Life—a continuous cycle of good
Originally written in Spanish.
It appears that we live in a world of cycles—cycles of birth and death, of good health and poor health, of economic expansion and contraction, of prosperity and lack, of peace and social or political unrest. As another week of conflict in the Gaza Strip begins, the strife in the Middle East offers a poignant example of how these cycles sometimes play out on a global stage.
While tensions in that region continue to rise, here in Argentina, as in much of the world, people are looking forward to returning to their “normal” routines after more than a year of disruption from government-mandated quarantines and social isolation as a means to manage the COVID pandemic.
However, there remains an atmosphere of uncertainty about the future, even despair, as some countries continue to grapple with the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Many are asking, What will tomorrow bring?
As I prayed about this, I found in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, an idea that continues to help me see the situation from a liberating, spiritual perspective: “The cycle of good obliterates the epicycle of evil” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 270 ). This is such a reassuring statement of spiritual truth that effectively counteracts the belief in the inevitability of fluctuation between good and bad. Christian Science explains that there is really but one law governing us—God’s law of harmony, which destroys the belief in the existence of an epicycle of evil or inharmony.
You may wonder, What is an epicycle? Essentially, it’s a circle whose center moves along the circumference of another, larger circle. Early astronomers believed that Earth was the center of the universe and that other planets revolved around it. They used the epicycle concept to explain what were believed to be temporary adjustments to planetary orbits, including the fact that some planets appeared to sometimes reverse direction and move backward. But scientific progress brought new knowledge about planetary motion—including the realization that all planets, including Earth, travel in the same direction in individual orbits around the sun—and the epicycle model of planetary motion was proven false and was abandoned.
Centuries later, Mrs. Eddy’s discovery of Christian Science, following her deep study of the Bible, revealed even more consequential, spiritual truths: God does not take a physical form and does not act with partiality, sometimes sending good and sometimes evil. Rather, God is divine Love, the one creative Mind of the universe, divine good itself, filling all space. This Mind is the source of a totally good, spiritual creation that is everlasting and stable. And this creation is not governed by cycles of time, but exists in eternity, expressing the continuous, harmonious activity of divine Life, which includes no vicious cycles, no deterioration. The book of Ecclesiastes says, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it” (3:14 ).
The way Mrs. Eddy expresses this thought in her writings, using phrases such as “the infinite cycles of eternal existence,” “the cycles of divine light,” and “the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 319 , 135 ; Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 83 ), gives a sense of the uninterrupted nature of God’s goodness.
In the life of Christ Jesus we find many proofs that good has its source in God, inexhaustible Love, and that health has its source in God, eternal Life. Thus, goodness and health are not fragile or scarce but are permanent. They cannot be interrupted by disease, disunity, or lack, since they do not depend on material cycles. The Gospels recount the many instances in which Jesus—who so fully expressed the Christ, the power and love of God to heal and save—proved this by, for instance, feeding huge crowds with a few loaves and fishes, obtaining money from the mouth of a fish to pay his taxes, and consistently healing those who asked him for help.
Discarding a materialistic viewpoint, he saw the universe from the standpoint of spiritual reality, in which there are no fluctuations or cycles of good and bad, but only invariable health and harmony—here, now, always. Illustrating this idea, Jesus said to his disciples, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35 ).
Persistent prayer to maintain this spiritual altitude of thought has helped my family through many periods of economic instability in our country. Our prayers have never asked divine Love for material things, but for illumination—for the spiritual inspiration that unfolds practical solutions that meet the human need. Step by step, we have been growing in our understanding of the permanence of God’s goodness, and this has given us a solid spiritual foundation that enables us to live with stability and the expectation of only good. We have stopped wondering what the future holds and analyzing the possibilities from the point of view of economic or political projections or forecasts. Turning earnestly to divine Love for guidance, relying on Love’s law of harmony to govern our thoughts and our affairs, we have witnessed how the apparent epicycle of recession, instability, and unemployment has been erased from our experience, and all our needs have been met.
No matter what our current circumstances are, or what predictions are made about our lives, we all have the God-given ability to know that we live in the uninterrupted cycle of infinite good, now and forever. Divine Love’s law of harmony, which maintains this cycle of good, governs all aspects of our experience. What’s more, this law of harmony is supreme in our life, superior to any and all material beliefs of good and evil as cyclical. We can expect to see this law of harmony manifested in our lives in better health, in harmonious relationships, in an abundance of ideas and creativity.
Understanding that the cycle of good is both natural and the law in all our affairs erases from our consciousness and our experience the “epicycle of evil,” which has no relation to, or place in, the universe created by God. Rather than wonder what tomorrow will bring, we can know that we will be at peace, because the only thing that can be going on in our experience, now and forever, is the unfoldment of infinite good.