Big moons and other illusions
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
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.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
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).
Jesus saw things from a spiritually-minded perspective. He knew that a loving God is the only power. He wasn't fooled by the illusion that life is matter-determined and out of control. Jesus knew the truth that everyone's real identity is pure, God-like; governed by perfection, the divine Principle. This truth actually healed people.
Sometimes things look so imperfect and out of control that we really have to hold on tight to this understanding of God's perfect creation.
That's what I had to do recently when I stepped on a wasp. I started thinking about how the pain was like one of those optical illusions. I held on tight to the truth that I am God's likeness. I knew He had made everything in the universe completely good and harmless. And I was convinced that because this was true, it would completely wipe out any illusion of pain. It did.
Thinking steadily about the truth of being, that is, thinking from a spiritually scientific viewpoint about life, has helped me tackle all kinds of much bigger problems as well. It can help you, too.
When that which
is perfect is come,
then that which is in
part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake
as a child, I understood as a
child, I thought as a child: but
when I became a man, I put
away childish things. For now
we see through a glass,
darkly; but then face to face:
now I know in part; but
then shall I know even
as also I am known.
I Corinthians 13:10-12
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society