Saturday, May 28, 2005

Part IV: Evil explained

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII

So what else happened in that example in Part III? How did the true idea about God and myself eject the infection? This brings us to another element of the practice of Christian Science, and that is how to overcome evil. Evil takes many forms, as we know from our eyes and ears. There’s disease and sickness, there’s sinful or self-destructive practices, there’s death itself. All of these can be overcome with the true idea, those highest of metaphysical ideas, about God and His creation. And it gets back to the core idea that God is All.

God is All. Really think about that with me for a moment. Really stretch yourself mentally to comprehend a universe where God is All. A universe where those things that are God, such as Love, Truth, Life, are All. Where Spirit is All. What would be the characteristics of that universe? Everything in that universe would express God, because everything there is created by God, perfect God, perfect Love, wholly Spirit. There wouldn’t be space for anything else, since all would be filled by God.

So in this entirely spiritual universe, where does the material world reside? The world that we perceive with our five physical senses? How related to God’s universe is anything our five physical senses tell us? In fact, by definition, if our physical senses are telling us something, doesn’t it follow that that "something" must be also physical? The senses can’t tell us about things unlike themselves, can’t tell us about things of the Spirit.

The Bible tells us, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor 2:9,10). Christian Science maintains, through starting with perfect God as cause and perfect creation as effect, that the testimony of the physical senses is suspect, unreliable, and in fact, false. Science and Health tells us, “God is natural good, and is represented only by the idea of goodness; while evil should be regarded as unnatural, because it is opposed to the nature of Spirit, God.”

A big leap? Again, I can understand how you’d think that. But look at the example of my finger (in Part III). A small example perhaps, but a definite proof of what happens when you displace a false physical concept with a true spiritual one. In my thinking that evening as I prayed, I filled my thought with that ah-ha idea of my own purity. This new idea displaced the former testimony of the physical senses of an infected finger.

In effect, I changed my mind from believing in myself as infected to seeing myself as pure. This change, this transformation, occurred in thought, in that prayerful space of contemplation. This is the place where all healing takes place. And the absolute truth of the new idea supplanted the false view to the point that the false view didn’t even appear real to my physical senses anymore. It dissipated and was gone.

This isn’t just a matter of convincing yourself of one thing over another. This works because the absolute truths about God and reality are actually TRUE. They are the truth about reality. And whenever this truth breaks through in some form, we experience a transformation of the human condition so that it more closely aligns with spiritual reality.

Jesus did this, and Christian Science shows how. When he was curing the sick, redeeming the sinful, overcoming death itself, he was demonstrating that the truth of the universe, God and His laws, apply even in the human condition. He was proving that the human condition is malleable, subjective -- in fact, illusory. The same conviction enabled him to walk on water, to teleport entire boats across bodies of water, to walk through walls.

The Bible tells about all these things. The interesting thing is that the Bible does not ever claim that these things were particular to Jesus. Rather, Jesus is actually quoted as saying, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12). Okay, now, how could we do that unless what Jesus did was based on a Principle that we can apply in our own lives today?

So the thing that we’re fighting in bringing God’s creation into view is the false view, the illusion of the senses. Faith traditions and teachings have described this illusion of the senses in many many different ways. The Bible says “the carnal mind,” some folks say “Satan” or “the devil.” Others talk about the “yin” (darkness) as opposed to the “yang” (light). How you think of this illusion can really shape how you decide to combat it. But if you think of it as illusion, you get the mastery.

This is a concept that is especially particular to Christian Science -- that evil, in whatever form, is not real. This is because again, Christian Science starts from the facts of God’s allness and His perfection. These two facts about God can only lead to the logical conclusion that anything unlike God must not be a part of All, but must instead be illusory. This applies even to matter itself. Consider this from Science and Health: “Since God is All, there is no room for His unlikeness. God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good. Therefore evil, being contrary to good, is unreal, and cannot be the product of God.”

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII

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