In the modern Western world, we are taught that the rational mind is the source of intelligence. We seek answers through the scientific method of formulating a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis by gathering factual data, analyzing the data and further refining the hypothesis. Is this the way to truth? What about Spirit? Is God to be known through the mind but not the heart?
What do we mean by mind? To many people the mind is considered to be the brain. The brain was once thought to be the controller of the body. Researchers are now finding that there is a neurological feedback loop from the heart and body to the brain signaling to the brain which neurotransmitters and hormones to produce, which chemicals to release into the blood stream to heal and nurture our bodies. There seems to be a body-mind.
To others the mind is the field of creativity from which all things proceed. It is a Life Force, prana, Chi, the Morphic Field. Current physicists discuss Quantum Physics. They postulate that reality is influenced by our perception and expectations. A particle can be either a particle or a wave. Events are probabilities from within a field of possibilities. In Science of Mind and Spirit developed by Ernest Holmes in the United States in the 1900s, the Mind is the creative medium from which we manifest our experiences. It is much more than the brain.
In the late 1800s in Europe and the United States, Spiritualism was very popular. Seances or contact with spirits were common events in people’s homes, especially with the elite. Studies in hypnosis or mesmerism abounded under the auspices of medical doctors such as Mesmer, Marquis de Puysegur, Quimby, Freud, Jung and William James, an America Harvard professor who founded the field of Psychology. William James legitimized the study into a respected academic and philosophic pursuit. The New Thought movement emerged from this line of inquiry. So did a lot of academic research.
Yet the rational scientific prejudice gradually took over respect for Spirit leaving little room for Spirit in Science. The scientific method gained in popularity. Darwin applied this method to the study of animals on the Galapagos Island and concluded that there was a survival of the strongest. This idea turned into survival of the fittest. It was postulated that humans were not created by Spirit but evolved from apes. Spirit was lost. God was dead. Mind was supreme.
Dr. Carl Jung the famous Swiss Psychologist and founder of Depth Psychology, believed in the wisdom of the unconscious. He made room for both the rational and the irrational. He was guided professionally and personally by his dreams and an inner Guide he called Philemon. This experience is mentioned in his autobiography Memories, Dreams and Reflection published after his death.
What is the heart? Is it just a physical organ in our chest? Is it emotionality and sentimentality? Jesus describes the heart as our higher intelligence. He is talking about the Sacred Heart, not the physical. The Sacred Heart is a point in each person, somewhat behind and below the physical heart, that is connected to the Divine. You see it portrayed in religious paintings of Jesus and Mary, his mother.
“The heart is the connecting center link to God and the universe which integrates your own unique center of experience, awareness, and character with that which is beyond your comprehension…The heart is magnetic, silent and still. The feeling of being there is like one of resting in a peaceful Heavenly lake or floating in a vacuous space. As a magnetic center, our heart is the great generator of all your life energy, and whenever you empower your heart you raise your energy level physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Within the heart you will also find clarity, resolve, steadfastness, intent, stillness, respect, justice, kindness, and perceptions of greatness.” (Love Without End: Jesus Speaks by Glenda Green, page 155).
How do we get to experience the Divine? For me, I have found that it requires a “surrender” of the self, the ego or small definition of myself as separate from others, the part of me that “thinks it knows it all.” It requires reaching beyond a reliance on the rational mind, opening to and being receptive to a Source greater than my brain, my limited understanding, although I may receive inspiration from my intuition, a thought or an idea to pursue. It means opening to the whole experience of the Present Moment. This involves all of my senses. It feels like my awareness expands way beyond my physical body and includes all that is around me. From this vantage point I experience a Oneness, a connection to all that exists. It is a wonderful feeling that gets magnified and reinforced when I am in nature. For me the heart is my connecting point to Spirit.
So, what good is the mind, our human reasoning? Certainly, we use our analytical minds constantly to analyze the world around us and find solutions. The mind is also a powerful and useful tool. It has amazing properties. It can be used consciously or unconsciously, meaning we must become aware of all of our assumptions about life and truth as they are influencing what we perceive and experience in life. Dr. Bruce Moseley, a surgeon, found to his surprise that patients healed from knee pain via a sham knee surgery (the patient goes through the same procedure but without surgery) just as much as the actual knee surgery. He didn’t tell the patients until two years later when they were still living a pain-free life. This is called the Placebo Effect. Our expectations influence the response of our body and brain. There is also a Nocebo Effect, where our expectations produce a negative effect on the body. Further research into the Placebo Effect is being investigated in other areas of healing. Researchers take this into account when determining the effectiveness of a chemical or medical procedure. In biomedical research, the significance level is set at less than or equal to 0.001 meaning that the result would likely occur by chance only one time in a thousand. In Psychological research, the significance level is less than or equal to 0.01 (or 0.05) or one in one hundred (or 5 in 100) ) to determine if the result occurred by chance alone.
I find the mind is a great servant but a terrible master. It works well when I give it positive thoughts such as: the following:
“I’m at the right place, at the right time, I am right where I’m supposed to be” – lyrics from a song
“Show me the way, show me the way, Your Love will light the way” – lyrics from a song
“In God I live and move and have my being.” – Emma Curtis Hopkins
“The I AM works through me to will and to do that which ought to be done by me.” – Emma Curtis Hopkins
“Thy Grace is my sufficiency.” – Joel Goldsmith
“There is only the PRESENT MOMENT. The past is gone. The
future has not yet arrived. God is in the NOW.”
“May love be seen as all there is.” – Glenda Green, Love Without End: Jesus Speaks
“Restore us from the perils of illusion and renew our perception of truth.” – Glenda Green, Love Without End: Jesus Speaks
When I give my mind negative thoughts, I get terrible results. I try to not let my thoughts run amuck, to notice when I am giving myself a putdown or reacting to life with fear. Meditation helps me to slow down my thoughts, still the mind, and make room for inspiration and insight to occur. This technique helps me to connect my spiritual life with my practical life.
The Spiritual Mind Treatment is another effective method to help us focus on what we think we need to do to move closer to God. We can sit with a Practitioner and articulate where we are stuck in our lives and ask for help moving forward. Spiritual Mind Treatment then takes that desire and turns it into a positive envisioning of what our life will be like when that problem is solved – how will we feel? What will our life look life? The thought is placed into Divine Mind to be moved upon by the mysterious creative force. Metaphysically we attract to us people and events that will bring that mental picture into manifestation. This is called the Law of Attraction.
We are more than our physical bodies. We have an etheric body, an energetic body, that extends to about seven feet around us. It is called the aura. It contains an astral body, a mental body, an emotional body and so forth. Some people can see auras that contain colors reflective of our moods. One such person was Barbara Brennan who established a school to teach others to “read” auras and heal energetically. There is a whole line of scientific inquiry that has emerged as researchers and medical professionals have realized there are things going on with the human body beyond mere chemical reactions. There is a professional group focused on this with an annual conference called International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM). The study of the physiological effects of Mindfulness Meditation and the Placebo Effect are documented in medical articles that can be found at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
The connection we have with all sentient beings is important to understand. Within the Mind of God all people on this earth are connected. That means that as we raise our individual consciousness, we impact the consciousness of others, of the world. With today’s current covid-19 virus, we are learning that we are all connected physically, biologically. One person being infected with covid-19 has spread to the entire world. Similarly, one individual infected with the AIDS virus eventually infected the whole planet. Our earth is a living entity that requires our care and support. As we have neglected and abused it through excessive carbon emissions, erosive farming practices, increased use of pesticides instead of nature fertilizers in the soil from the sunlight in the leaves and roots, poisoning the oceans with plastic…all have contributed toward a higher temperature in the atmosphere, earth and oceans causing a melting of the ice caps, higher sea levels and islands disappearing, unprecedented floods, tornadoes, and wildfires in California and Australia. We are in deed all connected. And it is up to each one of us to do what we can to turn the tide of these affairs.