IF you're used to viewing yourself as an independent thinker (and doer), you might balk at the idea that God is the only true source of intelligence and identity, that He is the actual Mind of each individual, including yourself. In the first place, you might observe, people don't often act as if God is their Mind. And in the second place, you might wonder what would be so desirable about everyone having the same Mind. After all, what would happen to individuality? While it may appear that we're governed by a personal, material mentality and that many are influenced more by carnal thinking than by divine Mind, this isn't the actual or ultimate reality of things. If God is our creator and He is infinite, then He is the true source of allintelligence and wisdom, and we can be benefited greatly by coming to see this. As we awaken to the spiritual reality of divine Mind's allness, we realize there is no loss of identity or distinctness.Rather, there's a dawning in thought that the true individuality of each of us is the image, the manifestation, of the divine Mind, expressing its clarity, originality, and capability. Perhaps Paul was referring to this dawning in thought when he said, ``Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.''1 Jesus' profound sense of individuality and effectiveness was not limited by his turning to God as his only Mind. Rather, it was the other way around: Jesus' dependence on God was responsible for his great accomplishments and ability to think profoundly and originally.
The willingness to begin exchanging a material view of intelligence and reality for a spiritual view is a big step in following Jesus' example of dependence on God. If the real identity of each man and woman is God's spiritual image, doesn't it stand to reason that God's individuality is expressed in the true nature of each one of us? Infinite Mind, divine Love, is unlimited in expression, intelligence, and purpose. The grateful recognition that, in spiritual fact, we reflect this divine nature is an effective prayer that opens up avenues for expressing meaningful identity in human life.
This was illustrated to me after I had been praying about some important career decisions. I was learning that Mind is reflected by man in unlimited ways, and that the perception of this Mind as the source of all true individuality does not lead to amorphous sameness in peoplebut encourages each individual's unique contribution.
I had been planning to apply to a particular education program that was very popular at the time. But one day I realized that I hadn't felt any sense of God's direction in this choice, so I stopped pursuing it and continued to pray. Before long, a program in another field that was less familiar to me opened up. As I entered the program, it became clear that this field was much more suited to my talents. It brought together my interests and qualifications in an unusual and unexpected way and enabled me to be useful to others in a manner that was especially meaningful to me.
Experiences like this one prove that we can progressively let go of a tendency to rely on material and social circumstances or physical appearance for our sense of identity. Loving God and gaining an understanding of His pure spiritual idea, man, opens the way for us to discover more of our true, spiritual individuality. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, notes, ``Man understands spiritual existence in proportion as his treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged.'' And she says, ``This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace.''2
As we express more of God's love and intelligence in daily activity and understand more of the completeness of the divine Being that we reflect, our individual abilities are expanded and strengthened. And recognizing God as the Mind of all helps us appreciate the accomplishments of those with whom we come in contact, just as it reveals our own distinct individuality.
1Philippians 2:5. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 265.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves. Psalms 100:3