My blog post about having had Covid, which I posted last Friday, stirred up some stuff for some people. It wasn’t an idealistic post, or even one about spiritual healing, both of which you’d more expect from me.
On the same day I posted that, a Christian Science contemporary of mine had a post about immunity (read it here) that many of you sent me. The thrust of the post is that your spiritual-mindedness is your protection. While I agree on an absolute level, the insinuation is that our spiritual-mindedness must have been lacking if we got sick.
I refute that notion. It is both unfair to suffering humanity in general, and completely untrue of us in our specific circumstance.
Sometimes you can blame someone for their sickness, because fear, neglect, rumination, negative attitudes, and personal beliefs do come into play. Spiritual-mindedness is a great defense against those dangers, and part of my job is to educate people out of those blunders for the benefit of their health.
But sometimes people find themselves in predicaments, where despite their best thinking, they do not deserve to be. That was true in our recent case, but I’ve also seen it over and over again in my work as a spiritual healer.
There is something else that must be taken into consideration, and it is called “universal belief. ” To quote Mary Baker Eddy, “The universal belief in physics [or fill in the blank, death, Covid, whatever] weighs against the high and mighty truths of Christian metaphysics.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 155)
For example, the universal belief that people have colds hasn’t been strong enough for me to have one in the last 20 years. But there are all sorts of universal beliefs we fight all the time. Aging and its effects is an example of a big one that very few of us completely sidestep. This pandemic has been another.
I feel we should have more compassion for people experiencing the impersonal nature of error, and not blame those that find themselves in its cross hairs. We need to take responsibility when we are suffering due to our own lack of wisdom, and be humble enough to change our thought in those situations, but when our difficulty has nothing to do with our thought, we need to give ourselves (and others) the needed charity and clemency.
Recently, when I had Covid, I knew it wasn’t about my thought, which frankly is why I was upset about it. If it was in my sphere of mental influence, I could have taken responsibility and done something to avoid it, short of cowering inside my home going nowhere. Even appeasing universal belief by getting vaccinated didn’t stop it either.
Being the brunt of universal belief feels like battling an invisible foe who has campaigned and voted against you, through no fault of your own. The inflictions of universal belief are egregiously unfair, for they literally have nothing to do with us, but we can unwittingly fall prey to their talons nonetheless.
It can act like random, dumb luck, driven by impersonal thoughtless germs, when it is actually a deck of collective unenlightened thought, stacked against eternal truth. Universal belief is no match for “the high and mighty truths of Christian metaphysics,” but it does seem to insert itself unwanted and unbidden, just like gray hairs on an aging head.
When we all claim that no one ever deserves to be sick, that neither matter nor mind can make anyone sick, then that will become general belief, and sickness will abate proportionally.
So let’s stop insinuating that sickness is always personal crisis of faith, and refrain from indicting those that feel unwell with automatic culpability. A challenge is not proof of some spiritual failure!
The point of universal belief is we are all mutually complicit. Literally, collectively, we are all spiritually to be held accountable, no one more than anyone else.
Do you pray everyday to remove impersonal error, to refute it in detail in all its myriad forms, and thereby uplift general belief? I do. It is amazing how many universally accepted beliefs there are to be repudiated. I have a journal where I take one each day, and entirely metaphysically dismantle it. It is great to go back and read those entries, to remind myself of the ephemeral nature of all those generally accepted false beliefs. This work lessens their hold on us and others.
None of us can afford to sit smugly above the fray, feeling impervious and condescendingly safe, while humanity struggles. Until you ascend, you are not exempt from doing your part to remove suffering from the world. The onus is on us all collectively. Either you are contributing to aligning universal belief with ultimate, absolute truth, or you are colluding with what can cause the innocent to stumble or struggle.
Acting like the need is always for another’s increase in spiritual-mindedness, makes it easy to passively wash your hands of doing your own crucial part in uplifting universal belief, which is just as important of a factor in their wellness.
(Mosaic by Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias, titled Genesis, the Gift of Life)