Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Finding Freedom from Fear

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Finding Freedom from Fear

Article excerpt

A teacher once asked his students to look around their classroom, making mental note of all the blue items they saw. He then asked them to close their eyes and, without opening them, name all the red items they had seen. The students could name only a few. When the teacher asked them to open their eyes again, the students saw lots of red items - in many sizes and in a variety of shapes and shades. When asked why they had not remembered them before, one student said, "Because we were focused on blue!"

Often our perception of reality is determined by where our thoughts are focused. What we accept as being real plays a huge role in our lives: It can generate fear or it can bring peace of mind.

It's interesting to note that the human tendency to be fearful is often called "the culture of fear." So how can we cope with the all- too-often irrational tendency to allow the emotion of fear to overrule the important and very natural human desire to be caring and loving?

I've found that shifting my focus from a materialistic view to a spiritual view helps me gain an understanding that God's presence is all-powerful, entirely good, and is reflected by His creation. This spiritual view brings an awareness that Spirit, God, is the inherently good identity reflected by each individual. Situations may appear frightening when viewed from a limited, matter-based standpoint, but a spiritual understanding dissolves fear and brings peaceful resolutions.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, explains in her major work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things" (p. 129). And she brings out in this same book the fundamental truth on which the realism of God's supremacy can be proved in our lives: "We must learn that evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence. Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless" (p. 207).

In support of these statements, Science and Health argues elsewhere: "If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the supremacy of good, ought we not, contrariwise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it natural to love sin and unnatural to forsake it, - no longer imagine evil to be ever-present and good absent? …

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