Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What is Mind?

Yesterday I spent a lot of time with the brilliant question-and-answer in Science and Health, “What is Mind?” It was one of those instructive times when contemplating the ideas in a particular passage and applying them specifically to each situation I was supporting with prayer led to deeper and deeper revelations. I read the passage through multiple times, once for each item on my prayer list, and found a new nugget of healing inspiration for each one.

Some highlights:

Question. — What is Mind?
Answer. — Mind is God. The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind — called devil or evil — is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality.

  • The "exterminator of error" is the truth that God is the only Mind. To me this is because in order to exist, a thing has to be created. With Mind as the only Creator, all that exists must make sense, must be intelligent, must be harmonious. So, those things that are faulty or unintelligent or discordant—error—were not created by Mind, and therefore not created at all. Mind is the Creator, and this exterminates error.

There can be but one Mind, because there is but one God; and if mortals claimed no other Mind and accepted no other, sin would be unknown. We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite. We bury the sense of infinitude, when we admit that, although God is infinite, evil has a place in this infinity, for evil can have no place, where all space is filled with God.

  • With one Mind, there is no sin. Sin, then, is a product of believing there is more than one mind, and these minds are at cross-purposes. Sin is believing we have our own mind, and can go our own way. Alignment with the one Mind obliterates sin. And there is only one Mind because that Mind is infinite—there’s no room for any other.

We lose the high signification of omnipotence, when after admitting that God, or good, is omnipresent and has all-power, we still believe there is another power, named evil. This belief that there is more than one mind is as pernicious to divine theology as are ancient mythology and pagan idolatry.

  • If I believe that someone else is wrong, I’m believing in more than one Mind, because I’m believing in the reality of evil or wrongness. This was a major revelation for me yesterday. Since there is only one Mind, however, I can dwell in that and trust that everyone else is a creation of that Mind as well.

With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science.

  • One Mind can govern every situation, every transaction, every outcome, if we just get out of its way. With only one Mind, I don’t need to say anything. Anyone else involved in a situation knows the same reality that I know. And none of what we know is told to us by the physical senses. (More on this below.)

The supposed existence of more than one mind was the basic error of idolatry. This error assumed the loss of spiritual power, the loss of the spiritual presence of Life as infinite Truth without an unlikeness, and the loss of Love as ever present and universal.

  • Do I want to be an idolater? Claiming I know better than someone else, no matter how young and inexperienced they are, is a form of idolatry, since again it’s believing in more than one Mind. Yikes!

Divine Science explains the abstract statement that there is one Mind by the following self-evident proposition: If God, or good, is real, then evil, the unlikeness of God, is unreal. And evil can only seem to be real by giving reality to the unreal. The children of God have but one Mind. How can good lapse into evil, when God, the Mind of man, never sins? The standard of perfection was originally God and man. Has God taken down His own standard, and has man fallen?

  • "The children of God have but one Mind." Do I believe this? Do I understand this? Am I acting accordingly? I felt the need to really straighten up after contemplating this part of the passage.

God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect. Man is the expression of God's being. If there ever was a moment when man did not express the divine perfection, then there was a moment when man did not express God, and consequently a time when Deity was unexpressed — that is, without entity. If man has lost perfection, then he has lost his perfect Principle, the divine Mind. If man ever existed without this perfect Principle or Mind, then man's existence was a myth.

  • Here to me Eddy resolves her hypotheticals brilliantly. Good never lapses into evil. God has not taken down his own standard. Man has not fallen. And that last sentence, "If man ever existed without this perfect Principle or Mind, then man's existence was a myth" made me realize that if someone exists at all, that person is perfect. I don’t even want to qualify that by saying "their spiritual being is perfect." I need to radically accept the perfection of those I’m praying for right here, right now, and express and align with the confidence that they are as connected to divine Mind as I am.

The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history.

  • This "no lapse from nor return to harmony" has healed many a case.

The unlikeness of Truth, — named error, — the opposite of Science, and the evidence before the five corporeal senses, afford no indication of the grand facts of being; even as these so-called senses receive no intimation of the earth's motions or of the science of astronomy, but yield assent to astronomical propositions on the authority of natural science.

  • Here’s the explanation of how it is we are sometimes duped into believing in more than one Mind—it is through believing the evidence of the senses. Remembering yesterday that it’s only my five personal senses that tell me someone else is wrong or misguided or hurting helped me see that I can be more rigorous in discounting the evidence of the senses to know Truth more clearly.

The facts of divine Science should be admitted, — although the evidence as to these facts is not supported by evil, by matter, or by material sense, — because the evidence that God and man coexist is fully sustained by spiritual sense. Man is, and forever has been, God's reflection. God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence. Hence the spirituality of the universe is the only fact of creation. "Let God be true, but every [material] man a liar."

  • And here, to sum up, she places it before us—what are we believing? God or the senses?

Let’s you and me spend the day believing God for a change. It made a huge difference to me yesterday.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 6/08/2006 12:40:00 AM, Anonymous rev. veronika said...

Thank you Laura! To step into the absolute is like a refreshing bath.

At 6/09/2006 05:17:00 AM, Anonymous Miki said...

I found this very, very helpful. Thank you, Laura!

At 6/13/2006 01:36:00 PM, Anonymous Nancy said...

Mrs. Eddy said it all very simply in a letter to one of her students when she wrote, "To believe a lie is sin." (from "The Blue Book" [Divinity and General Collectanea, compiled by Richard Oakes], p. 94)

Laura, thank your for your lovely, inspiring, and refreshing blogs.


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