Mrs. C. L. Baum
Studies in Divine Science
The Colorado College of Divine Science
Denver, Colo., 4th ed., 1924.
In its commonly accepted meaning the term ‘overcoming’ suggests contest, contention and strife for the accomplishment of a desired end. This conception has been carried even into the Old Thought pertaining to the religious life, which has been regarded as a sort of continual warfare between good and evil, with great stress laid on the necessity of combating the latter in order to attain the former. In the light of Truth we have seen that this false conception arises from the fact that man has regarded evil as an entity and has given it almost equal power with good. Hence the alleged necessity of fighting against evil.
That no such conception of overcoming was a part of the teaching of Jesus and the disciples who understood him, is evident from the Bible references to this subject. The manner of overcoming is clearly indicated in the instruction to “overcome evil with good.” Again, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” Here we find only faith in the good mentioned as means for overcoming; no suggestion of strife or warfare, and no recognition of evil as a power to strive against.
Nevertheless, the query may frequently come to the new student of Divine Science, ‘How am I to overcome what is spoken of as the world or evil?’ Even though we may know that in Truth we are free from the bondage of error, the way to realization of freedom is not always clear. Frequently this slight confusion is due to the fact that previously acquired beliefs have not been discarded, so that the thought is mixed. “It is almost as difficult to make a man un-learn his errors as his knowledge. Mal-information is more hopeless than non-information; for error is always more busy than ignorance. Ignorance is a blank sheet on which we may write, but error is a scribbled one on which we must first erase. Ignorance is contended to stand still with her back to the Truth, but error is more presumptuous and proceeds in the same direction. Ignorance has no light, but error follows a false one. The consequence is that error, when she retraces her footsteps, has farther to go before she can arrive at the Truth, than ignorance.”
Perhaps it would clear the whole matter somewhat if we first understand just what it is that we have to overcome. Overcoming is training all the faculties and senses to look always for the truth, to conquer evil by knowing it not. They are, therefore, only negative conditions that we have to overcome and we do this by knowing the truth of their positive opposites. Negative conceptions and beliefs have no reality or entity, but exist only in man’s mentality, and are overcome by control of the thought, keeping it directed along positive lines. Thus we overcome false beliefs with positive declaration of the Truth; we dispel darkness with light; we replace disorder with order, and unrest with peace. Health is manifested where before disease held sway, and Love shows forth instead of hatred.
Healing and overcoming are one and the same. The Healing of disease is the overcoming of the belief of error in the thought. Hence we see that speaking the Truth and bringing it into consciousness is all that is needed to heal or overcome. In fact, the mentality is all that needs healing in any instance, whether of belief in bodily disease, mental discomfort or material lack. Again, anyone who can speak the Truth can heal, although it is not merely speaking the Word that heals, but rather the conviction that it is the Truth. We should know positively and beyond any shadow of doubt that Truth is health, joy, peace, harmony and love, and that to bring these qualities into consciousness will ultimately result in their outer manifestation. Then, and in this way only, we shall have overcome negation, by knowing it not and by knowing the truth.
It is better to overcome than to endure. Patience ceases to be a virtue when we endure discomfort and disease rather than take a positive stand in favor of truth and health. We make disease and inharmony a great reality to us by giving thought thereto and by our fear of these. We need to get our thought on positive lines and when our thinking and speaking correspond to the Truth of our Being there will be no need of overcoming for ourselves. Through our own thought we are to overcome everything that hinders the perception of the Divine within us.
As has been stated before, the Truth of our Being is perfect wholeness; we have within us the perfect attributes of the Divine of which we are a part. To realize this perfection and wholeness is our aim, for that would give us lives of health and harmony. Let us consider briefly some of the false beliefs that stand in our way and which we are to overcome by seeing their unreality.
A strong misconception exists regarding what is commonly called the temper or disposition of a person; and the belief in bad temper is only less insistent than the feeling that it must be overcome by fighting against it. Here we have an instance of a misconception in the use of a word. The word temper comes from the Latin, meaning “to mix in proper proportions, to qualify and regulate,” and is used in its true meaning in the sentence, “He tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.” Hence in its application to the state of mind of the individual, the true meaning of temper is the harmonious blending of thought that produces an even tenor of life. Webster says, “The use of the words bad or violent temper is a deviation from the original meaning,” although these are commonly so used.
We see then that in Truth there is no bad temper to overcome. There cannot be a negative and a positive form of temper any more than there are degrees of health, such as good and bad. All health is good health, and all temper is good temper; but we manifest only as much of either as we are conscious of. The temper of our mind then, which is of the one Mind, is calm, even, serene, poised, peaceful and harmonious, and evil does not exist in it at all. To overcome any false belief regarding the temper, know the truth and reality of it which has just been stated. Abiding in the consciousness of this truth, all false evidence must pass away from our thought. We take the matter up earnestly in the silence and fortify ourselves with a simple statement designed to eliminate this belief of evil temper, such as “God is love and love is my true nature; love never fails.” In this way we shall soon find that we have not a reality to overcome, but a belief, and we shall realize the inner peace.
Some of the other beliefs about our Divine and perfect selves, which are to be overcome, are inefficiency, selfishness, fear, sensitiveness, ingratitude and self-pity. These are all to be overcome in the same manner as indicated above, viz., by seeing their unreal and untrue nature, as nothing but false beliefs; and by cultivating and declaring our true nature. Thus is unreality overcome by truth.
Just as we can overcome these false conceptions in ourselves so may we remove them from the lives of others. There is a tendency to resist the faults of others and to condemn these. But we need scarcely say that this is not the right way to meet them. Faults may be eliminated from mentality by recognizing the truth concerning them. This is practically what is meant by the injunction “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Thoughts are unexpressed words and are to be guarded and kept pure if all inharmony in the external is to be overcome forever. Our beliefs are continually “bearing witness” in the external, and the visible reveals the invisible thought. “There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed.” False beliefs reveal themselves as negation in various forms, as the absence of Truth.
To look always for the Truth will prevent any possible vision of error. Know the truth about all things if you would overcome “the world.” The truth of you is your divinity. The truth of your body is its health. The truth of your neighbor is his inherent goodness. The truth of every problem is its conformity to principle. The truth of your life is its integrity. The truth of the universe is its unity.
Back of all created things does stand the Truth, the reality, and no appearance of evil can harm it. Discord never affected harmony and error never can harm truth. We must look deep for truth, search for it earnestly and resolutely, determined to find in it an answer to every problem of life. That is the only way that appearances, false beliefs and misconceptions can be overcome. “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” – Jesus. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.”
STATEMENTS FOR MEDITATION.
Of all that God has given me I can lose nothing.
The gift of God is eternal life.
God has given me strength.
God has given me health.
God has given me faith.
God has given me wisdom.
God has given me love.
God has given me peace.
God has given me a perfect body.
All things that the Father hath are mine; I cannot lose them.
These words are Spirit and they are Life.
All mine are thine and all thine are mine.
These words shall not pass away.
IN THE RUSH.
In the rush
And listen to the voice
All worry; just rejoice.”
‘Mid the noise and zest;
Just a sweet, still rest.
There’s a dim
‘Mid the noise of the throng.
In the rush,
And listen to the song.
-Myrtle K. Cherryman
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Studies in Divine Science
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