What you think is not always what you think

A Christian Science perspective: God’s thoughts lift, inspire, promote, envision, advance, move, improve, develop, cheer, comfort, awaken, calm, and heal.

A French friend often says to me, “You Americans love to say, ‘I sink.’ ” That’s her accented version of “I think.” The French language, rich in vocabulary, doesn’t just settle for “thinking.” In France, we reflect, consider, admit, cogitate, conceive, believe, deliberate, envision, reckon, estimate, imagine, meditate, presume, reason, dream, ruminate, propose, speculate, and suppose – but we certainly don’t just “sink”!

And wherever we may find ourselves in the world, not every thought is just a thought. It all depends on its point of origin. The Mind that is God thinks; nothing else does. All real thought is reflected from Mind. Anything else is suggestion.

In Scripture, Job spoke of God as the singular source of all thought and action. “He is of one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desires, even that He does. For He performs the thing that is appointed for me” (Job 23:13, 14, King James 2000).

A hymn says:

God is Mind and holy thought is sending;
Man, His image, hears His voice.
Every heart may understand His message,
In His kindness may rejoice.
Lo, He speaks, all condemnation ending,
Every true desire with Love’s will blending;
Losing self, in Him we find
Joy, health, hope, for all mankind. 

(Abraham Rutgers, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 73).

Divine Mind is one of the names for God used in Christian Science to explain the source of real thought. Others include Soul, Spirit, Life, Love, Principle, and Truth. Concepts, ideas, inspirations, intelligence, judgment, proverbs, reason, reflections, and loving sentiments originate in this Mind, in God, and are reflected in us, Mind’s ideas or creation. Christian Science Discoverer Mary Baker Eddy explained, “Man and his Maker are correlated in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 276).

Mind is the thinker and we are His thought. God’s thoughts lift, inspire, promote, envision, advance, move, improve, develop, cheer, comfort, awaken, calm, and heal.

I am talking real-deal thought.

We have all heard the adage, “You are what you think.” But that can open a real can of worms, can’t it? “I think I am worthless.” “I think I am scared.” “I think I am sick.” “I think I am a victim.” In my friend’s accent, that isn’t thinking. It’s sinking!

Seeded in Mind, true thought expresses intelligence and produces good results. Mind’s thoughts are invaluable. Mind opens and reveals good and good and more good, never thwarting or crippling the flow of inspiration and joy. Mind-thoughts are Love-thoughts. God’s thoughts are good and they feel good. They don’t hurt or torment. And God’s thought, expressed in us, is permanent.

So what about all that negative stuff that is often called thinking?

The counterfeit notions of daymares and nightmares, the thinking-posers that have no true claim as thought, are the changeable, weighted speculations of limitation and fear. They are unsourced; there is no real mind to think them. They are not God’s. Consequently, since we are God’s reflection, they are not mine, yours, or anyone else’s. Their only claim to place and power is in the realm of suggestion – the fabled dreamland of doubt, darkness, and confusion.

They are not legitimate thought.

It’s pretty simple. Sinking thinking isn’t your thought. It doesn’t have a real hold on you. Divine Mind does. And Mind’s thought of you is a stabilizing reflection of permanent good. Divine Mind conceives you, guards you, and keeps you. It will never let you go.

Adapted from the author’s blog.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.