“Why is spirituality such a powerful and universal force? Why do so many people believe in things they cannot see, smell, taste, hear, or touch? Why do people from all walks of life, around the globe, regardless of their religious backgrounds or the particular higher power they worship, value spirituality as much as, or more than, pleasure, personal power, or wealth? I argue that the answer is, at least in part, hardwired into our genes. Spirituality is one of our basic human inheritances.”
So writes biologist/geneticist Dean Hamer in The God Gene: How Faith Is Hardwired into Our Genes. Hamer says the God gene includes special DNA and that those who inherit it have a higher spiritual experience than others. Wait! Is the argument, then, that God plays favorites?
Spirituality is a powerful force, and as a Bible student I would argue it is a divine heritage, not a physical genetic code, that determines who we are. The first book of the Bible reveals that we are made in the image and likeness of God. In effect, this divine heritage guarantees that we are totally Godlike, identical with Spirit regardless of appearances.
When we recognize our true identity, we see that spirituality is a given—it’s the foundation of our being. We then don’t imagine that God, who is Love itself, plays favorites. But can you imagine how Genesis might read if that were so?
“Once upon a time, the ‘Eye in the Sky’ said: ‘I think I’ll put forth men and women and give some a strong spiritual gene, some a wimpy spiritual gene, and the rest no spiritual gene at all.’ And so it was put forth. After that, the ‘Eye in the Sky’ said: ‘It is fun to divide things up unequally. Now I’ll just watch what the richly endowed and the otherwise cheated do with the paths I paved for them.’ And the ‘Eye in the Sky’ saw everything that it had dreamed up and called it a done deal.”
Of course, such a capricious god does not exist, but Hamer admits that he is seeking in his research to explain the connection between the human and divine. As a spiritual thinker myself, dedicated to the practice of divine metaphysics, I have a lot of respect for such an endeavor. And I’m reminded that Mind—God, the divine consciousness—is the cause of all ideas, as explained by the Science of Christianity.
The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes of infinite Mind, “… there is no other consciousness” and “… all is in reality the manifestation of Mind” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 536 and 275). If all cause is God, Spirit, isn’t every effect spiritual, regardless of appearances? Brain can’t be one thing and Mind another thing, if all that exists is Mind and Mind’s manifestation.
It is divine heritage, not a physical genetic code, that determines who we are.
Jesus taught: “It is the spirit that quickeneth” (John 6:63). The book of Hebrews explains it: “Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (11:3). Mind, infinite intelligence, expresses itself as ideas. And Mary Baker Eddy confirms: “… what is termed matter is but the subjective state of what is termed by the author mortal mind” (Science and Health, p. 114). Here, mortal mind is a term used to refer to the belief that intelligence is material.
Is Jesus’ statement, the explanation found in Hebrews, or Eddy’s confirmation too spiritual to connect with today’s mainstream scientific thought? Maybe not. Deepak Chopra, the renowned author and leader in the field of mind-body medicine, takes a scientific approach to spirituality. In his 2001 bestseller How to Know God, he says: “I contend that the brain responds uniquely in every phase of spiritual life. We know that where the spirit leads, the body follows. There is only one reality, which is spiritual, and nothing lies outside God’s mind.”
Our makeup is totally spiritual, which means that in a sense, every gene is a God gene. What will it take for all of us to see more of this truth that Jesus said would set us free (see John 8:32)?
Mary Baker Eddy predicted: “As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible” (Science and Health, p. 264). No doubt the more we look through spiritual sense, the more we see of our divine heritage, expressed humanly as good mental and physical health, unlimited supply, and that pure joy known as perfect peace.
Patricia Hardee is a Christian Science practitioner. She divides her time between Natchez, Mississippi, and San Antonio, Texas.