The oneness of Mind and our mental health
There is just one Mind, and that Mind is God. This was an arresting idea I learned early in my study of Christian Science. One divine and eternal Mind. One source of intelligence that is reliable, constant, and only good. The implications of this spiritual fact for each of us, and especially for those dealing with mental health issues, are enormous.
The spiritual fact that there is one Mind is a wonderful basis for prayer as we strive to demonstrate mental health. Sometimes this may take persistence, but the promise of freedom is there for each of us as we pray, because Mind’s oneness is already established. In fact, as we more deeply understand the many facets of this idea, we can find answers to, and healing of, a wide variety of mental health issues.
At the time I began studying Christian Science, I was struggling with well-known symptoms of mental illness and overwhelmed with the fear that I was losing my mind. But I’d been reading Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, and I was learning that Mind is a synonym for God. I was also learning something new about myself: that each of us is the offspring of God, so we can express only what originates in God, our divine Parent.
One day, in a flash of insight, I realized that I couldn’t lose my mind because God couldn’t lose His. What this said to me was that the one Mind, God, can neither break down nor be lost. Mind is permanent, whole. The relief that flooded me was extraordinary. From that moment on, I knew I’d be OK. And I was. The frightening symptoms disappeared. I’ve been free ever since.
The Christly method of healing revealed in Christian Science can penetrate the oppression of mental illness and lift the struggling heart into the clarity and beauty of Mind’s sovereignty. Here are a few examples of how this Science can be proven in relation to mental health issues.
God’s oneness assures our intactness
There are several accounts in the Bible of Jesus “casting out devils,” or in present-day terms, healing mental illness. One describes a man Jesus had healed as “sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind” (Mark 5:15).
Doesn’t this point to the intact nature of each one of us as the emanation of God? Jesus clearly recognized that God’s creation is like Him: whole, undisturbed, balanced. And his clear perception allowed for a stripping away of confusion and a revealing of this man’s spiritual, right-minded nature.
Intelligence, clarity, and stability are gifts from God, freely given to each of us.
Perhaps we’ve felt, at times, as if we’re falling apart. Jesus proved that the spiritual nature of each of us is whole, not fragmented. And Christ, the healing power he embodied, is as present today to bring to light our indivisible spiritual selfhood—no matter how difficult the struggle has been. Because God is one, we are one. There can be no break or breakdown in our being. No separation from reality, no break from sanity.
One Mind means no mind to go missing
It may seem fairly easy to state that there is one infinite Mind, which includes every idea. But how can that help us when we find ourselves unable to remember someone’s name or dealing with more severe memory loss?
This spiritual, Christianly scientific fact about our nature as the reflection of Mind lays the groundwork: Man “is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas” (Science and Health, p. 475). In other words, as Mind’s reflection, we are conscious of what Mind knows. Claiming this oneness in our prayer aligns us with this all-knowing aspect of Mind. In Mind there are no gaps or blanks. This divine consciousness fills all space with known ideas that we also know by reflection. Nothing can be lost in the infinitude of Mind, and our oneness with this Mind means there can be no obstruction in what we know.
God’s oneness establishes the onlyness of spiritual reality
Sometimes when we’ve witnessed or experienced a tragic or violent scene, we feel haunted by images and feelings we associate with that circumstance. (In its more extreme versions, this is what’s known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.) But because Mind is omnipresent, there can’t be a reality outside of Mind where pain, darkness, or trauma exists. So, when dealing with disturbing memories, we can ask Mind, “You were there. What did You know?”
A passage from the book of Jeremiah answers this question. It says that the thoughts God knows are “thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (29:11). Because God is good and fills all space, there can ultimately be no reality in any event or moment where evil seems real and powerful. Circumstances might suggest otherwise, but consistent prayer that affirms this truth is able to efface the difficult memories and replace them with a peace that comes from knowing that God’s loving presence was never truly absent.
Our oneness with God = our oneness with good
Jesus’ life best expressed this idea of oneness. In fact, he explained his relation to God this way: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). His statement applies to each of us as well—meaning none of us can be separated from Mind and all that Mind includes. For example, we can’t have a separate experience that’s characterized by depression or a lack of Mind’s qualities, such as joy, buoyancy, and vitality. The Psalmist wrote, “In thy presence is fulness of joy” (Psalms 16:11). Since we are always one with God, the source of joy, we must always be in the presence of joy.
If we feel depressed or dark, one simple way of praying could be, “God, I know that because we are one, You are here, and therefore joy is here. Thank you for this gift of joy.” When we take this humble, sincere approach to our prayer, we become more aware of our oneness with Mind’s light, which illuminates mental darkness. Then depression, sadness, and hopelessness fade.
Whether encountering these issues in our own lives or reading about mental health problems faced by others, it’s important to remember that these issues are not personal. Divine Science shows us that they are simply a mistaken belief that there is more than one mind and that Mind is not omnipresent. And we have the assurance that “the divine understanding reigns, is all, and there is no other consciousness” (Science and Health, p. 536).
This divine understanding and its saving, uplifting power is the healing animus that liberates from the darkness of mental illness. The recognition that there really is just one Mind, and that this Mind is our only true Mind, allows us to see for ourselves that intelligence, clarity, coherence, and stability are not just something to be earnestly desired. They are gifts from God, freely given to each of us.
Guest Editorial Writer