With an intensity probably unknown to any other period in humanity's history a lot of energy is being invested into the mere surface of things, of events, of people. The way things look (instead of what they are), how people, events, or things are perceived (rather than truly are), and who has the best show (in times when trust among is crumbling away, this is what is left). There is a relentless appeal to the surface, the outmost layer of a physical object or space, in a speed that is breathtaking.
Depth and surface are central to debates about virtual reality, computers, and television. Depth and surface also relate to tweets and facebook, fake news and showtime, also in regard to cosmetics, body images and plastic surgery, visual impressions and contrived images, simulations and fakes. In his seminal work Postmodernism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1995), Frederic Jameson investigates the "depthlessness" of postmodern culture, in particular within the art world. But it applies today, in the 21st century, to many more phenoma. There is f.e. a rapidly growing interest in virtual realities — in holographic projections, computerized games, and technologies designed to create heightened sense impressions. The emphasis seems to be on seeming and feeling, rather than on being and doing.
Interestingly the symbol of the media world is the screen - the symbol of the surface culture.
If surface is all there is, if "depth" is just another superficial layer beyond the initial surface, then nothing remains that is profound. And yet humanity's hunger for meaning is the most significant movement of thought underway in human culture.
Logic tells me there is no way that the five physical senses can ever take us beyond the surface. That is all they can touch, see, hear, smell, or taste. Sensebased knowledge is incapable of grasping something that doesn't have material parameters. It requires thinking and faith — a quiet heart — to perceive something different, something beyond the millions of layered surfaces presented by popular culture.
This "something beyond" was what Christ Jesus saw and taught. Here was someone who literally walked over water — surface — in defiance of material limitations. But as Mary Baker Eddy also noted concerning Jesus, "He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause" (Science and Health, p. 313). Jesus penetrated the surface of the material world that we call "real." He showed that there is a God who is transcendental to the human mind. She adds: "We cannot fathom the nature and quality of God's creation by diving into the shallows of mortal belief." (Science and Health, p. 292)
God's messages break through misperceptions of what is real and show us something else, the reality of Spirit and spiritual existence. In the modern age, long before our present surface culture, Mary Baker Eddy writes: "When examined in the light of divine Science, mortals present more than is detected upon the surface, since inverted thoughts and erroneous beliefs must be counterfeits of Truth. Thought is borrowed from a higher source than matter, and by reversal, errors serve as waymarks to the one Mind, in which all error disappears in celestial Truth" (Science and Health, p. 267). So do we need to believe all we see and hear? How do we get the facts - about Life, about our being?
All it takes to help forward the search for depth is a simple yearning for something beneath and beyond the surfaces of everyday life. We are being invited to dive into the dephts. And we are being asked every day by Life itself: "Hast thou walked in the search of the depth?" (38:16).
How spiritual perception healed someone who had attempted suicide you can read about here: Infinite good - the dawning and the meridian (by Allison W. Phinney)
An answer is a mental door - and truly, we need this open door when tragedy strikes. Is there an uninterrupted authority of divine Life over any material interference however brutal? Is there comfort in the face of heartbreaking loss and senseless brutality? Where is the "available superiority of divine Mind", Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of the Allness of divine consciousness, speaks about in her wonderful book Science and Health (p. 143)?
An answer is a mental door --- and this door was opened for me with removing myself from staring and instead to start making use of divine intelligence, the only intelligence there is. We cannot afford to trust this world to make sense. I don't trust this world an inch, not one inch. This world does not deserve my trust and thus my entire trust lies in the goodness of Life, in the Principle of being, which is so above everything, everywhere around us, in us, above us --- everywhere. We can trust the goodness in everyone, everywhere. We learn early on in the education of spiritual sense that Principle is never in its ideas but always remains above them.
An answer is a mental door and, by persisting to turn away from staring at and asking the world for true meaning, I realized the glory of contemporaneity. It is totally wonderful to know about so many individuals being in our world at the same time, within this moment of infinite being. We are contemporaries to, for example, millions of fabulous thinkers, activists, inventors, discoverers, artists, being synchronized with billions of wonderful people expressing the same one Principle. This knowledge is invigorating, because it is true. This feeling of contemporaneity immediately enables me to feel the contemporaneity with God.
Spiritually we are neither behind nor two steps ahead of anyone. We all are synchronized with divine Mind. I can see that this is wonderfully true for everyone, regardless whether I see "her" or "him" personally - which I can't in this sphere of existence. It is enough to know them to be there. How much more so in the true and revealed being? If divine Mind didn't remember us we would not be immortal. An idea, which we essentially are, must be held in mind, thought about and this one consciousness is God, holding us eternally close, dear, right where we are. Yes, this is the true understanding of what is going on.
In a most exquisite, beautiful Psalm we read:
I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night--
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
(from Psalm 139)
In the calm and unselfishness of leaving the answer up to the supreme judgment of the Infinite we can get a glimpse that everyone is safe in Spirit. It is not up to us to make this happen, because we are already synchronized with Life. In astronomy, long-time exposure ensures that we get the whole view, so we need to patiently and trustingly ask the question to unfold an answer we can live with. To reveal the real view.
An answer is a mental door, an answer everyone deserves and everyone will have. Elisabeth Salm wrote in the most magnificent manner about "Life-never interrupted", and as you honor the author and the insights she shares, you can see the ideas being true for her and for you. We are all one, being synchronized with God. The article you can find here.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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