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Dealing with the fear of annihilation

With the ongoing threat of nuclear war, it may seem that our very existence is in jeopardy. But can we afford to give up to a hopeless fear of annihilation? No!

Coming to grips with this problem, however, involves an honest evaluation of our viewpoint and life style. Perhaps the unstable sense felt by so many is the outgrowth of a misconception of identity; the acceptance of the belief that man is an isolated, mortal being whose prime objective is to satisfy his physical senses. From this perspective, the power and presence of God seem remote. Yet turning wholeheartedly to God, learning more of His nature and our relationship to Him, can provide the very means by which we can deal with the specter of nonbeing.

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''I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed,'' n1 the Bible tells us. God is limitless good; indestructible Spirit; eternal Life. He is never subject to the evils of materiality.

n1 Malachi 3:6

The nature and selfhood of man, God's offspring, are clearly defined by God. They partake of His pure, indestructible, spiritual qualities. So we might say that man's purpose in the scheme of things is to know and express what God is, to bear witness to God's unending goodness.

But what can we really do in the face of so much contrary evidence? For one thing we can challenge and deny its credibility. Through prayer our spiritual sense can discern what is true and what is false.

The physical senses may insist that man is a vulnerable mortal, here today and gone tomorrow. But in defiance of this picture, Christ Jesus taught the eternality of life. ''If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death,'' n2 the Master said. Also, ''I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.'' n3

n2 John 8:51.

n3 John 10:10

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Don't these statements deny what the physical senses tell us? And don't they point to a dimension of identity and reality that can help us today? Why not, then, refute as illegitimate, even powerless, everything that would disclaim the allness and goodness of God; that suggests man is separated from his Maker?

Certainly we can't ignore evil. We need to face up to it, however ominous. But the most effective way to deal with it is through prayer that realizes the totality of good. To one conscious of divine Love, convinced of its supremacy, evil is seen to be temporal, baseless. The harmony of God and man is intact, and the prayerful recognition of this fact must help quiet fear and all the elements of mortal thought at the root of the nuclear threat.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes: ''Nothing can interfere with the harmony of being nor end the existence of man in Science.'' And a little farther on she adds: ''The great difficulty lies in ignorance of what God is. God, Life, Truth, and Love make man undying.'' n4

n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 427.

God Himself is the basis of our immortality. The realization of this can have a profound effect right now. It shows that nuclear holocaust is not inevitable, nor is fear of annihilation unavoidable.

A parable in the Scriptures tells of a little town that was under attack by a powerful monarch. It was saved through the wisdom of one man. n5 Much good can result from the enlightened prayers of one citizen. And think what will happen when the prayers of mankind are more generally anchored in an understanding of God's allness.

n5 See Ecclesiastes 9:14, 15

Nonbeing is an impossible state for God, and it is equally impossible for God's expression, man. We can each play a part today in proving that fact. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to ev- erlasting, thou art God. Psalms 90:1, 2

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