Many of the recent horror and murder mystery movies have a common element: The victims of brutality are usually women, the victimizers men. Again and again, these depictions of hostility reinforce the image of women as natural targets for violence and men as natural perpetrators. How many of us really question this stereotype -- effectively?
What we consciously or unconsciously believe or condone doesm affect our lives.* Scenes that strengthen such stereotypes tend to support an atmosphere of thought that invites violence.
If we understand that images, like ideas, affect our lives, what can we do? Our protest can go far beyond just an individual boycott of media that exploit violence. Indeed, our protest mustm go further if we want to have the greatest effect. To most successfully combat hatred, sadism, and violence of all types we must strike at their causes.
Which are what? Poverty? A corrupt, male-dominated society? Bad upbringing? Heredity? Possibly all these things are factors. But there is no reason why we can't go even deeper and uproot what is the basic cause of evil in everym form: the false consciousness in which evil seems as real and powerful as good. This finite consciousness is termed in Christian Science "mortal mind." All sense of evil begins and ends with this so-called mind and its objectification, matter. Christ Jesus spoke of the personification of evil as the devil, who was "a murderer from the beginning" and who "abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." n1
n1 John 8:44;
The murderer, the violence vendor we need to put out of action, is this false consciousness, which holds evil as real and powerful opposite to God. To destroy evil, therefore, one must begin by replacing an individualized consciousness of it with a genuine expression of good.
This may seem a monumental taks. Evil in all its forms and modes seems so real and concrete. But the Christ can radically and fundamentally change thought from a material to a more spiritual basis, bringing God's reality to light. How? Through prayer, through our surrendering to the transforming power of Christ and our seeking the true consciousness of reality that God bestows. Each of us can know and express in ever greater degree the Mind that is God, divine Life, unlimited bliss and joy.
The Bible itself encourages, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Chirst Jesus." n2 This Mind, the Mind of Christ, is your Mind and my Mind, your Life and mine, and through the Science of Christ we can know it. Divine Mind, Life, is constantly imparting the true consciousness of being that empowers us to subdue the material sense of existence. When Life is apprehended, it takes away the apparent substantiality of evil by destroying a fascination with it or a fear of it.
n2 Philippians 2:5;
This was one of Mary Baker Eddy's n3 discoveries in Christian Science. She writes, "For man to know Life as it is, namely God, the ternal good, gives him not merely a sense of existence, but an accompanying conciousness of spiritual power that subordinates matter and destroys sin, disease, and death." n4
n3 Mrs. Eddy is a Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n4 miscellaneous Writings,m p. 189.
Through prayer and daily living illumined with divine Truth, each of us can reflect more of the Mind of Christ and so discover Life's infinite dimensions. The true consciousness of Life gives us power to overcome veil. Insanity, violence, and hatred must yield to the sweet realities of real Life understood.
Our thoughts, the very way we live, can be a continual protest -- not only against the glorification of violence but against the whole aggressive emphasis on extremes of material existence. As we become more conscious of real Mind, we will see increasing evidence of the infinite dimensions of Spirit and spiritual life. Growing dominion over evil of every kind assures us that someday all limitation will yield to the infinite consciousness. Then man will be seen as he really is: with one Mind and in the image of that Mind -- Godlike and free. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image: . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. Exodus 20:4, 5