The Mind: The Floating Brain Syndrome
The whole phenomenon reminds me of the movie Dune, where the members of the Spacing Guild, previously human in form, had so long taken in so much of the rare Spice that they had mutated. The Spice gave them the ability to fold space, that is move between time and space, which made it possible for people from various planets to travel great distances in an instant. But the price they paid is that they now were nothing but floating brains swimming about in large glass containers filled with orange smoke.
I invite you to quit being a floating brain.
The Master tells us:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind," (Luke 10:27).
The first step towards surrendering the mind to God, towards loving him with "all your mind", is to be where he is. Here and now.
The idea that you are your mind is quite common and a lie. Your mind is simply a tool. You are something much more splendid than all those thoughts that plague you - namely, a soul. Yes, your mind is a part of you, but your soul is what lives on when the mind dies.
Many of us long to connect in a more substantial way to God. We know that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20) and that the Master Teacher has said, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth," (Jn 16:13). But if we never cultivate silence within ourselves, how will we hear his guidance over all the noise?
Jesus himself tells us how to do this in Matthew 6:6:
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace."
But this is just one of many meditation methods. Here is a small sampling of some others:
- Focus on the breath
- Listen to the sounds of the world around you
- Focus on the body and any sensations it gives you
- Focus on a word you repeat to yourself, like "Jesus", or "Maranatha" (Greek for, "Come, Lord Jesus!")
- Focus on opening the heart
My recommendation is that if you are new to meditation, start off slowly. Try a couple of minutes before you start your day and before you go to bed at night. If you have a prayer and Bible reading routine, work those couple of minutes into the beginning of that. Take time to, "Be still and know that I am God," (Ps. 46:10).
But learning how to quiet the mind and be present with God is only half the equation. God is interested not only in the quantity, but the quality of your thoughts. Consider these words from the Master Teacher:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell," (Mat 5:27-30).
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will," (Rom 12:2).
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things," (Phil 4:8).
"We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ," (2 Cor 10:3).