Spiritual Vision versus Material Vision


Mark 8:18   “Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?”

The limited mortal mind is a frame of reference within human thought which is able to see only its own conceptions.  Those conceptions are purely material.  Matter must be present in order for mortal mind to process an image of what it sees through the mortal eye.  The mortal mind is that frame of reference in human thought which tells us that what we see is material and is constructed of a supposed substance called matter.  The brain is the place where that human mind  is supposed to reside. But, what actually comprises matter?  Even the most advanced physicists have never been able to explain the makeup of matter without the adoption of a model which is in itself, material.

It’s easy for anyone to conceive that any and all ideas exist either with, or without their representation as matter.  For instance, we can conceive of a tree which we have never seen, and it exists in our mind as the idea of a tree.  Or, we can look at a material tree, and see that it is indeed a tree. Either way, the tree exists as an idea, a conception of thought.  If one cuts a tree down, this does not prohibit one from still perceiving the tree in thought as an idea.

The mortal mind requires the presence of a material object in order that it may process a material image of that object via the eye, and then  reports the processed information to mortal thought.  Mortal mind cannot see the idea behind the object under observation, but only a material image of it.  Mortal mind requires the material eye to catch the image and process it for the brain.  This is because a material object can only be sensed by processing a material image.  Any other kind of image would not do.  The mortal mind is not capable of processing the idea of an object, but must process the material image of the object.  The image of an idea is not substantial to its limited frame of reference, which works only with matter.  Therefore, mortal mind must have a material representation of the object in order for it to be aware of the presence of the object.  In order to produce that material image, one must then of course start with the assumption of the presence of the matter itself.

Consider the process of how the human perception of sight occurs:  The presence of matter produces an image on the retina.  That image information is then processed by the mortal mind into the apparent presence of a material object in thought, which is supposed to be manifested materially in the brain.  This process is also a two way street.  The mortal mind also has certain expectations, and the process works in reverse as well.  Mortal mind, residing supposedly in the brain, expects to see matter expressed.  It looks to the eye for this information.  Matter is its only frame of reference.  Mortal mind then expects to receive information about observed images through the mechanism of the eye.  Mortal mind is in a continual state of inquiry, receiving information from the eye, and expecting certain results from the eye.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, talks clearly about this two way street of mortal thought on page 86 line 25 of her renowned textbook on the subject, Science and Health with Key to The Scripture.  There she says:  “Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts.”  Mortal mind can only expect that its frame of reference for reality will be matter.  Therefore, to mortal mind, the interpreted information received from the eye always appears as matter.  Anything above that limited realm of matter, idea or beauty for instance, is not information which can be processed by the mortal sense of sight.

So, the things that cannot be represented by material image, because they have no material form of which a  amterial image could be formed, cannot be processed by the mortal eye.  Things like idea, beauty, emotion, and the like, reside in a mental realm a step above the material conception of the world.  We all would presumably agree, that life without such things would not be life. Without them life would be cold and inanimate.  This should start the wheels turning.  It presents questions like :

Is life really completely defined by existence in a material realm?

If things like idea and beauty cannot be processed in mortal mind, where and how can they be processed?

Mortal mind has the limited capability of processing only expectations and representations of matter images.   A less limited and higher sense of mind than the purely mortal one is necessary in order to be able to begin to sense ideas outside of this cold and dark and emotionless picture of the world, that which is presented through the mortal eyes.  If the mind is to be expected to perceive representations outside of itself, its frame of reference must be expanded beyond the mere expectation of matter.   Let’s now define a slightly higher sense of mind and call it the human mind.  The human mind we will define as a realm of thought where the things of matter still seem to be perceived through mortal eyes, but where insight into idea, form, design, and beauty begin to become apparent through a higher form of comprehension which does not involve the sense of matter.  The mortal eyes and their direct connection to mortal mind cannot see these things of beauty and idea, but a more elevated state of consciousness can sense the eternal nature reflected in what seems to be only cold material forms seen by the mortal mind.  As this higher sense of mind is developed, the world begins to feel warmer and more real as the sense of matter gradually assumes a more surreal status in consciousness.  The elevated observer begins to feel the presence of factors in his consciousness of which he was previously unaware.  This sense of consciousness is elevated above that which is felt  when one processes only the lifeless material impressions received through the mortal eyes as material images.  The human mind gradually attaining higher and higher conceptions of itself, looking and understanding above and outside of sense perceived through mortal eyes,  gains thereby a feeling of increased substantiality and identity.

This advancing human mind then begins to more thoroughly feel life, as it loses its previous tendency to merely blankly observe mortal consciousness’ cold and factual sensations and appearances.  This advancing human mind points to and leads human consciousness increasingly closer the presence of God, the divine Mind.  As consciousness climbs this path, the mortal and material sense loses increasingly more of their previously supposed entity as substance.   In an ever elevating human frame of reference, objects are still seen through human eyes, but the feeling of their substantiality takes on an increasingly less material, and more spiritual, form.  In the final and complete presence of the one divine Mind, God, mortal sense and materiality completely vanish.

Consider the human observation of a majestic mountain scene, for example.  What does mortal mind, versus a human mind, elevated to a perception of divine consciousness, see?  Mortal mind both expects and sees only rocks, snow, sky, clouds, dirt, trees, in a cold and emotionless picture.  The elevated human mind, on the other hand, sees the picture initially materially, but is enabled to expand its content greatly.  Learning gradually to approximate the perfect divine consciousness, the human mind, striving to see as God sees, also begins to perceive more ideas, and less materiality.  Character, life, beauty, design are all present in this mountain scene, and made more apparent as the divine sense of perception grows away from material concepts of it.  The elevated human consciousness may, for example, perceive the history and the beauty of a rock in observation of a fossil, or in its layers comprised of multicolored substances.  This spiritually minded observer sees beauty, and as a result is overcome with a feeling of joy when looking into the clouds and sky, or feels a sense of the immensity of the universe in his perception of the huge mountain.  None of these sensations are available nor are they perceptible through the phenomenon of mortal, material sight.

The highest sense of this picture of a mountain scene is a purely spiritual sense.  The human consciousness, elevated gradually further and further above the mortal and material sense of reality, transcends mortal and material limitation.  When the material view is transcended and replaced with spiritual understanding, a state of consciousness is reached in which one understands that the real life and substance in every thing and situation, is not in its material representation at all.  Real substantiality is in the idea of  that thing or situation, and not in its representation.  The author of all eternal ideas is God, and we, because we literally are His spiritual image and likeness, and are so like God Himself, have been blessed with ability to also enjoy the perfect and Godlike perception of all His ideas.  We, being His image and likeness are truly spiritual because God is spiritual.  How can we be truly material, if we reflect God, who is spiritual and is never material?   Then the mountain scene becomes, to our enriched human mind, more like the manifestation of beauty, grandeur, feeling, emotion, idea, and less like just a picture of rocks, in proportion as the cold and clinical inanimate perceptions of them, introduced only by the mortal, material sense of them, and presented by the mortal eye to mortal thought, are dismissed and fade from consciousness.

What about material eyes and mortal mind?  How then, can we think of them?  After all, we do presently understand ourselves to be perceiving reality through mortal eyes and  a mortal mind.  If mortal mind ultimately is nothing, and so is matter, how are we seeing through material eyes?  How can we make this ideal spiritual fact into a practical earthly reality?

Mortal mind believes that all substance is represented by matter.  Its presentation is unfeeling, cold, clinical, physically factual.  Because matter is the entire basis of this incomplete sense of reality which is called mortality,  mortal mind must assign the property of matter to eyes.  Mortal mind, being by its own definition limited by matter conceptions, cannot conceive of eyes comprised of anything but matter.  After all, eyes must, to mortal mind, carry out a material function.  As such, it is clear that only mortal mind assigns the restriction of matter on eyesight.  Vision, as it rises on the scale of perception from a purely mortal, on to a human, and ultimately on to a divine level, is interpreted decreasingly materially as it is interpreted increasingly spiritually.

As the idea of real sight rests upon and dwells in the realm of Spirit, where beauty and idea are understood to be conditions transcending matter and its supposed rules, consciousness loses its false identification of sight as a material phenomenon.  In proportion as this becomes a part of consciousness lived, its dependence upon matter diminishes and finally vanishes.

Mrs. Eddy also shines the light on this issue in an article in her book, “Unity of Good”  The article is entitled “There is no Matter”  On page 33 lines 10 to 20 she says:

“In other words: matter testifies of itself, “I am matter;” but unless matter is mind, it cannot talk or testify; and if it is mind, it is certainly not the Mind of Christ, not the Mind that is identical with Truth.”

“Brain, thus assuming to testify, is only matter within the skull, and is believed to be mind only through error and delusion.  Examine that form of matter called brains, and you find no mind therein.  Hence the logical sequence, that there is in reality neither matter nor mortal mind, but that the self-testimony of the physical senses is false”

Page 33: 26:  “Sight.  Mortal mind declares that matter sees through the organization of matter, or that mind sees by means of matter.  Disorganize the so-called material structure , and then mortal mind says, “I cannot see;” and declares that matter is the master of mind, and that non-intelligence governs.  Mortal mind admits that it sees only material images, pictured on the eye’s retina.”

“What then is the line of the syllogism?  It must be this:  That matter is not seen; that mortal mind cannot see without matter; and therefore that the whole function of material sight is an illusion, a lie.”
“ Here comes in the summary of the whole matter, wherewith we started: that God is All, and God is Spirit; therefore there is nothing but Spirit; and consequently there is no matter.”

Our vision transcends matter.  Mrs. Eddy eyes spiritually in the Glossary of her textbook, Science and Health:  “EYES: .Spiritual discernment,–not material but mental.”

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2 comments on “Spiritual Vision versus Material Vision

  1. Hey, cool content, but WordPress breaks it up on my monitor. Maybe it’s the plugin you have on the site. Have you considered a different CMS?

    • I’m not extremely well versed on that subject. Perhaps I’ll look into that, and I invite other readers to advise me of details if they experience format problems in my site, which is set up as a blog.

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