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Perception Direction

In reality, all perception is the result of Mind doing something. Nothing exists until Mind thinks! The product of Mind is radiant illumination objectified.

Mortal man thinks he sees by physical light, but he is blind to the illumination of Mind's reflection and formations. Only physical effects are visible to mortals, so man, desiring to understand his origin, searches back toward what he thinks of as his beginning. The difficulty is that man believes that he thinks and can use physical evidence outside of himself to find original cause. This direction sounds reasonable to the unenlightened mind, but it is the opposite of the actual divine pattern of creation. "Immortal and divine Mind presents the idea of God: first, in light; second, in reflection; third, in spiritual and immortal forms of beauty and goodness" (SH 503:20).

Mortal mind is enigmatical and doomed because it embraces options, opinions, and false hypotheses. All options are disastrous attempts to magnify, glorify, and animate a material sense of man. Because it seems to take a long time to suffer through option after option in one's search for truth, we will call this the long way (wrong way). In contrast, the Bible is full of conscientious prophets, preachers, and peacemakers who humbly gave up their egos (their concept of life) for God's view of them. Following in the pathway that grace directs we will call the short way because the true path leads directly out of error: it is the straight and narrow way to realize the ideal man.

The grand first verse of Genesis was received by divine inspiration and is all that is necessary: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." In other words, 'In Principle, Mind thought the infinite and the particular.' The rest of chapter 1 through the third verse of chapter 2 expounds upon the first verse, separating the various aspects of spiritual creation into days like the colors of a rainbow. When fused into a single manifestation, the presentation of God's light is transparent, meaning that it is understood. Enoch was the first to follow the wholly spiritual way of righteousness, and he was rewarded for his righteousness. "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen 5:24). He had found the short way to realize eternal life, entirely eliminating death and a material sense of body from his experience.

In the second chapter of Genesis, we find the first attempt to consider disastrous options. "There went up a mist from the earth, . . . And the Lord God formed man of the dust" (Gen 2:6-7). Accepting this concept of creation necessitates a very long and arduous trial for mankind who believes the story and, as a result, finds himself wandering about in a material body. Mist implies a lack of clarity, a sense of confusion, and missed opportunities to see God. The Lord God's statements are clouded by human reasoning. This Jehovah God is the opposite of the Elohim God, 'who spoke, and it was done,' in the first chapter. Adam was made from dust (nothingness); "Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?" (Ps 30:9). Adam's motive is to obstruct universal harmony with disobedience and atheistic beliefs. Eve would attempt to perpetuate mankind by considering alternatives to God's creation. She stands for "a beginning; mortality; that which does not last forever; a finite belief concerning life, substance, and intelligence in matter; error" (SH 585:23).

In subsequent chapters, the war between Christ's direct path and the long, arduous way of good and evil rages in the minds of men. Although Moses had many obstacles to overcome in his personal life, his path was gradually straightened until he could talk with God face-to-face. By the time he left Egypt for the last time, Moses knew the way for the children of Israel to avoid temptation and claim their Promised Land. Unfortunately, this short way was rejected. It took forty years just to prepare the children of Israel to be remotely receptive to Christ's freedom plan. The people, who had grown up enslaved, were ever fearful of man's domineering ego; they were used to considering disastrous options. The disaster of greater consequence, however, was the lost opportunity of the first spiritually directed short way. Because of man's stubborn blindness to truth, material man's long trek through the futile exercise of trial and error was required, and the Bible records this long path so that error could be self-seen and abandoned and man's eyes could be opened to Spirit. All the prophets who followed in their generation saw some aspects of their redemption, and their presence was required because of opportunities the children of Israel had missed along the way.

Elijah learned the spiritual way and was lifted up into heaven. His demonstration was a harbinger of things to come: "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air [Spirit]: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess 4:17).

Mary discovered the way out of the circuitous path of birth and death. Her virgin purity was able to hear firsthand that it was not woman, but God, who conceived the compound idea called man. Jesus demonstrated Mary's conception. His mission was to reacquaint sinful humanity with their innocence and immortality. "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death" (Prov 12:28). His crucifixion and resurrection demonstrated the only way for mankind to reverse direction and understand life from the proper perspective. Had this demonstration of our deathless nature not been necessary, Jesus would have explained his scientific origin and brought in the Millennium right then and there, but he could not offer it to a hate-filled population. Instead, he promised that he would send the Comforter as soon as humanity was receptive enough to understand what Love is.

Sixty years later, Saint John was prepared; he was lifted up to behold the Revelation and voice the Comforter as well as the certain destruction of all material means and methods. The unveiling of Jesus Christ was now recorded: "In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished" (Rev 10:7). Unfortunately, the grand vista that John saw was not readily received, and the dark ages followed Jesus' simple and profound solution.

The birth-and-death saga continued until Mary Baker Eddy was appointed by God to demonstrate Jesus' promised Comforter. She named it divine Science, or Christian Science. By proving Christ's method of redemption for herself and for thousands of others, Mrs. Eddy came to understand how man is made in God's image and likeness. She embraced the whole world with God's Love. Science explains Jesus' way out, demonstrates the short, radiant way, and warns us never to be fooled by the path of disastrous options.

In the following statement to the press, Mrs. Eddy prophesied that there was an opportunity for large numbers of people to prove, as well as witness, the short way - one hundred years to widespread knowledge of God. "If the lives of Christian Scientists attest their fidelity to Truth, I predict that in the twentieth century every Christian church in our land, and a few in far-off lands, will approximate the understanding of Christian Science sufficiently to heal the sick in his name. Christ will give to Christianity his new name, and Christendom will be classified as Christian Scientists" (Pul 22:9-15).

Unfortunately, her followers were not yet ready to attest their fidelity. Mortal mind wished to consider other options, perpetuating more years of torture and hell before the simple divine solution could be lived universally. "Ages pass, but this leaven of Truth is ever at work" (SH 118:10). In another significant way, Mary Baker Eddy pictured this dilemma and its solution in her illustrated poem, Christ and Christmas.

In this rendering, titled "THE WAY," we see a crude black cross in the foreshadow having no reflected light. A beam of light, symbolizing the ascension, leads up to another cross in the middle ground. This one is covered with morning glories, and it is brightly lit. Birds, signifying aspirations of good, either rest on or hover around it. The messenger of peace is a dove coming straight from God to our waiting sense of glory. From the vantage point of the more radiant second cross, we may hear it exclaimed, 'This is millennial glory: no death, birth, famine, or pestilence is possible here. Let us stay right here on this light path and have God's life delivered to our awakened sense of spiritualized man.' But this logic is only complacent fantasy. We still have our orientation backwards, thinking within ourselves that God's image is a separate entity needing to be fed with intelligence, life, and substance from on high. We should not be looking up to heaven, but out from it. The light beam path continues upward, indicating the need for further enlightenment.

As God's image, our proper place is at the source, the center of being where light shines out upon Love's universe. This is where Life lives us, where Mind thinks us. Mind is never separate from Mind's idea and requires no co-sponsorship to aid its intelligence. Life lived is you, but not yours. Mrs. Eddy provides the proper orientation needed for humanity to perceive correctly when she speaks of purified man: "The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, - he will look out from them upon the universe; and the florist will find his flower before its seed" (SH 125:28).

Being heaven present and looking out upon Love's universe is our proper perception direction.

George Denninger ©

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