Illustrating the Flow of Divine Thought from Mind to Consciousness, Part 1 of Multiple Parts
This is a discussion about the flow of thought from its source, God, to His/Her effect, man. After reading my first draft, my wife, Kristen, suggested that this article might be appropriately entitled “Christian Science for Engineers”! Although there have been many metaphysical articles and books written which include much difficult wording designed to describe abstract concepts, few of these works, if any at all, ever have offered graphical visual aids to support their wording. This article presents the flow of divine and human thought in a logical block diagram format that should be comprehensible to anyone who is accustomed to thinking in a flow-chart manner. The graphics are only a conceptual aid. Having come from an engineering oriented background, the use of graphical flow charts makes perfect sense to me. I invite and welcome feedback on the effectiveness of this approach for others.
This first article is not so graphically presented. It presents the foundational introduction necessary to grasp the intricacies of thought which will be illustrated in the articles to follow.
The thoughts and format presented and pictured here are by no means intended to be a complete or an absolute discussion of divine and human thought. This discussion format is simply a unique way to present difficult to follow phraseology, adapted from the author’s own words, into a more easily understood graphically aided form. The thoughts in this discussion are primarily guided by the author’s studies of spiritual existence as explained in Christian Science. Short videos are integrated within the document to supplement the text as an aid to the illustrating the thought flow in each diagram.
The author bases these concepts upon a variety of metaphysical materials rooted in Christian Science as defined by its textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. References from that work as well as applicable Bible quotations support particular points made in this article. Though no direct quotations have been used from any other sources, credit for the content of the opening discussion on consciousness, being, and existence is due to excerpts from papers written by two significant early workers in Christian Science healing, Bicknell Young, and Herbert W. Eustace.
What is Consciousness?
What is consciousness? Is it not our own sense of self awareness? But, what is the nature of the thing we call “self”, and from where does its self-awareness originate? Those are questions which few of us spend much time seriously asking ourselves. I remember asking myself these questions at somewhere around age 10. At that time I had not yet made the connection between those natural questions I was asking myself, and the very basic Christian Science I was learning in a Sunday School of the Church of Christ, Scientist which my family attended. Only several decades later did I really begin to take notice of those kind of questions again. Most adult human beings are simply too preoccupied with the struggles of surviving daily human life to feel that they can afford to take the time for the “luxury” of personal introspection, or to examine or answer their own metaphysical questions about the meaning of life. This discussion is designed to address these kinds of questions without getting into a labyrinth of theory and nebulous mental propositions. We are going to use simple words from here on – relatively simple, it is hoped!
What is the most basic fact you know about yourself?
Most everything that human beings think about themselves comes to them through the five senses, or we learn it from some source outside of ourselves, like perhaps another person, or a book, or a documentary, etc. But what do you know about yourself that does not come from any external stimuli at all? What do you know about yourself that is unquestionable, and that you do not learn through your senses? Even if you had no material senses, what would remain true about yourself for as long as you are conscious?
Conscious is a key word! The one and only thing of which we can be sure is that we exist. Think about it – even if you had no sight, no hearing, no taste, no smell, no sense of touch – you would still be aware that you exist as long as you remain conscious. That consciousness depends upon nothing, upon no external stimulus. It simply IS.
Where and what would you be without consciousness? You could be nowhere and you would be nobody unless there were consciousness, for your being would be unexpressed and unknown to anyone. By any definition, that would not be being. So clearly, it is consciousness that is the basis of being. Being is not, without self-awareness. It is consciousness which is the effect of a being that IS. We might think of IS as the cause of being, and consciousness as the effect of that IS. Consciousness is thought’s awareness of itself.
If such introspection is new to you, you might want to take a minute to soak that all in (or, perhaps at this point you might want to throw up your hands and just walk away from this article). That which IS, is the cause of BEing. Things simply ARE, and we cannot question. Existence is just undeniable because we are conscious! To say that nothing IS, or to say that something we witness IS NOT, is to say that there is no existence, or to say that the thing we are witnessing is an illusion. We will talk about both of these conditions. Yet, here we are! We know that we exist! ISness is an undeniable cause, giving us consciousness. Even an atheist must admit this, for even the atheist will never deny his own existence. So where does God fit into this discussion? God is simply a name we are going to assign to the cause of something being IS. God is the Cause for IS, the cause of being. We are not saying what God is, except that God is undeniably Cause. Cause is a necessity which precedes effect, and existence is assuredly the effect of something. So now, we have even the atheist admitting that there is a God, even though he will be reluctant to use the name God. The atheist believes in something as Cause. He only prefers not to call that something God, or to think of cause as God. But whatever he believes in as his cause, is his version of God.
We know that our being undeniably IS, and that as an effect, it must have a cause. No effect ever results without causation. And no cause ever causes without producing an effect. Therefore, if something (God) is, the effect of its “isness” is consciousness.
The universality of causation
Where does this cause which we call the source of all being reside? Does it reside in specific places? The universal cause which causes all things to exist cannot be localized because clearly existence is not localized. The entire universe is filled and peopled with that which IS. Being, existence, is witnessed universally. It is clear that this cause called God is a universal Principle rather than a force. A force is localized. A principle is true irrespective of place.
Graphical representation of universal causation
If we were to graphically represent the presence of the causation of Mind, it might look something like the picture below. The cloud in the center represents any and every point in infinite space. Cause is universally present, and not associated with place at all. As our concept of consciousness rises from the material and physical to the spiritual, the concept of universality gradually replaces the role of space.
In the next segment we will discuss and represent man’s uninterruptable connection with God, bound together irrevocably as Cause and Effect. An understanding of this basic picture of the universality of God’s causation is necessary before moving on to graphically and verbally describe the seeming complications of the human mind which would put itself between God and His spiritual man.