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Climate Impacts Day and a new way to look at the world

A Christian Science perspective.

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May 5 is Climate Impacts Day. Many have worked tirelessly to bring to world attention what’s happening to our planet. The activity of 350.org, a "global grassroots movement working to solve the climate crisis," and many other people and organizations, are raising awareness of the need to rethink the way we interact with our environment in order to prevent further damage. While supporting these efforts, is there more we can do?

My son was taking in the clouds the other day, and we marveled together at their massive dimension and apparent solidity, yet how easily a bird or plane passes through them.

How about our world’s environmental and social justice problems? How massive and intractable they appear. In fact, in all the presentation of finite resources and devastating environmental impacts, finity has seemed to take on an infinite dimension, so huge and unsolvable appear the problems our environment and world face.

However, finity can never become infinite. And infinity always trumps finity. What is finity but the perception of limitation? Just because something appears limited, is it? What is real substance? The sober issues at hand certainly cannot be trivialized into mere clouds, but they may have more attributes of clouds than one would at first think.

If all of creation were simply material, all would be ultimately limited and finite. But if an infinite dimension exists here and now, beyond the perception of the limited material senses, where and what is limitation? To infinite Mind, God, all is infinite. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, identified “a conscious, constant capacity to understand God” as “spiritual sense” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 209). Spiritual sense opens up a whole new perspective on the universe. It enables us to see the infinite right where all appears finite. There is really only one universe. Through which lens shall we view it – the finite or the infinite?

Many breakthroughs and discoveries are continually demolishing barriers of finity. The functions of a computer, once housed in a room, are now contained in microchips. The concept of zero-carbon housing has become a reality. “Closed loop” concepts eliminate waste and turn it into energy. All these examples, and many more, illustrate changing perceptions and an openness to solutions, sustainable ideas, previously thought impossible or nonexistent. Einstein’s statement that “problems cannot be solved on the same level of thinking which created them” cannot be overstated.

There is the finite level of perception, and there is the infinite. The various problems of finity can finally be solved only by changing our lens to an infinite perspective. Seeing the creator and the universe in infinite terms opens huge possibilities. We may not make this leap all at once, but the glimpses gained through prayerful communion with the infinite God launch us into healing solutions of all kinds.

To see the body, energy, ecosystems, etc., as limited and finite fosters the fuel for fear and finite effects. To envision the universe as infinite – the product of a perfect and infinite divine Mind, which is Love itself, producing an infinite, whole reflection of itself – opens the way for solutions here and now. Physical healings result. Answers to all kinds of apparently finite puzzles emerge.

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One pathway to greater enlightenment or vision of the infinite dimension of Mind, of Love, of Spirit, is to begin to drop all kinds of finite filters, such as greed, fear, anger, imbalance, unkindness, jealousy, selfishness, ego, polarization – any quality of thought that clouds our capacity to see and embody the infinite. I believe these negative traits contribute to climate change, social injustice, economic imbalance, resource destruction, and overuse.

Cultivating instead qualities of thinking that clear the lens reveals a way to experience infinity: generosity, peace, fearless and unconditional love, affection, balance, kindness, unselfishness, harmony in diversity, intelligence, wisdom, creativity, openness, willingness. Mrs. Eddy put it this way: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (Science and Health, p. 261).

Through a clearer lens emerge solutions of all kinds. Then hope is more than a wishful emotion. It’s founded in clarity, in a view of the infinite.

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