Saving Christ, be thou my mind, All compassionate and kind. Open self that I might see Without you there is no me. (Living Calm, 2016)
When I wrote this poem over fifteen years ago, the sentences started coming while I was exercising. And when I was finished, I sat down and wrote out the poem. At the time, I didn’t really even understand this last verse all that well myself. The last line was even a bit startling to me.
But many years of research and reading and praying has made its meaning clearer. Support for it can be found in the writings of St. Paul where he says, “But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). And Colossians tells us Christ “was there before anything was made, and all things continue because of him” (NCV 1:17).
What I now see, and have found immensely helpful, is that our higher consciousness is God-derived, something human beings receive with the Creator’s “breath of life.” The subjectivity and individuality we have, our ability to step back and look at ourselves, isn’t present anywhere else but in each of us.
To “open self” is to open our heart and mind, to step back and recognize when we’re being dragged down into selfish, brain-centered responses. Then, when our thinking is flooded with fear of illness, we pray to the Lord, “be thou my mind.” When we can’t sleep because of worry, we reach out to the Saviour saying, “be thou my mind.” When we have been imposed on and want to strike back, we ask for Christ’s help saying, “be thou my mind.
The same Christ that was present at the moment of our creation is with us now—“all things continue because of him.” He, and not the natural world, is the source of our conscious individuality, the larger life that we human beings all have.