I HAD SEEN MANY PICTURES of the earth before, but this particular one struck me as real. To me, planet earth looked majestic, commanding, preeminent, yet somewhat vulnerable and fragile. Perhaps I concluded this because as a college senior devoted to environmental causes, I carried around a major concern that if we all didn't wake up soon we might not have the planet as we knew it.
With ongoing industrial misuse, global warming, and endangerment of various species, many people have the same concerns today. In fact, we might wonder just how much progress has been made over the last 30 years in protecting this planet. Yet, despite some glaring issues still before us, some advancement in human thought has been made—collectively we are more aware of our role in being good stewards of our world, even if we don't always exercise that role consistently.
One thing I learned in my years of political activism is that all real change comes from a change of consciousness. While programs, causes, agencies, and laws may come and go, only when collective thought comes to realize the essence of an idea does it truly manifest itself as change. Hence the importance of searching for and defining essence in all that we perceive. Mary Baker Eddy, a master in essence thinking, demanded a spiritually scientific sense of things. While acknowledging in her definition of earth in the Glossary of Science and Health that "to material sense, earth is matter;" she understood that "to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea" "... a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end" (p. 585).