Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

Harmony and diversity – together   Leave a comment

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In the wake of France’s celebration as two-time champion of the soccer World Cup (1998 and 2018), many are surfing on a wave of optimism that the momentum of hope and pride might help heal economic and social fractures, especially among French youth.

This contrasts strikingly with the feeling that has been expressed by many disillusioned young people, that they don’t really “belong.” But I believe all of us are valuable, throughout all times and despite the distinct geography of our origins, and we can realize this by considering a more universal and spiritual sense of our identity.

Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy, who founded The Christian Science Monitor with the object “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind,” wrote in her revolutionary book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being” (p. 63).

This approach to thinking about our identity has been expressed in this song in the Bible: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14). As we discover infinite Spirit as the real source of our being, both the origin and purpose of our identity shine forth in their true light, and limitations, including those stemming from our environment or education, fall away.

May the liberating universal sense of spiritual worth that each man, woman, and child is entitled to feel guide our interactions with one another.

Click here to read or listen to the entire article by Myriam Betouche from The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective

“there are no outsiders”   Leave a comment

Beyond skin color

Today’s contributor reflects on lessons he learned as he prayed about prejudice after moving from Congo to Norway – and how those lessons continue to shape the way he sees others.

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……..My first thought was, “I’m going to deny his request just so he can feel what it’s like to be rejected!” But just as I heard my own answer, I immediately thought, “Of course you’re not going to do that.” From the very first day we’d lived in Norway, my parents had urged us to look past differences, look past color….

One of the biggest lessons it taught me is that we really are all brothers and sisters. The spiritual reality is that we aren’t material beings divided into separate races and living in separate nations; we all live in God’s kingdom – the kingdom of heaven, which Christ Jesus told us is right here, right now. Prayer to better understand God as the true creator of us all can open our eyes to the presence of this kingdom, helping us realize there are no outsiders. No one is outside good, outside divine Love. It isn’t being of the same race or culture that makes us “in” with others. It’s God. It’s knowing that we are living in God’s kingdom as God’s offspring, because that’s God’s truth. This is a very effective way of combating prejudice, because it starts from the basis of oneness, rather than divisions.

So I changed my answer. I began thinking of this individual with love. I thought: “As God’s son, he could never harm me; he can only reflect goodness.”

What if we did this for everyone we met? What if we let God show us the true individuality of each of His ideas – as spiritual, uniquely colorful, and wonderful?

This article from The Christian Science Monitor’s : A Christian Scientist’s Perspective was written by Christian Kongolo. Read or listen to the entire article here

Hate Loses Power   1 comment

shutterstock_90543814Daily Lift by Skip Phinney

Governments around the world are adopting very different strategies to deal with a growing sense of the differences between us.  Many of these strategies exaggerate the differences and diminish our similarities, and fear is often the outcome.

In this 3 minute talk Skip talks about how valuing the good in each individual and appreciating our common worth breaks down barriers and promotes the kind of peace and security we are all looking for.

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Free from Anxiety   Leave a comment

Young Woman Reading and Studying.The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

This article, Free from Anxiety, is by Jen who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She describes how a change of thinking freed her from constant anxiety and gave her a sense of peace and harmony.

I love being a Christian Scientist, and diving deep into health, spirituality and identity, but it can be hard challenging ideas that are accepted as fact by the wider community.  Spiritual healing is seen as impractical and ineffective, and it is rare that I tell people that I rely on prayer when I am ill or injured. This is because it is assumed that I pray to a God who would create me capable of being in pain and then sometimes decides to award me a miracle and heal me.

For me, God is a creative, spiritual force that is completely good.   As Christian Scientists, we strive to look past sin, suffering and disease, and understand ourselves as primarily spiritual- as the representation of a higher creative power.  In asserting our spiritual identities, and understanding a higher creation, we unburden ourselves of thoughts that limit us to be inherently flawed and suffering.  As Mary Baker Eddy puts it, ‘Christian Science is the law of Truth, that heals the sick on the basis of the One Mind, Or God’ (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 482).  Instead of accepting that there is something ‘wrong’ with me, I turn my mind to spiritual truths, namely that I am primarily spiritual and free from ideas of pain or suffering.

I was healed from anxiety this year, and have felt a lightness and freedom.  I had accepted a very limited view of myself – I focused on the negatives in my life, and tried to physically control the environment around me to feel safe and secure in myself.  This started with my tendency to hide parts of myself that I feared other people would reject, and did everything I could to meet the expectations of those around me in school, during my gap year and later at university.  This obsession with control intensified when I lived in Indonesia, where I was constantly harassed by men in the streets and was actually assaulted at one point during my time there.  I learned to prepare for the worst case scenario, and was uptight and fearful.  This affected my personal life – I was scared that people would find out things about me that they might disapprove of, and I was very distrustful of new people, especially men.

I had a healing when I realised that the opposite of anxiety is to expect good.  This did not mean putting my head in the sand and pretending that nothing was wrong, but rather turning away from a limited understanding of myself and the world and focusing on spiritual facts.  A God that is all good could not create me fearful and vulnerable, and has not assigned me a future of fear and negativity in order to ‘test’ me.  Slowly, I concentrated on correcting fearful thoughts with an expectation of good, and gauging whether ideas coming to me were affirming my identity as a spiritual being or sending me into a negative spiral.  The strength I gained by trusting God has led me to be more open with friends and family, to forgive the men in Indonesia who seemed to threaten my safety, and to be relaxed in accepting opportunities that have opened up a whole new world for me.  I am so grateful for my background in Christian Science, and have used it as a practical tool in gaining peace and harmony in my everyday life.

To read more testimonies of healing shared by members of the Christian Science Church in Canberra click on the archive headings on the left for May and June 2016.

No More Suffering from Allergies   Leave a comment

shutterstock_116898418The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

This article, No More Suffering from Allergies, is by Deborah who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She describes how she overcame severe allergic reactions through prayer alone.

Throughout my childhood and into my adult life I suffered terribly from allergies. There were many things in the environment I felt triggered extreme reactions—but probably the most devastating to me was my reaction to cats. As a child I owned a huge ginger cat called Timmy. I loved Timmy, but even to sit near him caused me hours of distress; to touch him meant that I was almost incapacitated … Read more

This article was originally published in the Christian Science Journal.  It is now available through JHS-online.

To read more testimonies of healing shared by members of the Christian Science Church in Canberra click on the archive headings on the left for May and June 2016.

The Link Between Spirituality and Happiness in Children   Leave a comment

shutterstock_118635883Spiritual children are happier children, according to a study by Mark Holder, associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. Holder found four things happier children possess: personal meaning, communal meaning, awe for beauty and nature, and a belief in some sort of transcendental power.

“I think a big part of happiness in general is the feeling of personal meaning,” he said. “Spiritual paths are ones that promote personal meaning.” Read more

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This article,  The Link Between Spirituality and Happiness in Children by Patty Machelor, was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel.  It is now available on JHS-online.

Retirement Leisure   Leave a comment

shutterstock_88373215Most retired people want to live full and useful lives.  They want their days to be at least as satisfying as when they were working steadily.  It is good that so many feel this way, because leisure based on useful activity is a natural human expression of divine Life, or God.

Christian Science teaches that everyone can live a productive, meaningful life. Read more

In this article, Retirement Leisure,  J. Thomas Black talks about how a deeper understanding of God as divine Life helps us to live happier, healthier more fulfilling lives.  The article was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel; it is now available through this link to JHS-online.

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