How I Used Truth - Lesson 7 - Annotation 6
Explain how the condition of evil is a "delusion of the senses" (text, pages 76-77).
6. Any condition that is termed "evil" can be said to be a "delusion of the senses," because if God is the one Presence and one Power in the universe, there can be no reality to evil (How I Used Truth 76). Evil is not real or enduring because God did not create it; therefore evil appearances can be changed. Man terms "evil" anything that causes him pain or unhappiness. Many think of evil as being that which is contrary to moral laws, or to religious teachings. Charles Fillmore made this statement:
"If man combines life, love, substance, and intelligence of Principle in such a way that discord results, let him not lay it to God. Man is a free agent, and in the exercise of his freedom he has left out some factor in forming his world."
We need to clarify what we mean when we refer to "the senses"; we need to ask ourselves what would cause the senses to delude us into thinking that there could be a condition opposed to God. The senses here referred to are seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling (touching). The senses are actually avenues of expression for ideas. We can say that any condition when evaluated by the senses as evil is really a "delusion of the senses" because the senses, of themselves, are not capable of right or righteous judgment. That is why Jesus warned, "Judge not by the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Judging by the appearance is done through one or more of the five senses. The results will depend upon the amount of understanding expressed by the person judging. (See the Annotations for Lesson Pour on "Denials" in Lessons in Truth, covering the subject of judging by the appearance.)
The senses are not the source of wisdom; rather, they are avenues for its expression. Therefore judgment from any of the five senses alone is not safe. The senses should be allowed to fulfill their own purpose as avenues of expression for the mind. When they are guided by the right understanding of the person using them, they prove their value.
"Our nearest approach to life is through its sensations in our body. God made them and they are among the creations that He pronounced 'very good.' It is not in the thing but in its use that we have fallen short."
-- Charles Fillmore
If the driver of a car is alert to changes in the performance of his car, his sense of hearing can save his life. Keen hearing can reveal a sound that would indicate escape of air from a tire, or some other weakness in operation or in the mechanism. To obey such a warning is to avoid trouble. This is not a "delusion of the senses." The positive benefits derived from the sense of hearing are apparent all around us, in the soul-stirring music we hear, in the song of birds, in the sound of rustling leaves, in the falling of raindrops. These are not a "delusion of the senses."
One with a keen sense of smell is warned of escaping gas, or of burning materials. Quick response to such a warning may save a life. The right use of the sense of smell adds zest to our life through the odors that bring delight to everyday living. We find delight in the lovely perfume of flowers, or the perfumes that men have combined through knowledge of this art, the smell of healthful food, the smell of new-mown grass, the freshness of the morning and the mellowness of the evening. Such responses are not a "delusion of the senses."
We may consider the joys which the sense of seeing, the sense of hearing, the sense of taste, the sense of touch have each brought into our life. These good responses are no "delusion of the senses." It is only when the senses do not have a true premise upon which to base their functioning that a "delusion of the senses" results.