All five senses – spiritual, permanent

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

There seems to be an increase in assaults on people's senses. Often this involves sight and hearing. Who hasn't felt besieged by graphic visual images of battle or crime, either in a news report or movie theater, or on the street? Nor do you have to live in a major city anymore to feel awash in the unwanted sounds that define noise pollution.

What about taste, smell, and touch? While these senses are not as often the fodder of evening news and talk shows, the assaults on them are no less aggressive. And Christian Science concludes they're no less deserving of attention; the importance of not ignoring any assault on the senses involves a welfare far greater than just that of physical comfort. In medical reports especially, the three "junior senses" are increasingly depicted as vulnerable to decline.

The biological model says the five senses signal the brain, and the brain responds with orders to act or react, like or dislike, flee or fight. Christian Science presents a radically different view of life and sense activity, based on the premise that life and mentality are spiritual – the outcome of a loving and divine Life, an infinite Mind. Life gains harmony and wholeness as God is understood as life's sole source and substance. This Science also reveals that all real communication emanates from the divine Mind to its ideas, not from nerve to personal mind. Also, that we're all capable of enjoying Spirit's pure, astute, invulnerable senses as our own, by reflection.

Through the years, the Christian Science Sentinel has published many verified accounts of people whose prayers and progress brought complete healings of lost or diminished vision and hearing. These individuals proved that reversals of blindness and deafness recorded in the Bible weren't one-time miracles. Those healings point the way to the cure for other kinds of sense impairment. Referring to God as Love, Truth, and Life, Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Sentinel as well as this newspaper, explained in her book on Christian healing that "the senses of Spirit abide in Love, and they demonstrate Truth and Life. Hence Christianity and the Science which expounds it are based on spiritual understanding, and they supersede the so-called laws of matter. Jesus demonstrated this great verity" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 274).

The senses are thought vulnerable to loss or decline from injury, palsy, side effects of drugs, and certain kinds of behavior, such as smoking. Cure for impairment lies within humanity's reach. Healing begins with reorienting one's thinking from the material to the spiritual view of life – to understanding ourselves as beings made in the eternal Father-Mother's own image. As whole and invulnerable as God is. "Health," Mary Baker Eddy observed, "is not a condition of matter, but of Mind;" and she added, "nor can the material senses bear reliable testimony on the subject of health" (Science and Health, p. 120).

All true tasting, smelling, feeling, hearing, and seeing actually go on in the divine Mind. And God imparts this spiritual perception to each of us, without interruptions or error messages. As we accept this different view of sense as fact, and use God-given senses for more spiritual purposes, we can expect to experience and promote healing – the preservation or restoration we're seeking.

One Psalm indicates something liberating about spiritual sense-perception: "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.... there is no want to them that fear [reverence, hold in awe] him" (34:8, 9). Spiritual sense comes with no want of light or harmony, no lack of flavor or savor, no lack of ability to touch others with love, or be touched by God's love.

Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel.

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