From spoon bending—to absolute science
By Alison Bristow
Reprinted from The Christian Science Journal
* Originally aired on the EI website 4/30/2012
Though more than a decade has passed since the hit movie The Matrix was released, its bold exploration of timeless, spiritual themes keeps it alive with fresh relevance—and still a topic of conversation.
In the film the lead character, Neo, visits a prophet in a futuristic world. When he arrives, he finds a room full of others who, like him, are spiritually gifted in some way. Neo has an exchange with one of them—a young boy—who is bending a spoon without the use of any physical contact or force. When the boy notices Neo’s interest, he gives him the spoon. Neo stares hard at the metal object—but nothing happens. Then the boy instructs him: “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.” To which Neo asks, “What truth?” The young boy answers, “There is no spoon.” Upon hearing this, Neo is able to bend the spoon without physical effort.
To me, the following statement by Mary Baker Eddy clarifies this thought: “What you see, hear, feel, is a mode of consciousness, and can have no other reality than the sense you entertain of it” (Unity of Good, p. 8). Those words reveal a level of spiritual understanding that recognizes all material phenomena, including what we perceive as problems, whether they appear to be the presence of something we don’t want or the absence of something we legitimately need, to be a “mode of consciousness”—a picture of limited thinking or a misperception projected outwardly.
Once this understanding starts to develop, it becomes clear that most healing and self-help modalities are in essence trying to “bend spoons.” That’s why we often find the same problem showing up over and over in different disguises—because consciousness has been so fixated on bending the spoon “out there” that it hasn’t dealt with the misconception behind the problem—much like trying to adjust the movie screen when the malfunction is with the projector!
Christian Science reveals the Truth we’re speaking of to be another name for God—ultimate good. Eddy’s words give us a sense of what and how tangible God, Truth, is. She writes, “The spiritual reality is the scientific fact in all things” (Science and Health, p. 207). This rescues us from any sense that spiritual reality is nebulous or intangible, and makes it a solid, discernible fact. And where are facts discerned? In consciousness. So, like an architect looking at a building and seeing past the bricks and beams to the principle that is holding it up, we can look out on everything that confronts us through the lens of spiritual understanding and see the scientific fact. Eddy further assures us of the palpable nature of these ideas and our ability to grasp them by pointing out that they are “. . . perfectly real and tangible to spiritual consciousness . . . .” Then she explains that these ideas are “good and eternal” (Science and Health, p. 269). This would explain why Jesus said they set us “free.” He knew that every human consciousness has access to and can be transformed by truth. Had this not been the case, he wouldn’t have required of his students that they, also, “know the truth.”