Definition of Intelligence
From Addresses by Martha Wilcox
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Our next subject is the “Definition of Intelligence.” We are studying a Science that requires Intelligence. Intelligence is the cause and source and manifestation of all Being. Intelligence is divine; it is without limit; and it is the most natural thing to our being. There is nothing in the whole world that is of so much worth to the individual as his intelligence. Do we recognize its worth? Do we recognize its source? Do we even think enough about it to be grateful? There is no other definition in Recapitulation that means so much to the student as the definition of Intelligence. Have we studied it out? Have we thought it out? Many of us do much reading but very little thinking. As we understand our intelligence for what it really is, we shall be able to think things out, and to do the things that we have never been able to do before. We have entered a new age, and this new age will be recorded in history as an era of divine Intelligence, an in-coming of mental strength and mental loveliness. Since mankind is being awakened to the divine source and origin and character of his so-called human intelligence, this new age will be characterized by mental strength and spiritual phenomena.
The Nature of Intelligence
What is the nature of Intelligence? Intelligence to itself is not one of many things. Intelligence, to Itself, is consciously one thing; namely, God, one unity of Life, Truth and Love. Intelligence sees itself as one whole, as both subject and object; it sees and knows itself as being all Intelligence; sees and knows Its own universe of divine Intelligence.
An Understanding of God or Mind
The definition of Intelligence gives a correct understanding of the character of God or Mind. The character of God or Mind is divine Intelligence; just as the character of the sun is light. We do not think of Mind as producing Intelligence; Mind is Intelligence.
We are not separate from God, our own Mind, our Mind is divine Intelligence; we are not separate from this divine Intelligence. We show forth divine Mind, our own divine Intelligence. Wherever individual man is, there divine Intelligence is, in the divine being and divine manifestation. When we think of God or Mind correctly, we think of an infinite, living, active, conscious mode of divine Intelligence. And when we think of man correctly, we think of this infinite mode of divine Intelligence in manifestation as man. Man consciously identifies this infinite mode of divine Intelligence.
The Oneness of God and Man
God and man is one in their character and being, and we think of this unity or oneness as Intelligence expressed as intelligence. The manifestation cannot be separate from or unlike the Manifested. We do not think of man as a personal, material, mortal man; but we think of man as a mode of intelligence (state of being), in oneness with divine Intelligence.
The Substance of Everything is Intelligence
The Mind that we have this morning is divine Intelligence. Each one of us is this one divine Intelligence in manifestation. If we, this morning, comprehended the fact that our own Mind is divine Intelligence, all sin, disease, lack, age, and death would be unknown. Since divine Intelligence, the All-knowing, cannot consciously be the knowledge or experience of sin, disease, lack or death, then such experiences cannot be in manifestation as intelligence, or man. The substance and being of everything in the universe is divine Intelligence. The heart, the liver, the lungs, and blood in their substance and being, are living, conscious modes of divine Intelligence. Since this is true, we should not think of heart, and liver, and lungs, and blood as matter; and finite, changeable, and destructible; but we should understand them as they are in their reality, as divine Intelligence; and then think what divine Intelligence is in fact.
The Human Intelligence
We have been taught to believe that each individual has a mind of his own, called human intelligence. We have been taught to believe that this human intelligence is disconnected from God and can be both good and evil. But in this new age of divine Intelligence, a phenomenon of the first magnitude has appeared and gives proof that the intelligence of man is not human or personal, but is primarily divine Intelligence. When correctly understood, our so-called human intelligence is a holy thing, entirely good. Our so-called human intelligence is the presence of divine Intelligence or is divine Intelligence in manifestation. We, as Christian Scientists, are proving that all things that are good, and useful, and natural to the human intelligence, have their source, and origin, and substance, and being in divine Intelligence. Indeed, all good, and useful, and natural things are divine Intelligence appearing as these things in some degree of their reality.
The So-Called Evil in the Human Intelligence
What seems to be evil in the so-called human intelligence is not Intelligence. The seeming evil has no Principle; it has no motive power to carry it on; it is a misconception, a misinterpretation, a misrepresentation, a perversion, a deflection of some good and eternal fact in divine Intelligence. Evil is nothing. It comes to us for its existence and we give it all the existence that it has. Through our understanding of divine Science, we prove that evil is nonexistent, and that the one divine Intelligence is eternal, unchangeable, the All and Only.
True Evaluation of the Human Intelligence
The true evaluation of our so-called human intelligence as being divine Intelligence, is appearing in divine order, as the wonder of this new age. This divine Intelligence is appearing humanly and rapidly as an infinite variety and diversity of things, things of every sort and kind and description. As yet, we see this infinite divine Intelligence in Its infinite manifestation imperfectly, or we see it with material accompaniments. But in the proportion that we discern the divine character of our human intelligence, the unfoldments of infinite, divine Intelligence will be immeasurable to us.
There is so much noise and confusion at the present time that the unillumined mind fails to see what is taking place in the mental and spiritual realm. To those of clearer vision, these mental and spiritual phenomena are appearing as higher and more efficient modes of intelligence, which are being wrought out in visible, practical forms along all walks of life.
There is an insistent demand that we as human beings express a higher and more active intelligence. We are intelligent humans only as we express divine Intelligence.
And in the measure that we express divine Intelligence, we are not human beings, but are divine beings.
The Coming of the Son of Man
The divine Intelligence that God or Mind expresses is man. This divine Intelligence is the Son of God, and appears to human comprehension as the coming of the Son of Man. This divine Intelligence, or the coming of the Son of Man, appears as higher, truer modes of thought or intelligence within ourselves. And in this new age, our demonstration of Divine Science, visible as divine Intelligence, is appearing not only to the individual, but is appearing universally as well.
Are we as Christian Scientists responsive to this insistent demand from within? Do we express, visibly and concretely, the higher modes and fuller unfoldments of divine Intelligence? Or do we remain in the old grooves of thought until we bury ourselves? Of one thing we may be certain, we either respond to this urgent call from within, and become more active and alert in our thought, or we stagnate and die.
As the facts of divine Intelligence are better understood, and the human mind becomes illumed with facts of its own intelligence, there takes place a great uncovering of the false beliefs in the so-called human mind, and a corresponding desire to free itself from its self-imposed materiality and bondage. One of the first false beliefs of the human mind to be uncovered is that all seeming troubles are not outside of us, but are wholly within the human mind. These seeming troubles are purely mental, never physical, they are never apart, nor outside the human mind. Another false belief that is being uncovered is that the multitudinous troubles of the human mind are not personal troubles, but are deflections of reality.
Mental and Emotional Qualities Uncovered
Today, there is being uncovered and brought to our attention, the many mental and emotional qualities, the traits of character, the attitudes of thought, and the natural tendencies of the individual. These are all being greatly stressed at this time. Under the present world conditions, we have ample opportunity to note the false mental and emotional adjustments, the lack of mental and spiritual poise, and the great need of peace and harmony everywhere. These erroneous experiences are being uncovered to the so-called human mind in order that we may correct them in our individual thinking.
Take, for example, the mental agitations and disturbances we often experience when confronted with some unpleasant circumstance; or when others differ from our way of thinking and doing; or when we must do what we do not like to do; or when we read or hear of some dread disease; or when we fail to accomplish our desires.
All these false emotions are not personal but are the deflections of the one and only emotion of divine Intelligence. And when we correct our thought in regard to them, we must know that they are deflections only, and never facts of divine Intelligence.
Mrs. Eddy once said to a group of us that we should never permit ourselves to react with intensity to every unpleasant thing. She meant that we should so discipline our individual thought with the truth of being, until we could stand in the presence of seeming error, mentally unmoved and steadfast in our faith in divine Intelligence. And why should we be moved by that which is deflection only? Mrs. Eddy says in the foreword to First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany (vii:12), “intelligent thinking untainted by the emotionalism which is largely selfglorification — is a reasonable service which all Christian Scientists can render their Leader.”
The Harmful Effects of Mental Modes and Emotions
When we as students of Christian Science fail to overcome these false mental modes and chronic emotions through the higher, truer modes of divine Intelligence, they result in harmful effects on our health; they incapacitate us for efficient work; and they prevent us from being citizens of strength and usefulness.
Nearly every page of our textbook shows us the necessity of watching our mental states and emotions. We read, “Lurking error, lust, envy, revenge, malice, or hate will perpetuate or even create the belief in disease.” (S&H 419:2-3) To these we might add irritability, criticism, anxiety, indecision, doubt, pride, self-pity, and fear. If we have any of these mental modes or emotions, it is because our thoughts, feelings, and actions are based upon the deflections as something, instead of being based upon divine Intelligence as All.
Our textbook tells us that, “We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are.” (S&H 8:28-30) In Miscellaneous Writings (p. 355:21) we read, “Learn what in thine own mentality is unlike ‘the anointed,’ and cast it out;” and again, “Thought must be made better, and human life more fruitful, for the divine energy to move it onward and upward.” (p. 343:7)
This uncovering of false modes of human intelligence is appearing not only to Christian Scientists, but is appearing universally to all planes of comprehension of the human mind. In this universal uncovering, the earth is helping the woman. (Rev. 12:16) By this we mean that there are many worthy psychologists, surgeons, physicians and eminent ministers who are educating the unillumined thought to see that all causation is mental, and that all physical effects are the result of mental causes. The little foxes that spoil the vines are being uncovered to the human intelligence, and in a great degree the human thought is being prepared to accept the fact of one divine Intelligence universally.
The Science of Psychology
In speaking of Psychology, let us bear in mind that there is only one Science of Psychology. In Miscellaneous Writings (p. 3:30), Mrs. Eddy writes, “Hence the deep demand for the Science of psychology to meet sin, and uncover it; thus to annihilate hallucination.” And in our textbook, Mrs. Eddy speaks of the science of psychology as the “Science of Spirit, God.” This Science of Spirit, or the laws of divine Intelligence, are appearing to so-called human intelligence and is there doing its effective work. The only psychology, the Science of Spirit, dispels hallucination in no other place than the so-called human intelligence.
Alibis and Excuses
What does the Science of Psychology or the Science of divine Intelligence uncover about alibis and excuses? These laws are uncovering to us that alibis and excuses are the natural tendencies in which our human mind indulges. Practically all of us use alibis and excuses, and sometimes quite unconsciously. We make them a smoke screen for our mistakes, and failures, and imperfections. Our pet alibis are, “It was the other fellow’s fault;” “It was an unavoidable circumstance;” or “We did not have a fair chance.”
The Harmful Effects of Alibis and Excuses
The harmful effect of alibis and excuses on the individual is far more serious than we realize. Many persons are in hospitals, even in insane hospitals, because they have hidden behind an alibi or an excuse until their so-called human intellect is enfeebled and impaired. They permitted their headaches, their indigestion, their nerves, their belief in persons and circumstances, to be an alibi or excuse for something that was hard to do, or that they did not want to do, until they literally lost their power to decide things intelligently. An alibi or excuse is a form of deceit that is used to hide the facts in the case, and the results are most disastrous to the one who indulges in them.
In a book review in the Magazine Section of the Monitor, there was a statement made by a noted surgeon. He said, in substance, that no organic cure could be permanent until a solution for the mental difficulties was found. He said that a lack of harmony in the realm of spirit often led to functional disorders and organic disease, and these could not be cured permanently until there was an adjustment of the underlying mental conflict.
Where Do We Contact Error?
Where is it that we, as individuals, contact and destroy error of every name and nature? Where do we contact the persons in the home, in business, and in the church, that seem to be thinking and acting erroneously? Where do we contact the unpleasant things to which we react so easily?
It is not outside or apart from ourselves that we contact them. We contact them within ourselves only, and at the point of our own belief in them. At no other point than our own belief in them do we have contact with the claim of evil persons and unpleasant things. All temptations to believe in personality and unpleasant things are at the point of our own belief in them, and here alone is where we overcome them.
Revamp Our Thinking and Emotions
It is the duty of each Christian Scientist to examine his own mind and take into strict account what is going on within his own mentality. Today each one of us is being impelled to revamp his mental and emotional existence; each one of us is being forced to change his opinions and attitudes, in order to tune in properly with the incoming of this new order of Life, this age of divine Intelligence.
Each student of Christian Science is required to hear with a new distinctiveness and understanding, and it is necessary to govern his thoughts and acts accordingly. This new order of Life is in divine order, and is characterized as the age in which Christian Scientists are to give to the world the human proof of their divine and spiritual existence, the proof that we are now the sons and daughters of God, the expression of divine Intelligence, exempt from lack, age, decay, sin, and death.