There’s a tendency with many to look for some grand cosmic reason for everything that happens, whether it’s good stuff or bad stuff. Recently, a few ex-Christian Scientist acquaintances of mine have been going through what could mildly be called ‘rough patches’ in their lives.
Adding to the normal stress they’re feeling as they deal with their adversities, there is the extra layer of ‘cosmic purpose’ crap that their years of Christian Science indoctrination is adding to their stress. They harbour that inkling of doubt deep within themselves about whether or not they have brought their misfortune upon themselves and their families because they left Christian Science, or that their ‘thought’ wasn’t ‘right’. These feelings will sound familiar to anyone who’s been a Christian Scientist.
It’s human nature to look for some grand design, some cosmic reason for everything that happens, and Christian Science theology fits right in to that pattern. Our brains are wired to seek patterns whether they exist or not. It likely dates to some primal time when our survival depended on this ability, so it evolved. For instance, we see faces in clouds, or faces in trees, or other things (think of all the cases where people think they see Jesus or the Virgin Mary in pieces of toast) because it once served us well to identify faces–some faces were predators, after all.
Christian Science teaches that everything (good only, of course) happens according to ‘God’s will’. In a sense it’s pre-ordained, but sort of not. As with many things, Christian Science adds it’s little nuances. If something bad happens, in a sense, it’s illusory, false, or simply didn’t happen; but, since it seemed to have happened, then the hapless person’s thought must not have been ‘right’ somehow. Some, like my friends, who have left Christian Science will think that bad stuff is happening because they left Christian Science, or if it’s someone still in Christian Science, it’s because they aren’t doing their ‘work’ (in Christian Science) right. Maybe they should have read their Lesson that day instead of sleeping in. This is just one example of self-induced guilt that Christian Science theology brings upon people, even those who have left it.
I don’t believe in some grand cosmic reason/plan for everything that happens. Sometimes, shit simply happens. Sometimes awesome stuff happens. Sometimes crappy stuff happens because we do something stupid or make the wrong choices. It’s all a part of life; nothing more, nothing less. If there is a greater reason for stuff that happens it’s this: we can learn much from the things that challenge us, and we’ll be more able to appreciate the great things that do happen to us.
So, my advice is: live life to the fullest, and accept and deal with what happens as it happens. Enjoy the good times, and take with you the lessons from the bad times. It’s all part of life. Nothing more, nothing less.