Eyes and Ears

Any one who stops to reason must admit that material eyes do not see nor material ears hear anything of themselves. From the ordinary human standpoint, it is the mental impression that constitutes the seeing or hearing. How the perception through eye or ear is transmitted to the brain has never been discovered. In fact, the supposed relation between any external phenomena and mental processes has not been determined by anatomical or psychological investigation. Further than this, it is manifest that the mere physical seeing or hearing amounts to little of itself. If an English-man sees Chinese characters on paper, they will mean nothing to him unless he is able to apply to them an understanding which is entirely mental. If a railway engineer hears whistles in the distance, the listening to the sounds amounts to nothing of itself. It is the recognition of their meaning that counts. Thus two points are clear: first, that material eyes and ears do not recognize anything of themselves; and second, that the sense testimony which seems to come through them is important only in proportion as its meaning is important. Even if the meaning is simply beauty, as in the case of music, rather than safety, as in the case of the railway whistles, it is this significance that constitutes the value of the experience.

That this is a fact, any one, whether he has studied Christian Science or not, must acknowledge. Christian Science goes further, however, and shows that this human process of recognition is but counterfeit of the activity going on in the true, divine consciousness. Though the mortal experience of seeing and hearing is primarily mental and not physical, it is only the illusory belief of an utterly supposititious mortal mind. The true seeing and hearing, which are thus seemingly counterfeited, are the expression of divine intelligence, ever harmonious and indestructible.

Mrs. Eddy has stated and restated the facts about sight and hearing so clearly that the study of her explanations has proved healing to many. On page 5 of "Rudimental Divine Science," for instance, she says: "Soul is the only real consciousness which cognizes being. The body does not see, hear, smell, or taste. Human belief says that it does; but destroy this belief of seeing with the eye, and we could not see materially; and so it is with each of the physical senses." It is Soul, then, not body, which really perceives and comprehends. Soul, as Mrs. Eddy teaches, is simply a name for the one God, infinite Mind, which manifests itself rightly as all spiritual activity. Of course Soul, or God, perfectly maintains its faculty for perception without any possibility of impairment.

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January 22, 1921

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