Mental architecture

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

As an architect, I love few things more than walls. You might say I'm in the wall-creation business. I live to make walls!

On the other hand, I know all too well what it's like to live surrounded by walls that I wish were not there – walls of limitation. These I would happily tear down.

A lot of people are faced with barriers to freedom in one form or another – disappointment, disease, and debt; sadness, grief, sexual crisis, failure. It's not unusual to feel trapped by these villains. Nations, too, face menaces to their well-being. Invisible barriers box out entire societies from peace, affluence, advancement, and live-and-let-live harmony.

These are bad walls. They try to imprison us and make us feel alone, helpless, cheated, and afraid – separated from the vast universe of good, which is another name for God.

The Bible tells of God's power to tear down bad walls, even "bricks-and-mortal" ones. Not through reliance on physical force, but through faith in divine power – through Spirit-attuned thought-power that declares the ever-presence of good and resists to the end the "right" of evil to separate us from it. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down ..." says the Bible (Heb. 11:30).

As I see it, Joshua and his people replaced a faith-in-material-power view of existence with an uplifted faith-in-spiritual-power one. Spirituality gave them power to change human life in dramatic and tangible good ways. It ultimately enabled victory over their enemies and secured their freedom.

I once felt really cut off by non-existent career opportunities. I remember standing on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean in winter, alone, forlorn, looking out over the watery void that stretched to infinity. I'd been praying. But it didn't matter. I felt lost. Then it hit me. The ocean symbolized God's boundless eternal love for me. I felt the presence of Spirit's comforting, sustaining power. I felt like the important incorporeal image and likeness of the divine that the Bible says I am. I tried to keep my thought on this spiritual concept during the following months. I had to be patient. But wonderful opportunities eventually came my way, and they still do.

To be sure, I still have other problems. But I'm not giving up. I'm continuing my faith-in-Spirit mental remodeling project. And I expect to see the short-term and long-term wrinkles of my life ironed out in tangible ways.

I've come to realize that thought-walls of material limitation crumble when replaced with spiritual freedom. These form the basis of our mental stronghold, which the dictionary defines as a fortified place, a place of security and survival.

So you and I are in the stronghold-construction business. Day by day, moment by moment, we are building either an unreliable stronghold of materiality or a surefire one of spirituality.

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal," says the Bible, "but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;" (II Cor. 10:4). The Bible is talking about those bad walls. It alerts us that spiritual, Christlike thinking or prayer is crucial to the quality of our lives. It's our chief weapon. It's in the citadel of thought where battles of every kind are waged – and ultimately lost or won.

The good news, as I learned during that Atlantic-side twilight, is that we don't have to tear down the walls of fear and trauma ourselves, through willpower. We can surrender to the calm power of the divine to do the job for us. Health, joy, usefulness, fairness, forgiveness, fortitude, fruition, and fun can spring naturally into your life and mine right now through the channels of God's infinite intelligence and love.

If we fortify our spiritual stronghold, how safe are we if other people have different, even antagonistic ideas? "Clad in the panoply of love, human hatred cannot reach you," assures Mary Baker Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (pg. 571). A panoply is a full suit of armor.

Spirituality is power. It can bring the walls of evil and terror tumbling down all over the world.

There is no safer place, no mightier refuge, no greater difficulty-melting force for peace.

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