Reversing what the senses tell us
We have the authority to reverse whatever is not consistent with God’s goodness.
I have always been fascinated by the fact that the sciences often reverse what the physical senses say. For instance, astronomy contradicts what we perceive as the rising of the sun, explaining that the sun is actually still and the earth is turning.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy says of such impressions: “The earth’s diurnal rotation is invisible to the physical eye, and the sun seems to move from east to west, instead of the earth from west to east. Until rebuked by clearer views of the everlasting facts, this false testimony of the eye deluded the judgment and induced false conclusions” (p. 121 ).
Similarly, the Science of the Christ reverses what the physical senses tell us. For instance, to human perception, man seems to be material and mortal, but Christian Science shows that man—every one of us—is the spiritual expression of God, who is Spirit, divine Life and Love. Where we may see ourselves and others as sick, sinning, or dying, the spiritual fact is that each one of us is actually constantly reflecting all of the divine qualities, such as wholeness, purity, and immortality. And on the basis of this truth, we have the authority to reverse whatever is not consistent with God’s goodness.
Science and Health explains that “. . . the divine Principle of Science, reversing the testimony of the physical senses, reveals man as harmoniously existent in Truth, which is the only basis of health; and thus Science denies all disease, heals the sick, overthrows false evidence, and refutes materialistic logic” (p. 120 ).
It wasn’t the stars, but my perspective, that had changed.
I had a clear illustration of this during a camping trip our family took to a beach in Mexico. While we were driving to our destination, I began to feel unwell. By the time we arrived, I was in some pain. I am used to solving problems of all kinds through prayer, and I’ve had many healings in Christian Science, so I turned to God for help. I prayed to see myself not as a physical being, fearful and in pain, but as God knows me: a spiritual idea, created in His image and likeness, hence perfect (see Genesis 1:26, 27 ).
I remembered Christ Jesus’ healings recorded in the Bible, and what Science and Health says about his perspective: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick” (pp. 476–477 ).
Even though I didn’t immediately feel improvement, I trusted that my prayer to see myself spiritually was effective and that healing was going on. I strove to express as much as possible Christly qualities such as helpfulness, kindness, and patience. I also made sure I was viewing each member of the family as the loving, spiritual reflection of God.
After we had eaten and had a campfire, we set up our beds for the night. The weather was warm, and some of us decided to sleep outside under the stars. Looking up at the spectacular night sky, I saw the beautiful Milky Way, the constellation Orion, and many familiar stars. I was still not feeling well, but I continued to pray as I fell asleep. I knew that our Father-Mother God was right there, caring for me, my family, and all mankind.
In the middle of the night, something woke me up, and I was surprised to see that the sky had completely changed. Above us was a different set of stars from what I’d seen earlier, and I wondered what had happened. Then I realized that the earth had continued to rotate over the course of the night, revealing a different section of the sky. It wasn’t the stars, but my perspective, that had changed.
I was reminded of the rule in Christian Science that to see what is really true, we must challenge the evidence of the material senses. That meant I needed to refute the sensation of pain and discomfort, and instead see myself as God saw me—as expressing nothing but perfect health, harmony, and peace. With that scientific knowledge, I could rest in Truth, God, and I felt the fear melt away. I slept peacefully the rest of the night and was completely well in the morning. The rest of the trip was happy and harmonious for all of us.
After that wonderful healing, I remembered this passage in the Bible about God and His creation: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psalms 8:3–6 ).