Who Am I?

Phrenology makes man knavish or honest according to the development of the cranium; but anatomy, physiology, phrenology, do not define the image of God, the real immortal man. 

– Mary Baker Eddy

Years ago a professional astrologer who found me “an interesting case” asked if she could do an astrological chart on me free of charge. When she reported back to me with her findings, she was sort of shaking her head and looking a little flummoxed. I guess I was not at all what the astrological chart indicated I should be (according to the chart I should have been like a computer – unemotional, unsentimental, incredibly brilliant – which… well, I’m sure my chart was right about the last bit there ūüôā ). ¬†She knew I was a Christian Scientist and mused aloud, “Maybe it’s the Christian Science.”

Whenever I take personality tests, I always end up coming out of them sort of evenly spread out over everything. I’m some of this. I’m some of that. I may be one thing on one day, and another thing on the next. I’ve been INTJ and ENFP. I’ve been labeled an “explorer” and a “counselor”, been told I was serene and calm, energetic and passionate, bookish, physically active, out-going, introspective, solitary, friendly. creative, analytical, timid, and brave.

I don’t take any of that too seriously.

Like probably everyone else, I’ve sometimes found myself asking, “Who am I?” I’ve wondered about my identity and individuality and purpose. I’ve wondered what makes me unique and what makes me special – things probably most of us have thought about now and then.¬†And, for me,¬†the answers to those wonderings and questions have come to me through my study of Christian Science.

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy gives this response to the question “What is man?” : “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of ¬†God, including all right ideas; the generic term for ¬†all that reflects God’s image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is ¬†the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his ¬†own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.”

For a while I wondered (and worried) if being the expression of God, with all of God’s other expressions, meant that I was just like everyone else – that maybe we were like The Borg in the Star Trek series – with no individuality or uniqueness of our own. I mean, wouldn’t we all be beautiful and smart and talented in the exact same way, if we were expressions of one Mind? But at some point I realized that Mind has infinite expressions, infinite manifestations, and that all of Her creation is the reflection of that infinity. Eddy writes, “Through spiritual sense you can discern the heart of divinity, and thus begin to comprehend in Science the generic term man. Man is not absorbed in Deity, and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance.”

Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free, not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brainology to learn how much of a man he is.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Absorbed in material selfhood we discern and reflect but faintly the substance of Life or Mind. The denial of material selfhood aids the discernment of man’s spiritual and eternal individuality…
– Mary Baker Eddy

Personality is not the individuality of man. A wicked man may have an attractive personality.
– Mary Baker Eddy

        Material personality is not realism; it is not the reflection or likeness of Spirit, the perfect God.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Personality chart