The quest for the 'God particle'

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the 17-mile-long time machine that is supposed to provide the answers to the big bang and the black hole theories, began its date with history earlier this year. It's the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of science. Thousands of scientists, from 85 countries, gathered on the industrial and scientific estate that is known as the CERN campus located on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.

Although they were hoping to recreate the environment of the so-called dawn of time, the LHC ran into technical problems after running for about two weeks. These have temporarily stalled the effort to find the answer to the so-called "God particle" – the theory that's supposed to give matter its mass, but has never been found. Scientists expect to resume their quest next spring if all goes well.

For centuries, scientists have been looking at the cosmos and the planets because they believed that there was an order or law by which the planets moved. Isaac Newton's observations, for instance, enabled him to conceive the law of gravity. Through this law, scientists were able to predict the positions of the planets and found it to be very reliable. But all these observations are based on the assumption that the universe rests on a material basis.

But what if the "God particle" isn't material? Suppose God is actually Spirit and created the universe spiritually? In the 19th century, Mary Baker Eddy looked deeply into the universe and found not a material God particle, but the conviction that God is infinite Spirit and that man – meaning men and women – is actually the spiritual idea of one divine Mind.

She reached this conclusion following a dramatic healing of physical injuries that were expected to be fatal. When she was wholly restored through reading an account of Jesus' healing work and the inspiration she gained from it, she began to look deeply into the Bible and to Jesus' life in particular. She reached the radical conclusion, later articulated in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," that "there is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in all" (p. 468). She called her discovery Christian Science.

This idea grew and expanded in her consciousness, until it became the impelling motive of her entire life. She observed that sometimes great suffering and distress were produced by material laws, and she came to the conclusion that a God who possesses infinite wisdom and goodness could not operate through laws that produce both good and evil. The message of the Bible is that "God is love" (I John 4:16), and her concept of God as Love and as Spirit also included God as Mind, Soul, Life, Truth, Principle.

These facets of the one God don't include a material element or particle, yet they stand for essential elements in the universe. Consider what creation would be like if any of those elements were missing. Order, joy, peace, harmony, strength, completeness, goodness, among other facets of life, would be gone. This helps show the reality of creation's spiritual basis. Mrs. Eddy also perceived that God governs His children and His universe through spiritual, not material, laws. She and her students were able to prove the reality of this spiritual law through healing people, based on understanding its principles and rules.

Her research and prayer revealed a way of living that went far beyond matter-based theories to an understanding of spirituality that transformed people, even those who were on their deathbeds. This Science, whose roots were – and are – in the healing work Jesus did, regenerated human minds and bodies then, and it continues to do so today.

Whether or not the Hadron Collider resumes its quest for the God particle, right now each of us can experience the presence of God as a healing influence, improving our health, providing stability in government, and caring for the world.

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