No maze of many minds
What a powerful assertion Christian Science presents to the hungering heart: “There is only one Mind.” Maybe you’ve heard this before. What does it actually mean?
The significance of that statement is vast, and here’s what I’ve been thinking about recently.
One of the amazing aspects of the timeless fact that God is divine Mind, and is the only power, has become clearer to me: the fact that there is only one Mind means that there are not lots of little minds trying very hard to prove the power and presence of one Mind.
There is only one divine Mind; and there are the manifestations of Mind, called Mind’s ideas. And man is God’s, Mind’s, compound idea. We reflect Mind—individually and collectively. The fact that all reality is the emanation of one perfect, holy Mind, unites us all in the sacred family of our Father-Mother, God. God, good, governs us as His ideas. And when you and I understand our true status as God’s ideas, we can confidently and safely trust God’s care and guidance.
On page 59 of her Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science writes, “There is but one right Mind, and that one should and does govern man.” And then later on in the paragraph, “That individual is the best healer who asserts himself the least, and thus becomes a transparency for the divine Mind, who is the only physician; the divine Mind is the scientific healer.”
Being that transparency is natural and normal for all of us—it’s the response to the activity of God, or the Christ, in our consciousness. This is in complete harmony with Christ Jesus’ statement, as recorded in the Gospel of John: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (5:30).
As I consider my practice of Christian Science, I often think of the naturalness of reflecting Love, a synonym for Mind, in our consideration of, and prayer for, others.
Whenever it’s felt difficult for me to recognize the naturalness of expressing the one Mind, and prayer seems more like a process than a transparency, I love realizing that the straightforward fact of one Mind means just that: There is one Mind, not lots of little minds trying to think of one Mind.
This clarification of the power and presence of one Mind also informs and enlightens our effective prayers for the world. We may feel overwhelmed when we think about the billions of people on the planet, multiple histories, cultural antagonisms. Where would one even begin to pray! Well, we can begin at the start: with one Mind as our premise.
When I was in college, having this deep-seated sense of the unity of man under one Mind was a light for me. My senior year, looking at a failing course that I was required to pass in order to graduate, I was tempted to feel dejected and apathetic about it. But, with this fact of one divine Mind in thought, I was inspired to humbly approach my professor for this class and simply apologize for not turning in material that was worthy of a better grade.
In our conversation, my professor, who was a Christian Scientist, shared that since God was unchanging Principle and Soul, it would follow that God’s expressions—including me, this class, and my teacher—would reflect those divine synonyms in full measure. My teacher couldn’t be deprived of a successful, “Soulful” student, and I couldn’t be deprived of a principled experience. Also, the class could be recognized as what it was—an opportunity to put intelligence and creativity into practice.
I ended up going from a D to earning an A in this class over the remainder of the academic quarter, but the true victory for me was seeing how, when I honored one Mind over all, I saw a productive outcome for all.
I remember another time while in college, I had been making plans to go out that evening with friends, when my eye caught an article from The Christian Science Monitor that had been left near our dorm entrance. The article was alerting readers to upcoming elections in a Middle Eastern country where it seemed clear that fear was rampant and terror attacks were promised in an effort to squelch the fledgling democratic process. I was overcome with a deep desire to help.
I canceled my plans and spent the evening in prayer. I remember praying and feeling a deep, abiding sense of calm and assurance of God’s goodness. It was simply clear to me that division was not the natural state of man. The next day, as news of the election came through, there was much less violence than had been feared. While much work remained, I rejoiced that the fact of one infinite Mind opened my eyes to see the unity of man expressed.
The fact of one Mind is the primal fact. Our holy, compassionate, joyful duty then is simply to acknowledge this fact and live with this fact.
In her textbook on Christianly scientific healing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Where shall the gaze rest but in the unsearchable realm of Mind? We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being” (p. 264). We have the divinely given right to let the clear sense of one, divine, infinite and good Mind be the basis of our thoughts and actions.