Of sound mind
A Christian Science perspective.
Anyone struggling with feelings that his or her mental capacities are not what they used to be can take great comfort in the biblical promise that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7). The sound mind that He gives us is a reflection of His own intelligent presence. And since God is ever present, we can never be separated from the divine Mind.
The prevalent concept that a frail, physical brain is the seat of our intelligence has no basis in the Bible. Many verses throughout the Scriptures identify qualities of mind such as wisdom, understanding, inspiration, and perception as coming from God, from Spirit. And in the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy challenged the limited concept of material consciousness, in passages such as these: “The brain can give no idea of God’s man,” and “Matter is not the organ of infinite Mind” (p. 191).
Christian Science teaches that God is the one, infinite Mind and that each of us is God’s idea – that we have no separate mind of our own but reflect spiritually the one divine Mind or infinite intelligence. Because our intelligence comes from Spirit and is ours by spiritual reflection, material conditions cannot affect it.
So what can we do if we find ourselves questioning our own or someone else’s mental capacities? We can mentally insist – persistently if necessary – that God, Spirit, is the only source of intelligence; that He is all-knowing and ever present; and that we reflect Him every moment, individually as well as collectively.
I had an experience about 15 years ago that proved this. I was going through particularly stressful circumstances. We had recently moved, and I struggled to establish a new home, care for my family, and keep up with a demanding, full-time teaching job. Around this time I began to experience abnormal, extreme forgetfulness. I called a Christian Science practitioner for help through prayer.
The practitioner was very reassuring and confident that I would be healed. He prayed for me every day, and within a week or so I realized a great truth: I had no mind of my own to suffer or fail in any way, but my identity was idea – an image, or reflection, of the divine Mind. That realization brought me peace and well-being, and my normal mental health then became evident.
In this case, it appeared my mental faculties had been temporarily compromised, but that was only from the limited and erring point of view of the material senses. At no point can anyone’s relation to divine Mind and its perfect soundness be lost, for it is maintained by divine law. Neither accident, stress, disease, drugs, nor old age can break the perfect unity between God and His forever-loved child, between Mind and its never-forgotten idea.
Again, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “If delusion says, ‘I have lost my memory,’ contradict it. No faculty of Mind is lost. In Science, all being is eternal, spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action” (Science and Health, p. 407).
Each of us is an individual manifestation of the divine consciousness, which is ever complete, whole, and harmonious. As Mind, God continuously knows us to be that way, and since God is also unfailing Love, He will never let us fall or drift out of our relationship to His consciousness. Therefore, sound mental capacities, including clarity, comprehension, memory, and acuteness, are a present and eternal fact of our being, for us to vigorously claim and prove.
To listen to a recording of a live chat related to this topic, see spirituality.com.