The intelligence that meets humanity’s needs

A Christian Science perspective: Can innovation ever really come to a halt?

An editorial in The Christian Science Monitor examined an important question: “As productivity slows, experts ask if an era of innovation is over. Has the digital revolution lost its juice?”

The editorial by the Monitor’s Editorial Board is important because of the effect that the ups and downs in productivity and innovation have on humanity’s welfare (see “Finding ‘the next big thing,’ ” CSMonitor.com). But it’s of interest also because of the deeper questions this issue poses about life itself and the intelligence that supports it – questions that affect all of us. As the editorial insightfully concluded: “Technology still drives change, but change first starts in intelligence and other qualities of thought. Measuring those is not as easy as measuring economic productivity. And yet they matter more.”

So, what is the intelligence that produces all that’s helpful to life? Is the essence of it found in education? There have been self-made people who have made major contributions to society with less education than many of us have. Going deeper with this question, though – is intelligence really even found in matter? Do brain cells, for example, have the intelligence to ignite creative activity, improve our daily living, provide for our needs, and move humanity forward to farther, broader horizons?

Referring to the pace of invention in her day, Mary Baker Eddy points to a higher cause and intelligence impelling all of it. “In the material world,” she writes, “thought has brought to light with great rapidity many useful wonders. With like activity have thought’s swift pinions been rising towards the realm of the real, to the spiritual cause of those lower things which give impulse to inquiry” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 268).

In her discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy discerned more fully what spiritually minded individuals in all ages have been glimpsing – something that the material sense of life is unable to perceive. She discovered life as it forever is – the reality and harmony of infinite Spirit. She discovered what Christ Jesus taught and proved – that God, Spirit, is the only real Life, creating and sustaining all of us. Her discovery included the reality that man is the offspring of God, made in the likeness of God, expressing Spirit in spiritual completeness and well-being. Mrs. Eddy’s own countless healings of others, as well as the healings that have taken place through the practice of Christian Science in the decades since, have shown that what she discovered is the provable, real Science of being, the saving truth that destroys sin and heals sickness.

Truth is also found breaking down human limitations, as Truth, or Christ, changes human thought. Think how limitations have evaporated in the areas of transportation and communication. Self-driving cars are no longer a dream. We can call around the world as easily as next door, and smartphones do much more than serve as our telephone. Outer space is coming ever closer into the reach of private industry. And in another important area, food is being produced with increasing efficiency.

These objects and signs of human progress are not themselves ideas of Spirit, whose substance and movement are wholly apart from matter. But they are tangible evidence of a spiritual leavening of thought – the crumbling of material limitations and a strengthening sense of the ability to meet mankind’s needs.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t serious problems. Millions, perhaps billions, of people lack basic necessities of life. And human innovation is not always used for benevolent, helpful purposes. But as the leaven of Truth regenerates human thought, increasingly will it be seen that there is just one infinite intelligence, divine Love, perpetually developing the infinite good that all creation needs – and that no child of God is separated from God’s unceasing benevolence.

As Jesus said, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Our Father-Mother God fully provides for all of us. Every needed idea is always present and always appearing – always being expressed in exactly the ways that are needed. This appearing of God’s ideas goes on eternally, without fluctuation. No ups, no downs. Science and Health says, “Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source” (p. 507).

Just as the sun continuously shines, the divine intelligence never runs out of steam, because it is the infinite Mind. As humanity yields, inch by mental inch, to this higher conception of God, “the next big thing” will repeatedly appear, more and more, to meet a human need. And this will be seen for what it is – the natural human evidence of Love’s unlimited provision for all Her children.

This article was adapted from an editorial in the May 11 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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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.