Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Environmental Activism ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Environmental Activism ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Battles over environmental issues too often come down to either/ or propositions. Do we save old-growth forests or do we save jobs in the lumber industry? Improve the atmosphere and the waterways or save industries the high cost of cleaning up their pollution? Save wildlife habitats or preserve development rights?

There are some encouraging signs of cooperation between what have usually been regarded as conflicting interests. One example occurred earlier this year, when a significant portion of the Headwaters Forest, a rare stand of old-growth redwoods in northern California, was purchased with state and federal funds to be preserved.

Around this pristine tract is a much larger expanse of forest still owned by the lumber company. This can continue to be logged, saving jobs and profits. The lumbering practices are required to be environmentally sound, designed to protect endangered species and salmon streams. The arrangement is not perfect, but is a step in the right direction. A good example of how conflicting interests can be brought together for the benefit of all. It involves an attitude of cooperation rather than confrontation.

There is more we can do, even if we've never attended a meeting or a conference. Our contribution can be through spiritual activism. Through our prayers, we can support steps of progress and help correct situations in which there are impasses.

Making the effort to pray about environmental issues will give us many insights that help us make a real contribution. This article has space for exploring just one of these insights - that God is Mind, the supreme intelligence governing the universe.

Starting from the biblical premise that there is but one God, it follows that there can be but one Mind. And this totally good Mind is reflected in the infinite ideas it creates. The true spiritual identity of each one of us is as an idea of Mind. By reflection, we must have intelligence, wisdom, foresight, understanding, insight, discernment. Such qualities, which we express in our thoughts and actions, are invaluable in resolving conflict and bringing harmony to human affairs.

The textbook of Christian Science explains, "When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man's normal drift towards the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, pg. …

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