Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mind the gaps

Do you ever feel like you’re under spiritual assault? When the stuff that’s coming at you seems to be directly targeting your weakest points? How does this happen? My friend Chris gave me some clarity on this point yesterday that I wanted to share.

I think I had been giving the “assaulter” too much credit. Meaning, it seemed like there was some sort of intelligent being out there who was discerning my weaknesses and exploiting them.

In Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy coined a term for this assaulter—mortal mind. But she makes it clear that this so-called mind has no intelligence. God, Mind, is omni-intelligent, so the false mortal mind truly has no discernment at all. So how does it always seem to know where my weak points are?

Chris shared an analogy that gave me the answer. She likened the situation to a dam that walls water off from flooding a town. Think of the water as fear, the dam as spiritual understanding, and the town as your consciousness. If there are chinks in the dam—the proverbial "hole in the dike"—the water just seeps through at that point. The water has no intelligence, it’s just there on the other side of the wall. It doesn’t choose where to seep through. It’s the hole in the wall that lets it in.

Somehow this comforted me yesterday. I’m not fighting an enemy that’s out to get me personally. I’m simply fighting mindless fear that gets in at the places where I haven’t cemented my wall of spiritual understanding yet. In actuality, that fear is doing me a favor, because it’s highlighting the chinks in the wall for me to pinpoint with focused spiritual effort. I can scaffold up to the exact right point and fill in the gaps with the mortar of Truth (and be sure to consider both meanings of “mortar”—I can hear you groaning at the extended metaphor already).

So, with a special nod to my London readers, it’s clear we need to mind the gaps.

Here’s an inspiring page about the hole in the dike story, I encourage you to check it out.



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2 Comments:

At 4/19/2006 02:29:00 PM, Blogger Brittany said...

This dam analogy makes perfect sense, and I think helps to explain why there are so many "unsuccessful healers" who end up leaving CS. In fitting with the analogy there are many CS thinkers who view the religion as a means to heal physical problems. They are often lovingly referred to as "teabag Christian Scientists" (ie they only work when they're in hot water). They don't work continuously on their "spiritual dam" and as a result they don't fix any of their chinks until it becomes a BIG problem. Chinks have a tendency to become large holes quite quickly. This means that these individuals only deal with their fear when there is a wall of water rushing towards their city. It is so much harder, as you can imagine, to deal with a wall of water then it is to repair a leaking chink in the dam. As a result these individuals get very frustrated with the effort it takes to heal and often don't put in the required work to build the dam again which, down the road (or river??), becomes a never-ending battle of a lifetime. This analogy does wonders to explain the importance for continuous spiritual prayer! Thank you (and Chris) for such a great analogy!!

 
At 4/19/2006 02:58:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

you make a great point, Brittany! plug the chinks as you go.

 

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