From Addresses by Martha Wilcox
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Association Notes 1936
Mrs. Eddy says (S&H 330, marginal reading), “Evil is obsolete,” meaning that evil is no longer to be in use.
Christian Science gives overwhelming proof that there is one Mind and this Mind is infinite Good, and to a Mind that is infinite Good, there can be no evil, no opposite of Good.
Because of the progress of Christian Science, many theories which seemed to be true in the past, are now obsolete, and so it is with the theory that evil and sin have reality and identity.
A short time ago all ministers and Christian people held evil as the point of attention, and the more pronounced they made evil, the better Christians they were supposed to be. Today this theory, that evil is real, is obsolete, and now the point of attention is that infinite Good is All.
There has never been a moment when evil was real and there never will be such a moment. Many Christian Scientists demand an explanation of evil, where it comes from and why it seems to be. One cannot explain where 2 x 2 equals 5 comes from. One can only explain something which is true. Evil can be overcome and there is no other explanation of evil than the overcoming of it. We must know something of the science of mathematics before we are sure that a mistake is a mistake. We might know that
2 x 2 equals 5 in our mathematical problem, but all the while it is a mistake, nothing.
We as Christian Scientists are to reject evil. We are to refuse to accept the temptation to believe in any form of evil whether sin, disease, worry, lack, or any other form. A Christian Scientist must be a Christian Scientist all the time. As in any other science, we use the truth continuously, not just occasionally.
In educating a student in Christian Science, the first thing we do is to help him to comprehend that evil is not a thing or condition, but a belief. And we help him to see the Truth about what he is believing. Our next step is to help him to comprehend that belief is always mesmeric. By this we mean that the belief of so-called mortal mind is that it sees and feels its own formations of evil and binds itself with them, thus becoming mesmerized. We help him to see that Mind is God and that it is impossible for Mind to see or feel evil.
Then there is the belief of what is called thought transference. A belief that if one person is seeing and feeling evil, soon everyone around him seems to be seeing and feeling that same evil. We must help the student to comprehend that everyone’s thought and feelings have their source in the One Mind and that no one sees or feels evil.
There is no more contention going on between God and evil than there is between the understanding that 2 x 2 equals 4 and the belief that 2 x 2 equals 5. Understanding excludes the belief of evil as real, or at all. Evil does not exist as belief or at all.
Evil Has Neither Reality Nor Identity
I recommend the use of the Concordance for one’s study of this subject.
In Bicknell Young’s last association, he gave much time to this subject. “Identity” was the theme for the day.
Students are quite willing to say that evil is unreal but they are very apt to make that which identifies evil, a reality. They are very apt to continue the identity in consciousness and try to heal it, instead of replacing it with its reality.
The word identity means absolute sameness. That is, a person and his identity are absolutely indistinguishable. In Christian Science the word “identity” refers to that which identifies God or Mind. It refers to that which makes God or Mind evident to our sight or understanding. The identity of God or Mind is identified by His seen creation, the universe and man. They are identical. God or Mind is indistinguishable from the universe and man. They are cause and effect, one Being. We should understand that all forms of life that we see as creation, identify the universal “I Am.” As we look at the grass and the flowers, the sky and the birds, we realize that all these forms of life identify the great “I Am.” These are the same as God or Mind. They are the effect of the one and only cause.
In my relationship to God or Mind, am not I, as man or compound idea, His complete identity? Am not I all identities, the full expression of Mind? The form of life may be named a bird, but there am I as that form, as life, as joy, as song and beauty. Man is all that identifies Mind. The form may be called man, but there am I forever the conscious identity of God or Mind expressed as power, and love and truth and perfection. God or Mind exhibits Himself or identifies Himself as man, in sight, hearing, knowing, feeling, in all forms, colors, beauties and loveliness. God or Mind identifies Himself as health and strength and power and capacity and peace and satisfaction and all that He is. That life which is seen in bird, beast, or man is not a personal, separate life, but identifies the divine Life, seen in eternal continuity in nature. The compound idea man or earth is the identity of Heaven. Heaven and earth are identical, one and the same thing. And also our highest sense of concrete human good is the identity of Reality. Human good and reality are identical, one and the same thing.
Let us cease separating earth from Heaven, and know that we find Heaven as we recognize it here as earth. Let us cease separating our human good from reality, and know that we find reality as we recognize it here as human good. It takes an understanding of the science of Mind and its character as omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence to enable us to see that evil has neither reality nor identity. It takes understanding to unsee the belief of a “supposed opposite” or so-called mortal mind and its supposed identities.
All supposed identities as evils are not, because they are not of God, the only Mind. Evil and its identity is one and the same thing, absolutely nothing.
Suppose a man comes to me with a claim of pneumonia. How prone am I to believe there is present a mortal mind, and to give this mind an identity as mortal man with pneumonia, and make this supposed man a medium for sickness or health, life or death, something to be healed or restored. What I should know is that right in the very place where this mortal man seems to stand is the only Mind and His full identity or reflection, man, eternally perfect in life and health and all the identities of Good.
In the case of this man with the pneumonia, suppose the members of the family are much concerned and seem to be making a great reality of what seems to be going on. All this, too, must be seen as evil and this seeming “evil should be denied identity or power.” (S&H 479:28)
In treating against malpractice, the Christian Scientist, himself, must rise into the conscious understanding that all power and action is the Power and Action of the one infinite Mind and is never man or person.
Once when someone spoke of malpractitioners as vindictive, Mr. Kimball answered, “Well, they are only thinking that they think, but we can think, and we think by reflection.”
In denying malpractice, we must understand that that which denies Truth, is not from ourselves personally nor from some other person, but we must see that what denies the Truth is a lie or mortal mind. All mental malpractice is mortal mind arrayed against the Truth or our own right Mind, and is never a person or a lot of persons arrayed against us.
Whenever the opposite of Truth suggests itself to you in your thinking, do not think of these suggestions as something that must be put out, but think of them as never having come into consciousness because impossible to Mind. See that these suggestions which deny Truth are nothing, because conscious Mind could not evolve them as something. Never think of them as something that actually opposes Truth or contends against Truth.
Knowing that there is but one body is sufficient to break the claim of sickness caused by the belief of malpractice, because malpractice cannot act where there is no belief of a material, private body. A real Christian Science treatment is necessarily an adequate denial of error or malpractice. Omnipresence, in the measure that it is attained through understanding, necessarily involves the human being in the rejection of everything unlike Omnipresence.
A Christian Scientist finds that the greatest obstacle to spiritual progress is his own mistaken sense of himself, a personal sense, instead of an individual sense of himself. Christian Science teaches us to lose, in so far as possible, the personal sense of anyone, thereby removing much which might cause unwise adoration on the one hand or resentment or hate on the other. Man, instead of being a person or one of a series, is like God, and God being individual, man must be the individualized manifestation of God. And because man or manifestation shows forth consciously all the qualities and characteristics that God is, it makes man the conscious identity of God.
Understanding God as individual and man as an individualized idea, takes away the false sense of God as a person, and also the false sense that we as individuals are personal. (My. 117:19)
Personality is a lie about individual man. Personality is man as he appears to the physical senses, but impersonality or individuality is man as he is.
An understanding of individuality and identity are of the greatest benefit to the student. If the One Being is all being, and there is no personality, this automatically discharges the deceptions called disease, fear, lack, loss, hate and grief.
Our vision should be the vision of the one Being. Then we would see only a great family of brethren, each the same Life, the same Substance, the same Being. We need to practice this vision and live this understanding.
Mrs. Eddy in teaching her class in the Metaphysical College once said, “If you dwell in thought upon any person it will hinder you from overcoming personality in your healing and casting out sin.” She said further, “There is no personality and this is more important to know than that there is no disease. Drop it, and remember that you can never rid yourself of the seeming effects of a personality while holding that personality in thought. The way to put it out, get it wholly out of mind and keep before you the right model.” We know that to have the right model is to have man as individual, not personal.
The fictitious and supposititious mind called mortal mind outlines itself in belief, as a material personality with laws, forms, conditions, circumstances, events, all the phenomena that are embraced in what is called “personal existence.” This belief comes to us for us to accept it as our own thought. And it seems to us that it is we, ourselves, saying and thinking, and being all the phenomena that constitute material existence or personality. If we accept this belief as our own thought, then mortal mind is using us and we are its personality and its activity. All of this comes to us for a name, for a witness, for action and power, and if we accept it we give it all the life or power it has. Let us keep all evil as lie, as mortal mind, then we will not be a witness for evil as a personality. If we give evil all the life it has by attaching it to things and to persons, then how are we to deal with what seems to be a wicked, unkind, unscrupulous person?
The thing to do is to look through the evil appearance and see it as a claim, not as a fact. We should understand that what appears to be a wicked person is mortal mind’s inverted picture of man, in us. The man of whom there is this false picture is the divine man. And we are to love this divine man because he is what he is, no matter what the false picture makes him out to be. There is no other way of meeting the claim that man is a wicked person. The divine fact is that each one of us right now, is the divine Mind manifested, and this Mind cannot be handled to accept any false pictures. It cannot be darkened or deceived.
Each one of us exists in God or Life, as life, itself. Each one exists in Love as love, itself. Each one is the ever presence and full expression of divine Mind. Therefore, each one of us always has been, and is now, a living, conscious, harmonious existence, completely and forever conscious of our own true, individual self-hood. We, never for a moment, have been other than perfect existence. There has never been a relapse from perfect existence and there will never have to be a “return” to it.
There is great need for the impersonalization of both good and evil. We must transfer the source and cause of Good from personality, where it is supposed to be, to Mind or God, where it now is and always has been.
To impersonalize evil, we must transfer the source and cause of all evil from things and persons, to mortal mind, which is the seeming source and cause of all evil.
When we seem to experience some form of evil, we may think this evil has its source in the weather, in food, or in an automobile, or in some person, but this is not true because all experiences of evil have their seeming source in mortal mind. So-called mortal mind is always the culprit, and evil once reduced to mortal mind can be proved to be nothing. When we detach the source and cause of evil from things and persons, and keep evil as negation, as mortal mind, or lie, then evil does not have a foot to stand on, and fades out of consciousness, having neither power nor place nor existence.
There is a very prevalent belief among Christian Scientists that there is an active, directed opposition to their individual efforts to demonstrate Truth. A Christian Scientist often expresses the belief that some member of his family or some member of the Church or some member of a business, has an opposing thought that is preventing him from making a greatly desired demonstration. The truth about it is, that a Christian Scientist cannot see or feel opposition to his endeavors, except he first believes in personalities or in minds many. One always sees and feels what he believes, or else he experiences what he understands in Truth. If all men think by reflection, there can be only the one-mindedness of all men. As we individually understand ourselves to be in Truth, so should we understand all mankind to be.
Since to each one of us, the only consciousness in the universe is our own, and we see and feel only the contents and qualities of our own consciousness, it is evident that if we see and feel opposition, it is mortal mind’s opposition to others that we feel, rather than their opposition to us.
Whenever we attribute our failure in making our demonstrations to the opposing thought of others, we are attributing to others our own erroneous sense. The trouble is really within ourselves.
When one begins to see as God sees, he begins to look upon another as being himself. Each individual includes all men.
Our consciousness is the Kingdom of Heaven within us, and includes all men as the expression of the one Mind. If there is only one Mind, and all men have the same Mind by reflection, then there can be no opposing thought. Each student should realize the mighty power of his own thought reflected from God and from no other source. We, as students of Christian Science, are demonstrating the scientific Truth of the omnipotence of God, and we should never allow any fear of any opposition to enter our thought. If we let in fear of some opposition, we mesmerize ourselves in the name of a supposed foe. Then we feel the effects of our own fear and unbelief in the supremacy of God. To know that there is one Power, and this the power of God, should be an ever present fact to us. The only carnal sense we have to overcome is our own. We never need to be troubled with the sense of some external power.
We must strive to know that all mankind is spiritual and to know the one-mindedness of all mankind, then there can be no suggestion of opposition from others. We should be “one with God,” Truth, not one with the world or our own mortal thoughts. As we rise superior to the belief that mortal thought can influence us or hinder our progress or demonstrations, a mighty transfiguration begins to take place in our own lives.