A Christian Science perspective.
One of the revelations of space travel has been obtaining a better viewpoint of Earth. Several astronauts, for example, have commented that they did not see any political boundaries while up in space – just the Earth as one unified globe.
In times past, many people may have thought that the Earth was flat, simply because it looked that way. But in this case the evidence presented to the senses conflicted with the evidence of intelligence, which revealed that it was really a sphere. The whole process of science is actually the process of taking the evidence of intelligence over the evidence of the senses, intelligence being more reliable than what might appear to be true from only a limited perspective.
When applying the Science of Christianity to healing the body, the evidence of the material senses should also be considered unreliable. To use our Earth analogy, when it became clear from space that Earth was, indeed, round, we would not say that Earth experienced a sudden healing of flatness. The Earth did not change; the only thing that changed (or needed changing) was our perspective. Once glimpsing the true nature of the Earth as round, one could never again believe the false evidence of its apparent flatness, nor fear falling off the Earth, because a higher perspective, understanding, had been gained.
So how can we see the spiritual reality of intelligence instead of believing the false evidence of the material senses? By knowing what is already true about our spiritual nature and being. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (p. 258). So we must start by knowing that we already proceed from a boundless, unlimited basis – our relationship to our perfect Creator as His image and likeness. Christ Jesus taught, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5: 48) – not, “Become ye therefore perfect.”
When a man with a withered hand approached Jesus, Jesus did not accept this condition. He healed the man instantaneously (see Mark 3:5). Jesus would not have asked the man, “Stretch forth thine hand,” if he had not already seen that he could do it. The evidence of the material senses was not as reliable as the spiritual evidence of the man’s perfect nature as God’s expression. Onlookers may have perceived this as the instantaneous fixing of a withered hand, but Christian Science shows it was actually proof of the already ever-true spiritual perfection of the man of God’s making.
Spiritual healing is much more about gaining a new perspective than what might be considered fixing a “real” problem. The Earth did not need fixing, but a limited way of looking at it did need correcting. Mrs. Eddy wrote, “We apprehend Life in divine Science only as we live above corporeal sense and correct it” (Science and Health, p. 167). Letting that Mind be in us that was also in Christ Jesus (see Phil. 2:5) reveals that the spiritual evidence of health and harmony is much more reliable than the false evidence of disease or discord. As we gain a higher, spiritual perspective, the scientific reality of our perfection will become more evident.
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