By Elaina Simpson, C.S.
Some of us are wondering how to, not only 'deal with', but to overcome divisiveness in our lives. As you know, I am from Washington, D.C. USA, and the United States has an inauguration coming up this week. I know people who are not in full agreement with this inauguration and people that are ready for it. I’ve had to pray on this subject of divisiveness, for sure. It's a constant prayer.
I wrote last week about a spiritual view of government, but for this week the focus is on how God heals thoughts of division. Firstly, today is Martin Luther King Jr. day. This is a reminder to us of God's wonderful promise-- That right where division seems to be, progress is happening and good is unfolding. (I loved the photo above for that reason!) Acknowledging God and Her law in our prayerful stillness, is beneficial to any seeming challenge. Also, the Christian Science Sentinel put out a helpful podcast discussing MLK today. Where can we start in prayer? No matter where people are politically, I’ve heard people want more freedom over thoughts like… “How can someone think that way?” “The varying news sources are brainwashing people into division!” “I can be so quick to react to comments or posts on social media.” It doesn't feel good to hold onto those thoughts and people want to better love our neighbor as we love ourselves. (In thought, prayer, and action.)
We can silence suggestions of division by acknowledging our oneness with our Source. To do this, we must know our Source. We can start in prayer with God, instead of allowing the distracting, fearful suggestions take over thought. I've sometimes felt inspired to contemplate God prayerfully-- What is God, what is God doing, and what has God already done? Keeping thought on God and off of the problem helps silence ruminating fears of division. Starting this way blesses any situation. The Bible tells us in Genesis 1 that we were made in the ‘image and likeness’ of God. We are not God, but we are at one with God. Because of this oneness, we are able to see things from a spiritual perspective, instead of from the viewpoint of a divisive, matter-scene. Made in God's 'image and likeness,' we have the ability to feel a greater sense of freedom from materialistic tendencies of divisiveness, reaction, duality, fear...etc. Since God is Love and All, we naturally reflect these qualities of God. Prayer is about inspiration in the moment. Inspiration comes when we get thought off of the distraction and onto God. When contemplating God in prayer, I've found these general questions helpful when praying about the false belief of division.
-Can God be divided?
-Does God's allness consist of duality?
-Could I or anyone be outside of God's allness, therefore incapable of feeling unity and at-one-ment with Love?
-Does God know anything but Himself, Good?
-Could God be angry, ignorant, or polarizing? (Therefore, could his creation be this way?)
-Is God anything other than completely intelligent Mind?
-Would God ever put his child in a situation that they couldn’t overcome?
-If God knows only Himself/Herself, can there be anything other than Good?
-Can God know anything but Himself/Herself?
-If God is all and if God is Mind, can other minds (in Reality) be at odds with each other, outside of All?
-Can there any division of the One? (One is a common biblical translation for God.)
-Can God (All) have any action other than to be always unifying all of Her ideas in perfect Oneness?
We know that from God's eyes, the answer to all of these questions will always be... No!
Our prayer is not just words or wishful thinking, but it is something that's evidenced in our experience. Talking about her discovery, Christian Science, Eddy wrote; "These ideas are perfectly real and tangible to spiritual consciousness, and they have this advantage over the objects and thoughts of material sense, — they are good and eternal."
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 269:17, underlines are my own.)
It occurred to me once, if I believed that I could really be at odds with someone, then that would simultaneously suggest I could be at odds with God. (Because God is All, and in all.) Well that woke me up. Of course we could not be at odds with God! Thinking of this idea, gave me a renewed perspective and was such a helpful lesson. When talking about disagreements (specifically regarding other's misunderstanding of Christian Science), Eddy turned us to the Bible's example of Abraham... "If ecclesiastical sects or medical schools turn a deaf ear to the teachings of Christian Science, then part from these opponents as did Abraham when he parted from Lot, and say in thy heart: 'Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.' (SH 444:22–27) A beautiful example and guideline for how to view of others. Abraham may have had a different perspective from Lot, but there was no division in his thought. He had a great understanding of God and held no ill-feelings, grudges, frustrations...etc. Abraham only felt Love. There is no recipe or formula to prayer, but starting with God is always a righteous thing to do. It’s a helpful jumping-off-point and guide to prayer. It gets thought off of divisiveness and onto the allness of God, unifying all of us in perfect Oneness. When we know God, we naturally know who we are, as God’s reflection. It's an open-ended way to begin prayer, that leads to many spiritual 'aha' moments and discovery. This benefits all of our interactions, our experience and the world. _____ Next Monday, I’ll have a Practitioner friend and colleague with me here on 'Monday Moments' to switch things up. We will talk about fearlessly sharing comforting ideas with others. I post every Monday evening at 9 PM EST. For notifications about weekly postings, you can subscribe here.