Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the stimuli of thought.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Stimuli of Thought
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs, Chapter 23, Verse 7
Brothers and sisters, this morning we consider the stimuli of thought. Thoughts occur in the mind. Mind is the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the arena where we are self-conscious, entertain desires, makes decisions. Thoughts are continuous in our mind and they embrace the past, the present, and the projected future. Let us consider some thought-provoking sensations. In our outer environment as we interact with the physical, social, moral, ethical, and spiritual environment and as we respond to the drives of self maintenance, perpetuation, and self-gratification, we are supplied with stimuli to think. Sometimes our desires present stimuli for thinking as when we desire to remember an experience from the past or speculate on an experience of the future.
Sometimes we are faced with problems that have their origin in our past and if not acted upon correctly within the present will present problems for us in the future. But the nature of thinking is such that the awareness of problems in the past and probable problems in the present extending into the future allows thoughts from our past experience to be brought to bear in the present, and as we contemplate these problems in the present, we can also have thoughts that are projected towards the future. There is a continuous stream of thoughts in our mind that embrace past, present, and future. Such is the nature of the stimuli of thoughts.
But having access to these kinds of thoughts will not do us any good unless we make use of them. That is, we must abandon all impulsive acts in response to thoughts purely in the present and divorced from their past and projected future. When we take into consideration the impact of the stimuli of thoughts from the past and future as well as the present, then we have found a solution that will be serviceable not only in the present but the future as well. These stimuli presents us with problems to resolve, and we are forced to entertain them, seeking for solutions. Sometimes the solution appears fairly straightforward and does not require strenuous thinking; other times the problems are so complex that they require a great deal of thinking in order to find a suitable solution. And sometimes despite the strenuous thinking, no solution is to be found.
As we engage in all these stimuli-generating activities, we tap into the different parts of our mind. There are three parts to the mind. There is the conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the superconscious mind. We are not conscious of the subconcious and superconscious. These parts of the mind have different functions. The sub conscious mind is the storage bin of previous thoughts garnered from past experiences. They come forth on certain occasion in response to certain stimuli. For example, we may need to remember something that a stimuli from the outside or inside has brought to our attention. The tool that we use to retrieve these thoughts are our desires. When we desire to remember a particular thought stored in the subconscious mind, our will acts upon the subconscious storage bin, and forthwith does the thought appear. Sometimes it may appear that thoughts arrive from the subconscious storage bin without our desiring them
We may be thinking of some current problem, not related to the thought that emerges from the subconscious mind, but this is not so. Some stimulus brings them forward. Sometimes the stimuli for these kinds of thoughts are unresolved conflicts. Sometimes we may have disturbing thoughts that we would rather forget and almost magically they seem to appear out of nowhere. But a submerged thought can be attached to one that is conscious and can as it were pull the subconscious thought to the surface.
The conscious mind is where resides will, desires, feelings. It is the area where we make decisions in response to our desires, which are in turn caused by certain kinds of stimuli. The conscious mind is the active area of our mind. This area of the mind receives stimuli from the subconscious, the superconscious as well as from the outside and the inside. These stimuli might be in the form of some physical occurrence that requires our attention or some physical occurrence that arrests our interest. The conscious mind may receive stimulation from within the body itself. It may by stimulated by interacting with others, with their thoughts and ideas, even their ideals. The mind being self-conscious can stimulate itself. That is, the will itself causes us to think certain thoughts. The spirit-indwelt mind has insight and foresight. It cannot only understand but can also entertain future situations. It may receive stimulation from the subconscious and superconscious. The conscious mind is the arena in which we are self-conscious. It is the arena where we choose God.
The superconscious mind is the citadel of the spirit. The divine spirit is the stimuli of divine thoughts of truth, beauty, and goodness; thoughts of love. It is the stimulus of altruistic thoughts in our mind; it is the source of the urge to do good to others. The divine spirit is the Father’’s will living in our minds. It seeks to transform us into the image of his Son. Now having the presence of the divine spirit living in our minds stimulating divine thoughts alongside the stimulation of selfish and material thoughts is the source of conflict in the mind. These two different stimulations represent two different set of values. The human mind is capable of recognizing divine values and choosing them. The conflict forces us to choose one set of values over another. When we choose the thoughts sponsored by the divine spirit, we choose the Father’’s will. As we choose so we become.
In the spiritual environment, we recognize all human beings as our brothers and sisters and treat them as Jesus treats them. In various situations, different spiritual stimulations are generated. In response to these situations, the divine spirit floods the mind with spiritual urges of love, mercy, patience, and good will. Sometimes in complex spiritual situations, we require additional help trying to respond appropriately. As we reflect and seek the appropriate response, we come under the tutelage of the Spirit of Truth. This Spirit of Truth governs the relationship that we have with one another and directs our thinking. It gives us wisdom and insight into the problem of relationships.
The human mind has a moral nature. It is capable of choosing between two different set of values, human and divine. It can recognize right from wrong and can choose between them. Whenever we are confronted with moral or spiritual stimuli, the divine spirit sponsors divine values. Ordinarily the human self naturally chooses the selfish over the unselfish, but the intrusion of the divine will into the mind of man imparts a new potential to the human self, the possibility of surviving this life.
As we choose divine thoughts that are stimulated by the divine spirit, a new reality begins to form in our mind. This new reality is the soul. This soul responds to truth, beauty, and goodness and experiences the love of the heavenly Father. It is the future vehicle for our personality to function. This soul survives mortal death and will one day stand in the presence of the heavenly Father--the Thought God.
This concludes today's message on understanding the stimuli of thoughts. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.