We usually think that reality corresponds to what our senses tell us. Yet in a classic book on the "new physics," Sir Arthur Eddington speaks of the physical senses as a not-too-reliable storyteller.
"According to the story teller," he writes, "I have now in front of me a substantial desk; but I have learned from physics that the desk is not at all the continuous substance that it is supposed to be in the story. It is a host of tiny electric charges darting hither and thither with inconceivable velocity. Instead of being solid substance my desk is more like a swarm of gnats."
He concludes, "So I have come to realize that I must not put overmuch confidence in the story teller who lives in my mind." But he admits that should the story teller bring into the story a "motor car coming rapidly towards the actor identified with myself . . . I accept his suggestion that it is wisest to jump out of the way." n1
n1 Sir Arthur Eddington, New Pathways in Sciencem (New York: The MacMillan Co. , 1935), pp. 1-2;
However much matter may be like Eddington's swarm of infinitesimal "gnats," virtually no one questions its substantially on a practical basis. Basically, we trust the storyteller, even if the details of his story seem a little fuzzy.
But had we been in a small fisherman's boat on a certain stormy night nineteen centuries ago, our faith in the storyteller might have been shattered. Our eyes would have reported what common sense and common physics call an impossibiltiy -- a man walking on water. The witnesses' record is clear: "In the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea."
What would we have felt? The disciples were terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost.But Christ Jesus reassured them: "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." It was as if Jesus saw walking on water as natural as walking on land. When he entered the boat, the disciples "came and worshipped him, saying, Of a thruth thou art the Son of God." n2
n2 See Matthew 14:22-33;
What did the disciples glimpse in their admission, ". . . Thou art the Son of God"? And what is there in the nature of the Son of God that made subordination of matter possible? These are not questions for abstract theological speculation. Mankind desperately needs to understand the significance of that night on the water and the admission, "Thou art the Son of God."
Why? Because this understanding is the only thing than can save mankind from the storytellers' never-ending tale of destruction and death. Every so-called miracle of Jesus' career reveals that a true comprehension of God and man's relation to Him gives divine power to overcome matter. As Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, explains, "For man to know Life as it is, namely God, the eternal good, gives him not merely a sense of existence, but an accompanying consciousness of spiritual power that subordinates matter and destroys sin, disease, and death." n3
n3 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 189;
As the Christ-man, Jesus was uniquely endowed with the "spiritual power that subordinates matter." His ability to heal came from his consciousness of divine Life as eternal good. When the storyteller said, "This man is leprous," Jesus saw Life's wholeness manifested in perfect man. This true consciousness of Life silenced the physical senses and took away the false evidence of disease.
All who gain the spiritual sense of divine Life will progressively repeat Jesus' works. As Jesus promised, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." N4 To "believe on" the Son of God is to believe not only Jesus' personal mission but to understandm the power that God bestows on man as His son.
n4 John 14:12.
We can challenge the storyteller's tale of sin, sickness, and want -- and in fact, prove it unreal. Through prayer and the "accompanying consciousness of spiritual power," we can remove evil from our lives. This enlightened prayer blesses not only us but the whole world. And ultimately each of us will bring the storyteller's strange tale to a close as we awake to the eternality of Life, and to our true identity as God's own son. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. John 3:35