Christian Science teaches that the realm of God is infinite, and that evil is naturally excluded from this realm, and that therefore, evil is invalid. That is the basic surface platform of Christian Science with which many are familiar. But, the inquiring mind may still ask, “If you insist that evil is unreal, then where is it coming from?” Let’s begin at the beginning, and carefully address the origin of the appearance of the evil in human experience:
This is a logical analysis. To open we will define the use of the word “God” as comprising all causation and having only the quality of goodness. God, goodness, the perfect divine Principle, Mind, knows all that there is to know. We are considering God so far only in the context of causation, His causative properties. God is the term we are going to use to define the sensually invisible, eternal, infinite causative power of goodness. By our definition of God, any opposite to His causative power is excluded from His infinite realm. This must be our mental starting point before we proceed further. Mrs. Eddy states on page 275 of our textbook that “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.”
The opening premise is complete and can be thus summarized: Infinite God is Mind. All that can be known, all that is absolute, perfect, eternal, stands on its own, having been caused by infinite Mind. And because God is infinite Mind, no causation opposed to His nature can exist with any sense of validity, though it may seem to be when we discuss effect; but the discussion up to this point summarizes God as Cause. What, then, of God’s effect?
Basic logic and experience indicate that, self- evidently, a cause, of necessity, produces an effect. We have established that God is the universal Cause, and that God is infinite goodness. The necessary effect of God is an infinitely good man. Man, by our definition, also includes the spiritual universe, or the things which appear as effect, but which are not man – namely all of the inanimate things and ideas, and animal life. Spiritual man directly reflects, as effect, all of the power, love, and intelligence of God, as Cause. Hence, every perfect and eternal inanimate appearance, every lesser but perfect and eternal idea of God seen in animated forms (animals life), and perfect and eternal man, comprise the spiritual universe. Man reflects the exact same dominion over all of these appearances in the universe as does God in His causation, for man, as we are discussing him, is defined as the full and complete reflection of every characteristic of God. Hence in conclusion, spiritual man and the universe are the effect of God’s infinite and omnipotent, perfect, and eternal causation. Because cause and effect are irrevocably linked to one another, it is obvious that God, cause, must be seen, and must appear consciously, as effect. We have called that effect spiritual man and the spiritual universe.
Notice that, because of the irrevocable nature of Cause and effect, God cannot exist without being expressed , for He is Cause itself. If that is not clear, let’s use a simple every day example. If you put a wrench onto a nut and pull on the end of the wrench, you are applying cause. The assembly has no choice but to rotate. That is the effect of your causation, the application of force to the wrench.
Such an example describes perfectly how closely are God and man linked together in the spiritual realm. In our educated human view, we perceive man choosing to take his own individual actions, and acting on his own. In the spiritual realm of consciousness, which operates in a totally isolated environment from common mortally oriented human consciousness, effect has no ability to act without cause. The human realm of thought which includes mortal concepts is taking place on a lower plane of consciousness than is the divine realm.
On page 14 of the textbook, Mrs. Eddy explains this point : “Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man’s dominion over the whole earth. This understanding casts out error and heals the sick, and with it you can speak ‘as one having authority’ “
Consequently, in our every day clouded human view of being, we see man doing a whole set of things appearing to be separated from what God is doing. But in the spiritual realm of conscious being, God and man are continually acting in unison. It can be seen by the astute observer where this is idea is heading. A spiritually improved sense of consciousness, which looks mentally above the claims to causation which have no validity in the eyes of God, but which seem perfectly valid to the human consciousness, begins to reveal what is really going on, namely, only harmony. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves on that point, and let’s continue to logically uncover how and why this deception in consciousness takes place, and how it can be kept under control, and be thus used to steer human experience into knowing the positive and harmonious dominion provided continuously by our loving God.
Let us return to the point of consideration of God, knowing ALL. God, being goodness itself, and the Principle of all being, He necessarily constantly knows the opposite of His infinite and good nature to be invalid. He knows this, and no one else but spiritual man can know this, by virtue of the fact that God is the only Mind. The fact of His infinity precludes the logical possibility of the existence of a mind outside of Him, for it could have no abiding place where all of infinity is comprised of that Mind and its infinite manifestation. Logic tells us that God’s continual knowing of Himself is equivalent to the continual extermination of every concept that could be construed as opposite to God in nature, namely, the destruction of evil. God’s continual exercise of His sovereignty and omnipotent omnipresent goodness, continuously and automatically exterminates evil. Mrs. Eddy points this out on page 469 of the textbook where she says “The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind – called devil or evil – in not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality.”
We have thus far established that one all-good and infinite God knows all, including the establishment of His infinite goodness, and that he also knows the continual extermination of His opposite, evil, by virtue of His infinite nature. The italicized text is vital. Repeating for emphasis: God knows the continual extermination of His opposite, evil, by the virtue of His infinite nature. Let us discuss this important point, for it leads to an understanding of why evil seems to appear in consciousness as a valid reality, but can through Christian Science treatment, be totally relieved of any effects of its invalid influence, before or after its apparent presence.
This explains also the original spiritual meaning of certain Old Testament passages which imply that God knows both the good and the evil, such as in Deut 30:15 where we read “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;” God knows evil, but never in the sense of its validity, and always in the sense of knowing that he continually exterminates it!
We have also clearly established that spiritual man is the full and complete mental reflection of every bit of omnipotent power and knowing which continually takes place in divine Mind. It follows, then, that because God knows the continual extermination of His opposite, evil, by virtue of His infinite nature, so then does spiritual man reflect that same continual extermination of God’s opposite, evil, by virtue of God’s, and man’s (as His full reflection), infinite nature! To reach harmony, we have then, but to consciously realize and to understand our status as the spiritual man, and to stop thinking of ourselves as limited mortal, human beings, perceived as somehow able to act and think independently of God. That is not who or what we are in the spiritual realm, though that is exactly what human education teaches us to believe about ourselves. That spiritual realm, not the human thoughts of what we are, comprises our true reality in the eyes of God. The spiritual man has no more ability to act without the consent of God than does that wrench have the ability to tighten the nut without an operator to turn the wrench.
Now, you may be thinking that the explanation is not yet complete, and you are correct, for you are still asking yourself “Then, from whence come these thoughts that we entertain, which say that we are subject to human thoughts and conditions, and which tell us that evil is real and is invading our experience?” This is the very question which I continued to ask myself for many years as a Christian Scientist. Let’s go back and re-examine. What kind of opposite suppositions and evils God is continually exterminating by virtue of His infinity?
The primary false supposition which God continuously exterminates, is the very assumption entertained by man, since the beginning, of the false sense of belief in mortality — the diametrical opposite of Life. God knows this mortality, but He knows it only as falsity! The false concept of the man who is mortal, is the very entity of what God exterminates by His very infinitude and presence! The belief that there is a separated mortal man who is born, and who lives and dies in a realm separated from God, IS the primary suppositional lie, the primary evil lie about man, and which God continually exterminates. So, you see, we must to the best of our ability immediately stop believing ourselves to be this mortal man! Every element of belief in ourselves as this mortal man contributes to the illusion that we are mortal human beings who are born, live, and die in matter. What God is revealing to us by His infinity is the blessed and beautiful fact that we are immortal and perfect spiritual reflections of Him, now and eternally!
What is the way out of this dilemma of conviction that we are living mortal lives, that we were materially born into these bodies, and that we must and will die out of them? The way out is to learn to mentally enter the spiritual realm, and to stay there. We must start with the continual affirmation that we are living in that sensually invisible spiritual realm, now. The spiritual realm is not a realm into which we will be transported when we die, for God knows nothing about the concept of death, and is in fact continually exterminating death itself, by virtue of His nature as eternal Life. God knows us as living in His eternal image and likeness. Our task, if we are to proceed in our consciousness heavenward, is to learn that we are not mortals, and that we cannot therefore become immortals, and that we do not have a state of mortality to leave behind us, for we are now and eternally immortal. When we come to realize and understand that God is continually exterminating that which we falsely imagine as our misinterpretation of life, we find the impetus and desire to continually confirm our spiritual identity as our real and valid selfhood, and to drop so fact as practical every mortal and discordant belief about existence, for God is continually destroying them. God denies the supposed man who interprets mere false supposition as reality. This denial is the very exercise of God’s sovereign goodness. False belief itself is the essential element of the denial which is but the natural product of God’s exercise of His natural present and infinite authority.
In summary and review: Who is it that entertains a false belief in a man to whom false material and evil suppositions appear real? It is most definitely not God’s spiritual man. It is a false belief in a false man who entertains such notions of evil and mortality, for God Himself continuously denies them. Therefore, spiritual man also reflects that continuous denial. This agrees clearly with Christ Jesus’ assertion about the devil when he said in John 8:44
“ Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
We must therefore continually deny the mortal man, and continually affirm that we are the spiritual man, reflecting all of the omnipotence of God, who continually prevents any and every concept contrary to His perfect and eternal nature from taking on any being. Such supposed being must only seem to take place outside of Him — within its own imaginary mental realm which feels to mortals to be a convincing reality. This is the realm which we term in Christian Science, mortal mind. The denial of the mortal man, and the affirmation of the spiritual man, are one and the same operation, for they are opposite ideas. Each confirms the other. By considering the nature of the opposite of error, you see Truth itself, because every particular lie about a corresponding particular Truth.