The stories we love
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
What kind of story do you like? A mystery? A romance? An ancient fairy tale or modern history? Stories can be both fun and helpful, teaching us small and big lessons. Some stories, however, are not helpful, especially if they teach us fear, hatred, or fascination with disease and suffering.
Movies and TV programs often have story lines built around the drama of disease. On TV these are sometimes referred to as "episodic illnesses," meaning that an episode dramatizes a particular disease, in the attempt to entertain and inform the viewer.
Not long ago a newspaper article reported that dramatic diagnoses and rare maladies sometimes merit starring roles in prime-time television. Producers and writers who portray unusual ailments are often courted by foundations that want to inform the public (The Wall Street Journal, April 14, 1998, Pg. 1).
Perhaps this is all more mesmeric than it is entertaining. Caring is one thing, but just being preoccupied by others' difficulties, whether on television or in real life, can't heal them. Illness, whether personal or episodic, need not be either frightening or attractive. Why? Because illness has no relevance to our spiritual nature, to our true identity as God's beloved expression. This wholly spiritual identity is untouched by sickness and even death.
Praying to understand God's goodness, power, and law improves our lives. The attraction to diseases and their consequences can be stopped. It's possible to turn from dismal scenes, sounds, and pictures to God, who is all good. By loving good more than evil, and seeking to be good constantly, you will find God's goodness in your life. Thought is externalized in experience. "Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thought lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind, Life not death, into your consciousness" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 407).