Countless numbers of human beings believe in a loving God, but continue to ask the same question, “What is the origin of evil? Does God allow it?” Christian Science explains the complete invalidity of evil by confirming the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, good, love. Then it mentally notes that there are two kinds of awareness going on in the human consciousness, and separates them from one another. One set of sensations reported to our mind is reported by the materially tangible senses. The other set of sensations reported to our mind is reported by the spiritual senses. These spiritual senses are hidden from materially tangible consciousness but visible to the developed divine consciousness attuned to the spiritual realm of God. They are the senses which allow us to appreciate and perceive beauty, love, ideas, principles – anything substantial or valuable which we cannot touch, taste, smell, hear, nor see with the material senses of the human body. They are the senses of Soul.
Omni is from a Greek word which literally means “all”. And in the English language the word God is derived from an Anglo Saxon word meaning “good” or “goodness”. The word for God has similar roots in most of our languages. Potency refers to power. The description of God using the word omnipotent must then mean that Goodness and love have exclusive power, to the exclusion of their opposites or anything not like them. The description of God using the word omnipresence then means that all possible space is filled with goodness and love. One of my favorite and most powerful healing quotations comes from page 275 of Science and Health with Key to The Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. It says “The starting point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, – that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle.” This conviction is the foundation of the long history of reliability and success in Christian Science healing experienced by those who truly live by its precepts. Healing in Christian Science is true monotheism in put into practice.
This omnipotent God, without an equal, and filling all of the realm of spiritual reality with spiritual love, expresses His perfect causation as His perfect divinely designed effect. We know that effect as spiritual generic man. Generic in this context is intended to mean the sum total of the spiritual identity of all of humanity – all men, women and children. The best and most perfectly represented example of generic spiritual man ever to walk the earth was the immaculately conceived son of God, Christ Jesus. This Christ nature is inherent in all of generic man, but Jesus came represented as the perfect Son of God to illustrate this inherent goodness which resides within us all. Jesus came to show mankind the nature of the spiritual (mental) path to salvation which we all must ultimately follow . Generic man is individually and infinitely expressed as all men, women, and children in the timeless realm of infinite Spirit, past, present, and future.
When we begin from this monotheistic mental starting point, a realm of reality filled with and based upon spiritual love, the human mind immediately throws our consciousness us a curve ball. It asks: “If God, good is infinite, fills all space, and nothing unlike good can be included in that infinite self-contained realm, then how do we account for the presence of evil?” The question is logically addressed and is correctly answerable only when one does not stray from the above stated starting premise. Here again is that starting point: All of infinity is filled with Love. It is spiritual in nature, which means it is comprised of thought, and not of materially tangible matter. Now, imagine yourself mentally inside of this realm of Love. Everywhere you look, as far as can be seen into the universe, which has no boundaries, in every direction, is spiritual and unconditional love. It surrounds and encompasses you. What is outside of this infinity of love? The correct answer would be “nothing”. Let us deeply examine this concept of infinity. Look up into the sky. Is there a boundary out there? Is it not true that the space of the universe continues forever, and that there could not be a boundary one would come across in traveling through the universe? If there were even an artificial boundary, what would be on the other side of it? One would be forced to conclude that there would be simply more universe out there. Any boundary would be only an imagined one, for it is impossible to escape this universe and to be somewhere else. There cannot exist more than one absolute universe, more than one absolute realm. Therefore, it is impossible to be outside of the universe. Then what would exist outside of the universe? This is an illogical question.
No “outside” exists to infinity. Infinity has no boundary or barrier to cross through which one could reach another realm. The world thinks of this universe as material, but Christian Science reveals that the substantiality of matter is purely a humanly mental phenomenon. Matter exists in the thought of the beholding human mind, reflecting the state of human beliefs and thoughts, but it has no absolute nature of its own. It requires a mortal observer in order to be present to our consciousness. The spiritual universe represents that which exists independently from human observation or knowledge- that which is the product of God Himself. In spiritual terms this infinity called the universe is comprised of pure spiritual Love, and not of matter. This is the heavenly realm of God. It is not only our ultimate conscious mental reality, but it is the reality of our existence at this present moment. So, where are hatred and evil in this universe? Where is matter? They can only be in one supposed place, namely outside of this infinite realm, for they certainly cannot reside within it. What is outside of this realm? This question we have already answered logically. Think about space again. Nothing is outside of this realm of infinite spiritual love, for to be outside of infinity is impossible.
Nothing is outside of the realm of infinite spiritual love. But evil, hatred, and matter must be outside of this infinite spiritual realm of love. Then what, to God, are evil, hatred, and matter? Logical deduction gives the answer – NOTHING! But this is the last thing that human sense wants to accept, for it makes the majority of its judgments based upon the report of the material senses. So the claim of the unreality of these things seems ludicrous to the human mind. Its sense protests “But, I feel the presence of evil and hatred right here. I know people who admittedly hate me, and I cannot deny the presence of the material objects I see all around me, nor the pain I feel in my body. If I am, as you say, in this infinity of spiritual love where the things of evil and matter are excluded, how are they to be explained?”
In order to logically answer this protest, one must again remember never to leave the initial premise. Nor may one judge the starting point to be false on the basis of material sense observations. We must first realize that we are in fact not in the presence of evil, hatred, and matter. But we certainly are thoroughly convinced and believe that we are! To stay true to our starting point, we must confirm that we are residing in fact in infinite spiritual love. Then, since we have not strayed from the initial premise, and we feel the presence of these bad things, we can only conclude that we must be imagining ourselves to be in the presence of these factors which oppose the nature of God, Spirit, Love. So, are we living in a dream world? The only way we can be living in a dream world, a concept we still are reluctant to accept, is if we possess the power and ability to dream a false sense of ourselves. But even that we do not really possess. Did God grant us the ability to dream this material world full of evil, which Christian Science is implying is only a mental hallucination?
To answer this new question we must continue to stay true to the starting point. The starting point says that we are the exact and infinite image of this source of all being, God. God does not sleep, nor dream, nor imagine Himself to be what He is not. We, being His image and likeness in all infinite ways, must share that characteristic. We do not have the ability to imagine ourselves experiencing things opposite to the nature of a spiritual God – namely hatred, evil, matter. “Yet, I still feel them”, the protester says, “and you are telling me that God’s man cannot imagine them either! Then how can I account for feeling evil, hatred, and matter in a universe which excludes them?”
Let’s go over the previous paragraph from another angle. God has no ability to be deluded. Being God’s complete likeness in character, no authority was granted to us by God to allow us to be deluded, to falsely believe that we are residing in God’s perfect realm alongside matter and evil, nor was authority granted us to believe that we are residing outside of God’s infinite realm of spiritual love. “Yet someone,” the protester continues, “ and it seems like me, is believing a lie, claiming that I am outside of God’s realm, or surrounded by evil and good at the same time within that realm.” The protester might ask God “If you, God, did not grant any one of us the authority to believe this lie to which I am now relating my identity, who is believing it?”
God’s consistent loving principled logic again answers: “Nobody” is believing the lie of living in an environment of combined evil and good, Spirit and matter. Humans have assumed the false role and identity of this “nobody”. We can place the emphasis on the word “nobody” in two different ways. Without the quotation marks, the sentence says: Nobody is believing a lie. This means that there is not anyone made in the image and likeness of God who is believing a lie. We can take a different perspective and put quotation marks around the word “nobody”. This perspective fits the human mind perspective of what is going on mentally. In this case, a non-existent “somebody” with the identity of “nobody” is believing a lie. Who is this “nobody” who is believing the lie? That “nobody” is called in Christian Science the mortal man.
Mortal mind is a false but very real seeming sense of identity. Mortal man seems to reside in this imaginary realm claiming to exist outside of the realm of infinity – where there is no space for him to occupy! Mortal man could metaphorically be compared to an imaginary number in mathematics. In mathematics, an imaginary number is defined by the letter “i”, as the number which when multiplied by itself equals negative 1. Of course there is no such number in the world of real numbers, but the imaginary number realm is a useful concept in mathematics. It is commonly used to explain a number of mathematical phenomena. The number “i” exists in an imaginary realm which seems tangible only in an imaginary sense. it is tangible to the mathematician accustomed to thinking within the imaginary number realm. Similarly, in metaphysics, mortal man is the man who seems to exist in a realm which does not exist to God – and this is the imaginary realm on the outside of the infinite realm of infinite spiritual love. That realm is the material world, and it is where evil and good seem to commingle. Human thought commonly but mistakenly accepts that realm as the real realm, while it considers the spiritual realm to be the intangible one. But in God’s eyes, in the perspective of looking out from Spirit, the reverse situation is the truth.
Mrs. Eddy has defined the mind of mortal man as follows: “God I called immortal Mind. That which sins, suffers, and dies, I named mortal mind. The physical senses, or sensuous nature, I called error and shadow. Soul I denominated substance, because Soul alone is truly substantial. God I characterized as individual entity, but His corporeality I denied. The real I claimed as eternal; and its antipodes, or the temporal, I described as unreal. Spirit I called the reality; and matter, the unreality.” (Retrospection and Introspection 25:10)
The identity which humans generally claim for themselves and which they assume is who they really are, is, in God’s view, actually a false identity. That mortal identity has only a humanly sanctioned authority, and not a divinely sanctioned authority. Hence its invalidity to God. Such a false claim of the nature of reality based in a finite and material world has its justification in alternative premises about the nature and presence of God. All such premises deny either the omnipotence or omnipresence of love and goodness, or they deny both. They do so because their definition of the nature of God is based upon the evidence of the false mortal man’s observations of human conditions, as opposed to the spiritual man’s observations of life.
The primary false premise is called dualism – the belief in two ruling powers, both good and evil, both sharing power and competing for supremacy. This premise overrules the omnipotence of good, God. A secondary false premise used to justify the material realm is the admission that there is one power of pure goodness, but that we are sometimes separated from it. But to be separated from God would necessitate being outside of God’s realm, overruling the concept of the infinity of space, or omnipresence. Yet a third commonly accepted premise justifying the material realm includes the concept that evil has its source in God, pure goodness, Himself – that Lucifer was more than a human fallacy and literally fell from heaven. This assumption makes God responsible for creating an element which is the opposite of His own nature, and capable of animating itself with its own independent and thoughts separated from God. There is no logic in such an assumption. It is the moral equivalent of the assumption that that a fireman creates his own fire, or that the physician or healer creates the very disease he hopes to cure.
Christian Science balances the human understanding of God, eliminating self evident contradictions in logic by maintaining an understanding of God as a fixed and always operating principle of love and goodness. Then it makes all of its observations and conclusions about God from the pure spiritual perspective, disavowing the evidence gathered from the mortal senses. The mortal senses define the world as a place quite contrary in nature to the likeness of infinite love and goodness we know as God. Mortal sense originates not in God, but in the the false and carnal man’s mistaken sense of his own identity. Hence it is not trustworthy to inform us as to the nature of God.
Traditional theology supports the claims of a material realm by claiming that God gave us the authority to believe in our mortal nature. This view is often substantiated in theology by the misinterpretation of the second chapter of Genesis as the correct and literal report of creation. The “Lord God”, Jehovah, supposedly put man into the Garden of Eden and then supposedly offered him the temptations of the tree of good and evil. The correct understanding of Genesis is yet another topic in Christian Science. Suffice it to say here that logically God did not, and can not tempt man. It was that “nobody” named mortal man, residing in the imaginary realm outside of infinity, who without any authority, actually granted God the authority by means of mortal man’s own beliefs about God, to grant us the authority to choose evil. Read that carefully again. In short, it says that mortal man defines God in terms of what matches his own material observation, rather than what he really is in spiritual terms. This makes God into a mortal interpretation of God, and does not at all reflect God’s absolute nature. Logically, a consistent principled God cannot and does not choose to be or to act in opposition to His own infinite nature of goodness. This would be self defeating, and God’s kingdom could not stand under such conditions. Neither could a perfect God, incapable of acting contrary to His own nature, create a perfect image and likeness of Himself capable of doing less then that of which He Himself is capable.
The hangup in traditional theology is always at the mental starting point. Human thought most often gets hung up on the belief that God can grant the authority for man to choose evil. Assuming that man is made in the image and likeness of God, this starting point of necessity supports dualism. This makes God also able to choose evil, the very opposite of Himself. This view cancels the concept of omnipotent goodness or omnipotent Love. It makes goodness and love into a questionable and unreliable power, subject to emotional human characteristics.
On the other hand, the exercise of true monotheism eliminates the possibility of the existence of any power other than the ONE OMNIPOTENT God, and forces all other claims to power to take their proper place in the imaginary world of the evil, hatred, and matter – in an impossible place outside of the infinite and all-inclusive infinity of God’s spiritual, perfect, principled and ever consistent Love.