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Seeing beyond the five senses

From the June 2014 issue of The Christian Science Journal

It was a dark, cold, and damp winter night as I got into my car. I had just finished a long day’s work, and I felt I was definitely getting a cold. It had started earlier in the day, but I hadn’t had time to deal with it because of my busy work schedule.

As I started my drive home to my wife and two young sons, I turned on an audio recording of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I’d known about Christian Science my whole life because my parents had enrolled me in a Christian Science Sunday School, and I had recently been eager to make this Science practical in my life—and live by its rules. I knew that many people had experienced physical healings by aligning with the divine laws in Science and Health, and I was hoping for some help with my current condition.

Soon after I started listening, the following sentence was read: “Mortal belief would have the material senses sometimes good and sometimes bad” (p. 489). As I thought about that statement, I considered it rather obvious. Why was it even being made? Of course the senses are sometimes good and sometimes bad because they are seeing things that are sometimes good and sometimes bad. Or was I missing the point? Knowing that I had never before found a sentence in this book that was without value, I began to doubt my understanding. So I began to reconsider.

I noticed that the author did not say that the material senses are seeing “things” that are sometimes good and sometimes bad, but rather that the material senses themselves are sometimes good and sometimes bad. Then the meaning of the sentence hit me. The material senses aren’t seeing anything. Just like a broken thermometer or a broken gas gauge, they are reporting inaccurately on something that is not being properly perceived. So, I reasoned, I don’t need to overcome what the senses are seeing. I need to overcome the report of the senses themselves.

When a broken thermometer says that it’s freezing outside in the middle of summer, I don’t need to put on a winter coat. When a broken gas gauge in the car says that I have no gas after I’ve filled up, I don’t need to stop my trip and refill. In those cases I only need to know that those reports are false. In just this way I began to deny, mentally, that the material sense of cold symptoms was accurate. 

Christian Science teaches that man is made in God’s image, as stated in Genesis 1 in the Bible. Because this is true, and because God certainly does not have a cold, any report that I had one must be false. I didn’t need to repair my body; I needed only to see past the lie of the false report. I began to claim my God-likeness, my God-derived health, and my exemption from contagion or temperature-induced disease. 

I must admit that I was a little bit surprised when I realized that all symptoms of the cold had now disappeared. I was driving down the road in complete physical freedom and health. I knew that I was applying the Science of Christianity, but the speed and completeness of the healing treatment was still startling to me.

When I got home, my wife greeted me with the news that one of our boys was coming down with a cold. I found myself saying confidently, “No problem!” From my experience in the car, I was so convinced of the unreality of such a condition that I was sure my son was as whole and complete as God is. I immediately denied the material sense report in the same way that I had for myself earlier. The next morning the boy awoke completely well.

I learned from this simple experience that the senses are not reporting on a material world; they are imagining a material world. Because of this, we can replace the mistaken viewpoint with the correct knowledge of God’s presence and His government of man and the universe. 

This lesson has stayed with me and become part of my spiritual arsenal against error. By rejecting the unreliable senses and asserting God’s presence, my family and I were able to escape the suffering associated with the senses’ false reports. Since that time, I have found God’s healing truths increasingly effective for myself, my family, and those who call on me for Christian Science treatment through prayer. 

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