The Practice of Idealism

W. John Murray
The Astor Lectures
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1917, 8th ed.

[251] In the science of numbers the numeral “nine” is not derived from the figure “one.” Instead the value of the numeral is derived from the multiplication of the value of the unit. Man is not evolved from an ape; he is rather the highest effect produced from God’s multiplication of the unit of Life. Man is, therefore, the highest manifestation of Spirit, the idea of God.

He is God’s representative and it is to him that his heavenly Father will give a “white stone, and in the stone a new name written which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” In ancient times white stones were given to those who won in the public plays, as an emblem of victory. Man, then, who soars above the phenomenon of sense, and dwells in the secret place of the Most High, or the understanding of God, as the only Reality, will receive the emblem of victory with the name of the “Son of God” written therein. And only he who has received this name can know its value, worth, and nobility. Only such as are worthy to receive it are capable of realizing the richness and glory of the inheritance of Spirit.

Beloved, “now are ye the sons of God,” and therefore heirs to the kingdom of heaven, but [252] it is your obligation to prove your sonship in order that you may receive your inheritance. You are a heavenly pilot. You must mount on the wings of Spirit and soar to your birthplace in God; commence today to prove your divinity by preaching the gospel and healing the sick.

The aviator knows that it is not by watching the swallow’s heavenly course that he can filch the art of her graceful flight through the ether; full well he knows that to fly like the swallow he must imitate her soul. It is even so with the idealist. It is not by imitation of rites and ceremonies, but by imaging the ideal that he arrives at perfection.

His ability to heal the sick and comfort the sorrowing indicates the height that he has attained in his upward flight. To heal the sick by spiritual means, it is necessary for the metaphysician to mentally lift the patient above the physical morass into which he or she has fallen. Realize that all action is spiritual, perfect and painless, because God is the only Actor. Know that the life pulsating through your patient emanates from God, is a manifestation of God. Hold the idea of perfection for the patient until it crystalizes into the form of a new creature. If the case to be treated is that of an infant, commence your mental realization by knowing that the parents of the child are merely the channels through which God’s Fatherhood and Motherhood are expressed. This realization establishes the only inheritance as spiritual and perfect. [253] Also it destroys the fear that springs from a human sense of parentage, the adhesive quality which fastens disease on the individual. Children are very receptive to the Truth, because their minds are not filled with material suppositions concerning health laws. A child accepts as facts, statements of Truth, regardless of the testimony of the senses. Children see God in everything, and their little hearts never hold a grudge. Because of this, it is not necessary to empty the child’s mind before filling it with the Truth; this is an untold advantage in treating the little ones. The mind is God’s workshop. It is the place where divine images are wrought, and the body as certainly reproduces these ideas, in the form of the thing imaged, as a mirror reflects whatever is placed in front of it. The mind is the place of conception, but birth takes place in the body. Make your perfect image, and the force of mind will project this image into the consciousness from whence it will find expression in the so-called physical.

Children are born mystics. They live in a make-believe world and associate with make-believe friends. They see angels in the wild flowers and hear God whisper in the night winds. And they know that it is a make-believe world. Adults, unlike children, live in a world of their own making but believe that it is a real world, and therefore the grown-up must become as a little child in order to apprehend the truths of Spirit. To illustrate mental treatment, let us [254] begin at the first step which is to rid your own mind of fear and responsibility.

It is God that gives the increase; therefore, the responsibility, if there is any, rests on the divine shoulders. Your single duty is to see the Truth and nothing else. If you see anything else it is a sure sign that you are not seeing the Truth. Assure your patient mentally that God has not given him the spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind. Close your eyes to the evidence of the senses and open them to the Truth of Being. Let us suppose that the case to be treated is a fibrous tumor. Subtract in your mind the things that God made from the appearances which he did not make. Thus you arrive at an image of perfection. Now surround this image by declarations of Truth. God is the author of symmetry. This knowledge precludes the possibility of deformity as a reality. Image the patient as filled with the Holy Ghost, which is the All of Spirit. This realization excludes the presence of matter. Rest on this declaration; it is the sublime Truth of creation and will bring into manifestation the divine reality of inimitable and eternal symmetry.

Sense never made a tumor that will not vanish before the realization of the presence of the Holy Ghost. If you persist in this silent realization of the Divine Presence, your spiritual light will dissolve the very appearance of the tumor, which is all there is or ever will be of deformity. Every case can be met by the same understanding, namely, the indwelling [255] presence of the all of Divinity. In this consciousness is included the idea or image which is the divine cause, the effect of which is perfect form and the consequence of which is the complete expression of harmony in the so-called physical realm. The Trinity is the same throughout nature. It is always the three-in-one God, Principle of Being, Idea, best illustrated by the Christ, and Expression, or the visible manifestation of the all of Divinity (God the Father, God the Son, God the All or Whole of Spirit), in the Man-God Christ Jesus. All that exists, from the greatest to the least of created things, represents a trinity in unity. Man is God’s trinity, therefore man is Spirit in manifestation. God is not man, but man in his essence is God. The oak is not the acorn, but the acorn is the oak in embryo, the developing of which results in the mighty tree. So man, by the development of his innate divinity, arrives at Godliness.

This does not minimize God, but it does increase Man to the stature of Christ Jesus and makes it possible for us to come to the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The unity of God demands a facsimile in all that which precedes Divinity. If Jesus were endowed by God above his fellows, it would be unfair to expect them to arrive at the measure of the fullness of Christ, and, more than that, it would be asking the impossible.

The birth of Jesus was an incident in the flesh [256] which in nowise affected his conception as an Idea of God. Motherhood in its divinity is next to Godhood. All conception is immaculate. It is the immaculate conception of the omnipotence of God, as opposed to the belief in the testimony of the sense, that heals discord and restores harmony in the realm of the physical. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was chosen to be the channel through which the idea of God should crystallize and come into manifestation in the form of man. Naturally this woman ascended to the plane of thought where she could separate the occasion of begetting from the cause of being. This was the immaculate conception, and the question of parentage does not enter into it. Jesus was conceived by God. You are conceived likewise. Human parentage was the channel through which the “son of the carpenter” made his advent among men, and this has not detracted from the divine Cause of which his life was the beneficent effect; this is likewise true of the birth of every man. If birth is produced by cell division, it is an immaculate conception; if, on the other hand, it is the result of the fusion of other elements, it is nevertheless an Immaculate Conception. We have limited Universal Truth to an individual exception and mistaken the occasion of begetting for the Cause of Being. The life of Jesus was so thoroughly one with the life of God that the line of demarcation between the Man and the God has never been successfully drawn. If there is such a thing as physical regeneration, it has been [257] preceded by spiritual causation, and therein lies the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God.

Jesus knew this verity of being, and, therefore, he always referred to God as “yourFather and my Father,” and by his works, he proved that God makes no divisions, and that we are all One in Christ Jesus. The Mother of Jesus loved much, and her immaculate conception of the Son of God was an image that never grew dim; because of this she will ever remain an example of perfected Motherhood.

Wants bear no relation to need; the latter God will supply. Mind is never sick, and the body is only in subjection to Mind. Whatever exists in the mind will produce its effect on the physical, to the extent that the object under the calcium light takes on the color thrown upon it. The Greeks understood this law and adopted it. The result was a noble race. We would do well in this respect to pattern after the older nation. Drugs have no part in metaphysical healing. To teach the patient to subtract his faith from remedies and place it to the account of his faith in Spirit will accelerate his restoration to health.

“Antidotes are poison,” and others besides Shakespeare knew this verity. Confidence in medicine is not engendered by physicians; it is due rather to the methods of the drugging system. To such as believe in the efficacy of surgery, an operation is generally an effective but undoubtedly a painful cure. To turn to the [258] Great Physician, in the first place, would save retracing toilsome steps. “The light of the body is the eye; therefore, when the eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light, but when thy eye is defective (evil) thy body also is full of darkness.” In this verse the eye represents the intention. Therefore, if your intention is directed to spiritual things, spiritual attainments will crown your efforts. But if your design is imperfect, the body will register the defect. If you have everything in one hand, you have nothing in the other.

So with faith: the more we have in God the less we have in matter, and the quality of the healing depends upon the faith of the patient. Often-times a patient, apparently at death’s door, will respond instantly to metaphysical treatment, while another who is slightly indisposed will require a much longer time in which to yield to the truth. The reason for this is very readily explained. Before a patient reaches death’s door, he has generally exhausted his faith in drugs. Therefore, while he may have no conscious faith in metaphysics, he certainly has none in physics. Such a condition of mind is more adaptable to Truth than one vacillating between an ounce of faith in God and a pound of confidence in an untried remedy. When we come to have all our faith in Spirit, discord will be unknown.

A lady writes, “The Bible teaches that there is only one substance. Foods, drugs and what are called medicine can be reduced to their [259] original chemical constituents and so to the one substance. I believe that this is true. Therefore I see no more inconsistency in taking one than the other. Am I not correct?”

The patient is right that there is only one substance. God is substance, and God is all; all that is visible is a shadow of the one, invisible substance. If the patient believes this fact, there is no more inconsistency in taking one more than the other, and consequently she will not change her diet by adding medicine in case of sickness, nor will she hesitate to substitute aconite for the usual demi-tasse. To change a diet indicates the fact that certain qualities are attributed to one thing that are not attributed to another. That which is one in substance is one in essence. Such men as have believed in one universal substance have upheld their theory by their practice. For example Paul believed in one elementary substance, God. One cold rainy day the Apostle was kindling a fire on the Island of Melita, and as he gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand; he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm, when he should have swollen or fallen down dead straightway. Paul believed in good to the exclusion of error. He was not swinging like a pendulum between a belief in a power for good and an opposite power for evil; he practices when he was ill that which he preached when he was well. Paul had his mental pendulum caught so firmly in the mesh [260] of the Spirit that it never swung back to a belief in materiality. That is why he raised the dead. When we have risen to the knowledge of God as the only substance we shall cease to theorize and follow the example of the great martyr Paul. The basis of our universal substance was the foundation upon which Jesus built his spiritual healing. The Nazarene discovered the unity of all things and the unit in God. The Master taught that everything about us–trees, houses, men, etc.–are but different manifestations of one elementary substance, and he understood what it is that causes these manifestations or atoms to combine with the same regularity of difference, in order to transmute or change wood into iron, iron into flesh, or stones into bread. He was the Master Alchemist and understood the hitherto hidden law of the transmutation of substance. Jesus recognized in Spirit the uniting force, triumphing in Nature, in the laws of gravitation, molecular cohesion, and chemical affinity; in other words, the force which, through natural attraction, draws together two chemicals uniting to form a third, in which are included the vital qualities of the two. [Frost, Philosophy of Integration.] John, the mystic, saw in Jesus the Word made Flesh or the Human transmuted into the Divine. By the application of the law of transmutation of substance, Jesus raised the dead, restored carious bones to their original soundness, and healed the sick, but [261] all his designs were wrought in the chamber of imagery before they took form in the flesh.

We must enter into the same chamber to do our designing, and in proportion to the clearness of our spiritual vision, we will heal the sick and follow the example of the Great Teacher. To the man who is conscious of his unity with God deprivation is unknown. Such a one instantly transmutes so-called calamity into opportunity. He converts his afflictions into stepping stones by which he ascends from the miasma of dejection into the realm of the real.

Suppression must not be mistaken for demonstration. To keep back that which wants to make its appearance is repression and is a temporary effort, whereas todemonstrate over it is to prove specifically the non-existence of such states of false feeling as do not need expression. Crucifying the poor flesh will never resurrect the mind, but the elevation of the mind above the plane of the senses will raise the body from its dungeon of pain. The mind of man is his ego; the “I” to which Jesus referred when he said, “If I be lifted up from the earth (the plane of sense) I will draw all men unto me.” [From the Latin translation of the text.] The elevation of the mind above the plane of sense is the true elevation of the Host! It is a mental exaltation and not a material elevation.

It is easier to prevent disease than it is to overcome it, but the mental realization that Spirit governs and harmoniously controls all the functions [262] of every organ in the body, will replace chaos with harmony. In the presence of seeming discord, hold continually in mind the facts of Being, namely, the omnipresence and omnipotence of God. To abide in this consciousness is to image in the physical the harmony of your realization. Cleanliness is essential to decency, but guard against keeping only the outside of the platter clean. Daily ablutions are both refreshing and invigorating, and as you partake of them, realize that as your body is submerged in water, even so your mind and soul are overflowed by Spirit. Make every act of your life a prayer, and “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Never look for symptoms. Nothing emboldens sickness so much as sympathy. Meet every adverse condition as the dominator of that condition. Never make terms with error. It is a shadow which you can always dispel by facing the sun of righteousness. The Verities of Being are health and wholeness, and it is man’s divine right to be happy, although it is not the right of one of God’s children to purchase happiness at the expense of another’s suffering. If a thing is right and proper for one, it is lawful and just for all, and there is, perhaps, no better illustration in the history of the fact that what affects one member of the human family, affects the entire race, than the tragic history of Adam’s bite of apple which has flavored the spiritual repast of all Christians since the beginning of [263] the world. Inflammation cannot resist the cooling vapor that arises from the realization that the waters of life are flowing and reflowing through every fiber of your being, refreshing and invigorating the most minute particles of your earthly tabernacle.

Fix in the mind of your patient that Man is the image and likeness of God, and therefore is immune from discord, and bear in mind that every statement of Truth is made in the present tense of the indicative mood. In the grammar of Spirit the present tense is the only one in vogue. There is no “shall be” or “should be;” it is always “I am” and “they are,” now spiritual and perfect.

Opiates relieve pain temporarily, but they never remove it from its habitation in the mind. Truth on the contrary dispels discord without leaving any after effects; therefore, Truth is the only scientific remedy for sickness or sin. It is not what is, but what mankind believes to be, that affects the human race for weal or woe. Messages from the zone of war announcing the death of certain soldiers have caused their mothers to die of grief, whereas, the news being erroneous, the sons were really alive and well. On this principle in the proportion that humanity comes to believe in the eternal Truth of Life, namely, the Allness of God, all will be well with the world, for “God is in His heaven and on earth there is none beside Him.”

To efface error by arguing with it or denying it is like trying to “pin down a shadow in order to [264] take its measure.” Affirm the Truth and error will disappear as darkness flees before dawn. Let the patient do most of the talking. You have enough to do to affirm the Truth. Enter a sick room cheerfully, but reverently. You are there to meet God. The sick do not understand the language of Spirit and you are come to translate God’s Truth in the form of spiritual healing, and the patient’s recovery largely depends on the correctness of your translation. Healing the sick is a sacred responsibility and one that requires constant self-immolation and consecration. Whatever dependence is placed in materiality is misplaced. It was the radical reliance that Jesus placed in Spirit which enabled him to do his mighty works. To pattern after the Master it is absolutely necessary to follow the spiritual design. In no other way can we attain to the realm of Spirituality which is the dwelling place of Christ.

In the drama of existence we can assume the character of health and wholeness, and thus become the part we play. The body is passive and inert clay in the hands of a noble Potter. To realize this we have to rend the veil of illusion with the sword of Spirit, in order that our spiritual perception may grasp the beauty of holiness, and in this way remove the bandage of sense which blinds our mental vision. Man’s lack of faith in his own God-given dominion and power has made him go outside of himself in search of the help that can only be found in the overflowing [265] storeroom of his own soul. This is the sin for which we must atone by forsaking the error of material dependence. Every feather-weight of dependence that we place on persons or things lessens our reliance in God and weakens our spiritual powers.

We are spiritually great in the proportion that we are able to stand alone, and the time comes when we must stand alone. It is a terrible position in which to be placed, but it is the travail which precedes radical reliance upon God.

When the child is weaned, it suffers an agony of despair, it is inconsolable; but unless it is taken from the maternal fount, it will not receive the nourishment which is essential to its larger development. The same is true of the grown child, the man, who rarely thinks about cultivation of his inner, his soul self, until he is cut off from his material reservoir. Perhaps it is family ties; it may be friends or fortune; whatever it is, if it stands in the way of his spiritual progression it will be removed. Then will man come face to face with the wealth of his own soul and have free access to spiritual treasures.

God is man’s only dependence. Everything else is in subjection to his divinity. A person’s sensitiveness is a weapon in the hands of the unscrupulous; therefore, transmute sensitiveness to common sense, and thereby cease to be the prey of low minds. Life is a sum which we are here to work out with individuals instead of [266] numerals. We must liken the crucifying things in Life’s sum to the zero which is valuable or worthless according to the relation it bears to the unit. If sorrow drives you into a closer relation with the Infinite, it is a positive quality. If instead it hardens your heart and makes you bitter, it is negative and injurious. Adjust the zero, otherwise you will be required to work out the same problem with a new combination of figures. God never accepts work that is poorly done. Sorrow has its purpose; it is to turn us from sense to soul. In the exact proportion that we put off dependence on personality, we put on spiritual independence. To part with sense is to meet God, and it has been well said, “Life without God is shorn of its glory and divested of its meaning.”

All physical derangement is occasioned by mental inharmony. Mind, not matter, acts; therefore, to produce physical harmony it is necessary to adjust the mind. This can be done only by changing the thought. If envy, malice, or hate has found lodgment in the mind, it is necessary to eject these shadows and substitute love in their stead. If it is sorrow that has barred the windows, pull down the bars by ministering to another’s stony grief and thereby forgetting your own. Ministry holds the key to forgetfulness. And only through divine ministry to the needs of others can we transmute morbid sentiment into healthy sorrow. Sorrow has its place in the economy of existence, and a great sorrow will [267] obliterate a world of false sentimentalism which forbids progression, the watchword of Spirit.

Death is the necessary outlet of existence into Life. To weep for the so-called dead is to envy God his guests. Jesus was the greatest humanitarian that ever lived, and yet in the early dawn when the sorrow-driven women arrived at his sepulcher his first words were a rebuke–“Why seek ye the living among the dead?” There are no dead. Life is the great fact of Being. By death we pass from temporal existence into life eternal. For death is the climax of existence. All that appears to the senses is ephemeral and fleeting and it vanishes. But that which does not appear, the spiritual and unseen, is the only reality, “so that things which are seen are not made of things that do appear.”

The material is the unreal and spectral, the phenomenon of which death is the total eclipse. It is not the blotting out of individuality; instead it is the vanishing of personality which, like a curtain, hides divine character.

Existence is the dream stage of eternal life, and our present joys or sorrows are only the reality of fleeting visions which seem true while the vision lasts. The body is the tomb of the soul. Death rolls away the stone from the door of the sepulcher. Instantly the soul is awakened and commences to soar above the realm of appearances.

When an adult “crosses the bar,” we suffer for our loss, but we console ourselves by thinking [268] of him as at least able to supply his needs on the new plane of consciousness, even as he did on this plane. But when a little one, of all created things most helpless, sails out to sea, we imagine the wee personality “there” as we knew it “here.” We forget that in death’s dismantling storm, material personality has been transmuted to divine individuality, and we suffer for our forgetfulness.

We are weighed down by ignorance, and, instead of ascending the mountains of Spiritual Enlightenment in this great crisis of life, that we might see the soul’s flight with our inner vision, we sit in the Valley of Despair, wrapped in gloom, our eyes filled with tears, as we wonder who is caring for our baby now, or who is feeding him; and these vain questions dispel the light and leave the sun to mock our ignorance. In reality death has changed shape to form much as a vision changes play of forces. Neither are there any dead. Instead there are liberated souls, beings who have transcended the thraldom of matter, and who, having awakened from the dream of life in matter to the larger vision of life, come and go at will, with no sense of birth or death. These phenomena are the entrance and exit to and from the earth plane, the entering into a dream and the awakening from it, as it were. Birth and death are sense appearances, and neither is seen in its true character. Birthnecessitates death; to die necessitates being born. In the kingdom of heaven, or the realm of the [269] real, birth and death are unknown. What appears as the birth of a child is in reality the coming of an invisible helper. The infant shape is the mask which is worn to enable the angel to enter into the innermost recesses of misshapen hearts and recast them in the melting pot of unselfish love.

What appears to us as growth in the child is really expansion in our own souls. How else do we account for the coming of what we term unusual children? They come and stay until love has illumined the life of the parents, and then they “fold their tents and silently steal away,” and with their going, the parents’ love is, in the furnace of affliction, turned from an individual to a universal application. It is thus that through the love for one child the motherhood and fatherhood of God is extended to all needy children.

Life is a circle, that has neither beginning nor end. What appears to us as birth is a form of God in the shape of a child, and as we awaken from existence to a fuller consciousness of life, we shall see that death absolves existence, and angels bear us up from shadow into the substance of God. It is thus that we see “Nature’s tears” to be “Reason’s merriment.”

In the Transfiguration, when Jesus took his three disciples “up into an high mountain apart by themselves,” and showed them that transformation was wrought by the renewing of the mind, the Master laid down shape and put on form and was transfigured before his students. [270] In the spiritual illumination that followed Jesus’ ascent upon the spiritual plane of consciousness, space was eliminated, and he saw and talked with Moses and Elias. The patriarchs had transcended matter through Spirit’s agent, so called death,–Jesus, through understanding; but the equality of their spiritual status enabled them to meet and recognize each other, although planets rolled between them. This is sufficient proof to the spiritually awakened that inequality of mental conditions is the only barrier between the so-called dead and the so-called living. When we reach the fullness of manhood and womanhood, we shall know and shall be known by our own.

The little children, with their unfathomable wisdom, their absolute freedom from fear, and their untarnished, unquestioning faith, bring into the world an inheritance which their earthly parentage never bestowed upon them. In the drama of dreams they play the role of the good angels who are ever turning the adult mind in the direction of its Maker. When this is accomplished, may not some of these “little ones” doff their masks in the vestibule of death and assume a new role in the theater of another’s existence? Who may say that the Isaiah of the old dispensation was not discernible in the Jesus of the new? Be that as it may,

“The lives of the two men were gentle and the elements
So mixed in them that
Nature might stand up
And say to all the world,–these were men.”

[271] And men are the shadows of God which, by the alchemy of Spirit, become thesubstance of Spirit. It is always “darkest before the dawn,” and it is not infrequent, under metaphysical treatment, to find that the greatest physical disturbance precedes the cessation of all physical discord.

The line can never be drawn between cases that should be metaphysically treated and those that should be treated by material means. There are no degrees of error,–and Truth is as potent to destroy one phase of discord as another. If the patient has enough faith, and the practitioner has sufficient understanding of the Christ truth, a bone can be set by the Divine Mind as readily as a case of scrofula can be healed. Nothing is impossible to God. Jesus never drew the line between one discord and another. He effaced all discord by the realization of the eternal presence of harmony. Only when people refused to believe was his power denied them.

Truth never fails. The limitation is in our understanding of Divine principle. All love resembles what it loves. If we love the Truth we will become daily more truthful in our representation of the ideal, and in the exact proportion that we put off the false we put on the true, and as we put off the corruptible we put on the incorruptible. It is thus that mortality is submerged [272] in immortality. Love is the life of the universe; it is the living reality of existence, and God is the only perfect setting that will ever be found for the jewel of Love. Man’s love for God is measured by his service for humanity. In matter we find unceasing conflicts; in Spirit we find rest unto our souls.

From the wilderness of pain comes the cry–“What is the difference between abelief in the thing, and the thing itself, when the pain is the same?” Explain to the sufferer that the pain–like a counterfeit coin–is only the same in appearance. The person who knows the unreality of discord, although he may not yet have dissipated its shadow, is in the position of one who, although sentenced for the commission of a crime, has the indwelling consciousness of his innocence, and the conviction that he will be able to establish his freedom from guilt. The consolation of innocence supplies the endurance necessary to the establishment of innocuousness.

Shakespeare has said,–

“There are greater storms and
Tempests than almanacs can report.”

These are the struggles that go on between spiritual knowledge and material sensation, but it is legitimate warfare and always results in the splendid triumph of Spirit. Error is nothing wearing the mask of something. In the perpetuation of sin a partnership is generally formed, [273] but when the firm fails, as it always does, the partners are doomed to pay their debts, alone and without aid. It is thus that “the sins we do, two by two, we pay for one by one!”

The space is so infinitesimal between the place where virtue ends and where vice begins that not even Deity has sought to draw a separation line. In the matter of sinning Jesus seems only to have considered the sinner’s motives; hence he always forgave the sinner. The Master realized that,

“Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
And vice sometimes by action dignified.”

Two spies were sent by Joshua to Jericho. They lodged in the house of a sinner. People gossiped, and the King sent to Rahab, the sinner, ordering that she deliver the men to justice. Rahab hid the men among the stalks of flax which she had laid in order upon the roof. When the King’s men came to take the spies, Rahab said:

“There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: and it came to pass about the time of the shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out; whither–I wot not.”

This happened fourteen hundred and fifty-two years before Jesus. In commenting on the incident, the brother of Jesus speaks of this splendid Magdalen as “justified” by her lovely compassion, in spite of her negative vice. Likewise [274] Jesus pardoned the sorrowful Mary who chose the garish way, because she mistook it for happiness.

Many are the lights that have been thrown upon sin in order that men might see its non-existence, but the clearest light has been given by the Great Star in the East who has said, “Sin is siding with the finite against the Infinite in us.” [Tagore-Sadhana.] Sin, then, is insanity; as such it should be regarded, and as such healed by the Christ-Truth.

In the rediscovery of the application of Thought to the cure of disease in the century just past, some material alchemists have sought to confuse the power of the Spirit with the noxious weeds of erroneous application. This pernicious practice gave rise, in the minds of the credulous, to a belief in the potency of the power of spurious thinking. Fortunately this heresy has been overthrown by the knowledge that the purity of Truth is such that it is not subject to perversion. As well try to obscure the sun with darkness as to pervert the divine power of thinking misapplication. Therefore the only evil thought we have to guard against is our own. No one has power to hurt us but ourselves, and even our power in that direction is limited, for we cannot “rough-hew” a shape that, in the end, is not reformed in the mold of Spirit by “divinity.” This is not one of the least of the pearls of thought which we owe to an immortal poet.

[275] To think right is to be in tune with Deity, to be at one with God. To think right is to take part in the mystical union between the human and the Divine. This is spiritual communion, the substance of which is seen in the healing of the sick and the unmasking of sin, which reveals the Son of God. The wine we drink is the wine of the Spirit of Truth that sustains us unto the end of the illusion which has become the habitation, not the dwelling place, of evil, and the hold of every foul mind, and a place of every unclean and hateful thought. “Come out of her, my people. Your substance is in God.”

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