OVERCOMING OF EVIL
Our subject shows us there is something to be overcome in existence. We must find the way to overcome it, and walk in that way until it has finally disappeared. To find what it is that must disappear, we will go back to the Garden of Eden and Adam. Adam is a personality, and as such is related to the Genus man, the Expression of God. There could be no manifestation in Creation without a personality or without existence for manifestation belongs to the human soul and it belongs to existence. The destiny it is to fulfill is manifestation of Man’s “likeness to God.” “I have manifested Thee upon the earth” said Jesus of Himself. But all the variety in Man’s nature must appear before the “likeness” can comeforth. It is not seen at the beginning of the “process.” There must be a gradual unfoldment or leading up to it before the “likeness” is fully revealed. As there is a great deal between the Acorn and the Oak tree filled with acorns, so, much must appear before the original “likeness” becomes visible. There is an order, not change about it. Existence is a necessity, and serves a wise purpose, for it is man’s opportunity for finding the Christ in himself, or it is the “coming forth” of the true nature of our God-Being. In this “coming forth” there must be contrast or comparison. Soul says “this is good and that is good,” or “this is good and that is evil.” “I like this, but do not like that.” What seems good to one is insufferable evil to another, and what is one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Then, contrast is natural. Without the two how could soul choose? Paul said: “First the natural, afterward the spiritual.” Soul is the only factor in creation that has the power of choice or selection because it is the only self-conscious factor.
What we need to see is the difference between the “living soul” and a destiny-grand and noble to be fulfilled, and an automoton manipulated by unseen wires, being a channel for all sorts of natures to “show forth” in instead of a living force in yourself, a center of Force in the universe for good, and choose between the two.
In the 2nd chapter of Genesis we learn of the tree of “Good and evil,” this knowledge that gives us the “power to choose.” To the human soul which sees two forces in the world there is a relative good, — a comparative good, which is not the Absolute Good, we call God, for Light knows nothing of darkness. Love knows nothing of hate, — Life knows nothing of death or Intelligence of ignorance. The “Absolute Good” is the one power back of human existence. It is pushing through “good and evil” and must triumph in and through and over every thing contrary to Itself.
That perpetual Force is never idle, but ceaselessly active, and because of this the “Absolute Good” soon or late enforces Its Supremacy. But, we find, there is a step which loads up to the overcoming of evil, and we take it, early in our existence to illustrate “A burnt child dreads the fire.” Why? Because it has caused it to suffer. The child followed a natural impulse in playing with the fire; there is nothing wrong in striking a match and making a blaze, but there is a result consequent upon this act that may overtake this child. This blaze may burn, and cause him pain, and through this pain he learns to let matches and fire alone. So, suffaring has its uses. By means of it he sees the difference between the right use and abuse of a force. If we did not suffer from our mistakes, would we ever seek to correct them? And, if we did not correct them, would we ever be perfected? If we do not become perfected, shall we ever stand “face to face” with the Infinite? Paul says, “We are made perfect through suffering.” He also said: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.” As the soul gets its first lesson through what it suffers and it begins to question, “What is the reason for my suffering? Do I have to endure it, or is there some way out of it?” This asking, shows that the soul is ready for more knowledge. According to our sensations, this is good and that is evil. In the infancy and childhood of our souls we do not use reason, — But are governed by sensation. Suffering is our first teacher. Then experience is natural for the soul. We do suffer, and it is hard to bear, but while it lasts it is a fact relative to existence, and as such belongs to time, and not to eternity. There is always a truth back of a fact which tends to give it a semblance of authority. A pain is a fact, relative to me and my consciousness back of this gives it authority. But, the nature of Ideal Man must be manifested, and between the “Adam” and the “Christ” lies the overcoming of evil. How shall it be overcome? With the power of Absolute Good. We are to bring that power to bear on everything contrary to the God nature, just as we turn Light into the God nature, just as we turn Light into the room, to “put out” darkness.
TruthUnity note: "the nature of Ideal Man must be manifested, and between the “Adam” and the “Christ” lies the overcoming of evil." Note that the focus of this course shifts from the metaphysics of expression (Image of God) to the metaphysics of manifestation (Likeness of God). The biblical narrative shifts from the first three chapters of Genesis to the life and teachings of Jesus.
With suffering, the child has taken its first lesson. What it wants is not always best for it, and it learns through what it suffers in the consequence. But the “living soul” will ascend and reach a point in self-knowledge where it may and can choose “whom it will serve” whether the Absolute Good or the relative spirit, or materiality, mortal sense or spiritual knowledge. When we truly desire more Light, it will come to us, and enable us to choose the good and refuse the evil, as it is said that the Jesus Christ nature will do even in its infancy. Looking at the character of Jesus, we find Him to be much alone. He did not go among the people only as he could serve them. He was separate from the world, even while in it. He worked for all, irrespective of personality, and multitudes followed him for what he could do for them. Isaiah prophesying of Him said, “He is a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” It is said that Jesus wept. He could not have shown us the way had he not passed through the varied experiences that beset human existence. When He ascended the mountain His disciples came unto Him. Down below was the “rabble” and the multitude above. He was “face to face” with the Father. Looking at His life from a human point of view there was nothing to be desired (so to speak) but what was the glory of his inner consciousness? Through Him, the “Absolute Good” was wholly manifest, and “he was without sin” even while wearing the flesh. He is an example for us as having overcome evil with Good. He exterminated evil simply by the recognition of its opposite, the Absolute Good.
TruthUnity note: The author reveals her perspective on Christology (the nature of Jesus) and Soteriology (how Jesus saves). It could be said that she stresses the compassionate nature of Jesus as a human being and she stresses Jesus’ absolute unity with God the Father as a healer of evil.
This same work awaits every soul that images God. We are to “overcome evil” with good by keeping the eye single to the One Power. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God, or Good. Then, the human soul reaches a point where it will be glorified, for the “likeness” of God overshadows it. As each one overcomes the false sense, it helps the race. First the individual, and then the masses. Everyone who “works out” his own salvation is in a measure, a savior to the Race, for what one does all can do, since there is but One God and one Man. We overcome evil by changing our self-consciousness and we have learned that there is nothing in the world apart from our consciousness of it. Then, we overcome evil with the application of the Positive Good. Our real Being is the product of the Absolute Good and although we may be called by a personal name it does not affect or alter our God-given identity. To really know that we are from God, that the Lord is our real, permanent Being, is the first help to establishing of Good in our consciousness. Jesus is the second Adam, a member of the human family, and yet, the Son of God. But he proved his royal lineage by demonstrating what He was in his real Being. Jesus was the perfect demonstrator of what man is, in his relation to God, and what he was in his relation to Nature. He is the perfected “living soul.”
TruthUnity note: The author has stressed throughout the course that creation is completed by the Lord God (I Am) with manifestation in Genesis 2. She now stresses that salvation is completed by every soul who works out his/her own salvation.
The first Adam is the infancy, Jesus is the full manhood. Then in the process of our human existence, we have not only the Truth to sustain us, but the demonstration of Jesus as a living witness. Let us brush away the glamour of the ages and seek to know Him as he truly is, our “elder Brother” and the pioneer of salvation. We are all Adam, but between our existence and the “Christ Consciousness” lies the overcoming evil with Good. “Ye shall know the Truth, and It shall make you free.” With every trial, there will be a door of escape; with every problem, the key to its solution. This door of escape is the truth of my real true Being, and recognition of this truth is the key to positive knowing.
TruthUnity note: The orthodox Christian may ask, "How does Jesus enable us to overcome evil?" The metaphysical Christian answer, given here, is that "we have not only the Truth (Law) to sustain us, but the demonstration of Jesus as a living witness." The life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus changed the foundation of human race consciousness, thereby enabling certain "I Am" statements as described in the next paragraph.
What I am possessed of as the offspring of God enables me to “rule over” all that is contrary to my God-likeness. By virtue of what I am in the real of me, I am Master. We must exercise the positive, and not the passive nature. We must exercise the determined righteous nature. “Choose ye which ye will serve, God or ‘mortal sense.’” As long as we serve the latter, we cannot serve God, for we cannot serve two masters. The Lord said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake, thorns and thistles shall it bring forth.” The burn on the child’s hand is the first thistle. If our mistakes caused us no suffering, we would not let go of them, but because we reap from them undesirable conditions or consequences, we say: “There, I’ll never do that again,” and thus we have “cursed the ground” or denounced our error thinking. Adam has the first thorn, fear. Jesus had the crown. His proof of Royalty, not disgrace. The sign of his masterhood, “Ye call me master, and ye say truly, for so I am.” He dominated all that was contrary to His God-likeness. From our human view-point, this seems hard, but from the spiritual point of view it was glorious. Then, we must “put away” evil from even our self-consciousness. How? By putting something good in its place. We must hold a higher ideal OF OURSELVES THAN MATERIAL SHAPE. Ws must detach our sense of self from shape and attach it to our God-Being. Holding this high Ideal before us continually, crowds out the false sense or “lesser image.” To this end, regeneration is necessary to human existence. We must generate a new consciousness of what we are, and we must go to work with our eyes wide open. It can be done now, for we can begin now to obey the “divine Impulse” which quickens our souls and will if we “let” It actuate our every thought and word and deed. The material blood of Jesus will never save a soul. One soul can never know Truth for another, and it is the Truth we consciously embody that makes for our salvation. The vital query is “How am I thinking? is it according to Principle or according to “mortal sense?” This is vital because, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” When I think, “I am a living soul now,” a spiritual Being imaging the Absolute, Eternal, Almighty One; I have all that God is because of relation to my Cause. This mental attitude or kind of thinking generates a new quality of consciousness which lifts us from matter and transforms us into the “sons of God.” “Cursed is the ground” (wrong thinking) is not a permission but the natural result of the Law of Cause and Effect.” All there is, or wil be is the result of this Law. We see Eve as the Mother of All Living. What is the “living” in human existence? Soul. What is the dead? Shape. Eve mothers the “living soul”. It is to her that the annunciation is made, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” This annunciation was not to Adam made. (We should be careful not to ignore any of our faculties). Adam is turned out of the garden and a flaming sword is placed. REPEAT: Adam is turned out of the garden is placed at its entrance to “guard the tree of Life.” So there are two trees in this garden. “The tree of knowledge” is at the beginning of existence, but the “Tree of Life” comes later. This flaming sword is illuminated, and it turns in all ways to keep the “way of Life” (which is the Christ). This sword, is the Word of Truth, and when we find it we have already passed from “death unto life,” which means gaining a new sense of who and what we are, and this true sense of Self generates a consciousness of Immortality.
“Ye shall know the Truth,” for no other human being can know it for you. One soul cannot convert another. This work is individual. There is an “inner” witness. You will find it in your own soul and thus have your own authority; the overcoming of evil is a work to be accomplished by every soul. This is done by holding fast to “The Good” always, and giving evil no quarter, that the Omnipotent Good may be glorified, and the Lord magnified in the soul. Overcome the “seeming” with the Real -- error thinking with right thinking, sickness with Health, and weakness with strength, and poverty with plenty, and “sense” of death with consciousness of eternal Life. Recognize daily the Absolute Good as the only Power, Presence and REALITY. These are the most powerful words in the vocabulary of Truth. Let them be our “flaming sword” to cut away all the negative mental states, and overcome all evil. Jesus slew evil with the “sword of His mouth” which is the All-Powerful Word of Truth.
TruthUnity note: The "inner witness," as revealed at the end of lesson six, is intuition.