A view of others that heals
Have you ever considered that seeing someone differently could bring healing? That seeing someone in a new light could bring healing to you, a situation, a relationship, or even that person?
I once was speaking with a Christian Science practitioner about a problem I was having with someone. (Christian Science practitioners are individuals who devote their full time to praying for others.) I told her, “It doesn’t matter what I think or do—he will still do the same thing.” The practitioner then suggested a better way of seeing the situation. She said I should start seeing the individual from a spiritual perspective—as made by Spirit, God, who made everything “very good” (Genesis 1:31). I realized I had been accepting a limited and material view of this person as selfish and uncooperative. Seeing others from this perspective is seeing them as separate from God and lacking good, whereas a spiritual view perceives them as created by God and expressing only the qualities of God—including honesty, justice, integrity, mercy, and all that is spiritually good and pure. I realized that if I wanted to see more of this spiritual reality, what needed changing was my view.
The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains that it was this spiritual view of man that enabled Jesus to heal others. She writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “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).
Science and Health also says of Jesus, “He knew of but one Mind and laid no claim to any other” (p. 315). What Jesus knew was what was revealed to him by divine Mind. He saw what God was seeing. His view of man was not of a material, sick, or sinful mortal but of God’s perfect idea, and this view appeared as healing wherever there was a receptive thought.
When we start with the flawed, material perspective of man, we often find clashes, fights, and faults. But when we start with a perspective that sees ourselves and others as God created us—as spiritual and perfect—we are starting from the right view of creation, and this brings healing.
Some years ago I became more aware of how I was thinking of people and felt the desire to instead see others from this spiritual perspective. I asked myself this question posed in Science and Health: “Are thoughts divine or human?” (p. 462). At first, I would wish that I hadn’t voiced a thought that was not divine. Then later, I began to wish that those thoughts hadn’t come at all.
I was never again offended by him.
But I began to be free of these “not divine” thoughts when I was able to see that they were not truly my thoughts, but an impersonal, incorrect view suggested by what St. Paul calls “the carnal mind” (Romans 8:7). The Bible implies that all true thoughts come from God, the one and only Mind, and that those thoughts are good (see, for example, Jeremiah 29:11). It then became more apparent to me that thoughts that don’t come from the divine Mind are not actually true but are simply the result of a belief in the existence of a mind apart from God. What a relief and joy it is to realize that unloving thoughts that come to us are not really true at all, and that we never need to accept them! We don’t need to give them credence but can simply dismiss them as illegitimate—and then they fall away.
I recall one of the first times it came to me that I didn’t need to hold a view of man that was not correct. A young man I knew appeared to be a show-off and quite boastful. I had been yearning to hold to the spiritually correct view of man, when one day this individual came to mind, along with the thought, “Oh well, that is just the way he is.” But this was immediately followed by the thought, “No, that is not the way he is. That is not the correct view of man.” What a relief to know that I did not have to accept this false view! I was never again offended by him. In fact, I was no longer aware of any boastfulness from him and felt only love and appreciation for the many good qualities I saw expressed in him. Some years later I realized that there were many times when he seemed to go out of his way to do kind things for me.
Another time, someone refused to speak to me because they were so upset over something I had done with which they disagreed. It was a very unhappy situation, especially since I had contact with this person on a regular basis. Following my initial unsuccessful attempts to converse with this individual, it occurred to me to acknowledge the spiritually correct view of man—to see this individual as God did, regardless of how the person behaved. When I needed to interact with them, I spoke kindly and continued on, even though I received no response.
The situation went on for some months. I don’t now recall exactly how long it lasted, but I do recall when it ended. I looked out my window one morning and saw my teenage son struggling to start our lawn mower—a frustrating contraption that even his dad had trouble starting. As I saw him so patiently working to get it started, I felt such a wave of compassion for my son that I felt love not just for him, but for all the people in my life, including the person who was not speaking to me. I had such a feeling of the all-encompassing love of God embracing everyone. This love instantly and completely freed me from the false view of man that had been lingering in my thought, and I felt right then that the situation with that person was healed.
The “correct view of man” beheld by Jesus is one we all have the ability to see.
It came to me to write a note to this individual and relate an experience that had worked out well for a mutual friend. And I got an answer! I don’t recall the exact wording, but it indicated that the issue between us was resolved. Normal interactions resumed, and the incident was never mentioned again; it was as if it had never happened.
Science and Health says, “The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,—that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle” (p. 275). If we look out into the world and see something wrong with someone, instead of being upset or unhappy, we can see it as a sign that our viewpoint needs to change. Being willing to go back to the correct starting-point will bring that healing view. Then, as we go forward, we find that maintaining the “correct view of man” beheld by Jesus is not a laborious task, but becomes the joy of bearing witness to the man of God’s creating—the perfect idea of divine Mind. This correct view is one we all have the ability to see.