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Lesson 4 - Denials
 All religions for every race and tongue agree in revealing certain things. They all hint at certain forms of denial. They all coincide in the idea that God--meaning mind or spirit--perpetually creates or makes manifest. But what are the denials these various creeds hint at? The old Puritans preached the most rigid system of denial, depriving themselves and their children of every comfort in order that they might please their “God.” But their most strenuous efforts in this direction failed to develop a better condition of morals, longer lives or healthier bodies. Neither did the rigid heaven, which their grim imaginations projected, serve to attract the desires of the race upward. And gradually, the mental power, which is the Law in externalization, and which is always manifesting in spite of the frozen or the torrid creeds of ignorance, set these creeds aside; and the race grew more and more in the knowledge that it created itself for a life of ever present happiness.
Carlyle said that for a man to be happy he must utterly renounce self. No man ever said a more foolish thing. To renounce self is to undo the work of creation by which we are here today with the power to pursue happiness. To stand by self, and to build these selves up in such strength that they can appropriate, or make more of the infinite Life Principle manifest, not only to ourselves, but to the whole world, is the object of creation.
Carlyle was wiser than his words, for he did not renounce self. Nevertheless, the conflict between his puritanic creed and the natural assertion of his powerful individuality made his life so inharmonious to himself and others that his biography is one of the most pitiful ever written.
Emerson thought that for man to be healthy and happy he must come into a state of non-expectation --ceasing to look for good fortune-- and that in this attitude the universal good would flow to him.
Emerson tried to live this idea, and what was the result? Why, this: That great brain of his which was the pride of the nation and of the world broke down in every tissue--softened, ceasing to generate a thought; and so he died.
And yet every religion hints at denial. Can it be possible that this universal fact means nothing? No, it is not possible, for the race beliefs are precious things; and it is always unwise for the thinker to discard without investigation any widespread belief like this.
If Life is omnipresent, absolutely filling every point of space in the vast universe, then it becomes a truth subject to mathematical demonstration that there is no room for evil--assuming evil to be, as the world now accepts it, an opposing force to good, having equal or nearly equal power with it.
We cannot put two substances into a given space at one time. For instance, a quart measure cannot hold at once a quart of water and a quart of wine.
 If good--by which I everywhere mean the spirit of Life--Life being good and only good--is a something that fills all space, how can evil as another and a separate something occupy the same space at the same time? It can no more do it than a quart of water and a quart of wine can occupy the same quart measure at the same time.
There is no sin or evil in all the universe. All is good, and good is omnipresent. All the actions and conditions the world calls evil, sinful, wicked, and judges worthy of punishment are only errors or mistakes growing out of a lack of understanding of omnipresent good. In my denial of evil, I do not deny the existence of murder, theft, lying, selfishness, cruelty, revenge and the like; but I do deny that they are sins or evils. For these offenses are only mistakes growing out of ignorance as to the best method of pursuing happiness. In this form of denial I do not and cannot (of course) change the condition itself, as many Mental Scientists seem to believe they are doing, but only the aspect of it in your mind, revealing it to you in its true colors as a mistake; so that you will be able to cast out all resentment, seeing that nothing is deserving to be called guilty, or is deserving of punishment.
The condition called evil is a condition with a sense of guilt attached to it; a humiliating sense of shame for wrong doing; and this condition does have a place in the realm of omnipresent good; but the condition itself is but a belief in evil, and it is a mistaken belief similar to the belief in disease.
Evil is not the opposing power of good, as it has been supposed to be. It is simply error. It is ignorance of good. And so far as it is ignorance of good, it is ignorance of Life, or Being, and in this manner it is its own retribution or correction.
All ignorance is its own punishment--ignorance of health no less than ignorance of justice--but the world does not know this, or it would punish men for being sick with as good reason as it punishes them for any other error or belief.
Every form of ignorance shuts a man out from a knowledge of the Law of Being, which I have been calling in these lessons by the simple and comprehensive term of “good.”
And every form of ignorance is its own punishment inasmuch as it locks up the Life Principle from the ignorant person just to the extent of his ignorance.
And yet every form of error is a certain condition of good, for it is a manifestation of Life, though on a negative plane. It is good in an unripe stage of development. Negative or unripe good (or Life) always leads to positive or ripe good ultimately, just as unripe fruit must finally become ripe fruit. Error is a component part or a factor in universal good, and is indispensable to the completion of the great whole. Truth and error are two names applied to different degrees of development in good, or Life. The unripe development of the good we call error; the riper developments of good we call truth. But what we call error as well as what we call truth, is also truth on a lower or more negative plane; for truth is substance, and all substance is truth, or reality in varying degrees of negative and positive.
Therefore, the whole seeming incongruity resolves itself into this one simple fact--good is omnipresent, and what we call evil is only undeveloped good, which is destined to become developed good, even as the child is destined to develop into adulthood.
The peach is bitter and repulsive in one stage of its existence, but it gradually ripens into the splendid fruit we know it to be. The race is a growth just as the peach is, and time will ripen it out of every crudity it now exhibits. Is it an evil thing for the peach to be unripe? Surely not; neither is it an evil thing for the race to be unripe, since it is ripening under the influence of its varied experience as fast as possible. To hasten its ripening, it only needs the fostering protection of a better system  of education. It should be educated out of its ignorance, its errors, its mistakes, instead of being murdered for them. We might as well beat the peaches off the tree because they are unripe as to murder and torture humanity for its unripe condition.
Denials are in order, and the first denial is, “There is no evil.” The thought waves flowing out from your mind, having the mighty power of truth behind them, travel in the same manner as sound waves. They actually sweep the very atmosphere clear from fallacious beliefs, so that others--without knowing why--feel the burdens lifted from their conscience and their lives brightened. Evil is not a positive power any more than darkness is, and is dispelled by the assertion of truth, as darkness is dispelled by the introduction of light. Therefore, when the student declares stoutly, “There is no evil,” throwing his words world-wide, as it were, the truth stands revealed; and thus revealed it proves that the belief in evil is incorrect. The character of evil thus disclosed, a man would be very foolish to place his chance of happiness upon it. Evils, or what we call sins, are the mistakes we make in our search for happiness; nothing more and nothing less. And where is the person that will risk anything of interest to himself upon a mistake when he knows it to be a mistake? He must see that he would have nothing to gain, but much to lose by so doing. This thing of divesting what we call evil of its sense of guilt, and placing it in the category of mistakes will do more in the way of reform than all the penalty attached to it now. Show men that it is not to their interest to make these mistakes called sins, and they will drop them. Take this line of thought and educate the people in it, and as soon as they learn the true spirit of the thing, they will no more invest their happiness in such mistaken beliefs than they will invest their money in swindling enterprises.
No man would trust what the world calls evil, only that he believes he has something--some happiness--to gain by it. He thinks the so-called evil he is doing has power to give him pleasure; or, at least, to relieve him of some want he feels to be mastering him.
Now, let us make a personal application of this. Let us suppose that I am unjust, and that I am constantly chiding myself for it. Does this chiding, this constant reproaching from my conscience, cure me? No, it cannot; for every effort I make in this direction under the conviction of sin is an admission of guilt, which the truth in me refuses to recognize. It is a lie in the face of omnipresent good, and cannot stand. What shall I do? I am grasping, let us say, and not willing to give others the privileges I claim for myself--there is no denying it; it is a fact. What shall I do about it?
I investigate my feeling and find that the sense of injustice which possesses me is not bringing me happiness. Am I, therefore, transgressing the law? Remember, sin is a transgression of law. But I am not transgressing the law, for the law remains inviolate, and must always do so. The law is omnipresent good, and no one can transgress it. But we may endeavor to live by such mistaken methods as personal injustice prompts, always to prove those methods failures. Therefore, evidently these methods are the result of the non-comprehension of the law, and not a violation of it. If it were possible to violate or thwart the law, this would be an evil, indeed; but there is no such possibility. Therefore, we are responsible for nothing but our ignorance of the law, and lose nothing but the glorious results that would come if we understood it and lived by it. Therefore, the indulgence of my unjust ideas is my mistaken method of pursuing happiness, caused by my ignorance of the law of omnipresent good, and of the fact that nothing but my co-operation with the law will produce the happiness I seek. The more the unjust person dwells on this aspect of the case, the more he will see its truth.
 A sin being an assumed violation of law is something we feel we must atone for. I deny the sin. I cannot possibly sin, being a creature of omnipresent good, there being nothing else to manifest. Then, in manifesting injustice, I have manifested the negative side of justice, and proved that it is not what helps me to happiness, and I naturally look forward to the belief that a sense of justice will do it. Thereby my mistake has been my teacher. It has educated me in a knowledge of positive good, and proven itself a negative good in so doing. And it is just so with all of those mistakes called evils or sins. They are the negative poles to recognized virtues, and the virtues are actually evolved from them. The denial of evil, as a something for which we are guilty and punishable, finally makes the temptation to commit it fall away from us, thereby revealing the splendid knowledge of our own mastery. If we know that our mistake is not a culpable violation of law, but only a blind and ignorant method of pursuing happiness, as a matter of course, we are no longer tempted in that direction.
No man is tempted to make what he knows to be a mistake.
His mistakes are inadvertent, and, as he discovers them, he abandons them. All mistakes arise from ignorance; and every mistake is a negative good because it is indirectly leading to the thing the mind is prospecting for--which is truth and happiness. If it appears to lead in the wrong direction for a time, it is because it is necessary that we should know the wrong thing before we can be absolutely sure of the right thing. We are all down here in these negative conditions, having come up just this far from lower or more negative conditions still; and all that we learn is by experience. In this school we make many mistakes, and these mistakes are all good, being our teachers to point us in the right direction.
Therefore, your first denial is that of the existence of evil. Declare again and again. “There is no evil.” Do not wait for a full understanding of the grounds of your denial to come to you, but go on denying, and, as sure as you live, understanding will come. This denial (which is true) will put you in a state for the reception of truth and the incarnation of it in your mind. It is as if you said, “The everlasting Life is here, though invisible, and I will hold the fort until it comes.” Doubts as to its ever coming may assail the brave soldier student, but no doubt shall ever quite dislodge him from his position. The winds and the rains of a world’s adverse beliefs may beat in his upturned face, but he will down them all. As he stands thus, the little plant of truth, that thing of perennial growth within him, is being fed from unseen fountains, and its harvest begins to open to his perceptions, and every day as he stands there holding for it, truth the invisible, becomes truth the visible, breaking in glad efflorescence about him in a hundred desirable things of beauty and use; filling him and surrounding him with such opulence as no man ever yet attained, or ever will attain, who acknowledges evil as a real power.
It is the effort of Mental Science to provide us with certain facts, arranged in systematic form, by which we may gain understanding as we proceed along our journey from the not knowing to the knowing of these truths. Denial has a cleansing power, and is the first practical step the student is called upon to take.
The omnipresence of good has been asserted and proved most logically. In making the denials, the student must remember the reasoning by which the declaration of omnipresent good was sustained, and must hold it as absolute security for all the denials he is requested to make.
These are the denials: First--“There is no evil,” because so-called evils, or sins, are errors, or mistakes; and errors, or mistakes, are undeveloped or unripe good.
 Second--“There is no dead matter,” because what we call matter is mind in a negative degree of development.
Third--“Pain, sickness, poverty, deformity and death cannot master me,” because I have developed out of that essential belief in them that once made them positive to me.
Fourth--“There is nothing in all the universe to make me afraid,” because I am the highest expression of Being (or Life), and so have dominion over all the negative forces of the world; and then, also, because all is good. Good exists everywhere, and has always done so, but we have not always known it. We have been like children blindfolded and crying that there was no light.
These denials that I have given, if persisted in, will tear the bandages from our eyes, and show us that the light, whose existence we doubted, is the only reality above all realities. The truth that all is good is a living truth, and the whole impulse of life is to make us conscious of it. We are co-operating with nature and the law of Life when we take sides with the truth in declaring there is no evil. We are declaring our oneness with universal Law when we deny the existence of matter as something separate from mind. In denying the supremacy of pain, sickness, error and death we are lifting ourselves out of the realm of the negatives where such things are possible. In denying the power of fear, we virtually assert our power over everything.
These denials have great potency. Go off by yourself and say them several times a day. When you are confronted by events that seem to contradict the denials, and your faith becomes shaken, turn again to the first three lessons, and read them carefully over. The light will break in on your mind from every new reading, and you will be better prepared to make denials afresh. Continue to do this for weeks; continue to do it until the light of truth shines all around you. It may chemicalize you. Chemicalization is a condition into which students and patients are often plunged by the receiving of new light into the mind. It is a stirring up of the dregs of long settled conviction, and it makes some persons sick. It may occur after any of the lessons, but it is said to occur most often after the lesson on denials. You must not notice it. It will not hurt you much, and in the end will greatly benefit you. Refuse to come under the bondage of fear or the belief of evil. The state of confusion or chemicalization will pass, leaving your mind clearer than ever before.
It is possible that these denials you are making silently will antagonize the persons about you, just as they antagonize your old convictions, so that you find unexpected opposition at every step. You family may manifest greater irritability than previously. Your neighbors may seem almost quarrelsome. Christ, who seemed to understand this, said, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” He knew that truth antagonized error, and was prepared for its persecution in his own person. The truth, which is beginning to be organized in you, is shedding faint beams abroad, and these beams produce a disturbing influence.
The old system of belief, grounded in error, rebels against the light. There is a commotion among the bats and night owls in the dim twilight minds about you, and it is possible that unexpected discouragements may beset you. If so, deny their power over you for even one moment. Say simply, “Nothing can discourage me. I am standing for eternal good. It is here, and has always been here. By my recognition of it--by my holding the fort for it--it will become manifest, not only to myself, but to others.” And from this starting point you will grow to be a tower of strength. Presently, without a word of explanation, you will become a center of attraction. The family will begin to gravitate toward you more than ever, and so will your neighbors. The bats and night owls will have disappeared before the light they found it impossible to resist. Your  silent influence, which was at first rejected, is now found to be uplifting; and there is no soul, however sunken, that will not gravitate to an uplifting influence, especially if it be silent at first; for it is not well to speak until your silent influence has ripened the minds about you to a certain degree of reception. It is the blatant reformer that the untaught mind rebels against. Keep repeating these magic words, “There is no evil.” Your child may disobey you, but do not punish him; lay your hand on his head; raise your soul by mighty effort of faith in absolute good and say silently, “There is no evil.” Many unpleasant things may occur during the ensuing week, but conquer them all with the words, “There is no evil.” Remember that people are acting from the half lights that their negative lives are yielding, and learn not to expect perfect results from an imperfect understanding of the truth. Hold this mitigating circumstance in your mind always when you are denying for them that there is evil--that they are not sinners, but only misguided searchers after happiness.
I have especially named the leading denials, but there are others. If the quick sense of anger rises in your heart, deny it. Say, “I am not so negative as to be governed by anger.” In this way you will gradually lift yourself into the realm of the positives merely by recognition of them. To deny the supremacy of a negative over you is to acknowledge and recognize the supremacy of the positive within you. Do not palliate your feelings or seek excuse for them. Simply deny, saying, “I am not angry,” and maintain it in the face of all contrary evidence. In this way you fight nothing. You simply forsake the negative and cling to the positive, arraying your strength with it, knowing that “God and one make a majority.” If you see your neighbor’s unjust conduct, declare that it is but a negative condition, and being such, has not the power to hold him longer than such time as he shall become conscious of his positive power to deny it; and your recognition of this fact will help to cure him of his mistakes, just as your silent recognition of the health element in the patient will make the health element apparent in his body.
And so, little by little, we start out to conquer a world of unbelief. It is our mission to strengthen ourselves daily by as much truth as we can recognize and appropriate. Dwell upon the idea that the good is life, truth, love, intelligence, substance; all-knowledge, all-powerful, all-present--and that we, being in it and of it, possess life everlasting, glorious love and mighty power; that like can only create like, and that Life, being good, can only externalize good.
We cannot live in these self-same bodies always. We have not lived in them always; we have changed them from day to day since the first conscious breath that we drew, and we will keep changing them atom by atom forever. But it is folly, in view of the fact that we have been changing our bodies always to suppose that the sudden and complete change, as in death, is a necessity. Not a person in the world has one atom of the body today that he had ten years ago. Indeed, so rapid is the change in the human bodies that it is now said by learned physicians that from one to three months time is sufficient to change every particle of them.
Then, since we are already replacing the worn-out atoms of our bodies day by day, let us see to it that we give the new atom the stamp of immortality from our newly revised beliefs on this point.
In this way, each new supply will be better and more vital than the former supply. Thought has the power to do this, being the governing and building power of the body, and it has the power to carry with it the new externals, or bodily manifestations. Your educated thought, which is a substance, can pour tangible invigoration into the daily new supply of atoms for your  body, by earnestly dwelling upon these new truths, and trying to feel (or, what is better--feeling) as you do, so that your body is changing under the influence. This, coupled with the recognition of the fact that the thoughts are the building power of the body, will give you the ability to mold your body as you will. For your thoughts give quality to your blood (healthful and more immortalizing quality in this instance) and your blood builds this quality into your body, where it shows forth in the measure of its strength. This is the fountain of immortal youth which Ponce de Leon sought among the negative (physical) things of earth, but which could only be found among the positives of life.
Every growing thought has the power to carry with it its own new externals, or bodily manifestations. Do not forget this. This power of thought will enable us to carry our internal and external (soul and body) together in harmonious unison forever, not necessarily, however, always existing on this earth. We should pass into higher and still higher spheres, which would open to us as we become fitted by our enlarged being to become actors in them. For “our Father’s house has many mansions.” Not understanding, at the present time, how to maintain the harmonious balance in development between our thought life and our visible (or bodily life) we are able to live so long only as the two grow in unconscious concord. Just as soon as this concord is disturbed by the negative laws which govern the body--the law of the animal existence, which is the law of disintegration, the dropping away of the body, as it were, before the power of thought--then the thought and the body cease to work together smoothly. The body (or negative part of the mind) becomes an impediment to the thought (or positive part, which, as yet, does not know that it has power to retain the body) and there comes that separation we call death. The thought life bursts away from its impediment, which it cannot raise, because it has not made the atonement through a saving consciousness that it and the body are one substance--all of one piece.
Death is simply the result of ignorance of the power of thought to save. Our bodies are our external minds. They are not to be undervalued as they have heretofore been. They are the expression of our widely diversified individualities, and are important to us as the organized expression of our present state of thought. Our bodies are the limitation of the thought that is ourselves, just as the skin of the peach is the limitation of the substance that is the peach. We can remain in ignorance of our power over these bodies, and, in consequence, be forced to lay them down in death; or we can refine them by a consciousness of our power over them, thus rendering them so pliant that they will change in conformity with every new thought that we acquire, in this way becoming perfect manifestation of our growing, beautifying, inner selves. Which shall we do? There is an atonement to be made, which alone has the power to arrest that breaking of the magnet man in death.
The atonement, the at-one-ment of thought and body, must be made by a conscious recognition that we are all mind. It must be made either here or hereafter. We have power to make it here now, as well as any future time; and ought to make it now. The time to actualize a truth is when we recognize it. Heretofore as soon as a man arrived at that age where his intelligence began to be of benefit to the race, he died. His career was repeated in his children; and so progress has stagnated hundreds of years. Hundreds of years ago, human intelligence had achieved almost the same success we are achieving today. Ideas were written and works were done which even now are unsurpassed, because one man has simply been a repetition of another. Men must live longer in order to widen the range of individual experience, and so increase the general stock of knowledge. We must emancipate  ourselves from the old forms of thought, which have so long been our prison houses, and project better ones. We are beginning to see the immense power of thought, to mold, not only our own bodies, but the bodies of others, and I have no hesitation in saying that as disease has become negative to him who has mastered this mind power, or Mental Science, that old age, which is only a slow aggregation of disease, can also be mastered.
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