Patricia Hofer

Consciousness and Christianity

When we talk to God “face to face” or have “the mind of Christ,” we are really meeting the Lord in consciousness. And so, for a Christian, knowing that our consciousness is separate from our brain is really helpful.

When we are trying to pray and feeling the distraction to go eat breakfast at the same time, these two domains are feuding. But there are studies that now show that our consciousness can dominate the brain’s demands. For example, Jeffrey Schwartz has done research showing that consciousness can override the brain in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And other neuroscientists conclude that the mind is our “first-person perspective” and the brain is our “third person perspective” (The Spiritual Brain Beauregard & O’Leary 150).

There is nothing natural or evolutionary inspiring us to the meekness and poverty of spirit and unconditional love of Jesus’ beatitudes. The more aware we are that we are dealing with two domains, the more possible it becomes for the faith of consciousness to push back at natural instincts and distractions and selfishness.

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