Intelligent action, intelligent feeling

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

As I hurried along the sidewalk, I veered around a hole where some construction work was underway. Why the little detour? It wasn't because my legs decided to avoid a fall. It was just more intelligent to walk around the hole than tumble into it!

We do all sorts of things each day based not on what the body says to do but on what intelligence says to do. Wisdom isn't in physical hands or legs. It isn't even in some electrochemical action believed to be originating in gray putty called a brain. Real intelligence has its origin in Spirit or God, not matter.

Think about it. What if action and feeling really are impelled by a divine, instead of material, source? Mary Baker Eddy once wrote: "Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 393).

I didn't think twice about how much wiser it was to possess my body and walk around the construction site. Wouldn't it be just as smart to "take possession of your body," for instance, if confronted with such discordant action as a malfunctioning organ or the uncomfortable feeling of chronic pain?

Is it realistic to consider governing the inside, as well as the outside, of the body? A growing number of people today are exploring the possibilities of a mind/body connection. They've found that the mind can do quite a bit to affect the body.

Christian Science pushes us to think more deeply. It explains that not only is there a connection, but ultimately, the human mind and body are one. The body is a mental construct of the mind. This body is, at the most basic level, mental energy portraying the thoughts we think – as well as reflecting the general mental environment we live in. Yes, your mortal body is more a material energy than a fixed substance.

But material energy is not intelligence. When we start to understand that real intelligence is God, the one perfect Mind, our lives become more harmonious. We begin relinquishing a limited mentality for the divine – putting off what the Bible calls the "old man" and taking on the new. This "new" is an expression of intelligence that isn't limited or vulnerable, as is a mortal mentality. Real wisdom is a spiritual energy that blesses and redeems – and in fact, redefines – our lives, including our body.

For example, a few days ago I was dealing with some pain. I thought of the intelligence that led me around the construction hole. I thought of taking possession of my body again – this time, by expressing the intelligence of a God who not only is omnipotent Mind but is caring Love. From this standpoint, it just didn't seem intelligent to succumb to pain, regardless of how a medical diagnosis might have explained it or even argued for it! At that moment the pain stopped. I was healed.

Of course it's more intelligent to walk around a hole rather than fall into it. And it's more intelligent to feel calm and balanced instead of hysterical and chaotic. It's just as possible for us to intelligently guide the feeling and action of the body in terms of our health and well-being if we understand that God is the source of all real intelligent feeling and action.

Christ Jesus was the ultimate expression of divine intelligence. He healed those who were feeling pain as well as those whose actions were representing disorders such as seizures or insanity. That lost art of demonstrating more intelligent feeling and action is again being practiced by some of Jesus' present-day disciples.

They're proving that the body can be guided into health, just as it can be intelligently guided into safety, by discerning, through prayer, that we express a God who is Mind, and by recognizing the wisdom of His perfect care.

I've put it into a phrase – a little reminder to me: "Wise up!"

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