In contrast to the perfect peace and rest which is characteristic of the “I Am” presence within us, the carnal mind— aka the egoic mind —is constantly lost in thought and in time; scheming and calculating; looking to redeem the past and secure the future; seeking to complete itself though some anticipated but perpetually elusive set of circumstances or turn of events. This brings to mind the foolish man who built his house upon the sand:
“And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” (Matthew 7:26-27).
It is worth noting that those whose lives are dominated by the carnal mind are not necessarily voluptuaries, incessantly pursuing their favorite avenues of sensual indulgence—quite the contrary! They may, in fact, be very religious and may succeed, after a fashion, at making clean the outside of the cup, but like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, they are like whitewashed tombs which, within, are full of the bones of the dead and all kinds of filth (Matthew 23:25-28).
In the final analysis, then, those actions which are initiated or pursued solely from the standpoint of the carnal mind— whether putatively “sinful” or apparently “holy” —can be reduced to “self-will.” Uninformed by the mind of Christ, such actions can only serve to perpetuate our alienation from the Garden of God and the tree of life (if we have yet to recognize the image of God in us) OR to slow our spiritual growth or sanctification (if we are already aware of His living presence in our lives). Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John14:27).