Denial and Affirmation
“Back of the canvas that throbs, the painter is hinted and hidden;
Into the statue that breathes, the soul of the sculp tor is bidden;
Under the joy that is felt, lies the infinite issue of feeling;
Crowning the glory revealed is the glory that crowns the revealing.
Great are the symbols of Being but that which is symboled is greater;
Vast the created and beheld, but vaster the inward Creator.”
1. Jesus taught in the shining of a perfect life. He said: “I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. . . . and the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them.” He had first taught them, however, that sanctification came by denial.
2. Jesus Christ’s denials in the wilderness sent from Him the lingering darkness of mortal sense and revealed to Him the glory of His Father’s full light. He commanded, “Call no man your father on the earth,” and affirmed, “for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven.” Being obedient to His righteous judgment, we accept the name Christ for the crowning of our spiritual science, and put behind us, as He did, the claims of earthly parentage. We boldly deny evil. We deny sin, sickness, and death. Jesus denied death by glorious resurrection.
3. These things are not put away by denials. They are only there as a false sense. Denials put away the false sense and we see as we are seen by the great spiritual Father of all.
4. Denial seems to be the rock of offense in our Zion. Good people of the old mind say: “The teachings of spiritual science are beautiful—the results of your demonstrations are satisfactory—but why must you spoil it all by those odious denials? Why, you make yourselves professional liars!”
5. To one such person we recommended that he stretch his tender conscience enough to try denial on the rheumatism that plagued him. He reported that the pain left him but he prayed God to forgive the lie. “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” “This is the judgment,” said Jesus, “that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light.”
6. Paul explains this man’s case exactly in the statement, “Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.” Plato said, “It is demonstrated to us, that if we are designed to know any thing purely, we must be liberated from the body and behold things with the soul.” This was the liberty of Christ. And so successful was the propagation at the time of Paul that he gave “thanks unto the Father . . . who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love.”
7. Philosophy teaches that all that was ever known exists in the world of ideas. When we are able to rise into this realm, we shall know all things. But, in order to rise into it, we must learn to forget the false sense of the body. This false sense is the great gulf between us and the kingdom. Thus, the denial erases the false statement we have so long been making and leaves us free to commence anew.
8. Now, we add the active principle of affirmation, and lo, the solution to our problem will demonstrate. We find we can dissolve the earthly house of false beliefs by denial and enter into the “house not made with hands” by affirmation. Our divine Being steps into its eternal inheritance (wisdom) and by intuition becomes unerringly guided by her shining light to a stage that is well, happy, strong, and noble. When the mind opens by speaking denials, this true self that philosophers have so long striven to free shows itself all glorious with wisdom, strength, and holiness. When we see the glory of the Good, we lay hold upon the Good we see with great words of welcome. We make the welding binding by affirmations.
9. But our words must be trained, or we do not see the Good. It is written: “Take with you words, and return unto Jehovah.” An angel is a word of Truth. Denial of evil is a word of Truth. Affirmation of Good is a word of Truth. These angels shall constantly have charge over us if we fail them not. They shall bear us up that we dash not our foot against the cruel beliefs of the flesh. But we must be faithful and orderly in speaking these words of Truth or we shall be left in the wilderness of sense. To speak Truth faithfully is a healing stream. Pure reasoning is a healing stream; its strengthening flow makes all crooked places straight.
10. As the shining forth of the sun brings out the wealth of meadows, the beauty and fragrance of the rose, or the full corn to the husk, so shall the shining divinity of each of us call forth wealth, peace, health, and love where all had seemed a wilderness of sorrow. Only steady shining Truth can accomplish this. We cannot divide the mind with doubt. We cannot divide the thought with sense. To be double-minded is to be unstable in all our ways. “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.”