Is intelligence a signature feature of the human mind? From a spiritual perspective this can't be so. Intelligence must be spiritual, unlimited, eternal. Intelligence is the beginning, the infinite starting point, the only Cause, the continuous quality of Spirit. A supreme consciousness, "out there", an intelligence with a concrete plan. Ideas flow in infinite number every moment out of this Mind, staying in this Mind. Some call it God.
When an item was missing, which a family member had used and then tugged away into a different spot, I found myself sitting on the floor in the large room, where I knew this item (a small card) to be. I had no human way of knowing where to look in this room filled with books on shelves and lots of other stuff laying around. But I felt that oneness with Mind, the supreme intelligence of everything. Something in me surrendered without resistance to the infinite knowing of Mind. Mind, I thought, has so much more experience with the use of intelligence than I do. It is the domain of Mind to know stuff. Not one tiny aspect of its own infinite universe is outside its focus. I felt my spiritual intuition agreeing with Mary Baker Eddy's insight about intelligence:
"Intelligence is omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is the primal and eternal quality of infinite Mind, of the triune Principle, — Life, Truth, and Love, — named God." (Science and Health, p. 469) In the same book she shares this poetic insight into the nature of Mind:
"Mind, God, sends forth the aroma of Spirit, the atmosphere of intelligence." (p. 191)
This intelligence is everywhere, an atmosphere of spiritual nourishment, we are surrounded by it, live on it, in it, towards it. This intelligence operates completely without the human brain. One infinite consciousness permeates all and everything. My spiritual sense admitted the spiritual fact to be true.
For a few moments I felt and saw that everything is Mind. That Mind doesn't search in order to find. I could feel that Mind is all and that Mind knows all, simply knows. It was like living inside wisdom. In this moment it was the most natural thing for me to know where to find the lost item. I got up, went to the shelf, reached precisely into a niche - and there it was, the tiny missing card. Not where a human sense of order would have expected it. Mind knew. The clarity, precision and effortless were stunning.
"O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts." (Psalm 92: 14)
God has thoughts, divine Mind has ideas. Why not access this excellent source of information, inspiration, and knowledge? Why not explore something new and find out what it means that there is an intelligence which is spiritual and everywhere and for every one? Put aside your human ego and start exploring. It will take a lifetime of dedicated work to experience more and more of this superb spiritual power - but you will eventually want to spend a lifetime with the adventure of discovering the depth of God's thoughts. Because infinity is so much more interesting than limitation.
Today is a good day to stop living with the burden to figure it all out by yourself. You are not alone. Intelligence is displaying itself right where you are. Can you scent the delicate atmosphere of intelligence?
In the Bible there is a story about a stubborn donkey which eventually turns out to be a very wise donkey with a stubborn horseman on its back. Stick with me - this will be increasingly interesting, promise!
The donkey can speak and is asking Balaam, who was riding her, why she is being beaten. Balaam was indeed beating her like mad, because he wanted to have his way. He perceived the donkey as stubborn, since she had refused three times to go forward. But actually in the story, the donkey sees something Balaam doesn’t see: an angel of God, blocking the way in order to prevent the man from making a huge mistake. And the donkey starts to speak to Balaam. As soon as the eyes of the man are opened to see the angel, he perceives the spiritual dimension he had missed before, he repents, listens to the divine message, and makes real progress. And the donkey is honored for her perception of good. (See the book of Numbers, Chapter 22).
It occured to me that we are often like Balaam, and that we can learn how to better with Balaam. You could say that the stubborn resistance of things not going according to plan is like a donkey not moving according to plan. And instead of attempting to see the blessing in store for us we resist and beat the donkey. Beating a donkey is like insisting on complaining and grumbling and insisting on our right of way. So what is really stubborn is our ego:
Mary Baker Eddy writes:
„The nature of the individual, more stubborn than the circumstance, will always be found arguing for itself, — its habits, tastes, and indulgences. This material nature strives to tip the beam against the spiritual nature; for the flesh strives against Spirit, — against whatever or whoever opposes evil, — and weighs mightily in the scale against man's high destiny.“ (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 119)
And here is the practical advice from her, helping us to move forward with joy and confidence: „The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.“ (Science and Health, p. 574)
This sounds like Balaam’s experience, right? He discovers that his ego fights God’s tender guidance – and he discovers that God helps us to overcome it. By sending an angel our way. The very circumstance he resists carries actually an angel message. The circumstance which seems like a stubborn donkey to us can be an undiscerning boss, an uncooperative team worker (or child or spouse), a wait loop, a broken glass on the kitchen floor, a missed plane. A stubborn donkey can be anything that interrupts the normal flow of our day. Whatever circumstance it is – there is an angel waiting to be seen by us.
So can we stop to beat the donkey and see the angel?
St. Paul thought so. He writes:
„Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.“ (Phil. 2: 14, 15)
So lets watch out for the angel message as we honor divine Love's care at every step - and embrace with confidence spiritual authority today.
How about stopping to beat a donkey – and hug a donkey in stead?
Hug a donkey today!
Long time exposure is such a great concept and metaphor for perception. You see in this photograph order, beauty, balance, right? It is a long time exposure, released recently by the European Southern Observatory located in the Atacama Desert in Chile. When the attention span is long enough, the instruments are in place and used to perfection - a different world, an enormous world opens. What a difference between a glance and long-term observation.
God is all about long- term, on every perceivable level. "Long time exposure" of good --- in our human experience we are enabled at times to perceive something of this "long time exposure of good" the latest at a funeral. When someone we have worked with or known for a long time, fades away from our view, most often the qualities of the individual are more clearly seen and honored. Sometimes, as someone told me recently, only then. And then we understand why it was hard to get along when this individual was around: Personality gets in the way of spiritual identity as electric light will make long time exposure impossible in any observatory. The observing factor must be in the background, almost non-existent, to perceive infinity out there. Likewise human personality is such a distracting factor from the eternal glow of individuality in each single one of us. Each single individual, each single star. Long time exposure. It is unselfed love which enables long time exposure of the Mind.
In this week's Christian Science Bible lesson - for me the inspiration and uplift and fountain of wisdom, every week - is this pertinent observation by Mary Baker Eddy, the astronomer of the Mind for the modern age:
"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)
There is no end to discovery, as more "objects (...) will become visible." For some little inspiration, take a deep breath and a look at this stunning archive of the European Southern Observatory. And a look at your fellow man, a real look with the aim to see something good you haven't noticed before - how much good will become visible today?
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and as a writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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