uncontrollable wildfires, and devastating contagion? Like a mistake in math that needs correcting by applying the appropriate rule, these runaway fearful beliefs need to be corrected by what is true. Fear is not causative. There is only one cause, one power, and that is God, good. The fear of uncontrolled destruction is reversed by letting the still, small voice of God—even one simple but powerful truth—fill consciousness until we see the human situation conform to the divine facts. Whatever the human condition, “No power can withstand divine Love” (Science and Health, p. 224).
I saw this happen when I was working at a school and a fight broke out. The fight quickly escalated into a huge brawl involving many students, and teachers were instructed to keep the remaining students in their classrooms. In the classroom where I was assisting, I could see the ruckus outside, with media and police rushing in, respectively, to report and to restore peace. I didn’t yield to the fear of the growing violence but held firmly in my own thought the fact that God’s government of harmony was present right where the chaos was playing out. All was quelled quickly. So quickly, in fact, that it seemed almost surprising. This was divine Love at work. Peace broke through the fear, and calm was restored.
This one small incident demonstrated a principle that can be proved in any condition of fear and limitation. We can defuse the impact of evil and of all that would try to destroy what is right and life-affirming by “hold[ing] thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true.” Harmony is our baseline of what is real. Chaos is not. Our mental insistence on this fact brings us into harmony and wholeness. Giving our consent to the possibility of good makes it possible in our experience. This is breakthrough. And it wakes us up to see that we can move forward with startling new solutions and with more strength and grace than we may have ever thought possible.