Moves for peace
IN light of recent developments in the United States-Libyan confrontation, concerns for individual safety as well as national and international stability take on new urgency. The Monitor has been exploring the issues from a political perspective in recent times. A spiritual perspective, which this column aims to provide, is also essential to the work of finding a lasting solution. The Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, has said: ``This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace.''1 This prophetic statement has immediate relevance to the conflicts that face the world today. It points to the need for spirituality as the only sure basis for safety and peace. To assure individual safety the need is not simply to move to or remain on the side that has the greatest fire power and the most impregnable defences, nor even to move to or remain on the side that has the greatest moral justification for its military action. The need is for a mental relocating of ourselves into a more spiritual terrain. Christ Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God and said of its location: ``Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.''2 Think of it. In our very midst is this heavenly kingdom. Man, as the beloved child of God, naturally abides there. There is room in this spiritual realm not only for ourselves but for everyone. Christ Jesus knew this kingdom to be available to all of us. The issue is not so much who is excluded from the kingdom of heaven as what is excluded. Hatred, revenge, greed, the pride of power--one and all--are excluded. And so the individual expressing these traits may seem to shut himself out of the kingdom. In the degree that we reject these dark traits and embody their spiritual opposites, such as love, spiritual understanding, spiritual strength, we are proving in practical ways that we are included; we are making effective moves toward individual and world peace. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the main work on Christian Science by Mrs. Eddy, there's a definition of Kingdom of Heaven that reads: ``The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.''3 (The capitalized terms Mind, Soul, and Spirit in that definition are all used as synonyms for God.) In the degree we become conscious that man as the likeness of God truly abides under the reign of harmony and the government of God, we mentally move ourselves into territory of security and peace. And because it would be impossible to consider selfishly only ourselves as within this spiritual realm, we see others there too. We absolutely cannot, and should not, ignore evil. The Science of Christianity doesn't teach that. But it does teach us to help all mankind by identifying each individual as in spiritual fact the beloved offspring of God. As children of God, dwelling in the peaceful kingdom of infinite Mind and Spirit and Soul, each of us is in perfect accord with God's own nature. That rules out destructive, irrational, vengeful impulses. It is simply an impossibility for those dark qualities to abide in the kingdom of heaven, ``the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.'' We may feel we're some distance from fully proving these spiritual truths, but at least we can make a beginning and take steps forward each day for our own and humanity's benefit. 1Science and Health, p. 96. 2Luke 17:21. 3Science and Health, p. 590.