Referring to the thoughts and individuality of human consciousness, CS Lewis concluded in his book Miraclesthat “human thought is not God’s but God-kindled” (Miracles 44). This higher, human capacity to reason or make inferences in our “own thinking” is not a “natural event.” It is a God-created gift, a “daily and hourly experience, as intimate as breathing” (65).
Within our gift of higher consciousness, the Spirit of Christ is always speaking to us, encouraging us to purer deeds and kinder motives. We are either listening, opening ourselves to this higher region of inspired thought, or we are not. That is the basic choice that underlies all choices. As Paul tells us in Romans, to “live in accordance with the Spirit” we must set our minds on “what the spirit desires.” He then continues on to describe an understanding I’ve also found to be essential in Christian believing. Paul writes that “the mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (NIV 8:5, 7).
“Nor can it do so.” The brain, the “mind governed by the flesh,” is not capable of abandoning the self-centered, survival instincts that have evolved over millennia. Listening to it, we’re always going to be pulled back down into the primitive demands of physical existence—the panic and anger, the fear that follows pain or humiliation, the selfishness that makes us greedy. But, praise the Lord, our human individuality is greater than these natural, brain processes. That’s because the image of Himself that God created us to be does not originate in brain waves but, rather, in God’s gift of higher consciousness, in “the mind governed by the Spirit” (NIV Rom. 8:6) (Living Strong, Chapter 16)