Excerpt from 1956 First Steinway Hall Practitioner Class -
Above and Beyond Thought or Thing - 1
Master #142 - Tape 3 - Side 1
The nature of error in our writings makes it possible to understand the all-ness of God whereas, studying the all-ness of God would never enable us to get through error.
Let me illustrate that for you. I don't know of a single religion in all of the world that does not acknowledge that God is the only power. Every religion does that and because of that they have to acknowledge that God calls home his beloved ones, sometimes when they are only two, five, ten, or fifteen years of age. God gets weary sometimes or lonesome up there and he sends for his innocent little children to keep him company. You've heard ministers tell you at funerals, "This is the will of God. God is calling his loved ones home." You have seen people in terrible afflictions and heard that this is the will of God. The will of God is inscrutable. We can't see why this is, but God knows it's for our good. God is the cause of these violent acts: storms at sea, hurricanes, volcanoes. That's why insurance companies don't have to pay off on them. They are acts of God. Now, how does the church say that God is the only power in the face of all these things? By acknowledging that God is responsible for them. In that sense then, if you judge by appearances, you must acknowledge that there are sick people, sinful people, or dying people. You must acknowledge that there are accidents, that there are all kinds of natural disasters and man-made disasters and behind all of this you must acknowledge God if God is the only power. Now, there is no other way out of that dilemma. That is the way the church has taken it. God is the only power; therefore, God is calling his dearly beloved home.
Now, scripture very plainly states that death is an enemy. True, it is such a strong enemy that it is the last one to be overcome, but death is an enemy according to scripture. And not only that, the Master, Christ Jesus, declares that his mission on earth, the spiritual mission, is to heal the sick and raise the dead, to open the eyes of the blind, to open the ears of the deaf, and yet we are told that blindness and deafness and sickness and death is the will of God, but Jesus came to destroy the will of God, to overcome the will of God. Nonsense, isn't it. But, it is a dilemma from which there is no escape if you judge by appearances.
There have been spiritually illumined people on earth who have seen that there is no death and some who have even seen that there is no birth. There are some who have seen that there is no disease on earth, no reality to any of these negative appearances. In the beginning Gautama, the Buddha, founded his entire revelation not on what God is, but what error isn't. The revelation that came to him under that bodhi tree was, all of these appearances are illusion, are not reality, are not taking place in time or space, they are taking place only in a universal mortal concept. Jesus saw that vision because he looked right at Pilate and said, "Thou couldst have no power" although all appearances testified to the fact that he was the ruler of the land and had all power. Jesus was able to look at disease and say, "What did hinder you? Rise. Pick up thy bed and walk." He was able to look at sin and say, "Neither do I condemn thee." I don't think that Jesus condoned sin. He recognized that sin, as sin, doesn't exist.
Very little of that principle came to light in the following years, although there have been some wonderful mystics on earth, men who have attained conscious realization of God, conscious oneness with God, conscious union with God, and yet in their revelation, in their conscious oneness with God, they did not perceive that accusing God of these errors was making God responsible for them and making them real and so we have very little on the subject until the original Science and Health . In the original Science and Health it is made clear again, for the first time in centuries, that God is the only power and that these appearances of discord do not have reality. In one place Mrs. Eddy summed up all of these discords, lumped them together under the term mortal mind and said that mortal mind wasn't a thing. It was a term denoting nothingness. Some of her early students, and I happen to know one or two of them in Boston, were marvelous healers, without any great knowledge of religion or of Christian Science. But, they were great healers by virtue of the fact that they had caught that one point, and whenever troubles were brought to them they could smile and say, "Mortal mind, meaning nothingness." They could turn away from it without reacting to it, without fearing it, without protecting themselves from it, just by that perception that whatever it is that appears in the nature of an evil person or condition can be lumped under that one term, mortal mind, and then the word mortal mind torn up by calling it a term, not a condition, not a person, not a thing, but a term denoting nothingness.
Now, just as this teaching was lost after the generation of Gautama Buddha, so has it been probably half lost in Christian Science. There are still some who catch that point of Christian Science, but not too many. In the days of Buddha the error was this, that those not close to the original master, Gautama, took the word illusion and externalized it. They said sin, disease and death is an illusion, but now we have something to get rid of. Oh yes, it's not measles or mumps. It's an illusion, but now let us get rid of the illusion. Whereas originally the meaning was, yes it's measles or mumps, but it is an illusion, which means it's a mental image of nothingness. An illusion in thought, a mental image, has no substance, has no reality. It is merely an unfounded belief about something, a rumor. But, the Hindus from then until now call illusion, or maya, this world, and then they disregard it and either try to get rid of it by dying out of it or ignoring it. Well, India is not a good example of a true faith continued. But, Christian Scientists, many of them, made the same mistake. They got out of the habit of saying I have a cold, or flu or grip so, they would call and say," I have an illusion. Will you help me get rid of it?" Or, they would call and say, "Will you protect me or give me protective work from the illusion? Will you do protective work for me?" Why, a practitioner could be so busy in Boston on Wednesdays and Sundays that he would have nothing to do but sit all day and night and do protective work because of the enemy.
Now, all of this goes back to human, innate nature which really has two powers (the power of good and the power of evil, called the power of God and the power of Satan, or in philosophy good and evil, or in metaphysics the immortal and the mortal, always a pair of opposites) instead of seeing one as all and the other as a nothingness, an illusion, a maya, a false sense of something, an ignorance of something.