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[Transcriber’s Note: The following handwritten note was part of this transcript:]

Pythagoras discovered that the earth was round about 2000 years before Galileo was born.

The world is very much interested in the discussion between those who, on the one hand, believe in evolution and those who, on the other hand, believe in direct creation as taught by our modern religionists. Many have asked Unity’s stand on this question. This question seems to be exciting a good deal of interest.

It seems there is a law in Tennessee to the effect that evolution shall not be taught in the schools and one of the professors in Dayton has been following his text book and has found there the law of evolution plainly set forth and he has been called to time. They are going to try the professor on this charge of teaching evolution, that it is contrary to the teaching of the Bible. The Bible teaches that the world and all there is therein was created by God in six literal days, and the people of Tennessee stand by that creation.

They do not want any Darwinian theories taught, they do not believe in them, they are not true. Well, that has excited, that matter has excited, a great deal of interest; it is bringing to, I might say, a test of the two great schools which are now dominating the world, especially this western world. The school of evolution teaches that matter and material conditions are responsible for everything, that we and everything that we have—this planet itself—began as a single protoplasmic cell.

One of the great philosophers, Dr. Thompson, says that if the universe were destroyed it could be reproduced again from a single cell. That is the real theory of evolution, but it is not fully understood by its advocates. Darwin is supposed to be the father of evolution, but back of him were those who taught virtually the same thing, although they did not test out their theories. Darwin investigated. So did Alfred Russell Wallace, his contemporary.

The teaching of evolution has not been accepted by that branch of the church who hold to the direct and omnipotent power of God to create regardless of law, who hold that God is not subject to law, time, or conditions. The difference in opinion between these two great schools did not begin with Darwin, but with scientists before Darwin’s time. To understand the situation, we would have to take for granted that religion itself, as taught by the church, is an evolutionary growth, a development, through the acquisition of knowledge. We have to admit that growth is continuous and that we all are subject to growth in our religious ideas. Those ideas are filtering out into the external world and we have to reconcile them with history and fact.

The early church, founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, was subject to persecution by the Jews, the established church, and afterward by the Romans. You who have seen the picture, Quo Vadis, have some idea of how the Romans persecuted the Christians, boiled them in oil, and did many things to torture them; but the time came when the tables were turned. Rome accepted Christianity and the Christians coming into power formed the Roman church and persecuted those who differed with them in religious belief. History records a long line of persecutions by the Christians. The heretics were burned in oil and when that did not quite meet the needs of the situation, they were put on racks and pulled apart, member by member, because they would not accept literally some part of the Bible. These persecutions continued during the period that the Roman Catholic Church dominated the world, and anyone who differed in the least was called a heretic.

When the Italian astronomer, Galileo, discovered that the world we live upon was not stationary, not square and solid, but round, and that the sun moved around the world instead of the world moving, he was denounced by the church. So spiritual and mental progress has been hampered, step by step. Every discovery of science has been opposed by the church. The church always adhered to the literal interpretation of the Bible. That, in a measure, is the attitude of the church today.

We have the two schools, the fundamentalists, those who believe in the literal, material creation by omnipresent God, who believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell, who believe in the so-called miracles in their historical, literal sense. On the other hand are the evolutionists, who teach that the universe developed from a single cell. Unity unifies these two ideas, the fundamental or real creation of God, as taught in the first chapter of Genesis, and the evolution of that direct creation as given in the succeeding chapters of the Bible.

Unity teaches that there is a direct spiritual creation, and that creation is followed by evolution. We are told in Genesis that God, Elohim—and Elohim is different from the Jehovah God in the second chapter of Genesis—that this Elohim, this one who creates spiritually, was the great universal Mind, that Mind in the universe which corresponds to our mind. We have a spiritual mind and everything that we bring forth is first created in that mind and goes through six steps; then we rest.

God created the universe, step by step, in six great steps, and then God rested. And he saw his creation was perfect, it was finished, and it was good. And God rested from all his work. Now the literal interpreters of the Bible have not been able to reconcile that account of the creation with the account in the second and third chapters of Genesis, which states that there was no man to till the ground and not an herb had grown in the field. In other words, man, the spiritual man, and the universe, were idealized by that spiritual Mind, and they afterward, through the law of evolution, came into manifestation.

Unity reconciles these two creations, and explains the spiritual creation and material manifestation through the action of the mind. That is the teaching of Unity.

The spiritual creation and its material manifestation are plainly taught in the Bible, but to understand their relationship you must have the spiritual interpretation, spiritual realization. You get that understanding by analyzing your own mind. The inventor first idealizes, sees his invention in his mind, and then works it out. We are following the same process in our evolution. We have the perfect spiritual mind, but we have to become conscious of it.

That becoming conscious is the organism in this cellular life charging in our spiritual mind, charging every cell of our body with the conscious mind. You can see how this unifies the spiritual creation with the evolutionary creation. Now we are doing exactly what is recorded in the second chapter of Genesis.

The Christian Science church is the most advanced in teaching the spiritual man but they repudiate the second chapter of Genesis. They say that is all error. We do not. Unity teaches that the material manifestation is just as true as the spiritual creation. Without this power of breathing into the substance and forming it into man, we could not be manifesting fully.

Man is cooperating with infinite Mind in bringing forth the ideal, perfect creation. Unity teaches both spiritual creation and evolution, or material creation. Material creation is dependent upon spiritual creation. We could not have a material world without the spiritual ideal back of it. The material is founded upon the spiritual. We do not believe in the evolution of matter without the directing power of the mind.

Mind is necessary to evolution; omnipresent Mind is simply expressing itself, building the machine, this body, this universe, as we see it. The universe is the outward manifestation of mind. The body is backed up by mind, which is just a little step in advance of the body, but that is directed by Divine Intelligence. When you know that, you become one of the universal school of spiritual creation. You must see as perfect the thing that you wish to make manifest; you must realize it before you can carry it out. But if you keep your ideals always in a state of becoming, you are reducing yourselves down to evolution, as you are making your spiritual man a man of unfoldment.

We say that in Spirit everything is finished; I rest from all my work when I have worked my problem out in Spirit; then I begin the manifestation. Balance yourself, unify yourself, and you will explain all these differences between the two creative processes, the direct spiritual creation of man and the universe and the evolutionary or material creation. They are both true, and eventually the world will accept both. When people begin to read the Bible in Spirit, they will see at once that there must be a material expression of the spiritual creation.

“God is Spirit,” taught Jesus Christ. Keep that plain—“God is Spirit.” What is the next question? That those who worship God must worship him in Spirit. How shall they worship Him in Spirit? By knowing the truth. What is the truth? Truth is the law of God manifest in its perfection. We must, every one of us, know that law. “Ye shall know the truth,” said Jesus, “and the truth shall make you free.”

The truth is filtering in to the minds of people everywhere, and some day they all will awaken to the fact that we are one great universal whole.

Paula Schneider Transcribed by Paula Schneider on July 1, 2018.