The air inside of a vase takes the shape of the vase automatically. If it were possible to withdraw the air entirely and create a vacuum---a perfect vacuum---the vase would collapse. The pressure of the air on the outside would be too great to be withstood. Applying this illustration to your everyday problem, take your thought away from or out of a problem, and it will automatically collapse. To be "absent from the body (the embodiment of evil) and present with the Law."
All evil is the product of thought, and is sustained by it---it has no other cause. It is not self-creative, nor self-sustained; it must be fed and fanned into a flame by thought. Thus, the mere spread of gossip has been fanned into a veritable forest fire of manifestation, which has sometimes ended in war-and this too, many times caused by a wholly untrue report. Thus we see why Jesus repeatedly warned against the evil of "taking thought." The devil was supposed to have been created by "walking up and down and to and fro." We are all familiar with the old adage "Mischief finds some work for idle hands to do." But the "hands" will not do anything evil unless thought has first conjured up a picture of evil for them to perform. Taking away the thought or "being absent from the body" might be likened to deflating a balloon. This monstrous shape which appears so formidable crumples to nothing when it is deprived of its gas. And while all illustrations are inadequate to express God in any sense of the word, yet by parables and illustrations are we able to grasp somewhat the action of God. "Out of mind, out of body"----it is perfectly amazing how far-reaching this thing is.
It follows quite naturally that if you are to take the life-substance away from a given situation, you cannot first add to the appearances of this evil by judging from the appearances. Everything you recognize in your thought-world as true, can bring out its manifestation just the same as when you perceive a true state in consciousness, it reveals the "finished mystery." The command "Judge not from appearances" is given to you not so much as a restriction, but rather as very powerful instruction on how to escape evil. The more you examine into the nature of evil, the more real it becomes. A pin scratch on a day laborer and a pin scratch on a Movie Star are two entirely different things, as far as results are concerned, (though the Movie Star's father may have been a day laborer.) Now, are you the day laborer, or are you the Movie Star, symbolically speaking? "Awake thou that sleepest and Christ shall give thee light." This is not an oft-repeated command---it is a revelation when you finally hear it. You will awaken to a new level and will certainly exclaim to yourself, "Whereas before I was blind, Now I can see." When we speak of human thought, it really should be called misthought, for in reality real thought comes only from consciousness. It is the emanation of light and understanding, at no time creative, but always revealing---whereas human thought is the creator and sustainer of all evil. That is why it is possible to disintegrate human thought-patterns. I do not need to list a thousand and one incidents where actual disease and untoward conditions have been made manifest, through thought-taking, out of absolutely nothing. Perhaps one of the most pertinent illustrations is that of the man who died of cholera because he was told he had been exposed to it, when not a single instance of cholera had ever been heard of in that vicinity. Perhaps there is something to the phrase "I am catching a cold"---What do you mean "catching"?
Judging righteous judgment, or taking the thought away from the body, will devitalize the thought-power, thereby automatically eliminating the effect of sin, disease, lack, etc. Sometimes this can be done instantly---the thread of thought can be snapped so quickly that the manifestation disappears like magic.
Taking your attention away from the so-called evil, does not mean hiding your eyes from appearances, and violently declaring against evil. You may stand open-eyed before it, and devitalize it by the Presence of your newly-awakened God Power. "You must decrease, I must increase," literally takes place as you begin to understand how the thought of Jesus merges into the consciousness of Christ. Confronted with the situation of five thousand hungry people all clamoring for bread, He apparently was faced with a real problem. We see He "lifted His eyes to heaven"----not somewhere up in the air, but to His Christ consciousness, where He instantly recognized that the picture of evil formed by thought had nothing to sustain it. No wonder He could give thanks. It did not make any difference what the human mind said was true, the moment the thought was broken the manifestation disappeared. Do you begin to see why evil is not made more real actually by the thoughts of five thousand people? Because "One with God is a majority." In other words, one who takes his attention away from thought and places it in the Christ consciousness---his perfect Identity---is more powerful than thousands who are trusting in the force of evil.
A parasite dies automatically the moment the sap or substance upon which it lives is cut off. All human problems are parasites which through thought-taking apparently have grown on the life of man. Very much as barnacles on a ship are no part of the ship, so evil and its manifestation are no part of Man. Claim your heritage, begin to magnify the Lord within. Begin to identify yourself with your Permanent Identity. "Look unto Me all ye ends of the earth and be ye saved."
A ship that is covered with barnacles eventually will sink, unless they are removed. Its speed is impeded; the strain on the engines is greater as this mass of evil enlarges. There are two ways of removing barnacles from ships. One is the dry-dock where men labor with steam drills and other instruments to chisel away this hard formation. The other is by running the ship into fresh water docks, where the barnacles automatically drop off. There are two ways of getting rid of evil in your life---one by working with the outside, trying to overcome appearances which you call real---which is an almost hopeless task---and the other is by running the thought-laden mind into the unchanging pure Consciousness of Spirit. So many unknown conditions and problems will drop out of your life the moment you make your contact with your Divinity---"Magnify the Lord within you. Praise His holy Name."
Once you have taken your attention from evil, thereby shutting off the supply of thought-substance, the appearance of evil will disintegrate and the place thereof will be no more. The breath of God will blow the vanishing particles into oblivion. "The former things are passed away, they shall not be remembered nor come into mind any more." Whatever apparently resists this power is moved out of the way, be it person, place or thing. The blessing of the Lord, descending on such resisting appearances, is a consuming fire. Fear not---once you have released it in thought, any apparent reality of evil, no matter how time-honored, is consumed. It is written in the law "The former things shall pass away---they shall not be remembered (do you hear) nor come into mind any more."
If this law is to be carried out effectively---and it is---no (not any) person, place, nor remembrance of the thing can stand in the way of the on-going of God. The stone-casters who have come out against you will suddenly flee, confounded with a sudden spasm of fear, from a power against which they cannot stand; confounded, turned awry, twisted and babbling like chattering monkeys in the jungle. All the scandal-mongers and gossipers shall be sent into the wilderness to eat their own words. Stand and see the holy fires consume the "burnt offering." And again we hear "Only speak the word"---think of it. You have been given this power. "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life."
Stand and see the salvation of the Lord, and thrill in the knowledge of His Presence. "Who is so great a God as our God?"---"Is anything hard to Me?" You answer that one. If you feel that there is anything hard for God to do, or that your problem is difficult for Him, then you must pray the prayer which will change this belief-the prayer of contemplation---"Be still and know that I am God." This is contemplation of the Power. The more you contemplate it, the more you begin to actually sense-feel omnipotence, and the more your so-called problem dwindles in importance. Remember, God transcends everything, no matter from what source or belief. Time means nothing to this Presence. Time is only a measure of evil made by man---"His days are few and full of trouble." Yet in the mind of God "A thousand years may be as a day," or, if more time is needed, a day may be as a thousand years. Do you begin to see somewhat how an understanding of the power of God can stretch or telescope the human belief of time? This is an important thing for you to know, in the event it ever has to be done. Jesus did it all the time ---He "passed through the crowd"---was "instantly on the other side of the lake," etc. Never does the man who understands the law, attempt to prove it. This very attempting to prove it, shows that he does not believe in it. Although you have been silent all night, you do not attempt to speak English in the morning when you arise---you just speak it---you do not try to speak it. Why? Finally we begin to see that the manifestation of God-Power in your life is not some trick of a twentieth century religion, but a natural condition which functions automatically, and in its functioning destroys evil pictures of human thought. At no time is it fighting or trying to overcome them, any more than you are trying to speak English. You only try to speak English when you do not know English. You only try to demonstrate God when you do not actually know God---yet sometimes in both instances you are able to make yourself understood.
It makes no difference how mortal mind is inconvenienced, how its beliefs are set aside or overturned, how its best---established laws are made as nothing. It makes no difference whether it ever has happened before or ever will happen again, nothing the human mind can say or think amounts to anything when it comes to the expression of the God-Power. Have you noticed that when a thing cannot be explained or handled, it is called an Act of God? This is fastened on to most of the evil situations which man cannot explain. The sharp surplus of evil thought eventually collects itself and manifests itself in evils over which man himself has no control. The old Adam hiding again in the Garden from his own evil explains, "I was naked and I was afraid"---so the human mind when it has set into motion its evil, is afraid and takes refuge in the explanation, "This is an Act of God"---in a further attempt to make the Divinity a God of good and evil.
All sorts of fantastic things are mentioned in the Bible: "Yon mountain" and "Yon sycamore tree" and many other things are told to do and perform things wholly outside their nature. We are not talking about any human power or its limitations, we are speaking of Divine power, and it clearly states, "Nothing (not a single thing) is impossible to God." Do you know of something that is? If not, you probably know someone who does. In such case you or he do not believe in God. You believe in a "manmade" God---a God of limitations; and naturally your results must be in accordance with these limitations.
"There is a reason for the hope that is within us," and there is a deep sense of joy welling up within you as you begin to know that the hellish thing or condition, which has been filling your life and body with fear and sickness and all sorts of untoward conditions, is at last beginning to quake with the fear of this "terrible" power of the Lord. For "the Lord Omnipotent reigneth."
Jesus always ascended to the place of the Father. To ascend in this sense of the word, does not mean to go up, but is merely an expression of changing the thought to consciousness. There---in that ascended place---He rediscovered the fact that God controlled all planes of manifestation, mineral, vegetable, animal---and that to be one with this power was to manifest that same control, if called upon to do so.
It checks perfectly with your so-called "Birth Certificate"----"Born of God"---"Made in the image and likeness of God"---"Given dominion over everything on the earth, in the earth, and over the earth." Claiming this birthright brings you into a wonderful inheritance. There are many wonderful things interpolated for you---words of power, unseen until the eyes are opened, secrets, deep mystical revelations and the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. No wonder you are admonished to "Search the scriptures." Did you ever hear this quotation: "Thus far, and no farther"? I am asking you if you ever heard it, or if you know what it means as far as you are concerned, and in the event you should ever have to use it. Remembering all the while that you are not studying a new system of religion, but are having revealed to you LIFE. What you formerly called demonstration will immediately take place as a perfectly natural result of a different cause. There is nothing exciting or emotional in this appearance. "Even the winds and waves obeyed Him."
Jesus without His Father-consciousness had no more power than you have, and He admitted this. You can know the truth mentally from now until the end of time, and nothing will happen---and so with Jesus. He could of Himself do nothing; His conduct differed from ours in that He never tried to do anything. He did not waste time "taking thought" about things, or trying to change them, but immediately "ascended" to the place of His Father-consciousness. He knew full well that nothing could come from taking thought, except "clouds without rain." You have probably seen someone, working with some system of psychology or metaphysics, bring out an oversized manifestation with nothing to support it, and have seen that same apparently beautiful manifestation collapse and disappear as a mirage in the desert.
Again I repeat: Thought is the creator of evil, and the sustainer of evil. Watch! From consciousness emanates all real thought or light, but neither the human nor this light-thought is a creator. For instance, suppose a person tells you about a friend---immediately your human thought builds up a picture of this person in infinite detail, and your thought elaborates on the subject either for good or evil, according to what you have been told. When one day you come in contact with the person, your entire picture is completely shattered, because it never did exist as a reality; but from the moment you saw the person, you had a consciousness of him, and certain thoughts began to form or emanate from this consciousness. The same thing is true of the picture of disease and evil. In your life, you have been told since childhood about certain evil things, and not until you come into the Consciousness of Life, are these evil pictures disintegrated.
Have you remarked what an apparent dearth there is of so-called healings and demonstrations---yet years ago, they seemed to be very general. You hear people today in many organizations giving testimonies about things that happened twenty years ago. Why?
The reason is that after the "signs have been given," you are either moving into the place of manifestation, or you are with the dog, so unlovely, who does such an unlovely thing as to "return to his vomit"---go back to his old beliefs; or you are the dog under the table eating the crumbs, instead of being the host at the banquet-table of life. If you are still "taking thought," you are still looking for signs and wonders---"Come out from among them---and be ye separate"---"The signs will follow," they do not precede. You understand this, don't you?----even while you are saying in the next breath, "Before they ask, I will answer." In your spiritual revelation you find not a single contradiction in the law of God.
As human thought is the substance of all evil, so the Cosmic Power is the "Substance of all things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It is wonderful when you get the proper perspective on the whole. Suddenly you will "Put up your sword," stop fighting evil problems and appearances, and begin to call upon God, in the true sense of the word. Then will you know that as a "thief in the night" this Power has appeared and cleared the whole ground of its miasma of evil, be this evil person, place or thing. It is, as I said, confounded, dumbfounded, confused, turned around, driven into a fury of its own mentality from which there is no escape. Stand and see. It is wonderful! The walls of the City of Jericho crumbled away into a cloud of dust. Today a thin line of yellow green banana trees marks the spot "where the body lies." You may go in and come out of Jericho in a thousand places---there is no further obstruction. Your Jericho or desire may be surrounded by a wall, either figuratively or actually, as formidable as that which was around the city of Jericho. But there comes a moment in your understanding and revelation when the "trump sounds"---and the walls become a cloud of dust, swept away into oblivion.
Never born, never dying, you are being freed from the barnacles of thought.
"Then lifted He His eyes unto heaven and said, Thank you, Father." And then He broke the bread and fed five thousand, against the most cherished beliefs that the human thoughts of those five thousand knew to be true---And again I admonish you, "Take no thought."
Walter C. Lanyon