The Unreality of Evil

The jargon of the schools has been a term of contempt with the true thinker for many centuries. It seems as if it were almost impossible to invent a scientific terminology which should not be subject to abuse by those who have not grasped its real significance. This is noticeable amongst those who chatter about Christian Science, just as they chatter of natural science; who talk of demonstration as if it meant getting something a person materially desired, and who seem to think that sickness is abolished by describing it as a claim. On page 54 of "Unity of Good," Mrs. Eddy warns her students specifically against such abuse of language. "To say there is a false claim," she says there, "called sickness, is to admit all there is of sickness; for it is nothing but a false claim. to be healed, one must lose sight of a false claim." And again, a little lower on the same page: "As with sickness, so is it with sin. To admit that sin has any claim whatever, just or unjust, is to admit a dangerous fact."

Mrs. Eddy uses the word claim to signify something which claims to be a fact but is not, but when the word claim is simply substituted for sickness or sin, without the metaphysical insight which deprives it of any sense of actuality, it becomes, as she says, a dangerous admission. No doubt if a man's health, or his business, or any of those activities in which he is legitimately engaged, seem to suffer in any way, the claim is obviously being asserted by evil of its power to injure him or them. In such a case, then, it is his duty immediately to realize the truth of the situation, to prove the claim an illegitimate one, and so to destroy it. Such a claim can, of course, only be made illegitimately, for Truth makes no claim, but asserts itself as a fact. Now the way this claim of sickness is thrust upon the human consciousness is always through malicious mental suggestion, as no suggestion of evil could possibly come from divine Mind, which is conscious of nothing but good. If, consequently, such a claim, or such a suggestion, lodges in the human consciousness, it is because the individual has not protected himself against the belief that evil exists as a reality and a power. Mrs. Eddy clearly foresaw that there would be those who would neglect this protection, and so, in Article VIII, Section 6, of the Church Manual she wrote: "It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion, and not be made to forget nor to neglect his duty to God, to his Leader, and to mankind. By his works he shall be judged,—and justified or condemned."

The final words of this adjuration contain a tremendous warning to the student who neglects them. In settling his account with Principle it will be quite futile for him to plead that he was led by others into a wrong course, or that he was induced by his faith in those he considered better able to judge than himself into doing something not in accordance with Principle. The mere fact that he has listened to the suggestion of evil, no matter what human excuses he may be able to argue for his own satisfaction, Mrs. Eddy makes it quite clear, will be of no avail. He is to be judged, not by his excuses but by his works, and to be justified or condemned by them.

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Going Forward
June 5, 1920

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