Bridging the river of ‘otherness’
Clearly Pascal was calling for a kind of humanistic enlightenment, an idealism that would transcend geographic, ethnic, or political boundaries and that would recognize common humanity. Yet this ideal seems far from established today, and it would seem that mere human wistfulness, a kind of “can’t we all get along” sentiment, isn’t enough to bridge the gaps. However, the study and application of the Science of the Christ has the potential to save the world.
Christian Science teaches that the splendid diversity seen in humanity today is the outward expression of the diversity of God Himself. We look to God, Spirit, as the source of our innate brotherhood, which is not dependent on a vague ideal of tolerance, but extends from the spiritual consciousness that welcomes Spirit’s infinite unfoldment. In other words, God owns both sides of the metaphorical river, so there can be no threatening “otherness,” no mean-spirited political dialogue, tribalism, ethnic hatreds, or fear of losing one’s identity in a flood of immigration or population growth. God’s all-inclusive nature helps us see that other cultures, opinions, religions, and languages do not put some of God’s ideas on “the other side of the river” from us. In fact, because of the infinite nature of God and His constant filling of all space, there is no other side at all. God includes all of His children—whatever their religion, politics, ethnicity, language or culture—in a universal embrace.
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—Christian Science teaches that the splendid diversity seen in humanity today is the outward expression of the diversity of God Himself. This understanding helps us bridge the river of otherness.