Some Notes on True Vision
by John L. Morgan
Table of Contents
- Author’s Note
- THE FOUR ATTITUDES
- The Sermon on the Mount on Vision
- THE WORD
- THE CHRIST
It is hoped that these notes may be of value to anyone interested in good vision. They are primarily addressed, however, to the student of Christian Science, who has learned that in all things there are divine laws with which we must comply. Mary Baker Eddy’s spiritual vision was both scientific and Christian. The teaching in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, opens the eyes of the understanding, not only in terms of precise spiritual illumination, but also in a practical, healing manner. The viewpoint from which these notes are written is to be found in her statement on p. 561 : 16-20 : “John saw the human and divine coincidence, shown in the man Jesus, as divinity embracing humanity in Life and its demonstration, — reducing to human perception and understanding the Life which is God.”
The processes both of spiritual growth and of divine healing are essentially activities of vision. Such terms as illumination, higher views, discernment, distinguishing between the false and the true, are the commonest analogies for spiritual understanding. True vision reveals that “in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God” (Hosea 1 : 10).
These notes, which have arisen out of practice, are offered as suggestions for the student’s own exercise of Christian and scientific seeing. They are not intended to be exhaustive, but may serve as a basis for individual exploration.
John L. Morgan
Elmdon Saffron Walden
May, 1963 Essex, England
Abbreviations used in this book:
S. & H. Science and Health
Ret. Retrospection and Introspection CSH. Christian Science Hymnal
MIND is the all-seeing Mind, which reveals the infinite and brings the light of intelligence. This is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Mind shows me that vision is spiritual light, not material organs. With this light, I know that vision is the illumination of idea, revealing the meaning and significance of all things. It is not obtaining information from material forms, nor the effort to see matter. Mind reveals “the deep and secret things” which “eye hath not seen.” Possessed of this Mind, I know I can see, for I look from cause rather than from effect.
Nothing is hid from my vision, for Mind presents the idea I need to see every instant. Mind’s vision is ever active and tireless, and it calls for “the perpetual exercise of the Mind-faculties.”* I exercise this vision in intelligent looking, in seeking, in noticing, in the desire to see real ideas where the senses notice only matter. My seeing is fully alert and attentive, for it is the presence of Mind.
Mind creates my vision, owns it, controls and governs it, and never hands it over to the machinery of eyesight. What I miscall my eyes are but a limited sense of real vision; they are really servants of the divine outlook, and they are obedient to the Mind that sees all.
S. & H. 121 : 17-24
S. & H. 284 : 28-32
S. & H. 263 : 32-12
S. & H. 485 : 4-5
* S. & H. 487 : 6-12, M.H. S. & H. 488 : 23-24
S. & H. 572 : 19-12
S. & H. 151 : 20-28
SPIRIT is the only true conception of being, quite separate from the human concept and always correcting it. Correcting the view is a function of Spirit, and so spiritual clear-sightedness is natural to me, distinguishing all things as they really are.
Through Spirit I see all things rightly, clearly, correctly, distinctly, spiritually. This gives me discernment, so that I differentiate between one idea and another, also between true and false. This firmament of Spirit gives me perception, perceptiveness, perspicacity. It opens the eyes of my understanding. It shows me what is real, and what is unreal.
The clear sight of Spirit does not blind me to faults and errors. Rather I detect them more clearly — but as unrealities. I discern only the good and the true to be real, and so my eye is single. I positively look for the real, the good and the true. In Spirit, good vision is natural, and it is irreversible.
Because Spirit is forever unfolding reality, my vision is daily increasingly clearer. I am glad to see old concepts and false opinions disappear. Spirit brings me new views, the true, new idea, and so brings to birth in my vision the new man.
It is Spirit that does the seeing, not flesh, and the senses of Spirit are indestructible and perfect. My outlook is always positive, never negative, because my vision is spiritual.
S. & H. 264 : 13-15
S. & H. 476 : 32-4
S. & H. 502 : 9-14
S. & H. 281 : 28-30
S. & H. 323 : 32-6
S. & H. 505 : 20-22
S. & H. 582 : 1-2
S. & H. 586 : 3-6
Matt. 6 : 22
SOUL is the faculty of spiritual sense, which gives me inner vision, or spiritual insight. This intuitive Soul-sense is inner apprehension and seeing, and it is entirely nonsensual. It enlarges my perception of character, revealing the real identity and nature of whatever I behold.
Through the penetration of Soul I see through sin’s disguise to the sinless man within. I do not confuse appearance with reality. I can see beyond the symbols to the actuality of ideas. As my vision rises, the symbols are transformed.
The senses of Soul function not through corporeal organs, but through the exercising of spiritual sense, — as music is appreciated not through physical sense organs, but through musical sense. Understanding this will normalize and quicken the so-called organs of vision, for Soul is the exchange-point in our practice.
Soul supercedes sense. Therefore I do not look on anyone sensually, nor do I mistake the outer form for the true identity. The veils of sense and self do not impair my vision in Soul, but I perceive definitely “what eye hath not seen.” In Soul, my vision is never related to the self-centered “me,” but looks out selflessly, as the sun shines.
Through the vision of spiritual understanding I am always translating objects of sense into ideas of Soul. I can see with exactitude and instant focus whatever I need to see, because I am identified with perfect vision.
The dry land of Soul gives me stability, self-assurance and self-confidence. Therefore I know who I am, and am undisturbed, so that I look out unself-consciously, steadily and calmly. From my dry land, my vision is unvarying, permanent, free from conflict, and unfettered by mortal belief. My sight is untouched by anxiety or stress, but dwells on God.
Soul balances the inner with the outer, the left with the right. Starting with the kingdom within, I can set to work to “make this earth our Father’s kingdom” also. What I behold with the material senses must be brought to coincide with spiritual sense. Spiritual apprehension is my vision; its practice is my eyesight.
S. & H. 91 : 16-21
S. & H. 214 : 5-8, 26-1
S. & H. 263 : 28-31
S. & H. 315 : 11-20
S. & H. 258 : 21-24, 31-1
S. & H. 585 : 9-11
PRINCIPLE confers the grand, impersonal view, in which I see, in a measure, as God sees. I see everyone impersonally as the perfect idea of the perfect Principle. I see man as that which is Principled — “that which,” not “he who.” (See S. & H. 475 : 5, 19-22.) I see that every attribute man has is a quality of God, and that without his operative divine Principle man does not exist. I see that neither bad human nor good human is the divine image and likeness, for man is found in his divine Principle.
No personal sense hides from me the divinity of man; no blind human wilfulness prevents me seeing what Principle requires of me. My personal judgments and prejudices do not occupy my outlook and so preclude the detached appraisal that Principle gives me.
The viewpoint of Principle shows me that everything is governed in perfect justice and equity and righteousness. “What’s right” and not “who’s right” is the criterion in my eyes. Therefore I do not look for wrong, and what I see as wrong I detect as an impersonal lie.
Because I know that Principle is the only “I,” my sight is not falsified by self-advantage, or rivalry, or inferiority. I look out from “the mount of vision.”* I love to see right ideas and actions for their own sake.
The functioning of my vision is governed harmoniously by the divine Principle of vision, for the potency and efficiency of all ideas resides in their governing Principle.
Psalm 36 : 9
John 5 : 19
Ret. 76 : 23-26
S. & H. 330 : 13-15
S. & H. 300 : 28-32
S. & H. 560 : 22-30
* S. & H. 561 : 8-9
S. & H. 304 : 16-19
LIFE is the law of limitless enablement. So the more I exercise my vision — spiritually, mentally, and physically — the clearer and stronger it becomes. “Unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance:” (Matt. 25 : 29). There are no laws of limitation in the divine sight. It is no effort for me to see all things easily, as man is “the unlabored motion of the divine energy.” My sight is ever fresh, for it is the expression of newness of Life.
I know that my sight derives direct from the Father. It did not begin with birth, nor does it diminish with age. It is ageless, fadeless, ever new, self-renewed, and restored perpetually. I rejoice that I have perfect sight now.
Life is the great Giver, so my vision is generous and appreciative. My outlook is never mean or uninterested in others, but magnifies the divine individuality in everyone. In Life my vision is open and extrovert. It is directed outward, so that I actively look for and see God everywhere. In the nowness of Life, I am quick to see and appreciate new truths, new aspects of God and man, new ways of applying what I know. My vision never looks backward, but is constantly going forward.
S. & H. 380 : 32-1
S. & H. 516 : 4-8
S. & H. 262 : 14-16
S. & H. 264 : 13-15
S. & H. 507 : 28-29
S. & H. 561 : 16-20
TRUTH. How am I seeing? Who am I seeing? What am I seeing? In Truth, I see only God’s image and likeness, for man is a transparency for Truth.
My vision proceeds from my love of Truth, from my conscious awareness of the idea, and therefore I see man to be the Son of God, or God expressed. “Man” includes the truth about everything, so I recognize both great and small to have divine significance. My focus is of infinite range.
My seeing, being spiritual, always has reference to Truth, and is attentive to what is true and divine. It is not dissipated in idle curiosity, but is steadfast on all that is of true worth.
I see that there is only one man, and therefore I recognize that one man’s good is all men’s good. I am quick to see my brother’s need and to supply it, mentally and spiritually, in order that my vision of man be whole and healthy. I see man unfallen, upright, Godlike. I love to practice seeing the truth, for true vision blesses both the seer and the seen. I judge or criticize no man, but allow Truth to deal with error in God’s own way.
In Truth, my manhood comprises both man and woman, in perfect balance. My manhood seeing is manifested in good far vision, seeing the abstract and impersonal truth clearly and steadily. My womanhood vision is manifested as good near sight, for I can bring home the wider truths, and see them in their details, as applying to me practically and comfortingly. My manhood sees with the intellect, my womanhood with the feeling. These two viewpoints (“eyes”) combine as one, for apprehension and comprehension are wedded in me.
(In the Gospels, every case of healing of the blind is accompanied by a reference to “thou son of David.” David typified the wedding of manhood and womanhood, the outward seeing and the inner conception. It is this spiritual activity of wedding the human and the divine which is the key of David, that opens our vision.)
In Truth, I am son, or derived. Therefore it is my heritage to enjoy God’s vision; no mortal inheritance ever gave it me or could deprive me of it.
Gen. 32 : 30
Gen. 33 : 10
S. & H. 295 : 16-24
Matt. 7 : 1-5
S. & H. 518 : 15-19
S. & H. 593 : 4-5
LOVE beholds me as its own beloved. The divine Mother, Love, conceives me as complete and perfect. I reflect this divine conception and accept it, and so conceive and behold everyone in Love.
“The light of ever-present Love illumines the universe.”* I see that every idea is at rest, — never frustrated or thwarted, never tense, — and so my vision “rests in action”** and is at peace and satisfied. Love’s viewpoint confers impartiality, forgiveness, constancy. As Shakespeare has it:
“. . .Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken . . .”
I look with the eye of spiritual innocency and behold no evil, for we are in the divine presence. I behold man in Love and blot out all sense of imperfection, all fear and dislike. I look with the eye of Love’s benevolence and behold in man all the hues and qualities of God. In this view there is full recognition of the divine nature. So I look with the eye of gratitude, for the divine glory fills all space. With a grateful outlook I mother my entire universe and draw into expression the beauty of holiness.
“I saw the love of God encircling the universe and man, filling all space, and that divine Love so permeated my own consciousness that I loved with Christ-like compassion everything I saw. This realization of divine Love called into expression the beauty of holiness, the perfection of being which healed and regenerated and saved all who turned to me for help.” (Attributed to Mrs. Eddy. From “General Collectanea” published by Gilbert C. Carpenter, Jr., C.S.B.)
S. & H. 248 : 3-4
S. & H. 260 : 7-12
* S. & H. 503 : 14-15
** S. & H. 519 : 25
S. & H. 577 : 19-27
THE FOUR ATTITUDES
The seven synonyms furnish the truths about vision, but even more important are the four attitudes with which we practice seeing.
The four standpoints from which we see:
is the revelation of Truth, and this impels my desire to see and know Truth.
is, and provides, the consciousness of Truth, and this is why I find and adopt the Truth-viewpoint.
demonstrates Truth in every sphere, and so I naturally perceive the supremacy of Truth.
interprets Truth as God, and so man is seen to be the divine in action.
These four attitudes, — my seeking, my finding, my proving, my being, — are brought about by the power of “the Spirit of truth” (John 16 : 13) or divine Science. Therefore I see and know that it is Spirit that does the seeing, which is manifested in me unfailingly and eternally.
Gen. 13 :14: “And the Lord said unto Abram, . . . Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:” Wherever my consciousness may be, I may look out from there in the four viewpoints of the divine compass or calculus. True vision is spiritual calculation, and spiritual seeing and reasoning normalizes and harmonizes the sight.
The Sermon on the Mount on Vision
An illuminating comment on this connection between the divine calculus and true vision is found in the Sermon on the Mount. There, every section having the tone of Spirit or of Truth (with one exception) has reference to seeing, eyes, or looking. Moreover, all the direct references to vision are found in those sections and nowhere else. In other words, spiritual reckoning is clear spiritual discernment of the facts of being, in truth and in belief, and results in true vision.
THE WORD reveals my path in life, shows me the way I should go, and makes clear every footstep. Therefore I move forward in light, trusting and confident; I cannot be befogged, uncertain or anxious, for “He knows the way He taketh, And I will walk with Him” (CSH. Hymn 148).
The Word of revelation shows that man is spiritually minded and not materially minded. Therefore I enjoy naturally the divine insight, reading from ideas and not from matter. So my vision is on an ever-rising scale, from the literal to the inspirational.
In the Word, my vision is desire to see and know Truth. “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119 :18).
THE CHRIST is the ideal of God, and discovers to human sight man in the divine image. The Christ view transfigures our human concept of man, so that we behold man to be a transparency for Truth, just as Jesus served as a window for God. He that hath seen me (man) rightly, hath seen the Father. (See John 14 : 8-10.) We look out with Christ-coloured glasses.
But this Christ light is not abstract and static: it is dynamic and practical, for Truth inevitably has an effect upon our misconceptions. Therefore the Christ view is not only my eyes: it is also my physician and healer, remaking, restoring, and renewing.
This Christ view translates the infinite to the infinitesimal, so that I see divinity manifested in the smallest details of life. Everything is illuminated and transformed by the spirit of Truth.
CHRISTIANITY is the Christ viewpoint in actual use, the exercising of the Mind-faculties. (See S. & H. 487 : 6-9.) What I had seen with the inner eye, I now see externalized. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42 : 5).
In Christianity, I love to exercise every aspect of true vision; yet I also discern that I am, in fact, the exercising of them. These faculties and qualities demonstrate themselves through and as me and everyone, for my seeing is but the reflecting of Truth.
In Christianity, vision is in relating the inner with the outer. So I am not self-absorbed, or immersed in my own affairs, but keenly aware of the inter-relationship of all ideas in the one plan, and I look with interest and wonder and appreciation upon all. (See S. & H. 516 : 4-8.)
Christianity involves proof, proof of the true and disproof of the untrue. Wherever I look, I am aware that divine Love is in operation to heal and regenerate and save. Thus I am never dismayed by what I see, for I am increasingly aware of the supremacy of Truth.
SCIENCE is the Science of Being, and the Science attitude is living in line with this platform of perfection. My vision dwells in the unchanging facts of celestial goodness.
God is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity. (See Habakkuk 1 : 13.) “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1 : 31). “In this Science, we discover man in the image and likeness of God. We see that man has never lost his spiritual estate and his eternal harmony” (S. & H. 548 : 5-8).
In the Science viewpoint, we exclaim, “I see!” My thought and outlook coincides with that of Principle. I see what is, — or rather, I behold it. “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man . . .” (See S. & H. 476 : 28-8.)
Science is interpretation, and furnishes the explanation of all things. All is clear and explained, and there is no problem of being. In my seeing, therefore, there is no strain, no intensity, no forcing to discern spiritual conclusions beyond where my being is. It is divine Science that reveals and interprets to me everything I need to see and understand. My vision will indeed penetrate the deep things of God, but this is not intellectual effort; it is natural spiritual sense. (See S. & H. 258 : 31-1.) So my vision, while ever questing, is also ever at peace.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (I Cor. 2 : 9-11).