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From the March 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED HOW, in everyday life, there often seems to be a push on people to be conventional, to conform?

The pressure to think exactly as everyone else thinks is so prevalent that it's sometimes amusing. People come from such different backgrounds, yet we often wear similar fashions in clothing, speak the same way, and do the same things. The coercion is usually unspoken. Yet, as you've probably experienced, such pressure can have a lot of influence. It can be a general, cultural pressure to agree on what is important in life and on what constitutes success.

There is pressure to conform when it comes to religion, as well. Religion comes in and out of style just like anything else. At times it is fashionable to be religious, even fervently religious. Other times it can be unfashionable even to believe in God. And to be so religious as to state that one's identity is completely spiritual is more than just unusual — some people see it as unfashionably ridiculous. The concept of ourselves as a physical shell with some spiritual aspects intermixed, well sure. There is general approval for that sort of view. But God's creation being entirely spiritual — made of the substance of divine thought — that's something else altogether.

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