Instructions To A Student
( Originally Published 1921 )
THE cause of the universe is also the law, power, and substance thereof. All that is entitled to be called God or Deity; all that means Truth, intelligence, wisdom,—all that means plan and purpose,—all that means Mind, body, and estate, already exists in completeness.
This allness, this "I am," this infinite somethingness, this that is limitless Science, this that is the ampleness and perfection of being, includes no sub-stance, plan, nor action, other than blessedness. Divine Love does nothing for man other than to bless him, and it has nothing to bless with but love—but good.
In working out our salvation we must know this, —that we do not have to reckon with, or square accounts with, or adjust ourselves to a wrathful, retributive, or vengeful God. We are not being watched by, or taken account of, or waited for by God. God has no penalty, or punishment, or suffering in storage for us. If the infinity of good took sufficient cognizance of anything to punish it, then that good would collapse in chaos.
If it were true that God ever punishes what is called sin—or, in other words, if infinity means or includes punishment, then Infinity would be hell.
Regardless of all that mortals, or mortal mind, may think about matter, or human life and living, including sin, sickness, and evil, it is absolutely true that the divine Mind has nothing whatever to do with it.
Any contrary supposition on the part of a mortal is gratuitous, fabulous, pitiably useless. Every thought is wasted that depicts a retributive God—worse than wasted, because it confirms the burden that rests upon humanity. One glance at suffering shows that all of it is destructive; whereas omniscience is always corrective, always redemptive. Suffering is not redemptive—there is no good in it.
All decrees about suffering, all the theology that sanctions and predicts it, everything of this kind is procured by mortal mind for the sole purpose, not of redeeming a mortal, but of procuring his destruction.
All human codes relating thereto are in erroneous forms, and have not a vestige of divinity. For these reasons, whatever betides, the human being may part at once and forever with fear of God. Hence the message, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." That is all I have for you—it is all that will do any good. In working out your deliverance, you have therefore this superb starting point; you are already all right, so far as God is concerned.
The first thing to do is to acquaint yourself with this fact of freedom, and learn that what you have to deal with is mortal mind, and that in settling your account with it you are to extinguish its claims.
It devises error, which it calls real and calls sin. It induces sin and then punishes it.
The standard of judgment is spiritual perfection and completeness.
Our understanding of this reduces all materiality to one common denominator, and abolishes all differentiation in connection with materiality, or error, and shows that all concrete exhibitions of mortal mind are "chips off the old block."
The solution is not gained by calling one form good and another bad. It is all error—and error is one—there is but one kind of error, but one kind of falsity. Generically considered, there is one unification of error—all the same.
In a general way it may be said that error puts forth its concepts thus:
2nd, the fear that is incidental to that belief.
In disposing of the trouble, the order is reversed, and you first destroy the fear, and then the governing belief.
The fear of evil is the confirmation of it. Hence the necessity of gaining freedom first by allaying the fear of any claim. The understanding which makes nothing of the fear, will make nothing of the claim. Fear is not inspired by good. It is always induced by mortal belief, and is never right. The fear of evil, of sin and disease, is always wrong.
Fear serves no good purpose. The fear of sickness and sin serves no purpose, but to continue them.
Hence the one important objective, namely, the extinction of fear about anything and everything.
As a preliminary thereto one must learn to extinguish the sense of condemnation which is the forerunner of fear. Fear and self-condemnation do not solve—they hinder the solution of the problem.
There is nothing rational in self-condemnation. One may condemn the error, but not himself—never himself.
Man exists at the standpoint of effect, of manifestation. Hence his natural status in the realm of receptivity, supply, responsiveness, opportunity, spontaneity.
Hence it is his business to show forth the divine good, and to be like good.
The human concept is not that man, but what is called your individual consciousness will be none other than that man as soon as it appreciates the spiritual and immortal sense of Life and displaces the material and mortal sense of life.
Hence the important, essential privilege of your declaring that "already I am perfect in good"—"Now are we the sons of God." (I John 3:2.).
Opportunity is infinite, perpetual, and always present—an inalienable fact of man's existence. The opportunity for you to rid yourself of erroneous beliefs is a ceaseless presence, and with it are all the law, and the power, and availability.
To recover spontaneously is the best way, and the only perfect way. The next best way is the way of improved progress.
We do not need to do anything to that which is true; we merely have to eliminate a false belief about the truth.