Perceiving the Ideal

How true it is that we truly see only what we truly are! This fact illumines St. John's declaration that we shall be like God when we see Him as He is. It reveals the significance of that spiritually poetic sense which recognizes beauty as an expression of Truth, and this ability to perceive the ideality of every divine manifestation, and to be made strong, true, and loving thereby, is an ever-present help toward the higher life. It continually ministered to the spiritual advance of our revered Leader, who has given us the scientific ground of her own aptitude in her statement that "when we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man's spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God's creation,—all the glories of earth and heaven and man" (Science and Health, p. 264).

Mrs. Eddy has thus directed thought not only to the at-one-ment, the inseparableness of perfection and beauty, but to spiritual sense as the only diviner of beauty as well as truth, the only reliable interpreter of all things. She has made us see that growth in the perception and enjoyment of the ideal, the truly beautiful, naturally and necessarily attends our growth in the knowledge of God and His manifestations. Our delight is grounded not only "in the Lord," but in the glory of His appearing. Spiritual sense thus gains for us both the Science and the art of God. When this becomes true of our every-day experience, we can answer for ourselves, in all humility, to the inquiry of the psalmist, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?" We have passed the threshold of the faith that is understanding, and it is ours to "receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of [our] salvation."

It is interesting here to recall that, after having enumerated various afflictive possibilities of the aspiring life, the writer of the twenty-seventh psalm anchors his confidence of the divine protection in the fact that the one thing he most desires and will ever seek after is that he "may dwell in the house of the Lord," the realm of reality, all the days of his life, "to behold the beauty of the Lord." The disclosures of the beautiful are thus identified with divine revelation. Its perception is made an end of worship; and they who note the tribute to a perfect law and order presented in the perfection of form and proportion, the delicacy and charm of outline and texture, the richness and refinement of color found in the little children of the woods and pastures these days,—they who, denying the claims of materiality, have learned to see and rejoice in the immaculate splendors of so simple and yet so wondrous a thing as a violet or a lady's-slipper,—these enter into the psalmist's thought with praise, for by their responsive companionship with that which speaks ever of Truth and Love they are being helped to hear the word which was spoken to Moses out of the glowing bush at Horeb.

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"Well done"
June 20, 1914

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