Elevating our approach to public health
Originally published in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column, Feb. 1, 2022.
Lately, I’ve been appreciating this metaphor: If several people and I are climbing a mountain, the higher we climb—even if we started out on opposite sides of the mountain—the closer we get and the clearer we see each other.
The pandemic has stirred up many forms of anxiety and conflict, which seem to have fractured our society into conflicting motives. But there’s another thought that can be brought into the mix. Christian Science shows that there is one omnipotent God—one Life, Truth, and Love—governing us all. Understanding this lifts thought to the spiritual peak of being, revealing that we are spiritual, not material. Rising to this peak in consciousness brings about healing, harmony, and restoration of peace.
So, like the mountain climbing metaphor, the higher our understanding is of God as omnipotent and of ourselves as God’s spiritual creation, the clearer the spiritual perspective we have of each other.
We are all one with God, and therefore, with one another. This healing perspective of our spiritual oneness with God and each other has much to offer to the discussion of protecting the public’s health. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, writes: “At a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists endeavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 116).
The thought-provoking idea that profoundly understanding the omnipotence of divine Life, Truth, and Love stops a contagion will engage the attention of all spiritual thinkers. But what does it mean to rise in consciousness? How can this higher consciousness of God’s omnipotence have an impact?
Understanding the omnipotence of Life as eternal good helps us embrace the strength and holiness of that divine Life, which the Bible says heals all our diseases (see Psalms 103:3). And this defuses the fear of contagious disease.
Understanding the omnipotence of Truth as the only governing power over us removes the confusion of the complex and sometimes contradictory information involved in efforts to regulate this disease and brings to light that our God-given rights of self-governance, reason, and conscience, are inviolable and can be exercised in a way that blesses all.
Understanding the omnipotence of Love is shown in the compassion of acting out the Golden Rule—to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This helps to unself endeavors and neutralize division as we see divine Love reflected in our love for one another.
The perspective of our oneness with God and each other has much to offer to the discussion of protecting the public’s health.
Rising in consciousness happens as we gain the spiritual and true idea of God and our relation to God. From this basis, we lift ourselves up from the limitations of material sense and shift to an inclusive and empowering spiritual sense. This means we can claim our divine right to spiritual immunity while still prayerfully supporting everyone’s search for health and peace in the way they can understand. Mrs. Eddy’s primary text on Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, says: “Belief in a material basis, from which may be deduced all rationality, is slowly yielding to the idea of a metaphysical basis, looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect” (p. 268). This yielding of humanity’s consciousness from belief in a material basis to a metaphysical basis is ongoing, and to be patient in supporting this unfoldment does not diminish the God-given authority over disease of those already experiencing this healing power of the divine Mind, God, in their lives.
When rising in the conscious strength of omnipotent Truth, we find our human capacities are broadened and strengthened as we gain a clear understanding of our permanent relation to God. And more broadly, as humanity gains “a more spiritual and true ideal of Deity,” we will find that this “improves the race physically and spiritually” (Mary Baker Eddy, The People’s Idea of God, p. 6).