What is the spiritual nature of an object? We tend to associate a spiritual and eternal nature with things which are not materially tangible. It is clear that their only substance can only be in their idea. We cannot hold an eternal idea in our hand. Things which are of an eternal nature include for example, love, goodness, beauty, virtue, harmony, peace, etc. These are things which are objectified in our observations, but which are not materially tangible. Likewise we also associate a temporal and changing nature to things which are tangible to the human material senses. Their substance appears to be in matter because we can experience see them with the material senses. But Christian Science reveals that the substance of every object perceived in human consciousness, whether that object appears to us as materially tangible or as a pure spiritual idea, is actually in thought. Its material presentation is a facet of human consciousness resulting from its objectification in mortal (erroneous) thought, while its substantial nature is an eternal idea originating in divine Mind. We learn in Science that the quality of appearance of matter seen in an object by an observer is a clear indicator of the state of the observer’s conscious purity of thought. On page 304:10 of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes “This is the doctrine of Christian Science; that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object;” Exactly what is an object, as Mrs. Eddy used this term in this particular sentence?
An object is, according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: “That about which any power or faculty is employed, or something apprehended or presented to the mind by sensation or imagination. Thus that quality of a rose which is perceived by the sense of smell, is an object of perception. When the object is not in contact with the organ of sense, there must be some medium through which we obtain the perception of it. The impression which objects make on the senses, must be by the immediate application of them to the organs of sense, or by means of the medium that intervenes between the organs and the objects.”
Let us take for example, a rose, since this was the exemplified subject chosen by Mr. Webster in his definition. The rose we see or think of is the object of its eternal idea, rose, which emanates from the divine Mind eternally as a perfect idea. Without an objectified rose, the thing we know as a rose would be intangible both to the mind and to the material senses. So, the mentally tangible rose is the objective representative or manifestation of the perfect and eternal idea of a rose. “Object” is the vehicle that makes an idea tangible or potentially known to consciousness. Mortality, an invalid factor within the infinite realm of the one all-inclusive divine Mind, is the factor of thought which causes the rose to appear in a material form, and attaches to its representation the perceptions of beginning, ending, and tangible material substance.
Even when one only thinks of a rose, its objectification in the form of a rose appears in consciousness — not materially, but mentally. Exactly the same objectification of the rose appears in consciousness when a physical rose is experienced, as when a mentally imagined rose is experienced. Likewise, aroma is a part of the idea which represents the idea of a rose. Its color might be thought of as the manifestation of Soul, and every rose also possesses a slightly different shape, size, form of its petals, etc. The idea of a rose is its spiritual substance. The rose we see, imagine, and experience, is the object of that substance or eternal, infinitely expressible idea. Its infinite individuality, a property originating in divine Mind, is expressed by the appearance of a myriad of combinations of color, form, smell, size, etc. The rose, like every one of God’s eternal ideas, appears to us in objectified form as a rose. Without objectification we could never perceive a rose. But matter is not a prerequisite for objectification, as evidenced by the fact that we can always picture a rose in thought, and conjure up images of its sensations. A rose without objectification, material or mental, would be like a cause without an effect, an idea with no tangibility — a self-evident impossibility. Mrs. Eddy’s words “..divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object” tell us that God, divine Mind cannot be deprived of its infinite expression, its unlimited unfoldment.
Likewise, spiritual man is the object of God. God is the cause, and man is the effect of God’s continuous causation. Spiritual man, perceiving himself through divine consciousness, seeing as God sees in his perfect unadulterated understanding, must see the rose as perfect. He sees the objectified rose, and the eternal qualities which it represents, beauty, joy, fragrance, love, etc, as a symbol of the idea of a rose, which divine Mind knows. God sees this perfectly, thus spiritual man must see this perfectly. All knowing and perceiving can only take place in the only valid realm, infinite Spirit. No other place exists for existence to (with validity) take place. So, when the human mind sees the rose as flawed, wilting, dead, dying, deformed, etc., the interference which it believes it observes as a degraded rose is only the manifested result of erroneous perceptions held by this so-called mortal mind. Mortal mind is only an impossible imagined mental realm in which existence is believed to take place separately from God. Material sensation takes place there. A contaminated perception of a perfect idea, already perfectly objectified in divine consciousness as a rose, results in the humanly conceived material appearance of a rose. This analysis reveals that what the human mind observes as a degraded rose is only the perception of the perfect and already complete rose, seen with additional false mortal mental attachments which limit the appearance of its full identity.
In John 8:44, Jesus told his opponents that the devil is “a liar and the father of it”. Let’s take this example of the rose and apply that statement. Erroneous observation, also called the devil, or evil, is the supposed but invalid source of any claim of the manifest appearance of less than infinite perfection. In God’s eyes, a rose is an eternal idea which can never degrade because it originates in the one eternal perfect Mind. Only human perception, erroneous observation, sees degradation. In the case of a wilting rose, the lie is the false claim of degradation. The father of it is mortal mind, where it is entertained. To eliminate the appearance of the manifestation of a discordant claim, we must destroy mortal mind in one of two ways. We must either directly overrule mortal mind by the acknowledgment that it is illegitimate on account of the only and eternal nature of the one divine Mind, or we must annihilate all belief in the lies entertained therein, and thereby remove mortal mind’s only supposed reason for claiming existence — the entertainment of lies. Either way, mortal mind’s claim to exist is eliminated by acknowledging the impossibility of the presence of darkness in a spiritual universe in which light is universally present. James said “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Lying, false claims of a mental conviction of the presence of discord would seem to attempt to lead us around, and the supposed mesmeric belief in it would control our experience. They cannot do so unless they have a vehicle with which to move themselves about, or a perceived place to abide. That place or vehicle is the illusion of mortal mind. We take it away, negate its false claim to exist through one of the above two methods. Its basis is mesmeric. Erroneous thoughts cannot exist in divine consciousness. Accordingly, they seek justification, a place to reside. They claim to reside in the misconception of existence called mortal mind.
We may often ask ourselves, “Who or what is it that claims to overpower us? Why does it feel like mortal mind wields the power of its own self-preservation?” The seeming power of its claim to entity and power is only the mesmeric conditioning of human thought. We are educated to act and live as if independent law exists in matter. The apparent opposition to change and self preservation displayed by mortal mind in human experience is only the appearance of the mesmerized mortal mans unwillingness to let loose of his belief in mesmeric lies. There is no intelligence or reality in matter, for matter is actually but the objectification of false mortal thought itself.
Jesus demonstrated the objectification of the idea of sustenance when he fed multitudes with what appeared to the material senses to be a small number of fishes and loaves. The beliefs of human sense initially presented sustenance to human consciousness in the limited finite form of a few loaves. But Jesus had an absolutely clear understanding and perception that infinite Mind possesses the ability to infinitely objectify the idea of sustenance. The result was the manifestation of natural abundance in the consciousness of all present. Food became manifest in the present human experience because human experience is mental, and Jesus possessed a perfect consciousness of the spiritual reality which was actually taking form beneath the popularly believed material illusion. Jesus know that there is no material event, and that all that really takes place does so in the divine consciousness. Objectification, spiritually viewed, is unlimited. Objectification, mortally viewed, is limited and finite. Jesus knew clearly that divine love could not be deprived of its object, which was in this case bread and fish.
So, what is the real and spiritual appearance of an object? Every objectification seen in consciousness has an eternal idea behind it. Erroneous manifestations are exposed as illusions, whenever it is discovered that they have no eternal idea in back of them. They may attempt to claim validity. In so doing, errors attach a perception of illusion to the mentally perceived manifestation – the wilted or dying rose for instance. The idea of the rose is hinted at even through its appearance in human thought, even as a dying rose. But the temporal nature of a dying rose is only mortal attachment, an illusion painting a distorted version of God’s eternally perfect idea, the eternal rose.
In conclusion, the man we perceive in divine consciousness is the object of the idea of God’s perfect spiritual man. But the mortal man perceived in human consciousness is only the object of the erroneous idea of man, the carnal, mortal man.