“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Christ Jesus, Matthew 13: 15)
“Then the king of Syria warred against Israel…And when the servant of the man of God (Elisha) was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (II Kings 6: 15-17) (My parenthesis).
“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy;” (Zephaniah 3: 17 to 2nd ;).
The eternal good and ever-lasting harmony that God maintains in Its spiritual creation is always present with us. It’s just that, since we usually rely only upon the senses of physical sight, sound, taste, smell and touch to combat evils in the human experience, we act according to this limited perception and don’t perceive God’s spiritual reality, where no evil dwells. Usually, we don’t even turn to God, the divine Presence, unless all our own physical paths have let us down.
Believing so strongly in what we see and hear, we continue to accept all material perception of our lot as the correct assessment of things. We consider evil to be as powerful as good, and we fear that it will win out in the end. So, instead of turning to the divine presence and Intelligence to guide us out of the material illusion of harm facing us, we twist in the wind trying to create harmony in the physical realm of thought, which is erroneous to begin with. Likewise, we even misjudge the material good that we see.
I may have written of this incident before, but here’s an example of the deceptive nature of just one of the physical senses: Driving in the country, one day, I saw a distant mountain range on the horizon. It was quite beautiful, like an artists’ canvas spread out before my view. For a moment I was quite mesmerized by the purple mountain peaks and the way the mountains came closer, as I sped westward toward the horizon. But I knew the mountains weren’t really there. I was driving west on a highway in Central Illinois, straight through flat farm land. The horizon was always flat and empty.
Studying this new and unusual, visual phenomenon, I realized that it was a trick of the clouds, sunlight, and time of day. Also, clouds touching the horizon called up mental pictures of mountain ranges. So, my perception was deceptive. It was an illusion, akin to the kinds of illusions people experience in the desert, when they think they see an oasis.
That whole incident proved to me, once again, the deceptive ability of physical sight in the assessment of reality. (This is why eye-witnesses to crimes often aren’t reliable.) We tend to see what we expect to see, or what our lazy mind is gazing upon, without prior mental focus. And as much as we tend to believe what we see, unless we bring our mind or consciousness into play (sifting through what the physical senses perceive) our perceptions can be quite faulty.
But there’s a more important way in which the physical senses deceive us. These five material tools of perception shut out the truth of spiritual existence, hiding our divine circumstances of ever-present health, harmony, and provision from God, our infinite Source of all good. This is why we must pray the prayer for ‘open eyes’. It’s our spiritually mental eyes that require opening. We must first open our thought to a spiritual reality, hidden from human view, and then become willing to let this spiritual sense, our spiritual eyes, become active. It’s like the abundant sunshine outside our front door: to bring sunshine into a shade-drawn house, we must first open the door for the light to pour in.
Whenever we wish to make a change in our lives, or whenever we wish to be healed of some illness or destructive situation, we need to turn away from all the lacks that our material senses are reporting…lack of health, lack of supply, lack of harmonious relationships—the lack-list is long.
In the second quotation at the beginning of this article, an account is given of Elisha the Prophet and his prayer to God to “open his eyes” concerning Elisha’s servant’s view and fear of things: the threat of an army ready to attack them. The ‘eyes’ which Elisha asked God to open were the eyes of the inner mind or spiritual sense—the young man’s spiritual tool of perception.
Elisha wanted the light of spiritual truth to penetrate his servant’s limited human consciousness, so that he could perceive what was spiritually, rather than materially, active. He wished for his servant to perceive and realize the actual presence of God, the infinite Spirit, or Intelligence, along with the sovereign control which God’s loving protection holds over all. Once this was accomplished through vision or mental symbolism, the servant mentally saw the ‘armies’ of God, or the laws of divine Love which rule the true universe of God’s creating, and the servant then understood the saving power that defeats all evil purposes, which the carnal mind (belief of material being) so often produces.
So, I made up a little poem that works for me, whenever I’m being duped by the way things seem, humanly, to be going wrong:
As a matter of fact, I resorted to my little poem just a couple weeks ago. I had a sudden, almost unbelievable task before me to accomplish, and my stress level was really high. I greatly feared I couldn’t accomplish what I knew I had to do. As a result, I experienced headaches, insomnia, and so much bodily tension I felt unsteady on my feet. After a two days in this mental and physical condition, I remembered my little poem. So I sat down and just went through it again and again, just to calm me down. As I went through this meditation, two new thoughts suddenly came forth: 1. You’re not trying to prove your own control over all, but rather God’s authority and control over all. 2. “Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there!”
This second thought referred to an old video tape I had viewed a few days earlier, in which a Scottish singer sang this song by that very title. I realized that I, indeed, felt supremely burdened. It ‘hit the nail right on the head’ as the saying goes.
So, in the midst of my agony, God’s thoughts toward me were telling me to fix my relationship with this sense of burden. None of God’s children are meant to be bowed down with burdens. I was to give my false sense of burden to God, whose harmony reigns supreme, in heaven, and the material sense of Earth.
Before anything even happened to fix it all, I felt the vise-like grip around my head and neck ease. God, our divine Source within, had opened my eyes to the spiritual truth of what appeared to be an unbelievably complicated human situation. Almost immediately, I heard that voice within say to leave my burden at God’s feet, each morning. That was my remedy. I would be told what to do that day. Time was unimportant. Don’t even consider the stress of time.
And that’s exactly what happened. I’m now almost done with the assignment that I was to do. What should have taken me months, is almost finished completely. Three different times during the last two weeks, my plan was to do something differently; but when this happened, the voice within said, “Let Go! God will accomplish what is given to you.” All three times, progress came forth faster than I had imagined.
Had I not turned away from the physical scene and sought out God’s ever-present harmony and love for all concerned, I’d be in a real pickle right now. But my unsophisticated little poem made me turn away from the problem and seek the harmony of God; and when I did that, I heard the soft voice within tell me to remember that song I had heard and take the burden of the whole thing to God and leave it there. It made all the difference in the world.
We all have these little angel poems, thoughts, and intuitions which crop up when we need them. Every time we seek spiritual enlightenment, we are rewarded. I believe that every single time one turns to God and then listens for that calm voice within, it begins at once to remedy our hardship, whatever it may be. And after that inner voice of Spirit is heard from within, our eyes are opened, just a little bit more, until we can truly See.