Question: “Have you any special reason for never saying in class that all there is to matter is an illusion of the senses?”
Answer: But yes, I do have a very special reason. This isn’t a fact. Matter is an indestructible substance. Matter is as indestructible as God. And that’s what has confused metaphysicians. They have been taught that matter is unreal. Matter can’t be unreal, because you can’t destroy it. You can make it change forms, but you cannot destroy matter. If you reduce it to molecules, you’ll still get it down below that into atoms. And when you get it into atoms, you break it up, and then what do you have? Energy? You haven’t destroyed matter. You’ve made it change form. There is no way to destroy matter, for matter is indestructible. And the substance of matter is Mind. Matter is Mind appearing. Mind made visible is matter and to believe otherwise is to believe that which never could be true.
How did this belief come about that matter was an illusion? Only due to the fact, the same fact, that wrecked India. When it was discovered that the objects of sense are illusion, the Indians began to hate their bodies. They refused to save money. They refused to build businesses. What’s the use? It’s unreal, and when we die, it’ll all disappear. Well, you see, none of it died, none of it disappeared. They did but not it. The land still is there. The waterpower still is there. The electricity still is there. The sunshine is there. Everything single thing is there that they thought death was going to dissolve.
Gautama the Buddha had the original revelation that is recorded as to the illusory nature of that which we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. And on the basis of that he did miracle healing works and so did his early disciples. Later on, his students or their students misunderstood this word maya or illusion. And they thought that the illusion was out here and that this is illusion. No, the concept we entertain of this is illusion. This isn’t. This is so immortal that you can never destroy it. The water can change to steam, or it can change to ice, but it can’t be destroyed. And it weighs just as much in any form. This glass, this tumbler can be reduced to splinters, can be dissolved from our human sight, but it cannot be destroyed. You take it right back to the laboratory and prove that it has existence and that the existence has weight.
So it is that when metaphysics was first given to the world in the last century, the revelation was given that our senses testify erroneously. And instead of staying with that, we said, “oh no, it isn’t our senses. It’s this that’s the illusion.” How can an illusion be externalized? How can you get a ghost in your mind to walk this room? How can you get two times two is five to be externalized? How can you get sin, death and disease to externalize themselves, when they exist only in a disordered thought? And all healing is based on that. That sin, disease and death have no externalized reality. They exist only as illusory beliefs, concepts. Oh, but don’t go back and make the mistake of the Hindus and say that my body is unreal.
One time my Christian Science teacher sent me to New York to talk with Father Divine. Try to find out why it is that so many Christian Scientists were leaving the movement to follow Father Divine. What did he have that was doing this? And in the course of one of these talks, Father Divine said to me, “I wonder if you know that by now Christian Science should be one of the only two religions left on earth and a hundred years from now it should be the only one left.” “Well, that’s quite a recognition on your part.” “Yes certainly. All you have to do is change one thing in your teaching. Stop destroying your bodies. You go look at some of your people, if you want to see how they’re drying up. They come in here and they say, ‘I know the body’s unreal.’ And he said then I say to them, why don’t you jump out the window and get rid of it. Now, they don’t like that. They want this unreal body, but they want the unreal body to look pretty and feel pretty.”
Now, you see, matter isn’t unreal. Body isn’t unreal. This world isn’t unreal. It’s beautiful. It’s immortal. It’s eternal. It never will dissolve. But our concepts of this world will change. Our concepts of body will change. We will outgrow our infant body and have child’s bodies. We’ll outgrow those and have youth’s bodies, and we’ll outgrow those and have mature bodies. And we will outgrow those and have a more spiritual sense of body but never will we have a more spiritual body than we’ve got now. If this weren’t true, spiritual healing would be an impossibility, because how do you ever expect spiritual realization to give you a good material body? You’re saying, “Well, then God can give us a good illusion.” No, no, we entertain illusory concepts of matter and of body. God made all that was made. Don’t you believe that? God made all that was made, and all that He made is good. Well, maybe He didn’t make matter, but He made this body. And so instead of calling it matter, let’s call it Spirit. It’s still this body. A rose by any other name would be just as sweet. And this body that we have is an immortal body. It is an eternal body and the more spiritual our vision, the more spiritual our body becomes.
It is just in the same way as I’ve spoken here this week about prison experiences. When an ordinary minister goes into a prison, he usually finds a lot of bad men there. And his function is to reform them. And you know by the records what a poor job he’s doing. But when a metaphysician goes in, he absolutely sees no bad men there. Absolutely knows that what he beholds there is what he would behold in this room. God expressing Itself in infinite individuality. But just as all around this room there are people with physical, or mental, or moral, or financial lapses, so in there we find the same thing. But that’s nothing but their misconception of life that’s brought them to a prison, and another misconception of life brings you to a hospital, and another misconception of life brings you to a mental institute. Another mental misconception of life brings you to lack and limitation.