What does it mean to be conscious?
How are thoughts formed?
What does God say about consciousness? Surely the mind of God is unknowable. Surely too we know Jesus is the supreme personification of God, fully God and fully Man. Let us hear what the God-Man has to say to us about the will - those matters over which men have conscious experience and control:
“Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
So we know that we have a heart, a soul, and a mind, three things over which we have control, and we can dedicate consciously to the Lord in love.
The heart, in the Bible, never refers to a "literal physical pump that drives the blood". It is the affective center of our being; the capacity of moral preference and the generator of desire. “
If one becomes conscious of their soul, does one then become a spiritual person? As Jesus tells us, “
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
The Biblical Greek word used for soul is "ψυχή": psyxḗ (from psyxō, "to breathe, blow" which is the root of the English words "psyche," "psychology") – soul (psyche); a person's distinct identity (unique personhood), i.e. individual personality. We see that the modern field of psychology can be understood as soul-study, perceived by psychologists as "the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious". Many, like Jung, made this metaphysical link explicit, and blended in individual or collective spiritual experience to the subconscious framework. Such thinkers might say: a mind-psyche is conscious on an individual level, subconscious on a collective level, and can become conscious on a collective level.
But the Perfect Man says differently, who being God created Man in His Image. Moral preference and desire come from the heart, which is distinct from the psyche. And the soul, i.e. the psyche, is not the mind. The soul is one's individual personhood: "
The Biblical Greek root word for the mind is "noús" (νοῦς), the God-given capacity of each person to think and reason; and mental capacity to exercise reflective thinking. For the believer, nous is the organ of receiving God's thoughts, through faith. The mind is the seat of spiritual experience.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Receive thoughts! What a concept. Yet we are all familiar with the concept of intrusive thoughts. Those with addictions are familiar with the "demons", but even those without them experience evil thoughts occuring. Jesus tells us that "
“And Jesus asked him, saying,
What is thy name?And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.”
Biblically, all "mental disease" is spiritual possession. These spirits tempt the heart and oppress the soul. We know that Satan himself can enter into a man, as he did to Judas at the Last Supper, or to Peter when he tempted Christ.
The only defense against possession by unclean spirits is the Holy Spirit. This is why our minds are transformed and renewed; this is why it is said, "we have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:19). We know that "to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). We talk to God directly, and know to test the spirits by the word of God, whether they talk in us or to us via others.
Immediately two modern errors jump out to us:
- The psychologist does not understand the heart; confuses the mind and the psyche; and is ignorant of the spirits, thinking it an illness to talk to them.
- The neurologist, biological or artificial, sees the spiritual nous arising, and takes the spiritual mind alone for consciousness, ignorant of the heart and the psychic soul.
Nor is there a "division" between a "conscious" and a "subconscious" mind. The mind experiences thoughts and spirits, engaging the heart and soul.
“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
It is "crazy" at first to talk to God, and to ask him in prayer; and the evidence we 'need' as fruits of the Spirit does not come until we have already reached out to God in faith. Truly, however, it is much 'crazier' to let the temptations of unclean spirits run the mind, or think that we can 'sweep it clean' and it will remain uninhabited (Luke 11:24-26).
It is faith alone that allows man's mind to bridge the gap to God; to bring the Holy Spirit in to his mind, becoming his Comforter and Teacher. Only he that knocks has the door opened, for God to save him from the psychotic misunderstanding of the mind that stops modern man from learning anything at all, and for his eyes to be opened alike.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
We live in a time of great spiritual poverty, but nous is increasing. As mind and consciousness return to the forefront of public thought, so too will spirit follow, and the temptation to ignorance. Let us understand the Consciousness of God's body.
“So that we may boldly say,
The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”