Monday, December 16, 2013
About the Functions of the Human Mind: What Jesus told his Indian Friend!
[The narration given below is taken from my favorite book of life guidance, the Urantia Book. The book reveals to us for the first time, the details of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, that are not covered in the Bible. When Jesus was about 28 years of age, he undertook a year long journey in the company of a wealthy Indian merchant, named Gonod and his son, Ganid, who was of nearly the same age as Jesus himself. These three journeyed together in the areas of Palestine, Egypt, Greece and other parts of the ancient Roman Empire during AD 22-23 period. Jesus worked for Gonod as a language intrepreter, especially Greek in which the Indian merchant lacked proficiency and traveled with the Indian father and son sharing many life experiences and thoughts. One day during the course of their year-long travel Ganid and Jesus spent some time in the mountain side of Cyprus. During this time, Ganid fell ill for about three weeks. Now read on:]
During Ganid’s convalescence of three weeks Jesus told him many interesting things about nature and her various moods. And what fun they had as they wandered over the mountains, the boy asking questions, Jesus answering them, and the father marveling at the whole performance.
The last week of their sojourn in the mountains Jesus and Ganid had a long talk on the functions of the human mind.
After several hours of discussion the lad asked this question (to Jesus):
“But, Teacher, what do you mean when you say that man experiences a higher form of self-consciousness than do the higher animals?”
And (as restated in modern phraseology), Jesus answered:
" My son, I have already told you much about the mind of man and the divine spirit that lives therein, but now let me emphasize that self-consciousness is a reality.
When any animal becomes self-conscious, it becomes a primitive man.
Such an attainment results from a co-ordination of function between impersonal energy and spirit-conceiving mind, and it is this phenomenon which warrants the bestowal of an absolute focal point for the human personality, the spirit of the Father in heaven (God).
Ideas are not simply a record of sensations; ideas are sensations plus the reflective interpretations of the personal self; and the self is more than the sum of one’s sensations. There begins to be something of an approach to unity in an evolving selfhood, and that unity is derived from the indwelling presence of a part of absolute unity (God) which spiritually activates such a self-conscious animal-origin mind.
No mere animal could possess a time self-consciousness. Animals possess a physiological co-ordination of associated sensation-recognition and memory thereof, but none experience a meaningful recognition of sensation or exhibit a purposeful association of these combined physical experiences such as is manifested in the conclusions of intelligent and reflective human interpretations. And this fact of self-conscious existence, associated with the reality of his subsequent spiritual experience, constitutes man a potential son of the universe and foreshadows his eventual attainment of the Supreme Unity of the universe (God).
Neither is the human self merely the sum of the successive states of consciousness.
Without the effective functioning of a consciousness sorter and associator there would not exist sufficient unity to warrant the designation of a selfhood. Such an ununified mind could hardly attain conscious levels of human status.
If the associations of consciousness were just an accident, the minds of all men would then exhibit the uncontrolled and random associations of certain phases of mental madness.
A human mind, built up solely out of the consciousness of physical sensations, could never attain spiritual levels; this kind of material mind would be utterly lacking in a sense of moral values and would be without a guiding sense of spiritual dominance which is so essential to achieving harmonious personality unity in time, and which is inseparable from personality survival in eternity.
The human mind early begins to manifest qualities which are super-material; the truly reflective human intellect is not altogether bound by the limits of time. That individuals so differ in their life performances indicates, not only the varying endowments of heredity and the different influences of the environment, but also the degree of unification with the indwelling spirit of the Father which has been achieved by the self, the measure of the identification of the one with the other.
The human mind does not well stand the conflict of double allegiance.
It is a severe strain on the soul to undergo the experience of an effort to serve both good and evil.
The supremely happy and efficiently unified mind is the one wholly dedicated to the doing of the will of the Father in heaven.
Unresolved conflicts destroy unity and may terminate in mind disruption.
But the survival character of a soul is not fostered by attempting to secure peace of mind at any price, by the surrender of noble aspirations, and by the compromise of spiritual ideals; rather is such peace attained by the stalwart assertion of the triumph of that which is true, and this victory is achieved in the overcoming of evil with the potent force of good."