Swine flu – and unlimited immunity

A Christian Science perspective

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Who wouldn't want to be immune to flu or any other disease making the headlines? One technique is to be careful to wash one's hands frequently and to stay away from people who are coughing. Another option may be a vaccine that's designed to provide immunity for the particular disease that may be threatening.

What if there were instead a preventative for some current contagion, an opportunity to experience unlimited immunity to diseases of all kinds? While one might rightfully doubt the likelihood of finding such a material remedy, it's possible to look in another direction, to a spiritual source, for freedom from contagion.

In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Christian Science reveals God, not as the author of sin, sickness, and death, but as divine Principle, Supreme Being, Mind, exempt from all evil" (p. 127). The eternal identity of every man, woman, and child, is exempt from evil of every nature, including what are called contagious diseases.

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But to gain this exemption, it's important not only to recognize that we are spiritual but to live our spirituality. To do this would include expressing qualities such as love, honesty, goodness, intelligence, instead of indulging in what are called mortal, or unspiritual, thoughts and behavior that are motivated by fear, hatred, anger, and jealousy. To whatever degree we are able to treat others with kindness, to resist resentment and other negative characteristics, we contribute to rendering ourselves immune to disease. This is true because in Spirit, there is no disease, and each of us, as a child of Spirit, is already exempt from disease. What makes us vulnerable is when we forget this and start thinking of ourselves or others in material terms. In other words, we become fearful of disease or some other situation, or we respond to individuals with anger, envy, or hatred. Such thought and behavior bring us into the mortal realm, where disease is the norm. But by acknowledging that we live within the spiritual atmosphere, where divine Love reigns, we are accepting the spiritual nature that is ours from God, and with it, the immunity God provides.

The wonderful truth about spiritual immunity is that it's not limited to a particular disease. While it does include freedom from the disease of the moment, spiritual immunity keeps one's daily living on a higher plane, where both cause and effect are good. We find that listening for and heeding God's direction provide a sinless, healthy state of thought that is more consistently immune to sickness or other trouble.

This does not mean that if someone has come down with a disease, he or she has been indulging in wrongdoing, however. Fear of a particular disease, often incited by news stories, can lead an individual into accepting the symptoms of an illness without even realizing it. Dismissing both disease, and what seems to cause it, as unreal in true being has a benign influence that reduces the severity of disease or prevents it altogether.

This mental stance is based on the assurance that God is good and is not the author of disease. To understand God as all good rules out any belief that is harmful or destructive, because it's clear that the divine Creator could never have made it.

The Gospel of John begins with these three verses regarding creation: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

Reasoning that it is the Word, or Spirit – and not matter – that creates, and that this creation is entirely good, we discover that in spiritual reality there is in fact no evil. Reasoning further from this standpoint, we realize that immunity from disease is a constant and natural condition. It is not something we have to acquire, nor can we be deprived of it, even if we temporarily lose sight of it. And what is most desirable about this unlimited immunity is that all can share it.

There will come a time when there will be no need to fear that we will give disease to one another, because we'll better understand God's love and the way this totally eliminates disease. This does not belittle the unselfish care not to expose others to some illness that one may be experiencing. But it does promise that the time will come when we'll recognize God as the one source of immunity from every disease and for everyone.

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