You’re out of your mind, don’t mind me, I’ve half a mind to, mind the stinging nettles, (that one needs a personal story), I’ll give you a piece of my mind, mind blowing, absent minded, mind the kids, mindless, open minded, small minded, change of mind. These are all common clichés we use in our everyday lives here in the separation.
Serious discussions about what mind is, where it is, how it works have been going on for centuries. The first book I read about mind was Julian Janes’ “The Origin of Consciousness in The Breakdown of the Bi-Cameral Mind.” It’s not often cited recently because thought about consciousness has developed in different ways since Janes’ book. What I have read about mind, other than in ACIM, is complicated and uncertain. The Course gives us a more simple way to think about mind than discussions by philosophers and scientists. The following from the Clarification of Terms provides us with ACIM’s view.
The term [mind] is used to represent the activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy. When the term is capitalized it refers to God or Christ (ie, the Mind of God or the Mind of Christ). [Spirit] is the Thought of God which He created like Himself. The unified spirit is God’s one Son, or Christ. [C.I.1]
Notice that the following passage links directly to the first sentence in the above definition.
God did create spirit in His Own Thought and of a quality like to His Own. There [is] nothing else. [T-3.V.7.3-4]
Both of these excerpts refer to Mind as it exists in Heaven. God caused our Mind by extending His Mind to Create the One Son of God. Scientists search for causality. We find it here as God Caused Mind as the “activation agent of spirit.”
In reading philosophers and scientists writings about mind I have not found a mutually accepted definition. Here is one by Neurologost Antonio Damasio from his 1994 book, Descartes Error. (For me it defines intelligence.)
…having a mind means that an organism forms neural representations which can become images, be manipulated in a process called thought, and eventually influence behavior by helping predict the future, plan accordingly, and chose the next action. [P.90]
Damasio’s subtitle, Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain. could summarize his book; I.E. our brain’s neurological activity causes mind. Also, he believes Descartes’ error was his position that the mind and body are separate: known as dualism.
As a course student I am an unabashed dualist. We are involved in two levels: 1. As spirit in Heaven, and 2. on the level of our body in the separation. “The Course,” as teacher Ken Wapnick often said, “is all about Mind.” Our small m mind makes our egocentric body. That gets us into the Course concept of the split mind. Large M Mind in heaven and small m mind in the separation. That will take another post.
The complicated discussions about mind by scientists and philosophers are about mind in the separation. Damasio’s definition fits there.
In “5 Questions about “Mind and Consciousness” answered by 20 philosophers, just one, Terrance Horgan, was succinct. (two pages). Most used several pages. Douglas Hofstadter used 26. We make mind complicated like all of the separation.
In Workbook LESSON 96. Salvation comes from my one Self, paragraph one is a clear articulation of our dualistic nature. With one caveat, sentence five reminds us to keep track of levels. The “one self” is on the level of our true reality as God’s one son in Heaven.
Although you are one Self, you experience yourself as two; as both good and evil, loving and hating, mind and body. This sense of being split into opposites induces feelings of acute and constant conflict, and leads to frantic attempts to reconcile the contradictory aspects of this self-perception. You have sought many such solutions, and none of them has worked. The opposites you see in you will never be compatible. 5 But one exists. [W.L96.1] (my emphasis)
The one that exists is our true relationship as Mind with God in Heaven. Our true being there is non-dualistic. Remembering that is only fleetingly possible while we are mired in the separation. In paragraphs 9-11 of Workbook Lesson 96 Jesus gives us a way to hold that in our mind.
Salvation comes from my one Self.
Its Thoughts are mine to use. [W-96.9]
Here a two key sentences from the final paragraphs. The one Self is our Mind which remains with God.
4 Then seek Its Thoughts, and claim them as your own. 7 Salvation is among them; find it there. [l-96.9.4+7]
3 Restored in strength, it will again flow out from spirit to the spirit in all things created by the Spirit as Itself. [L96.10.3]
These words help us during our days here. For that we need to stop just a little and search in our right mind for our one true self. It’s waiting to be remembered in the unity of Mind with God in Heaven.