Lesson 10 – Non-Resistance – Studies in Divine Science

X. NON-RESISTANCE

Mrs. C. L. Baum
Studies in Divine Science
The Colorado College of Divine Science
Denver, Colo., 4th ed., 1924.

From the day that Jesus propounded his doctrine of non-resistance, to the present time, there has been an increasing interest in that thought. Jesus speaking to the people in his wonderful Sermon on the Mount, came at length to that particular fallacy in the popular belief, “Ye have heard it said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Over against this conception of law and justice he placed a new idea, “That ye resist not evil,” exhorting the people to carry this doctrine to the length of loving their enemies, giving good for evil and blessing for cursing. Centuries have passed since that truth was proclaimed, and while it has not been lived strongly during that time, it has, nevertheless, survived, and today Divine Science renews the teachings that resistance has no true place in God’s creation, and that harmony is the only law.

The revival of interest in this law of Truth, is especially opportune at a time when, to many earnest souls, there seems to be so much in the world to be overcome, and which apparently cannot be overcome unless it is resisted. Sin and sickness seem to have multiplied despite all the customary efforts to counteract them, and the belief may be quite natural that the great need is for some resisting force to overcome them. Resistance as a means of securing harmony is a fallacy. True harmony cannot spring from inharmony, nor peace from discord. Resistance fails because it is not in accord with harmony, which is the only law.

By way of illustrating these last statements in their application to overcoming the common inharmonies of life, let me relate a personal inner experience. A friend once came to me for help, claiming great pain in the limbs and calling her feeling rheumatism. As we sat in the silence, relaxed and receptive to the consciousness of Divine Health, there suddenly came to me the vision of a large, clean, attractive kitchen. There was no one in this room, and as I looked in wonder, the door suddenly opened, and a broad band of sunlight shone across the floor. In this band of sunlight there were many dancing shadows. Shortly I seemed to hear a child’s voice saying, “See how the sunlight flickers on the floor,” whereupon a deep grave voice answered, “No, child, the sunlight never flickers, it is only the shadows of the leaves.” As I continued to look I saw a human form standing in the sunlight. The form was radiant with light, save for a few dancing shadows, and again I seemed to hear the deep grave voice saying, “The light of the divine and perfect Life never flickers; the dancing shadows are but false conceptions.”

The vision then vanished as suddenly as it had come, but I had learned its lesson and I knew its truth. Still in the silence, I turned to my friend and saw within her the pure and perfect light of the Divine Presence, save for a few flickering shadows of unenlightened thought where she had claimed rheumatism. I knew that it was necessary only to let go of the false conceptions of the reality of disease in order to be healed. It was not necessary that either she or I should resist anything in order to overcome this inharmony. All that was necessary was to banish the shadows by knowing the eternal reality of the all-pervading Life and Health of God. From this experience I have come to see and know the truth of the Master’s doctrine, “That ye resist not evil.”

What, then, is this “evil” that we are not to resist? It is simply a shadow, an unreality, a bit of man’s ignorance of his own divinity, a false conception, a lack of consciousness of the truth. And what is meant by resisting? It implies opposition, strife, combat with an adversary in an endeavor to defeat. How, then, could we possibly reconcile a proposal to resist evil? Would it avail anything to fight a shadow, to oppose ignorance, to engage in a combat with an unreality, to try to defeat something which is not? Would a teacher help a child’s ignorance by resisting its lack of knowledge? Surely not; condemnation of ignorance never brought forth the light of knowledge. All students of Truth have learned by this time that disease is only a shadow which is never healed by claiming its reality and then resisting it. Sin, likewise, is but a lack of knowledge of the All-Good, and is not overcome through opposition and striving.

Now, just as hate engenders hate and anger brings anger in return, so resistance begets resistance. Thus all belief of wrong, whether we call it sin, disease, hate or whatever else, returns again to him who sends it. If one argues that because he wishes to be rid of certain inharmony he will, therefore, resist it, he is attacking the matter in the wrong way. Whatever is resisted is probably feared, and fear always fights back. But this view of non-resistance is not to be construed as meaning that one should do nothing or take no action whatever toward overcoming inharmony. This is a wrong conception of non-resistance. Jesus recognized the evil, the wrong, the ignorance of the world, and taught that we were to overcome it, but not by resistance as though these inharmonies were real. We are to learn that overcoming consists in a realization of the nature of the shadows and a consciousness of the truth of the light.

It is true that there is a negative method of treating inharmony and it brings more or less peace to the individual. But it is not the way of power or growth. This negative method produces four beliefs in thought which are called non-resistant. They are (1) selfish indifference, (2) passive endurance, (3) living above troubles and, (4) turning the back on them. Any or all of these may serve for a time, but they all mean suppression and not expression, and do not lead into the kingdom of joy and power.

Jesus’ injunction was not of this sort. He was very positive in his teaching that it was necessary to overcome evil; that it was not contemplated that one should either submit to, endure or ignore inharmony, but that these things being negative, were to be overcome with the positive good. The greater portion of our errors and troubles are perpetuated by resisting them, by maintaining a wrong attitude of thought toward them. The following is a common manner of expression, “I have fought this sin or sickness, for years, but without avail, and it has finally gotten the better of me.” The fighting has been suggested by fear of the evil, and fear has given certain forms of ignorance and inharmony whatever of apparent mastery they possess.

What is it that the world commonly denominates evil? In the light of this present day we classify under the category of evil: disease, pain, poverty, sorrow, unpleasant people, disagreeable surroundings and a host of mental beliefs, such as envy, malice, selfishness, jealousy, unkindness and criticism. Shall we fight and resist these things, making our life on earth one long warfare? God forbid! As Divine Scientists or students of Truth are we not scientific enough to overcome all of them with good? As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, and “Evil unto him who evil thinketh.” Paraphrasing the latter statement we may just as truly say, “Good unto him who good thinketh.”

Let us consider a few plain, practical directions for overcoming evil with good. First, let go of all resentment, and dismiss all fears about the various forms of evil which have found their way into your life. Second, establish a mental attitude of peace and contentment toward all things, conditions and people. “For I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Third, use love and goodness positively as a dissolving power. The result of this effort to use good in overcoming evil will bring peace and harmony into the most turbulent life. Evil in all its forms is negative and only a shadow. Good is positive and the recognition and realization of love and goodness as the reality back of every appearance, dissolve the negation. Good is the logical means of overcoming evil, because it is its direct opposite. One cannot dissolve darkness with more darkness, whereas ever so little light has an immediate effect. In like manner no form of negation can be overcome with negation. Disease cannot be truly overcome by applying a knowledge of disease, whereas ever so slight a realization of the truth of health will overcome disease truly and permanently.

It should be the duty of all, and indeed the joy of all, continually to affirm the reality of the Divine Presence of light, love and health; to make this affirmation now and always until this Omnipresence becomes a tangible reality to us. Then truly for us, “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.” “He that overcometh (by love) shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be my son.”

STATEMENTS FOR MEDITATION.

I resist nothing.
I overcome all seeming evil with Good.
There is no reality in evil, since the Allness of God is everywhere.
I give a loving thought and a kind word to everyone I meet.
I am a source of joy to all I meet.
I go out to bless my world by seeing it filled with the glory of the Divine Presence.
The Father blesses my work.
The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he adds no sorrow to it.

THE LARGER PRAYER.

At first I prayed for Light:
Could I but see the way,
How gladly, swiftly would I walk
To everlasting day.

And next I prayed for Strength:
That I might tread the road
With firm, unfaltering feet, and win
The heaven’s serene abode.

And then I asked for Faith:
Could I but trust my God
Id’s live enfolded in His peace
Though foes were all abroad.

But now I pray for Love:
Deep love to God and man;
A living love that will not fail,
However deep His plan:

And Light and Strength and Faith
Are opening everywhere!
God only waited for me till
I prayed the larger prayer.

– Mrs. E. D. Cheney.

Lesson 11

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