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Big moons and other illusions

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

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Nearly everyone who has ever watched a scary movie - like a Hitchcock classic - knows how easy it is to be fooled. Even though you know it's fake, it's difficult not to get scared. Movie illusions, like dreams we have while sleeping, can seem awfully real.

Still, knowing what's really going on - what's true - is the starting point for dispelling an illusion. That's one of the things that a scientific viewpoint provides.

The word science basically means knowing. Science gives us knowledge of the truth about things, and that keeps us from being fooled by deceptions.

For example, take the big-moon illusion. When the moon is just above the horizon, it looks almost twice the diameter as when it's high in the sky. It looks so much closer. But, as scientists have proved, the horizon moon is not closer. They describe it as "an immensely powerful real-world illusion" (PNAS Online, Jan. 4, 2000 www.pnas.org).

When it comes to knowing what's true about life, I've found the Bible can give a scientific viewpoint of who we are and our relationship to God, the Principle of existence.

For example, one psalm says, "Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves" (100:3). That is, God - the divine Spirit - made us. So we are God-like - spiritual. The psalm tells us to know it. Perhaps it's even reminding us that we actually know it already, intuitively ... innately.

Jesus showed what this knowledge could accomplish. It gave him remarkable power to transform bad situations. "The most scientific man that ever trod the globe" is the way the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, characterizes Jesus ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 313). She describes his scientific viewpoint this way: "Physical causation was put aside from first to last by this original man, Jesus. He knew that the divine Principle, Love, creates and governs all that is real" (pg. 286).

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