It’s an old term from the early days of computers. I was reminded of it when I listened to a recent “Daily Lift” provided by the Christian Science Board of Lectureship.
The Daily Lift is a 2-minute recorded message that you can listen to 5 days a week. It’s available in two formats: on your computer (here’s a link) and over the phone (617.450.3430). It is intended to give you a lift each day, as the name says, and, I think, to lift one’s thought a little higher than the daily grind might otherwise provide. (Hmmm…that would be a funny podcast, eh? — the Daily Grind! LOL)
This particular Daily Lift made me realize that WYSIWYG is not so old-fashioned or limited a term after all. In fact, I realized, it has current and long-lasting meaning — as a spiritual concept. This Lift got me thinking about a central premise of Christian Science: that we all have dominion over our thinking, and that our thinking governs our experience, including our health.
Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who discovered Christian Science as a contemporary healing practice, wrote a book explaining what she’d discovered. It’s called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The book is available to read or purchase online, as well as in book stores and libraries throughout the world. It’s available in 17 languages as well as English braille.
In Science and Health, she wrote:
Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts.
Mrs. Eddy uses the term “mortal mind” throughout her writings to refer to the everyday human concept of mind. She distinguishes this from Mind with a capital M — a synonym for God — which is seen to be the only Mind there is. This is the Mind that heals — not the human, or mortal, mind.
Digression: This is a concept that is way too deep to distill into a few sentences in a blog! So I’m not doing it justice, really (so sorry). I am trying to simplify a key idea that takes most of us a lifetime to understand. Please, everyone, read her book — study it! — to gain your own view of what she meant by “mortal mind.”
Back to WYSIWYG — also, in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy wrote:
Christian Science explains all cause and effect as mental, not physical….
Mind, not matter, is causation. A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind. A mortal man possesses this body, and he makes it harmonious or discordant according to the images of thought impressed upon it. You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness.
I love that idea of embracing your body! I find it especially encouraging when something hurts or when I don’t feel well, because that’s the time it seems the opposite of what you would be likely to do, right?
It can sometimes feel like your body is your enemy. I find the concept of mentally embracing my body boots that discouraging view out the door. And then my body and I are on the same side, arguing for health.
Furthermore, embracing one’s body implies affection, doesn’t it? So when I am viewing my body with affection and appreciating all the ways it serves me — especially the particular part that seems out of sorts — I am seeing what Mary Baker Eddy discovered is the real me — the spiritual me, whole and healthy. And, inevitably, my body goes along with this view.
In other words, what I see is what I get. WYSIWYG.