When confronted with a challenge the only thing we can think about is "me", at least, most of the time. And when figuring out how to find a solution to the challenge - be it physical, psychological, financial, social - it is Christian Science that proposes unselfishness - unselfed love, meaning, to "not think" about your human situation most of the time, preferably at all. In my native German, the word "unselfishness" means "a state of being without a self". A dictionary defines "unselfish" as being "not unduly attached to one's own interest", and that poses a dilemma: How to achieve that if the goal is healing and the only thing you can think about is how to find healing - mostly not for others, but for your self?
How freeing, how absolutely liberating God, Life, is. The Maker and Creator, the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient power being the one and only "I AM that I AM ". God is Truth, so anything that God knows has a valid claim to reality and veracity. God is Truth because God is the only Cause, and this Truth is the Principle and Soul of the universe. Truth is objective, unchanging, and always at peace with itself - it does not allow room for erring thought, limitation, sickness, estrangement. Truth by its own very existence precludes its own opposite - error - and as a result that there is not real validity or authenticity in anything outside Truth. A human "self" greatly errs in that it regards itself as a cause, most often as the only cause, forgetting that all the five senses are directly attached to this human self. Instead of considering ourselves to be a symphony, we rather enjoy being a unique tone within the divine symphony of creation, enjoying our individual place and space, placed and guided by one, and only one, divine conductor.
Of course, this is a lot to process, and it takes a life-time in moving forward in our prayerful, spiritual development to willingly and step and step let go of this human sense of self. But it takes only a moment of saying "yes".
Christ Jesus taught that he didn't do anything by himself—that God was the author of his words and actions. He was without doubt the most unselfish individual that ever lived on this planet. Much of his recorded career was spent healing others, teaching them about God, explaining man’s linkage to the divine and therefore to one another. In Christ Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he offered a daily prayer for everyone that starts with the collective word "our." Christ Jesus is, while teaching, certainly including himself in this "our" – and I feel that he is underlining the fact that His Father is also our Father-Mother God.
We are really one family, linked to one divine Parent. So, finding ourselves in God is only possible if we know others as spiritual and good and worthy as well, in their actual spiritual identity, having the health and freedom been given as God’s creation. And this is accomplished if we leave to a degree personality and egotism behind for our spiritual unity with God. This is was unselfishness does. Mary Baker Eddy writes, talking about individuals committed to healing: "They feel their own burdens less, and can therefore bear the weight of others' burdens, since it is only through the lens of their unselfishness that the sunshine of Truth beams with such efficacy as to dissolve error." (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 87)
It truly goes both ways – as we feel our own burdens less, we can better bear the weight of others. But also, as we are bearing the weight of others willingly and humbly, we feel our own burdens less. And we do become a law unto ourselves with love. Reflecting the only Truth there truly is: Divine Love. Is it a surprise that we find healing on the way?
In a fabulous podcast Ethel Baker, a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science from Buffalo, New York, touches on this vital subject in the most warm and most informative way. It is my great joy to present to you this podcast from the Christian Science Sentinel. Tony Lobl, Associate Editor of the Christian Science periodicals, who always asks the best questions, is her host.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.