A Colloquy | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

A Colloquy

From Unity of Good by

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1      IN Romans (ii. 15) we read the apostle’s description of

         mental processes wherein human thoughts are "the

3      mean while accusing or else excusing one another." If we

         observe our mental processes, we shall find that we are

         perpetually arguing with ourselves; yet each mortal is

6      not two personalities, but one.

         In like manner good and evil talk to one another; yet

         they are not two but one, for evil is naught, and good only

9      is reality.

         Evil. God hath said, "Ye shall eat of every tree of the

         garden." If you do not, your intellect will be circum-

12    scribed and the evidence of your personal senses be de-

         nied. This would antagonize individual consciousness

         and existence.

         15 Good. The Lord is God. With Him is no conscious-

         ness of evil, because there is nothing beside Him or

         outside of Him. Individual consciousness in man is

18    inseparable from good. There is no sensible matter, no

         sense in matter; but there is a spiritual sense, a sense of

         Spirit, and this is the only consciousness belonging to true

21    individuality, or a divine sense of being.

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1      Evil. Why is this so?

         Good. Because man is made after God’s eternal like-

3      ness, and this likeness consists in a sense of harmony and

         immortality, in which no evil can possibly dwell. You

         may eat of the fruit of Godlikeness, but as to the fruit of

6      ungodliness, which is opposed to Truth, — ye shall not

         touch it, lest ye die.

         Evil. But I would taste and know error for myself.

9      Good. Thou shalt not admit that error is something

         to know or be known, to eat or be eaten, to see or be seen,

         to feel or be felt. To admit the existence of error would

12    be to admit the truth of a lie.

         Evil. But there is something besides good. God

         knows that a knowledge of this something is essential to

15    happiness and life. A lie is as genuine as Truth, though

         not so legitimate a child of God. Whatever exists must

         come from God, and be important to our knowledge.

18    Error, even, is His offspring.

         Good. Whatever cometh not from the eternal Spirit,

         has its origin in the physical senses and material brains,

21    called human intellect and will-power, — alias intelligent


         In Shakespeare’s tragedy of King Lear, it was the

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1      traitorous and cruel treatment received by old Gloster

         from his bastard son Edmund which makes true the lines:

3      The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices

         Make instruments to scourge us.

         His lawful son, Edgar, was to his father ever loyal. Now

6      God has no bastards to turn again and rend their Maker.

         The divine children are born of law and order, and Truth

         knows only such.

9      How well the Shakespearean tale agrees with the word

         of Scripture, in Hebrews xii. 7, 8: "If ye endure chasten-

         ing, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is

12    he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be with-

         out chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye

         bastards, and not sons."

15    The doubtful or spurious evidence of the senses is not

         to be admitted, — especially when they testify concern-

         ing Spirit, whereof they are confessedly incompetent to

18    speak.

         Evil. But mortal mind and sin really exist!

         Good. How can they exist, unless God has created

21    them? And how can He create anything so wholly unlike

         Himself and foreign to His nature? An evil material mind,

         so-called, can conceive of God only as like itself, and

24    knowing both evil and good; but a purely good and

         spiritual consciousness has no sense whereby to cognize

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1      evil. Mortal mind is the opposite of immortal Mind, and

         sin the opposite of goodness. I am the infinite All. From

3      me proceedeth all Mind, all consciousness, all individu-

         ality, all being. My Mind is divine good, and cannot

         drift into evil. To believe in minds many is to depart

6      from the supreme sense of harmony. Your assumptions

         insist that there is more than the one Mind, more than the

         one God; but verily I say unto you, God is All-in-all;

9      and you can never be outside of His oneness.

         Evil. I am a finite consciousness, a material individu-

         ality, — a mind in matter, which is both evil and good.

12    Good. All consciousness is Mind; and Mind is God, —

         an infinite, and not a finite consciousness. This conscious-

         ness is reflected in individual consciousness, or man, whose

15    source is infinite Mind. There is no really finite mind, no

         finite consciousness. There is no material substance, for

         Spirit is all that endureth, and hence is the only substance.

18    There is, can be, no evil mind, because Mind is God.

         God and His ideas — that is, God and the universe —

         constitute all that exists. Man, as God’s offspring, must

21    be spiritual, perfect, eternal.

         Evil. I am something separate from good or God. I

         am substance. My mind is more than matter. In my

24    mortal mind, matter becomes conscious, and is able to see,

         taste, hear, feel, smell. Whatever matter thus affirms is

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1      mainly correct. If you, O good, deny this, then I deny

         your truthfulness. If you say that matter is unconscious,

3      you stultify my intellect, insult my conscience, and dispute

         self-evident facts; for nothing can be clearer than the

         testimony of the five senses.

6      Good. Spirit is the only substance. Spirit is God, and

         God is good; hence good is the only substance, the only

         Mind. Mind is not, cannot be, in matter. It sees, hears,

9      feels, tastes, smells as Mind, and not as matter. Matter

         cannot talk; and hence, whatever it appears to say of

         itself is a lie. This lie, that Mind can be in matter, —

12    claiming to be something beside God, denying Truth and

         its demonstration in Christian Science, — this lie I declare

         an illusion. This denial enlarges the human intellect by

15    removing its evidence from sense to Soul, and from finite-

         ness into infinity. It honors conscious human individu-

         ality by showing God as its source.

18    Evil. I am a creator, — but upon a material, not a

         spiritual basis. I give life, and I can destroy life.

         Good. Evil is not a creator. God, good, is the only

21    creator. Evil is not conscious or conscientious Mind; it

         is not individual, not actual. Evil is not spiritual, and

         therefore has no groundwork in Life, whose only source

24    is Spirit. The elements which belong to the eternal All, —

         Life, Truth, Love, — evil can never take away.

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1      Evil. I am intelligent matter; and matter is egoistic,

         having its own innate selfhood and the capacity to evolve

3      mind. God is in matter, and matter reproduces God.

         From Him come my forms, near or remote. This is my

         honor, that God is my author, authority, governor, dis-

6      poser. I am proud to be in His outstretched hands, and

         I shirk all responsibility for myself as evil, and for my

         varying manifestations.

9      Good. You mistake, O evil! God is not your authority

         and law. Neither is He the author of the material changes,

         the phantasma, a belief in which leads to such teaching

12    as we find in the hymn-verse so often sung in church: —

         Chance and change are busy ever,

         Man decays and ages move;

15    But His mercy waneth never, —

         God is wisdom, God is love.

         Now if it be true that God’s power never waneth, how

18    can it be also true that chance and change are universal

         factors, — that man decays? Many ordinary Christians

         protest against this stanza of Bowring’s, and its sentiment

21    is foreign to Christian Science. If God be changeless good-

         ness, as sings another line of this hymn, what place has

         chance in the divine economy? Nay, there is in God

24    naught fantastic. All is real, all is serious. The phan-

         tasmagoria is a product of human dreams.

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