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You Can Help to Defuse Public Anger

TUNE in to a radio talk show on any given day and you're likely to hear people venting their outrage against this official or that circumstance. Anger is apparently widespread, erupting in racial conflict, violence on the freeway, and in community factions that won't cooperate. It seems clear that while anger may be considered by some a natural reaction to injustice, it doesn't provide any genuine solution. A frustrated, stirred-up state of thought only tends to cloud reason, the perception of possible s olutions, and steps in the right direction.

Whatever the new forms of today's challenges, their common denominator is the same as it has always been. St. Paul described this as the carnal mind, which he told the Romans is "enmity against God. Fortunately, there is a remedy, and it's as powerful today as it was in Bible times. It's probably best summed up in Paul's advice to the Philippians: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

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Jesus showed that we don't have to be helpless victims and that a perception of God's presence and love can reveal quite a different picture of things than we may have been seeing. The tendency of human thought is to be resentful of injustice. But the Way-shower spoke of loving our enemies, of cultivating meekness and purity, of going into the "closet of silent prayer for healing. His teachings counteract the aggressiveness of human will and reaction with the instruction, in essence, to yield humbly to t he government of the one God--to let the divine Mind be our only Mind.

The humility and love that Jesus encouraged us to express aren't weak, naive responses to the complexities of a modern world. On the contrary, they align us with the one Mind, with the divine power that has created no injustice and rules it out of God's universe. Working actively toward expressing these qualities, we find the mental fog of fear and anger lifting--and can help to lift it for others. Learning what it means to have the Mind that was in Christ Jesus, we not only reflect more of the divine na ture but discern more of the spiritual reality of creator and creation. As the Bible indicates, God, divine Love, created man in His image, to express His perfect nature. What man actually is, then, is God's satisfied spiritual likeness, provided for by His justice and love. The truth is there are no warring minds in God's spiritual universe; all identities express the one Mind.

It's clear, though, that this reality has to be not just believed but proved. It has to be made practical through the outcome of prayer and through our own willingness to yield to Love's impulsions. And this includes striving to consider others as they are in truth, beyond what appearances tell us. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, said in her Message to The Mother Church for 1902, "Earth's actors change earth's scenes; and the curtain of human life should be lifted on rea lity, on that which outweighs time; on duty done and life perfected, wherein joy is real and fadeless. The news may tell of growing injustice and anger. But spiritual intuition and prayer make known divine Love's government of man. To cultivate this view, and to live more of the love that comes from God, is to do much toward defusing the carnal mind's destructive tendencies, and changing earth's scenes for the better.

This is a condensed version of an article that originally appeared in the "Thinking it through column of the April 6 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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