In early 2022 I learned an art exercise that’s an excellent tool for God to speak to you.
Recently, our family started a creative challenge that was put out by my Creative Genius group – each day we do something creative, anything we want, on a little index card.
Because it always feels easier to me to have some sort of parameters to base ideas on, I decided I’d find inspiration through the letters of the alphabet to start out.
For ‘b’ I wanted to use markers and do a neurographic type drawing for simplicity’s sake. So I was toying with ‘b’ words like ‘bold’ when ‘brain’ popped into my mind, and I felt inspired to ask God to show me something about original intent or original design for our minds through whatever came out of my drawing.
(the backstory on that is I’ve been meditating for years on the two trees in the Garden of Eden and how I believe the Tree of Life represents living by spirit/our heart and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil represents living by logic and reason/our minds)
So when I finished my 5 second line around the paper, I quickly spotted a dog of sorts…….. “man’s best friend”… and was rather amused by the thought of our brains compared to dogs, but knew there would be more to come from it.
After putting my 4 year old to bed, I decided to ask ChatGPT what it thought dogs being man’s best friend meant. Its answer was pretty basic, so I kept prodding, asking it to compare the human mind to a dog in that context of a friend. It was quick to let me know the comparison was not really an appropriate one because of cognitive and conscious differences between humans and dogs. Even after I asked it to pretend it was writing fiction, GPT was still reluctant to draw parallels, but it seemed to be reassured when I explained it was just a philosophical exercise.
I found ChatGPT’s ideas to be well worth some meditation on what God’s original intent for our minds may have been… (not to be confused with what we often experience since introducing confusion through duality)
- Loyalty and Trust: Dogs are known for their loyalty and trustworthiness towards their owners, and a human’s own mind can be a reliable and faithful companion, always there to offer support and guidance in times of need.
- Emotional Connection: Just like a person can form a strong emotional connection with their dog, they can also have a deep emotional connection with their own mind. The mind can provide comfort and understanding during difficult times, and help one process and cope with emotions.
- Adaptability: Dogs are adaptable creatures that can learn new skills and behaviors to suit their owners’ needs, and a person’s mind can also be adaptable and flexible in the face of changing circumstances. It can help a person learn and grow, and adapt to new challenges and experiences.
- Intuition and Instinct: Dogs have a keen sense of intuition and instinct, and a person’s own mind can also provide them with intuitive insights and gut feelings that can guide their decision-making and behavior.
- Unconditional Love: Dogs are known for their unconditional love towards their owners, and a person’s own mind can offer them a sense of self-acceptance and self-love, helping them to embrace their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Training and Discipline: Just like a person can train and discipline their dog to behave in certain ways, they can also train and discipline their own mind to cultivate positive habits, behaviors, and thought patterns. This can help a person live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
- Companionship and Support: Dogs can offer their owners companionship and emotional support, and a person’s own mind can also offer them companionship and support in the form of self-reflection, self-awareness, and self-care.
- Freedom and Autonomy: Dogs require their owners to provide them with food, water, shelter, and other basic needs, but they also enjoy a certain level of freedom and autonomy in their daily lives. Similarly, a person’s own mind requires basic needs like sleep, nutrition, and exercise, but it also allows them the freedom and autonomy to make choices and decisions that shape their lives.
- Playfulness and Creativity: Dogs are often playful and creative in their behavior and interactions, and a person’s own mind can also offer them opportunities for playfulness and creativity through activities like art, music, writing, and other forms of self-expression.
- Intimacy and Vulnerability: Dogs can help their owners experience a sense of intimacy and vulnerability through their shared experiences and emotional connections. Similarly, a person’s own mind can help them explore their innermost thoughts, feelings, and desires, allowing them to experience a deeper sense of intimacy and vulnerability with themselves.
Too often, the role our minds play tends to be getting stuck in overthinking and analysis, regret, anxiety, negativity, confusion and second-guessing, beating ourselves up over not doing enough, not doing something better, etc. etc.
The focus God gave me for 2023 is digging into what it looks like to simply be… so I’ve been challenged to consider where the mind fits into a life lived from the heart. It’s easy to feel like the mind gets in the way, but this exercise brought out some good nuggets.
What if our mind was designed to be a reliable companion that helps us adapt to new circumstances and cultivate positive habits, provide insight and awareness in processing, play a part in freedom and autonomy, engage in playfulness and creativity, and experience intimacy and vulnerability?
Our heart has its own version of those things, but the mind is sort of like another dimension of it – perhaps the bridge, in a way, between our heart/spirit and this physical world we’re experiencing…
Hmmm, lots more to ponder…
You could utilize this tool in hearing from God, too – whether it’s asking him to show you something through a “nonsense” drawing or just using art as a meditative exercise as you talk with God. Engaging the body this way can be a powerful aspect of prayer.