by Don Ingwerson
“We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things.”
This is a powerful statement – made even more powerful by the fact that it was written not in the 21st or the 20th century, but by a woman – Mary Baker Eddy – in the 19th century.
Why is that?
Because here in the 21st century, I feel the question remains as crucial as ever – are we looking deep enough into realism? Or are we just touching the surface and still accepting that outward sense of things? There are many books, movies, and TV shows that in some way or another claim to be representing “reality.” But does this entertainment really represent a progression toward a deeper understanding of what is truly real? In the case of the question that has been posed on the Oprah Winfrey channel: “What do you believe?” the answer is yes, as Oprah gives her viewers a platform to express their views on belief and how it affects reality.
This isn’t fantasy, but sometimes Hollywood fantasy succeeds in exploring forward thinking views on reality. I remember watching people being “beamed up” from one location to another in Star Trek and understanding on one level that, yes, this was a fantasy world. Yet it also made us think about what we are composed of – how solid is matter anyway? And then, are we just matter, or are we a mixture of matter and Spirit? Or maybe even just Spirit?
Scientists continue to try to unlock the mysteries of existence and define what is real by going beyond accepted views of what substance and matter are. Centuries ago they had to refute the idea that the world is flat; now we know it isn’t. Today scientists are defining earth and all matter in an entirely new way. Not too long ago, the building blocks of matter were assumed to be atoms. Then there was the opportunity to look even closer and see that atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. And then quarks were discovered and understood to be the smallest known building blocks of matter.
But quarks don’t behave like matter in the same way that we experience matter in our daily lives, since they are invisible and constantly moving. How do these building blocks somehow translate into what we experience in our material life? If they don’t, then that’s where a paradigm shift in our understanding of reality is truly taking place – just like when people realized the fallacy of believing that the world was flat. Within this paradigm shift, some scientists say there is actually nothing in the universe, while others take this information a bit further and say that nothing but consciousness exists.
That’s an important recognition. Yet looking still deeper, the key question is “what is that consciousness?”
I believe Mary Baker Eddy answered that in a profound way when she posited that the spiritual consciousness that expresses God, the infinite Mind, was what defined reality. She based this conclusion on the life and healings of Christ Jesus, which challenged the substantiality of matter, and by her own proofs of God’s healing power.
But I don’t believe what she says just on faith. These ideas demand to be understood and proved in practice as they apply to affecting physical and other conditions needing healing. I’ve had many physical healings over the decades since I first learned there are laws behind what Jesus did. These laws of good have helped me solve other complex problems too – in my work as an educator (up to the level of Superintendent of Schools), in relationships, and in turning around some potentially tragic situations.
While scientists continue to look at smaller and smaller components of matter to define reality, I believe humanity would benefit greatly by looking deeper into realism and finding life’s source in infinite divine Life.
I believe that we not only can do this, but also need to, because understanding and living this reality will bring consciousness into a healthier sphere of existence, where it can overcome both sickness and sin.