“Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears.”
— Mary Baker Eddy
One thing I really like about the blog service I use is its spam filter. Every now and then, a bit of spam slips through — which is part of the reason I moderate the comments — but generally speaking, the spam filter does a pretty good job of blocking unwanted advertisements and bot-generated gibberish.
It occurred to me today, as I was dealing with an individual who spends most of her time going out of her way to be difficult and unpleasant, that I could use a spam filter for my thoughts. I’d love it if I could simply filter out unwanted messages before I ever have to think about them. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Imagine having a spam filter for your mind. You could set it to filter out negativity and aggressive mental suggestions before they ever reached your mental inbox.
In a way, we have a filter like that. It’s called the Christ.
Paul talks about it when he admonishes the church at Philippi to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Later in that same letter, Paul even tells the Philippians how to set up their spiritual spam filters: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
I can’t say I’ve done a great job of thinking on the right things in my dealings with the woman I mentioned. I haven’t said anything nasty or hateful, but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking on all the reasons she irritates me, which isn’t helping me — or her — at all.
If I want that spam filter to work, I’m going to have to follow Mrs. Eddy’s admonition to “perform your office as porter” and start thinking on Paul’s virtues until there’s no room in my thought for anything else.