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Ending war

The world has not been engulfed in global war for almost forty years. We can thank our loving Father, God, for this. But our little planet still seems to suffer lesser wars, and surveys show that fear of war is a major concern of people even in those countries that have not been directly at war for many years.

But how can we end war? Not just slow it, as now, but actually end it once and for all so that the world's youth is not again ravaged by or enticed to it, and adults are not fearful for themselves or their children? Is such a thing possible?

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It is possible. But to end war requires us to understand more clearly that genuine peace is a permanent attribute that God expresses in man rather than a transient quality mortals yearn for. In other words, our spiritual sense of God and man needs to increase. We need to be, and can be, less hypnotized by the material sense of a world in conflict and more conscious of the spiritual and peaceable kingdom of God right at hand. This kingdom is not plagued by wars and fears of wars. It is the perfect and complete creation of God, including man as His precious likeness. The Bible's clear spiritual thinkers glimpsed this creation and we can too. Individual peace and world peace result from spiritual understanding and from actively living this understanding moment by moment.

If we don't just now seem to have either this understanding or peace, that does not mean neither exists. The problem is not that God and His peace are absent, but that our spiritual sense of Him and His creation is dormant.

However, it need not stay dormant. Through humble, persistent prayer, we can ask God to awaken us to His goodness, and we can meekly declare that God and His peace are present, even though we might not see them, just as we know that intelligence and honesty are present, even though we cannot photograph or weigh them. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, ''Material sense does not unfold the facts of existence; but spiritual sense lifts human consciousness into eternal Truth.''n1

n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p 25.

A gradually increasing awareness of spiritual peace means that our thought is becoming spiritualized, that our perception of things is more in accord with the harmony established by God. Thought without a doubt influences our lives. Can there be a reasonable doubt that it also influences our world?

This point is important to ending war because war is a result of base materialistic elements of thought such as fear, greed, and revenge. In order to end war, then, we have got to find a way not just to curb the arms race, as helpful as that may be, but to curb mortal passions, which are at the root of the arms race. We need to limit not just nuclear buildup but the buildup of ignorance, anger, and malice, whether these relate to false national pride, ideological disputes, racial prejudice, or some momentary disgust with a family member or neighbor.

However, all of us who have tried it know that to lessen evil in human character is not always easy or quick. To fly off the handle when someone does something we don't like can seem habitual. But through the spiritual sense we all innately have, we can glimpse and even come to understand ourselves to be not mortals but perfect expressions of the total good that God is, without evil of any kind.

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These concepts may seem at least unusual to many. Most of us seem more at home with ''hard'' news than holy ideas. But as we are meekly willing even to consider the possibility of an infinite, perfect God and of man as His cherished likeness, we can increasingly feel spiritual peace, which passes the human understanding of peace because it is of God and not from mortals. ''Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace,'' n2 the Bible tells us, and it gives us many examples of courageous men and women who did just that, such as Joseph in prison and Paul in a shipwreck. Many today seem to be reaching out for this higher understanding of God as infinite good and the source of all peace and of man as inseparable from Him.

n2 Job 22:21

War and its anguish are not forever, because fear and domination are not permanent. World peace is not an impossible dream. It is achievable as mankind becomes more conscious, through prayer, of perfect God and His perfect spiritual man. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let the peace of God rule in your hearts . . . . Colossians 3:15Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 95.

2 Job 22:21.

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