Escape from the Belief World

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The thesis of Christian Science is that Life in its entirety is God, absolute good and absolutely infinite, leaving nothing contrary to the nature of God. The student admits that logically there is a real world, perfectly constituted, but it does not seem to be perfectly manifested. The aspiring neophyte finds himself in what appears to be a world of limitations and he labels this a “belief world” in contradistinction to “God’s universe.” The problem then would seem to be, how to escape from the belief world to the world of perfection. This, of course, is a misstatement of the problem: Actually, the task is that of discovering this universe. For there are not two worlds, but one only, if it is infinite.

The antithesis of Christian Science, therefore, is that there is a life separate from the one perfect God-Life, and this is the existence that humans are experiencing. Our metaphysical work would be to resolve this duality of opposing good and bad worlds. Demonstration thus would be, not the bringing to pass some fond human desire, but the revelation of the scientifically perfect reality, which is all there is to anything.

“Our path to freedom starts when we find we do not have to change reality into more perfect reality. We simply refuse to get bogged down in opinion.”

Richard Booker

If all this is granted, then we shall have to admit its sequel, that the error is not an actuality, but is a point of view. Error is not a fact, because the only fact is God, Life. This fact can be nothing less than perfect, for a fact is not relative, so our work is not to change the Fact. It becomes obvious that what we have to deal with in metaphysical treatment are opinions, interpretations, points of view ONLY. Two approaches to the problem suggest themselves. 1. We can correct the opinion of what we are seeing, or, 2. We can refuse to have an opinion about it at all. The first method is the one usually resorted to because the human viewpoint wishes to stay in the picture. It is called “improving the belief” and always implies a human manipulator. The second method, that of relinquishing the opinion entirely, would not be tainted with human beliefs or viewpoints at all, and when attained would result in completely clear sight of the reality.

If all this is granted, then we shall have to admit its sequel, that the error is not an actuality, but is a point of view. Error is not a fact, because the only fact is God, Life. This fact can be nothing less than perfect, for a fact is not relative, so our work is not to change the Fact. It becomes obvious that what we have to deal with in metaphysical treatment are opinions, interpretations, points of view ONLY. Two approaches to the problem suggest themselves. 1. We can correct the opinion of what we are seeing, or, 2. We can refuse to have an opinion about it at all. The first method is the one usually resorted to because the human viewpoint wishes to stay in the picture. It is called “improving the belief” and always implies a human manipulator. The second method, that of relinquishing the opinion entirely, would not be tainted with human beliefs or viewpoints at all, and when attained would result in completely clear sight of the reality.

“Limitations are always matters of opinion, frozen thought.”

The perfection of being resides solely in the Reality and never in the opinion about the Reality. All existence, however it is presently seen, must have its basis in self-acting Principle if it exists at all. This releases us from the onerous task of trying to arrange or rearrange Life. Our path to freedom starts when we find we do not have to change reality into more perfect reality. We simply refuse to get bogged down in opinion.

Suspended judgment is the greatest discovery of the scientific age. The thing that proves your God-ness is the inherent ability to transcend at any time, the apparent limitations of your immediate experience, and the limitations are always matters of opinion, frozen thought. The only way we can go on through to the perception of Truth is by surmounting the arbitrary mental barriers. Such barriers are erected entirely upon personal considerations. We seem prone to characterize every situation that confronts us either as “good” or “evil,” refuse to think about it further and deal with it according to the label we have put upon it. Actually we have been trapped by personal thinking to deal with a fiction, a ghost of the reality.

This dual world began when humans began to critically examine everything and appraise each aspect of life as absolutely good OR bad in relation to the person. This gives us two absolutes and we have been stuck with them ever since. Every generation seems saddled with just as much bad as good. It would seem logical to insist on a manner of thinking in which human opinion does not block further approaches to Truth. To this suggestion the tenacious personal thought cries out with the specious argument that to forego judgment would leave us without any discrimination, we would be a prey to evil, or at least in an amoral situation, a substanceless negative. On the contrary, this openness of attitude is the only possible way we can experience the substance of reality, as we shall see. If we are interested in the discovery of the ever-present Truth, we shall have to learn to refuse to characterize anything as good or bad in relation to personal considerations. This attitude is the only logical one for a Christian Scientist, because it is the only attitude which would leave the way open for redemption instead of total damnation.

The less we potter among opinions the sooner the light of reality dawns. This frees us at the outset from the unprofitable effort to “correct the belief.” We cease instantly sparring with error and go on to experience the redemption that is bound to appear as the personal viewpoint is released to the universal awareness. Thus you begin to live in the Fact (God) and are no longer vulnerable to the pain, conflict and limitation which is the result of the isolated concept. You find yourself to BE Spirit, as you cease thinking about Spirit. It should be a matter of simple observation that your awareness, your experience called Life, is your immediate being. The personal opinion that is interjected seems to make two out of it: the actuality which exists of itself and a concept of it which is artificial. Setting yourself (your thought) aside from Life, even theoretically, is the cause of all the trouble. Your escape from limitation is to reject instantly the opinion about the experience. You don’t separate yourself from Life then. When you have cleared the way by refusing to harbor the personal-opinion block you find unrelative and unconditional Life to be the sole occupant, leaving no area for a so-called person.

“When the opinion disappears, the “opinionator” disappears, and you find yourself being Love, loving in every situation whether the event appears loveable to the world or not.”

In Unity of Good, Mrs. Eddy says, (page 14) “God never said that man would become better by learning to distinguish evil from good, — but on the contrary, that by this knowledge…came ‘death unto the world, and all our woe.’ ” This may seem a difficult hurdle to the old manner of thought that feels compelled to appraise everything as good or bad, but it is the only gateway to healing. When the opinion disappears, the “opinionator” disappears, and you find yourself being Love, loving in every situation whether the event appears loveable to the world or not. There is no believer because there is no belief, hence nothing veils the essential reality of what you are experiencing consciously. It may seem inevitable that bystanders will condemn you if you don’t agree with their condemnation, but you know that you are engaged in finding the Truth inherent in the situation, and that Truth will be apparent to all as soon as human opinion ABOUT the appearance is dissipated. As a Christian Scientist you can reject or criticize nothing of reality, and that is all there is to appear—nothing to condemn.

So metaphysical treatment does not call for destruction of the personal. You transcend the personal by refusing to fall into the personal-opinion trap, then the only possible outcome would be the God-consciousness as your own conscious experience. No time is wasted in trying to reconcile the personal viewpoint with the God-awareness. With release of the personal opinion elements of thought the eye and heart are opened to partake of the richness of immediate God-being which was formerly missed because we were looking out John’s or Mary’s or Richard’s particular knothole. The true scientific view is not engaged in exchanging one peephole for another, one viewpoint for a better viewpoint, but is emerging into the open infinity of Mind. With the disappearance of personal opinion (which would always be supposition) the discovery of the divinity that is “of purer eyes than to behold evil” is made, and with this divine sight we behold the essence of people, places, things, or the substance of Mind. “Truth has no consciousness of error. Love has no sense of hatred. Life has no partnership with death. Truth, Life and Love are a law of annihilation to everything unlike themselves, because they declare nothing except God.” (S&H 243)

All limitation and wrong action are reactions of the personal point of view. The opinion of any precise instant determines the appearance (to personal sight) of that instant. As Mrs. Laird says, “That which sees it that way makes it that way.” This reaction goes much, much deeper than just an inert voluntary conceptual idea. It goes to the bedrock of the personal senses and actually seems to create the sight, sound and feel of imperfection with which the judgement has condemned it. Unless personal sense (the habit of opinionated thought) is surmounted we will go round and round in a closed circle, busily trying to correct the ghostly effects which have their only entity as supposition built upon opinion. We waste our time trying to reform people, heal sickness, find lost articles, fill wants, all the time rejecting the one remedy which would dispel the phantoms: releasing the opinion ABOUT what we are experiencing. When we see that the opinion “creates” the appearance, and the appearance confirms the opinion, we find that an absolute refusal to have an opinion about it at all will stop the whole sorry merry-go-round. (The student is asked to read carefully the first two paragraphs on page 403 of Science and Health.)

To those who object that giving up opinion destroys discrimination, we can ask: Does clearing away of the mist destroy the mountain that it formerly hid? The real objection is that personal sense wants to “get into the act.” Attaining the scientific view would be arriving at a condition where Truth was unobscured by personal opinion. What we call God is the total awareness. Viewpoints are just that…points of the view, segments of the whole, and can never be perfect. The opinion of anything is an abstraction. It would only be a segment of the reality. In foregoing judgment or opinion you rise above the appearance to the reality. Rest assured, the outcome would be liberty beyond your fondest dreams, substantiality that is undisturbed by human manipulation, and the sight of such beauty that you never thought possible.

Some students have a little experiment to prove that it is entirely possible to experience this pure state of unclouded mental being in which the distortions disappear. Choose any object and look at it without thinking about it. At first it will seem impossible, but you will find it is quite easy to think the object without thinking about it if you refuse to relate it to other objects in comparison for better or worse. You need not even name the object. Refuse to relate it to its so-called usefulness to man or to your own personal well-being. Such thinking would trap you into stamping it good or bad in relation to personal concepts. As you become successful in disposing of all opinions OF the object you begin to actually see the object, whereas before you were only seeing your opinion of the object. And in the reality of the object you will begin to discover a miracle. But you haven’t changed it. That is the point. You simply allow it to be itself, which is to say, you find it to be Mind’s reality, integrated and perfect.

This process is precisely what happens in Christian Science treatment. We learn to observe the first rule of Spirit: “Behold!” And as facility is gained in relinquishing opinions and judgments ABOUT people and things you behold them as they are and forever must be—perfect and integrated. This is the proven way to freedom. We find ourselves resorting less and less to labored argument as if we were trying to bring something about. (Refer, Science and Health, 454:31, 411:3-12).

Obviously, if we are to behold “in Science the perfect man” where sinning mortal man appears to mortals, we must insist on the inherent divinity of that which we see, but we do not attempt to change the bad opinion of it to a good opinion of it. The only way to escape is to refuse to have an opinion at all, either good or bad. The result is understanding because you have removed the human reference out of the way altogether and the reality of what you are seeing is revealed. When you escape the temptation to put a personal, opinionated interpretation on anything, you will find before your very eyes a transformed universe. Everything from the dishes on the table to the snow on the mountain top glistens with divine import. How else can we expect to find the spiritual universe, except by the clarification of the sight by which we are beholding the only universe there is?

It is through this understanding, the unclouded presence of Mind as individual knowing, that we find the real meaning of things. This is Mind interpreting itself without question. As we emerge into the sunlight and sanity of Mind we no longer look for hidden meanings, meanings behind symbols of materiality. Attempting to interpret symbols takes us away again from the directness of Mind knowing. It is God appearing of course, because all is God and his manifestation. But if the personal sense starts to make guesses or interpret as to how it is God appearing, the clouds rise up again. The belief world is our nemesis as long as we stay in the realm of belief by interposing opinions of any kind. Taking no thought about what you are looking at, you see what you are looking at. It is Mind confidently beholding itself, reality individually experienced.

“When you escape the temptation to put a personal, opinionated interpretation on anything, you will find before your very eyes a transformed universe.”

In the drama of Life we are never working from a prepared script. The whole adventure is new and joyous and the way is open for the expression of your true individuality. With the obstructions of preconceived notions out of the way and judgment in suspension, the energy is allowed its full potential. Thought is as wide-ranging as the infinite universe. The result for you would be spontaneous and creative activity, no longer pulled between two poles.

“All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All in all.” Therefore Mind-Life is the only being and action. True individuality is suppositionless awareness identifying Truth, beauty, completeness. Things and people are not actually corrected. The sight is opened. This is absolute Science in operation. To look at a sick man, a sinner, a debtor, an ignoramus. a drunkard, with absolutely no condemnation would be the sight of Love which heals. You step through the gate of heaven where you cannot possibly see anything opposed to the divine being of God.

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