And then, in that very same class in Chicago on this very trip came the second part. I’m answering now the question on those two parts and adding to it the third one, which was really the first one that came in Melbourne, Australia. And, the third one was the answer to the question that every metaphysician has asked himself a thousand times. Where did mortal mind come from? Where did error come from? Where did a belief come from? Where did these appearances come from? You say error isn’t real. That it’s only an appearance, or a suggestion, or it’s mortal mind, or a false concept. But, where did it come from? And, on that very platform in that class in Chicago, the answer came. All error comes from accepting a belief in good and evil; and as long as you can be made to say that one thing is good and another evil, you will be outside the Garden of Eden. And, you will have health one day and disease another day, or you will have youth one day and age another day, or you will have abundance one day and lack another day; because those are the pairs of opposites, and they follow each other in cycles.
It is only when you agree that you wish neither good nor evil, wealth nor lack, harmony or discord but wish only that which was original in the Garden of Evil—the presence of God. Only then do you rise above sickness and health into eternal life. You see, healthy people die, too. Young people become old and die, pass away, use any term you like. Changes take place continuously but not to those who recognize neither good nor evil but only God. Henceforth, know we no man after the flesh. That means henceforth knowing no man either with healthy flesh, or sick flesh, or rich flesh, or poor flesh, or old flesh, or young flesh. We just don’t know them after the flesh. We know them how? As Christ, Christ, the Son of God—your true identity. And so, as we know you to be Christ, never look at your body. Look right through your eyes until we can see in the back of them and see why the light flashes out from them and say because Christ sits enthroned. Christ sits behind those eyes looking out, not mortal man, not man whose breath is in his nostril, not young man, not old man, not sick man, not well man. Henceforth, know we know no man after the flesh. We know thee as Christ.
Now that you’ve been released into your Christhood, don’t go back again and become burdened with the old sins of the flesh, beliefs of the flesh. The question arises in your mind, “How can I ‘un-know’ good and evil?” Well, I can give you an example. I have been using this in the class work. Here is my hand, and if you were to ask me, “Is it a good hand or is it a bad hand?” I must tell you the truth. It is neither good nor bad. It is just a hand. It is a dead piece of meat. It can’t pet, and it can’t punch. It can’t give, and it can’t withhold. It’s just dead flesh. But, I can move it. I can give and use it as an instrument, or I could withhold. I can do things, but the hand can’t. The hand is neither good nor bad. It is just an instrument.
Now, take your whole body in your mind and realize that you haven’t got a good body or a bad body, a young body or an old body, because it knows nothing about calendars and can’t read them. It knows nothing about how many suns have gone by or how many moons have passed around it, or it knows nothing about time. Unfortunately, I do, and it’s because I do—the I that calls itself Joel—that the body changes. And so it is, the body doesn’t know whether it’s winter or summer, good weather or bad weather, but unfortunately man does; and it’s because he does that the body reflects whatever he accepts in his mind. And so it is, that the mind becomes an avenue through which the body takes on these world beliefs.
Now, from the minute you begin to know that you haven’t got a good body or a bad one, a young one or an old one, from that moment on I, which is the presence and power of God, takes over and begins to manifest Its conditions on the body. You see, while there is someone called Joel, he may use this hand to give benevolently or to steal. Joel can, but the very minute that Joel says, “This hand is dead. It can of its own self do nothing. It is governed by I.” Then, from that moment, this hand becomes an instrument of God and carries only the power to bless; because Joel is no longer governing the hand. I am, and I, we’ve just learned, is God. And so it is, when you begin to realize that your body is the temple of the living God, you place your body at God’s disposal to use as God would use. And then your body begins to be an instrument for God, for I at the center of your being. But, you have to begin by knowing that there’s no good or evil in your body, that your body has no qualities. It merely expresses that which is placed upon it.
We might have here a dozen roses, and you might say, “How good,” and then someone else says, “Oh no, they give me rose fever.” And so, there is an argument right away. Are roses good or are roses bad? But, the secret is that roses have neither quality of good or of bad. It is our response to them that makes them good or bad. When we realize that they have no qualities of their own, our response is always a harmonious one. While we believe there are qualities of good or evil in the rose, it will be so unto us. And, it’s the same way with everything.
You have to begin consciously to take your body into your thought and begin to realize now, here, there is no good or evil in this body. This is just an instrument, and there’s no age in it, and there’s no youth in it. There’s no strength in it and no weakness in it. This body is just an instrument. I, the God within me, is the principle of this body. You can do the same thing with money. You can just lay out here some change or a bill and begin to realize that it’s neither good nor bad. Of itself, it would just stay there for a billion years. It can’t spend itself. It can’t buy anything. It can’t do anything but rot of itself. And once you begin to look at it in that light, you will see that money doesn’t supply you. You supply money with its capacities and with its power. But, don’t give money power over you, because you will give it a power that you should only give to God.
And, the same way with thoughts. Don’t fear evil thoughts and don’t be too proud of good thoughts, because thoughts aren’t power. Only God is power. If you give thoughts power, one of those thoughts will give you a headache, and another one will take it away, and you won’t know which is in the ascendancy moment to moment. The very moment that you begin to realize that thought isn’t power, the thinker is power, not thoughts. Now, the thinker has control over thoughts, and you’ll never suffer from a thought, your own or anyone else’s. As a matter of fact, once you realize that thought isn’t power, you’ll find yourself thinking less negative thoughts. It is very much like—I’ve told this to classes—the subject of alcohol. Once you begin to realize that alcohol has neither a good power nor a bad power, you lose all taste for it. Cigarettes the same way, tobacco. The very moment, you see, mostly you’ll agree that it’s not an evil power, but you still think it has good power; or if you think it has good power, you’ll declare it isn’t an evil power; but as long as you give it a power, it has you in its grasp. When you can say to alcohol and drugs, “You have no power. Now, how can I acknowledge anything but God as power and be living up to the teaching of even Moses or Jesus?”