Intellect and Education

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

People can remember and reason much earlier in life than was once believed. Several different studies have reported that children understand certain math concepts before they even say their first words!

But none of this explains the educational process or helps someone who needs guidance or is studying for his or her midterm exams. Is your intelligence a product of your environment? Is learning ability determined by the abundance or lack of sensory input? Is education just a process of accumulating knowledge?

The answers might all be "yes" if not for the fact that true intelligence has its origin in God. Intelligence is something so much more than atoms, molecules, and organic compounds, assembled just so and charged electrically. There is a singular intelligence-the only real intelligence-that determines creation, maintains the universe, and always expresses itself. That is God, who is infinite and good.

I remember one night I was doing the dishes in our kitchen when I was pretty young. By accident I stepped on my dog's toe. He yelped. But then he immediately looked up at me and wagged his tail, forgiving and loving me. It made me stop and think: If I were a scientist, could I do tests to identify where in a dog's brain to find that kind of forgiveness and love? It was clear to me that a dog's body can't ever contain what a dog truly is.

What about you and me? We are the expression of God, always included in Him. We don't rely on brains for our intelligence, but on God. Where can we look to discover the real source of, say, intuition, reason, or even consideration? The one source for these qualities is the divine Mind, another name for God. We display intelligence because we reflect it from Him.

When Christ Jesus was only twelve, he went with his parents to one of the main centers of learning in the Middle East, Jerusalem. The Bible says, "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers" (Luke 2:46, 47). Later in his life Jesus healed countless people. It is obvious from what the Bible says about these healings that he wasn't depending on the convolutions of a human brain to do what he did. Brains can't destroy sin, heal disease instantly, or raise the dead, as Jesus did. He said to his followers, "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John 14:10). Jesus looked to God for ability and intellect.

The founder of this newspaper was Mary Baker Eddy, who wrote about the Science of Jesus' ability to heal in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She called this the Science of Christianity. And she said, "Christian Science presents unfoldment, not accretion; it manifests no material growth from molecule to mind, but an impartation of the divine Mind to man and the universe" (Science and Health, p. 68). Unfoldment is the term used in that statement because it shows how intelligence is revealed as already present with you. Intelligence becomes evident as God expressing Himself in you and me. The intelligence of the divine Mind has always existed. We do not create or accumulate this intelligence; we reflect it.

Education and testing aren't really about adding knowledge to you as an empty vessel. They are about developing an ability to listen to God. This involves understanding the source of your intellect to be God and not other people. It means listening for the inspiration of God's ideas. "God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe, including man," states Science and Health (p. 330). We all express "the only intelligence of the universe."

Schools and universities are excellent laboratories for proving and demonstrating these facts. Practical learning helps you to know God. To understand Him as your sole source of wisdom. To feel Him near, available to you.

Look for other articles like this one in a weekly magazine called the Christian Science Sentinel.

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