1. WE are studying spiritual science to get a broader conception of God, rather than holding to the view that He is a personal being with parts like man, a being subject to change and capable of varying moods. Though personal to each one of us, God is IT, neither male nor female, but Principle. God is not a cold, senseless principle like that of mathematics, but the Principle of life, love, and intelligence.
2. God is all-intelligence; there is but the one Mind and in reality there are no separate men and women. A full realization of this great truth would do away with all selfishness, the cause of all the misery of earth. We must understand clearly that the real life of all men is identical with our own and that aside from the one life all is illusion; that all seeming differences in people are caused by selfishness or desire for something separate and apart from God, or our fellow men. Hence, all undue accumulations of money or power by individuals are in direct violation of the divine law. Just to the extent that man tries to claim anything as his personal property, so does he wander away from God the Principle of goodness, equity, love, truth, justice, health, and harmony.
3. The momentous question is, “How can man come into harmony with Principle?” The answer is, “By simply recognizing that in his real, inner self man is the expression of Principle, and that seeming sin, sickness, and death are not real.” To some this recognition comes easily while to others it is a matter of growth; but it will come to all who persistently seek. We must learn to declare our oneness with Principle, regardless of appearances. “Judge righteous judgment.” Along with our declarations of oneness with Principle, we should keep ourselves purified and deny the errors with which false belief has clothed the phenomenal world. As we do “the works” spiritually the results will surely follow.
4. We are studying a spiritual science as exact in its requirements, as logical in its deductions, and as demonstrable in its workings as the science of mathematics. Exactness and pure reason are the absolute requirements of every successful student. As the fundamental rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division enter into and work out the abstruse problem of the advanced mathematician or the simple example of the beginner, so do the fundamental principles of spiritual science work unerringly in simple healing or in the solution of the great problems of life.
5. There is mathematical rigor in the demand of this science for absolute correctness of demonstration before the student is able to proclaim his answer correct. We never hear of the “absurdity” of mathematics because it deals with things beyond the sense. On the contrary, everybody trusts this mighty arm that reaches up and counts the stars and measures the shining universe. Everybody believes in the mathematician’s unfailing power to compute the day and moment of the reappearance of a comet or the darkening of the sun or moon by eclipse. Of course, it seems very wonderful to those who are familiar with only its fundamental principles to see mathematics reach up and out and solve the secrets of all dimension. Yet, they believe because it is demonstrated—and that is wise.
6. Now, dear student, the three essentials to success in the study of mathematics are also the three essentials to success in the study of spiritual science. They are: understanding of its fundamental principles; pure and unbiased reasoning; ability to prove that the principle is workable.
7. The great problem we shall work up to admits of no guesswork. It has been bungled too long; we can no longer hope for a solution from the old statements concerning the problems of life. Everyone who is toiling over this knotty problem knows that its answer is satisfaction. The living demonstration of this answer is: knowledge of truth, peace of mind, health of body. Religion and science have both made statements that their adherents claimed would give the right answer to the problem, but they demonstrated sickness, death, restlessness, dread of evil, useless faith, and profitless knowledge. Certainly these are not the proofs of satisfaction. The scientists and the religionists have formed some very absurd equations from their illogical reasonings.
8. The religionist starts out with the great axiom: “God is all—all good, all power, all wisdom, all presence.” Then, when he takes up the problems of life, he introduces false quantities and establishes false theorems, for he says: “There is a quantity in life called evil which equals good in power.” Now, don’t you see what a mess he makes of it when he goes to form an equation? He started out with the axiom that God is all and God is good. Good plus evil is both a logical and mathematical absurdity. Where good is, evil (its opposite) cannot exist. Pure reasoning from the axiom, “God, the causing power, is all,” reduces evil to zero and the problems of life are resolved to the simple equation: “All good equals satisfaction.”
9. Studying cause and principle throughout the world’s history, we find records of the wise children of men who have turned from the absurdity of effect trying to deal with itself, and sought for the great Cause of all. In the study of it they have found that the Causing Power is Mind, and only through knowledge of this Power shall man be able to deal successfully with those restless shadows called human life that appear upon the external canvas of eternity. Those who have had such knowledge have produced at will all the phenomena of effect, and have been called “miracle workers” and “inspired of God.” They have been worshiped sometimes as saints and gods; but more often this inconsistent world has turned upon them and trampled them, driving them into hiding or compelling them to take themselves from this canvas of human existence.
10. It has proved a dangerous experiment in some stages of the world’s history to know and speak the truth of this seeming called life. But two thousand years ago there came a manifestation of human life so conversant with the great Causing Power of life that He called that power “Father” and it was said of Him, “the Word became flesh.” He was a fearless teacher of Truth. He spent his ministry freeing mankind from delusions. With the sweeping proclamation, “Call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven,” he emancipated the race from the limitation of mortal parentage.
11. He taught continually, “Judge not according to appearance.” He denied the right of sensuous taste to command Him, and said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” He denied the right of carnal ambition to demand a display of His Power, and said, “Thou shall not make trial of the Lord thy God.” He denied that (mortal) self was privileged to urge upon Him the kingdom and glories of the earth that were His through divine understanding. He said: “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” He it was who said, “I have overcome the world.” He it was who demonstrated that the problems of life are within every man’s power to solve. The false quantities were presented to him with all the sophistries of self just as they were presented to primitive man, and as they are presented to us. But with the clear, broad denial, “Get thee hence,” he erased the false statement (evil) man had so long puzzled over, and wrote clear and bold across the board of eternity, Thou shalt serve good alone. Good equals satisfaction; satisfaction equals life.