I woke up in the middle of night with intense pain in my body. So intense that it absorbed my thought and was the only thing I could, well, think about. But very soon I was mentally calm enough to start praying - listening for an answer and being unwilling to take physical evidence more seriously than I take God. Is God a continuing presence? Absolutely.
It came to me with much clarity that man as God's child, is always and under any circumstance linked to the creator, the source of all being, the center of Life. And because of this link I could immediately gain access to painless good, that is always there, always where we are. Pain is a distressing feeling of discomfort - emotional or physical - in consciousness, I realized quickly, and in consciousness alone. Since I have access to good, I have access to peaceful feelings of God's care and support, of harmony and health. This access to good overrides the physical access to pain - because instead of having a link to mortality, man is eternally linked to immortality - here and now and always. We have open access to good. It is like being a house guest - you are entitled to be where you are, instead of standing in front of the closed door. You don't ring the doorbell - you are already in! Man has access to good, always! I could not only understand this truth, but feel its impact as God's goodness expressed itself beautifully in my thought. The pain disappeared immediately and I went back to sleep.
Waking up very early I was led with intensive gratitude to ponder some ideas Mary Baker Eddy shares about consciousness. Because consciousness is key to understanding the art and science of healing. What a gift to know our individual consciousness as a place in which God rules and peace is the norm. I found these quotes about "consciousness" especially inspiring, explaining to me the experience of the night:
Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man's dominion over the whole earth. (SH 14:25-28)
Spiritual, not corporeal, consciousness is needed. (SH 67:27-28)
Material sense does not unfold the facts of existence; but spiritual sense lifts human consciousness into eternal Truth. (SH 95:30-32)
Often in the Bible the word "place", "court" or "house" means really consciousness. After all, it is a spiritual God speaking, dwelling in a spiritual creation - everywhere, omnipresent good. So in this light I find this Psalm very inspiring, proclaiming the painless presence of God right where we are - in our own consciousness:
"I've always longed to live in a place like this, always dreamed of a room in your house, where I could sing for joy to God-alive!" (Psalm 84: 2, The Message)
For additional inspiration you will enjoy this interview with Marian English, a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. The topic of the interview is "No more pain - that's a promise".
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." These words are not potent in and of itself, but because they stem from experience and demonstration - the life of Nelson Mandela, who would have turned hundred July 18, 2018.
One of the puzzle pieces that kept Nelson Mandela alive and hopeful in prison was The Christian Science Monitor. This newspaper, founded in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, founded on an idea, is one of humanity's miracles of unselfishness and care. Its honest mission is to "injure no man but to bless all mankind". It breathes and stands on this idea.
In 1990, quickly after being released from 27 years of prison in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, on a visit to Boston, went to see the Church that published The Christian Science Monitor. He met one of the Readers of the Church and the Editor at that time, Richard Cattani. And this meeting was a humble and special one, unannounced --- as I heard from a friend of Cattani's who had noticed Mandela standing in front of the Publishing Building on One Norway Street in Boston's Back Bay and looking up and wondering how to get in and thank the editors for their work. A journalist working away at his desk suddenly exclaimed: "I think there is Nelson Mandela standing outside!" Read more about the Christian Science Monitor and this visit here.
July 18 also, unnoticed by many, the most recent peace treaty between Ethiopia and Eritrea was put into practice with a flight linking the two countries which had been engaged in a brutal border war for the past twenty years. Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, is behind this stunning development of reconciliation and peace, a Prime Minister who underlines the need "for a country to be built on ideas, not on division under guise of 'nations and nationalities'." Ideas!
So on board of this first commercial flight linking the two formerly war torn countries, the 315 passengers were reminded of the historic moment. On the flight families separated from loved ones sat next to dignitaries - the war is ended, the future is an open book.
Mary Baker Eddy states the most powerful idea of all:
"One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfills the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry,—whatever is wrong in social, civil, political, and religious codes..." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 340)
A wonderful visual of the family of man is in this video. Matt is dancing with humanity, you see him dancing in several African countries, too, and, very special, on Robben Island, the island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned 18 of his 27 years, the island which was reached by The Christian Science Monitor, delivering its message of the unconditional meaning and promise of man, based on an idea. The idea of "One infinite God, good...". Robben Island.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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