“Personal sense” is one of those great terms used in Christian Science that is so helpful once you understand it.
Here are some quotes about it in Mary Baker Eddy’s writings:
“We cannot circumscribe happiness within the limits of personal sense.” (SH 61:1-2)
“A personal sense of God and of man’s capabilities necessarily limits faith and hinders spiritual understanding.” (SH 312:24-26)
“When will the world cease to judge…from a personal sense of things, conjectural and misapprehensive!” (Mis 290:21-23)
“I earnestly advise all Christian Scientists to remove from their observation or study the personal sense of any one, and not to dwell in thought upon their own or others’ corporeality, either as good or evil.” (Mis 308:32)
“Humility is no busybody: it has no moments for trafficking in other people’s business, no place for envy, no time for idle words, vain amusements, and all the et cetera of the ways and means of personal sense.” (Mis 356:31)
“In the ratio that the testimony of material personal sense ceases, sin diminishes, until the false claim called sin is finally lost for lack of witness.” (Ret 67:14)
Here’s the way I would say it: personal sense suggests that while we think we have our own perspective, view, or opinion of things, actually what is important and relevant is God’s will instead.
I would submit that this is how Jesus healed others, because he saw them as God saw them, having no other perspective of his own. Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way:
“Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.” (SH 476:32-4)
Wow. Don’t we want to do that? Imagine living in a world where we all walked around looking at each other that way!
I find this point of Eddy’s so freeing and instructive in getting us there:
“In Christian Science mere opinion is valueless.” (SH 341:11)
Without opinion, can there be any personal sense? Can we let our opinions go? What is God’s outlook instead?
We need to get out of our own way, and stop acting like we need to be God. As Mrs. Eddy quips:
“Mortals are egotists. They believe themselves to be independent workers, personal authors, and even privileged originators of something which Deity would not or could not create.” (SH 263:1-4)
Oops. We can act so earnestly, like we bear the burden on our shoulders, when we need to actually remember that God, alone, is the one that’s responsible. Personal sense is a false sense of responsibility that we need to let go of. It is a call for more humility, and a more faithful submission to God’s will.
What is God prompting you to think and do? Replace personal sense with devout discernment of the divine will and routine obedience to it. But meanwhile, remember to balance this by not taking yourself so seriously! We are created for joy and love!
God made you/me/us complete and wonderful already; you are precious and good enough just the way you are. Treat yourself the way God wants you to, with kindness, generosity, and appreciation. Also, cultivate your relationship with God as discussed in this blog of mine.
You are preprogrammed to reflect God– to manifest and express all of God’s intelligence, goodness and power. As Mary Baker Eddy says it:
“Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.” (SH 475:11)
It is not a question of how to do that. We need to remember more often that we cannot help but do it, for we are designed that way to our very core. It is our true and exact nature in every detail– not that imposter of personal sense, or those ridiculous mind-of-our-own pretensions. Let those impositions go. They were never even part of what defined you.
So basically I’m saying, “Give up and be perfect.”