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God is Mind—in the classroom and beyond

From the March 11, 2019 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

The study of Christian Science leads to countless opportunities to apply the truths we’re learning in our daily lives and activities. Many students of the Bible are learning and understanding why this revelation of the Science of Christ, as practiced by Christ Jesus, is so vitally important and relevant to present-day followers of his teachings. Being the “Science” of Christ, it is the law of universal Truth—available to all mankind in every age—and it is meant to be practiced throughout eternity. It does not belong exclusively to one group of people, any more than does the principle of mathematics. The term science implies rules and laws that, when applied correctly, result in reliable outcomes.

One of the primary lessons in the study of this divine Science includes instruction in seven synonyms, or names, for God. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, specifies these names for God—Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love—in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. These synonyms help those studying Christian Science to better understand God’s nature, which, in turn, helps them to recognize and acknowledge the expression of God, good, in daily life.

For example, when I am praying with each of the synonyms, these are just a few ideas I might consider: With Principle, I often think about order and God’s laws; Mind speaks to me of intelligence and wisdom; Soul may illustrate joy and beauty; Spirit reminds me of limitless being and infinite possibilities; Life conveys strength, vigor, and activity; Truth proclaims integrity and honesty; and Love exemplifies kindness and unselfishness. Each individual, being a unique expression of God, His loved child, will find that prayerful listening and spiritual reasoning unfolds the depths of these synonyms in just the right way to meet their human needs and guide them to healing solutions. Praying with these synonyms can gently lead thought from darkness into light.

To illustrate: Many years ago when I was enrolled as a graduate student at the local university, I had a milestone experience in my understanding of where true intelligence originates. It reminds me to strive more consistently in my prayer to begin and end with God when faced with challenges, rather than being mesmerized by the problem at hand.

One of the primary lessons in the study of Christian Science includes instruction in seven synonyms, or names, for God.

I was taking a graduate course in management while working full time at the university. One weekend, I’d gone into my campus office and settled at my desk with everything necessary to do the work for a class assignment due on Monday. However, not long into the process I hit an impasse, a mental blockage, that prevented me from knowing how to proceed further. It was like being in a mental fog, and my thought just couldn’t break free. I even attempted to phone a fellow classmate in hopes of getting some clarity and insight, but got a voice message stating that the number was no longer in service. I was feeling exasperated!

It seemed wise at this point to take a break, leave the office, and get some lunch. Perhaps this would provide some relief from the frustration I was feeling and an opportunity to gain a fresh perspective upon my return. As I was leaving the restaurant en route back to the office, I found myself silently reaching out in prayer and reasoning from a spiritually scientific standpoint, as I’d been taught to do in my study of Christian Science. It was time to begin with God, not me and my dilemma. 

As I prayed, the synonym of Mind came distinctly to thought. I started to think about God as the only true source of intelligence. It became so clear to me that the intelligence manifested in every aspect of this assignment originated in God, not in a person. There could be no other source, since God is the only cause and creator, the only Mind. 

For instance, the intelligence expressed in the class textbook must have its origin in God, the one Mind—not in the so-called personal intellect of the author. The author was reflecting this intelligence, but did not originate or create it. The same was true for the professor who had given the class assignment. He wasn’t the source of the intelligence that designed the various elements of this project. Nor was I, as the student, the source of the comprehension and understanding required for successful completion of the assignment. These mental faculties had to be derived from God, Mind—the same Mind being expressed by the professor and the author. 

Another flash of inspiration came! I remember vividly perceiving that this wasn’t some kind of guessing game, nor was it about one mind trying to trick or even test another mind. I was beginning to grasp that this challenge was indeed all about understanding and honoring God, the All-in-all. Every aspect of this activity was the intelligent outcome of one Mind. As God’s spiritual reflection, everyone involved reflected the intelligence of the same God. This scientific prayer brought me to a place of peace and calm. 

When I returned to my office and resumed working on the assignment, all mental blockage had vanished. I never could pinpoint what had been so baffling to me in the first place. All I can testify to is that any seeming confusion had disappeared, and I moved forward with my work methodically and without hesitancy. I continued working on the assignment through Saturday and Sunday until it was successfully completed, and then submitted it to the professor that Monday evening.

Every aspect of this activity was the intelligent outcome of one Mind.

But it gets even better. After the assignment was graded and returned by the professor, I happily learned that he’d given me one of the highest grades in the class. This was further confirmation of how practical prayer can be in our daily lives. And although receiving the high grade was wonderful, even more rewarding was the growth in my understanding of God as Mind. It was a humbling experience that shed new light, once again, on how precious is the practice of Christian Science.

This statement from Science and Health provides further insight into divine Mind’s control during this academic challenge: “Mind is the source of all movement, and there is no inertia to retard or check its perpetual and harmonious action” (p. 283). I’ve applied this truth when praying about challenges with physical mobility, but now recognize its relevance to mental capacity and fluidity as well. Certainly, in my academic situation, it was demonstrated that nothing could obstruct the progressive appearing of right ideas when God is at the helm.

It’s natural for us to bear witness to Mind’s ceaseless flow of intelligent and wise ideas. Through the one Mind, human consciousness is elevated to higher ideals, worthy goals are achieved, and all kinds of human challenges are harmoniously resolved. We have infinite opportunities to demonstrate that God truly is the only Mind, the only intelligence, and thus experience the blessings this understanding can bring—not only to us, but to all mankind.

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