"The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from
him, Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are,
northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land
which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever."
- Genesis 13:14-15, The Holy Bible
(American Standard Version)
"The Devil in the Bible means ignorance or misunderstanding.
Spell live backward and you have evil. Your evil is an inversion
of the Life-Principle which is God. God moves as a unity and seeks
to express Himself through you as beauty, love, joy, peace, and Divine
Order. The false idea in your mind is called the adversary, devil,
Satan, etc. The devils which bedevil man are enmity, strife,
hatred, revenge, hostility, self-condemnation, and other negative
emotions. If man fails to believe in the goodness of God and in a
God of Love, the extent to which he believes this, can well be his
so-called devil which is the source of his pains, aches, and
- Dr. Joseph Murphy, 1971 Special
Lecture at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles, California
Not that long ago I was at an
"Inter-Faith" service at a church in Los Angeles when one of
the minister-speakers came to the podium and said, "Good morning
all you God-fearing people!" It had been a long, long time
since I had heard the phrase, "God-fearing" and it got my
attention. When I was a child the Pentecostal and Baptist
preachers used the term often to instill fear and intimidation in their
audience. And so it is understandable that I left fear-based
religion behind and became attracted to a philosophy that teaches that
G-d and Love are synonymous. G-d Is Love and Love Is G-d, is what
I teach and know is the Truth.
Even as a child I could not buy into the
idea that G-d was something to fear. As for the idea of a devil, I
agree with Dr. Murphy that truly it is our belief in that
"something other than Good or G-d" that makes the possibility
of a devil plausible to so many people. Of course, you cannot see
the devil ... but then you cannot see resentment, revenge, hostility,
fear and self-condemnation ... they describe invisible states of mind.
The devil became the concept that described the fear and despair
associated with our feelings of being separated from G-d and the Good.
For many the devil became an excuse not to take responsibility for their
own actions, emotions and level of fear and self-condemnation. And
we create our own "fear of God." Of course, this is an
illusion and not real, but, what appears real are the consequences that
we must endure if we do not accept responsibility for our experiences
and be willing to change our thoughts and ideas about our relationship
to G-d and Life Itself.
Duality, the belief in G-d and something else,
is subtle. Most of us would not claim to believe in a devil or to
fear G-d, but we do hold onto thoughts of good and evil, bad and good,
etc. We don't want to beat ourselves up about this for I would
suggest that most of us don't dwell on these things to any great extent.
And, I believe that most of us have learned to quickly turn from
negative thoughts to that which is more life-enhancing with a greater
immediacy than ever. But, as I stated, duality is subtle.
And this subtlety is most apparent in the things that we are
"grateful for" ... that is, the things that we give thanks for
... or see as our blessings.
It is so easy to sincerely give thanks for the
good that we receive and for the happy and joyous times we experience.
Yet, as we believe that G-d Is All and All Is Good, we must register and
foster in our consciousness that everything is something to be grateful
for ... the seeming negative as well as the seeming positive ...
otherwise we open the door of our mind to duality. "For I am
God and there is none other," we can read in the Book of Isaiah.
In other words, there is only One, not two ... there is only G-d, not
G-d and a devil. The challenge for most of us is not to lose sight
of this when things come into our experience that seem overwhelming.
The Master Mind Jesus showed us the way by acknowledging,
"I, of mine own self can do nothing." There will be
times when each of us must "know" this for ourselves.
Times when our awareness of G-d's Presence and Power is a necessity.
Everything that comes to us, comes to us for our good. Everything
that comes to us, comes to us to strengthen our faith and bring us into
a greater realization of our One-ness with G-d. Spirit is always
seeking to express something greater through us, but in order to express
something greater through us, we must be able to receive it.
As we face the seeming obstacles and challenges with a sincere,
"thank You for this" we activate our faith in the Good and in
G-d and know that this Something Greater than us will guide us through
whatever it is we need to move through. It is this level of
"trust" that Dr. Holmes was referring to when he wrote in the
Science of Mind, "learning to trust will make you happy."
Our faith and trust in the Infinite will eliminate all fear as we
realize that we are never alone with our problems ... the Power and
Presence of G-d is always right where we are. "He will
perfect that which concerneth me," we can read in the ancient
scriptures, and we can know right now, right where we are, that this is
the Truth for us, no matter what conditions or circumstances we may be
"Thank You, for this" ... thank
you, Spirit, for revealing your Presence in my life ... thank you for
being the solution, the answer, the health, the wealth, the spirit of
me. Thank you for reminding me that I am never alone, never
without help, never helpless or hopeless. "In all your ways
acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths," we can read
in the Book of Proverbs. Let us give thanks, sincerely, for
everything that comes to us. No matter what it may be, it has come
for our good. In this we can be certain.
SO IT IS!
Dr. Henry Lee Bates
Visit Rev. Bates BLOG: Living
the Science of Mind