Lessons In Truth - Lesson 4 - Annotation 1
What is the meaning of denial? What happens to inharmonious conditions when denials are used?
1. From the standpoint of Truth study denial is the erasing, cleansing, or releasing from our consciousness all beliefs, thoughts, and concepts that are contrary to Truth.
Throughout mankind's spiritual development there has been the thought that man needs to deny certain things "but often this has been interpreted as meaning that we should forego the comforts and good things of life. The lesson on "Denials" in Lessons in Truth points out that this could not have been according to the understanding of Jesus. He told His followers not to be anxious about how to obtain food and clothing and added,
"Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:32, 33).
A study of spiritual values reveals that true denial is not primarily concerned with things but with the negative beliefs that bring about conditions that are not in conformity with God's plan of good. Denial is a process of cleansing the "error consciousness" dealt with in annotation 5 of Lesson three of this course (Lessons In Truth Lesson 3 Annotation 5). Denials make it possible for us to forgive, let go, release all negative thoughts or beliefs and refuse their return.
In the process of denial we usually use definite statements that declare something to be untrue of God, of man, of the universe, of a condition, or a thing. However, we must remember that denial is primarily an attitude of mind, so that it is always the idea back of the denial statement that charges the words with power and does the work of cleansing the consciousness of unwanted beliefs.
"Dismissal by erasure is the one sure method of winning freedom from the undesirable" (What Are You? 24).
Let us consider some statements that could be used to erase specific error beliefs from our consciousness:
(a) If we have been holding a thought that God is a great person somewhere in the skies, separated from us, we might use this type of denial statement: "God is not a person in the skies, separated from me."
(b) If we have considered ourselves to be merely limited human beings, we could make a statement such as this: "I am not merely a flesh and blood being, limited to time, space, and conditions."
(c) If we have felt that the universe is an unfriendly place, full of pitfalls, we might declare: "The universe in which I live is not separated from God, the Good."
(d) For a condition that appears upsetting or even frightening, words such as these could be spoken: "There is no absence of God's love, power, and peace in this condition."
(e) In dealing with an object, a piece of equipment, even anything as insignificant as untying a knot, or lifting a window that is stuck, we could state: "There is no absence of God's intelligence here."
In the study of denial it is vital for us to remember that a denial statement cannot stand by itself; it must be followed by an affirmation. "Affirmations" will be dealt with in the next lesson. In the meantime we are seeking to understand the process that cleanses the mind of wrong thoughts and prepares it to use affirmations effectively.
When denials are properly used, inharmonious conditions are dissolved because the negative thoughts that produced them are erased. A negative condition is the result of wrong mental images that we have formed by the misuse of our thinking and feeling faculties. Such conditions are sustained by the mental pictures that are held in the subconscious phase of mind (feeling nature). If we faithfully and diligently deny negative beliefs or thoughts they will be erased from our consciousness, and the conditions produced by them will change to meet the new mental pictures presented by affirmations.
Our attention can only be focused on one thing at a time. If we concentrate on our problems (inharmonious conditions) we only intensify them in our feeling nature and increase their undesirable effects in our body and in our world. If, on the other hand, we deny or erase the beliefs that caused the problems, we are then ready to be filled with divine ideas that will bring good into all phases of our life.
Preceding Entry: Do we have to beseech God for the fulfillment of our desires? Why? Does God change?
Following Entry: Did Jesus teach that He was the means through which we may reach God?