Vaccines, immunity, and the pathway to health – The Christian Science Monitor
Stopping COVID-19 is understandably an important focus these days. Many families are living with heart-wrenching stories from experiencing the disease or its impact. An end to it means long-awaited relief from the widespread fear, suffering, and disruption brought on by the pandemic.
For much of the world, there’s a lot of hope that the vaccines that have begun to be distributed will do the trick, and this hope is based largely on the role vaccines have played in past efforts to stop other diseases. What is less considered, though, is the mental process going on in regard to all of this. I’ve found the mental and spiritual aspect of things to have great value in the pursuit of health.
Along with instructing his followers to heal the sick, Christ Jesus asked them to “cast out devils” (Matthew 10:8). One way we might think of these “devils” is as the tormenting beliefs in an opposite power to God that can make us sick. Jesus so clearly understood God to be the supreme power that we can turn to in times of trouble, and it is this same understanding of God that empowers our ability to cast devilish beliefs out.
Christian Science shows that sickness is not created or condoned by God, divine Truth. It reveals the universe to be the creation of infinite divine consciousness or Mind. St. Paul said of God, “In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Despite appearances, we can think of all real life as divine Spirit, Mind, expressing itself through its ideas, which are governed by its spiritual laws. “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy explains: “The supposed laws which result in weariness and disease are not His laws, for the legitimate and only possible action of Truth is the production of harmony” (p. 183).
Without clarity about the all-power of God, Spirit, we find ourselves in a tug of war between influences on the body, as though it’s a contest between forms of matter, like good matter versus bad. But it’s actually a struggle in consciousness between mental forces that make us feel vulnerable and those that give us a sense of security. This then plays out in our feeling subject to harmful material conditions and yet striving to alter those conditions in other material ways that we believe can help us.
For real, lasting health, we need to step out of this tug of war. We do so by spiritualizing our consciousness, by finding the true, spiritual basis of thought and life in God. Through prayer affirming what we truly are as expressions of God’s good, spiritual nature, we exclude from our consciousness those mental influences that would undermine health. As we let God show us our perfect completeness as ideas of divine Mind, we see more clearly that we truly “have our being” in God, untouched by disease.
Some time ago I was dealing with the symptoms of shingles, and in a lot of pain. But as I prayed, I found myself deeply moved by thoughts of life in God, Spirit. I saw more clearly that my story – the only real story of anyone’s life – was the good that the infinite Mind expresses in us. And through prayer, I glimpsed that it is inevitable for us to understand this, because God is good and the only legitimate Mind.
In the meantime, we often have to do what feels like casting out devils, or lifting off the limited mentality that existence is material. As I did this with the symptoms of shingles, I felt a deep conviction that the good nature and purpose of God are unstoppable. As soon as I saw that, I was instantly healed of the symptoms and felt all the more committed to knowing and living the life that is God.
If we were to encounter a situation where vaccination was required, our compliance with the law wouldn’t need to compromise our reliance upon God. New vaccines may have the prospect of altering the landscape of disease, but they can’t lead the way up and out of the material sense of life that is always producing new forms of disease. To find true and lasting health, we need to see that life is actually in and of Spirit, not material at all.
So then, to understand this and to help our suffering world, we have some work in front of us. In finding God to be the only real power, we will increasingly heal disease as Christ Jesus did – spiritually. Today and tomorrow we are truly only moved to be expressions of what God is causing in us, which is entirely good and gives us victory over disease.
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