Refraction and Reflection

Seated in a rowboat under the drooping branches of a tree that overhung the mirror-like waters of a lake, the writer was studying the Lesson-Sermon for the week, and came upon these words from our text-book: "What, then, is the material personality which suffers, sins, and dies? It is not man, the image and likeness of God, but man's counterfeit, the inverted likeness, the unlikeness called sin, sickness, and death" (Science and Health, p. 285). While thoughtfully considering these words, my eyes chanced to fall upon the oars of the boat with their blades immersed in the still water, and right there was found an illustration of this teaching; for the oars, which I knew to be straight from end to end, appeared to be bent at the point where they touched the water, and the blades seemed to be at a decided angle to the handles.

Simultaneously there came the light of Truth, illuming the way with this thought: Now if I had never seen a rowboat before and had no knowledge of the law of refraction, but saw the oars lying half in and half out of the water, I would go away and add to my store of knowledge what appeared true, namely, that oars are made with blades bent at an angle to the handles. I would always hold to that belief, and it would probably be useless for any one to tell me that oars were straight, for my own eyes had seen that they were bent.

Lethargy of Environment
May 8, 1915

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