NO one can deny the benefit of vigorous and progressive intellectual development. Such abilities as vision, reason, analysis, comprehension, are not only right and normal; they also greatly enrich our living.
But intellectual development, as desirable as it is, is never an end in itself. It's not meant to elevate one individual over another. Rather, it's meant to help each individual make a constructive contribution to society. Rightly viewed, the intellect and its power belong to God and should be employed with the meekness that is characteristic of God's love for man.
Isn't this what the Apostle Paul was pointing to in the Bible when he said in his letter to the Philippians ``Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus?"
Christian Science shows that Jesus' intelligence came from God Himself. God is also the source of our intelligence, which we, as His spiritual offspring, reflect. One way of thinking of this is found in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. In this book she explains: ``God is the parent Mind, and man is God's spiritual offspring." At another place in the same book she says of God, divine Mind: ``Mind alone possesses all
faculties, perception, and comprehension."
Because God is divine and infinite Spirit, knowing God as Mind--the one, infinite Mind--is natural and logical. The oneness of this divine Mind means that He is not parceled out into ``minds" and ``intellects" for individuals to possess and use but is reflected and expressed by His entire creation. Man is God's creation. Man is given intelligence, vision, perception, to exercise--but God remains their source and owner.
Didn't Christ Jesus illustrate this with his entire life? Yes! Far from being dull or uncertain, Jesus' insight could uncover hidden things and see ahead on the basis of his spirituality. And Jesus' wisdom came with the meekness and love that healed others. There was no arrogance, no superiority, in Jesus' intelligence.
At all times, Jesus made his intellect the servant of God's purpose. His reflection of divine Mind furthered his healing mission. It put him in touch with others, instead of making him cold or aloof. Indeed, it helped make Christ Jesus the most loving, compassionate man the world has ever known.
All of this might well prompt questions about our own intellect. Are we growing in meekness as we nurture our own intelligence? Are we using our discernment to help others? Is it forwarding God's purpose? Or do we feel that intellectual development should just serve our own ends?
There are problems confronting all of us as individuals, and confronting mankind as a whole, that appear to defy solution. Answers will continue to escape the best thinking we can do if we continue to reason from the basis of an intellect that is a personal, mortal quality, and therefore limited. But when we turn more completely to the intelligence that reflects divine Mind, God, for solutions, we will find them.
As we individually begin to allow our own reason for living, our own purpose in life, to express God more fully, we'll discover that there is a quantum leap in intellectual power available. And we'll see it not only in greater wisdom but in more love, more meekness, better human relationships. This is the thinking that will contribute fresh, new, and--above all--practical solutions to humanity's needs.