1953 First New York Closed Class
53A – Questions and Answers
Q: Some metaphysical studies teach that certain organized religions create so powerful a suggestion of enmity toward the metaphysician that he must do certain protective work against it. There seems to be no place in The Infinite Way for this fear or need of protection. Is this correct?
A:In The Infinite Way there is only one protective work, and that is the realization of God as individual being, and the understanding that anything appearing contrary to the nature of God is appearance, suggestion, temptation, and is not evil. That is the answer. There is no such thing in all this world as an evil power. Nowhere did God create evil. The nature of God is fulfillment; the nature of God is good. God being infinite nothing could emanate from God but good, so there is no evil power. Now the only evil that can come into our experience is our acceptance of a world belief.
All right, there is a world belief that sitting in a draft will give you a cold, and so you can catch cold as long as that belief remains uncorrected, undiscovered in your thought. There is a world belief that there are certain germs carrying infectious or contagious diseases, and you may be assured of this: that, to the thought that can accept that, it is true, and so we do have infectious and contagious diseases. But do the infectious or contagious affect the metaphysician who has learned that God is the substance of all form, that God is the principle of all existence, that God is the only law, cause, or substance or reality or activity? No. As a matter of fact, the metaphysician heals infectious and contagious diseases. He doesn’t become a victim of them. He heals them. How? In only one way: knowing the truth.
Now then, if knowing the truth will stop infection and contagion—is there such a thing as infection and contagion? No, no, but we can be affected by infection and contagion in proportion to our acceptance of germs as destructive, just as we can be bitten by venomous snakes or hurt by wild beasts as long as we can accept a destructive force in snakes, reptiles, or wild beasts. What happens though, the moment that you realize the nature of God as individual being, then you come in contact with the snake of God’s creating, and you will find there is no destruction in it. And you come in contact with the lion of God’s creating, and you’ll find the lamb does lie down with the lion. Why not? Why not? What’s wrong with a lion? God created the lion. We may not have attained the state of consciousness that would enable us to step into the den of lions at this moment, but we have that state of consciousness that if we were thrown in, there isn’t anyone in this room that would be harmed by it—no one—because in that moment the realization would come: God is. Maybe you wouldn’t even have to think of two words, you just think of “Is,” and you may not think of that one, you may think of “God” because you’re more familiar with it. But whether you thought “God” or whether you thought “Is,” either one would bring the lion to you to play with. Oh, there is no question about that—no question about that. We have too many books on the subject, and I personally had the pleasure of seeing a moving picture of one of our famous hunters hunting and taking moving pictures of the lion, and the whole family of them, the young, so close to them that he was standing on the guard there on the front of a Ford car taking a photograph of them. That’s how close he was to them while they were feeding right with their young, and they never bothered him. Occasionally, they looked right up at him and into the camera, but they never bothered him. He had no revolver with him. He had no rifle with him. He had learned within his own being of the true nature of God as individual being, even appearing as a lion.
Now then, we have too many testimonies of holdups, burglaries, one thing and another, where the individual realized the presence of God and found no harm. And so it is, everyone has had this experience. You can only be destroyed by that which you fear. The thing you fear usually comes upon you.
Now, here we come to one of the mistakes of early metaphysics. In the early days of metaphysics, it was thought that the human mind had power, that the human mind that could do good could also do evil. It was believed that the human mind could injure one another. In other words, just like God was given the wrong sense of power in the Bible, so the human mind was given the wrong sense of power in early metaphysics. And so began this thing of protective work against the thoughts of others. Now if you want to know just how nonsensical it is in truth, remember that this protective work from others’ thoughts began by protecting oneself from the thoughts of only one religious organization. But now let’s see what happens. At the present time we find these same people protecting themselves from Roman Catholics, from Jews, from Orientals, and even from members of their own church who’ve been excommunicated or who aren’t authorized.
Now then the question comes who do we not protect ourselves from? Not even our friends because if you didn’t go through with the right teacher, you have to be protected from them also. Now let us see where this begins and where this ends. The human mind, as such, must either be a power for good or evil or it must not be a power for good or evil. And if it is a power for evil, it cannot be a power for evil just through one race or religion or creed of people. It must just be a destructive force, period, and you must protect yourself from it.
The secret of all is this: The human mind is not power. The human mind is an avenue of awareness. Through the human mind, I can know that two times two are four, but with the human mind I cannot make it so, nor can I prevent it being so. With the human mind I can know that apples will come from an apple tree, peaches from a peach tree, but my knowing that will not make it so. And no amount of mental effort will prevent it being so. Never believe for a moment that by thinking you can make it so, or by thinking you can prevent its being so. You cannot heal a person with all the good thoughts that you can have from now until dooms day, and you cannot harm them with all the wrong thoughts that you could have from now until dooms day. The healing power is not in your good thoughts. If it were, can you ever imagine a parent losing a child? Can you imagine a child losing a parent? Why no, we’d all be going around thinking good thoughts for each other, and we’d all preserve ourselves here. Fantastic, fantastic! Why? You don’t think for a minute that Mrs. Eddy ever would have been sick if good thoughts could have prevented it. Why, there are more people on earth that owe a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Eddy than you will ever be able to count up, and I’m sure that they all had good thoughts of love and gratitude for her. Nothing could have ever happened to her, if our good thoughts could have saved her. What are you talking about? There are too many millions of people on earth with a debt of gratitude to her and to Mrs. Fillmore and to Mr. Fillmore, too. You don’t think that Mrs. Fillmore of Unity ever could have passed on if human good thoughts could have save her. Why, there are so many hundreds of thousands of people that owe their lives, their health, their supply to Mrs. Fillmore, just as they do to Mrs. Eddy, that the love in their hearts would have kept them here forever in good health and with millions of dollars. But, sadly enough, our good thoughts cannot do that for each other. There is one thing and only one way in which we can help each other, and that is in the degree of spiritual consciousness that we attain—if it were a matter of good thoughts, my heavens!
I would only like to call your attention to the national elections of 1932, 36, 40 and 44 and show you all the good thoughts that were on the Republican side. My, oh my, people from Maine to California were sitting up day and night doing mental work, and they didn’t even come near winning. No! Human thoughts aren’t power for good, and human thoughts aren’t power for evil. No one can think that you’re a bad person and make you so. No one can think that you’re a thief and make you so. No one can think that you’re immoral and make you so. They can only suffer from their wrong opinion of you, but they can’t make you so. They can gossip. They can slander.
That’s where Shakespeare made one of his mistakes. Remember it? “He who steals my purse steals trash, but he who filches from me my good name, robs me of that which not enriches him but makes me poor indeed.” He was all wrong—all wrong. You go and take my good name away from me and it won’t bother me one bit. My character will still be whatever it is no matter what you do with my name, and nothing you can do to my name will change me. They tried it with Jesus. They tried it with—Oh! what’s the use of talking about how many they have tried to wreck their names and reputations and what happened? Even newspapers here in our modern times, you only have to remember what they did to Herbert Hoover and to Lindbergh. And where is Herbert Hoover and Lindbergh—on top of the heap. They didn’t make them “poor indeed.” They took their name away; they took their reputation away. They wrecked them. You would think that those two men were responsible for the fall of man. And what happened? They are among our most respected citizens today.
Don’t ever believe for a minute that human wrong thinking is power. It isn’t. There is a claim of it, and you can come under it the same as you can come under a claim of catching cold from sitting in a draft. There is a claim of it, and you can come under it the same as you can come under infectious and contagious diseases. It becomes necessary for you consciously to know the truth, the truth that will make you free.
You see, I’ll show you an instance of where the human mind claims power in advertising and propaganda. The moment they throw out that mass suggestion, the first thing you know, you find yourself buying this kind of thing or that kind of thing, and probably not because of your own original thought about it. In the same way you can be mesmerized into actions that ordinarily you wouldn’t support, but for this… but it isn’t necessary. It is only that power through universal belief. You can free yourself of that by knowing that, I do not react to external influences. I react only to divine impulsion. Nothing from without can act upon me whether theory, belief, or law. Only God can act upon me, in me, through me, as me. Only God is power.
There we come back to idolatry. To believe that the human mind has power is idolatry. Isn’t that a belief in a power apart from God? And so, just that one word “idolatry” should end the belief that sitting in a draft can give you a cold, that germs can give you disease, or that the human mind can influence you for good or evil. Just think of the word “idolatry” and know that if it exists as an effect, it isn’t a power upon you. Only God is a power upon you.