How an understanding of God, Life helps us get past dark thoughts
By Elaina Simpson, C.S.
Tonight I thought I'd put up some citations about Life and how to get past dark or suicidal thoughts. We do this by learning more about God in prayerful study. Learning about God in the study of Christian Science, we find that Life is a synonym for God. (Christian Science gives us seven useful synonyms for God that help us understand what God is.) So naturally, learning more about God and loving God, helps us feel more gratitude and love for Life! Being the image and likeness of God, we see that we must also express God in our expression of Life. So what is Life and how do we express it? How can this understanding remove dark thoughts?
If you haven't had so-called dark thoughts, these verses could be helpful to someone you may know or come across this week. In the pandemic, some have had their jobs taken away or may have had their hours cut dramatically. People want a sense of purpose. In addition to this, some have felt hopeless thinking about the environment, the earth, or even the politics of their country, with hopes the future is brighter moving forward. From my work alone, I have seen that people are seeking spiritual solutions, in their yearning to feel more freedom from hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. An understanding of Life, God is a beautiful healing agent for thoughts of suicide or hopelessness.
Many are raised (not in Christian Science) to believe that we can get to, or obtain heaven (a locality) by passing on. So, not surprisingly, I've heard that some have found death to be alluring in that regard. Looking at the Bible and the teachings of Christian Science, we learn that we don't have to get somewhere, since the kingdom of heaven, (what Life is really all about) is always with us. "...the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2)
This spiritual sense of the Lord's Prayer is a helpful clarification to the above, false doctrine:
"Thy kingdom come.
Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Enable us to know, — as in heaven, so on earth, — God is omnipotent, supreme."
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 16:30–3)
When we see that our kingdom of heaven is here, "as in heaven, so on earth," we also see that we can experience it now, not later. A shift in our perspective, yielding to Love filling thought, does wonders for our overall happiness and appreciation of Life. Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Death is not a stepping-stone to Life, immortality, and bliss... God, divine good, does not kill a man in order to give him eternal Life, for God alone is man's life. God is at once the centre and circumference of being. It is evil that dies; good dies not."(SH. 203) Love, the only Life, is our experience now, not later.
It also helps to see that we express God as Life. We are at one with infinite Life (but we are not a God in quantity, we express Life in quality, and are also “one in being.” See SH 361:13-19) We do not have a little mortal life that is somehow separated from Life. We don’t have to take a little mind and pray to make our lives (with a lowercase 'l') better and happier by fixing or changing something. What’s most helpful, is to pray to know our already apparent oneness with Life, Love.
I love the definition of Life found in the Christian Science textbook on spiritual healing:
"Question. — What is Life?
Answer. — Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. Life is without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity. One ceases in proportion as the other is recognized. Time is finite; eternity is forever infinite. Life is neither in nor of matter. What is termed matter is unknown to Spirit, which includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal. Matter is a human concept. Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited. Death and finiteness are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending."
I know of one individual who was working on a greater understanding of God as Life. When they prayed with God as Life, naturally their thoughts shifted off of self. Their perspective on their experience began to expand to see more of God’s Love fulfilling every aspect and detail of their expression of Life. Instead of thought being on self pity and what they were “getting” or “not getting” out of life, their thought turned to God. With an expanded view of God, Love, they had an expanded view of Life. This individual found that life is about how to give, how to grow, and how to love more. This resulted in a happier experience and they noticed all the ways God was loving them right there where they were, whereas those things would have gone unnoticed before.
Our true kingdom of heaven is our Life. It's here now (not later) and in our oneness with Life, we can see it, love it and experience it.