Direction from Mind, not brain

In A recent interview on public radio, artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky said that consciousness is merely a collection of brain functions that can be explained through magnetic resonance imaging ("To the best of our knowledge," Steve Paulson, host, Wis. Public Radio, Feb. 10).

As Mr. Paulson pointed out, even a "map" of brain activity – from sensory perception to deductive reasoning to spiritual experience – would illustrate only correlations. Technology, in other words, may show the where and what of thought but can't explain how we think.

Studies analyzing the brain have given us a flood of information, but they don't come close to addressing our potential or hopes, or how to achieve them. A glance at the front page of this paper makes it clear that humanity has never been so in need of explanations that can unite and heal and help uncover the practical good behind the universal intuition that there is more to life than what meets the eye.

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As the founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, noted in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "The brain can give no idea of God's man. It can take no cognizance of Mind. Matter is not the organ of infinite Mind" (p. 191).

It's a revolutionary approach to the concept of consciousness, but it is also a practical one.

When we replace the notion of man as merely a biological machine with the scientific spiritual sense of man found through prayer and through living the virtues that Jesus and the prophets taught, we find that God, divine Mind, is real and supreme. And we find our own true nature to be the expression of this one infinite and always present Mind.

When my husband and I needed to make a series of life-changing decisions, we relied on divine Mind to guide us.

He needed to find a new job, possibly a new career path, and there was no way to determine whether we should stay where we were or move. Instead of being guided by our reactions to the conditions around us (joblessness, a lack of options), we began with Jesus' counsel, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33).

Direction began to come from unexpected sources. Meetings and conversations with people revealed exciting opportunities, and we felt led to move to another part of the country.

The night before we were to close on the sale of our house and leave, we learned that our buyer had lost all his funds in a foreign bank. The deal was off. That meant that we'd lose the new home that we had bid on.

It seemed as if all our plans had collapsed, and we wondered if we had been mistaken in the way we had approached things.

We went over each step and concluded that we had faithfully relied on God and that we could and must stick with our highest sense of good – the complete control of the divine Mind.

Realizing this, we felt at peace – secure and cared for – despite the circumstances.

The next morning, a distant acquaintance called to say she had suddenly thought of us. She had family in the town we were moving to who needed tenants for an apartment in the heart of town, including lake access. We were able to rent our old home at a profit while waiting for it to sell, and in our new neighborhood, my husband found opportunities to practice Christian Science healing. Shortly afterward, he was able to go into this work full time.

When we lean on God as the only intelligence, we find that we are truly His ideas, His expression. Divine Mind isn't a function of the brain that we can access or connect with. The divine consciousness of God is our source and the essence of real being. This fresh, spiritual thought comes to us from and through Mind itself, and we experience it as we understand ourselves as part of God's goodness, inseparable from His plan.

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